Shaila Dewan and the Credibility of Rape Accusers

The New York Times published a piece by Shaila Dewan online to criticize the public for not believing any female who accuses any male of touchy-feely in the no-no place (after Garrison Keiller, it seems that the only place on a female that isn’t a no-no place is about a quarter-inch on her left big toe).

She took decades to come forward. She can’t remember exactly what happened. She sent friendly text messages to the same man she says assaulted her. She didn’t fight back.

“There’s something really unique about sexual assault in the way we think about it, which is pretty upside down from the way it actually operates,” said Kimberly A. Lonsway, a psychologist who conducts law enforcement training on sexual assault as the research director of End Violence Against Women International. “In so many instances when there’s something that is characteristic of assault, it causes us to doubt it.”

Partly this is because of widespread misconceptions. The public and the police vastly overestimate the incidence of false reports: The most solid, case-by-case examinations say that only 5 to 7 percent of sexual assault reports are false.

What happened to 2-10 percent? The narrative is ever-evolving. Also, how did this “solid” examination define a ‘false report’?

Nevertheless, relax guys! You only have a 5-7 percent chance of going prison on the say-so of a female. That’s a better chance of hitting than any state lottery.

But experts say that because many people are not psychologically prepared to accept how prevalent harassment and assault are, they tend to look for reasons to disbelieve. For example, offenders are more likely to choose victims who have been previously assaulted, statistics show, but a woman who reports more than one assault is less likely to be believed.

Really? We’re pathologizing skepticism now? We’re deploying the feminist head-shrinkers because some people have a preference for evidence over narratives?

Here is a look at some of the misconceptions that come up again and again when assessing whether a victim’s account is true.

This ought to be fun.

The victim doesn’t act like one.

A young woman said she was raped in a police van by two New York City officers, Eddie Martins and Richard Hall, in September. Their lawyers have accused the woman, who is 18, of posting “provocative” selfies and bragging about news media attention and the millions of dollars she expects to win in a civil case.

By provocative, you mean selfies displaying drugs and getting groped by porn actors at the age of 16-17.

“This behavior is unprecedented for a depressed victim of a vicious rape,” the lawyers wrote, according to The New York Post.

But victims behave in a wide variety of ways.

There is no one response to sexual assault. A trauma victim can as easily appear calm or flat as distraught or overtly angry.

In short, what Dewan would like for the reader to accept is the proposition that there is no behavior that a complaining witness can engage in that can diminish credibility, not even contradicting their own story or claiming pecuniary interest in offering testimony in a criminal trial (those millions of dollars she expects from a civil case against the city).

She stayed friendly with her abuser.

Some of the women who say Harvey Weinstein groped or assaulted them kept in contact with him afterward, saying that good relations with such a powerful player in the entertainment industry were a must for their careers. After the allegations against Mr. Weinstein were published in The New York Times, one of his advisers at the time, Lisa Bloom, sent an email to the directors of the Weinstein Company, outlining a plan that included the release of “photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct.”

The females in Harvey’s harem prioritized their careers over revealing that Harvey Weinstein had a casting couch.

The victim may have little choice but to stay in contact if the offender is a boss, teacher, coach or relative.

Imagine that. When someone prioritizes personal profit over social good (becoming a rich and famous actress versus taking an alleged ‘groper’ off of the street), the average person who is likely to be a juror looks dubiously at their sudden moral development and rightly so. People look askance at jailhouse snitches for the same reason.

She did not come forward right away.

Leigh Corfman recently said that the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, Roy S. Moore, sexually assaulted her when she was 14, nearly four decades ago. She said she worried for years that going public would affect her children, and that her history of divorce and financial mistakes would undermine her account. After being approached by a Washington Post reporter, she agreed to tell her story, and later said, “If anything, this has cost me.”

Corfman had children at 14? Corfman was divorced at 14?

But negative consequences are not the only thing to keep victims from coming forward. Experts point to a more fundamental issue: When the perpetrator is someone they trusted, it can take years for victims even to identify what happened to them as a violation.

This is the direction we are headed in with feminism pushing the narrative. Feminists want do away with any objective standard of rape and implement Catharine MacKinnon’s definition:

“Politically, I call it rape whenever a woman has sex and feels violated.”

In that most feminist of worlds, rape will be whatever a female says it is, whenever she says it is, no matter if it days or decades later. She will have no legal or social duty pursue her complaint in a timely manner. Rape will be a freestanding accusation above the heads of all men, regardless of facts.

Her story does not add up.

Not only does memory fade with time, but when the brain’s fear circuitry is activated, the prefrontal cortex where details like sequence and locations are recorded tends to recede, while the part of the brain that records sensory memories kicks in.

Memory fades with time. That’s a sound argument for pursuing criminal charges closer in time to the event than decades away when the complaining witness’ comfort level has reached its peak and all associated memories of any favorable or exculpatory witnesses has faded.

She didn’t fight back.

When people are mugged or robbed, they are not asked why they did not resist.

Because, for whatever reason, the purse between a female’s legs is held to be more valuable than the one on she carries over her shoulder.

But in sexual assault cases, failure to resist can be one of the biggest sticking points for jurors. Often both sides acknowledge that a sex act occurred, and the question is whether it was consensual. Fighting back is viewed as an easy litmus test. But women are conditioned not to use violence.

Females are ‘conditioned’ (feminists are never clear as to WHO is doing this conditioning) to use violence, but only against those weaker than themselves (i.e. children, other females, and men who allow it).

This is the one point where I almost agree with Dewan. Jurors are usually very…myopic in their thinking. They like to imagine what they would have done when placed in a hazardous situation. Their views vary between the grandiose and the implausible. Resistance is the clearest and easiest evidence to present of unwanted sexual contact in much the same way a black eye or a scar is clear evidence of an assault.

Jurors love smoking guns and bright lines between the good guy and the bad buy.

As much as feminists hate it, a large number of rape cases come down to the complaining witness’ story versus the defendant’s denial plus presumption of innocence.

Even so, the victim faces scrutiny of her failure to resist, and of every decision she made before, during and after the ordeal. To contrast sexual assault with other types of crime, Ms. Valliere said, she often shows a photograph of the Boston Marathon bombing. “We never said to the victims, ‘Why were you in that marathon, why did you put yourself in that position, why didn’t you run faster, why didn’t you run slower?’

