(“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”—Eric Arthur Blair)
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) September 29, 2016
I know the term “Orwellian,” which references propagandistic themes in author George Orwell’s novel 1984 and other works, is now overwrought to explain contemporary right-wing media lies, but an editorial in The Oklahoman Wednesday literally cries out for its use.
Here’s the editorial’s headline, for example: “No obvious winner emerged from first Clinton-Trump debate.” Or, maybe, to put it in other words, “War is peace,” or “Freedom is slavery,” or “Ignorance is strength,” or “The Oklahoman is journalism,” all famous cited quotes from the novel, except for the last one, of course. They reflect not only the tone of yet another goofy, soul-destroying commentary in The Oklahoman but also the entirety of Donald Trump’s dystopian presidential campaign.
By all means, click on the link to the editorial I provided but you’re going to find a lot missing from it, mainly any outside evidence supporting the claim that the debate was a draw or that “No obvious winner emerged . . .”. Scientific polling after the debate, not the simple, easily manipulated online polls, showed that a vast majority of people believed Clinton won the debate handily.
A CNN/ORC poll conducted after the debate—this was a real telephone poll with interviews—showed that 62 percent thought Clinton won the debate compared to just 27 percent for Trump. A later Politico/Morning Consult poll showed that 49 percent of people thought Clinton was the winner compared to 26 percent for Trump. A small focus group organized by well-known political manager Frank Luntz gave Clinton a 16-6 edge.
Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism.
— George Orwell (@OrwellQuotes) July 25, 2013
Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight later summed it up this way:
Every scientific poll we’ve encountered so far suggests that voters thought Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in Monday night’s debate. In fact, some of them showed her winning by a wide margin — wide enough to make it a good bet (though not a guarantee) that she’ll gain in horse-race polls against Trump over the next week or so.
So Clinton not only won the debate, she trounced Trump. The editorial writer who penned the gibberish published Wednesday in The Oklahoman about the debate wrote about “sparks” but then incredibly argued, “There was not an overwhelming winner.” Yeah, right.
The CNN poll and coverage of Luntz’s focus group outcome had to be readily available to whoever wrote The Oklahoman editorial. Yet neither one received a mention in the bizarre piece of Trumpwellian subterfuge. This is called lying through omission or propaganda or another bad business decision by the newspaper to alienate anyone here with a shred of awareness or intellect, liberal or conservative.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, of course, but a major metropolitan newspaper should be duty-bound to respond to an avalanche of evidence against a position it has taken. That’s called basic journalism, something The Oklahoman gave up on a long time ago to become a right-wing propaganda machine and now a shill for the fascist Donald Trump.</p