How long can MSNBC viewers fall for the lies?

By John Ruberry

Sometime in her early 20s my wife, aka Mrs. Marathon Pundit, realized she’d been fed a stream of lies from the Soviet Union. The state media and the government schools put forth this whopper, for instance, that Estonia, Lithuania, and her own Latvia voluntarily joined the USSR in 1940, after the Red Army moved in

What else had they lied to her about?

Plenty of things. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster for instance. And she grew up with the false belief that Soviet citizens enjoyed a standard of living that was among the world’s highest. And some information was left out. While we were still dating we were looking up with amazement at the stars on a crystal clear and moonless night in rural Michigan. Then she asked me, “Did the Americans really send men to the moon?”

Let’s move up a few decades to MSNBC, the most reliable mouthpiece for leftist Democratic politicians and their supporters. 

Watching MSNBC you’ll be told that Critical Race Theory is not being taught in public schools. As I explained last week, while the original CRT texts probably aren’t being presented, lessons are being rammed down kids’ throats that put them into two camps for instance, oppressors and oppressed. And that America is incurably racist–well there is a cure. And that is of course CRT, even though it might be labeled “equity training.”

That conversation is morphing into their belief that conservatives don’t want racial history, including slavery, taught in schools. That’s just made-up nonsense. 

Just this morning on some MSNBC program called Velshi, one of the panelists made the claim that many of the protesters who spoke up at school board meetings aren’t parents, or perhaps she said they don’t have children at those schools. No matter. For instance as taxpayers these patriots have a right to voice their opinion on how the biggest part of their property tax bill is spent. Secondly if we take that twisted logic further, then Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, who has no children, should have no voice in how are youngsters are educated. 

MSNBC and CNN pushed the Trump-Russia collusion fallacy for most of the Trump presidency. It is the Elvis-sightings of political scandals. Elvis Presley died in 1977 and there was no Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Here’s another MSNBC fable–that Kyle Rittenhouse, in the words of one commentator on that network, was “arguably a domestic terrorist.” The MSNBC talking heads were infuriated that Rittenhouse crossed a state line from Antioch, Illinois–which borders Wisconsin, to travel during the riot (oops, unrest) in Kenosha, where his father lived and where Rittenhouse worked. The truth has since emerged that the then-17-year-old was just trying to help out in a lawless zone who was forced into a situation where he had no choice but to defend himself.

Oh, just so you know, I don’t believe that minors should be waking around with an AK-47. 

For months MNSBC has been following the Democrat Party line that inflation was all but non-existent, then it was “transitory,” and now while it is real, inflation is not a problem. After Velshi MSNBC’s next program, The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart came on. His first guest was the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who discussed rising prices. “Part of the reason that people are talking about inflation is that there are costs rising for American families across the county.” Duh! Her party’s solution? Of course it’s the expensive Build Back Better bill that includes child care money–and that will bring down costs for Americans. Wow. Give Jayapal her Nobel Prize for Economics now! Capehart didn’t bother to challenge Jayapal’s idiocy.

You probably believe that the typical MSNBC viewer is a hardened leftist who is immune from logic. Yes on the first and no on the second. MSNBC is telling its core audience what it wants to hear. But truth can only be carried so far. Imagine for a moment a brothel that caters to men in their 50s like me. (Disclosure–I have not been to such a place.) You walk in and the women comment on how handsome you are–and that you are in incredible physical shape. They laugh at your jokes and when you bring up politics, “Republicans are racists, Biden is the best president since FDR,” one of the women winks at you and says, “Let’s continue this conversation upstairs in private.” And upstairs you go.

Eventually you learn that you are being played at that imaginary brothel–you ascertain that the sex workers are coyly reconfirming beliefs that you already have. “I’m a great looking guy.” Even though you’re not. You’re a guy in your 50s. Duh! They just want your money so they tell you want you want to hear.

