The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy, Where Exactly?

Another blog (Reach the Right) brought to my attention an article by Jonathan Chait (The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy Is on Your Screen). It’s a good article that offers a detailed analysis, but I couldn’t entirely agree (nor could some other bloggers; for example, Erik Lundegaard).

In Reach the Right, I responded to the comment that “I think it’s an unusually difficult line of reasoning to argue with”. I didn’t find it difficult at all. Below is the reposting of my response.

I think there is truth in the article, but it also misses some of the context.

After many decades of narrative rule by conservatives, liberals are finally winning the narrative war. This more has to do with demographics than any effective strategy by liberals, demographics and overreach by conservatives, overreach that has turned away many Americans from the GOP. Liberals, or rather Democrats, have capitalized on this conservative overreach, but they can’t take much of the credit or blame.

The context, of course, has many factors.

It is true that what is deemed as ‘liberal’ has come to dominate much of the media. Then again, this so-called liberalism has come to dominate most of modern American society. Most Americans are liberal on many issues and becoming increasingly liberal. In fact, most Americans are more liberal than the MSM (and more liberal than the MSM portrays the American public) on many central issues such as the majority supporting pot legalization and being against overturning Roe vs Wade, just to mention two obvious examples.

The MSM, with much lag time, reflects the American people who are increasingly diverse — in terms of: races and mixed race individuals, interracial dating and marriage, ethnicity and culture, religion and atheism, etc. But the reality America has always been vastly more diverse than the conservatives would allow for in their vision of America. What is surprising is that the norm of the American people is seen as ‘liberal’ in the MSM. Liberalism in the MSM often just means a tepid middle-of-the-road position on issues, the real political correctness of liberalism is in between the right-wing and the left-wing, if anything favoring the former more than the latter in that you’ll see right-wing libertarians in the MSM more often than you’ll ever see left-wing socialists or anarchists (or even left-wing libertarians).

Anyway, why is it ‘liberal’ to portray gay people as normal people with normal problems and normal interests? In reality, most gay people are normal by all standards other than the standard of heterosexuality. Why is it ‘liberal’ to speak honestly about global warming? Truth knows no ideology. If certain facts and realities are perceived as liberal, that can’t be blamed on liberals.

America is an ideologically confusing and confused country. There never has been in America a tradition of traditional conservatism. What gets called ‘conservatism’ is too often just a variety of liberalism from the past such as classical liberalism.

This has caused liberalism to become conservative in many ways. Since, American conservatives often are against traditionally conservative positions, liberals have oddly taken up their defense. Traditional conservatives were at least against unregulated capitalism and for most of history supportive of non-capitalist economic systems, partly because capitalism destabilizes social order and undermines moral order. Traditional conservatives in particular were against usury which has become a major pillar of modern capitalism. Also, the precautionary principle is a core principle of any normal sense of conservatism, except of course American ‘conservatism’.

However, there are certain ways America is conservative and so is the MSM, especially Hollywood. American politics and media are obsessed with certain conservative themes such as good vs evil, us vs them.

Hollywood constantly portrays a conservative worldview with action movies that have men of action who are superior to men of thought and action movies that glorify (and otherwise normalize) war, violence and vigilante justice.

The genre of noir is an inherently conservative worldview (although more in the line of reactionary conservatism, rather than traditional conservatism). Noir can be found in the Dark Knight Batman movies, in Watchmen, Blade Runner, Dexter and in various gritty movies and shows that portray the world as fallen into darkness where a lone hero, usually a white male, has to fight the good fight, whether he wins or loses. In general, the conservative ideal of the white male protagonist still surprisingly dominates most of the entertainment these days.

Horror is another conservative genre. A popular horror trope is to show kids partying or somehow being naughty right before being killed. Like noir, horror tends to be about a fallen world. We live in a time of fear and uncertainty when the conservative worldview becomes attractive, although we are getting at the point when people are starting to want a new narrative.

Related to these, drug-taking and dealing is typically portrayed tragically. This is beginning to change some, but change has come slower in politics and media than it has in the general public. Obama laughed at the idea of taking seriously pot legalization, even though most Americans take it seriously. Despite all the negative drug portrayals or maybe because of it, drug use such as with marijuana has become more widespread.

No matter what one considers ‘liberal’, what interests me is that the media remains mostly closed off to the left-wing. As liberalism has become separated and distinct from the left-wing, conservatism has become aligned with or even conflated with the right-wing. This is largely why conservatives have turned away so many Americans and thus lost control of much of the MSM. It’s not so much that the conservative narrative has lost power, rather the conservative narrative turned into a right-wing narrative that has lost power. Most Americans want a moderate centrism which just so happens to be where liberalism is at the moment.

The Curious Incident of the NASA Moon Footage

Here is the type of news that just sounds off.

NASA lost moon footage, but Hollywood restores it by Seth Borenstein (AP)

There are two possibilities for what happened to this NASA footage. 

The first one the media latches onto is probably the least likely.  This unlikely scenario suggests that it was just an accidental loss.  NASA has some of the highest security in the world.  Nothing happens at NASA without approval.  These tapes would’ve been some of the most important information that NASA has ever had and would’ve been under lock and key.  If NASA accidentally lost or destroyed these tapes, then it demonstrates an extreme level of incompetence that is beyond imagination.  There should be a major investigation and those responsible should be punished to the furthest extent of the law.

The second is what no respectable media person would say out loudly because it’s such an obvious possibility.  For whatever reason, someone quite likely destroyed the footage on purpose.  Obviously, someone had to approve of their destruction and a number of people would’ve been involved in the actual process of destruction.  The media seems to portray it as if NASA doesn’t even know what happened.  NASA may be choosing not to tell the media what it knows, but NASA (or rather specific people of authority within NASA presently or in the past) certainly know more than what they’re telling.  Assuming it wasn’t motivated by malign intentions, there would be a paper trail of authorization.  If there is no paper trail, then that increases to a great degree the possibility of malign intentions.  As such, it becomes explicitly improbable that it was an accident.