Because of the presentation of physical evidence (photos, videos, shrapnel, corpses, etc.) that would make such a question flat-out stupid? Because the asking of such a question would rightly destroy the querent’s credibility in the eyes of the jury and the judge?

And the whole ‘why didn’t you run faster’ question is irrelevant as the Tsarnaev brothers’ targets were the crowd, not the runners. Last I checked, on-lookers are typically not expected to do any running at a marathon.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s attorneys did not pursue a defense of denying the bombing happened or worse, try to argue that the victims were culpable, they argued that Dzhokhar was a helpless flunky, a pawn of his older brother’s plan to play jihad on the infidels.

That strategy didn’t work. ‘A powerful, domineering man made me do it’ is a defense that only seems to work when offered up by a female. Funny.

Feminists like Dewan have a view of witness credibility that doesn’t mesh well with reality. Feminists would like to conceal all personal and moral imperfections of a witness in a rape case from the juror’s eyes (rape shield laws). But credibility does not turn on a witness’ moral purity (though it doesn’t hurt it either): A witness is credible when they present a persuasive and consistent story and also have a good reason for how they know what they know.

I like to refer to Sammy Gravano as the most extreme example of a credible witness who was also absolute piece of shit. Gravano admitted to 19 murders in open court. Gravano, by no stretch of the human imagination, can be considered a morally upright human being (he started an Ectasy while in the Witness Protection Program). However, his testimony helped put the previously untouchable boss of the Gambino crime family, John Gotti, in prison for the rest of his life. Gravano was ‘economical’ with certain parts of the truth, but he admitted his part in the Gambino operations, his function in the organization, and how he knew Gotti was calling the shots.

Feminists will not serve anyone’s interests, not rape accusers, and not defendants who are in most need of protection from the legal system, by demanding that people shut their eyes to testimony and narratives that don’t make sense.

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Male Feminist Splits Hairs On “The Brutality of the Male Libido”; Men Aren’t Bad, Just Toxic Masculinity

Some additional Stephen Marche commentary by a lecturer of philosophy at Northeastern Illinois. I have nothing clever to add about the background of the author, Tyler Zimmer. Another male feminist crawling up out of the termite-infested structure of academia.

While bent over locking up my bike in Chicago a few years ago, I heard the all-too-familiar sound of a wolf whistle. I turned around to get a look at the jerks accosting some woman on the street, only to realize I was the one who was being cat called. A man passing by from behind had seen my long curly hair and tight jeans and mistaken me for a woman. When I turned around to face him, he was shocked and started apologizing profusely. In so many words, he was saying: ”This is an unacceptable way to behave toward a man.” And we both knew, if I were a woman, there would be no apology.

And if you were in the county lockup, there would not only be no apology, you’d have several more ‘admirers’ who were sincere in their affections because of long curly hair and tight pants.

This is the double standard at the heart of masculinity: Men are taught to regularly say and do things to women that they would never say or do to other men, that they would never want men to say or do to them. That is not due to some timeless “male libido” driving their behavior. It’s because masculinity is founded on the myth that men alone are rights-bearing persons and women are subordinate, passive, second-class beings who either need the protection of or deserve to be subjected to men.

Men are also taught (by who, these advocacy pieces are never clear on, possibly fairies or some other imperceptible being) to tolerate physical and mental abuse from females that they would not tolerate from any man. They learn it from their mothers (oh, that’s a girl! You can’t roughhouse with them! Their not like boys!) and from bluepill males (you don’t ever put your hands on a female!) So yes, double standards are at the heart of masculinity because females and men alike recognize that men are the stronger and more enduring of the sexes and the only reason they can dare to try and lay this double standard on men is because we are strong enough to bear it. It is not in our best interests as individuals or as a class to bear it in any circumstances, and certainly not in a gynocentric society, but that’s another story for another time.

And females can hold all of the rights of men when they bear all of the social and legal responsibilities of men.

Still waiting to hear back on that Selective Service thing. Females?

In a recent New York Times op-ed, however, writer Stephen Marche uses some outdated Freudian ideas about sexuality and gender and the recent explosion of allegations of sexual misconduct to argue that male sexual desire is inherently brutal and oppressive. Thus, there’s no use, as Marche puts it, in “pretending to be something else, some fiction you would prefer to be.” So, feminist ideas are practically useless. The only fruitful thing men can do to respect women as equals is repress their natural urges.

Marche didn’t just use some outdated Freudian ideas; he flat out accused men of inherently being monstrous, which puts him in lockstep with a great many revered ‘thinkers’ and agitators of the feminist movement (MacKinnon, Dworkin, Morgan, Daly, Brownmiller, Solanas, et al.)

In truth, the very problem with masculinity Marche describes in his op-ed is too much repression: The rules governing masculinity require men to be stoic, to repress virtually all of their emotions (except anger). This leads many men to severely underdevelop their own ability to analyze and communicate about their own feelings. Our culture, not men’s nature, has enforced this emotional repression.

Where might I find these ‘rules of masculinity’ in writing? Stoicism is not a state of being, it is a tool for interacting with the world and the people in it. Stoics recognized that universally any given man can control nothing but his own thoughts and his own actions. They also recognized that a man did not have any inherent right to control the thoughts and actions of anyone but himself. Stoicism requires emotional homeostasis, the subordination of emotion to reason, especially those emotions that arise from erroneous judgments. A Stoic man seeks to tame his Pathos so that he cannot be manipulated by others because, as pointed out before, Stoics believe that a man has the right to control only his own thoughts and actions; as a corollary, no man has an inherent right to control the Stoic’s thoughts or actions.

Indeed, every man can think of at least one experience where he was punished for failing—whether intentionally or accidentally—to obey the dictates of these masculine rules. I remember a playground game where my friends and I would re-enact scenes from Disney films. I volunteered myself for the role of Ariel from the Little Mermaid. She was the protagonist and, it seemed to me, the best character to be. My peers bullied and teased me for this failure to obey the rules of compulsory masculinity for weeks afterward, and “Ariel” became a standard go-to insult in arguments.

