A New Feature: “Today In BS”

nobsThis year at Colorado Pols, we've faced a real challenge keeping track of the drastically higher volume of unsourced, un-factchecked, and uncritically reported nonsense filling the space between rational debate over the issues affecting Colorado politics during the current legislative session. Particularly with regard to the gun safety debate, but with examples ranging the gamut of legislative agenda items and political issues this year, It has been tougher than ever to even note for the record so many absurdly false statements and claims, let alone give them the critical attention they deserve.

What we're trying to say is, there is more BS clouding Colorado politics today then perhaps ever before.

Meanwhile, as we've discussed repeatedly, the local press seems intent on minutely fact-checking one side of the debate, while allowing irredeemable cockamamie nonsense from the other side to go either unreported or worse, reported without any kind of fact-checking. There are lots of theories for why this is happening, but it may be as simple as a desire to keep the fight "fair"–and as a result, newsworthy to journalists driven to enforce a dogmatic "equivalency" between the two sides. For our part, we have been careful to report gaffes from both Republicans and Democrats this year, and that has emerged as a difference between our coverage and that of most local media. We'll have much more to say about the omissions and systematic misreporting from local media this legislative session in the coming days.

In the meantime, we're starting a new irregular feature called "Today In BS." In an effort to more quickly and comprehensively note for the record brazenly false statements made in Colorado politics, we hope to frequently and briefly post such items with their debunking–and move on. That way, when a local mainstream journalist reprints the name nonsensical allegation a few days/weeks later with no context, you'll already know the truth. 

Today's example is a quote being widely attributed by conservatives to Senate President John Morse.

Colorado-President-Morse

That's not even remotely what Senator Morse said. Morse was quoting Robert F. Kennedy.

Robert F. Kennedy, after MLK’s assassination, said: “Violence breeds violence, repression breeds retaliation and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our souls.“

Cleansing a sickness from our souls does not come easily.  It is gruesome.  During the last three months we have experienced hatred and vitriol that I have only seen on the street as a police officer.  This has included wishing rape, torture and death on legislators and their families.  It reached its height on Monday and Tuesday as our Senators did their jobs in committee. Sickness…

There's no justification for the "evolution" of this statement from the original verbatim quote of Robert F. Kennedy to the ludicrous version in the graphic above, where Morse is allegedly claiming (see quotes) that "people who own guns are essentially a sickness on our soul."

But that bogus quote now has approximately 16,000 Google search responses.

That's this edition of "Today In BS," folks. We shouldn't have to tell you that there will be many more.

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Sir RobinSir Robin says:

    Good on, you Pols. BS always needs to be called out, and not tolerated.

  2. BlueCat says:

    And AMMOLAND is clearly full of it.

  3. Algernon MoncriefAlgernon Moncrief says:

    "Uncritically reported nonsense filling the space between rational debate over the issues affecting Colorado politics?"

    Sadly, the Denver Post is guilty.  All is not well over there.

    As evidence I offer the Denver Post's coverage of the Colorado Court of Appeals ruling in the case Justus v. State last October.  This is the lawsuit filed by Colorado PERA retirees against the State of Colorado for breach of their public pension contracts.  The ruling, overturning the District Court was clearly a win for the plaintiffs in the case, the retirees.  Yet, the Denver Post reported the opposite.  They were fed propaganda by Colorado PERA.  They swallowed it whole "uncritically reporting nonsense."

    A few excerpts from the Ethics Code of the Society of Professional Journalists:

    "Journalists should:

    Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.

    Make certain that headlines . . . do not misrepresent.

    Give voice to the voiceless."

    http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

    Here we have the Denver Post proclaiming last October's Court of Appeals decision a “win” for the defendants in the case Justus v. State:

    http://www.denverpost.com/newsheadlines/ci_21754161/pera-wins-ruling-cuts-pension-raises

    The Denver Post has never corrected this error, offered a retraction or a clarification.

    Fact #1: Colorado PERA was quite content with the initial Denver District Court determination in the case, Justus v. State, that PERA COLA benefits were NOT contractual.

