Dinesh D'Souza /2000 Mules/: Pre-bunk potential?

FatPhil

Senior Member.
In my view, there is a political tendency here on the site to be stacked one way right from the very start on certain subjects, even in this case seeking to nit-pick and "pre-debunk" something that doesn't even seem to have been seen yet

I will boldly claim that the trailer was out, and the trailer had been seen.
My evidence to support that claim is that we posted screenshots from it.
<fx: tada.wav>

So, part of your claim has been debunked very simply. I can't imagine why you thought no-one would recognise its clear falsity.

However, from there we get into classic zugzwang territory, we need to know whether you believe that the trailer corresponds to what's in the full length movie or not:
- If you believe if does, then you've just contradicted yourself, because we have clearly seen parts of the documentary already, and therefore can begin to debunk the parts which are presented as evidence of his claims.
- If you believe it does not, then you are accusing D'Souza of using the trailer to misrepresent what's in the movie. Which pulls the rug out from under your attempt to stand up for him and his honesty.

So, which move did you make?

(Rest of post ignored, as it seemed like an mostly directionless wall of text not intending to move any individual argument forwards.)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Which pulls the rug out from under your attempt to stand up for him and his honesty.

um...
It appears to be a propaganda video. It appears to be a propaganda designed to entertain and to try and shock or highlight seemingly dubious activities. It appears to be sensational by intent and by nature.

i dont see any attempt to stand up for him and his honesty.

I thought this thread was odd too and i think D'Souza is right up there with Luis Elizondo or Alex Jones as far as being a bs artist. Concerned Brit's observation doesn't really warrant this level of defensiveness.

(ps Dave Rubin..who has fallen in the rabbit hole lately..said there was a "showing" at MaraLago (trump's place) with all the heavy weight right activists there. Including him. )
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
a highly biased site based on the first few paragraphs, but if i believe D'Sousa actually said this (which i kinda do) then there is no actual evidence in the film to debunk
Article:
When Brauchler pressed him on this point, D’Souza said not all the drop boxes were under surveillance. “The reason for it is this: You wouldn’t normally find them, right?” he said. “Because let’s face it, for example, your geo tracking shows a guy going from one drop box to another to another. That guy should be on the surveillance video of all of those drop boxes, but here’s the problem: Many of these states did not put in surveillance video at all the drop boxes there. They’re supposed to. They said they would. The election rules say they should, but they all pleaded, ‘Well, we didn’t get around to it.’ So what happens is we have a lot of video, but it’s not video everywhere. And so the kind of case that you’re looking for, which we could settle if we had all the video, but we have letters … We have letters from the State of Georgia, ‘Sorry, we don’t have that video. Sorry, we don’t have that video.’ So it’s the negligence of the states that is to blame for the inability to be able to track a single mule on video going to multiple drop boxes.”
 

Woolery

Active Member
Electing presidents with a minority of the vote is typical of elections in the US.
In the name of clarifying the use of “typical” here, it’s worth mentioning that 5 out of the 46 presidencies were won with a minority of the popular vote (1824,1876,1888, 2000, 2016).

Every country with a proportional voting system (which is immune to both issues) looks at the US and thinks it's a mess…
I think a few of these countries weren’t even democracies during the first of the United State’s electoral college victories, but I could be wrong. Old democracies, like anything old, require a lot of maintenance. Proportional voting is simple and appealing and probably the method I and most others would choose if starting from scratch, but it is nonetheless susceptible to the tyranny of the majority. This brand of tyranny has always been of concern to Americans.

Gerrymandering is typical of elections in the US.
Gerrymandering is typical of districting in the US (though proportional representation isn’t immune to it). It’s a pernicious and serious problem that has proven particularly difficult to eradicate. Legislators lack any motivation (whichever party controls redistricting wants their turn at stacking the deck) and the Supreme Court recently ruled the whole mess was none of their business. Hopefully, we’ll eventually straighten this out. The people are aware of it and doing what they can. Changing entrenched policy can unfortunately take patience.

I confess I’m an American and wildly imperfect. If you don’t mind me asking Mendel, since you spend a lot of effort here disparaging the United States and it’s people, where are you from? Maybe I could learn something from your country’s example.

Edit: Perhaps it’s worth noting that gerrymandering in the US doesn’t affect presidential elections. It affects congressional elections.
 
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ConcernedBriton

New Member
Apologies for not knowing how to selectively quote a lot of different people, but I will try and express where I am coming from and reply to things mentioned so far:

"it's not political, it's common sense"

I am just coming into this out of general interest and with not much in the specifics either way. I had one of those "here's what you missed" emails in my inbox and it was just a subject I thought I'd look into over here. I do follow some things in the media, but I am not an expert on the American systems or an avid follower of such events there.

From that initial vantage point, the statement about it being "common sense" again seems to be bit of a liberal bias-by-default. That's just how it looks, or rather, how it may appear to those looking in who do not share the consensus here.

It sounds like because the claims do not agree with a particular world view and because the person making those claims is not liked or has a history of controversy, the issues raised in the documentary must therefore be invalid and fake (in a black-and-white 'debunkable' way).

I'm not American. I don't know who D'Souza is or his reputation other than a brief skim on Wikipedia just now. He seems to have unorthodox views about slavery (as a whole and how it is used today as a political weapon), on colonialism (and how it was not necessarily always a bad thing), and that kind of thing which is bound to rile people up.

Not surprisingly, most of his harshest reviews and critics appear to be from the political left, and some of those cannot help themselves talk cross-purposes or making anecdotal cases to rebuff some of the points he seems to have been making about certain subjects.

So, just stumbling into this topic as an outsider, I think dismissing and "pre-debunking" the documentary from the outset because the man doesn't agree with "accepted" politics or viewpoints is not coming from a position of neutrality, which one ought to expect from a place that's supposed to be interested in trying to balance out what the truth may be.

It already seems to be a war to find any crevice or crack to undermine the contents or just dismiss the grey areas that may be raised in it, even nit-picking on camera shot angles or whether a mobile position could be triangulated within feet of accuracy.

If they are claiming in the documentary that the same shots are more than one location, or it works out to be impossible that one of the mobile devices could have travelled particular distances in the time duration presented, etc, it is right to be exposed as lies and fake.

However, I'm not sure what the arguments above are supposed to be oriented around yet. They didn't make sense to me, other than a rush to find *something* to be cynical about and get comfort in some kind of confirmation bias to protect a pre-existing world view.

"If the evidence was any good, it would have made it to court".

That is your opinion, no doubt based on the idea that the system works, is neutral, independent and willing to do what'd be necessary.

Others could and would take a different opinion to that. It would then become a matter of viewpoint on both sides, not necessarily a reflection of the theoretical due process (that'd tend to be raised as a "debunk").

These differences on vantagepoints and expectations are reflections of the times we are living in, and I'd say it is getting worse.

I do not know the chronological order of what has been previously put forward to courts. It has no doubt taken some time for the documentary makers to investigate this, collect the claimed data, etc, which others in officialdom have seemingly had little interest in investigating. (There won't be 'official evidence' if nobody is really all that interested in looking for it, after all).

I believe there were some claims put forward to courts to challenge the results in some states after the election, but if this kind of claimed activity and evidence was not there and not yet compiled, it could not possibly have been deliberated on or duly further investigated by appropriate means to make a decision on in court when it may have mattered. Things have moved on since. The window of opportunity to contest the results has surely been and gone by now.

I want to be clear that I am NOT claiming D'Souza is right, that the documentary will not have flaws or exaggerations or insinuations of the sort that could never be proved either way (and which instead just provide a continued partisan bias for the people most likely to watch it).

I've already said it is bound to be propaganda and sensationalist. I am perhaps just more willing than others here to be open to the idea that they may have good cause for their claims of wrongdoing in the election process - or, more likely, that grey-areas were cynically constructed, orchestrated, implemented and exploited to get a certain result.

