Accuracy in Media

While it is clear that President Obama can successfully deliver a State of the Union speech (SOTU), especially with a teleprompter, does it matter whether or not he is telling the American people the truth, or being hypocritical? Or have politics and political reporting become so cynical, that all that matters is style and partisanship? The media that allow this to happen are complicit in these lies, because, as in the Obama administration itself, there is no accountability for them. ABC News purportedly claimed to be “fact-checking” Obama’s statements, yet sometimes they still gave him a “mostly fact” label at the top and then, in the little text—which fewer people are going to read—explained why what he said is cherry-picked, to say the least.

Obama’s State of the Union address has drawn mixed reviews. “Virtually every item in the president’s speech had been heard before and introduced with greater passion and urgency in the past,” commented Jonathan S. Tobin for Commentary Magazine.

Tobin took Obama to task for his foreign policy claims on Iran and Syria: “On foreign policy, his strongest words were delivered in a threat to veto new economic sanctions on Iran that he thinks will upset his diplomatic outreach to the Islamist regime. His drive for détente with Iran—bolstered by false claims about inspections and Iran destroying its uranium stockpile—seems to fire him up but his chutzpah in proclaiming Syria—where he endured total humiliation in 2013—as a triumph for his policies shows just how shockingly removed from reality this administration has become.”

The speech may have been a rehashing of old narratives, but what is so stunning is that his media backers simply ignore his distortions and obfuscations, and re-direct public attention to other issues, such as whether or not he lived up to his leaked narrative of defiantly announcing plans to govern by fiat, and just work around Congress.

Others were full of praise for the speech. “Given the hand-wringing and rancor of the past decade, this was a fresh breeze,” wrote Joe Klein for Time magazine. “It informed the rest of the speech: we’re doing ok, but there are things—not monster things, simple things—that we can do to make this a jollier place.” Dismissing concerns about health care and the deficit, Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times that “Anyway, the point is that despite his low poll numbers, time is on Obama’s side, and he knows it.” As for Politico, one of their stories focuses on the political subtexts that the speech provided Democrats looking to win the elections in 2014, including how to sell Obamacare to the public.

The opening moments of Obama’s speech included several lies and distortions. For example, he bragged about the lowest unemployment rate in five years as a positive development. But in reality, the only reason the number is low is because so many people have dropped out of the work force. Even ABC News labeled this a “Fact, with a big caveat.” The labor participation rate is actually the lowest since 1978. And according to The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, the real unemployment rate is closer to 15%. And last November, a census worker said that he had been told by higher-ups to make up information that would improve the unemployment rate just before the 2012 election, adding further suspicion to the administration’s figures.

Obama claimed that our energy production is the highest ever, and our foreign oil imports are the lowest. The deception in that case is that this occurred in spite of his policies, not because of them. It is part technology, and partly a result of what is being done on private land. His administration has, in fact, made it much more difficult to drill and has refused to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. “The rise in domestic oil production, to the point where the U.S. uses more domestic than foreign oil, is mostly due to improved drilling technology, not government policy,” concludes CBS News.

One statement that should elicit an outburst from every American is Obama’s claim that “our deficits [have been] cut by more than half…” “By the time fiscal year 2009 was finished, the actual deficit turned out to be over $1.4 trillion—the highest in U.S. history. And deficits remained over $1 trillion for the next three fiscal years,” notes USA Today. “The deficit for fiscal year 2013 (which ended Sept. 30) fell to $680 billion. That’s indeed less than half the 2009 figure, but it’s still higher than any full-year deficit for any previous president.” That means the current deficit even exceeds President George W. Bush’s largest deficit, hardly a cause for celebration.

Regarding Iran, the President said that “it is American diplomacy, backed by pressure, that has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program—and rolled back parts of that program—for the very first time in a decade.” This came the day before the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that “These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons. This makes the central issue its political will to do so” (emphasis added). Even Politico reported that the “political will” of Iran’s leaders is the primary obstacle to Iran creating nuclear weapons, a far cry from Obama’s “halted progress.”