In a world where females largely control the household, the primary purveyors of this punishment for failure to obey dictates is a female, specifically, a single mother. Here is where the author inserts the obligatory sleight-of-hand that all feminist discourse demands: He conflates the petty cruelty of children to a ‘dictate of masculinity.’ It is a minority of people who cannot comb over their childhood and find some instance of childhood teashing, bullying, or shaming done to them by some beastly, non-Stoic child who wished to exert power at the expense of their target. The author fails to point out that the petty power plays of children are despised in men as we grow larger, stronger, and, hopefully, more rational. Men are expected to moderate their natural strength with reason, wisdom, and again, hopefully, mercy. Otherwise, we’re just clubbing each other over the heads with sticks.

Females, on the other hand, never grow out of childhood power politics. The same tactics small girls practice are mastered by adult women: Out-grouping, gossip, shaming, physical attacks, shunning. These tactics degrade comraderie and social cohesion in any group they are introduced in, but the feminist modus operandi can best be summed up by Robin Morgan in the Redstockings Manifesto: “We do not need to change ourselves, but to change men.”

This is the kind of masculinity that also teaches men they don’t have to ask permission to act on their sexual desires. They’re supposed to take charge and have no reason to respect women’s autonomy. This is what feminists mean when they say sexual harassment and assault are about power, not desire. It’s our culture, not our libidos, that shapes the way men act upon otherwise healthy, run-of-the-mill sexual desires. In itself, there is nothing inherently brutal in a man who is sexually attracted to a woman he works with—no more than there would be if a woman desires a man she works with.

But there is a difference between discreetly (or silently) deriving pleasure from someone’s presence, on the one hand, and imposing one’s desires on that person, especially if they’re unreturned or unwanted. The difference here, as the feminist philosopher Sandra Bartky puts it, is the difference between healthy eroticism and rituals rooted in toxic ideas about masculinity.

Antonio Gramsci called. He’d like his Cultural Hegemony back, if you don’t mind.

I don’t like doing this because after awhile, it just tastes sour, but the success of the 50 Shades of Grey franchise, among females, has largely put the lie to this claim of ‘respect female’s autonomy.’ Despite feminist whining about the nonexistent rape culture, females, not men, have defined what are and are not acceptable sexual customs and rituals. Females define these customs and rituals by the nature and actions of the men they choose to have sex with. 50 Shades is the most recent example but not the only. Books, TV shows, and novels have been gobbled up by females in which a bored, and usually boring, female is whisked off on an adventure by a man who is on the path to glory, fame, or self-destruction.

Females are the gatekeepers of sex. Men merely observe, note, and perform what is necessary to get through the gate.

If a man wants to act on his attraction, or sexual urges? Here, communication, the very thing modern notions of masculinity train us away from, is key. Genuine communication is a two-way street; it presupposes that both participants have an equal right to withdraw from the interaction or decline an offer. Men already understand this to some extent, because this is how men typically behave in interactions with other men.

So, relating to women as equals, as genuine peers, doesn’t necessarily require repressing desire. Instead, it requires coming to terms with the fact that masculinity trains men to have great difficulty recognizing women—or, indeed, anyone that presents as feminine—as persons, as agents, as authoritative and worthy of respect, and then making an effort to see and treat them that way.

Females actively repudiate agency when possessing agency does not benefit them. If men are always to be held responsible for their actions, why should men respect the ‘selective agency’ of females at all? If females are allowed to offer up their varying forms of ‘the Devil made me do it’, but replace the Devil with ‘culture’, ‘medications’, ‘stress’, ‘fatigue’, ‘post-partum’, ‘PTSD’, ‘I was afraid of a man’, ‘Patriarchy’ et cetera ad nauseum, then females are not agents at all.

A few years before my own experience with a catcall, I saw a young woman walking down a Chicago street with a milkshake in hand. A man watching her pass by shouted, “Titties!” at her. Without skipping a beat, she turned around, threw her milkshake at him, and continued on her way. Those of us on the street chuckled in admiration as the man stood dripping from head to toe with chocolate milkshake.

So, when one man assaults another man for words, that’s bad and evil and toxic masculinity. When a female assaults a man for words, you chuckle in admiration?

Yeah, fuck you, you hypocrite.

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A Response to ‘The Unexamined Brutality of the Male Libido’. Additionally, Stephen Marche, Will You Please Go The Hell Away?

You can’t see my face, but my palm is firmly attached to it right now. Stephen Marche, a Canadian writer and male feminist who can’t lower himself far enough in the dirt for the sake of feminism, has put out a new hatchet-piece in the New York Times. I strongly suspect this is causally linked to the recent investiture of Jessica Bennett as the ‘gender editor’ of the paper, but I can’t prove it. Nonetheless, Stephen Marche has, as he has done so many times before, written something lamentably stupid and I am going to point out why it is stupid.

After weeks of continuously unfolding abuse scandals, men have become, quite literally, unbelievable. What any given man might say about gender politics and how he treats women are separate and unrelated phenomena. Liberal or conservative, feminist or chauvinist, woke or benighted, young or old, found on Fox News or in The New Republic, a man’s stated opinions have next to no relationship to behavior.

Sort of like how the statement “feminism means equality” has no relationship to the behavior of feminists in trying to disqualify men from jobs through quotas or due process through Title IX hearings and ‘Listen and Believe’ blathering in rape cases.

Through sheer bulk, the string of revelations about men from Bill Cosby to Roger Ailes to Harvey Weinstein to Louis C.K. to Al Franken and, this week, to Charlie Rose and John Lasseter, have forced men to confront what they hate to think about most: the nature of men in general. This time the accusations aren’t against some freak geography teacher, some frat running amok in a Southern college town. They’re against men of all different varieties, in different industries, with different sensibilities, bound together, solely, by the grotesquerie of their sexuality.

Except it’s not a variety of men. The particular men being accused are a very narrow group: Men in the entertainment industry. Men who used their status as decision-makers and stars to get something vaguely resembling sex. Unfortunately, they ignore red pill truth number 1: You cannot negotiate attraction. You can negotiate sex and that’s fine.

Men arrive at this moment of reckoning woefully unprepared. Most are shocked by the reality of women’s lived experience. Almost all are uninterested or unwilling to grapple with the problem at the heart of all this: the often ugly and dangerous nature of the male libido.

Feminism means equality…but, MEN ARE EVIL!!!!

