Obamacare opponents have already run more than 30,000 television ads attacking the health law and Democratic candidates who support it, according to the media tracking group CMAG — a staggering 12-fold increase from four years ago. Many of the ads are being run in states with high uninsurance rates where hundreds of thousands of poor people could benefit from the Affordable Care Act, including Arkansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana.
Nearly half of all ads that have been run about the health law in House and Senate races through March 9 are critical of the ACA. And in a reflection of the post-Citizens United political landscape, spending by outside groups without any official connection to a particular organization or party accounts for almost three-fourths of all the commercials, compared to just 13 percent in 2010.
“We knew there would be heightened public awareness around the implementation of the law, and we thought it was important to go up early with a heavy effort,” said Tim Phillips, president of the Koch brother-funded group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), in an interview with Bloomberg.
AFP has run the most anti-Obamacare ads of any political group by a large margin, targeting vulnerable Democrats who are up for re-election, such as Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). The organization’s spots play up misleading “horror stories” related to the health law, such as Americans who have had their insurance policies cancelled or seen their premiums spike. But the ads’ content tends to range from exaggeration to outright misinformation — and AFP has even been caught hiring paid actors to play the roles of “real” local residents.
Miranda Blue Points out how a group with white nationalist ties is perverting the legacy of DR Martin Luther king Junior for its own ends, in order to trick Americans, including ones with African Ancestry into supporting them. This must be making King roll in his grave.
The appeal to King’s memory is more than a little ironic coming from a group that is tied to white nationalist John Tanton and that just this fall hired a founding member of the new-Confederate group League of the South. CAPS spokesman Joe Guzzardi, who announced in a press release that political leaders have “lost sight of Dr. King’s dream” has written dozens of blog posts for the white nationalist website VDARE.
The 2012 Dishonest Reporter: Gideon Levy, Haaretz
Levy regularly demonizes the Jewish state to foreign audiences and in his own newspaper columns. He regularly goes beyond legitimate criticism of Israel, crossing red lines and allying himself with those who refer to Israel as a racist ‘apartheid state’, promote boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and wish to see the very destruction of Israel.
On the basis that Levy promotes the canard of Israeli ‘apartheid’, he is the last journalist who could give an objective analysis of this polls results.
His article opened with the following premise:
Most of the Jewish public in Israel supports the establishment of an apartheid regime in Israel if it formally annexes the West Bank.
Levy’s entire premise was based, however, on a hypothetical situation where Israel annexes the West Bank – a policy that the majority of Israelis are opposed to according to the very same poll.
Other statistics were casually tossed into the mix by Levy in an attempt to fit the figures to his framing of Israel as an apartheid state. Minority opinions were highlighted and illustrative graphs that appeared in the Haaretz Hebrew edition were noticeably absent from the English article.
Levy stated that the survey was commissioned by the New Israel Fund’s Yisraela Goldblum Fund. It was perhaps an indicator of just how politicized and toxic this poll was that the New Israel Fund publicly disassociated itself (Hebrew) from it.
For his slander against the State of Israel and his persistent promotion of the falsehood even after he had been found out, HonestReporting readers judged Gideon Levy a worthy winner of the 2012 Dishonest Reporter Award.
Uri Simonsohn, a research psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, did not set out to be a vigilante. His first step down that path came two years ago, at a dinner with some fellow social psychologists in St. Louis. The pisco sours were flowing, Simonsohn recently told me, as the scholars began to indiscreetly name and shame various “crazy findings we didn’t believe.” Social psychology—the subfield of psychology devoted to how social interaction affects human thought and action—routinely produces all sorts of findings that are, if not crazy, strongly counterintuitive. For example, one body of research focuses on how small, subtle changes—say, in a person’s environment or positioning—can have surprisingly large effects on their behavior. Idiosyncratic social-psychology findings like these are often picked up by the press and on Freakonomics-style blogs. But the crowd at the restaurant wasn’t buying some of the field’s more recent studies. Their skepticism helped convince Simonsohn that something in social psychology had gone horribly awry. “When you have scientific evidence,” he told me, “and you put that against your intuition, and you have so little trust in the scientific evidence that you side with your gut—something is broken.”
Simonsohn does not look like a vigilante—or, for that matter, like a business-school professor: at 37, in his jeans, T-shirt, and Keen-style water sandals, he might be mistaken for a grad student. And yet he is anything but laid-back. He is, on the contrary, seized by the conviction that science is beset by sloppy statistical maneuvering and, in some cases, outright fraud. He has therefore been moonlighting as a fraud-buster, developing techniques to help detect doctored data in other people’s research. Already, in the space of less than a year, he has blown up two colleagues’ careers. (In a third instance, he feels sure fraud occurred, but he hasn’t yet nailed down the case.) In so doing, he hopes to keep social psychology from falling into disrepute.
Simonsohn initially targeted not flagrant dishonesty, but loose methodology. In a paper called “False-Positive Psychology,” published in the prestigious journal Psychological Science, he and two colleagues—Leif Nelson, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and Wharton’s Joseph Simmons—showed that psychologists could all but guarantee an interesting research finding if they were creative enough with their statistics and procedures.
We are all bad apples,” wrote Jonah Lehrer, in probably the last back-cover endorsement of his career. “Dishonesty is everywhere … It’s an uncomfortable message, but the implications are huge.”
Lehrer’s blurb was for behavioral economist Dan Ariely’s The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves. Among Ariely’s bite-size lessons: We all cheat by a “fudge factor” of roughly 15 percent, regardless of how likely we are to get caught; a few of us advance gradually to bigger and bigger fudges, often driven by social pressures; and it’s only when our backs are up against the wall that we resort to brazen lies.
