Friday, January 08, 2010

The Disregard for Truth

Nobody seems to care anymore about the truth. If something is said loud enough and often enough, whether it’s true or not doesn’t seem to matter.

If what is being said conforms to ones current opinions or prejudices, then whether it’s true or not is even more irrelevant. This is why television and, especially, talk radio pundits can safely ignore reality as long as what they say is what their audience wants to hear.

This phenomenon has reached epic proportions with Obama as president. The constant stream of complete nonsense coming out of the Right Wing wacko camp about Obama never seems to abate.

The latest nonsense relates to the recent holiday season. According to the current Right Wing missive being circulated around the internet:

1. Obama is the first president in 110 years to miss an Army-Navy football game.
2. Obama is the first president not to attend any Christmas religious service
3. Obama is the first president to remain on vacation after a terrorist attack

The first assertion is flat out not true. As a matter of fact it's not even close. Teddy Roosevelt was the first president to attend an Army-Navy game 110 years ago but due to security concerns NO president attended a game from 1962, when John Kennedy attended, until 1996 when Clinton attended other than Gerald Ford in 1974. Therefore Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan and George H.W. Bush never attended the game.

In 1963 Kennedy was planning to attend the game but was assassinated 8 days before it was scheduled to be played. The two teams were as devastated as the rest of the country and the game was canceled. Then Jackie Kennedy stated publically that she thought playing the game would be good for the nation and a “fitting tribute” to her late husband.

The game was rescheduled and played on December 7th. Navy was heavily favored and led 21-7 in the 4th quarter when Army scored with 6 minutes left and was successful on a two point conversion to close the gap to 21-15. Army then recovered the onside kick and drove to the Navy 1 yard line. The noise in Philadelphia’s Municipal was ear shattering and the Army quarterback, having troubling communicating his signals, tried to call timeout before the 4th down play from the Navy 1 yard line but the clock ran out.

Prior to Kennedy, Eisenhower, the only president to ever play in an Army-Navy game, attended only once. Franklin Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover never attended a game.

The second assertion is also flat out not true. Many presidents have forgone attending Christmas services while in office including Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, Woodrow Wilson in 1914, Herbert Hoover in 1929, Lyndon Johnson in 1968 and Richard Nixon in 1972.

The third is technically true. But it was also the first time a president was on vacation during such an occurrence and I’m not all that sure I’d call one Nigerian nut job trying, and failing, to set off an explosive on an aircraft much of a terrorist attack.

Of course pointing out this stuff is wrong isn’t going to help any. There are now millions of the under 80 IQ Republican base walking around their trailer parks, with open beer can in their hands, that know for absolute certainty that these things are true without ever bothering to check.

And we let them vote.

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