“wave gaily at the facts en route to a more entertaining
sociopolitical perspective. This is the Fox News system, and you
can see it works for them.”
Come, come now. Nice phrase. That’s pretty – one could almost
say poetic, but it’s wrong headed propaganda, not straightdope,
and it’s a twist of the lip that doesn’t serve you and your
If you’re a writer and not just a blatherer of words, you know
that several syllables doesn’t make you smart or witty – usually
just the opposite, and it doesn’t reduce the reality of the
‘sociopolitical’ mess we are in.
As you show us your personal ‘sociopolitical perspective’, and
stray from the facts – as you just did, please provide some
straightdope examples of Fox News system ‘waving gaily at the
I know why.
It’s not the type of ‘waving gaily’ that sends shivers up the leg
of a media reporter as he reports – not the news, but his own
It’s not the type of sociopolitical reporting and commentary that
turns a blind eye to the communists, Maoists and convicted felons
serving in our government, serving not our country but their own
Cecil, your reporting of the facts is really quite interesting
and your wit and poetic rhythm are occasionally (barely)
entertaining but I have enough trouble listening to the half
truths, and twisted logic of your sociopolitical Chicago
May you have a Merry Christmas or is it Happy holiday? in either
peace be with you.
I hope your sociopolitical friends can spend our way out of debt,
that would be a real fine item for your ‘straightdope’.
Strangely the syndicated version says Fox News “wave[s] gaily”, while this site’s version says it “wave[s] cheerily”, at the facts.
Either way, the stream-of-consciousness visitor above is objecting to Cecil’s mild dig at Fox news, while claiming “communists and Maoists” serve in the US government. Which I think says all that needs to be said about the beliefs of some of the viewers of Fox News.
I predict a small horde of outraged Foxists starting new threads over the next few days…
The column as published by our subscribing newspapers, and as originally posted on this site, said gaily. However, exercising my editorial prerogative to muck up the Master’s work after the fact, I decided the spot in question needed a three-syllable word rather than a two-syllable one, and after a bit of dithering settled on cheerily. (I also made a few other changes that no one noticed.) Then - this often happens - I decided it made no fricking difference and I should put it back to gaily. By this time, however, Cecil’s remark about Fox News had given rise to comments on the SDMB and cheerily was being quoted, so I figured I’d better leave it. Now we’re getting letters asking whether the change indicates some latent strain of homophobia on Cecil’s part. The boss is unhappy with me and has made this manifest - I expect the swelling will go down in a few days. The upshot is that the original word is being restored.
Perhaps it’s just my indoctrination in proper spelling and pronunciation (ie the Canadian way, i mean, really, why are you Yanks scared of the letter “u”?), but don’t “gaily” (gay-i-lee) and “cheerily” (cheer-i-lee) both have three syllables?
Regardless, both words seems to imply the same thing, that Fox News doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. Not going to get into a debate on whether that’s true or not (it is, by the way ) but I don’t think the word changes the meaning at all.
AI is a diphthong, in which one vowel glides into another. If you have time on your hands you can make this into two syllables. Similarly, one can argue that oil is a two-syllable word properly pronounced oy-ul. However, the convention in dictionaries, or anyway my dictionary (American Heritage) is to show it as one. As for U, we regard the inclusion of extraneous letters as one of those eccentricities that lend commonwealth countries their charm.
What I don’t understand is why the Commonwealth countries insist on using French misspellings of perfectly good Latin words. Shakespeare was never damn fool enough to write “honourificabilitudinitatibus”, after all.
Name a single communist in government. Now, I’m not talking about someone you would call a communist because they believe in something like taxes are necessary for the running of government or that maybe the government should somehow be involved with healthcare. Except for a few extreme libertarians, most people in the United States probably support both of those.
I want someone who is a true believer of Marx. Someone who believes in the revolutionary overthrow of the U.S government, the seizure of all means of production, and the total elimination of private property. Name someone who believes that all profit represents theft from workers and believes in the complete elimination of the capital owning classes. Show me in their writings that they proclaim themselves to be a Marxist or Communist.
Okay, how about a Maoist? That’s a nice word you toss around. What’s a Maoist? What is the difference between a general Marxist and a Maoist? Can you tell me what Mao brought to the communist theory that a non-Maoist Marxist would not believe? Or, is this just another term you toss around to belittle people who disagree with you?
Heck, I’ll take a plain old Socialist. That’s easy. We actually have one serving in the U.S. House. But, name someone in the Executive branch who believes in the nationalization of all major industries. This isn’t necessarily someone who is a Communist because Socialists, although they believe that major industry should be owned by the state also believe in the concept of private property. Meanwhile, a true Communist doesn’t believe in the concept of property. Factories aren’t owned, but controlled by their workers. Got that? Good. Name one Socialist.
Or, name a convicted felon who sets administrative policy. Not someone you personally feel is a criminal. We don’t want to debate whether someone who believes in a certain policy is a criminal. I want someone who was convicted of an actual felony who is currently serving in a leadership of the federal government.
There are certain terms that are merely tossed around as debate killers. When I was a young kid, politicians would kill debate by labeling someone as a Nigger Lover. To those PC people who feel offended, I’m sorry, but that’s the actual term. The idea is that if you were able to successfully label someone as that, there was no longer any need for debate. In fact, quite a bit of time was spent getting what were called black hand photographs of your opponent. That was a picture of your opponent shaking hands with someone who was African American. That would be enough to get your opponent to lose an election.
And, this is the problem I have. You throw out the terms Marxist and Maoist and Felon even though these terms have specific meanings. You toss them out, so you don’t have to really defend your point of view or even think of what people who disagree with you are thinking. You simply want to kill all debate. You want to not have to think about whether you’re right or even if what you believe is actually true.
The problem I have with Fox News is that it will purposefully mislead in order to make its point. There have been several occasions when Fox News claimed that a particular rally or event had high turn out, but would instead show another rally where turnout was bigger. They will even comment on this video by saying such things as “look at that turnout!”.
It’s gotten so bad that Fox News management has actually issued an official memo telling its staff to no longer do that. To me, it would be like a hospital telling its doctors not to go around and kill patients any more – or at least don’t get caught at it.
I think the most apt commentary on televised political debate in the USA was Jon Stewart on Crossfire(?) telling off the commentators: “You guys are to political debate what professional wrestling is to sports.”