— Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, asking a question I think we all know that answer to.
— John Waters (via bbook)
Fox News finds new ways of being disturbing while also getting better at the old ways of being disturbing.
I’ll try to do this as succinctly as possible. Head over to Youtube for this clip from Fox and Friends in which Steve Doocy and Stuart Varney talk some bullshit. My commentary:
0:12 - Doocy makes his “yeah, right” face which I think we should call “a doocy.”
0:48 - Doocy, allegedly a journalist, states some numbers that he “read somewhere.” He doesn’t site a source, which would’ve knocked off some points if this were something more formal like a 5th grade social studies report.
0:59 - Varney calls Doocy’s pre-school cost estimates “probably accurate.” He qualifies this by saying he “doesn’t have the precise figures.” I don’t know why he didn’t just make something up because he’s about to make up all kinds of things.
1:28 - Varney on what Obama is doing: “Raise taxes on the rich and offer all kinds of free stuff to people who will vote for you in the future.” Varney pulls the “raise taxes” thing out of thin air. It has no relevance to anything that’s being discussed but he knows its a talking point he has to sneak in someplace. This was as good as any.
The big disturbance for me, is the insistence that education equates to “free stuff” and not vital programs for the country, which is what I tend to think of education as. I’m also not sure how well Varney’s accusation of Obama “buying votes” will work, since people are never going to have a chance to vote for Obama again, unless he goes on American Idol post-presidency.
1:55 - After admitting a few times that Obama hasn’t said how he’ll pay for the program, Varney continues to accuse Obama of doing things the president has only done in Varney’s own imagination, including “forcing big government on the states.” This is how Fox News gets it done: Speculation presented as analysis. Everything Varney says in this beat is 100% made up but everything about his delivery would suggest that it might be real.
2:18 - Doocy’s continued insistence on having read things is starting to sound like overcompensation, like he’s the kid in class who won’t admit to not having read the assignment, even though he didn’t know that Johnny Tremaine totally can’t use his other hand.
Doocy goes on the claim preschool doesn’t really help kids in the long run, something Jon Stewart did a fine job of debunking in the middle of this clip from The Daily Show. The same study that Doocy keeps claiming to have read, actually says that preschool education shows a correlation with “graduation rates, lower crime rates, increased college attendance, [and] income.” Which makes me think Doocy just read the first chapter and skimmed the rest. (Incidentally, the whole clip from the Daily Show is quite good).
3:05 - Varney calls Obama’s plan to give every kid a shot at preschool “an entitlement.” Because I think we’ve all had enough of 4 year olds leaching off the system, haven’t we?
— My dad sent me a news clipping congratulating my sister and her husband on their recently announced pregnancy. Just ahead of the announcement was a snippet about some game wardens having to give an enema to a moose that had been tangled in a fence. This is my dad. This is true.
I didn’t want to write about this but somehow I’m still seeing articles about it and the Oscars are still weeks away, so I’m likely to continue to see articles about it and I’m going to say something I have inexplicably not heard from anyone who might be defending the film.
Mild spoilers, but everything I’m going to say happens in the first 30 minutes, so you’ll get over it.
Zero Dark Thirty and Kathryn Bigelow specifically have been criticized for depicting torture in a way that might seem like an endorsement of the practice. I only watched the movie once, but I just can’t imagine a person walking out of that movie and thinking this is true. The torture depicted is awful and (unless I’m completely misremembering) doesn’t work. They torture a specific prisoner for weeks and get no information from him. Eventually they do extract some information when they trick the prisoner and he gives solid intelligence willingly. If I’m wrong, I need someone to correct me because I can’t remember an instance in the film where torture yields good information at all. Did I miss it?