Fun with Semantics at ThinkProgress


Semantics–the study of meanings and interpretation of meanings-can be fun. Take, for example, the liberal blog ThinkProgress. On its website, the blog proudly touts that it is “a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization.” Yet, in the very next paragraph, they trumpet being named one of the “Best Liberal Blogs” as an accomplishment.

So how can the CAP run a hard-core leftist blog (and one that is decidedly partisan in favor of anyone with a D in front of their name) and still maintain that it’s “nonpartisan.” Semantics, my friends. All just semantics. All a matter of how you define partisan, and how you define who “own” and “runs” what site.

And now comes this post, titled “Beck Peddles Discredited Rumor To Claim The Obama Administration ‘Borders On Treason.” The rumor the site refers to involved Ben Nelson, moderate Democratic senator from Nebraska, who it was reported, received a little love-note from the Obama White House informing him that if he did not vote for ObamaCare, he would have to watch as all military bases in Nebraska were closed.

Now, of course, the White House and Senator Nelson are denying that this happened. The problem is there are no facts to say whether this threat did or did not take place. Several reporters say it did. Several politicians with a lot to lose if it’s true say it didn’t. So how can ThinkProgress call this a “discredited” rumor?

Well, just look at what “discredited” actually means:

  1. To damage in reputation; disgrace.
  2. To cause to be doubted or distrusted.

Well, in that case, it’’s technically true that the rumor is “discredited.” Some people are doubting that this rumor is true. Mostly because blogs like ThinkProgress insist that it isn’t, and that Dear Leader Obama’s word is all they need to prove that it isn’t true. But note that they don’t call the rumor “untrue.” Just “discredited.” Political weasel-words at their finest.

Now, maybe Beck’s words were intemperate and a bit over-the-top, but compared to the rhetoric from the left day after day, he seems positively subdued.

So did the threat actually take place? We can’t say one way or the other with any certainty. But it certainly smacks of the “Chicago Way” certain major White House players are so fond of. We’re going to need more than strident denials from politicians with much to lose before we decide if this rumor is true or false. After all, Tiger Woods denied, denied, denied he’d ever had an affair or a fight with his wife–and we all know how that turned out.

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