Media

More Oprah Insanity

I wanted to continue to unpack Oprah Winfrey’s inane ramblings on Good Morning America. I absolutely cannot stand daytime television and its ridiculously simplistic and saccharine philosophy. Watching these audiences shrieking and screaming hysterically on command, forming cults of personality around people like Oprah and Ellen Degeneres, like the new American church, is one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen.

In the course of telling people their highest calling in life was to “be themselves,” even if they were born a sociopath, I guess, she said this gem: “That’s why all the voices of the world mean nothing if your voice is in alignment with all the voices of the world. That’s true. No matter what you look like.”

Huh?

“All the voices of the world mean nothing if your voice is in alignment with all the voices of the world.”

So does that also mean “All the voices of the world mean something if your voice is not in alignment with all the voices of the world”? Or in other words, “if your voice is in alignment with all the voices of the world, all the voices of the world mean nothing.”

So is she saying everyone should just disagree all the time? There’s a general consensus around the world that murder is a bad thing, right? Unless you’re a terrorist. Surely we shouldn’t disagree with that?

Or if we all agree that you should treat other people with decency and respect, that becomes meaningless because we all agreed on it?

I’m not bringing this up to be snarky, and I don’t think Oprah is even arguing that. I think she doesn’t understand and/or hasn’t put any thought at all into what she’s saying. She just thinks it sounds good and it’s what her audience wants to hear.

If Oprah was just some guy on a street corner with a bullhorn spouting nonsense, it wouldn’t matter. But millions of people take her word for the Gospel (yes, I’m deliberately using religious terms), and just a few weeks ago there were people seriously talking about her running for president. And remember when she announced Barack Obama was “THE ONE”? Yeah, so maybe we should pay more attention to her insanity.

What does it mean to ‘be yourself’?

Oprah, just being herself

When asked her advice to young girls on Good Morning America, prospective presidential candidate and media mogul Oprah Winfrey replied, “The highest honor on Earth that you will ever have is the honor of being yourself.” She went on to add, “Your only job in the world, people think your job is to get up and go and raise money and take care of your families and stuff, that’s an obligation that you have but your only true job as a human being is to discover why you came, why you are here.”

When I was younger, I used to buy into this line of thinking. “Be yourself.” “Discover yourself.” “Discover why you’re here.” But if you start unpacking these ideas, they’re really just meaningless, and in the end, terrible advice. It’s the kind of thing you say to be utterly inoffensive and avoid taking an actual position or giving useful advice.

What does it mean to ‘be yourself’? Is every individual born with some innate purpose they need to discover? If so, how do you know once you’ve discovered it? Is it always good to be yourself? What if you’re a terrible person? What if the purpose you discover leads you to make bad decisions that negatively impact your life?

She continued. “Every one of us has an internal guidance, a GPS, an intuition, a heart print, a heart song that [speaks] to us. Your only job is to be able to listen and discern when it’s speaking versus your head and your personality speaking, and if you follow that you will be led to the highest good for you, always.” That’s crazy. People make terrible decisions following their hearts instead of their heads all the time.

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Worst Academy Awards in History

To no one’s surprise, most Americans decided not to watch a bunch of pampered, virtue-signaling millionaires pat themselves on the back at this year’s Academy Awards. With an average of 26.5 million viewers, it was the least-watched Oscars in history, down 19 percent from last year.

The raw numbers don’t even tell the whole story. 26.5 million viewers today are a lot smaller percentage of the population than forty years ago. In 1970, 43.4 percent of U.S. households tuned in. Forty-three percent!

What do you expect when literally hundreds of people in Hollywood knew about Harvey Weinstein’s outrageous behavior for decades, did nothing about it, or worse, helped to cover it up. Then they have the audacity to get up on stage for four grueling hours and lecture all of us about how we need to be more virtuous? Give me a break!

I’ve read plenty of excuses about how declining interest in the Academy Awards parallels declining interest in award shows or live events generally. That may be true, but do you really think an Oscars focused on entertainment, popular movies, and which was a reasonable length wouldn’t have pulled in a lot more views?

I guess I can only speak for myself, but I love movies and I’m staying away from the theater because it’s overpriced, the movies are crappy, and I’m constantly annoyed by having social and political messages shoved in my face in every film. So I have even less desire to watch an awards show in which everyone congratulates themselves over that sorry mess, and I think a lot of folks would agree.

What is wrong with the folks at Teen Vogue?

So world-famous evangelist Billy Graham died recently, and a 27-year-old Teen Vogue columnist named Lauren Duca decided to use that occasion to defame him on Twitter. Billy Graham was already old when I was born, and I’ve been a longtime critic of evangelical Christianity. I mention this only to explain that I have no vested interest in defending Billy Graham. I’m indifferent, but usually when a person dies, you take the time to say some nice things about them, or shut up. For the sake of their family and all that. It’s usually the decent thing to do.

Apparently Lauren Duca decided the advent of Billy Graham’s death was a good time to tweet, “The big news today is that Billy Graham was still alive this whole time. Anyway, have fun in hell, bitch,” and “’Respecting the dead’ only applies to people who weren’t evil pieces of shit while they were living.” (Over 3,000 people liked the post! Who are these people?)

What the heck? Billy Graham was an almost universally beloved figure. He ministered to presidents and had a close friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr. There are a lot of terrible people in this world, and a lot of evil people who commit atrocities, rape, and murder. Who in their right mind would lump Billy Graham in with them?

Someone who writes for Teen Vogue, I guess. Teen Vogue has become increasingly insane, publishing radical sexual content to teen and pre-teen girls, including a guide to anal sex that claimed, “There is no wrong way to experience sexuality, and no way is better than any other.” (Tell that to this person!)

