Jan Brewer, America’s Hero

In the aftermath of the bravest political act in history, ever, I have a couple of observations:

First, if Tea Partiers are the 27%, then the NFL is the 73%. If the NFL will move the Super Bowl because of something Arizona did, then the time for debate over that thing is over. So, when they moved the Super Bowl from from Arizona in 1993 over Arizona’s reluctance to celebrate MLK day, that was pretty much the end of that racist bullshit for all but the states that will never host a Super Bowl. So, congratulations to our gay friends and family, because you’ve made it, judged by the only standard that matters. By the same standard, Latinos have not made it.

Second, is there any enterprise that has brought less credibility to “professional” journalism than fact-checking? Here’s yet another example of that kind of credulous idiocy related to the Arizona “Free to be a Bigoted Business As Long as You’re a Christian Business” bill:

“This (bill) is not a discrimination bill,” state Rep. Adam Kwasman (R) said. “It makes no mention of sexual orientation.”

The fact-checking group — a collaboration between the Arizona Republic, KPNX and Arizona State University’s journalism school — rated that statement “true.” It reached that conclusion because the bill doesn’t explicitly mention sexual orientation and Arizona law doesn’t protect gay people through its anti-discrimination statute.

If you follow the link to the original piece, you’ll see some furious backpedaling where that distinguished group of hear-no-evil, see-no-evils have revised their judgment to “somewhat true somewhat false”. Why not just flip a fucking coin? On that logic, the claim that Jeff Dahmer was a serial killer would have been “somewhat true somewhat false” if he had denied it.

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43 replies
  1. 1
    Wag says:

    I actually think they would have given Jeffery Dalmer credit because he was a cutting edge chef, not a serial killer.

  2. 2
    Cervantes says:

    Second, is there any enterprise that has brought less credibility to “professional” journalism than fact-checking?

    The example sounds awful.

    For the most part, bloggers aren’t professional journalists. Should they do any fact-checking?

  3. 3
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    If the NFL will move the Super Bowl because of something Arizona did, then the time for debate over that thing is over.

    Yep. Pearls will continue to be clutched, etc., etc., but there’s no getting the genie back in the bottle on this.

    After Michael Sam came out and sports journamalists were interviewing countless, anonymous GMs about how his draft stock was sure to drop and he was going to be a terrible disruption, my favorite comment at Wonkette was something to the effect that “the gay guy is out and the homophobes are in the closet.”

  4. 4
    Jerzy Russian says:

    You should make “somewhat true somewhat false” a permanent tag line for all future posts here.

    It is almost like we are seeing Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle on a macro scale.

  5. 5
    cleek says:

    who will fact check the fact checkers?

    it’s Godel, all the way down

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jerzy Russian: That might or might not be true.

  7. 7
    c u n d gulag says:

    A different take on Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller’s classic:

    First, they would not let me discriminate against women. That made me mad, because I wasn’t a woman.

    Then, they would not let me discriminate against Jews. That made me mad, because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then, they would not let me discriminate against blacks. That made me mad, because I wasn’t a black.

    Now, they won’t let me discrimate against gays. And that makes me mad, because I am not gay.

    But today, I realize that that means that there is no one who can discriminate against me, either!

    And that makes me happy!!!
    ________________________________
    Except we ain’t there, yet…

  8. 8
    LanceThruster says:

    SYG – Stand Your God was killed by friendly fire.

  9. 9
    LanceThruster says:

    SYG – Stand Your God was killed by friendly fire.

  10. 10
    Redshift says:

    A “fact check” feature undermines the credibility of every news organization that published one, both because they are universally so awful at checking facts, and because doing so implies you believe that fact checking isn’t the job of every journalist.

  11. 11
    Cermet says:

    Very brave act – up there with Raygun crossing the Delaware River (while in a motorcade on I-95.)

