What Hollywood and Republicans have in common

(Caution: This article contains language unsuitable for children.)

From CBS News:

“BASED ON A TRUE STORY: It’s a boast that can be a plus for a movie during Oscar season. Whether the claim holds up to scrutiny is another matter altogether. … ‘I think I can look at the story and say, all right, this is germane to the telling of it, this is in the spirit of what actually happened,’ he said. ‘I can mix and match facts. If it’s not a documentary — and nothing I’ve worked on is ever purported to be — then I have the latitude to say, OK, look, this is an entertainment.’ … In the end, she felt, the liberties taken were OK. ‘These are the things that happen with movies,’ she said. ‘It’s not exactly true, but it’s truthy.'”

(Read story here.) Remember the flap over the not-true movie, “Fargo,” opening screen credit that claimed, “This is a true story?” (If not, read about it here.)

DiCaprio-RevenantWell, this is how things are with Republican debates, too; every time you watch one, the Truth-O-Meters make screeching mechanical noises, emit sparks and smoke, then die. And do you have old school chums and relatives who forward rightwing emails to you? Almost everyone does. These emails often contain photoshopped pictures, and my favorite line of all is, “This story is absolutely true! Verified by Snopes! Click on the link below!” I did once, and it took me to a Snopes page rating the story in question story as “FALSE.” When I confronted my rightwing sibling who forwarded it, and asked why he’s so gullible, he replied, “It’s just a joke.” Which is what he always says in these situations.

And he’s right: Telling outrageous lies about Democrats and liberals is how conservatives amuse themselves. You’ve seen those stories — President Obama disrespecting veterans, etc. (see, e,g, this all-time favorite). For them, lying about their political opponents is just entertainment. At least, that’s what they claim when caught.

But they sure hope unsuspecting voters will take their lies seriously, just as Hollywood promoters hope bogus “true story” claims will draw paying customers to the box office. As I’ve said to friends for many years, the world doesn’t run on oil, it runs on bullshit.

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