If it is all fabrications, blatant lies, falsified data, then so be it. I'd not lose any sleep over it. I'm not here to prove it is true or to argue for its validity. I am just pointing out the ideological biases that tend to occur on sites like these, which forms a closed-thinking in of itself, as I will try and highlight in a moment.

"It would appear that your sources of information are inadequate, and thus your own bias is in evidence."

I did not deny I have biases of my own. That was partly my point, that there are biases and people need to remember them, particularly in regards to how they process 'facts' and 'evidence'.

For example, the "fact checking" Snopes quote provided tells us all about the legalities of felon voting rights - and there is a quip made about it being the "right thing to do for democracy", taken from the newspaper article.

Yet, this misses the point being made by the detractors by a country mile. It is not those things that mattered.

What mattered is that there was a swing state seat, where a billionaire gave $16 Million to what is reported to have been exclusively Black and Hispanic felons in order to get them elegible to vote, because Democrats knew that they'd be 95% and 2/3rds more likely to vote for Biden, by a margin and in such numbers that could swing the seat. They had calculated it out.

It was an orchestrated and contrived effort to use racial and ethnic aspects to tip an election result.

If it was about "felon voting rights", they should have done it across the board - but they didn't. They applied it selectively and PRECISELY to get an outcome favourable to one party.

Anybody who doesn't see a problem there and who isn't disgusted by such antics have a serious political bias going on.

As for Hunter Biden, that story appears to have been cooked up by Russian operatives and Trump loyalists, and it is highly improbable that a wealthy man in California would go across country to abandon laptops with incriminating evidence in a small mom-and-pop repair shop on the east coast. Subsequent investigations (NOT the rather dubious mechanisms of "social media platforms") have shown no wrongdoing by Hunter Biden ... who is, of course, not the one who was running for office in the first place.

The Hunter Biden story has since been reported to be true by the New York Times and others. There's even some claimed evidence that some reporters knew it to be true whilst they were proclaiming it to be fake-news. I'm not going to state for sure that this is the case because I don't know enough about it, but I know there is talk in some media outlets about it.

As such, you seem to be out of date on that one and have fallen for the "fake-news" and "conspiracy theories" of the MSM establishment. Both sides have them, they are not exclusive to the "right", although debunking sites and "fact-checking" organisations would tend to make people think otherwise.

"Subsequent investigations have shown no wrongdoing by Hunter Biden"

That may well depend on who is doing the investigations and who is deciding on what constitutes wrongdoing, wouldn't it?...

Furthermore, given the sheer volume of information, the various dodgy dealings, the debauchery, some blatant illegalities (when it comes to behaviour and drugs, for which the police turned a blind eye), I don't think it could possibly be stated so early that "no wrong doings" have been done and that the Biden family are vindicated.

Hunter may not have been personally running for president, but Joe Biden is involved in the issues raised in the laptop revelations. For Joe Biden to have claimed that he has no idea about $5m deals with companies in China etc is laughable.

I don't know if any wrong-doing will be proven by letter of the law, but you repeatedly go to China with your son, introduce him to such people, he brings in $5 million and nobody in the rest of the Biden family know what's going on? Give me a break. It's these kinds of things that really drive a wedge between left and right.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...ear-DailyMail-com-confirmed-authenticity.html

https://nypost.com/2022/04/01/new-y...laptop-is-real-but-only-to-protect-joe-biden/

Some of the issues being raised are damning - and they would have been damning and damaging in the presidential election, if the newspapers and media companies had done their job as journalists instead of being activists.

It is said that it could have been so problematic that Trump would have been re-elected. Why does this matter to the thread? Because it makes it easy to believe D'Souza, as the establishment and "left" were so desperate to do anything and all possible to get their result.

Given that 50 former intelligence officers came out fighting for it being "Russian disinformation", without any evidence whatsoever (the very people and organisations whos job it was to discern this kind of thing), it is a damning example of how, to many people, there is a "deep state" and media collusion. (The latter being evidential given that umpteen news sources were handed the raw data and a majority of them did not even bother to investigate any of it as it was too inconvenient to their political biases and their push to oust Trump).

It is true that the former intelligence officers included a caveat about them not really knowing of its validity or not - but the designed and orchestrated spectacle of them even doing this was entirely aimed at dismising the story and would have provided a shield for the MSM to hide behind whilst not reporting or investigating it.

Again, anybody who isn't disgusted by this blatant theatre and disregard for the truth by the establishment and the media (and anybody who is not disgusted by social-media platforms banning the subjects from being discussed, etc), is more than a little biased towards the liberal-left.

If people wonder why folks like D'Souza can gain such followings, they may need to look with some fresh eyes at what liberals and the establishment are actually doing and why trust is evaporating in all forms of officialdom and media and why polarisation is getting ever more extreme.

"You really have dozens, hundreds of instances of CNN lying as brazenly as D'Souza?!?"

There is lying, then there are narratives that are based on purposeful distortions. That is my point.

I have no experience of D'Souza, I couldn't possibly make a contrast or assess how brazen he may be - but you do get propaganda and narratives from CNN which they know to be false or distorted, like the repeated claim that Trump called (all) "Mexican's rapists", or that he was "putting children in cages", or that he called white nationalists "very fine people", or that the BLM rallies were "peaceful protests" (whilst people were stomped on the head, battered with skateboards, stores looted and buildings burnt to the ground).

I am willing to see my biases and the troublesome narratives that come from the right, but are others here willing to admit their own and own up to what gets done from their own side of the fence?...
"Maybe you got the station wrong?"

Yes, perhaps I did. I will own up to my mistake. I got it wrong from a poor memory and some vague recollection of it being news. As I say, I don't live and breath this stuff, I just see this and that.

The point was more that the media cannot always be trusted and that all sides can and do manipulate the news to suit an agenda, not just D'Souza.

Even the famously "impartial" BBC (which I think is a complete joke) was once caught out editing a video clip of some workers at a factory that had been employing immigrants.

They interviewed a man about what was going on in the factory then cut-and-shut his commentary to make him say "We can't work with those Eye-Ties {the local slang for Italians) in there" and make him look like a racist and that the protests were racist against immigrants. They ran this clip all day long on news bulletins.

In reality, in the full interview, only aired late at night on a niche program, he said that the areas inside the factory had been divided off and that they couldn't work with the immigrants in there.

The BBC had to apoligise for it after a backlash and vaguely blamed "editing" - but you'd have to be Mr Magoo to not see the game they were playing. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/feb/06/bbc-misleading-edit-wildcat-strike

I am just saying CNN is NO different to anyone else, Fox, etc. They all play these kinds of games every day to paint a narrative.

""let criminals out of prison early" is a false claim".

Again, I concede I was wrong. I had heard this so many times in discussions, I just posted the first article I searched for and inadvertently assumed it went with the story.

However, as I said above, it is typical of a "debunking site" to cite the letter of law on felon voting rights, or highlight a "non-partisan group" aiming to deal with "all former felons" as though this somehow debunks the issue being raised. It doesn't. These are the 'grey areas' that will likely never get agreed upon.

The issue is that a calculated and explicitly defined effort was made to apply it to only Black and Hispanic felons in this case, because 95% and 2/3rds of those felons would statistically vote for the Democrats. It was funded by a billionaire mayor in support of Biden, and the funds were issued to those particular types of felons in such numbers that would or could be enough to swing the state seat in time for the election.

You'd have to be blind to not see that for what it is, or to claim it is some "defence of democracy". It is the opposite of defending democracy when used this way.

Voting rights is one thing and can be argued for or against. What they pulled here was another matter entirely!

And these are the kinds of antics that can sway so many people to documentaries like this one from D'Souza!

I think people need to wake up and see what's going on and why everything is going to hell.

Like it or not, people are being led to conspiracy extremes because of an unwillingness of liberal-left minded people to take a plank out ones own eye before debunking the splinter in somebody else's.
 
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ConcernedBriton

New Member
I will boldly claim that the trailer was out, and the trailer had been seen.
My evidence to support that claim is that we posted screenshots from it.
<fx: tada.wav>
So, part of your claim has been debunked very simply. I can't imagine why you thought no-one would recognise its clear falsity.

You did not state that you'd seen the documentary or even that that you'd seen the trailer for it. You posted up some images that were said to be taken from the trailer - but those could have been taken off another site for all I know, without you watching it.

Furthermore, having not seen the trailer yet myself, is it really feasible to "pre-debunk" something off a trailer when a more rounded context may be provided to clips or narratives in the full-length documentary? Wouldn't it be better to wait and see rather than go off on one about what is most likely to be an even more sensationalist bit of click-bait seeing as they want to market the thing?

"My claim", has not been "debunked" in the slightest. You were not clear. You seem to have jumped in head first to "pre-bunk" - and I just called up how it shows a tendency of bias (as an outsider looking in).

However, from there we get into classic zugzwang territory, we need to know whether you believe that the trailer corresponds to what's in the full length movie or not:

- If you believe if does, then you've just contradicted yourself, because we have clearly seen parts of the documentary already, and therefore can begin to debunk the parts which are presented as evidence of his claims.

- If you believe it does not, then you are accusing D'Souza of using the trailer to misrepresent what's in the movie.

Which pulls the rug out from under your attempt to stand up for him and his honesty.

So, which move did you make?

As I have stated, I am not standing up for him as some arbiter of truth and honesty. I can both, simultaneously, state that I think the documentary COULD have some valid points of dubious practices and activities AND state that D'Souza COULD use the trailer to misrepresent the more nuanced information that might be in the full documentary!

He sounds to be a master of self-promotion, attention grabbing and seeking to make money from books, documentaries and a certain leaning within the republican movement. It would be MORE amazing if he DIDN'T sensationalise in the trailer, as that what it is there for!

(Rest of post ignored, as it seemed like an mostly directionless wall of text not intending to move any individual argument forwards.)

Well, "bully for you". It just smacks of the kinds of pompous and off-putting attitudes I alluded to. Thanks for helping to make my case.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
the debauchery, some blatant illegalities (when it comes to behaviour and drugs, for which the police turned a blind eye),
i dont think you should keep mentioning his debauchery and drug use. that has no bearing on political issues, lots of politicians kids use drugs or are into kinky sex stuff... but they aren't political matters.
 

ConcernedBriton

New Member
i'm amused y'all are trying so hard to prove Concerned Brit's main point. (a point i've been trying to get across for 2 and half years. @ConcernedBriton fyi, they don't care if MB is seen as biased and MB turns off right wingers. )

It would appear that way. Thanks for the understanding and support of the point I was trying to make.

I do appreciate this site, I truly appreciate the help I received off people here and Mick West going out of his way to give information on some EMF related issues I was dealing with at the time.

I even bought his book and was relieved to find that there is help out there for people who have relatives and loved ones who are deep in the 'rabbit hole'.

I don't want anyone here to think I am in some kind of fight or opposition - I am not. I've had a hard couple of years dealing with these things (and they are far from over yet). I have had my eyes opened to a world I never knew existed and which, at times, is truly frightening, partcularly when it comes to health and quackery.

But one thing I have found on my many travels into the "debunking world" is the tendency to lean a certain way politically and, also, (not here) to undermine and mock believers in conspiracy theories. Many people, including some who have managed to leave certain cults like flat earth, have seemingly wanted to become comedians and turn it into a joke by wearing tin-foil hats and wearing provocative t-shirts and so on in their videos.

Professor Dave Explains is a champion at education, I support his efforts and value his input - but the attitudes, the left-wingery rhetoric, the left-wing style insults etc just tend turn off all those who may need to view those things the most. You cannot send people those kinds of things.

I am not going to backtrack from my belief that there are biases in the 'debunking' world (even down to what topics may get covered and deemed necessary to debunk!) and that it risks turning off the people who may need it the most.
 

ConcernedBriton

New Member
i dont think you should keep mentioning his debauchery and drug use. that has no bearing on political issues, lots of politicians kids use drugs or are into kinky sex stuff... but they aren't political matters.

Perhaps it is different in the United States, but over here, such things are deemed as political matters. They would cause, in many cases, such a scandal that It'd be enough to get people to stand down, resign, etc, particularly if what was happening was tied to them, or if they had been hypocritical or biased on some of the morality-based issues being raised.

When it has been reported (I only saw it today when finding those newspaper links) that the police did not arrest or prosecute him for some quite clear illegalities that are tied to his "lifestyle" activities, I think it does become political, particularly if he was being protected because of who he is and what damage it could do if he was arrested and charged and making all the newspapers.

Anyway, I do get your point and I have had more than my say! I have expressed my position as best I can and tried to be completely honest about myself and my vantage points. I don't really need to explain myself further unless people start forcing me to try and defend myself.

I will try and find the D'Souza video(s) and see what I think of those, to keep things "moving forward" on the topic at hand.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
When it has been reported (I only saw it today when finding those newspaper links) that the police did not arrest or prosecute him for some quite clear illegalities that are tied to his "lifestyle" activities, I think it does become political, particularly if he was being protected because of who he is and what damage it could do if he was arrested and charged and making all the newspapers.
fair point. Biden did start that thing (or vote for i forget) that led to all the black kids getting thrown in jail. But that was decades ago. hmm...

Article:
Consider one moment in Biden’s career: In 1989, at the height of punitive anti-drug and mass incarceration politics, Biden, then a senator, went on national television to criticize a plan from President George H.W. Bush to escalate the war on drugs. The plan, Biden said, didn’t go far enough.

“Quite frankly, the president’s plan is not tough enough, bold enough, or imaginative enough to meet the crisis at hand,” he said. He called not just for harsher punishments for drug dealers but to “hold every drug user accountable.”


yea, you might have a point.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
We seem to be wandering a bit from the topic of debunking claims in the "2000 Mules" "documentary." The question of political ideology and debunking culture (or, for that matter, bunking culture) is interesting and likely deserves a thread, though my experience in such discussion on other interests/topics is that the conversation devolves into snark and slanging very quickly. But maybe MB could pull it off. FWIW, my own political background was in working in and consulting with campaigns for GOP candidates "back in the day" here in NC (home state to Buncombe County, from which "bunkum" and "bunk"), so there are at least some of us who come at this thing with a different view of government and politics, to the extent which that plays a part in how we think about debunking. But for me, political ideology seems largely irrelevant to what I try to do here, from my limited skill-set -- bunk from the left is no more or less bunk than is bunk from the right.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Apologies for not knowing how to selectively quote a lot of different people, but I will try and express where I am coming from and reply to things mentioned so far:



I am just coming into this out of general interest and with not much in the specifics either way. I had one of those "here's what you missed" emails in my inbox and it was just a subject I thought I'd look into over here. I do follow some things in the media, but I am not an expert on the American systems or an avid follower of such events there.

From that initial vantage point, the statement about it being "common sense" again seems to be bit of a liberal bias-by-default. That's just how it looks, or rather, how it may appear to those looking in who do not share the consensus here.

It sounds like because the claims do not agree with a particular world view and because the person making those claims is not liked or has a history of controversy, the issues raised in the documentary must therefore be invalid and fake (in a black-and-white 'debunkable' way).

I'm not American. I don't know who D'Souza is or his reputation other than a brief skim on Wikipedia just now. He seems to have unorthodox views about slavery (as a whole and how it is used today as a political weapon), on colonialism (and how it was not necessarily always a bad thing), and that kind of thing which is bound to rile people up.

Not surprisingly, most of his harshest reviews and critics appear to be from the political left, and some of those cannot help themselves talk cross-purposes or making anecdotal cases to rebuff some of the points he seems to have been making about certain subjects.

So, just stumbling into this topic as an outsider, I think dismissing and "pre-debunking" the documentary from the outset because the man doesn't agree with "accepted" politics or viewpoints is not coming from a position of neutrality, which one ought to expect from a place that's supposed to be interested in trying to balance out what the truth may be.

