Why does this matter? Because now hundreds of hours of human energy have been wasted responding to something that didn’t happen. That’s hundreds of hours that could have been spent in productive endeavor.
Motives and motivations
I’m not suggesting that this was a deliberate misrepresentation, but it started with CBS itself with their headline on a teaser segment two days before the show aired, “70 percent tax rates on ultra rich would help pay for “Green New Deal,” Ocasio-Cortez says.” I’ve no evidence or argument that would prove CBS has a vested interest in diverting attention and support away from AOC by misrepresenting what she said in a way that will stir up pointless confusion and argument among key components of her base.
But I doubt it would take much to argue reasonably that their interests may well be served by not allowing the stuff AOC is saying to gain too much traction among too large a segment of the population.
In any event, motive isn’t relevant – in the end she didn’t say that, and a bunch of people now believe she did. It’s not just relevant to the MMT folks, either. Everyone who is affected by the structured us vs. them narration in the media needs to see how this phrasing works to reinforce ideas that have no actual merit but keep us at each other’s throats arguing about and competing for irrelevancies and breadcrumbs. This is, again, part of the cycle of power – keep the masses distracted by each other so we don’t get together and wonder how most of our stuff ended up in the hands of a few hundred people.
AOC never said tax the rich to pay for anything. Nor did anything she said, at least in the aired segment or any currently known source material related to it, suggest that she was saying that.
But media from the original producer CBS to the n-th tier copy-and paste clickbaiters told you she said it.
This all strikes back to some of my favorite subjects – critical thinking, careful analysis of primary source material whenever possible before reacting to what you’re told about it, thoughtful consideration before sharing things. Be aware of how your own mind works, where your own biases lie, where your own thinking becomes flawed. Stay on top of yourself, always be prepared to admit you are or may be wrong, always be prepared to consider an idea without accepting it as true nor deciding it’s untrue without giving it fair hearing.
Always consider what’s being said in the context of who is saying it and why. Always try to review the content being reported on in a headline before you assume the headline accurately reflects the information being reported.
We absolutely must remain diligent, vigilant, and on constant recursive self-examination for bias and flawed reasoning in ourselves and in the information we consume. We must continue to develop greater awareness of our own limitations and flaws of thinking, to evolve our thinking to assimilate new information and new understanding into our own efforts to preserve and advance the species.
Without these habits, we can’t protect ourselves against being deliberately manipulated. It doesn’t even matter whether for or against our own interest or by whose logic, that’s absolutely a violation of everything we believe and fight and strive and die for as human beings.