    Fact #2: The Court of Appeals, last October, declared that PERA COLA benefits ARE a contractual obligation of PERA and PERA-affiliated employers.

    How did the Denver Post's Tim Hoover possibly construe this outcome as a “win” for Colorado PERA?

    There are many politicians, lobbyists, lawyers, and journalists in Colorado who want to see the State of Colorado break its contracts with public workers.  In a nutshell, they want to keep their taxes low by taking money from old people.

  4. dwyer says:

    Way to go, ColoPols.  But it should be a daily feature. If it is a slow news day on the MSM, then just check in to talk radio.

  5. roccoprahn says:

    Thank you Coloradopols.

    For every obvious reason.

  6. Albert J. Nock says:

    Gun nuts are often rabid morons who sometimes say and do some of the stupidest things, but why is anybody afraid of government and or criminals and why is the second amendment even up for debate?

     

    • roccoprahn says:

      It's not, you simpleton.

      The bastardization of the 2nd Amendment by the goonies is so far out of the context of what the Amendment was and is about that the lines aren't even blurred any more. They're GONE!

      Having said that, for you to type "why is the 2nd Amendment even up for debate?" exposes you……again…….as completely ignorant of ANY legislation passed, proposed or even considered.

      It's not "up for debate". The 5 tepid Bills in Colorado ask, for the first time in history, gun owners to act responsibly. Like adults. With a sense of community. And not be mooches. Nothing more.

      The Assault Weapons Ban was dropped, to my disappointment, because it was looked at as a lightning rod. It shouldn't have been. Even that legislation was mild, not threatening, and well within the parameters of respecting the 2nd Amendment.

      But you morons don't care about facts.

      Just once, could you be informed before you post?

    • BlueCat says:

      First, the government is us.  Our military, the people's military that serves at the command of the people's elected government, would squash armed civilian  traitors attempting to overthrow our legitimate representative government like so many annoying bugs. If that's why you think we need guns, you're delusional on several different levels. It ain't the 18th century anymore. It wouldn't be just muskets and early rifles against the same or any kind of guns against just guns but guns against the full arsenal of the American military.

      As for protection against criminals, we have the right to keep guns and no  proposed legislation includes taking that right away. Most crimes are commited with the same kinds of guns everybody has access to so it's not's if citizens are budened with a fire power disadvantage in case anyone want's to, say, break into the house.  The intruder is generally not armed with anything more powerful than what a gun owning home owner has.  Often it's just the opposite. So we're good vis a vis self defense both with present and proposed laws.

      And when then NRA asks… don't the people of Boston now wish they had guns, the truth is that those who wanted them then could have had them, those who want them now can have them and everybody who stayed in their homes during the lock down could have had them had they chosen to be gun owners, so that point is pointless.  I'm sure a chunk of those "cowering" in their homes did have guns.

      There isn't any legislation to take away people's guns.  The NRA is entitled to voice concerns about what they fear might happen in the future, the slippery slope, registration with the aim of confiscation, whatever, but they aren't entitled  to treat those concerns as facts.  To voice them as facts is to lie.

      As usual, it's the right with the illogical, emotion rather than fact based arguments. It's the same preference for hysterical conspiracy theory based fear mongering as tool of choice that we've seen from Willie Horton, through the Swiftboaters, the Birthers and now in this naked attempt to thwart the will of the 90% who want universal background checks, something the NRA itself supported 15 minutes ago in political time.

      Not incidentally, the firearms industry increasingly relies on a domestic market in which a shrinking group is buying more guns per capita to make up for the fact the a growing group doesn't buy guns at all.  Fewer, for instance, hunt. Even as gun sales increase the number of households without guns is increasing.  Therefore paranoid survivalists and anti-government militia types are increasingly important to the industries bottom line.  That's why the NRA  won't listen to so many of  its own traditional  members.  The NRA is simply the lobbying arm that represents the industry and the fringe that accounts for continuing profits for that industry going forward. It is not an association serving average gun owners.

       

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