Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Conservative Information Black-Hole (Busted!)

Alternative title: "Why conservatives reside in terminal idiocy"

In a previous entry I decried conservative websites for dubious citation jobs. In particular I targeted Orbusmax - a local conservative news-service (of sorts):

"Because he's always using other right-wingnuts as sources, Orbusmax is a prime offender for being right-wing recycle-bin/ echo-chamber."

Here's a prime example. Orbusmax' bold headline right now reads:
"Report: Gulf States Prepared to Back US Military Strike on Iran"

Clicking on the link does not bring you to a credible source: For example, no report from Gulf State ambassador(s); no minutes from a Gulf State coalition meeting; no Gulf State leader(s) statements, letters, documents, etc. No, clicking on this only sends us to orbusmax' favorite go-to conservative weblog Little Green Footballs, who gives us this entry:
"Report: Gulf States Prepared to Back US Military Strike on Iran"

Information, sources, and citations become even more chimerical from here. Little Green Footballs gives us a segment of a "...paper, written by GRC program director, Dr. Christian Koch," but gives us no link to that paper. This segment also fails to present any actual credible Gulf State sources (listed above).

Again, there is still no link to this phantom "paper" or any report, but LGFootballs does give us this:

A new paper issued by an influential Dubai think tank suggests that Gulf states may be prepared to
back a US military strike on Iran

This hyperlink sends us to - wait for it - yet another weblog. This Alice rabbit-hole is run by the ultra-conservative NY daily, The Daily Sun. And it get's better (or worse). The article posted on this blog is again titled:

"Report: Gulf States Prepared to back US Military Strikes on Iran"
(still waiting for the actual link to an actual report)

This weblog article - posted by online editor Daniel Freedman - seems to be the final resting place for this weblog circle-jerk. But like all the others, Freedman again makes reference to "...paper, written by GRC program director, Dr. Christian Koch," but again fails to provide any verifiable links to that paper. Freedman's article includes the same segment as LGFootballs. But again, no citation, no report, no link.

Freedman makes reference to a speech given by Bush's Under Seceretary of State Nicholas Burns to the GRC where Burns said:

"The Middle East isn't a region to be dominated by Iran. The Gulf isn't a body of water to be controlled by Iran. That's why we've seen the United States station two carrier battle groups in the region,"

But there is no reference here to any Gulf States backing this US move. Again, no credible sources - no report from Gulf State ambassador(s); no minutes for a Gulf State coalition meeting; no Gulf State leader(s) statements, letters, documents, etc - are given to verify this claim.

Taken together: A supposed online news-service cites a conservative blog that cites another conservative blog that cites NOTHING.

Unfortunatly, many people reading an alarmist & determinitive headline about Gulf States backing US military strikes on Iran will accept it at face-value. Many will show up to the water-cooler tomorrow with a "Guess what I heard?". Many others will lovingly send mass emails to friends/family with the headline, linking back our friend

All this undoubtedly improves the advertising revenue for Orbusmax & his circle-jerk blog friends. But we live in country where the president is actively suppressing information and then actively declassifying only parts of documents that support his schemes.

In this context, the propegation of pseudo-information is a detriment to our democratic survival as a country, and the Soviet-caliber propagandists using this tactic should be cast into the same asheap of history.


Fremont said...

You are so right, (correct...I'd never insult you by calling you right-wing)!, MF! Maybe, the long awaited subpoenas issued to Rove, will shed some light on that abysmal black hole...

Mercifurious said...

Thankyou Fremont. I'm always honored to recieve kudos from BlaM's cat. Kidding

Note: A great email exchange epilogue to all this - Orbus emailed me back with 2 more unsourced reports. One from "Arutz Sheve, an Israeli publication that is so far-right, the Israeli government won't give them a license (and that takes a lot).

Fun sequel to come. Stay tuned

Fremont said...

Hey, Smartass, rumor has it that Bla'M has a second cat named Puddin'face....(my apologies to all cats for such disrespect). Be grateful that no one (yet) blogs under THAT name...

Mercifurious said...

Thanks for the info, Fremont. Puddinface will now be my nickname when I'm trying to get Bla'Ms attention.

How bout that Styble foot-in-mouth? Joe Biden eat your heart out!

Anonymous said...

And absolutely all left wing sites are entirely credible. No liberals reside in this same sort of black hole.

Mercifurious said...

Funny, because this is EXACTLY what I'm talking about: Conservatives making claims, but then failing to back them with any viable sources.

All due to the vast collegiate education gap between Democrats & Republicans/Liberals & Conservatives. "Left wing sites" will naturally have a better understanding of citation and proper bibliographical sourcing.

Conversely, conservative information black-holes (like Orbusmax) will naturally be more common, pervasive, and problematic.

Please do provide examples of "left wing" information black holes. But as noted above, we'll be waiting forever for anonypuss' sources for this.