It already seems to be a war to find any crevice or crack to undermine the contents or just dismiss the grey areas that may be raised in it, even nit-picking on camera shot angles or whether a mobile position could be triangulated within feet of accuracy.

If they are claiming in the documentary that the same shots are more than one location, or it works out to be impossible that one of the mobile devices could have travelled particular distances in the time duration presented, etc, it is right to be exposed as lies and fake.

However, I'm not sure what the arguments above are supposed to be oriented around yet. They didn't make sense to me, other than a rush to find *something* to be cynical about and get comfort in some kind of confirmation bias to protect a pre-existing world view.



That is your opinion, no doubt based on the idea that the system works, is neutral, independent and willing to do what'd be necessary.

Others could and would take a different opinion to that. It would then become a matter of viewpoint on both sides, not necessarily a reflection of the theoretical due process (that'd tend to be raised as a "debunk").

These differences on vantagepoints and expectations are reflections of the times we are living in, and I'd say it is getting worse.

I do not know the chronological order of what has been previously put forward to courts. It has no doubt taken some time for the documentary makers to investigate this, collect the claimed data, etc, which others in officialdom have seemingly had little interest in investigating. (There won't be 'official evidence' if nobody is really all that interested in looking for it, after all).

I believe there were some claims put forward to courts to challenge the results in some states after the election, but if this kind of claimed activity and evidence was not there and not yet compiled, it could not possibly have been deliberated on or duly further investigated by appropriate means to make a decision on in court when it may have mattered. Things have moved on since. The window of opportunity to contest the results has surely been and gone by now.

I want to be clear that I am NOT claiming D'Souza is right, that the documentary will not have flaws or exaggerations or insinuations of the sort that could never be proved either way (and which instead just provide a continued partisan bias for the people most likely to watch it).

I've already said it is bound to be propaganda and sensationalist. I am perhaps just more willing than others here to be open to the idea that they may have good cause for their claims of wrongdoing in the election process - or, more likely, that grey-areas were cynically constructed, orchestrated, implemented and exploited to get a certain result.

If it is all fabrications, blatant lies, falsified data, then so be it. I'd not lose any sleep over it. I'm not here to prove it is true or to argue for its validity. I am just pointing out the ideological biases that tend to occur on sites like these, which forms a closed-thinking in of itself, as I will try and highlight in a moment.



I did not deny I have biases of my own. That was partly my point, that there are biases and people need to remember them, particularly in regards to how they process 'facts' and 'evidence'.

For example, the "fact checking" Snopes quote provided tells us all about the legalities of felon voting rights - and there is a quip made about it being the "right thing to do for democracy", taken from the newspaper article.

Yet, this misses the point being made by the detractors by a country mile. It is not those things that mattered.

What mattered is that there was a swing state seat, where a billionaire gave $16 Million to what is reported to have been exclusively Black and Hispanic felons in order to get them elegible to vote, because Democrats knew that they'd be 95% and 2/3rds more likely to vote for Biden, by a margin and in such numbers that could swing the seat. They had calculated it out.

It was an orchestrated and contrived effort to use racial and ethnic aspects to tip an election result.

If it was about "felon voting rights", they should have done it across the board - but they didn't. They applied it selectively and PRECISELY to get an outcome favourable to one party.

Anybody who doesn't see a problem there and who isn't disgusted by such antics have a serious political bias going on.



The Hunter Biden story has since been reported to be true by the New York Times and others. There's even some claimed evidence that some reporters knew it to be true whilst they were proclaiming it to be fake-news. I'm not going to state for sure that this is the case because I don't know enough about it, but I know there is talk in some media outlets about it.

As such, you seem to be out of date on that one and have fallen for the "fake-news" and "conspiracy theories" of the MSM establishment. Both sides have them, they are not exclusive to the "right", although debunking sites and "fact-checking" organisations would tend to make people think otherwise.



That may well depend on who is doing the investigations and who is deciding on what constitutes wrongdoing, wouldn't it?...

Furthermore, given the sheer volume of information, the various dodgy dealings, the debauchery, some blatant illegalities (when it comes to behaviour and drugs, for which the police turned a blind eye), I don't think it could possibly be stated so early that "no wrong doings" have been done and that the Biden family are vindicated.

Hunter may not have been personally running for president, but Joe Biden is involved in the issues raised in the laptop revelations. For Joe Biden to have claimed that he has no idea about $5m deals with companies in China etc is laughable.

I don't know if any wrong-doing will be proven by letter of the law, but you repeatedly go to China with your son, introduce him to such people, he brings in $5 million and nobody in the rest of the Biden family know what's going on? Give me a break. It's these kinds of things that really drive a wedge between left and right.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...ear-DailyMail-com-confirmed-authenticity.html

https://nypost.com/2022/04/01/new-y...laptop-is-real-but-only-to-protect-joe-biden/

Some of the issues being raised are damning - and they would have been damning and damaging in the presidential election, if the newspapers and media companies had done their job as journalists instead of being activists.

It is said that it could have been so problematic that Trump would have been re-elected. Why does this matter to the thread? Because it makes it easy to believe D'Souza, as the establishment and "left" were so desperate to do anything and all possible to get their result.

Given that 50 former intelligence officers came out fighting for it being "Russian disinformation", without any evidence whatsoever (the very people and organisations whos job it was to discern this kind of thing), it is a damning example of how, to many people, there is a "deep state" and media collusion. (The latter being evidential given that umpteen news sources were handed the raw data and a majority of them did not even bother to investigate any of it as it was too inconvenient to their political biases and their push to oust Trump).

It is true that the former intelligence officers included a caveat about them not really knowing of its validity or not - but the designed and orchestrated spectacle of them even doing this was entirely aimed at dismising the story and would have provided a shield for the MSM to hide behind whilst not reporting or investigating it.

Again, anybody who isn't disgusted by this blatant theatre and disregard for the truth by the establishment and the media (and anybody who is not disgusted by social-media platforms banning the subjects from being discussed, etc), is more than a little biased towards the liberal-left.

If people wonder why folks like D'Souza can gain such followings, they may need to look with some fresh eyes at what liberals and the establishment are actually doing and why trust is evaporating in all forms of officialdom and media and why polarisation is getting ever more extreme.



There is lying, then there are narratives that are based on purposeful distortions. That is my point.

I have no experience of D'Souza, I couldn't possibly make a contrast or assess how brazen he may be - but you do get propaganda and narratives from CNN which they know to be false or distorted, like the repeated claim that Trump called (all) "Mexican's rapists", or that he was "putting children in cages", or that he called white nationalists "very fine people", or that the BLM rallies were "peaceful protests" (whilst people were stomped on the head, battered with skateboards, stores looted and buildings burnt to the ground).

I am willing to see my biases and the troublesome narratives that come from the right, but are others here willing to admit their own and own up to what gets done from their own side of the fence?...


Yes, perhaps I did. I will own up to my mistake. I got it wrong from a poor memory and some vague recollection of it being news. As I say, I don't live and breath this stuff, I just see this and that.

The point was more that the media cannot always be trusted and that all sides can and do manipulate the news to suit an agenda, not just D'Souza.

Even the famously "impartial" BBC (which I think is a complete joke) was once caught out editing a video clip of some workers at a factory that had been employing immigrants.

They interviewed a man about what was going on in the factory then cut-and-shut his commentary to make him say "We can't work with those Eye-Ties {the local slang for Italians) in there" and make him look like a racist and that the protests were racist against immigrants. They ran this clip all day long on news bulletins.

In reality, in the full interview, only aired late at night on a niche program, he said that the areas inside the factory had been divided off and that they couldn't work with the immigrants in there.

The BBC had to apoligise for it after a backlash and vaguely blamed "editing" - but you'd have to be Mr Magoo to not see the game they were playing. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/feb/06/bbc-misleading-edit-wildcat-strike

I am just saying CNN is NO different to anyone else, Fox, etc. They all play these kinds of games every day to paint a narrative.



Again, I concede I was wrong. I had heard this so many times in discussions, I just posted the first article I searched for and inadvertently assumed it went with the story.