For most of history, we’ve taken for granted the implicit brutality of male sexuality. In 1976, the radical feminist and pornography opponent Andrea Dworkin said that the only sex between a man and a woman that could be undertaken without violence was sex with a flaccid penis: “I think that men will have to give up their precious erections,” she wrote. In the third century A.D., it is widely believed, the great Catholic theologian Origen, working on roughly the same principle, castrated himself.

Let’s hit the first and easiest deception in this paragraph: It is unknown whether or not Origen castrated himself or not. The story comes from Eusebius of Caesarea, who, while an admirer of Eusebius, like had the tale from Demetrius, the Bishop of Alexandria who was an enemy of Origen and ran him out of the city. Also, Origen interpreted the Gospels as allegory, so it is unlikely that he would suddenly hit Matthew 19:12, read the word “eunuch” and after interpreting the other three books as allegory, decide that this part is literal, and then cut his own dick off.

As for Andrea Dworkin, Marche left out the rest of the Dworkin quote, which I will reproduce here:

“I think that men will have to give up their precious erections and begin to make love together … men will have to phallocentric personalities, and the privileges and powers given to them at birth as a consequence of their anatomy, that they will have to excise everything in them that they now value as distinctively ‘male.'”

Unless Stephen produced those kids of his by artificial insemination and is letting wifey stuff a strap-on in his ass, it doesn’t seem like he has given up on his ‘precious erection’, his ‘phallocentric personality’ or his ‘privileges and powers.’

Fear of the male libido has been the subject of myth and of fairy tale from the beginning of literature: What else were the stories of Little Red Riding Hood or Bluebeard’s Castle about? A vampire is an ancient and powerful man with an insatiable hunger for young flesh. Werewolves are men who regularly lose control of their bestial nature. Get the point? There is a line, obviously, between desire and realization, and some cross it and some don’t. But a line is there for every man. And until we collectively confront this reality, the post-Weinstein public discussion — where men and women go from here — will begin from a place of silence and dishonesty.

Funny. And yet, feminists get aghast when men quote Andrea Dworkin’s own novel, Mercy, of her psychopathic misandry against heterosexual men.

“I’ve always wanted to see a man beaten to a shit bloody pulp with a high-heeled shoe stuffed up his mouth, sort of the pig with the apple; it would be good to put him on a serving plate but you’d need good silver.”

Stephen will never give females the credit of having a line between desire and realization. He has the same view of female nature that the jurors in the Lizzie Borden and Minnie Foster trials did. Females simply do not have the ‘bestial’ nature as men, or, put simply: Women are wonderful.

The masculine libido and its accompanying forces and pathologies drive so much of culture and politics and the economy, while remaining more or less unexamined, both in intellectual circles and in private life. I live in Toronto, a liberal city in a liberal country, with Justin Trudeau for prime minister, a half-female cabinet and an explicitly feminist foreign policy.

That’s right, the masculine libido has driven culture, politics, and the economy in Western civilization.

You’re welcome, women.

And no, you couldn’t have done it better.

The men I know don’t actively discuss changing sexual norms. We gossip and surmise: Who is a criminal and who isn’t? Which of the creeps whom we know are out there will fall this week? Beyond the gossip, there is a fog of the past that is better not to penetrate. Aside from the sorts of clear criminal acts that have always been wrong, changing social norms and the imprecision of memory are dark hallways to navigate. Be careful when you go down them; you might not like what you find.

So much easier to turn aside. Professionally, too, I have seen just how profoundly men don’t want to talk about their own gendered nature. In the spring, I published a male take on the fluctuations of gender and power in advanced economies; I was interviewed over 70 times by reporters from all over the world, but only three of them were men. Men just aren’t interested; they don’t know where to start. I’m working on a podcast on modern fatherhood, dealing with issues like pornography and sex after childbirth. Very often, when I interview men, it is the first time they have ever discussed intimate questions seriously with another man.

That’s right, men are not interested in self-flagellation or living in constant repentence for having a penis. And despite all of the decades feminist whining and haranguing and required training, men in general are sick of it. Men are not going to smack this feminist nonsense down for two reasons: First, the average man does not have the power to do so. This dives into the second reason: Feminism benefits the powerful. Feminists have helped make Americans less-free as they always have since their inception (the first-wave feminist movement died on the hill of alcohol prohibition).

A useful feature of our ‘toxic’ masculine nature is that we have the capacity to work around people and things we don’t like.

A healthy sexual existence requires a continuing education, and men have the opposite. There is sex education for boys, but once you leave school the traditional demands on masculinity return: show no vulnerability, solve your own problems. Men deal with their nature alone, and apart. Ignorance and misprision are the norms.

Male nature must be “dealt with” sort of like how cancer has to be dealt with.

But, feminism means equality, not man-hating.

Which is how we wind up where we are today: having a public conversation about male sexual misbehavior, while barely touching on the nature of men and sex. The (very few) prominent men who are speaking up now basically just insist that men need to be better feminists — as if the past few weeks have not amply demonstrated that the ideologies of men are irrelevant.

No, feminist ideology is irrelevant for the same reason that all ideologies rooted in socialism are irrelevant: Socialists cannot distinguish between coercion and persuasion. They jabber mightily about ‘mass movements’ but ultimately, they would rather seize the mechanisms of legal force and threaten your compliance than to win you to their cause.

Liberalism has tended to confront gender problems from a technocratic point of view: improved systems, improved laws, better health. That approach has resulted in plenty of triumphs. But there remains no cure for human desire. (“It isn’t actually about sex, it’s about power,” I read in The Guardian the other day. How naïve must you be not to understand that sex itself is about power every bit as much as it’s about pleasure?)

I wasn’t aware that human desire was something that required a “cure” Comrade O’Brien:

“The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party.”

Acknowledging the brutality of male libido is not, of course, some kind of excuse. Sigmund Freud recognized the id, and knew it as “a chaos, a caldron full of seething excitations.” But the point of Freud was not that boys will be boys. Rather the opposite: The idea of the Oedipus complex contained an implicit case for the requirements of strenuous repression: If you let boys be boys, they will murder their fathers and sleep with their mothers.

I’ll see your Oedipus Complex voodoo psychoanalysis with a Westermarck Effect. Also, Freud’s theories have be unverifiable by contemporary psychology.

Freud also understood that repression, any repression, is inherently fluid and complicated and requires humility and self-searching to navigate. Women are calling for their pain to be recognized. Many men are quite willing to offer this recognition; it means they don’t have to talk about who they are, which means they don’t have to think about what they are. Much easier to retreat, into ever more shocked and prurient silence, or into the sort of reflection that seems less intended as honesty, and more aimed to please.

Yes. Silence is the ultimate response to feminists like Stephen Marche and females in the West screeching about how oppressed their are on the IPad 6s from the comfort of the local Starbucks. More men are realizing attempting to please females is not a solution; it only invites more screeching and more demands.

Sex is an impediment to any idealism, which is why the post-Weinstein era will be an era of gender pessimism. What if there is no possible reconciliation between the bright clean ideals of gender equality and the mechanisms of human desire? Meanwhile, sexual morality, so long resisted by liberals, has returned with a vengeance, albeit under progressive terms. The sensation of righteousness, which social media doles out in ever-diminishing dopamine hits, drives the discussion, but also limits it. Unable to find justice, or even to imagine it, we are returning to shame as our primary social form of sexual control.

Shame for men. Only men.

The crisis we are approaching is fundamental: How can healthy sexuality ever occur in conditions in which men and women are not equal? How are we supposed to create an equal world when male mechanisms of desire are inherently brutal? We cannot answer these questions unless we face them.

‘Healthy sexuality’ in Marche’s opinion appears to men acting like lesbians with penises, or rather, lesbians without tits and large, flaccid clitorises.

I’m not asking for male consciousness-raising groups; let’s start with a basic understanding that masculinity is a subject worth thinking about. That alone would be an immense step forward. If you want to be a civilized man, you have to consider what you are. Pretending to be something else, some fiction you would prefer to be, cannot help. It is not morality but culture — accepting our monstrosity, reckoning with it — that can save us. If anything can.

And Stephen Marche ends with the typical, boring call to action that all of these advocacy puff-pieces ends on: Men, you are bad and evil and you should be ashamed to have a penis. Reflect on your evilness, then tie your white good-boy cape and pledge eternal servitude to WYMYNKIND. The man conflates ‘masculinity’ with ‘monstrosity’ and imagines that men are supposed to take his bullshit seriously.

Now, if Stephen wants to confess to monstrosity, that he needs to start taking the strap-on and wants to fuck his mother, that’s his business. But this is how he gets to write for the New York Times: He is the successfully re-educated class enemy of feminism, who loudly and publicly denounces others to prove his loyalty to Stalin and the Party and to buy mercy for himself. He spouts meaningless, mindless doctrine, using his hated class as a male as authority to speak on the subject of men while denouncing all things masculine as monstrous.

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ProPublica Is Very Concerned That Females Are Charged With Filing False Reports

Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller of ProPublica, the propaganda arm of the Sandler Foundation (founded by Herb and Marion Sandler, the living embodiments of Honore de Balzac’s maxim “Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime oublié, parce qu’il a été proprement fait.”), have some thoughts on complaining witnesses in sex crimes cases. They’ve picked some instances when sex crimes witnesses were charged with filing false reports in support of “Listen and Believe.” This ignores that no person will ever do as much time for filing a false report as for being wrongfully convicted of rape, but we can’t let pesky facts disrupt the narrative.

There are many reasons for women to think twice about reporting sexual assault. But one potential consequence looms especially large: They may also be prosecuted.

For filing false police reports, which they should be if they are lying.

This month, a retired police lieutenant in Memphis, Tenn., Cody Wilkerson, testified, as part of a lawsuit against the city, not only that police detectives sometimes neglected to investigate cases of sexual assault but also that he overheard the head of investigative services in the city’s police department say, on his first day in charge: “The first thing we need to do is start locking up more victims for false reporting.” It’s an alarming choice of priorities — and one that can backfire.

This is a deceptive attempt at framing by Armstrong and Miller of the problems of the Memphis Police Department to get to the conclusion of ‘females aren’t listened to’ and ‘they don’t take rape seriously.’ This is a well-worn trick of advocacy types who take a fact and use it to draw a faulty conclusion, usually including some type of call to action.

The problem of the MPD is not that the department is full of evil, sexist men who hate females; their problem is one of crooked cops. Some are a little bent and don’t like actually doing police work. Those are the focus of Armstrong and Miller in this piece. Others are just crooks with badges. Those are the ones they ignore.

WREG in Memphis reported that the number of MPD officers arrested for criminal activity between 2011 and 2016 was 114. That’s a lot of dirty cops. It also lines up with a 2012 WREG news report in which then-Police Director Toney Armstrong described 20 arrests per year as being about normal for the MPD.

In short, the MPD has a problem with putting badges on people who probably shouldn’t have them. The types who put the badge on just to get a paycheck, to move up the ladder by massaging their clearance rates or arrest numbers, or worse, the ones who use the badge as a cover to commit to crimes.

In 2015 we wrote an article for ProPublica and the Marshall Project about Marie, an 18-year-old who reported being raped in Lynnwood, Wash., by a man who broke into her apartment. (Marie is her middle name.) Police detectives treated small inconsistencies in her account — common among trauma victims — as major discrepancies. Instead of interviewing her as a victim, they interrogated her as a suspect. Under pressure, Marie eventually recanted — and was charged with false reporting, punishable by up to a year in jail. The court ordered her to pay $500 in court costs, get mental health counseling for her lying and go on supervised probation for one year. More than two years later, the police in Colorado arrested a serial rapist — and discovered a photograph proving he had raped Marie.

What happened to Marie seemed unthinkable. She was victimized twice — first raped, then prosecuted. But cases like hers can be found around the country.

As can cases in which men were prosecuted for crimes they didn’t commit, like…rape? It sucks, doesn’t it? Not enjoying the protection of the law to which citizens are supposed to be due.

In Marie’s case, and with some of the other cases, the victims hadn’t acted the way the police thought a victim should act. Their affect seemed off, or they declined help from an advocate, or they looked away instead of making eye contact. As a result, their stories became suspect.

That’s terrible. But, as usual, I can do better.

Wilbert Jones, of Baton Rouge, LA, was recently freed after 45 years of imprisonment for the rape of a woman in 1971. The case was prosecuted entirely on the identification of Jones by the woman.

Listen and Believe, right?

