Showing posts with label Jordan Kepler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jordan Kepler. Show all posts

March 9, 2023

The delusional news bubble and those who inhabit it

 By Hal Brown

Bonus: Links to websites I read

A couple of days ago I posted a blog with the title "The news bubble they live in vs. the bubble we live in."  I made a similar illustration to the one I made for this blog meant to depict the news bubble that viewers of Fox News and consumers of other far-right media reside in. 

It is encircled by a wall. It isn't exactly impermeable. It's made of some kind of amazing rubber that only allows certain news through while other news bounces off.

The simple dictionary definition of a delusion is "a false belief or judgment about external reality, held despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, occurring especially in mental conditions." This is outdated because of the part about mental conditions. While delusions are symptoms of some severe mental disorders the large majority of people that believe the outright lies and major distortions of the truth served up by the far-right media are not mentally ill as defined here:

Paranoia involves intense anxious or fearful feelings and thoughts often related to persecution, threat, or conspiracy. Paranoia can occur with many mental health conditions but is most often present in psychotic disorders. Paranoid thoughts can become delusions when irrational thoughts and beliefs become so fixed that nothing can convince a person that what they think or feel is not true. When a person has paranoia or delusions, but no other symptoms (like hearing or seeing things that aren't there), they might have what is called a delusional disorder. Because only thoughts are impacted, a person with delusional disorder can usually work and function in everyday life, however, their lives may be limited and isolated as a result of their delusions.

Delusional disorder is characterized by irrational or intense belief(s) or suspicion(s) that a person believes to be true. These beliefs may seem outlandish and impossible (bizarre) or fit within the realm of what is possible (non-bizarre). Symptoms must last for one month or longer in order for someone to be diagnosed with a delusional disorder. 

The key phrase in the dictionary definition above is despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. This presents a conundrum for a diagnostician such as myself. There is contradictory evidence readily available for anyone who wants to see it. It seems impossible that anyone misses it even if they immerse themselves in a media news bubble. 

We see people interviewed at Trump rallies. Jordon Kepler does many of these on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Here's a segment of him discussing a special he did (MSNBC). He is really providing an important service by giving us insights into how these people think.

Kepler is non-judgmental. He could be a clinician. Instead of having his patients come to him he goes to them. They are easy to find among the attendees at Trump rallies. They identify themselves by what they wear.

He presents the truth to them and allows his, dare I call them patients or subjects, to respond and they do often at great length. They are unwavering in their convictions. What they say is delusional but they don't seem, at least to me, to be otherwise behaving as if they are mentally ill. It may be that they suffer from a kind of permanent brain fog and were first infected by Donald Trump.

I don't think the people who hold these beliefs, whether those from QAnon or "merely" believe the lie that the election was stolen or J6 was just a bunch of tourists in the US Capitol, can be put on a simple bell curve from being psychotic to being willfully ignorant. It is more complex than that. We have to factor in intellectual capacity since some of these people may have a very low IQ. We also have to consider their peer group. If each and every person they interact with believes these lies there's nobody to say "yeah, but" and go on to present factual reporting.

Here are several examples to add to those in my blog below, those in the far-right media bubble will never see news about this, as reported in Raw Story:

Jan. 6 rioters trashed a GOP senator's office, and he hasn't acknowledged it

This Paul Waldman opinion essay requires a subscription to read so my hunch is that you can count on zero fingers the number of MAGAs who will read it:

Thank you, Kevin McCarthy and Tucker Carlson

His conclusion:

Let’s summarize what the McCarthy-Carlson collaboration produced. First, it put Jan. 6 back on the top of the news agenda, reminding everyone of Trump’s refusal to acknowledge his 2020 defeat, the violent reaction of his radical supporters and the craven response of Republican politicians who fed deranged conspiracy theories to their base to save their own political skins.