However, as I said above, it is typical of a "debunking site" to cite the letter of law on felon voting rights, or highlight a "non-partisan group" aiming to deal with "all former felons" as though this somehow debunks the issue being raised. It doesn't. These are the 'grey areas' that will likely never get agreed upon.

The issue is that a calculated and explicitly defined effort was made to apply it to only Black and Hispanic felons in this case, because 95% and 2/3rds of those felons would statistically vote for the Democrats. It was funded by a billionaire mayor in support of Biden, and the funds were issued to those particular types of felons in such numbers that would or could be enough to swing the state seat in time for the election.

You'd have to be blind to not see that for what it is, or to claim it is some "defence of democracy". It is the opposite of defending democracy when used this way.

Voting rights is one thing and can be argued for or against. What they pulled here was another matter entirely!

And these are the kinds of antics that can sway so many people to documentaries like this one from D'Souza!

I think people need to wake up and see what's going on and why everything is going to hell.

Like it or not, people are being led to conspiracy extremes because of an unwillingness of liberal-left minded people to take a plank out ones own eye before debunking the splinter in somebody else's.
Your posts are Gish Gallups.
Too many ill-informed or just devious angles to address.
You make an absurd false equivalence with D'Souza and CNN,
I respond with:
"You really have dozens, hundreds of instances of CNN lying as brazenly as D'Souza?!?"
And you offer none. Zero! :0
You won't explain what CNN would hypothetically have to gain by staging fake grocery store shots,
and then you explain your total lack of evidence with:
"There is lying, then there are narratives that are based on purposeful distortions. That is my point."
No. That's not a point. That's just empty word salad.
That ~60 court cases yielded zero real evidence, you just wave that off as though Giuliani, etc. are still
sitting on the real, secret. mystery evidence 18 months after the election. Geez.

The Hunter laptop is also over 18 months ago. The press took the bait and ran a million stories
on it, that hurt Joe Biden, right before the election, based on bs claims by Giuliani. There still isn't
any evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden, and after over a year and a half we're still being told that
--even though the government has supposedly had this evidence going back to the Trump Administration--
"soon" we're gonna get this bombshellvevidence against Joe.
You're also using straw men, bs. The problem wasn't that Trump said "all" Mexicans were rapists...
but the tape shows Trump saying:
"They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
So, rapists is a certainty, in Trump's racist mind. "Good people"? A maybe. We'll assume.

In short, you're arguing the weaker side of every issue, then accusing people here of bias because
they don't swallow this crap. Believe whatever makes you happy, but I'm done with your low methods.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
You did not state that you'd seen the documentary or even that that you'd seen the trailer for it. You posted up some images that were said to be taken from the trailer - but those could have been taken off another site for all I know, without you watching it.
Let me quote the first 2 lines of post #1:
The trailer is linked right there, it's only 3 minutes long, and it is easy to verify that the screenshots appear around the 1:48 mark.

@FatPhil provided the evidence for what you're questioning here in his very first post. You look like you're wilfully ignoring it.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
That is your opinion, no doubt based on the idea that the system works, is neutral, independent and willing to do what'd be necessary.
It is based on the fact that Republicans took every scrap of evidence they had to court, and even had tip hotlines for this.

The window of opportunity to contest the results has surely been and gone by now.
People can still get convicted for election fraud, and are.
News item dated April 30, 2022:
Article:
PHOENIX (AP) — A judge in Phoenix on Friday sentenced a woman o two years of felony probation, fines and community service for voting her dead mother’s ballot in Arizona in the 2020 general election.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Searching Google News for "election fraud" turns up 2 references to "2000 Mules" on the first page. Here are excerpts from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via archive.org because the site is inaccessible from the EU):
Article:
The hour and a half-long film leaves voters uninformed about precautions that help prevent mass absentee ballot fraud, instead encouraging them to believe elections were subverted by a shadowy cabal of nonprofit organizations.

Election investigators have reviewed several videos included in “2000 Mules” and found no illegal behavior, including a video that showed a Gwinnett County man inserting ballots into a drop box, according to the secretary of state’s office.

“We investigated, and the five ballots that he turned in were all for himself and his family members,” said Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger during a debate last week.

True the Vote hasn’t cooperated with Georgia’s election investigations, refusing to disclose the names of people who allegedly harvested ballots. The State Election Board issued subpoenas on the organization last month to seek documents, recordings and names of individuals involved.

The organization also doesn’t explain how ballot harvesting could have occurred.

Every absentee ballot is assigned to the voter who requested it, and voters can only cast one ballot each.

Returned ballots must be included in an envelope that includes the voter’s registration information, signature, and a bar code. Ballots delivered without an envelope aren’t counted, meaning ballot-stuffing wouldn’t work.

None of the surveillance videos in the movie shows anyone visiting more than one drop box in a day.

The GBI reviewed True the Vote’s allegations last fall and found they lacked sufficient evidence to merit a law enforcement investigation.

“What has not been provided is any other kind of evidence that ties these cellphones to ballot harvesting,” wrote GBI Director Vic Reynolds in a Sept. 30 letter. “As it exists, the data, while curious, does not rise to the level of probable cause that a crime has been committed.”

While the movie blames drop boxes for enabling ballot harvesting, it ignores the fact that multiple ballots could more easily be returned through the Post Office or home mailboxes, where there isn’t video surveillance. There’s no indication of ballot harvesting in mailed ballots during the 2020 election.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Excerpts from the Washington Post:
Article:
“2000 Mules” can be broken out into three basic components. There’s the geolocation-based material that’s the heart of D’Souza’s assertions about the election. The second half of the movie is a broader effort to undergird the geolocation claims, an attempt to build a foundation of how and why a rampant ballot collection scheme might have been undertaken. And then there’s the third part, a sort of cable-news-style panel conversation with D’Souza and several other conservative and right-wing pundits. (All of those pundits, incidentally, have shows with Salem Media Group, which served as executive producer of the film.) By the end, the pundits have been convinced that rampant fraud occurred, with former Trump administration official Sebastian Gorka outlining all of the evidence that had been presented “empirically” in support of the claim.

[...] That geolocation data from Phillips and Engelbrecht’s group, True the Vote, which also has executive-producer credits on the film, is used as a purportedly data-driven latticework on which everything else hangs. But beyond lots of harrumphing about how revealing this data is, we see very little of it.

In essence, we're just asked to trust that True the Vote found what it says it found. That by itself is probably not wise.

Phillips first rose to national attention in 2016 when he claimed, without any evidence, that millions of people had voted illegally in that year’s presidential election. Trump jumped on the claim, but Phillips never presented any evidence it had occurred. There was no reason to assume it had.

As the Associated Press pointed out in a fact check of the film, there’s no way by just using cellphone data to know whether someone visited a ballot drop box, particularly since those boxes were installed in high-traffic areas. Last month, I spoke with an expert on geolocation who made clear that the imprecision of phone geolocation would make specifying that a phone was actually near a drop box (and not, say, 10 feet from it) nearly impossible. The film makes repeated comparisons to federal law enforcement’s ability to identify people who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, but even if the phone’s location is off by 20 feet, it’s still obvious when you’re inside a large building. (In one shot, the film shows geolocated data inside the Capitol — with positions surrounded by large circles of uncertainty that make this point clearly.)

So we get sweeping claims about how many “mules” True the Vote identified in each city and the average number of drop boxes each visited. We’re shown one map of the travels of one “mule” throughout one city on one day, but even that is simply offered by Phillips as representing “a smoothed-out pattern of life” that we’re asked to assume is accurate. Everything else is just offered in the aggregate.

[...]

In one bit of footage, we see a woman come and use a drop box. She puts in “a small stack” of ballots, Phillips says, “maybe three, maybe four,” and then removes latex gloves that she had been wearing and throws them away. This happened at 1 a.m., the True the Vote team says, making it more suspicious.

Except:

It’s not at all clear that the woman is putting more than one ballot in the box. There’s just one thin white rectangle that gets slipped into the box.This was on Jan. 5, 2021, during Georgia’s runoff election, so it had nothing to do with the presidential race.The woman is wearing gloves and a mask — suggesting that she is taking precautions against the coronavirus.

Is it hard to believe someone might wear latex gloves to access a publicly used drop box if one is worried about infection?

The True the Vote people claim that they identified the same woman “in a number of locations” and that she went to “dozens and dozens over the course of these two elections.” But we don’t see the map of her geolocated activity. We don’t even see a map of her cellphone going to that drop box on that night in January 2021. We don’t see video footage of her at another drop box. We’re just asked to believe that all of this occurred, without evidence.

[...]

Then there's the guy with a bike. He arrives at a drop box, removes a ballot from his backpack and puts it in the drop box.

“You also see him get sort of frustrated as he starts to leave,” Phillips claims, though there’s no obvious evidence of frustration. “Because, guess what? At this point, they had started requiring the mules, apparently, to take pictures of the stuffing of the ballots. It appears that that’s how they get paid.”

You then see the guy park his bike by the drop box and take a picture of both.

“If you’re just casting your own ballot,” Engelbrecht says, “what reason in the world would you have to come back and take a picture of the box?”

The answer is obvious. The particular drop box in this case can be easily tracked to the Ponce de Leon Library in Atlanta. If you look on Instagram, there are a number of people posting photos of themselves voting at this drop box. (For example.) There are any number of other photos people posted on social media showing themselves, say, riding a bike to drop off a ballot. Elections officials encouraged sharing voting experiences on social media in a bid to drive up turnout.

But that’s the sum total of the evidence offered against “bike guy” — that he took a picture. Again, he doesn’t appear to have multiple ballots.

Notice, too, that Phillips doesn’t purport to have any information from anywhere else that taking a photo was a requirement to get paid — he just says this is “apparently” a new requirement. (The lady with the gloves didn’t take a picture.) Phillips just layers that story on top of the video to make it seem as if the guy with the bike was part of a conspiracy and True the Vote had unpacked this complicated scheme.

At no point is there evidence presented of people getting ballots from a nonprofit group and dropping them in drop boxes.

[...]

One segment of the movie shows a man depositing multiple ballots in a county in Georgia. But there’s a trivial — and legal — answer, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mark Niesse reported: He was dropping off ballots for his family, which he’s allowed by law to do.

[...]

It's useful here to be blunt: Every part of the calculus that D'Souza uses to show that Trump really won is nonsense, as he himself inadvertently makes clear.

First, it depends on True the Vote’s “mule” estimates being accurate, which for the reasons stated above should not be assumed. Second, it weirdly relies on the average number of drop box visits per “mule” instead of just a total number of visits, which one would think True the Vote could provide. Third, it assumes that those votes are invalid or would not otherwise have been cast, which is not a defensible assumption. (In fact, speaking at a legislative hearing in Wisconsin in March, Engelbrecht noted that “we’re not suggesting that the ballots that were cast were illegal ballots.”) And fourth, it relies on True the Vote’s estimate that each drop box visit included the drop of five ballots on average.

Consider that for a moment. What on Earth could that be based on? There is one scene in which True the Vote notes that a drop box in Georgia had more ballots than would have been expected based on the number of visits observed in video footage during the 24 hours prior, but there’s no attempt to understand why that might be the case. Did they see someone roll up with a giant stack of ballots? If so, why isn’t that in the movie? Even if all of the rest of this were true, there’s simply no way to know how many ballots were dropped in a drop box by a “mule.”

After declaring that Trump would have won the election based on the math above, D’Souza does something even odder: He just assumes that there were more mules than True the Vote counted and, for no explained reason, that they were averaging three instead of five ballots per drop. Suddenly, Trump wins every contested state!
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
AP did a fact check (excerpts, via the Denver Post):
Article:
CLAIM: At least 2,000 “mules” were paid to illegally collect ballots and deliver them to drop boxes in key swing states ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

THE FACTS: True the Vote didn’t prove this. The finding is based on false assumptions about the precision of cellphone tracking data and the reasons that someone might drop off multiple ballots, according to experts.

CLAIM: In Philadelphia alone, True the Vote identified 1,155 “mules” who illegally collected and dropped off ballots for money.

THE FACTS: No, it didn’t. The group hasn’t offered any evidence of any sort of paid ballot harvesting scheme in Philadelphia. And True the Vote did not get surveillance footage of drop boxes in Philadelphia, so the group based this claim solely on cellphone location data, its researcher Gregg Phillips said in March in testimony to Pennsylvania state senators.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Sharif Street, who was there for the group’s testimony in March, told the AP he was confident he was counted as several of the group’s 1,155 anonymous “mules,” even though he didn’t deposit anything into a drop box in that time period.

CLAIM: Some of the “mules” True the Vote identified in Georgia were also geolocated at violent antifa riots in Atlanta in the summer of 2020, showing they were violent far left actors.

THE FACTS: Setting aside the fact that the film doesn’t prove these individuals were collecting ballots at all, it also can’t prove their political affiliations.

The anonymized data True the Vote tracked doesn’t explain why someone might have been present at a protest demanding justice for Black deaths at the hands of police officers. The individuals who were tracked there could have been violent rioters, but they also could have been peaceful protesters, police or firefighters responding to the protests, or business owners in the area.

CLAIM: Alleged ballot harvesters were captured on surveillance video wearing gloves because they didn’t want to leave their fingerprints on the ballots.

THE FACTS: This is pure speculation. It ignores far more likely reasons for glove-wearing in the fall and winter of 2020 — cold weather or COVID-19.

CLAIM: If it weren’t for this ballot collection scheme, former President Donald Trump would have had enough votes to win the 2020 election.

THE FACTS: This alleged scheme has not been proven, nor do these researchers have any way of knowing whether any ballots that were collected contained votes for Trump or for Biden.
 
Last edited:

FatPhil

Senior Member.
i dont see any attempt to stand up for him and his honesty.

I thought this thread was odd too and i think D'Souza is right up there with Luis Elizondo or Alex Jones as far as being a bs artist. Concerned Brit's observation doesn't really warrant this level of defensiveness.

(ps Dave Rubin..who has fallen in the rabbit hole lately..said there was a "showing" at MaraLago (trump's place) with all the heavy weight right activists there. Including him. )

I clearly take a stand denigrating D'Souza's honesty. If you take a contrary position to me in response, you are implicitly standing up for D'Souza's honesty. Saying that it's just done for entertainment doesn't make a lack of honesty more acceptible. He's framing it as a documentary, it should be primarily documentary, entertainment shouldn't trump that.

Mentioning CNN was pure whataboutism, amusingly without teeth according to @Mendel's follow-up, and I consider whataboutism a deliberate distraction and an argument in bad faith; I was not going to be charitable in my response, deliberate wrongs had already been committed.

Now the film's out, I'm looking to hear for specific claims of evidence, so this thread can get back to what it was supposed to be created for.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
If you take a contrary position to me in response, you are implicitly standing up for D'Souza's honesty.
or you're just standing up for something called "The Truth".

Now the film's out, I'm looking to hear for specific claims of evidence
or.. you could watch it and timestamp the claims first hand.

and I consider whataboutism a deliberate distraction and an argument in bad faith;
except you only point it out when "conservatives" or alleged conservatives do it. If you guys are so insulted and ashamed by being called biased, maybe you should stop being so biased on Metabunk. I know you are capable, i've seen you do it from time to time. or you can just point out all the left-wing bunk that has had threads started on Metabunk. (<that's sarcasm and why i dont start left-wing bunk threads)

either way, if anyone on Metabunk ever bothers to actually watch the documentary we are pre-bunking, then we will have a proper thread on the topic started hoepfully.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
we will have a proper thread on the topic started hoepfully.
I thought "the liberal media" had already done a decent job at debunking, as exemplified by my quotes; I'd be surprised if an additional thread had much to add.

It helped that @Z.W. Wolf had already posted on the conditions that make dropping multiple ballots legal, and on the imprecise nature of geotracking phones—that turned out to be a true pre-bunk.

And of course the conclusion suggested by our mosaic analysis (they're making it seem more is going on than they actually have evidence for) appears to hold true as well.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I thought "the liberal media" had already done a decent job at debunking, as exemplified by my quotes; I'd be surprised if an additional thread had much to add.
well if you want to trust the liberal media paraphrasing and just "saying stuff" that's cool. i'm sure the people who believe the documentary will trust the liberal media too. (<more sarcasm. although i think "he doesnt actually provide any evidence of his claims" is all that would need to be said- if in fact that is true, i'm not willing to watch his doc to find out)
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
It would be great if one poster here could learn not to try to turn every thread into a
tired grievance about how they characterize others, and their personal political lean.
 

ConcernedBriton

New Member
Your posts are Gish Gallups.
Too many ill-informed or just devious angles to address.
You make an absurd false equivalence with D'Souza and CNN,
I respond with:
And you offer none. Zero! :0
You won't explain what CNN would hypothetically have to gain by staging fake grocery store shots,
and then you explain your total lack of evidence with:
"There is lying, then there are narratives that are based on purposeful distortions. That is my point."
No. That's not a point. That's just empty word salad.
That ~60 court cases yielded zero real evidence, you just wave that off as though Giuliani, etc. are still
sitting on the real, secret. mystery evidence 18 months after the election. Geez.

The Hunter laptop is also over 18 months ago. The press took the bait and ran a million stories
on it, that hurt Joe Biden, right before the election, based on bs claims by Giuliani. There still isn't
any evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden, and after over a year and a half we're still being told that
--even though the government has supposedly had this evidence going back to the Trump Administration--
"soon" we're gonna get this bombshellvevidence against Joe.
You're also using straw men, bs. The problem wasn't that Trump said "all" Mexicans were rapists...
but the tape shows Trump saying:
"They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
So, rapists is a certainty, in Trump's racist mind. "Good people"? A maybe. We'll assume.

In short, you're arguing the weaker side of every issue, then accusing people here of bias because
they don't swallow this crap. Believe whatever makes you happy, but I'm done with your low methods.

They would be "gish gallops" if I was actually trying to prove something to be true or had an agenda to prove. I don't.

They are not "ill-informed" or "devious" points just because you don't like them. They are issues which are being talked about and issues which have happened. I posited them to explain why it is that people like D'Souza can do the things they do and why such polarisation is taking place. Unless you wake up to the kinds of backdrop that I speak of, whether it frustrates you or not, you're not going to get anywhere in whatever quest you think you're on.

It is not an "absurd false equivalence" to suggest that CNN is a propaganda outlet that's feverishly in favour of the liberal-left Democratic agenda, who shapes narratives, tailors quotes, talks purposeful cross purposes and repeats false information to advance their cause - whilst there are people and organisations on the mirror 'right-wing' who do the same thing.

I don't have to explain why CNN or anybody else would want to fake grocery store shots (other than media sensationalism). The point I was trying to make is that you cannot always believe what you are being told from the mainstream media and that the left is equally as bad as the right for how they can manipulate events.

If you don't think both sides do it, believe what you get told on CNN and that they are the purveyors of honesty and trustworthiness, you are totally lost and just as narrow minded as a conspiracy theorist.

Stating that there are distortions of the news and distortions of what people are saying (in order to present an agenda or "mood" to current affairs) is not "a word salad".

Perhaps you don't comprehend how a statement by somebody, for example, can be taken two ways? Or that what was a flippant remark or a joke is not necessarily a statement of fact or intent, or that one single event can be announced as a victory in some way for two opposing sides at the same time, and so on? Not every single damned thing is black and white.

I am not believing that anyone is "sitting on secret mystery evidence 18 months later" .

I already explained that I do not know the chronological order of what was presented in previous cases - and as such it is unclear to me at this point in time, for example, whether the alleged "Mules" and their suggested shenanigans had been researched, documented, compiled and presented in those early court cases!

It's not an unreasonable thing for somebody to merely ask without people jumping down their throat!

Did they have this information 18 months ago or not?! If they didn't, then it is hardly all that irrational to suggest that there may be SOMETHING in it that should have been looked into back when it mattered more.

Hunter Biden is 18 months ago? So what? The timescale is irrelevant. From what I have read from various sources, the tendency was to NOT cover it, NOT investigate it, to actually try and shut down discussion about it, even creating FAKE NEWS that it was "Russian propaganda" and that there's no way he would leave it at a "mom and pop repair shop" - which is an argument I have heard quite frequently and nearly rote-fashion. I'm not saying it was never discussed, but that when it may have been discussed it was discussed only in certain parameters.

I am not "straw-manning" with Trumps talk of Mexicans. The media implied - and politicians/senators have repeatedly accused and implied - that Donald Trump called all Mexican's rapists. THAT has been the narrative. That was precisely the problem with it.

What had Trump been talking about previous to this? What had been in the news previous to this? It was about the crime cartels, the drug cartels, the people trafficking, where around 1/3rd of their income was now from facilitating illegal immigration, trafficking and people smuggling.

It was found that vulnerable women and girls were being raped along this process and along these journeys, where 'coyotes' and some of the fellow journey makers (such as drug traffickers) would take advantage of their desperation and geographical isolation. These people were coming into the United States and there ARE knock-on problems as a result.

Donald Trump said:

The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. {Sarcasm/joke}. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

You may not like his uncouth and wry delivery, but he has good reason to say what he did and that he can only (sarcastically) "assume" the rest are good because they are ILLEGALS and nobody knows WHO they are, what they have done, or what kind of people they are!

Yet all we ever heard was "Donald Trump called Mexicans rapists!" "He's being racist!". That, my good friend, is an area that I speak of being a grey area and propaganda area of the sort used by CNN. You directly assert that DT is a racist, no doubt based off the narratives like this that you were told and because it fits into your preconceived ideas and biases.

Yes, he said that paragraph. Yes, you can stick it on as many "Snopes" and "Politifact" websites as you like - but it does not reveal the background of why it was being said or what might be actually going on with the processes and aftermaths of massive levels of illegal immigration.

Liberals do not seem to want to own up to the chaos, crime and problems that they sow - and would rather hound those who take issue with what's being done to both America and those exploited on their way there illegally.

They would rather throw their hands up in the air about a remark by Trump (that was arguably justified then taken out of context) than deal with upholding the legitimacy of borders and due process for gaining citizenship.

It was the same for the "Muslim Ban" - which was nothing of the sort, considering that many of the more prominent or populous Muslim nations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Indonesia were not affected.

It targetted Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia - but to varying degrees and with different conditions, and was only then a restriction for between 90 and 120 days, where existing green-card holders would have no problem.

Six of these can reasonably be called "failed states" where terrorist attacks are, tragically, all too common, and the seventh, Iran, is hardly America's friend. What puts these countries beyond the pale however, is that they have not got or refuse to put in place the strict vetting measures and sharing of intelligence against terrorism, which helps maintain mutual, bilateral, border security with the United States that the other Muslim countries, not included in the vetting process, fully engage with.

That's not the coverage that CNN and others gave. They labelled it a "Muslim Ban", running with a brash and uncouth quote (that I'd agree Trump made) instead of running with the reason or policy proposals behind it .

They continued to claim he was barring all Muslims from the USA and even rolled out an Obama security advisor (among others) to back up this kind of narrative:

Obama's deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes reacted to Trump's call Monday on CNN, calling it "totally contrary to our values as Americans" and pointed to the Bill of Rights' protection of freedom of religion and pointing to the "extraordinary contributions" Muslim Americans have made to the U.S.

That has nothing to do with it. They made much of Jeb Bush (and others) calling Donald Trump "unhinged". This was the narrative they ran with.

Is it "unhinged" to want to bring known terrorist hotspot nations under a common sharing of intelligence of who gets to enter America? Hardly.