  12. 12
    mai naem says:

    The national media might be horrible but they have nothing on Phoenix media. Seriously bad media. The AZ Republic does one or two investigative pieces annually. The routine local coverage is awful. The teevee is just some Hispanic bimbos thrown in with some bubble headed bleached blondes(the guys and the women.) The stupid mistakes made are just embarrassing. The obituary page in the Republic has stupid spelling errors. I am convinced there could be major grafting going on in local government and the local media wouldn’t have a clue. Years ago, there was a story in the local Home and Design magazine about the mayor’s home remodel. There was a blurb about mentioning the name of the interior designer the mayor had used for the project. I happened to know that the person mentioned happened to be a partner in a major firm that had development business in front of the city planning and zoning board. I find that highly unethical but there was nothing mentioned about that.

  13. 13
    Cervantes says:

    @Redshift:

    A “fact check” feature undermines the credibility of every news organization that published one, both because they are universally so awful at checking facts, and because doing so implies you believe that fact checking isn’t the job of every journalist.

    I agree with the first reason — and perhaps that should be the end of the matter.

    As for the second reason, what’s wrong (in principle) with Publication X running a column that checks the accuracy of statements made by someone else? How would such a column undermine the credibility of Publication X?

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cervantes: Oh HELL no. Blogs are a place for unqualified outrage. Sheeeesh, next thing you know you will be arguing that commenters be civil to each other or something! ;-)

  15. 15
    Phantom 309 says:

    @mai naem: “There is major grafting going on in local government and the local media don’t have a clue.”

    FTFY

  16. 16
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @mai naem:

    “bubble headed bleached blondes”

    Can they tell about the plane crash with a gleam in their eye?

  17. 17
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @mai naem:

    “bubble headed bleached blondes”

    Can they tell about the plane crash with a gleam in their eye?

  18. 18
    big ole hound says:

    AZ gov had to make a choice between “religion” or super bowl? well duh.

  19. 19
    Rafer Janders says:

    The fact-checking group — a collaboration between the Arizona Republic, KPNX and Arizona State University’s journalism school – rated that statement “true.” It reached that conclusion because the bill doesn’t explicitly mention sexual orientation and Arizona law doesn’t protect gay people through its anti-discrimination statute.

    “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” — Anatole France

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    @big ole hound:

    Yup. Kinda like how all the most vociferous Christians I know make the same choice every Super Bowl Sunday.

  21. 21
    beltane says:

    The fatal flaw with most fact checkers is that they are unable or unwilling to distinguish “fact” from “truth”. They tend to miss the fact they are standing in a forest because because they become fixated on the fact that someone erroneously called a red maple a silver maple.

  22. 22
    g says:

    I find the argument that “it’s not about gays, see, the word doesn’t even appear” to be a very curious one. Yes, it’s true, the wording of the bill doesn’t mention gays. Why? Because it’s a weasel-word bill, written deliberately to disguise its true intent.

    But that makes it even WORSE, because a poorly written bill, especially one so broad and vague, will have an avalanche of unintended consequences.

    Funny, too, how, when the defenders of the bill’s supposed neutrality are presented with the possiblity of unintended consequences, they respond by saying, “oh, that would never happen, it’s only to protect businesses against gay weddings!”

  23. 23
    Jeffro says:

    @c u n d gulag: And that’s really it, isn’t it? No wonder they are coming apart (mentally, on an individual basis; and as a cohesive party, on a collective basis). Without hate and exclusion, there’s not much else to unite their side.

  24. 24
    jenn says:

    @c u n d gulag: I think your second-to-last line is more along the lines of “Why is everyone discriminating against meeeeeeeeee?!”

  25. 25
    p.a. says:

    @Wag: Eating Raoul. Fine movie.

  26. 26
    c u n d gulag says:

    @jenn:
    Very true!

    I really was going to write that – it would have been funnier.

    But instead, I wanted to put a happier spin on it.

