where are all the damn liberal viral emails that are supposed to be out there?

Es­ti­mated reading time is 4 min­utes.

A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY is a pre­dic­tion that di­rectly or in­di­rectly causes it­self to be­come true by the very terms of the prophecy it­self [and] due to pos­i­tive feed­back be­tween be­lief and be­havior. So­ci­ol­o­gist Robert K. Merton is cred­ited with coining the ex­pres­sion and for­mal­izing its struc­ture and consequences.

The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the be­gin­ning, a false de­f­i­n­i­tion of the sit­u­a­tion evoking a new be­havior which makes the orig­inal false con­cep­tion come true.

In other words, a pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive prophecy, strongly held be­lief, or delusion—declared as truth when it is ac­tu­ally false—may suf­fi­ciently in­flu­ence people so that their re­ac­tions ul­ti­mately ful­fill the once-false prophecy. (Wikipedia)

“Self-fulfilling prophecies—ideas that be­come re­ality simply be­cause someone be­lieves them—do not usu­ally have strong ef­fects. But a study shows that ex­pec­ta­tions may come to pass when many people hold the same beliefs—if those be­liefs are un­fa­vor­able.” (Psy­chology Today)

A piece of text without a damn liberal message in it that I used for illustrative purposes.

Hitler tops Amazon in sales!

I re­ceived an ar­ticle ti­tled “Fake Con­tro­versy Alert: Hitler’s Mein Kampf Was Not A Dig­ital Best­seller” by David Gaughran in his emailed newsletter (Jan­uary 16, 2014). Here are abridged sec­tions of the opening paragraphs:

“A juicy story broke last week, the kind that makes savvy sub-editors sali­vate over po­ten­tial Twitter-bait head­lines. It had been dis­cov­ered that Hitler’s Mein Kampf was a dig­ital best­seller, leading to a global bout of media hand-wringing and pontificating.

Hitler’s best­selling per­for­mance was first re­ported under the head­line Kindle Fuhrer: Mein Kampf Tops Amazon Charts (Jan­uary 7, 2014). Then spread like wild­fire. If you look at Google, you will see pages and pages and pages of blogs, web­sites, and media or­ga­ni­za­tions re­peating the same story.”

As of 7:24 am on Jan­uary 26, 2014, under “hitler mein kampf best­seller” Google lists 160,000 such sites re­porting on this phe­nom­enon. Gaughran lists sev­eral well-known web­sites, tele­vi­sion sta­tions, news­pa­pers, and even other coun­tries that re­gur­gi­tated the news.

Ex­cept, as David noted, “The only problem with this story is that it’s not true. At all.”

He then pro­ceeds to doc­u­ment his ar­gu­ment that, through “the per­fect storm of juicy topic + speed news spreads on Twitter + lazy jour­nalism” this fake news story/controversy was born—immediately after the story hit the media, sales of Mein Kampf mul­ti­plied tenfold—and rather quickly died.

“Now that the white hot heat of global media at­ten­tion has moved onto some­thing else, Mein Kampf is quickly heading back to where it was—selling a handful a day.”

A second piece of text without a damn liberal message in it that I used for illustrative purposes.

Not everyone is duped over and over

That such a story was in­vented should sur­prise few of us. That it was picked up im­me­di­ately, without the dis­crim­i­nating eye of a skeptic and placed on tens of thou­sands of web­sites . . . well, it hap­pens all the time.

This is why so many people laugh away any at­tempt to use the in­ternet as a source for facts that back up opin­ions or ar­gu­ments. And, with events like, jus­ti­fi­ably so—at least to those people.

Of course, not everyone is duped with regularity.

Mr. Gaughran notes that the story was run by Huff­in­gton Post, Salon, and Slate—all sites NOT given to ex­tremism and jumping-on-the-bandwagonism, and cer­tainly not to any of the inane/insane ru­mors that seem to be the daily grist of rightwing blogs and mass-emailers. (I am not ad­dressing the print and tele­vised media the Gaughran men­tions in this piece.)

Abraham Lin­coln once said that “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” That may or may not have been true in the middle of the 19th cen­tury, but it cer­tainly isn’t so at the be­gin­ning of the 21st century!

A third piece of text without a damn liberal message in it that I used for illustrative purposes.

Waiting for my first liberal viral email!

“A viral email is a cer­tain kind of email which rapidly prop­a­gates from person to person, gen­er­ally in a word-of-mouth manner. Viral emails may arise in a number of sit­u­a­tions, but the process is rel­a­tively simple: an in­di­vidual re­ceives an email—often of a po­lit­ical or hu­morous nature—and for­wards the email to friends.

They do the same, and thus rapidly spread the email, in po­ten­tially world­wide pro­por­tion. A common com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tion for viral emails is that of the viral ad­ver­tising cam­paign: pro­mo­tional emails are specif­i­cally cre­ated so that they follow a viral prop­a­ga­tion.” (Wikipedia)

When of a po­lit­ical na­ture, the term viral email is also un­der­stood by most of us that, said email often con­tains out­right lies and defama­tion of char­acter. That is, it is com­pletely de­void of truth, in­tegrity, and honest in­ten­tions.

A fourth piece of text without a damn liberal message in it that I used for illustrative purposes.

Mass gullibility

I am on dozens of email newslet­ters that are of a De­mo­c­ratic and/or lib­eral and/or pro­gres­sive na­ture, or­ga­ni­za­tions that I affectionately—and with a mod­icum of pride—describe as “bleeding heart liberal.”

I say this to make it un­der­stood that if there are “lib­eral” or­ga­ni­za­tions sending out mass viral emails, then I am a per­fect re­cip­ient for each and every one of them, yet I have never re­ceived a liberal/leftwing viral email nor do I know of anyone else who has!

But I do re­ceive lots of rightwing viral emails (di­rectly and in­di­rectly from my con­ser­v­a­tive ac­quain­tances) and my-o-my these people know no shame.

And you know what? Every Re­pub­lican voter that I know swal­lows every cock-and-bull piece of out­right pro­pa­ganda they re­ceive, hook, line, and the prover­bial sinker.

For a re­cent ex­ample of this mass gulli­bility, please click on over to an­other posting: “it ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble” from a couple of weeks ago.

Hence we have 55,000,000 Amer­i­cans qual­i­fied to vote who be­lieve in such ob­vious fab­ri­ca­tions as trickle-down eco­nomics, wel­fare queens, weapons-of-mass-destruction in Iraq, that Pres­i­dent Obama is a Muslim so­cialist, death panels in the Af­ford­able Care Act, and the state of Hawaii “paying” its cit­i­zens who are on wel­fare more than $60,000 a year!


Leave a comment

Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments