Disingenuous In 1964, Disingenuous In 2016
A tale of two political ads was discussed at the top of the show. I wasn’t as concerned about the messages of the two ads as I was about the presentation.
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson was running for election against the conservative Republican Senator Barry Goldwater. A TV ad ran, perhaps only once, with the title ‘Confessions of a Republican’ for the Johnson campaign. It featured a Republican man, white about 35 or 40, talking about his deep concerns about Goldwater. He even mentions that the KKK support Goldwater.
There seemed to be quite a few parallels to today’s Republican candidate, so the old ad went viral, as the kids say. And the Hillary Clinton campaign has made an updated version of that ad using the same “Republican” voicing his concerns about Donald Trump.
I have problems with both ads. Neither ad tells the viewer that the Republican is an actor. Bill Bogert is his name. You’ve seen Mr. Bogert on TV plenty of times over the past few decades. He’s been in commercials, he’s been on Law & Order several times, and he had a regular role on the justifiably short-lived Small Wonder sit-com. Believe me, if you’re at least my age, you will recognize the man.
However, in 1964, TV audiences weren’t familiar with him. His first professional acting credit on IMBD.com was in 1966. It’s safe to say his was an unknown face, so voters would likely believe he really was a Republican and not an actor playing a part.
Bogert was a Republican early on, but in a recent interview in which he talks about the ad, he says that as a part he would have said whatever the script called for, unless they were going to use his actual name in the ad. If that was the case, Bogert would insist that his “confession” be true to his convictions. His name does not appear, but the man stands by what he said in the ad.
Not a terrible complaint, but he’s an actor and that fact should have been acknowledged in the ad.
In 2016, the Hillary Clinton campaign revised the ad and brought back Bill Bogert. Again the ad is titled ‘Confessions of a Republican‘. Again his name is not mentioned. And, as in the 1964 ad, Bogert starts off by telling us that he voted for Eisenhower and Nixon.
Eisenhower and Nixon?! Do you know how long it’s been since Eisenhower and Nixon ran for the Presidency? Hint: Eisenhower – 1954. Nixon – 1972. Now it made sense to say that in 1964 (Nixon made an unsuccessful bid in the 1960 election, when he lost to John Kennedy), but in 2016?
Dude! There have been seven Republican candidates for President since Nixon! Why don’t you mention voting for any of them? How much of a Republican are you?
Even though his name wasn’t used, the Clinton campaign must have followed Bogert’s wishes in not having him make statements against his convictions or, I’m guessing, his actual voting record. Bogert had stated in another recent interview that he hadn’t voted Republican since he voted for John Lindsay, who hasn’t held office since 1973. (Lindsay died in December, 2000.)
Sure, nobody should vote for Donald Trump and, anyway, Hillary Clinton is going to be our next President, but the updated ad feels phony to me. At least Bogert does start out saying in the updated version, “I was a Republican.” [Emphasis mine.]
Dimland Radio Science Hero: Susan Gerbic
Some of my talk about Susan Gerbic included the topics of polio and its extremely successful vaccine, and of alternative medicine and its creeping into actual medical clinics.
Now Gerbic could be a Science Hero for her work on her project Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) alone. Through GSoW, she trains skeptics how to do proper edits within the guidelines set by the online encyclopedia. GSoW’s main focus is on science and skepticism. GSoW wants science represented well and properly. Especially on pages filled with extraordinary claims.
I was prompted to give her Science Hero status for her quick actions in the recent cupping craze.
She was watching the Rio Olympics and became aware that cupping was being used by many of the elite athletes at this elite world sporting event. She saw the credulous coverage of the nonsense therapy and knew that the general public was going to be curious and would turn to Wikipedia to learn more.
Gerbic jumped into action and saw that the cupping page was woefully lacking in science content and updated the page. She made sure the fact that the findings of medical science do not support any of the alt med claims for cupping. She made all the proper annotations and links available so that readers would easily learn that cupping is bullshit. And she got it all updated in the nick of time, as the page views had quickly ballooned after all the uncritical coverage on cupping hit the airwaves.
For that and all she does at GSoW, Susan Gerbic is a Dimland Radio Science Hero.
How Not Science Is Done
In 2007, Mark Holley, underwater archaeology professor at Northwestern Michigan College, was commissioned to do a survey of the bottom of Lake Michigan. While doing that survey, an area of stones appearing to be purposefully placed in a Stonehenge-like arrangement was spotted. During a dive to investigate this very unlikely to be man-made structure, an image was taken of a nearby stone that appeared to have a carving of a mastodon on it.
A little too credulous friend of mine, was a little too ready to believe there is a man-made “stonehenge” and a human carved rock at the bottom of Lake Michigan. He shared this article on Facebook. The site doesn’t look like its science acumen is very high. That was the first red flag for this humble skeptic.
Other red flags include: It’s been nearly ten years and nothing more definitive has been learned about the origins of these artifacts or if they are, in fact, man-made. The location of the find is undisclosed and that makes it impossible to know if where the site is located was ever dry in the distant past, especially when mastodons still existed. Or was this “stonehenge” built underwater? The images of the carving on the “mastodon” stone do not include any clear unenhanced views. In a video taken for the show Ancient Aliens featuring this area of the great lake, there are a couple quick shots of the “mastodon” stone without the dots having been connected. Blink and you’ll miss the fact that there are a lot of cracks, fissures, lines, etc. on that rock. It’s seems pareidolia is a far more likely explanation. There are photos and video footage of the “mastodon” stone taken by divers, why are there none for the “stonehenge” structure? Why is this story being carrying almost exclusively on fringe websites? The only news site I could find covering this mystery was a local TV news station. And, finally, in case you didn’t catch it: ANCIENT ALIENS! That program is all about sound science, right?
Too many red flags on this one. Until better evidence is presented, I’m going to remain skeptical.
Movie Recommendation (Netflix streaming edition): Stranger Things (2016)
|Netflix Original Series
It’s not by Stephen King but it sure seems like it is. This Netflix origin series was created by the Duffer Brothers and it stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, and Matthew Modine. It also has a cast of young actors who are all very good and all look the ages they are playing.
Something bad is happening in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. People are disappearing and a girl with incredible abilities has appeared. A group of 12 year-old boys, a couple highschoolers, and two adults are trying to get to the bottom of these disappearances. And it appears the government has been up to some bad business. Very bad.
You can stream the eight episode season on Netflix.
Music heard on the show…
Closing song: ‘Angler’s Treble Hook’ by $5 Fiddle
That’s it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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