Monday, May 2, 2016

As Far As I Can Tell, This Really Is An Article From The National Review, Not A Satire

The piece by Jim Geraghty is entitled Liberals Can’t Tell the Difference Between ‘Satire’ and News, and GOP Presidential Campaigns Are Paying the Price.

My -- my what? My Schadenfreude? -- begins with the title of the piece. Is Geraghty really trying to tell us that political satire is why the GOP Presidential campaigns are in trouble? As opposed to them being in trouble because they're so easy to satirize?

Onward. The first sentence of the article -- from June 2015 -- is:

"Have you noticed your liberal friends on Facebook spotlighting some unbelievably shocking comments from Republican presidential candidates lately?"

Does Geraghty really believe that a lot of his readers have liberal friends?

Onward. Geraghty goes on to decry the fact that liberals are posting things on Facebook which are not true. Quotes alleging to be from people like Ted Cruz and Ben Carson containing things which Cruz and Carson never said!


Thank goodness Geraghty alerted us to this! Imagine -- things posted on Facebook which are inaccurate!?! ???

I gotta go back to the title of the article again: Liberals Can’t Tell the Difference Between ‘Satire’ and News, and GOP Presidential Campaigns Are Paying the Price.

It's true that some liberals can't. Some liberals, to borrow a phrase from liberal icon Hunter S Thompson, are too dumb to pour piss out of a boot. But some of us liberals can tell the difference between satire and news, and some of us, when we're not sure, actually go to the trouble of researching purported quotes to find out whether or not they are genuine. You see, headlines like that, implying that either all liberals or liberals in general are either too dumb or too lazy or too intellectually dishonest to tell the difference, are one of the reasons -- just one! -- why I become skeptical of this talk about the "liberal friends" of Geraghty's readers.

It's true, conservatives are misquoted all the time. Just like everybody else. But that's not really the problem. My Schadenfreude ends where it began. The problem here, for conservatives, is that if the targets of satire don't resemble the satire to a great degree, the satire doesn't work, neither as misinformation nor as humor. It's true, just as Geraghty says in this article, that Sarah Palin never said that she could see Russia from her house. Tina Fey said it in a send-up of Palin in September 2008 on "Saturday Night Live." But Fey really isn't the problem here. If Palin hadn't already actually said enough idiotic things in her short period in the public spotlight before September 2008, not only would no-one have ever actually believed that she'd said she could see Russia from her house -- it never would have occurred to Fey to satirize Palin by portraying her as saying so.

Politicians and political journalists blaming satire for their problems is really sad. I hope Geraghty refocuses his righteous passion for truth, and returns to his usual headlines about how Obama was born in Hawaii and was a brilliant student in college and law school.

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