Thanks to Facebook’s policy of allowing entities my friends have “liked” to post articles to my news feed, I saw this story in the Daily Kos, headlined “Teen Kills 4; Judge LITERALLY Lets Him Off Because He Is Rich!” First of all, you will know your objective news sources by their uses of exclamation points and capital letters in headlines. Second, you’ll be glad to hear that a Texas judge did not literally let off 16 year-old drunk driver Ethan Couch, because he was not literally on a hook. Certainly, Couch being sentenced to probation after he killed four pedestrians while driving with a blood alcohol content of .24 is infuriating, especially in context of the defense’s claim that he had lived a life of such privilege as to not understand the consequences of his actions. But there is a difference between the local CBS report and the one in the Daily Kos, and that difference seems to be between news and something else.
While I was languishing in the airport yesterday, beacon of vigilance Ben Fowlkes sent me the most recent Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of registered Republicans. It is disturbing. It starts off okay, with a healthy number of respondents expressing their intention to vote in the 2010 congressional election and their reluctance to settle on a candidate for president in 2012. It’s disappointing to see Sarah Palin in the lead—and terrifying to see Dick Cheney in third—but three years ahead of the actual election, name recognition is pretty much all there is. Things start to get a little crazy with question three, in which 39% of Republicans opine that President Obama should be impeached. Exactly what crime he has committed goes unspecified, but perhaps respondents were rushing to get to the next question, in which nearly two-thirds of those polled agree that the president is a socialist. Thus begins a series of money shots, in a barrage of insanity that leaves the reader crouched numbly on the floor like a Japanese girl on the internet. If this poll is to be believed, 73% of Republicans think homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to be schoolteachers. Seventy-seven percent want the Biblical account of creation from Genesis to be taught in public schools. Thirty-one percent want to outlaw contraception. And fully 23% of Republicans believe that their state should secede from the United States of America.