February 17, 2011

Quote of the Day

Jonathan Chait, on a study about "agnotology," vis a vis the birtherism issue:

Quiggin's argument hinges on the fact that conservatives understand that some people do not believe President Obama was born outside the United States (or is a Muslim, or...) But what those conservatives believe is that they enjoy access to truth that is denied Americans who are brainwashed by the mainstream media. The believe that Fox News is not just a network that counteracts the biased liberal media, or even a network that reports the stories that the liberal media ignore, but the vehicle for Truth:

You can find beliefs like this on the Howard Zinn/Noam Chomsky left, but not in the mainstream liberal left. You don't see Rachel Maddow claiming that the mainstream media is full of lies, and that she can deliver her viewers the Truth that is being systematically covered up elsewhere. There's no Maddow University.  This kind of belief system, a claim to totalistic Truth that is denied outsiders, is common among cults and other subcultures. The new development is that it has become a significant, and possibly the majority, belief among a major political party.

Posted by Stephen Silver at February 17, 2011 12:53 PM
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