Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You can't fix stupid: The sad saga of "pink slime"

By Michael D. Shaw

It should come as no surprise to any sentient individual that the entire "Pink Slime" uproar is complete and utter BS. However, it would appear that there are many out there who aren't sentient, after all. My latest HND piece compares this travesty with William Randolph Hearst's horrific trashing of silent move star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, solely to sell newspapers. If public opinion could be force-fed by unscrupulous media barons back in 1921, you'd think that it would be much harder to do this in 2012—given the instant availability of unlimited amounts of information via the Internet. But you would be wrong.

H.L. Mencken got it right when he said, in his column in the September 19, 1926 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune, entitled “Notes on Journalism”:
“No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”
His topic was a recent trend in the American newspaper business: Tabloid newspapers that were geared toward uneducated readers, including those Mencken described as “near-illiterates.” Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. (Literally “The more it changes, the more it's the same thing.”)

(Editor's Note:  Here is a quote from his article, You Can't Fix Stupid: The Sad Saga Of "Pink Slime" as he lays the logical foundation for his points regarding the media and Pink Slime. Points to be taken away from this article are that the media is stupid, corrupt, ignorant, amoral, immoral and celebrities views need to be ignored. RK)
"One of the best-remembered examples is the notorious 1921 case of silent movie star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and alleged rape and homicide victim Virginia Rappé. As many are unaware even today, Arbuckle was completely innocent of the charges against him, and had to suffer through three trials at the hands of San Francisco District Attorney Matthew Brady, who knew quite well that his key witness was lying. It was at the third trial that Arbuckle was actually proclaimed innocent by the jury.
Indeed, Judge Sylvain J. Lazarus was tempted to drop all charges from the first, and probably would have done so, but for the outrageously mendacious and sensationalistic coverage of the story by Hearst's San Francisco Examiner, that whipped up public hysteria and facilitated the fraudulent prosecution. Hearst would brag later that he had sold more newspapers on the Arbuckle case than on the sinking of the Lusitania.
In fact, Rappé was not raped or murdered at all. She died of a ruptured bladder (not related to an external source) with signs of acute peritonitis. Arbuckle's career would never recover—much less his health. His cause was defended by fellow comic Buster Keaton, while actor William S. Hart—who had never worked with Arbuckle—jumped on the bandwagon and made statements against him.

Surely, 91 years after the Arbuckle affair, the American public is far too sophisticated to fall for such gross misrepresentation by the media, right? Wrong. If anything, the public is more clueless now than in 1921, if you consider the present day's ease of access to unlimited information on virtually any topic, and how this should make a big difference in its understanding of current events—but doesn't.
Case in point: The Pink Slime affair."
This is an article that needs to be read in full by everyone.

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