  27. 27
    p.a. says:

    I can understand their concern. The ongoing (slowly) successful war against bigotry and discrimination is undermining the foundations of the ‘Murican Republic. The dispossessed can move to more hate-friendly nations, but they are filled with furriners! So ‘here they stand’.

  28. 28
    Cervantes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Anatole France

    About whom:

    Master of delicate irony, an aristocratic pagan, he has, from first to last, been a ranking barb in the minds of smug conservatives. … One wonders if the man’s very irony is not accentuated by the imperceptible sadness that creeps into it at times. He would like a better world; he would be overjoyed if man was not quite so herd-like in vulgarities and commonplaces. He stands singularly aside and watches the human menagerie, and his smile is a bit wried at times. … He is the exalted bibliophile, the admirable scholar. … Of few writers may it be said that so much that is true may be found in his books.

    That’s Herbert Gorman in 1921 remarking on AF’s having been awarded the Nobel for Literature.

  29. 29
    muricafukyea says:

    Cue wr0ng way Cole thinking he just can’t help but like Jan Brewer and how he has such good instincts on these things!

  30. 30
    jenn says:

    @c u n d gulag: You’re a much nicer person than I, obviously!

  31. 31
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    My favorite wingnut is SO MAD AT THE NFL, you guys!

    I am outraged (yes, it’s time to take on the word that has been owned by the Left for so long) at the bullying of Arizona in this matter. I am particularly ticked off at the NFL.

    Since when is it any of their damned business how a state legislates? People have been remarkably silent on this blatant use of the NFL —–and by extension of all football fans—-to intimidate a state official into doing something that is entirely unconnected to football.

    Little-known fact: The TV show “Frasier” was supposed to be set in Denver, but it was moved at the last minute to Seattle because Colorado failed to pass a law giving special status to homosexuals. In LeftSpeak, failing to give special status to a group, stating that they will be treated exactly the same as any other group, is “discrimination” and MUST BE PUNISHED. This hysterical overreaction came out of Hollyweird, so it is kind of expected, but it is typical of the tactics of the Left.

    Now we have the NFL trying the same crap. They are pretty sure no one is going to boycott their precious Super Bowl, so they feel quite confident in wielding the power of OPM, or the benefits of having the Super Bowl in Arizona, to bully and intimidate. They know that football trumps integrity so they know people will watch their games no matter how much they take on the identity of jack-booted thugs determined to force their own opinions on others. People might stop watching Duck Dynasty in protest, but they aren’t going to give up their football. That would require backbones and a commitment to the rights of the people. Ain’t gonna happen, so the NFL can trample on people with impunity.

    How far does this nation have to go down the rabbit hole before we start to realize how close we are to losing every right to self-governance? Arizona is just first in line, pummeled over and over by bullies determined to interfere in her Constitutional right to state sovereignty, first by the Executive Branch of the federal government and now by a bunch of bully-boys using power they have appropriated from their real jobs in sports.

    The NFL are jack-booted thugs–just like union workers!–for deciding that maybe they’d hold the Super Bowl elsewhere. Makes sense. After all, I’m pretty sure that’s what Hitler would do if he ran a sports league.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Um, I think “Frasier” chose Seattle because the skyline is more distinctive.

    Also, too, they could do espresso jokes all day long and no one would blink an eye.

    The rest of the wingnut rant is just distilled stupid.

  33. 33
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: Yeah. That bill in Colorado was about giving “special rights” to homosexuals. There were lots of states at the time that didn’t have “homosexual” special rights. If I recall, the problem wasn’t that a bill didn’t pass. A bill did pass in Colorado specifically singling out GLBT folks for “special treatment”, but it didn’t appear that “special treatment” was forwarding recoginition of gays as citizens in any way shape or form.

  34. 34
    AxelFoley says:

    @cleek:

    who will fact check the fact checkers?

    it’s Godel, all the way down

    Quis fact checkiet ipso fact checkis?