MSNBC just wants your time. With so many choices for time–hundreds of cable channels, streaming services, podcasts, the internet, not to mention old school choices such as books and actually sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation with another person, time is an ever-precious finite resource. MSNBC is reconfirming the false beliefs–Trump colluded with Russia, Rittenhouse is a vigilante, inflation is not a problem–of its viewers to steal that time.

Sure it’s a trite expression, but time really is money.

What will MSNBC say if runway inflation–not to mention Jimmy Carter-era stagflation–is with us in a year? 

How many of its viewers will switch the channel? Forever.

MSNBC’s ratings are already way below those of Fox News. CNN is in even worse shape.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Hello Iran: When people stop believing government lies they stop believing in the government

Latvian Popular Front Leader Mavricks Vulfsons. Signs read “Freedom” and “1940–Year of Stalinist Occupation Regime”

By John Ruberry

Regular readers of my posts here and at Marathon Pundit know that my wife, Mrs. Marathon Pundit, was born in the Soviet Union–in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. She emigrated to the United States in 1991.

Mrs. Marathon Pundit was lied to regularly–just as citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been fed untruths since 1979.

As with other members of her generation, Mrs. MP believed the lies pumped out by the government, and that includes the schools, whoppers such as Soviet citizens enjoyed an advanced standard of living, even though Mrs. Marathon Pundit grew up in a farmhouse with no running water that was heated by birch logs. And Latvia was considered better off than most other Soviet Republics. She believed the falsehood that Latvia, along with Estonia and Lithuania, asked to join the USSR in 1940. The reality is that as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact the Baltic States were occupied by the Red Army and promptly annexed; the leaders of Latvia and Estonia were exiled to remote corners of the Soviet Union. The fate of Estonian president Konstantin Päts was particularly sad, as he was tortured in psychiatric hospitals because of his “persistent claiming of being the president of Estonia.”

Mrs. Marathon Pundit’s parents knew better of course. They also knew it was best to keep quiet. They knew repercussions awaited those who talked about the wrong things. The silent survive. And while it was impossible to cover up the deportations to Siberia of the Joseph Stalin era, the extent of it was known only to a few.

There were big lies and little lies. Here’s one of the latter. Before swimming in one of the few public pools in Latvia, Mrs. Marathon Pundit and other bathers were warned that if they chose to urinate in the water, or if there was an accidental leak, the urine would be immediately turn red and the pee menace would be promptly identified and of course punished. Eventually–I don’t know how–she discovered the clear truth on urinating in swimming pools.

Then there were the omissions. My wife didn’t learn until I told her that the Red Army–two weeks after the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939–seized eastern Poland. The same goes with the Soviet invasion of Finland later that year.

The “Throne of Lies” in the USSR began to collapse after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Ordinary Soviet citizens eventually learned that the state-controlled media reported on the severity of the catastrophe only after western governments noticed the spike in radioactivity in their lands. “The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl 20 years ago this month,” Mikhail Gorbachev wrote in 2006, “even more than my launch of perestroika, was perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union five years later.”

Those being lied to didn’t believe the lies any more.

A few years earlier the end of the junta era of Argentina came after the government had to admit their rosy reports on the Falklands War with Great Britain were wrong. It was the UK that was winning nearly every battle.

Now protests are breaking out across Iran after the mullahs were forced to admit that the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which took place on Wednesday shortly after Iran fired missiles at US troops in Iraq, was caused by a missile fired by the Iranian military, after first denying it. And there was a lie within the lie as the Iranians claimed that the passenger jet veered over a sensitive military area.

“They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here,” is one the chants heard in Tehran.

The people of Iran–or at least some of them–don’t believe the lies anymore.

Kimia Alizadeh, Iran’s only female Olympic medalist, defected last week. Yes, she did win a bronze in taekwando, that’s not a lie, but her state-created image was a sham. “Whatever they said, I wore,” Alizadeh wrote. “Every sentence they ordered, I repeated.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.