GOP Fear-Mongering Kicks into High Gear (with VIDEO)

Last month, we inaugurated the Fear-mongering Hall of Shame, enshrining the Alarmist All-Stars of the Bush administration, and making the no-brainer prediction that "as Election Day races ever-closer, you can be sure the GOP fear-mongers will be swinging for the fences -- in speeches, in press releases, in campaign ads, and in direct mail come-ons."

Sure enough, with just two weeks to go and the polls heavily skewing Democratic, the administration's panic-button pushers have brought out the big guns, including an ad featuring Osama Bin Laden saying that 9/11 was "nothing compared to what you will see next," the specter of colossal tax raises, Dick Cheney repeatedly mentioning the possibility of "mass death in the United States," and even that old race-baiting favorite, the fear of black men lusting after southern white women.

It's beginning to look a lot like November.

By now, you've all seen or heard about the despicable Republican National Committee ad featuring Osama, his right hand man Ayman al-Zawahri, a ticking clock, a nuclear explosion and the tag line: "These are the stakes. Vote November 7th". What a piece of work. Check out the spot-on eviscerations of it done by Keith Olbermann and Bob Cesca.

Here's a taste of Olbermann:

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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