Monday, May 10, 2010

Where the WTF-o-meter goes to 11

You know, just when you think it's gotten as deep as it's going to get, somebody reaches over and just cold turns it up to 11.

To figure out how we got from a throwaway line in a a pretty mundane graduation address to today's incarnation of "you LIE," we need to turn away from content analysis for a sec and enter the realm of discourse. If you're coding for manifest content, a line like "Does anyone else feel a little cold in here?" is more or less the same thing as "Does anyone in here have any Grey Poupon?" Discourse analysis is different. It looks for the conditions under which we land at one place or another on the continuum between "Does anyone else feel a little cold in here?" and "Shut the freakin' window."

OK, you can see how it's a little deep for some correspondents out there, but you get the idea: Two very different statements can mean the same thing, and the same statement can mean two very different things! With that in mind, let's look at what the Kenyan Communist Muslim liar-in-chief said to the Kool-Aid-lapping crowd at Hampton, as reported at the Fair 'n' Balanced Network:

The geek-in-chief has a problem with technology. Who knew?

President Obama -- whose campaign was an online juggernaut and whose love of all things comic book, Star Trek and most recently Avatar is well-documented -- went on a tear against gadgets and gizmos over the weekend, telling a graduating class in Virginia to beware the vice of video games and portable music players.

Went on a tear, did he? Beware the vice? Leaving aside the comic books and Star Trek, let's hear more!

He used the speech to warn that new media and new technology are "putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy." And that's not all ... The president told the assembled throng he doesn't know how to use any of those products.

Really? OK, discourse shields up:

"You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank that high on the truth meter," Obama said during the commencement address at Hampton University on Sunday. "And with iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation."

And of course, that was the Big Lie, because:

...The president has a known addiction to his BlackBerry (a.k.a. BOTUS -- Blackberry of the United States), which he could not and would not part with when he entered the White House
, despite security concerns. He admitted "clinging" to it last year -- kind of like voters who "cling" to guns and religion.

He also owns an iPod, meaning that he knows how to use one -- unless he depends on the Secret Service to hit the shuffle button while he's out jogging.

And that must mean he's lying, right? Because it's exactly what the White House transcript says he said!

Well, pragmatically, let's go back a few paragraphs and look at a similar statement, also marked by (laughter) in the transcript (and in the audio):

Most of all, I want to congratulate all of you, the Class of 2010. I gather that none of you walked across Ogden Circle. (Laughter.)

Get it? Sometimes when people say stuff, they mean the opposite of what they really said, but other people still manage to figure out what they're getting at? Child psychology is not our thing around here, but we're going to speculate randomly that this development occurs somewhere around third grade.

OK. We report, you decide. Give it a listen and see if you think "none of which I know how to work" is more like (a) an accurate report of the speaker's adeptness with technology or (b) a speaker orienting himself toward the audience along the lines of "Beer? Never touch the stuff."

I can't claim to know for sure -- but neither, with any honesty, can Fox. And I like my guess a lot better in context of the speech itself.

The bigger point, of course, is: On what planet, with how many suns peeking rosy-fingered through the methane clouds of dawn, is this line worth a lead story? The answer isn't just "a planet on which any day in which you get to bellow 'you LAH' is a good day." It involves a lot of other buttons that the Fox audience just loves to have pushed. How about it, Fox readers?

Well well well now I wonder if the facts don't bear out that that he only dismisses the technology when it suits him. He seems to use it when it benefits him. However, he wants to belittle it when it is used to benefit others or by those who do not see things as he wants them to.

This guy lies as a matter of principle, even about the most trivial things. He has an extremely insecure need to "fit in" with whoever he's talking to.

The technolgy rag was just a cover for his distaste for freedom of informantion(speech) and opposing views. They so much want to limit and control all media. Then we all drink the koolaide.

Wasn't a big part of his campaign bashin McCain for being old, out of touch, and incapable of using a computer? Funny... I always thought iPods were easier to use than computers. I figured mine out in 2 minutes. What a dumb @$$

I love it when a person who has a degree tells us little peons that we are just to stupid to form our own opions and that we should just belive what they tell us.

And Nappy had the nads to ridicule McCain {because of injury suffered while a POW} because he could not e-mail? Pathetic POS. From a looser libtard----no suprise.

step 1, technology is bad and hurting america. step 2 help america, ban all means of communication to help america step 3, reprogram the american mind thru controlled media to accept obama-izm

you guys are missing the point. who cares that he said he doesn't know how to use an ipod when he obviously owns one. let's focus on the bigger issue. obama is demonizing INFORMATION. information is POWER. we have the right to hear both sides of things and make an informed decision for ourselves.

When I have my objective academic hat on, I like to point to the importance of Fox's agenda-setting role and its place on the Milton-Mill axis, along with its entertaining style quirks. When I have my journalism hat on, I just sort of sit there in amazement: These people are deeply, genuinely crooked.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you didn't even mention that Obama doesn't have a BlackBerry and hasn't had one since at least his inauguration. It seems that our government has something against letting the President's email be stored in Canada. OMG, did I really catch Fox in a lie?

1:29 AM, May 11, 2010  

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