The Truth Test

It's gotten much easier to identify liars and disregard what they're trying to convince you to believe.

The mainstream media has had a leftward bias going back at least to New York Times reporter and Stalin-apologizer Walter Duranty, who covered up the deaths of innocent millions, whom Stalin deliberately starved to death, because he liked Communism.  But it wasn't until Donald J. Trump descended his legendary golden escalator that America's Newspaper of Record told journalists that there was no need even to pretend to be fair anymore, in an infamous editorial that began thus:

If you're a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation's worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?

Because if you believe all of those things, you have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer, and approach it in a way you've never approached anything in your career. If you view a Trump presidency as something that's potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you've ever been to being oppositional.

True to their word, the Grey Lady moved so far to one side that even its own partisan pundits were mildly disturbed.  Even before the above article was published, the Times' newly-appointed public editor, Liz Spayd, sounded the alarm:

I have been here less than a month, but already I've discovered something that surely must be bad for business if your business is running The New York Times.

One reader from California who asked not to be named believes Times reporters and editors are trying to sway public opinion toward their own beliefs. "I never thought I'd see the day when I, as a liberal, would start getting so frustrated with the one-sided reporting that I would start hopping over to the Fox News webpage to read an article and get the rest of the story that the NYT refused to publish," she says. Here's frustration as it crests, from James, an Arizona reader: "You've lost a subscriber because of your relentless bias against Trump - and I'm not even a Republican."

Her warnings fell on deaf ears: not too much later, she was terminated and her position was eliminated even to the point of having its email address disappear.  Other senior Times staff noticed the same and have said so publicly, to no avail and with the same result.

Today, of course, nobody to the right of Booker T. Washington considers the Times, or any other mainstream publication, worth the paper it's no longer printed on.  But that's created an existential problem we recently explored - if we know that we can't trust anything we read anywhere, how can we hope to have any idea what's going on?

The plain fact is, not everybody is actively lying to us.  There still are some people who attempt to seek out truth, even truths they don't agree with.

One example would be Glen Greenwald, who is about as far-left as they come, but who was so incensed by the massive cover-up of Hunter Biden's corruption by the Tech Lords and the mainstream media that he resigned from the news organization he'd founded because they, too, refused to publish the Democrat-damaging truth.  There are others, such as Patrick Basham, who publicly admitted that he wasn't convinced by the "'Shut up', he explained" response of the mainstream media to questions about the honesty of Joe Biden's election.

For most of us, though, these aren't household names.  When even Fox News can't be trusted, who can ordinary proles go to for facts?  The Internet has a sea of sources, most riddled with corruption and outright lies.

The Big Lie Signpost

Which, on pondering this problem, revealed an insight: A Big Lie is, as its name indicates, big.  If you don't know it's a lie, it can seem convincing because it is so all-encompassing, and all-pervasive in conventional channels.

But once you know that the Big Lie is, in fact, a lie, then it serves as an unmistakable marker of who and what is true and honest: Anyone who spouts the Big Lie is, by definition, either an ignoramus or a liar and isn't worth your attention.

Now, this isn't to condemn your lefty Uncle Ned who mostly golfs and watches CNN: he's being lied to, and is just repeating what he's been told.

For anyone in a position where it's their job to know and speak the truth, though, we now have a gold-plated indicator of probity: What, precisely, is their view on the 2020 election?

Consider this NBC News article, "Trump's voter fraud lies encouraged a riot" :

After a mob stormed the Capitol based on President Donald Trump's election fraud lie, some top Republican allies have called for peace while still leveling the same baseless claims of widespread voter fraud that fanned the flames of violence.

Here we see the Big Lie in all its glory.  There is abundant evidence of voter fraud all across the fruited plain, and most particularly in the disputed states that gave Biden the putative win.  To say that Trump is lying when he says the election was fraudulent, is like Walter Duranty saying anti-Communists were lying when they said Stalin was killing millions by a deliberate famine - the precise opposite of the truth.

Now, as with the Times, nobody on the right listens to NBC except as an indicator of what is false.  Here's another example from a marginally more respected source, the Associated Press (AP):

Republican senators on Wednesday further perpetuated President Donald Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud...

Again, this is nothing more than mere propaganda - the Republican senators presented evidence of the fraud, most of which has been widely available for weeks.  Had the authors of this piece, whose names are unfit to be mentioned or promoted in any way, seen fit to do the job of journalism for which they are paid, they would at least have mentioned that evidence rather than specifically denying the truth that they either personally observed or had it available to them.

They might have challenged or disputed the evidence, as real journalists of yore once did; but simply pretending it never even existed is an out-and-out deliberate lie without a shred of justification.

Mile-Markers to Truth

Now, does that mean that anybody who doesn't agree the election was stolen is a liar?  Not necessarily.  Consider Attorney General William Barr, who said that the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.

Is this a lie?  No: it's most probably the perfect truth.  The Justice Department has been, let us say, less than enthusiastic about looking for such fraud, and if you don't look for something you're unlikely to find it.

Did they, then, find no fraud whatsoever?  That's not what AG Barr said: he simply stated that they hadn't found enough fraud to overturn the election, which again is almost certainly true.

They most definitely did find some fraud, as Mr. Barr is well aware: just the other day, the Texas AG arrested a ballot harvester for illegal election tampering.  Indeed, the fact that Mr. Barr knows this, and is carefully not denying what he knows to be true, while at the same time equally carefully not saying what we all believe to be so but cannot prove, suggest that his statements of fact are worth listening to: they're true as far as they go, but no further.

Yet by twisting his words, both NBC and AP show themselves to be the liars they are - the headlines scream to you that there is no fraud, while the fine print reveals that's neither what Mr. Barr said nor what he meant.  He himself may not believe that the election was in fact stolen, which is a legitimate (though in our view mistaken) point of view; but he doesn't deny the presence of fraud everyone, including himself, knows to be real.

Extraordinary Claims and Extraordinary Evidence

In a world of lies, we can't believe what we're told by our enemies, but we can't necessarily believe our friends either.

There is nothing the least bit extraordinary about Democrats stealing elections - they've been doing that as long as they've existed as a political party.

Was the theft a coordinated conspiracy involving secret Venezuelan operatives and servers throughout Europe?  That seems a bit more far-fetched, and doesn't seem very practical either - how effective of a steal would be just by juggling bits around?  Wouldn't that leave you open to a manual recount of paper ballots?

Similarly, suggestions that the Army has been assaulting server farms in European countries and confiscating computers as evidence is an extraordinary claim, as it would either require the cooperation of governments that desperately want Mr. Trump gone or would be an act of war.  It is inconceivable that such an event could be kept so silent that the governments involved said nothing, and also that some nobody on the Internet knew about it and reported accordingly.

Without extraordinary proof, these sorts of accusations do nothing to prove fraud; quite the contrary, they allow those who'd prefer to see nothing an excuse to do so.

And there's absolutely no need for such far-fetched conspiracy theories.  To be really effective, a stolen election would require a great many phony ballots.  That's why the Georgia shredding reports were so disturbing.

Were they true?  A serious Republican party would be suing to sequester, count, and forensically examine all the ballots.  The law requires all this to be preserved, so if it wasn't, that in and of itself would be evidence of fraud.

So far as we know, though, this hasn't been done.  Why not?  Is this the fault of the Democrats, or the biased media?  No - our side simply isn't doing it's job, which is if anything far more disturbing.  Yes, we expect the Stupid Party to act true to form, but are there no lawyers or minor candidates with the standing and funding to demand a forensic examination?

We've seen these demands made before legislative hearings, but that's not the only way to get it done - and, as we've seen, nothing came of any of those hearings no matter the evidence presented.  Doesn't anybody here know how to play this game?  Do we literally have no Republicans who even want to?

Honesty, The Best Policy

A fair-minded person would describe the 2020 election as "disputed" - truer words were never spoken.  We believe it to be fraudulent.  We have seen abundant evidence that indicates it to be fraudulent.

But we cannot definitively say that the election was proven to be stolen.  Math, history, and common sense all indicate that it was, and yes, that's our belief, which informs our writings and our positions.

You'll find plenty of writers on the Internet, though, who state flat-out that election theft has been conclusively proven.  Would that they were right, and that Sidney Powell had released her legendary Kraken successfully!

So far, though, we've seen signs of suspicious activity everywhere, and proof of common-or-garden Democrat corruption, but not the smoking gun we've been repeatedly promised to no avail.  They aren't all liars, perhaps, but may be too enthusiastic to be taken at face value, which is not where Scragged wants to be.

But by the same token, saying that fraud accusations are "lies," "baseless," or "without evidence" are giant signs of a liar, because such statements are demonstrably false, have been for months, and are confirmed by what Mr. Barr and many others in a position to know have actually said live and in living color.  We've long since passed the point where there's any excuse to deny the existence of evidence of fraud, and those who do should be instantly discarded as sources of any credibility whatsoever.

Yet, thankfully, the fake news media can't stop themselves from saying what they want to be true, and in doing so, betray their utter corruption - and likewise, the fellow-travelers who follow softly in their footsteps to delude the unwary.

In this way, over the coming months we hope to be able to plot out a path to information that has some hope of being right.  Time, and our readers, will tell how well we did!

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

Inspired by Gilbert and Sullivan's "HMS Pinafore," I deploy the following answer for demands for vote fraud evidence from Democrats who won't listen anyway:

Vote fraud?

No, never!

What never?

Hardly ever.


January 20, 2021 6:44 PM

Let these paid and elected officials demonstrate that the voting systems and fraud and foolproof. They are the public servants; time for us to demand they act the part.

January 20, 2021 11:22 PM

As you and Barr said, there was some fraud. No system is perfect, and our system is very far from perfect. But there is simply no evidence that the fraud was even close to extensive enough to change the result. The supposed numerical discrepancies are based on such things as incorrect applications of Benford's Law (the numbers involved must be of substantially different magnitudes, and as precincts are drawn to have similar populations, that was not the case with the relevant data), a lack of understanding of eventual consistency and other computing processes that can lead to an apparent decrease in rapidly updating totals, and fundamental mistakes in arithmetic and data parsing. Other evidence, since as the "water leak videos", while perhaps showing isolated irregularities, simply does not involve enough votes to change the outcome.

January 21, 2021 1:18 AM

OK I grew up in Chicagoland and realize that " how many votes do you have ? Is answered by " how many do you need.? " But this election seemed to be lost fair and square. Trump was desperate to run on the successful economy. The Chinese flu showed up and he heroically responded for a while with daily press conferences with Fauci and Brix. That was great TV. But he rushed too quickly into " recovery" which wasn't really happening ( the Chinese designed a really good virus) . So we had the summer " recovery" with the media loving the death counts once cold weather drove folks inside.
Unfortunately Trump got the blame. Polls ( including conservative ones) pretty much said that Biden was going to win from 4 weeks out. Trump doubled down on " his " constituency of blue collar male voters. That seemed to cost him a lot of female suburban votes. The ladies go to the polls. Working class guys not so much.
The odd thing is that Trump brought down black and Hispanic unemployment rates to all time lows. But the liberal press ignored it since it meant less jobs for govt union welfare workers. They decided that Trump was a racist since he supported jobs over transfer payments. Biden's loyalty to the unions means welfare is back.
The conclusion ? Pandemics aren't good for incumbents.

January 21, 2021 3:19 AM


January 21, 2021 4:11 AM


January 21, 2021 4:14 AM

Mr. Brennan, Before we discuss vote fraud standards of evidence, I need to ask some questions to understand your contentions better.

Are you and absolutist or a relativist on vote fraud? Do you claim there wasn't enough vote fraud to make a difference, or none at all?

If there just wasn't enough vote fraud to make a difference, shouldn't we have a zero tolerance policy on vote fraud and prosecute very case of it, no matter how small?

If you claim there was no vote fraud whatsoever, how do explain the convictions for vote fraud we already have seen?

When you set the standard for accepting evidence of vote fraud, please remember we will use the same standard for evidence against Trump. Under the high standards for vote fraud evidence, there's NO EVIDENCE Trump incited an insurrection.

January 21, 2021 7:50 AM

Fantastic Article spells it out in plain English. I'm going to pass it on.

January 21, 2021 12:12 PM
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