Figures don’t lie, but liars figure

I’ve been dogged by the bug I picked up in New Zealand and now, seeing my compromised immune system, a cold/flu bug has piled on. Hence I am awake at 2:48 A.M. I have taken NyQuil, and honestly, if we cannot count on NyQuil for a knockout punch, what is left for us? Everclear?

I’ve been mulling over Lizard’s piece regarding Jon Tester’s professional lying, but something else too. Over at Cowgirl, the Montana Democrat sock puppet, I was looking at blog stats. I struggle here to keep a couple of hundred hits a day, and have for eight years. The Cowgirl story is pictured to the left here.


Keep in mind that Cowgirl was heavily promoted. “She” had the entire Democrat apparatus behind her, so she was plugged in the Washington Post and Kos as part of the usual rollout of a mouthpiece site. But she still has traffic coming out her ears, and has a hold on her readers hard to explain. She doesn’t necessarily lie, but the whole operation is so damned slick. This is not one person. It’s a staff operation.

Of course, those stats could be a lie. Professional liars lie professionally, that is, they know how to tell a lie and make it stick. Her numbers never seem to vary much, even at 2:48 A.M. That is suspicious. (Of course I am jealous.)

That’s all Tester did with his statement

Unfortunately, every logging sale in Montana right now is under litigation. Every one of them.”

imageTester was on a Montana Public Radio interview. He’s heavily staffed, scripted, surrounded by those wonks and facilitators in charge of his public image and message. This guy is not former Senator Conrad Burns, who routinely caused staff fire drills when he went off script. Tester is a calculated liar, even somewhat smooth. The image his people run, to the right here, is calculated. That gritty jacket he’s wearing there got a lookover by the PR people, and they decided that the content of the image is a worthy lie. It says he’s a farmer, gets his hands dirty, is a man of the people.

He’s not. He’s a smooth and calculating professional liar, morally off-kilter, readily willing to act as a front for money. Do people like that only become people like that once elected? Or are they already like that beforehand? Are they discovered and promoted by people constantly scouting the population for political talent?

I think it is the latter. The image makers found him, invented him, put him to use when they realized that it was time to put Conrad Burns to pasture.

Who owns the public mind? Who wins these debates? Is it people like Matt Koehler, attacked by Tester, who are careful with their words and facts? Or is it the professional liars?

Jon Tester appeared on that Montana Public Radio program with a script, and told his lie. Will he be called out there? (Not likely – they want him to come back. The same power structure is behind them as any other media outlet, and so MPR acts as a willing facilitator.)

Tester planned to tell that lie. It did not originate with him, and he seems such a shallow, callow man who it is hard to imagine he even cares. It was done for effect. His staff wrote it for him, he read it. They knew there would be fallout, but also that the overall effect would be this: Lying works.

You just have to know how to do it.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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5 Responses to Figures don’t lie, but liars figure

  1. steve kelly says:

    This is not a new script. Democrats went from “big tent” to no tent in the Reagan years. Ronnie was a former Democrat and union boss for the Screen Actors Guild. Anything goes, just get elected. Tester has the acting talent to pull it off without guilt or remorse. He seems to relish it. Daines and Zinke are still in training. It’s the same money, same goals, same neoliberal/neocon policies.

    A pretty good working definition of a Blue Dog Democrat:
    “A Blue Dog Democrat is so-called because of the character Dino on the cartoon television show The Flintstones. Dino was a blue dog, and the letters DINO stand for “Democrat In Name Only.”

    Blue Dog Democrats are also sometimes called “Reagan Democrats.” They are conservative, rather than progressive, and have a tendency to align themselves with GOP policies in matters of taxation and spending.
    The Blue Dog Democrats are standing in the way of true healthcare reform.” – Urban Dictionary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Big Swede says:

      They should update the UD every 5 years or so. We got true healthcare reform.


      • We agree that we did not get true health care reform but this is what happens when corporations write laws. We got a huge corporate subsidy instead. That’s my objection.

        What parts of so-called “Obamacare” do you find objectionable?


        • Big Swede says:

          Then instead of enhancing the corporations/gov. strangle hold we should let state residents buy coverage anywhere. We also should be able to buy high risk only plans.

          You want to screw ins. corporations make them earn their money rather than participate in state run monopolies.


        • I understand that sentiment, and would support it if we had national standards of coverage. Switzerland uses the private insurance model, but sets out standards of basic care that all companies have to offer.

          The idea of self-insurance, I tend to agree with that too, but it has to be true self-insurance, that is, you would have to demonstrate that you have the assets for your own coverage.

          In both cases the problem we face is our tendency to under-insure to save premium dollars, which is in my view bad public policy.


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