Does a temporary ban on just several nations (until people are vetted) denigrate "American values" or besmirch whatever contributions may have been made to America in the last 100 years? No.

You may not like it. You man not like what he said, the way he said it, or what it may imply - and Trump may have been blunt and offensive for how he announced it - but there was arguably a valid reason why it was said, why such a policy may have been wise to ferment changes to their systems, and these are the GREY AREAS and biases that just do not neatly fit into "debunking mode" mindsets here.

When people watch CNN, or Fox News, or whatever, I think it is often the "impression" that lasts the most, not the nitty-gritty of facts. They air an impression of something, create a talking point around it, then this is what people then tend react to and what they subsequently remember as being the issue (when it may not have actually been quite as simple as that or even all that an accurate representation).


It is based on the fact that Republicans took every scrap of evidence they had to court, and even had tip hotlines for this.

Did they though? That is what I have been asking!

People can still get convicted for election fraud, and are.

I'm not suggest the aren't.

I am suggesting that, if there was damning evidence of grotesque manipulation, some of it deemed enough to overturn the result of the election, it would be extremely hard for me to believe that the apparatus of the state, the Democrats, the establishment Republicans, would prosecute, declare the result invalid, remove Biden, roll everything back and install Donald Trump back to office or call a new election or whatever would be appropriate. They just wouldn't be either willing or prepared to do it.

I realise it is hypothetical. I am not saying the documentary has such proof or that actual illegalities were done (or done enough to be detectable or significant enough to win).

I am saying that because of the way the establishment behaves - and because of the underhanded things that happened and happen - that it is at least plausible for people to believe that the election was managed to be stacked to achieve a result that would not normally have transpired, especially given the candidate who I am led to believe was not even all that popular in his own race to be the nominee.

I'd say the same if it was the Republicans, and I'd just be as against them doing such things with the felons, or whatever.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
If you don't think both sides do it, believe what you get told on CNN and that they are the purveyors of honesty and trustworthiness, you are totally lost and just as narrow minded as a conspiracy theorist.
I suggest availing yourself of the resources in https://www.metabunk.org/threads/media-bias.11554/ to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of what the "sides" do, who they are, and where CNN TV and CNN web fall on that spectrum, as well as discover which news sources are less partisan and more factual. Feel free to tag me as @Mendel if you decide to start a discussion on this in an appropriate subforum.
 

ConcernedBriton

New Member
Thanks. I am not all that allergic to trying to look at things from another side. It's nearly 1:30 am here and I need to go to bed, but I will try and take a look when I can.

I've just been trying to go through some of the things posted earlier, albeit briefly for now.

I think there are some good points being raised in there (gloves during a pandemic, selfies for local campaigns, lack of direct evidence for some of those pictured, etc) and as I admit, I have wandered into this one a little bit blind because I have not really known who D'Souza is, haven't had time to look at any of his videos or interviews yet, or what he has been trying to claim as a summary of this documentary.

I'm not here to defend D'Souza or the documentary, I just don't know enough about it or about the many different aspects of the cases being put forward and how the systems and laws even work over there.

It sounds like he is exaggerating matters and trying to suggest what they have is some kind of smoking gun. I doubt that was ever the case, even though I am more generally open to the idea that it was a somewhat unnatural election process, for want of a better description. Not 'stolen', not 'illegal', just perhaps 'configured' where possible to achieve a result.

Given the nature of these things, the documentary, I think some of the debunking pursuits are going to be more valid than others when dealing with people who are more entrenched than me, or who'd perhaps come here to argue the case for D'Souza.

For example, I still don't really get, or see, why a collage that contains multiple shots of the same CCTV camera is an argument as to why the entirety of the claims are invalid.

It may well be poor form, artistic manipulation to imprint in the mind that it is more widespread, or just downright deceptive - but it is a propaganda documentary, after all, which aims to generate an impression upon people. A lot of them have done this, ranging from ones on fast-food, to environment issues.

People here may not like me, or like me bringing up the things I have - but at the end of the day, these are the kinds of foundations upon which a polarised society gets built and unless some of these walls are broken down, the conspiracy themes and polarisations can only get worse.

People may debunk D'Souza here, or believe that they have, then be content in a job well done, that they have 'won' - but if wider society is paying no attention, if liberal-minded people do not grasp how they are driving some of the very issues they fight against, you may all appear to be wasting your time and just talking to yourselves in the comfort that you've been proven right.

Subjects like ghosts, UFO's, WiFi causing cancer, 5G, chemtrails, are more cut and dried. It is science. It is mathematical. It can be explained or proven away with experiments and studies. Things like NASA, space flight, etc can be observed or be proven to be impossible to be covering up.

Subjects like this one are a bit different in my view, because it taps into a whole avalanche of political biases and grey areas and I think it matters when it comes the backdrop to the movements and thinking that gets behind them.

To one person, releasing and paying the fines of exclusively Black and Hispanic felons so that they can vote is "defending democracy" (by means of allowing them to have the chance again to vote). To somebody else, the very same action is an affront to democracy and an underhanded move that is manipulative of the democratic process.

These kinds of things cannot be "debunked" in my view. People tend to fall on one side or the other and both can be right at the same time.

It will be interesting to see what gets brought up in the thread in regards to the documentary. If I ever find it and watch it, I would be interested to see what I make of it and what effect it would have on me (how much I would see through it, or how much I would fall for it) and come back and re-assess it with what may be raised here.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
or you're just standing up for something called "The Truth".
Is that an attempt to slander me? You'll need to try harder.
or.. you could watch it and timestamp the claims first hand.
Interesting claim. One I can debunk very quickly: No, I can't even watch it, as I have no access to whatever medium the publicity claimed it would be available on, so certainly can't timestamp anything. Or are you suggest I violate D'Souza's copyright and download a pirated copy? You seem to have even less respect for him than me!
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
"Propaganda" and "documentary" are two entirely different things.
there can be some overlap

For example, Michael Moore's documentaries are scripted to convey a political message, but he takes great care that his facts are true, and documents it. I remember a movie of his that had an insane amount of source references on his website.
 

Ann K

Active Member
there is also a site called allsides dot com. they do online content only ratings, because online or news articles are different than tv.
There is also a site called media bias/fact check, which addresses particular issues of interest. They show the breakdown of left-right bias sources but also rate them by reliability of their content.

mediabiasfactcheck.org
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
there can be some overlap

For example, Michael Moore's documentaries are scripted to convey a political message, but he takes great care that his facts are true, and documents it. I remember a movie of his that had an insane amount of source references on his website.
Agreed. As someone (one of the quotable ones, IIRC - Blair, Mencken, Twain, ?) once said ~"every expression of fact is propaganda, even if unintentional" (Upton Sinclair said something similar about art, but that's not what I'm thinking of, it was the broadest possible brush).

The biggest problem I have with Moore's documentaries is that such a large proportion of them is "just asking questions". I'm at least as much a fan of Pyrrho and Montaigne in particular as anyone, but it's also a technique used by some of the trashier news and documentary sources that are filling the fibre-optics of the internet right now. But what would I know?
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
i don't understand what you are talking about. The "you" is ConcernedBrit.

Apologies, misunderstanding. CB had already plonked my ilk in contexts like ``the "good ones" who "really know the truth"'', so had presumed a reference to "The Truth" was a jab in my direction. With the quotes and title caps, it did look accusatory.
 

Woolery

Active Member
he takes great care that his facts are true
I love it when people do this. When they don’t (as sometimes happens in documentaries, politics and even happens most days here at metabunk) we should be particularly skeptical of the misinformer’s claims.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
I love it when people do this. When they don’t (as sometimes happens in documentaries, politics and even happens most days here at metabunk) we should be particularly skeptical of the misinformer’s claims.

One of the problems is that much of the time truthiness can be relative. Something statistical that doesn't control for underlying demographics might be a numerical fact, but so distorting of the truth that it does more harm than good to the understanding of the situation. (Many revolve around the "base rate fallacy", or closely-related concepts.)
 
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