Saturday on MSNBC’s “Up with Chris Hayes,” host Chris Hayes likened Republican “poll truthers” to crackheads, saying that the GOP is “smoking what they’re dealing.” He invoked the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls)’s “Crack Commandment” Number 4 to prove his point.
On the posthumously-released 1997 album “Life After Death,” the rapper known as Notorious B.I.G. performed the track “The 10 Crack Commandments,” a manual for life as a drug dealer. Tips for aspiring unlicensed pharmaceutical salespersons included, “Never let no one know/how much dough you hold,” “keep your family and your business/completely separated” and other pearls of presumably hard-won wisdom.
Rule Number 4, as noted by Hayes, is “Never get high/on your own supply,” which, sadly, some on the right seem to be doing with regards to former Gov. Mitt Ronmey (R-MA)’s chances at winning the presidency.
In what Hayes called “the alternate epistemic universe of right wing media,” GOP operatives like Karl Rove and Dick Morris seem to be broadcasting from an alternate universe where the problem isn’t the candidate or the electorate, but rather the polls.
The situation echoes Rove’s now-notorious NPR interview before the 2006 mid-term election where he claimed to have “the math” that proved a path to victory in the House and Senate for Republicans. He was wrong, of course.
“We should note that Fox News’s polls have been pretty much in line with everyone else’s,” said Hayes. That has not stopped many of the pundits and anchors on Fox to spin the results to their favor, up to and including senior members of the Romney campaign like Eric Fehrnstrom.
Conservatives have flocked this week to the website UnSkewedPolls.com, where proprietor Dean Chambers claims to have corrected for liberal bias in national polls, and awarded Romney a 7-point lead over President Barack Obama.
Hayes said that he understands the impulse, that human beings are hard-wired toward confirmation bias, e.g., we seek out information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs. However, “the problem is that the institutional structure of the American right slavishly caters to this disposition.”
Market incentives push media outlets like Fox increasingly toward feeding their audience only what they want to hear, a model under which profits flourish, but objective facts suffer. Social critic Julian Sanchez coined the term “epistemic closure” to describe the bubble created when individuals close themselves off to any information that does not fit their biases.
Or, as Notorious B.I.G. called it, “getting high on your own supply.”
In a statement that echoed Ron Reagan, Jr.’s remarks that poll truthers are smoking “a giant crack pipe in the Republican green room,” Hayes said that the GOP is “now smoking what it’s dealing,” a practice that may have serious consequences for the party this fall.
Watch the clip, embedded via MSNBC, below: