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Do facts matter in elections anymore?

The US electorate is facing a crisis of credibility where the word "debunked" or "conspiracy" is all some people need to see to not believe a news story. Others will believe the exact opposite of a news story if they don't like the source - be it CNN, NY Times, or Fox News. Many are just as convinced that their source is true as the other side is false.

This can make claims of foreign election interference seem indistinguishable from domestic smear campaigns. Similarly, claims of corruption from one side are now met with similar claims by the other side.

How do you make sense of the world? Have you recalibrated how much evidence you need to see before you believe something? Are we ready for a world where computer generated "deep fakes" photos and videos blur the lines of reality even more?

How much do you believe the political news that you read?

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Admin 8 Oct 23
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People have a tendency to SEE and Hear what they want!!!
Almost 30 years as a law enforcement has proved this to me!!!
20 people can see and hear the same incident!! When you interview those 20 people, if they have not talked to each other, you will get 20 different versions of what happened!!!
Each witness was in a different location, with a different view of the scene and due to location, hear different parts of the activity, and PERSONAL PREJUDICES are always involved!!!
If you get the same story 20 times, you are dealing with liars, or a group lead by one person's opinion!!!
I have had personal experience in how wrong the MEDIA can get a story!!! I have spent hours at an incident and heard the MEDIA report later!!! I could not recognize the Media description of story as the same incident!!!!

Serg97 Level 8 Oct 23, 2020

The media's bad at reporting a lot of things. You should see how they murder scientific results. It's no wonder people are skeptical of science when it's filtered through a biased media. 🤷♂️

How long are you willing to sit in front of someone who has memorized a unabridged compilation of the details read to them out of context ?

Just like nutrition in processed food,
contextual rot is inevitable.

Which is a shame because context is the most important part of a message.


I believe very little I see and hear in the media, and its mostly their own doing. They are more political propaganda pieces now than anything else, and most days the bias is easy to see. I listen, I weigh it, and believe little of it.


I believe the news 99% of the time. I rarely get the news from no less than three different sources, however. Live, uninterrupted events are easier for me to reach my own conclusions, as well as do my own research on statements made, (Debates etc), in regards to specific details.

MSM is 99% opinionated commentary. I believe the 1% of actual news 99% of the time. In order to fully reach a decision, I have to search out other articles and channels in order to get a better picture.

Awaken With JP


Yeah, I'm not a fan of the dumbed down, Cliffsnotes version, flow of online information, that I never asked for. It actually creates more headaches for me just to navigate, let alone get a full 1% of news.😕


When you have a populace that has been purposely dumbed down by government schools and corporate media in cahoots with the government, DUH, what do you expect? Apples is apple, grapes is grapes and dumb is dumb; welcome to Amerika.


In all fairness, facts have never mattered in elections. People don't vote based on facts, but on aspiration; the candidate who tells them what they want to hear is the one who gets their vote. If the stakes are high enough, they'll welcome all manner of slander against their favored candidate's opponent if they think it will sway the election in their favor.


I wait a few days before trusting any item of news. I like 2 or 3 different sources. It's tricky to determine whether a 2nd source is just quoting the first one.

So far, NRO's been pretty good. Forbes has been pretty good. Tim Pool is pretty good. If I can get confirmation from liberal and conservative sources I feel pretty confident.


Now, More that ever it is No News is Good News....


It's very hard to make a statement about real phenomena without mentioning some real facts. A lie always contains much truths because it is basically a bending of facts. That is why it is impossible to design two ideologies which are 100 % opposite to each other. Like liberalism has elements of fascism and Christianity and Buddhism. There can't be a "pure" ideology.
Example of a news item: If a black man dies in the presence of a police officer, than you can lie about the causal relationship, possible lies are: 1. the PO was helping, 2. the PO was hurting. Undeniable facts are: 1st there was a black man, 2nd he did die and 3rd a PO was present. We see media jump to accusations without a desire to find out the complete story, this is vicious. We also see the media select subjects to talk about on the basis of a desire to support a certain narrative, bending the facts accordingly. This too is vicious. We see much more emphasis on opining than on reporting, which is confusing. We see all the media in agreement of a certain narrative, which is propaganda.

Corjova Level 6 Oct 24, 2020

These days, there's usually a camera phone handy too.


I try to get as many sources on something as I can and listen to commentary from multiple POVs. Then anything passes through my 'common sense' and 'bullshit' detectors.... So, the political news I read I believe 0% of the time without the above...


Lies of omissions are the best propaganda.

If you know how to interpret double speak you can get some news from any of the mainstream media corporations. I just won't support them by giving them views.

Years ago I enjoyed the BBC, ABC, and CBC but a couple of decades ago the politically correct nonsense got to constant. In the U.S. the media was always "progressive" but most people couldn't see it. Granted it was a much more centrists form of progressive but you knew it was there. Now it seems that the corporatists and globalists are in some sort of strange alliance with the progressives and to a lesser extent the socialists. I can't say that I understand it. I'm not sure anyone does. There are so many players with their own agendas both obvious and secret.

wolfhnd Level 8 Oct 23, 2020

No one should take it at face value and look at the source material themselves.
Research it yourself and learn about the biases you carry when looking at info.


I believe that Yuri Warned us about thes “active measures” 25 years ago

RobD1 Level 7 Oct 23, 2020

After making three posts ,
what I am trying to say is :



There are "Facts" and there are True Facts. Facts are doing just fine, at the expense of true facts, off course. As I've posted today in another thread about this....

One of the tenets of today' internet based journalism: Never fact check your way out of a good story.

"Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists." - Norman Mailer, Esquire, June 1960


Mainstream news sources are mostly politically leaning towards the left and their counterparts on the right are often just reacting to the left. So you get a kind of he said, she said noise.

"The morality of journalists (a loose term these days) have only themselves to blame for the uptick in animosity. Journalism as an industry lacks integrity yet journalist still fancy themselves as noble souls and herdsmen of truth. The whole industry is incredibly pretentious. Now every hipster with a MacBook and a WordPress account is a journalist ranting about integrity. Integrity? Hipsters do love irony. Poorly written dredge, injected with biased opinions, financed by advertisers, and sourced on Twitter. Why should we be surprised journalists don’t want their dirt available for public consumption; why jeopardize the very profitable relationships these “news” outlets have established that ensure journalists are in the pocket of advertisers. There is a lot of money to be made, just not by reporting news."

Jordan Colaruotolo · System Security and Administration Specialist at SEC & DOJ Contractor

There is so much to be said in favor of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated it keeps us in touch with ignorance of the community. The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. —Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)


"I know the British press is very attached to the lobby system. It lets the journalists and the politicians feel proud of their traditional freedoms while giving the reader as much of the truth as they think is good for him." — Tom Stoppard, Mageeba, Act II


The decline in literature indicates a decline in the nation. The two keep pace in their downward tendency. - Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von


“You don't realize how little accuracy there is in network TV reporting until they cover a story in your hometown.”
―Robert Brault


One sign of good journalism is that it questions the prevailing narrative. Common knowledge is mostly wrong because it tends to drift downstream towards simplistic narratives that are emotionally appealing. That is why whenever a topic about which you have deep knowledge is portrayed in the popular culture it always seems simplistic to the point of being wrong, full of tropes and common misconceptions.

An investigative journalist, however, should dig beneath the surface. They should talk to experts, especially those who have reason to doubt the narrative, and find out what the consensus of expert opinion is. They could also try to explain the narrative – why do people believe X when experts say Y?

>You don't realize how little accuracy there is in network TV reporting until they cover a story in your hometown.
―Robert Brault

@Krunoslav Excellent perspective. So true! If you've ever been interviewed by the media, you have firsthand experience with the ways in which the media will mangle your message. It's not always their fault, it's not always intentional. Journalists have to condense events and statements into much shorter segments that the interviewee will protest misconstrues their statements ... and it does! It can't be helped. You can't convey the finer points of significant political discourse in a couple paragraphs that will fit on page 5.

That's not to say the media isn't biased - it's much more biased than I've ever seen it in my lifetime - it's only meant to encourage some sympathy for the devil. Journalists have their own issues with their stories getting mangled by editors. It's a game of telephone in which the story is handed from person to person, each with their own prejudices and biases, then condensed to fit in print or on TV/radio, with the ostensible intention of informing the public, when in reality everything the media generates is published to generate ad revenue.

*My advice😘 When speaking with reporters, have a short, 3-5 second sound byte prepared and perhaps a pamphlet about the issues if they desire further elaboration. People say the dumbest shit when they're put in front of a camera / microphone. They don't have a statement prepared, they freeze up followed by incoherent rambling, which is then edited in a way that doesn't help them at all or is cut entirely. You're better off saying nothing than saying something stupid.

See also: 9 Tips for Nailing Your TV Interview

@ZuzecaSape LOL to the video. Yeah.

@Krunoslav According to the article I linked to, "The average TV soundbite is around seven seconds long."

I literally had a reporter walk up to me one time and say, "Gimme a 5-second sound byte." Didn't ask anything about me, my opinions, my reasons, etc ... he just wanted some filler for the segment they'd do on the news that night. 🤷♂️ Fortunately, I had come prepared to give a statement, so when I made my brief television appearance that night, I didn't come off like a dipshit and sully my org's PR.

One time, my cousin was at the state fair. An attractive local TV news reporter walked up to him to and asked him what brought him to the fair this year. Teenage hormones rushing, trying to think of something cool to say, my cousin blurted, "I like to look at the big animals." 🐄facepalm That's nice, Lennie ... maybe the 4H girls will let you pet the bunnies if you promise not to break the fragile little bones underneath their soft, soft fur. 🙄🐰

@ZuzecaSape Damn. "I like to look at the big animals." 😀

@Krunoslav I mean, who doesn't, right? 😅


When I was a kid, we had to learn a poem about a group of blind men trying to describe an elephant. Each blind man was led to a different part of the elephant's body and tried to describe the elephant based on the body part that he explored with his hands. The point is that each blind man was describing what he felt accurately and honestly. In that sense, each blind man was presenting "facts," but without seeing the whole of the elephant, each blind man's facts were misleading. I see the same problem in a great deal of political reporting.

I also see a problem with the way our society has come to see truth. Too many people like to speak and think of "my truth" as if what is true for them is more important than what is objectively true. Modern society seems to be stuck on promoting this philosophy that there can be no objective truth and that everyone's personal "truth" is equally valid. That idea is foolish and harmful.

People also tend to avoid seeing both costs and benefits to any position. They avoid accepting unintended consequences or even the possibility that unintended consequences can happen. I'm sure that there is debate among doctors and researchers about how much exposure to other people our immune systems need in order to remain at optimum strength. I've heard of that issue for decades. While I'm sure that the issue is not purely black and white, I'm sure that too much isolation or "social distancing" is bad for people's immune systems. Because of that, the extreme isolation that our governments have tried to impose on us this year has likely weakened our immune systems. The effect of weakened immune systems could mean that some people who catch the SARS-COV-2 virus (causing COVID-19) are more susceptible to the complicating factors that have been part of many of the COVID-19 deaths. A family friend died with COVID-19 recently, and he had three or four other major infections that played a part in his inability to recover. A balanced perspective would be to admit that freedom, not wearing masks, and continuing to be with a variety of people will allow more transmission of COVID-19 but will also mean that people will have healthier immune systems to fight this and other diseases. The unbalanced perspective of places like Facebook and YouTube is to suppress any discussion of how interaction and free breathing is good for the immune system overall and might help to fight the disease. These "Big Tech" platforms want to censor any perspective that might cause people to look at costs and benefits and to balance risks. They just want us to do what they tell us without question. To that end, they are suppressing facts. They want us to hear from only one or two of the blind men experiencing the elephant.

When I look at news stories, I realize that the story could be telling me something that is completely false. I also realize that it could be telling me something that is true within a narrow view but not helpful in seeing the real picture.

The story of blind men describing an elephant is an excellent way of explaining how the best propaganda works. It takes some facts that people can feel confident about highlights them and ignores the larger or more complete set of facts.

As you pointed out the post modernist perspective is analogous to the blind men and the elephant. It isn't wrong it is just incomplete. Since we are sensual creatures our experience of the world is subjective by definition. We can only experience what our senses can take in not the thing itself. What the post modernists seem unaware of is swarm intelligence. The very nature of what it means to be human.

The post modernists came onto the scene in a world primed by eugenics and genocide to adopt a social constructionist perspective part of which involved the blank slate theory of human nature or a rejection of the role of genetics. Again it was an incomplete view. The story of human evolution is one in which culture "wrote" the genetic changes that made us human. We don't have culture because we have large brains we develop large brains because culture allowed it. Culture in the form of language and stone tools.

The key to understanding what it means to be human is to understand tools. We think of tools as physical objects but they begin as abstractions. In the mind of every tool maker is an abstract perfect tool. When transformed into physical reality a less perfect representation is necessarily created. The first ape to make a stone tool had an abstract understanding of the desired tool. Over time as tools and the brain coevolved the reality came closer to the abstraction. That process could not have taken place without another abstract tool, language. The story of becoming human required the transmission of cultural abstractions. In this way the post modernists are right. Everything human is a social construct and all social constructs are abstract. All transmission of tools is subjective because they are filtered through the senses. Just as there are no perfect representation in physical reality of tools there are no perfect transmission of either language tools or what they allow.

As I stated earlier the important and neglected aspect of human nature is swarm intelligence. Unlike other eusocial species such as insects knowledge doesn't die with the individual. Social insects transmit information but it doesn't evolve because it disappears as pheromones or conditions dissipate rapidly. In humans language is both more abstract and persistent. It transmits knowledge from generation to generation. It allows a stone tool to become a space craft over many generations. All of the intermittent steps are lost to prehistory and even within recorded history they are murky. What is important to understand is that a space craft is not just the product of many individuals but many generations.

The major error of post modernism is that neither cultural or physical evolution are arbitrary. While physical evolution is totally dependent on random mutations cultural evolution is perhaps less so but they are both subject to selection in an environment that both creates the conditions for the direction of evolution and alters that environment through interaction with the environment. Because of complexity we should not expect that cultural evolution should be free of randomness but the overall direction of evolution as it fights entropy is clearly towards complexity not in all cultural organisms anymore than in every physical organism but where the environmental conditions and fitness promote it.

The quality of abstractions and ability to transmit them accurately determines the level of complexity that cultural evolution can achieve. The reason we want complexity is it increases fitness in a changing environment through increased adaptability. In this light post modernism and the modern environmental movement can be seen as fundamentally "anti human". Being human has always been about altering the environment through transmitted cultural tools including language tools. Life is about fighting entropy by capturing more energy than it expends on reproduction. In this sense human life is no different than any other. The post modernists and environmentalists are not wrong they are just woefully inadequate.


I got rid of Google years ago, and went with Brave (+ Qwant) for a search engine, use alternative news sources and independent journalists for research. I miss the days of WikiLeaks 😁 and Julian Assange. The media has a history of spreading false narratives (operation Mockingbird), and are about as hit-and-miss on the "completely honest" scale as picking out a future spouse on a dating app.


Some semblance of honesty has far less resistance from skeptical customers than blatant lies in the long run.

No one returns to a car sales person who : omits facts , exaggerates features and rushes a sale ( at least not to thank them) . However, a unabridged coverage of all specific details is a exhaustingly long way to push a idea.

The difficult part is getting audiences to know the difference between a : Sponsored promotion, Rumor, speculation and verified data ( instead of sending audiences to kill the messenger who used math to make a educated guess about the weather ) .


I believe the news at the same level I believe Joel Osteen will send me my next car payment.


I wish you had a 20% option. I can rely on news sources for events that occur, but that's about it. Every news outlet has its bias. Every outlet spins the's just a matter of how much. Providing simple truths is apparently too risky...God forbid people would form their own opinions based on facts. So here we are, stuck in a never-ending stream of misinformation. I can't make sense of the world. The best I can do is limit the time I spend around bullies, perverts, and "entitled, self-indulgent weiners".


People vote propaganda not with their heart - Why do you think billions are spent on political ads?


None of it.


"How do you make sense of the world?"

I put the available pieces of the puzzle together and sense becomes obvious eventually. One puzzle piece is offered to those who choose to look in the past for puzzle pieces:

  1. “Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.” ― Edmund Burke.
  2. “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it” ― Sara Shepard, Wanted.
  3. "Those unable to catalog the past are doomed to repeat it.” ― Lemony Snicket, The End.
  4. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)
  5. “We're doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That's what it is to be alive. It's pretty dense kids who haven't figured that out by the time they're ten.... Most kids can't afford to go to Harvard and be misinformed.”
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard

Some messages (signs on the previously traveled road) are lies, but how can one know this if history is replaced with falsehood?

  1. "The Six Purposes of Schooling" - John Taylor Gatto

“Now you are ready to hear the six purposes of modern schooling taken directly from Dr. Anglisse’s book.”

“The first function of schooling is adjustive. Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority. It is fixed habits of reaction. Notice that this precludes critical judgment completely. Notice too that requiring obedience to stupid orders is a much better test of function one than following sensible orders ever could be. You don’t know whether people are reflexibly obedient unless they will march right off the cliff.”

“How can you establish weather someone has successfully developed this automatic reaction, because people have a proclivity when they are given sensible orders to follow? That is not what they want to reach. The only way to measure this is to give stupid orders, and people automatically follow those. Now you have achieved function one.”

If someone can be intentionally, and successfully, demoralized, and stripped of their internal power of judgment, during their early years traveling down the road called life, then they can also be told not to look in the past, not to look for puzzle pieces at all, and told to scorn (or worse) anyone who dares to question the orders being issued from the authorities.

If you are no longer an authority over right and wrong, then who is?

I believe that solid evidence can be used to create a world view that works to make life better and less costly.

"Have you recalibrated how much evidence you need to see before you believe something?"

Evidence that fits reasonably into a logical order (my eyes hurt when staring at the sun, each time I try to stare at the sun), doing so without contradiction (never have I ever not suffered pain when staring at the sun, and everyone I ask who has tried the same thing, except one blind guy, has arrived at the same conclusion) is cause to employ that evidence, that consistency, and that conclusion: don't stare at sun, even if an army of blind people say you must do so for some strange reason, and don't drink the cool-aid, and don't go to "Public School" without a clear understanding of why it is falsely labeled.

"Are we ready for a world where computer generated "deep fakes" photos and videos blur the lines of reality even more?"

A major damaging falsehood is something called a legal fiction, or an entity that exists itself divorced from the fact that "it" is merely a sum total of all the individual parts, it is not a thing unto itself. We, for example, range from many people who "deep fakes" photos, so that group of people (the group of people who are a group because they "deep fakes" photos) are "ready for" the world they make by the choices, or not, since some of that group (that "we" ) may be using those "deep fakes" photos to injure innocent people, and eventually that criminal act will cost "them" who choose that criminal path, and so that portion of that "we" (the criminal "deep fakes" photos makers) may not actually be "ready for" the world they create by their own criminal choices. I am (or perhaps I am not) an individual within the "we" in the question above, and I can say with confidence that I have learned more than a decade ago that it was possible to fake any photo or "movie" file once digital rendering of images was possible. Anything can be faked deeply with manipulation of digital media, for entertainment, or for the willful enslavement of mankind (we).

"Do facts matter..."

Facts aid people, help people, when people want help.

Falsehoods aid people, help people, when they want to hurt people.

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