More important, it created an opportunity to revisit the actual events of that day. Some people watched Carlson’s fantasy depiction of Jan. 6 as a peaceful protest where Trump supporters strolled into the Capitol and took selfies while “milling around.” But a much larger audience likely saw multiple news reports on TV, newspapers and the internet in which both journalists and Republican leaders reiterated the ugly truth about that day’s attack on democracy.

The episode has also further discredited Fox News as it reels from extraordinary revelations showing network executives and personalities privately acknowledging in emails and texts that claims of a stolen election were preposterous even as they amplified those claims on the air. It’s long been argued that Fox News is in no real sense a news organization but is instead a propaganda machine that advances the interests of the Republican Party. That’s never been more clear than it is today.

McCarthy probably thought it was shrewd to give Carlson access to the surveillance footage. Instead, his decision helped reinforce an accurate understanding of Jan. 6, undermined the status of the right’s most important media outlet and reminded the electorate of the rotten core at the heart of the GOP. It’s quite an accomplishment.

On the lighter side, something else the MAGA morons won't read, is the hilarious column by Alexandra Petri in today's Washington Post

Here are hundreds — indeed, thousands of hours of dinosaurs walking around, browsing through foliage. The occasional T. rex attack. Not a meteorite in sight. Nor, I should add, a meteor, as these so-called scientists would have you call the same object when it’s burning up in the atmosphere. Two names for the same thing? Seems fishy to me. And speaking of fishy, here is a plesiosaurus. You will notice that it is just swimming around, definitely not extinct. This is what the mainstream media doesn’t want you to see. Pretty clear proof that this so-called meteorite is vastly overblown. If this meteorite really did hit, then why do I have so much footage of dinosaurs just walking around, eating leaves and, frankly, boring me to tears?


Next, we will observe footage that reveals Abraham Lincoln was mostly not assassinated — I have almost an hour of footage of him enjoying a theater performance without incident! And footage showing that for the overwhelming majority of his life, Elvis was alive. Next, lots of footage of the Hindenburg flying without a single problem! Makes you wonder who stood to gain by painting it as a disaster! We will be following this with footage of people eating lead paint and going “Mm, delicious!” and ... absolutely nothing happening to them, as far as we can tell! Here is someone jumping out of a building using a MyPillow as a parachute and — it seems to be working, for the part of the footage that matters! 

Also, here is some footage of people counting ballots — when they were counting, Donald Trump was ahead, and I think that says it all.

How many Fox News viewers even subscribe to The Washington Post which features this?

It's like a segment of the population is wearing hearing aides and eye glasses that filter out everything they don't want to hear or see.   Call it living in a bubble. There is a major difference between the news "bubbles" we live in. Ours has a permeable membrane. The boundary of the bubbles they are ensconced in is rigid.

February 4, 2023

Is is right for The Daily Show's Jordan Kepler to interview idiots at Trump rallies?

 Is is right for The Daily Show's Jordan Kepler to interview idiots at Trump rallies?
By Hal Brown

I caught a rerun of Morning Joe from a few days ago when Joe and Mika interviewed comedian Jordan Kepler. Kepler has been following Trump around the country for years interviewing people attending his rallies.

In this segment of Morning Joe he interviews people like those shown below:

Jordan Klepper crashes Trump's recent 'intimate event' in South Carolina, speaking with MAGA fans who think the former president is still the current president.

Some do dress normally:

You can do a web search for Jordan Kepler YouTube and find "best of compilations" like the following:

Click above to view (aprox. 25 minutes)

He interviews people who think Trump is still president, that he controls the military, and who don't know what happened of Jan. 6th. Some of those who know what happened on Jan. 6th think Nancy Pelosi planned it to blame it on the Republicans.

They think JFK Jr. is still alive having faked his death, one of the QAnon conspiracies, and  he plans to expose people called globalists.

Kepler admits he seeks out people at these event s like those wearing outfits like those shown above because he doesn't have time to interview numerous random people. He told Joe and Mika that "most of the people he interviews you can tell (their views) by the capes that they wear."  He doesn't claim that they represent a statistical sample of the beliefs and opinions of most Trump supports at the rallies. 

Kepler is very good at eliciting what's behind these people's outrageous opinions by engaging them with empathy. He listens and repeats what they have to say as if he takes them seriously. He manages to get them to, by any objective measure, make utter .fools of themselves.

This makes me wonder whether these people know that their appearances will be cringeworthy for those like us. It isn't really the kind of comedy we see on Saturday Night Live, for example, where actors mimic various Republicans. In fact, I am not sure we can call what Kepler does so masterfully as comedy.

What I think would be helpful is having the people interviewed sit down with someone, perhaps a psychologist, and be shown the clips of themselves as used on the show. I'd like to know how they react to seeing themselves as objects of mockery. Do they "get it" or not?

A retired psychotherapist friend said after I talked to her about this that she doesn't like shaming and humiliating people who don't even realize they are so stupid. She said she finds it painful. She said it isn't their fault that they are so stupid and ignorant.

I wonder if any of these people, for example, watched the video above and looked at YouTube comments like these:

Rob Liston
Jordan Klepper is literally mocking all of them in front of their faces and they all don’t realize it. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
The mental gymnastics required to see proof of Trump's crimes and immediately dismissed it is amazing and terrifying at the same time.
jay disqus
This man deserves hazard pay.
Katharina von Heydekampf
I love Jordan Klepper, how he keeps a straight face in a lot of these interviews is beyond me
Tania Rosen
Jordan Klepper is a national treasure! Not just anyone can spend that much time with trumpsters, it has to make a sane person mad.
Scapegoat Iscariot
This is quality journalism with a twist of satire and wit.
Rachel Joseph
As a Michigander, I am SO proud that Klepper is a native of my state. His intellect is astounding and he’s so well-informed before he goes to to mock these asshats. Keep it going Jordan!!
Please remember Klepper is literally risking his life to do his shtick.
Don McAllister
I’ve never laughed so hard at people’s ignorance and stupidity… and been so extremely terrified … at the same time ! Thank You… social media!
Bee Leigh
He never gets through to any of them, but the two women that said “we should go”?! A true win!! I hope they really left and thought about it!!
We laugh so we don't cry and scream.
Uthman Baksh
Jordan Klepper is such an under rated correspondent on the Daily Show!
Sad to the Bone
Always love Jordan. "2000 Mules." Brought to you by the dude who said climate change doesn't exist because it was snowing in Australia.
Dee Leach
Even when they’re shown the proof, they still don’t believe it! Then we have two “airhead” young ladies that don’t even know what January 6 was๐Ÿ˜ซ
Klepper is such a quick wit, and so calm in the face of nuttiness. I have seen a few guys trying to emulate his approach, but Klepper is by far the best.
tom schmitz
never ever ever ever underestimate the human animal's capacity for pathological stubbornness, self absorption and narcissism. "don't you dare tell me i'm wrong, even if I am wrong, and I know i'm wrong and you can prove i'm wrong, don't you dare tell me I am!"....
Weird thought! I imagine these people watching themselves in these YouTube videos and being proud of themselves. Probably showing them to all their friends and not thinking for one second how insane it all looks.
The AJ
Thank you for your service, Mr. Klepper.
matt manley
Jordan should be the new host!!
Opinions No One Cares About
How has Klepper not lost his mind?

I am a psychotherapist who during the 40 some years before I retired I diagnosed and treated countless people. I am curious about how I, or another mental health professional, would diagnose these Trump supporters, and other adherents of QAnon. 

Do some of them suffer from easily treatable delusional psychotic disorders? If they do it is a shame they don't receive the help that would help them.

I am sure there is a mixture of psychopathologies  manifest in these MAGA cultists, and included among these people are psychologically normal people who just have very low IQ's.

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