Lehrer, 31, had already established the kind of reputation that made his backing invaluable to a popular science writer. Thanks to three books, countless articles and blog posts, and many turns on the lecture circuit, Lehrer was perhaps the leading explainer of neuroscience this side of a Ph.D. He was kind enough to interview Ariely this past June for the Frontal Cortex, a blog Lehrer had started in 2006 and carried with him from one high-profile appointment to the next. The New Yorker had begun hosting it that month, after Lehrer was hired as a staff writer—another major career milestone. But newyorker.com didn’t run the Ariely story, because by the time he wrote it, Lehrer had already been banned from his own blog. Two weeks earlier, readers had discovered that he was rampantly “self-plagiarizing” his own blog posts among different media outlets. Lehrer held onto his three-day-old print contract, but the blog was on ice.
Then it got so much worse. Four excruciating months later, Jonah Lehrer is known as a fabricator, a plagiarist, a reckless recycler. He’s cut-and-pasted not just his own stories but at least one from another journalist; he’s invented or conflated quotes; and he’s reproduced big errors even after sources pointed them out. His publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, will soon conclude a fact-check of his three books, the last of which, Imagine, was recalled from bookstores—a great expense for a company that, like all publishing houses, can’t afford to fact-check most books in the first place. In the meantime, he’s been completely ostracized. It’s unclear if he’ll ever write for a living again.
If the public battering seems excessive now, four months in, that should come as no surprise. That’s how modern scandals go—burning bright, then burning out, leaving a vacuum that fills with sympathy. It’s especially true in cases like Lehrer’s, where the initial fury is narrowly professional, fueled by Schadenfreude and inside-baseball ethical disputes. It was fellow journalists who felled Lehrer, after all, not the sources he betrayed. But the funny thing is that while the sins they accused him of were relatively trivial, more interesting to his colleagues than his readers, Lehrer’s serious distortions—of science and art and basic human motivations—went largely unnoticed. In fact, by the time he was caught breaking the rules of journalism, Lehrer was barely beholden to the profession at all. He was scrambling up the slippery slope to the TED-talk elite: authors and scientists for whom the book or the experiment is just part of a multimedia branding strategy. He was on a conveyor belt of blog posts, features, lectures, and inspirational books, serving an entrepreneurial public hungry for futurist fables, easy fixes, and scientific marvels in a world that often feels tangled, stagnant, and frustratingly familiar. He was less interested in wisdom than in seeming convincingly wise..
I first start to turn away from Ann Coulter in 2003, when I compared passages from her book Treason and Mona Charen’s Useful Idiots. Both books looked at what their authors considered liberal foreign policy mistakes during the Cold War, but whereas Charen came across as thoughtful and moderate in tone, and more that once went out of her way to note liberals who did not make what she considered the mistakes made by others on the left, Coulter came across as crass, sarcastic, and uninterested in variations in opinion; To her all liberals were to be harshly mocked. When I realized how much more readable and usable as a source Charen’s book was owing to its willlingness to look below the surface of complex matters, I started become skeptical of Ann Coulter.
In the years since I have come to see her as a crass hatespewer, who says ugly things to make money. But this latest Tweet from Ann Coulter set a new low of ugliness. It’s posted below, followed by my reply:
However annoyed I have ever been with Barack Obama, neither he nor any of his family would ever say such an ugly thing as what Ann Coulter said. Her words proven her to once again be a hate monger, raging against a man who is a better person than she will ever be.
Before Tuesday’s presidential debate, we outlined five things that President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney needed to accomplish at the Hofstra University debate. Here’s a quick report card grading their efforts:
This is just amazing to me. Look at this particular topic and grade for Willard:
4. Appeal to independent voters.
Romney strongly distanced himself from former President George W. Bush on issues ranging from the deficit to China. He sounded much more moderate on issues such as immigration, where he distanced himself from the Arizona law he backs, and taxes, where he disavowed his primary campaign promise to lower everyone’s taxes — even the top 1 percent of Americans.
In this American Idol-infused culture of style over substance, Mitt gets a B for LYING, because he sounded good when he did so. Would someone please tell me why a respectable newspaper gives high marks for dishonesty? Unbelievable. The Chronicle should fire Richard Dunham’s ass. This is an opinion piece, not a report card.
On Wednesday, Mark Levin praised Romney’s demonstrably false statements in commenting on the attacks on the US Embassy in Lybia that President Obama had “apologized for America’s values,” calling it his “finest hour.”
Thankfully, some Republicans aren’t standing by Mitt on this, but “The Great One,” is not one of them.
There’s a sucker born every minute, and Glenn’s found another way to reach them.
Glenn Beck is bringing his brand of conservative commentary back to the television set.
One year after embracing an Internet-only distribution model, Mr. Beck is repositioning his streaming network, TheBlaze TV, as an offering for cable and satellite operators — in other words, TV the old-fashioned way.
On Wednesday, he will announce an agreement with the Dish Network, the first of what his company hopes will be many such deals.
TheBlaze TV, an Internet television network, will remain available via the Web for its 300,000 paying subscribers, including those not subscribing to Dish. But the distribution deal with Dish gives Mr. Beck, formerly a host on Fox News, a new way to reach viewers that may be adopted by other Internet entrepreneurs seeking a way into traditional television.
“Our success over the past year has given us the ability to go on traditional television while maintaining complete creative control and freedom and remaining at the center of the Internet revolution,” Mr. Beck said.
Disillusioned Obama Supporter In Romney Ad Is Actually GOP Staffer
Republicans debuted a new ad Thursday in which a frustrated former Obama supporter expresses her disappointment with the president.
The only problem: The woman in the video is actually an RNC staffer.