The New Liars ~ 2014-01-14
Today I coincidentally came across two unrelated web sites that do the same thing: They call it 'satire' but I call it telling the truth made to look like a lie which is pretending to be the truth. I admit, their label is catchier.
http://christwire.org - Christwire | Conservative Values For An Unsaved World
http://dailycurrant.com - The Daily Currant
These two web sites both speak with a conservative voice. There is no indication on either site that they are satirical in nature; they report facts mixed with fiction, they name names and quote sources in a way that fools many people, as evidenced by the comments. Another strong indicator is that I found both of these sites was because they were linked to from legitimate sites or emails I received.
Many legitimate sites and facebook posts have linked back to an article on The Daily Currant about 37 people dying on the first day marijuana was made legal in Colorado. I had even heard this statistic and believed it, but then somebody told me it wasn't true. I looked it up and sure enough, the story was completely made up. Not true AT ALL. Here's the link: http://dailycurrant.com/2014/01/02/marijuana-overdoses-kill-37-in-colorado-on-first-day-of-legalization/
The problem is, the article plays on people's ignorance of drugs to make them believe that you can OD on marijana (turns out you can't) and then when you find out it's nonsense that discredits all the people who said marijuana was bad for you (your parents, teachers, religious leaders, cops, political leaders, etc.) But to the people who just stay away from all drug abuse, it doesn't really matter which ones are worse than others. The important message is, "Don't be involved in any type of substance abuse, whether legal or not, whether it affects you a lot or a little." But the result of their article is to make non-substance abusers look stupid for not knowing which drugs have which effects.
I'll admit that once I realized everything on The Daily Currant was satire I read a few more articles and I thought it was all pretty funny, even if it was from a point of view that I disagree with. But I believe that their desire to be 'funny' is a far distant second to their primary goal of mocking important values, and the damage they do through misinformation is considerable.
Today I also received a link by email to an article at conservativeangle.com entitled The Obama Death List that attempts to report on the staggering number of suspicious deaths surrounding Obama and his rise to power. This is a valid article as far as I can tell, but it contains at least one reference to an article on christwire.org.
Christwire.org is a site that mocks Christian values by overstating them and making them sound as offensive, ignorant and hateful as possible. Here are some snippets from their supposed 'Mission Statement':
"Our culture was built on the guiding principles of conservatism and Christianity, from which all morality is born... But alas, the Left Wing Conspiracy and Liberal Agenda is spreading like a plague not only through our fine society, but through lesser cultures as well. Their sinful antics and attempt to pass off their wanton carnal desires into mainstream culture is destroying society and mankind... Together, in this community, you and your Moral Leaders will combat the evil liberals of this world and once again ensure that a bit of freedom and righteousness once again permeates every country, and let those who donít abide by our teachings know the eternal pit of hellfire shall be awaiting!"
I found nearly everything I read on this site to be offensive in some way, starting with the fact that they would have the audacity to use the name of God in the very title of their site. And again, the end result of their overstatement is to first get people to believe something and then destroy that belief.
These sites both employ an old type of ruse known as the "Straw Man", which is (According to Wikipedia:) "...an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having denied a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet inequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and to deny it, without ever having actually denied the original position. This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged, emotional issues. In those cases the false victory is often loudly or conspicuously celebrated."
The deceptive techniques employed by both of these sites are not really new. What IS relatively new is their use in online forums where there is no accountability, no responsibility, no supervision, not even a face. Just an anonymous article, damaging any search for truth by placing intentional falsehoods in the way. Of course then you've got to ask yourself if the mainstream media is any more reliable than that... a few independent nut jobs vs the corrupt organization that appears to be trustworthy... which is the worse threat?