“And although Iran is required to shut down its advanced centrifuges, it doesn’t have to get rid of any of them” during the deal, reports Politico. “In addition, Iran can build an unlimited number of less sophisticated centrifuges even while the temporary deal is in place.”

When it comes to Obamacare, once again, the administration is throwing sand in people’s eyes by stating false, misleading and unknowable statistics. For example, Obama said that “More than nine million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage—nine million.” According to USA Today, “The 9 million figure includes three groups: 2.1 million Americans who have chosen insurance plans on the federal or state marketplaces, 3.9 million who were determined eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and an estimated 3.1 million young adults under age 26 who joined their parents’ plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act’s requirements.” Yet, millions of Americans signing up for Medicaid or CHIP may have been, in part, the result of renewals. And how many of those not eligible for government programs who signed up on the exchanges lost their private insurance because of so-called Obamacare “reforms” in the first place? The Wall Street Journal estimated that to be quite a high number.

One more item. The President said in his speech that “It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a ‘Mad Men’ episode.” He was referring to a previous, but long discredited claim he had just repeated that “they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work.”

Ed Morrissey of the popular website Hot Air has an excellent rebuttal, citing studies, and a leading feminist who point out the flaws in that statement. Those figures are not comparing apples to apples.

McClatchy article cited by Morrissey points out that the 77-cent figure comparison is for “all workers regardless of what jobs they hold—not one worker in one particular job compared with another worker in the same job.” Yet when they asked the White House the following day why women working at the White House make only 91 cents for every dollar men make who work there, the White House answer, according to McClatchy, was that “it should be measured by how it pays men and women in the same jobs, but not the kind of broad brush that compares overall male and female pay.” In other words, “Don’t judge us by the standards that we are judging others.” Hypocrisy. Mendacity.

The problem for Obama is that numerous news organizations, including ones that support him most of the time, produce SOTU fact-checks. And in some cases, they universally point to lie after lie, though they rarely call them that.

For example, USA Today, the Associated Press and The Washington Post all agree that the Obamacare numbers were frankly just not true. ABC News apparently missed the nine-million-person mistake. The news media don’t outright call these examples lies, but what are they if not lies?

Maybe the answer can be found in a new column by historian and political commentator Victor Davis Hanson: “Without notions of objective truth there can never be lies, just competing narratives and discourses. Stories that supposedly serve the noble majority are true; those that supposedly don’t become lies—the facts are irrelevant.”

So who cares if Obama is lying, if he is serving the noble majority?



Comments

  • stlouisix

    Niccolo Machiavelli doesn’t give optimistic speeches.

    Niccolo Machiavelli is considered to be the founder of modern political philosophy. In The Prince Machiavelli seeks to overturn the principles of ancient and medieval political philosophy via an accusation of foolish idealism. His argument is that the backward ancients and medievalists studied man as he ought to be, and imagined regimes, as opposed to seeing man as he really was, and considering actual regimes. This is one of the great Machiavellian lies. He also says that the man who is not willing to practice evil will by ruined by those who are willing. Thus, man as governor must know how to do evil as the situation demands, and practice hypocrisy, appearing to be a man of honor, justice and faith to mollify the masses.

    This should all sound familiar to you, i.e., see Obama’s Amerika, in particular the rubbish of the serial sociopathic lying Obama’s SOTU Castro-like speeches.

    Jacques Maritain in The Range of Reason gets to the core of the abandonment of ancient philosophy on the part of Machiavelli.

    “To have thoroughly rejected ethics, metaphysics and theology from the realm of political knowledge and political prudence is his very own achievement, and it is also the most violent mutilation suffered by the human practical intellect and the organism of practical wisdom.”

    All questions involving the morality of human life, the good for man, ultimate end and moral principles, the structure of the human act, good and evil action, character and decision, prudence and conscience, and religion and morality, are either non-existent or skewed beyond recognition in the radically pessimistic world of Niccolo Machiavelli.

    Before Machiavelli, world leaders had no qualms whatsoever about doing anything to stay in power, to include every kind of evil imaginable in order to satisfy their greed and ambition. But they had pangs of conscience to the extent that they had a conscience, which shamed them into a certain amount of self-restraint from preventing the crimes that they committed as a result of their evil doings from becoming the rule. In such a manner a distinction between good and evil was rendered for the governed to make their lives livable.

    After Machiavelli, all bets are off in regard to distinguishing between good and evil because the aforementioned pangs of conscience in regard to evil doings are now absent. All of a sudden world leaders have a green light to do anything that they want without fear of feeling guilty about it because Machiavelli told them that this was the new modus operandi for the modern state. What was heretofore an evil in relation to accidental and contingent things became a full-fledged right in relation to necessary things.

    Can you say “vintage Obama”?

    Thus, a total disregard for good and evil is now the rule for human politics with no thought of human morality. Immorality became the very law of politics under Machiavelli’s tutelage.

    Machiavelli’s world has only one axiom, one law, one primal motivation, one reason for living, “the end justifies the means.” The end, of course, relates only to man’s quest for happiness in the “here-and-now” as opposed to the “here-after” which, along with the bulk of Aristotelian thought pertaining to ethics, virtues, and perfect and imperfect happiness must, of necessity, be discarded in favor of the politics of expediency.

    Radical pessimism regarding human nature is the basis of Machiavelli’s thought. He sees no redeeming qualities for man as a governor or governed. The entire premise of his radical philosophy is that man is inherently bad and, as such, must be expected to act badly, especially in politics. He reduces man to being nothing more than an animal with his politics becoming an animal farm. His Prince gives consent to the evil that he sees everywhere, in particular in his own mirror. This presents no problems for Machiavelli since vice is virtue in the covetous pursuit of power at all costs.

    Machiavelli’s big mistake was to see politics in a purely artistic or technical sense, totally devoid of any human concepts. His politics was a mechanistic politics of manipulation for utilitarian purposes. He ushered in the advent of spin-doctoring in the extreme for political ends, regardless of how incredible the lies pawned off as truth become in the process.

    Maritain charges that the Machiavellian lies are two-fold: 1) The just man must be weak, and 2) the successful man must practice evil and deceit. His critique is based on an empirical or historical claim. He argues that the just man, and his extension, the just regime, can be strong. Conversely, the doers of evil prosper for relatively a short time frame in a historical context, e.g., the life of a man, but not for the extent of a regime. Maritain looks at the history of regimes, in particular, their struggles in the Twentieth Century. Both Hitler and Stalin claimed to learn from Machiavelli, and were practitioners of his art. Maritain refers to this as the artistic or technical view of politics whereby mastery is simply developing an ability to manipulate men and materials to achieve one’s goals. Rationality is nothing but a technical rationality that leads to a materialistic view of the world where the acquisition of goods is the highest goal of the state, an entity to be worshipped completely replacing God – the resulting atheism begging the following question.

    What has atheism done for us lately? We only have to follow Maritain’s example and look at recent history for an answer. We saw the deaths of six million Jews and twenty million Ukrainians in the concentration camps and gulags of Hitler and Stalin respectively. Today we see the killing of fifty-five million innocents and counting in what should be their safest place of refuge, their mothers’ wombs, sanctioned by the state because America ignored the truth of the Natural Law and its Author in the Roe vs. Wade decision. To those who would argue that the holocaust ongoing in America is not indicative of atheism, a simple question is in order. Is killing babies indicative of a belief in God? You cannot say you that believe in God, while currently condoning the murdering of innocents, the latter de facto makes you an atheist. To argue otherwise is to be in denial of a fundamental first principle, something cannot “be” and “not be”at the same time in the same respect.

    We must not be deceived by Machiavellian sophistry. When the disciples of darkness tell us that justice and respect for moral values spell weakness and doom, and that strength is found only when raised to the supreme standard of political existence, our reply should be that “This is a LIE!” History has proven that evil cannot exceed in the long run with the destruction of Nazi Germany and the breakup of the former Soviet Union being prime recent examples.

    Strength is found where virtue is sought; moreover it reigns supreme, as the power of nations struggling for freedom can be much greater than that of nations struggling for enslavement. The Second World War was proof of that. We must never lose sight of the fact that the effort needed to overcome the Machiavellian powers is rooted in the supreme effort of the body politic to adhere to moral values and standards. Strength is illusionary if it, and not justice, becomes the highest political standard.

    Maritain offers a warning in his conclusion to the problem of Machiavellianism in The Range of Reason.

    “Totalitarianism lives by Machiavellianism, freedom dies by it. Machiavellianism’s triumphs over mankind will only occur because all kinds of accepted iniquity, moral weakness and consent to evil, operating within a degenerating civilization, will previously have corrupted it, and prepared ready-made slaves for the lawless man.”

    Translation – the silence of good men who do nothing will be the death knell of civilization as we once knew it. If Machiavellianism is to be crushed, it will only be because of what remains of Christian civilization will have been able to oppose it on all fronts. It’s modern tentacles have reached into the innermost sanctums of politically correct totalitarian dictatorships masquerading as democratic governments whose governors have no problem blatantly promoting the culture-of-death in all its evil manifestations from the killing of infants in the womb, to the promotion and celebration of unnatural lifestyles in a redefinition of the traditional family, to artificially generating life in a utilitarian fashion for purposes of death for the “betterment” of mankind, to finally telling grandma and grandpa that they have a duty to die.

    Machiavelli taught us that immorality is the very law of politics. The sham Obama Administration will go down in history as the embodiment of Machiavellianism where vice becomes virtue, and the killing of innocents in its most brutal form becomes a defended law of the land for the sake of catering to a bankrupt political lobby in order to stay in power at all costs. Machiavelli constantly slips from the idea of well-doing to the idea of what men admire as well-doing, from moral virtue to appearing and apparent moral virtue; his virtue is a virtue of opinion, self-satisfaction and glory.

    We are at a moral crossroads in the United States thanks to Machiavellianism as a country that accepts abortion, infanticide and sodomy as “unrestricted civil rights” is a country going to Hell with the devil incarnate as its leaders! It is a country confronted with impetuous, irrational, revolutionary, wild, and demoniacal Machiavellianism, for which boundless injustice, boundless violence, boundless lying and immorality, are normal political means, and which draws from this very boundlessness of evil an abominable strength.

    Such is the state of the United States of America under Barack Hussein Obama, a country increasingly devoid of the common good by knowing perfectly how not to be good, and whose hypocrisy is conscious, happy, ostentatious, and gloriously promoted to the rest of the world in the name of population control, radical feminism, and sex-ed from cradle to grave as promoted by Margaret Sanger and the criminally fraudulent research of Alfred Kinsey.This is a country whose cruelty wants to destroy souls as well as bodies, and whose lying is a thorough perversion of the very function of language.This is a country steeped in absolute Machiavellianism causing politics to be the art of bringing about the misfortune of men.

    Make no mistake about it, Niccolo Machiavelli is alive and well in the world with one of his prime disciples masquerading as President of the United States along with his enablers of ALL political stripes to particularly include a morally bankrupt TRAITOROUS GOPE RINO leadership which couldn’t care less – the common good which is supposed to be the state’s highest priority be damned!

  • Andy Ball

    The President’s “year of action” would simply be an extension of his unprecedented use of executive fiat to circumvent Congress and blatantly disregard the vested interests of the American people. In doing so, he has continually pushed forward with his own “progressive” agenda, forgoing the legislative powers enumerated by the Constitution. In short, his “year of action” must be stopped in its tracks before it begins.

    Senator Ted Cruz is a champion fighting against Obama’s abuses of power. But he has been silent on the biggest abuse of power–Operation
    Choke Point–and President Obama’s refusal to answer congressional inquiries about the operation, as well as his mission to destroy free-market industries.

    Tell Senator Cruz that you want him to stop Obama from destroying legal
    industries like gun sales, charities, short-term lending, and small business.
    We need you to email him NOW and tell him to Stop Operation Choke Point. http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=email_senator

    After you email him, COMMENT with CHAMPION to let us know you stood up against President Obama.

    THIS is a fight for the future of America.