The problem was, Jones didn’t do it. The prosecutor in Jones’ case withheld exculpatory evidence in his trial of another rape committed in an identical manner while Jones was in custody.

Marie was given a $500 fine. Jones spent 45 years in a Louisiana prison. Ruminate on which set of consequences you would rather suffer because a complaining witness was or was not ‘believed.’

In Lynnwood, the police have since changed the way they do things to prevent anything like Marie’s case from happening again. Detectives today receive additional training about trauma and cannot doubt a rape report absent “definitive proof” that it is false. In an effort to build trust, the department ensures that victims get immediate help from specially trained advocates. Those changes correspond with guidelines for rape investigations that sex-crimes experts have urged for police departments around the country. Those guidelines stress: The police should investigate thoroughly while reserving judgment. Evidence trumps assumptions. The police should be wary of stereotypes; they should not, for example, find an adolescent victim less believable than an adult. Some victims will be hysterical, others stoic; police should not measure credibility by a victim’s response. Police should not interrogate victims. They should listen.

If police don’t question witnesses, how will they get the facts necessary to gather evidence sufficient to argue probable cause for an arrest warrant?

Nationally, police departments, victim advocates and academics have experimented with ways to relieve the burden on rape victims who might fear dismissal, or even arrest, by reporting their attacks to the police. Perhaps the most influential campaign to change police procedures is known as Start by Believing, sponsored by End Violence Against Women International, an organization that conducts training for the police and victim advocates. The campaign asks participants to make a simple pledge: Start the process of investigation by believing those who come forward. Police agencies in nearly every state have joined up.

Or, as Saint Anselem of Canterbury wrote in Proslogion: Credo ut intelligam (I believe so that I may understand). This is all well and good if you are propigating theology, but it is a horrible concept for a judicial system that is supposed to be driven by evidence. It also flies in the face of Armstrong and Williams’ own facts. They stated that ‘Mary’ told her version of the story and then backed off on being questioned. She lied by contradicting what later turned out to be true.

The witnesses are lying.

Armstrong and Williams’ presented the deposition of Cody Wilkerson against the MPD as true, which accused certain cops in the MPD of lying about rape investigations and clearances.

The cops are lying.

I presented the case of Wilbert Jones who was wrongfully convicted of rape because of a false identification by the complaining witness and the witholding of exculpatory evidence by the prosecutor in his case.

The witnesses and the lawyers are lying.

This is where we come to the problem with this pithy sloganeering proffered by advocacy-types in general and feminists that fit really well on bumper stickers but make for bad praxis: In the criminal justice system, almost everyone is lying about something. Witnesses, lawyers, defendants, cops, jurors, and judges. Everybody is selling bullshit to everybody else. At the end of the game, the loser is the one stuck having to eat the biggest pile of bullshit. That’s usually the defendant.

Police in Ashland, Ore., started a program called You Have Options. Agencies that participate handle sexual-assault complaints in a radically different way. Victims can report a rape but request that the police not pursue criminal charges. The idea is to give more control to victims, who might otherwise be reluctant to involve themselves with law enforcement. The detective who founded the program believes it will help the police in the long term by increasing the number of people who come forward and allowing police to collect information that could be used in future investigations if a victim changes his or her mind.

Meanwhile, criminals are allowed to just keep walking the streets because the complaining witness, by some perverse nonlogic, is given more say-so in the process beyond the choice to testify or not.

Both programs are controversial. For instance, Stacy Galbraith, the detective in Colorado who arrested the serial rapist in Marie’s case, told us her starting point isn’t believing: “I think it’s listen to your victim. And then corroborate or refute based on how things go.”

This sounds suspiciously like actual police work. Are we so far gone as a society that skepticism and following the facts where they lead, even if it is to a dead end, is controversial?

You Have Options is an even tougher sell. Many police officers are instinctively resistant to the idea of not immediately investigating a rape. Their job, after all, is to catch bad guys, not let them get away.

It is clear that some law enforcement agencies have begun to experiment with ways to be more responsive to rape victims. It is equally clear that there are no simple solutions. The path forward will almost certainly be contentious. But if we are going to make it easier for victims to tell their stories to law enforcement, change is essential.

Here’s where I part ways with Armstrong and Williams (again). The purpose of law enforcement is to catch bad guys. The purpose of the criminal justice system is to protect defendants from the power of the state. The personal comfort of witnesses is not a goal nor should it be. Witnesses should be uncomfortable in testifying because of what is at stake: A person’s freedom or life. The process of depriving a defendant of their freedom should never be comfortable or easy, no matter how deserving of destruction the defendant may be.

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“The Dumbing Down of Democracy” or “The Continuing Death Spiral of the Corporate Media”

(Note in advance: I do not vote. I am not a member of any political party. I don’t care whether your favorite party, candidate, or policy takes a flying leap off of a bridge tomorrow while whistling Dixie.)

I don’t post in this category often. The longer I live, the more convinced I am that unless you have the power to make policy, arguing over politics is just masturbation with more headaches and fewer rewards.

With that in mind, I present to you “The Dumbing Down of Democracy”, written by Timothy Egan of the New York Times. Like any good niche masturbation aid, it satisfies its fetishists and baffles the hell out of people with different tastes. In this case, it gives TEAM Blue some more mental lubricant with which to pleasure themselves to the notion that they are more intellectually rigorous than any given TEAM Red member in general and Trump supporters in particular. Mostly, it’s just a lot of effete snobbery aimed at people who actually work for a living and don’t have the time or the interest to keep with the latest nonsense from the Versailles on the Potomac, Washington D.C.

Are you smarter than an immigrant?

Smarter than some, dumber than others.

Can you name, say, all three branches of government or a single Supreme Court justice?

Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. And do you mean the United States Supreme Court? One of the Supreme Courts of the states?

I’ll go ahead and name the current eight, just for shits and giggles: Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Breyer, Kennedy, Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Kagan. (R.I.P. Antonin Scalia)

Most Americans, those born here, those about to make the most momentous decision in civic life this November, cannot. And most cannot pass the simple test aced by 90 percent of new citizens.

I imagine most couldn’t ace a simple high school geometry test either and for the same two reasons: First, the 90% who aced the test studied diligently to retain the information and were motivated to know it in order to obtain citizenship. Second, political trivia is not relevant to most people’s daily lives.

Well, then: Who controlled the Senate during the 2014 election, when control of the upper chamber was at stake?

