Independence Day debunking

As if to answer my prayers for mythography inspiration, the always-genius NPR program On The Media stepped into my vacation-induced void with their July 3rd program all about debunking national myths.  Some of their debunking targets: Rosa Parks as meek older lady whose feet were just too tired to move to the back of the bus.  (Actually, she was a committed civil rights activist who was also allied with the more radical Malcolm-X wing of the movement). Hippies spit on Vietnam vets when they came home.  Actually, there’s no evidence of the spitting; the story didn’t pop up until the ’80s. Remember the Bradley Effect? It doesn’t exist–even Bradley’s strategizers say so.  Best of all, OTM approaches their debunking not from a snarky, self-righteous perspective, but from sincere curiousity about why these untrue beliefs have persisted so long–why in fact various “fact checking” efforts on them have been so useless as to be counterproductive–and what deeper beliefs they reveal about us all.  Was it Picasso that said “Art is a lie that reveals the truth”?  Maybe.  So are political myths.  What are you waiting for? Go and listen to it already.

One Response to Independence Day debunking

  1. […] no one can hear you scream.  Another myth on the On The Media myth-busting episode (which I recommend) is an investigation of the famous murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964 Queens, which, according to […]

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