  35. 35
    JoyfulA says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: And isn’t the star of Frasier a well-known wingnut, or at least “conservative”?

  36. 36
    JustRuss says:

    This (bill) is not a discrimination bill,” state Rep. Adam Kwasman (R) said. “It makes no mention of sexual orientation.”

    God these people are idiots. Of course it’s a discrimination bill, the whole point of the bill is to allow people to discriminate. True, it doesn’t limit discrimination to sexual orientation, it lets you discriminate against anyone as long as god tells you to. Including teh gay.

    If he’d argued that the bill wasn’t targeted at gays, I suppose there’s enough wiggle room for the “fact checkers”, if they’re willing to completely ignore the context under which this was proposed. But he didn’t say that, and they shouldn’t be parsing his words to make it sound like he did.

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Little-known fact: The TV show “Frasier” was supposed to be set in Denver, but it was moved at the last minute to Seattle because Colorado failed to pass a law giving special status to homosexuals.

    I’m guessing this “fact” is little-known because it’s made-up bullshit.

    And the writer is aware that the show was actually made in Los Angeles, not Seattle, right? And that even if it had been “set” in Colorado, it still would have been filmed in Los Angeles? I’m getting a feeling he doesn’t really understand how TV (or fiction) works.

  38. 38
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Besides which, “Frasier” premiered over twenty years ago, a time that might as well have been the Middle Ages where gay-rights legislation is concerned.

  39. 39
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And the writer is aware that the show was actually made in Los Angeles, not Seattle, right? And that even if it had been “set” in Colorado, it still would have been filmed in Los Angeles? I’m getting a feeling he doesn’t really understand how TV (or fiction) works.

    I thought about pressing her on that, and from there proceeding to gently dismantle the rest of her rant, but then I remembered that, well, she’s pretty deranged (obviously), her default behavior to being questioned is to scream at the questioner before deleting the question, and even if she did decide to take up the question, she’d most likely respond that WHERE the show was filmed is immaterial because the show was promoting the city in which it was set, and it could’ve been a great advertisement for Denver, but the BIG GAY GESTAPO jack-booted all over that idea and forced the setting to be Seattle.

    So with all that in mind, I decided to just enjoy her rant as a piece of performance art.

  40. 40
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: Um, who is your favorite wingnut?

  41. 41
    TriassicSands says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    You’re correct that it was a case of something passing, but it wasn’t just a bill, it was a constitutional amendment. Amendment 2 made it illegal for cities to pass anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation. A number of Colorado cities had already done so, and their statutes would have been struck down had Amendment 2 been allowed to stand.

    The last polling done, just before the vote, showed Amendment 2 losing by several points. However, the actual vote flipped the percentages making it pretty clear that a lot of people may lied to the pollsters about how they were going to vote.

    Fortunately, a courageous judge (Jeffrey Bayless) shut the amendment down and he was upheld all the way to the Supreme Court, where Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Rehnquist predictably formed the dissent.

  42. 42
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    She posts under the name “Amazona” on this jerkwater burgh of a wingnut blog. She is angry, loud, crazy, and hilarious. I know it’s shameless nutpicking when I quote her stuff here, but sometimes it’s just too funny to not share.

  43. 43
    Cervantes says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    I thought about pressing her on that, and from there proceeding to gently dismantle the rest of her rant, but then I remembered that, well, she’s pretty deranged (obviously), her default behavior to being questioned is to scream at the questioner before deleting the question, and even if she did decide to take up the question, she’d most likely respond that WHERE the show was filmed is immaterial because the show was promoting the city in which it was set, and it could’ve been a great advertisement for Denver, but the BIG GAY GESTAPO jack-booted all over that idea and forced the setting to be Seattle.

    Here’s Ken Levine on the subject:

    Our original city was Denver, but soon after that decision the state of Colorado voted in a law, with which we disagreed, that was very unfavorable toward gays. So we decided to move Frasier even farther west.

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