Are the minds of the folks at Teen Vogue so poisoned, they not only have to push their Dionysian philosophy, but also have to shit all over people, like Billy Graham, who choose to be vocal Christians and promote a moral worldview? Allow me to suggest that someone who believes Billy Graham is morally equivalent with an ISIS terrorist (for example), truly has a deranged and unanchored moral compass.

Bizarre Anti-Tax Cut Virtue Signaling in Cosmopolitan

The United States has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world. Or had, anyway. Given a penchant for wanting the U.S. to be more like Europe, and the average corporate tax rate in Europe is 18.35 percent, I thought there would be more celebrating when Congress lowered it from 35 to 21 percent. The bill also cut the top personal income tax rate by 2.6 percent.

Imagine my surprise when my social and moral superiors fell into hysterical fits about getting to keep more of their own money, even calling it “immoral”! Cosmopolitan Magazine, where I go to get all my fashion tips and information about U.S. fiscal policy, published an article titled, “4 Reasons You Should Be Disgusted by the GOP’s Immoral Tax Plan.”

Why should I be disgusted? I asked myself. According to the article,

  • It’s a Big Tax Cut for the Rich and Corporations
  • It’s a Small, Temporary Tax Cut for Everyday Americans
  • It Repeals the Obamacare Mandate
  • It Blows Up the Deficit and Will Crush the Poor, Disabled, and the Elderly

The first two reasons are essentially just an opinion that wealthy people and businesses shouldn’t be allowed to make more than a certain amount of money, and saying that the wealthy will benefit more than lower-income Americans isn’t an argument. By the way, nearly half of all Americans don’t pay Federal income tax. The richest 20 percent pay nearly 87 percent of all federal income tax. So yeah, lowering federal income tax rates will benefit the wealthy. So what?

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Another Dishonest Headline from the Washington Post

Since I’ve disengaged with politics, I didn’t realize how many people were freaking out over the biggest tax overhaul in decades. If the Senate and House bills can be reconciled, it’ll mean the Federal corporate tax rate will lower from 35 to 20 percent. That’s huge, and the U.S. will be much more attractive to businesses.

It’s good for the stock market too. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Many companies plan to bring cash home from abroad and give a lot of that money to investors in the form of higher dividends and stock buybacks (which increase stock prices).”

Others have criticized the overhaul for potentially raising the national deficit and repealing the individual mandate requiring people to buy health insurance or face financial penalties. You’d think it heralds the apocalypse according to celebrities on Twitter.

So the Washington Post couldn’t help itself when President Trump seemed to equivocate on the final tax rate. According to a recent headline, “Hours after Senate GOP passes tax bill, Trump says he’ll consider raising corporate rate.”

There’s only one problem with this headline: Congress holds the purse strings. The President can’t do anything about taxes except sign or veto legislation Congress puts in front of him. This is Civics 101.

But that’s not even what happened. The entire article is based on an offhanded comment to reporters in which President Trump said, “Business tax all the way down from 35 to 20… It could be 22 when it all comes out, but it could also be 20. We’ll see what ultimately comes out.”

The President is clearly saying, “it could be 22 or 20… we’ll see what happens.” Meaning, stop freaking out about a bill that hasn’t even reached my desk yet. We don’t know what the final tax rate in the compromise bill will be. The sky could be cloudy tomorrow, or it could rain. Anything can happen.

The Washington Post interpreted this as, “Trump told reporters that the corporate tax rate in the GOP plan might end up rising to 22 percent from 20 percent,” which “could complicate sensitive negotiations to pass a final bill.” As though the President’s speculation has anything at all to do with what ends up on his desk! Sorry, our government doesn’t work that way.

You probably think this is a minor point, but the word “might” has intentionality behind it. It’s a prediction. Saying it might rain is different from saying it could rain. That turns into “Trump says he’ll consider raising corporate rate.”

Trump has no power to raise the corporate tax rate, nor did he say he’ll consider it. The Washington Post knows this, but decided to mislead its readers anyway.

Jenna Abrams Exposes American Media’s Stupidity

“Jenna Abrams had a lot of enemies on Twitter, but she was a very good friend to viral content writers across the world,” begins a Daily Beast exposé on a Twitter user that turned out to be the creation of the Russian-controlled Internet Research Agency. The article is meant to alarm readers about Russian influence in mass media, but in fact just shows how dumb the American media really is.

According to the Daily Beast, Jenna Abrams “at one point boasted nearly 70,000 Twitter followers.” Despite an “audience” amounting to 0.0002 percent of the U.S. population, her tweets ended up being quoted in articles published by a wide variety of news organizations and websites, including USA Today, The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Daily Caller, The Telegraph, CNN, and even the New York Times.

Why? I’ve talked about the tendency of lazy journalists to use Twitter as fodder to churn out articles and drum up fake controversy before. It’s easy to find a handful of tweets and quote them in an article, creating a perception of disagreement or consensus on an issue. The fake Jenna Abrams account gave them exactly what they wanted.

So who’s really to blame for getting trolled by the Russians? For an industry that supposedly prides itself on checking its sources and being the gatekeepers of factual information, they sure didn’t do a good job verifying to whom they were giving a wide platform.

Now media outlets are covering their asses by pretending Jenna Abrams and other fake accounts were “popular” and “influential” during the previous presidential election. A few thousand Twitter followers, many of whom were also probably fake, on a national scale is less than statistically insignificant.

Anyone can create a Twitter account, pretend to be whoever they want and say whatever they want. It’s ridiculous how much the news media cares about what anyone says on Twitter, or any social media for that matter, but that’s why the media’s credibility is at all-time lows.