The Democrat Party, specifically Harry Reid.

If you answered Dunno at the time, you were with a majority of Americans in the clueless category.

Is this screed actually going somewhere? Or will we just continue to thumb our noses at the filthy, unwashed peasants?

But surely now, when election news saturation is thicker than the humidity around Lady Liberty’s lip, we’ve become a bit more clue-full. I give you Texas. A recent survey of Donald Trump supporters there found that 40 percent of them believe that Acorn will steal the upcoming election.

Acorn? News flash: That community-organizing group has been out of existence for six years. Acorn is gone, disbanded, dead. It can no more steal an election than Donald Trump can pole vault over his Mexican wall.

Dead in the same way the zombies from the Walking Dead. An exerpt from an article published in Winter 2014 issue of Non-Profit Quarterly entitled “Death or Reincarnation? The Story of ACORN”:

What does one do when an organization is getting ready to close yet the issues it addressed in the community are still unresolved? This is the question many ACORN chapters began asking in 2010, when the organization readied to close its doors. Two of ACORN’s largest chapters, in New York and California, were the first to separate from the umbrella organization, with many others following suit shortly thereafter.

ACORN’s California chapter, which represented about an eighth of ACORN’s national membership, changed its name to Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) in January 2010. The newly founded group supported a comparable mission, was staffed by many of the same employees who had worked for ACORN, and was mostly funded by the same donors. The former head organizer for the California chapter, Amy Schur, was named executive director of ACCE.10

Suspicions abound that ACORN is still alive and well, hiding behind alternative names of the “new” organizations. Darrell Issa, California Republican representative on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a written statement to Fox News likening these metamorphoses to a “criminal” who changes his or her name but continues to operate much as before. Issa described the new entities as remaining, when it came down to it, the same corporation with the same board, staff, and people—in other words, with having changed in name only.11

Issa was not alone in declaring his concern. The Capital Research Center reported that ACORN is still being led by Wade Rathke at ACORN International (under the name Communities Organized International [COI]) since 2005.12 Additionally, Cause of Action, a nonprofit that focuses on government accountability, keeps a list of rebranded former ACORN entities, still-active ACORN entities, and ACORN allies on its website. As of August 2012, the website listed 174 active organizations.13 (The list has not been updated since that time.) Two of the active organizations, Affordable Housing Centers of Pennsylvania (AHCOPA) and ACTION United, are currently housed where the former ACORN chapter of Pennsylvania called home. While AHCOPA’s executive director Kenneth Bigos says that the organization does not have direct ties to ACORN, AHCOPA’s website states that the organization has been operating since 1985, which is the same year that ACORN’s housing branch started operations.14 In contrast, ACTION United’s website puts its establishment date as 2010.15 AHCOPA’s website lacks any information linking it to ACORN, while ACTION United’s website clearly acknowledges the link: “ACTION United was formed in April 2010 by staff and former leaders of Pennsylvania ACORN, which was destroyed by right wing forces angry at the 1 Million voters registered by ACORN nationally in 2008 and the results of that voter engagement. Seeing a strong need to continue the work done by PA ACORN for over 30 years, ACTION United has continued to employ much the same organizing model as ACORN.”16

Dead in name perhaps, but its dubious work is apparently being carried out by a host of successor organizations.

We know that at least 30 million American adults cannot read. But the current presidential election may yet prove that an even bigger part of the citizenry is politically illiterate — and functional. Which is to say, they will vote despite being unable to accept basic facts needed to process this American life.

Interesting point. Let’s look a little closer at that 30 million figure. The number comes from some statistics done in April 2014 by the Department of Indoctrination…excuse me, EDUCATION in conjunction with the National Institute for Literacy. According to the numbers, it’s actually 32 million (14% of the adult population).

Here’s where it gets fun.

Of that 32 million 41% are Hispanic, 24% are Black, 9% are White, and 13% are “Other.”

Shame on you, Timothy. Picking on likely Hillary voters like that. Because that is the narrative, right? TEAM Blue loves the brown people, which is why the brown people owe TEAM Blue all their votes. But TEAM Blue doesn’t love them enough to teach them how to read.

Shame, shame, shame.

“There’s got to be a reckoning on all this,” said Charlie Sykes, the influential conservative radio host, in a soul-searching interview with Business Insider. “We’ve created this monster.”

Way to cut a quote out of context, Timothy. Charlie Sykes, another jilted Cruz lover from Wisconsin and one of the founding fathers of the mercifully short-lived #NEVERTRUMP hashtag-cum-movement among business-as-usual TEAM Red, clarified and elaborated on his actual point after the interview:

This is, of course, only part of the story: the media itself has contributed mightily to the destruction of its own credibility by its bias and often curdling contempt for conservative ideas and conservatives themselves. They have spent years crying wolf, and now should not be surprised that a large portion of the electorate simply no longer pays attention, even when the wolf turns out to be real. My point was that rather than simply attacking the instances of bias in the media, we have succeeded in de-legitimizing the media altogether. Unfortunately, this means that there are few, if any trusted referees at a moment when we most need independent, credible arbiters of truth.

I agree with Sykes only partially: The wounds on the credibility of the Corporate Media (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, etc.) have almost been entirely self-inflicted. Talk radio, the internet, social media, and independent/guerrilla journalism were just the instruments of their self-inflicted wounds. The corporate media propagandists, drunk on self-importance and delusions of Government by Journalism, have expended more blood and ink in defense of the Statist-Progressive narrative than their own credibility. When caught, they issue terse non-apologies or, as Dan Rather famously declared before his shaming and ouster from CBS, that their propaganda was “fake but accurate.”

Trump, who says he doesn’t read much at all, is both a product of the epidemic of ignorance and a main producer of it. He can litter the campaign trail with hundreds of easily debunked falsehoods because conservative media has spent more than two decades tearing down the idea of objective fact.

If Trump supporters knew that illegal immigration peaked in 2007, or that violent crime has been on a steady downward spiral nationwide for more than 20 years, they would scoff when Trump says Mexican rapists are surging across the border and crime is out of control.

That’s right. Illegal immigration did peak in 2007 at 12 million. The current number is estimated at approximately 11.3 million, even with Obama taking a victory lap on the grounds that he has deported more illegal immigrants than any other President in history.

