Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Squirrel!

As you can imagine, it really hasn't been a good day to talk about national security at the Fair 'n' Balanced Network, so you can see why Tuesday evening's No. 2 story is -- libruls! Doing "science"!

On any given day, the Twitter account of New Real Peer Review features the latest in wacky, abstract liberal research, from feminist glaciology to the racism of Pilates and pumpkin spice lattes.

The account, which has some 23,000 followers, is shrouded in secrecy -- its moderators unknown to those reading the satirical tweets mocking what it considers outlandish theses, like a Ph.D. dissertation titled: "'Wow, that bitch is crazy!' Exploring gendered performances in leisure spaces surrounding reality television."

Anonymity is required, say moderators of the account, which has been threatened by hackers looking to shut it down.


Because it's Fox (and thus, because almost anything is more fun at this point than talking about how national security is actually compromised by hiring drooling racist buffoons to actual policy positions), we have certain expectations about the sourcing:


In an email to Fox News, one of the moderators -- known only as Machine Priestess, with the Twitter handle @okayultra -- said the group receives research topics from "contributors of all walks of life," including students and professors.

The group's purpose, Machine Priestess said, is to "provide a lighthearted, satirical view of most questionable specimens of modern academic peer review process."

Such academic research includes a widely-ridiculed study on “gender and glaciers” that was funded by U.S. taxpayers.


If this sounds like Wastebook by any other name, it is. Making fun of other people's research has been a staple of right-wing discourse for decades. It's reassuring to know that the idea of congressional immunity -- that you have an unlimited right to maliciously lie, as long as you've been elected to some office -- doesn't always hold up in the light of day:

William Proxmire has fleeced himself.

For years, the outspoken Wisconsin senator has been handing out monthly Golden Fleece awards pillorying government expenditures that he regards as wasteful.

Often in his indignation he has made fun of both granting agency and grant recipient.

Yesterday Proxmire announced that he will pay $10,000 from his own funds as an out-of-court settlement with Dr. Ronald Hutchinson, a behavioral scientist.


In short, Proxmire -- indulging himself, let's not forget, in taxpayer-supported legal aid -- found out that you can't simply defame scientists in press releases and pretend you're engaging in political debate. You're a lying weasel, of the type found at ... what was that account again?

Other kooky projects mocked by the moderators of New Real Peer Review are: Pilates and pumpkin spice lattes are racist; 2017 is a “construct"; Doctors telling obese people to lose weight is discriminatory and white students supporting Trayvon Martin are exercising their white privilege.

There's something charming about "kooky," you'll note:

But supporters of the account -- which is growing in popularity -- express both amusement and shock at the tweets spotlighting nutty research papers from academics, many of whom receive public and private funding for their projects. 

"At first I didn't believe your tweets were real. It seemed too outlandish. Now I don't even check. How is this real life?" tweeted a follower ..

Machine Priestess told Fox News the account became a group project when the original Real Peer Review -- operated by a single person -- was shut down after harassment and threats of doxing.


Important side note here: No doxxing, period. You may and should ridicule these clowns in the open, but even the bad guys are allowed to retreat to safety. The droolers are the ones who shoot at noncombatants:
And if you can't play at an ethical level above the Washington Times, why even play in the first place?

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