This also points to another strange factor.  Back in 1969, the world only saw the footage that was grainy by its passing through several relay stations.  However, NASA had the original perfectly clear footage.  NASA claims it not only chose not to show the original footage, but chose not to transfer it into a normal format so that it could be released to the public and chose not to make backup copies.  Furthermore, the NASA officials and scientists of the time supposedly had no interest in inspecting the footage and simply dumped it all into storage.  That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  Are we really to believe that one of the largest and most expensive programs in all of US history was run this incompetently?  Are we to believe that one of the most historically important moments in history was treated so carelessly?

The ironic part is that Hollywood supposedly restores the footage which as I understand it isn’t entirely true.  They only restored the small percentage of the footage that was originally played by NASA and some other footage that survived by other means.  This only feeds the conspiracy theorists and who is to blame them.  Some conspiracy theorists believe it was all fake in the first place which isn’t anything that I personally give much credence to.  I’m more attracted to the idea that the footage was real and there was something on it that NASA didn’t want the public to know about.

From the Borenstein article:

“It’s surprising to me that NASA didn’t have the common sense to save perhaps the most important historical footage of the 20th century,” said Rice University historian and author Douglas Brinkley. He noted that NASA saved all sorts of data and artifacts from Apollo 11, and it is “mind-boggling that the tapes just disappeared.”

To say it’s “mind-boggling” is a good way of putting it.  One could even say it’s so mind-boggling as to be beyond belief.

Smithsonian Institution space curator Roger Launius, a former NASA chief historian, said the loss of the original video “doesn’t surprise me that much.”

“It was a mistake, no doubt about that,” Launius said. “This is a problem inside the entire federal government. … They don’t think that preservation is all that important.”

If that is true, then that is one of the saddest statements I’ve ever heard.  Maybe the government isn’t all that interested in preservation as it doesn’t serve their purposes.  The only time someone in the government gets in trouble is when the wrong information gets preserved.  I’m sure Nixon regretted preserving certain tapes.

For further thoughts on the conspiracy angle, check out these next two analyses of the situation.

NASA Apollo Moon Footage Conspiracy Continues (blog post) by ahrcanmum

If you read through the now declassified and very abbreviated transcription of the Apollo conversations which can be found at http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/history/mission_trans/AS11_CM.PDF one of the first conversations is over the cameras.

[ . . . ]

NASA knew damned well the importance of documenting the Apollo missions, but the the conversations between the astronauts sounds more like the three stooges trying to figure out light readings, how to turn things on and which camera to use.  They had color and black and white film to preserve what they saw including what was noted on Page 72, day 4, when they get a good look at the moon’s surface  “03 04 06 44 CMP Yes, that’s what I was talking about just a minute ago. It’s kind of hard to believe that that’s volcanic and formed by some faulting, isn’t it? I don’t believe that – but it’s such a perfect straight line.”

[ . . . ]

It is all recorded on film and NASA tapes over it? Perhaps the real reason the tapes went missing was not to allow anyone to ever see what is described here, “ 

05 05 31 03 CDR Yes.05 05 31 08 LMP … structure somehow  05 05 31 31 LMP 3.5, Nell.

05 05 32 44 LMP Woo-woos is on VHF B –

05 05 32 48 CDR … B?

05 05 32 50 IMP Not on A.

05 05 32 58 CDR (Laughter) That’s your story, huh?

 05 ll 45 56 LMP Well, I hope – I hope they have the data that shows Just what we did have at contact when they can get photographs … all the film we got….

Interestingly, ahrcanmum mentions that NASA managed to save the footage of the food the astronauts ate.  He also put up a YouTube video bout the UFO sited by the astronauts.  It includes some original audio and it has a nice interview with Buzz Aldrin describing the UFO (which he would later deny as having been a UFO).  Another person on the video explains how UFOs were seen on other missions as well and there is video of one of these from a later mission.

NASA Moon Landing Videos: The Mystery Deepens by Fred Burks (examiner.com)

What’s going on here? NASA loses the tapes of one of the most important landmark events in human history. Then they find them, but parts have been erased to save money. And now Hollywood is being paid to restore the videos. How could anyone allow these historic tapes to be erased to save money? How could they even have been lost in the first place? I don’t doubt that the Apollo missions went to the moon, but there does appear to be some kind of cover-up and manipulation going on here.
 
Hundreds of military and government witnesses have gone on record claiming a major cover-up around UFOs. Among them are a former chief of the CIA, the former chiefs of defense of the UK and Canada, and two NASA astronauts, including Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon. Could the moon landing video tapes have contained some images with UFOs or other images that they didn’t want the public to see?
 – – –
 
Additional note (11/18/09): I thought of another possibilities.  Of course, some people know what happened to the lost film, but maybe no one who is presently working for NASA knows.  It could’ve been stolen which would’ve probably be an inside job, but the people who were responsible might be long gone (either dead or living elsewhere in the world).  Those presently heading NASA may know it’s been stolen or maybe simply know it disappeared and probably was stolen.  Either way, they probably would rather not admit to a major security leak.  For some reason, they were forced to give a public accounting for the missing video footage.  Claiming it was destroyed was simply the closest they could come to a plausible answer.  As history shows, the media and the public at the time rarely questions to any great extent government statements even when they later turn out to have been lies.  A lie doesn’t have to be plausible to be convincing.  It just can’t be obviously implausible to the casual observer.