And I do scoff because it is somewhat dishonest to state that violent crime across the board has decreased for the last 20 years (which it has), without offering the caveat that the decline is less pronounced depending on geography (Usually urban areas in which Democrats hold policymaking power).

If more than 16 percent of Americans could locate Ukraine on a map, it would have been a Really Big Deal when Trump said that Russia was not going to invade it — two years after they had, in fact, invaded it.

One man’s invasion is another man’s annexation (of Crimea).

If basic civics was still taught, and required, for high school graduation, Trump could not claim that judges “sign bills.”

Wow, Trump said “bill” instead of “ruling,” or “opinion.” Somebody stop the freaking presses. This layman’s misunderstanding makes him makes him a thousand times worse than a trained attorney who has spent the last 24 years actively undermining the Constitution and the rule of law to her own profit (looking at you, Hillary).

The dumbing down of this democracy has been gradual, and then — this year — all at once. The Princeton Review found that the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 were engaged at roughly a high school senior level. A century later, the presidential debate of 1960 was a notch below, at a 10th grade level. By the year 2000, the two contenders were speaking like sixth graders. And in the upcoming debates — “Crooked Hillary” against “Don the Con” — we’ll be lucky to get beyond preschool potty talk.

And Timothy Egan and the rest of the eunuchs of the political chattering classes will dutifully lap it up, dissect it, analyze it, psychoanalyze it, then issue solemn pronouncements about the length and depth of this potty talk.

I plan to do something productive: Make myself a pizza and watch a movie.

How did this happen, when the populace was so less educated in the days when most families didn’t even have an indoor potty to talk about? You can look at one calculated loop of misinformation over the last two weeks to find some of the answer.

A big political lie often starts on the Drudge Report, home of Obama-as-Muslim stories.

Uh-huh.

Oh, I’m sorry. Are we only jumping on misstatements/gaffes when TEAM Red does it? Do I need to refer you back to that Charlie Sykes statement about media “credibility”?

He jump-started a recent smear with pictures of Hillary Clinton losing her balance — proof that something was very wrong with her. Fox News then went big with it, using the Trump adviser and free-media enabler Sean Hannity as the village gossip. Then Rudy Giuliani, the internet diagnostician, urged people to Google “Hillary Clinton illness” for evidence of her malady. This forced Clinton to prove her stamina, in an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, by opening a jar of pickles.

Grip strength is not stamina. When I was an innocent, naive young schoolboy, anyone of us could have beaten the old nuns in a foot-race easily. But if one of those old brides of Christ got a good hold on you, it was like trying to free your arm from an alligator’s jaws.

Just saying.

The only good thing to come out of this is that now, when you Google “Hillary Clinton illness” what pops up are scathing stories about a skeletal-faced rumormonger named Rudy Giuliani, and a terrific Stephen Colbert takedown of this awful man.

The awful man who contributed to that declining rate of violent crime you were just babbling about. Compare that to all of the lives saved by Clown Nose Colbert and his equally putrid forebearer in non-comedy, Clown Nose Stewart.

Please, continue.

But what you don’t know really can hurt you. Last year was the hottest on record. And the July just passed was earth’s warmest month in the modern era. Still, Gallup found that 45 percent of Republicans don’t believe the temperature. We’re not talking about doubt over whether the latest spike was human-caused — they don’t accept the numbers, from all those lying meteorologists.

Blessed be Mother Gaia and all Her works.

Of late, almost half of Floridians have done something to protect themselves from the Zika virus, heeding government warnings. But the other half cannot wish it away, as the anti-vaccine crowd on the far left does for serious and preventable illnesses.

Wasn’t the Zika virus vaccine just approved for human trials two months ago? I didn’t know that I was part of the anti-vaccine crowd on the far left, but I’m not inclined to put experimental genetically modified inactive virii in my body until someone can wave some papers in my face that reasonably assure me that I won’t die from it or my balls won’t turn black and fall off in the toilet bowl.

I’m sorry that my once-surging Seattle Mariners dropped two out of three games to the Yankees this week. I just prefer not to believe it. And look — now my guys are in first place, no matter what the skewed “standings” show. In my own universe, surrounded by junk fact and junk conclusions, I feel better already.

Pretty weak closing. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot of persuasive, thoughtful rhetoric from the Old Grey Whore. It serves its purpose, which is to give an emotional booster shot to TEAM Blue that they are so much smarter and better than those EVIL TEAM Red types voting for that EVIL Donald Trump. This op-ed met me at the level of my expectations.

What’s exasperating is that the author indulges in no introspection, especially with respect to the meatiest topic of this op-ed: the lack of credibility of the corporate media. He does a nice head-fake with the Charlie Sykes quote, which serves to indict him and the rest of the corporate media in the rise and prospering of alternative news media. Timothy Egan, like others who make their living churning out hit-pieces and propaganda for pay, failed to acknowledge, or even address, that the producers and consumers of alternative news media have a legitimate grievance when the criticize the corporate media distorting facts and misrepresenting people, going back to 1964.

Barry Goldwater wasn’t a racist. That didn’t stop the corporate media from doing everything in its collective power to paint him as such for the crime of suggesting that maybe, just MAYBE, there are some things outside of the scope of the federal government’s power. Crazy, I know. The New York Times, the Old Gray Whore, the paper of record has taken numerous shots to chin, based on slipshod reporting, misquotations, failure to fact-check, and the paper’s response has not been to reflect and say, “maybe we need to bring some ideological balance into our newsroom and editorial board, or at the very least, put some more procedures into place so that we can appear objective”; their answer has largely been “fuck you for catching us while we were trying to manipulate you.” And it’s not limited to the New York Times. Just recently, CNN was caught editing video of Sherrell Smith, sister of recently killed Sylville Smith and claiming that she was “calling for peace.” The entire video showed that she told the howling mob to go burn down the suburbs (and how much black women need weave).

The point (and thankfully, the conclusion) is that if the electorate is having trouble accepting your “facts,” it’s not because they are dumber. They have just gotten more skeptical and wary of the stories they are being told because experience has taught them that the media rarely, if ever, tells them the entire truth, or gives them the facts and let’s them decide for themselves.

Media credibility died on the altar of the Progressive narrative. If the people don’t trust you and don’t believe what you tell them, maybe the problem is you, not them.

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