« Did Kennedy Molest Alito's Wife? | Main | While the watchdogs slept »

There are none so blind as those paid to see only what they want to

I really, really shouldn't read Oliver Willis. While he's usually good for some laughs, sometimes I fear the stupidity might be contagious.

Now, to assure myself that I haven't succumbed yet, I'm going to cite a concrete example.

Yesterday, Cousin Oliver (a nickname in honor of Cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch, one of the most annoying characters in television history) put forth his "thoughts" on Judge (soon to be Justice) Samuel Alito and blogs. Ollie just blithely states that Alito needed to be stopped from assuming the bench, but never bothered to spell out why -- not even a cursory link to a previous piece where he or someone else made the case against him.

But that's just the appetizer.

He says that the Democrats need to stop seeing "blogs as an ATM and not yet a part of their message machine." Apparently he missed the wet, sloppy kiss Massachusetts' senators gave the blogosphere when they tried to pull of a filibuster on Monday.

But the really, really fun part of the meal is when he draws his conclusion:

Why? For the same reason the national Democrats have been getting rolled - they're fat and dumb and playing the game by the rules of the ancient.

Mr. Pot? Mr. Kettle is on the line.

Look back just one entry on Mr. Willis' site, and you will see him virulently denouncing an invitation to a GOP fund-raiser. Ollie is incensed that people would even consider using Jesse "Shakedown" Jackson as inspiration for a pinata.

But the funny thing is, it was a scam. A gag. Utterly bogus.

Let's see. Oliver Willis works for Media Matters, Media Matters (funded by convicted felon George Soros) proclaims itself as a media watchdog, looking for lies, misrepresentations, incomplete stories, and signs of bias in the press -- as long as it's from the Right. Ollie is one of their prize employees.

And he himself got rolled on this one. Even more delightful, he posted this at 3:30 on Monday afternoon -- most likely while sitting at his desk at Media Matters. He fell for a lie while getting paid to expose lies.

One of the earliest lessons I learned was that the more a story seems to fit your own beliefs, prejudices, opinions, or preconceived notions, the more you need to check it. Because it's human nature to accept that which supports you, and to suspect that which contradicts you. It's the core of most scams -- tell people what they want to hear, and they'll be more likely to believe it. It's a truism that our opinion of someone's intelligence is often influenced by how much they agree with us.

In one area, though, I have to give Ollie credit. He didn't pull a Kos and try to bury his mistake, like the infamous "screw them" incident. He owned up to it -- sort of. He now says that it "may be a hoax."

Cue the "fake, but accurate" meme in 3, 2, 1...


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference There are none so blind as those paid to see only what they want to:

» La Shawn Barber's Corner linked with Alito Confirmed For Supreme Court

» THE GALVIN OPINION linked with SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ALITO: FINALLY

» The Florida Masochist linked with A win and a disaster averted

Comments (22)

One of the earliest less... (Below threshold)

One of the earliest lessons I learned was that the more a story seems to fit your own beliefs, prejudices, opinions, or preconceived notions, the more you need to check it.

..and the more the likelihood that you will not check it. Hence the expression "this story is too good to check." I think this is what did in Mary Mapes and Dan Rather in Memogate. They thought they finally, after five years of poking around, had the smoking gun to nail George Bush -- and right before the election, too! How perfectly sweet. Of course, it didn't work out quite the way they'd hoped.

This is why we need ideological diversity in the newsroom. One side checks the other side.

Damn, I'd almost forgotten ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Damn, I'd almost forgotten that Ollie existed. Why don't you give me a papercut next.

And then pour lemon juice o... (Below threshold)

And then pour lemon juice on the papercut.

Sort of like how you consis... (Below threshold)

Sort of like how you consistently write things on this blog verified only by your pre-existing biases without the need to simply ask a question or two.

Sort of like how you con... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

Sort of like how you consistently write things on this blog verified only by your pre-existing biases without the need to simply ask a question or two.

Don't wear yourself out providing an example or two.

OK Oliver - to what story a... (Below threshold)
tblubird:

OK Oliver - to what story are you referring to? C'mon man - speak up! Do the proverbial s**t or get off the pot.

And what is a "pre-existing... (Below threshold)
tblubird:

And what is a "pre-existing bias?" Isn't that pretty much an oxymoron?

And what is a "pre-exist... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

And what is a "pre-existing bias?" Isn't that pretty much an oxymoron?

More of a redundancy; bias is there beforehand by definition.

John's right. The oxy moron... (Below threshold)

John's right. The oxy moron is Ollie.

Ask him about the truth... (Below threshold)

Ask him about the truthiness of the charges.

We will be in a full... (Below threshold)
Fred Dawes:


We will be in a full Civil\race war within 2 years. its all coming apart and isn't it fun to watch.

We will be in a full Civ... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

We will be in a full Civil\race war within 2 years. its all coming apart and isn't it fun to watch.

Irrelevant AND wacky. Two-for-one.

Oliver, care to cite an exa... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Oliver, care to cite an example where I got the fundamental facts of a story completely, verifiably wrong? I can think of two, and I apologized fully at the time.

More to the point, I thought you were the PROFESSIONAL at this sort of thing. Are you saying that you hold yourself to the same standard as I, a rank amateur, am to be held? If so, then perhaps I oughta apply for your job. I can apparently do it just as well as you can, and I'm a better writer.

No, on second thought, I don't think I can handle your job. I got bad knees, and I couldn't spend all day kissing Soros' ass.

J.

And as Ollie does on his ow... (Below threshold)

And as Ollie does on his own blog and other comment threads, it's one drive-by, irreverent comment and gone.

Good old Ollie - like a lod... (Below threshold)

Good old Ollie - like a lodestone to stupid.

I thought you were the P... (Below threshold)

I thought you were the PROFESSIONAL at this sort of thing
As I don't get paid to blog, once again something I've told you a thousand times, but you yank it from yer rectum.

As I don't get paid to b... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

As I don't get paid to blog, once again something I've told you a thousand times, but you yank it from yer rectum.

Um, he was referring to your work at Media Matters. Duh.

I am so glad you suggested ... (Below threshold)

I am so glad you suggested the knees would be aggravated by kissing Soros' ass, not something a little more "up front" and personal.

Here's what I just saw; Oll... (Below threshold)
JimK:

Here's what I just saw; Ollie making wild accusations, Jay calling him to back them up, and Ollie ignoring the call completely because he's an intellectual midget trapped in a giant bloated gasbag of a mouth.

Yup, that's what I saw as w... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Yup, that's what I saw as well.

Man, this Oliver character seems to be a coward of extraordinary magnitude. Mighty Mighty Keyboard Warrior.

Yeah, and Ollie's cut and r... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Yeah, and Ollie's cut and run from a more direct, more profane challenge over on Rob Port's site, too.

Typical. He can toss around his little bombs, but at the first sign that his target won't just roll over, he goes and hides back on his own page, where he's safe and he can freely delete the words of those who don't kiss his ass.

J.

Well, jeez kid, when you're... (Below threshold)

Well, jeez kid, when you're running around yelling about "jizz"... Sorry, I don't sit around in every comment section that has people making stuff about me and reject charge after made up charge, but I'd be spending all day doing that.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy