Halloween will be here soon, and I'm excited for the 24 hour horror movie marathon I'm having for it. Before I start that though, I want to post something up. It's nothing important, just two random things I saw today which I wanted to highlight.
The first thing is climate skeptic Maurizio Morabito (who goes by the handle omnologos) posted this on Twitter:
If classified material reached unsavvy Weiner it got almost certainly read by Russia & beyond. Hillary's email scandal is treason material
— Maurizio Morabito (@omnologos) October 30, 2016
There has been talk lately about whether or not Donald Trump would/should put Hillary Clinton in jail if he became president. Maybe we should skip past jail and go straight to hanging. I think that's a standard penalty for treason.
The second thing is a bit more involved than advocating for the imprisonment and possible execution of a presidential candidate:
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) October 30, 2016
I've been a critic of "fact-checking" in the past because what modern "fact-checkers" do so often isn't really checking facts. I wanted to highlight this article because it's such a perfect example. Notice how this tweet says "Trump’s bizarre claim that the Clinton email controversy is ‘bigger than Watergate'"? Compare that to what Trump said:
“This is bigger than Watergate. This is bigger than Watergate. In my opinion. This is bigger than Watergate.”
Take note of the phrase, "In my opinion." Opinions are not facts. The only way this quote could be false is if Donald Trump's opinion isn't really, "This is bigger than Watergate." Maybe it's not. I don't know. I'm not a mind-reader. There's no fact I can check to verify whether or not Trump believes what he said here.
On the other hand, there is a simple fact I can check to examine if what the "fact-checker" writes in the first sentence of this article:
Trump has claimed that the Hillary Clinton email controversy is the biggest political scandal “since” Watergate, but now he flatly says it is “bigger” than Watergate. His campaign is now using this line:
Did Trump "flatly" claim events around Hillary Clinton's e-mail issues are bigger than Watergate? It might help if we checked the dictionary to see what the word "flatly" means. Here are three definitions I found:
1. showing little interest or emotion:
2. in a firm and unequivocal manner; absolutely:
3. in a smooth and even way:
Trump clearly has and displays a significant amount of interest in this issue so he could not have "flatly" claimed this under the first definition. His speaking was stilted rather than smooth or even so he could not have "flatly" claimed this under the third definition. The only definition on this list that's left is the one which should have been obvious:
in a firm and unequivocal manner
Fact: Donald Trump added the caveat, "In my opinion." That opens the possibility of there being some doubt about this matter. That means his statement was not unequivocal.
Conclusion: The "fact-checker" gets things wrong in the first sentence she writes. She does so because she simply ignores part of Trump's quotation which directly contradicts her conclusion in order to claim Trump "flatly" stated something as true when in reality he said it was his opinion.
That this "fact checker" isn't actually checking facts with this article is further demonstrated by the conclusion of the article:
Trump says the Clinton email scandal is “bigger than Watergate,” given Comey’s letter to Congress about new emails that might be relevant to the Clinton email scandal. But there is not enough information available right now to know whether these emails will make a difference in the case. Comey’s letter said the FBI “cannot yet assess whether the material may or may not be significant.”
So far, there have been no criminal charges, and therefore no convictions or guilty pleas in the Clinton email scandal. That makes the Clinton emails fundamentally different from Watergate, where 48 people were found guilty. Trump earns Four more Pinocchios for this absurd comparison.
There is no discussion of what would qualify one scandal as being "bigger" than another. I suspect that's because reasonable people can hold different beliefs as to what makes one scandal "bigger" than another. It's simply not a matter of fact; it's a matter of opinion.
I would like to write a scathing criticism of how simply holding a different opinion than this "fact checker" (and presumably several of her editors) is enough to be told your facts are wrong. I don't have the interest though. I still have to pick out a few more movies for my horror movie marathon tomorrow. You got off lucky Miss "Fact Checker."
Now for the issue which really matters: Movie selection. Do I watch any of the Candyman or Omen sequels tomorrow? I'm definitely watching the first of each, but I'm not sure about the sequels. I don't remember the sequels so I don't know how bad they are.
For what it's worth, the confirmed movies for the list so far are Candyman, Pumpkinhead, The Omen, The Midnight Meat Train, Hocus Pocus and Stephen King's Rose Red. I'm still making the final decision on the rest.