Thursday, January 18, 2007

Semantics and Other Word Games - Part I

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” - Winston Churchill

The art of lying is not a new one. Lies can be harmless or lies can have a wider impact and be hurtful. They can be used to achieve certain goals. They can also be deliberate and methodical. Joseph Goebbels, for example, had a propaganda technique for which he became famous, known as "argumentum ad nauseam". Basically what this means is to repeat a lie so often that it is eventually believed to be true. It’s used in politics (see Rove, Karl) and this same technique can be seen in the world of the anti-fan--those obsessed with hating a celebrity such as Clay Aiken.

It is absolutely amazing to look at all the untruths this group pushes -- on themselves as well as on others. It is a deliberate, obstinate, skewed version of reality. Even if there is an article, an interview, a statistic that proves them to be wrong, they put on blinders, refuse to acknowledge it, and proceed as if there were no evidence to counter that which they wish to believe. One of the ways they achieve this is through word games - selective quoting, editing, and spinning.

And then there is the psychological aspect of delusion. These anti-fans not only take statements and twist them to their own ends on a regular basis, but they sometimes actually convince themselves of their own veracity. Most significantly, some also try to push these self-reinforced myths into the public arenas available to them: comment pages on news articles; message boards; email campaigns; “tips” to gossip columnists, reporters, bloggers, etc. In addition, strange as it seems, some of these “haters” almost seem to feel they have a sense of “mission” to enlighten the world about the evils of Clay Aiken (don’t laugh) and his fans as illustrated in one recent quote (Note: “mats” is a pejorative nickname derived from “Claymate,” a term which incidentally is only embraced by some in the fandom.):

Being able to have a blog or a board that exposes him and the multitude of dirty things a group of his fans do is very important to me. It is important because I know there are mats out there that read here and other places looking for the TRUTH. It might not help them for awhile, but it will help them eventually.

And besides that, I would love to the see the lying bitch of a FAKE and his dirty conivving mats go down hard.
karma | 01.16.07 - 6:59 pm |

So, it’s personal. And it’s also puzzling. Tough love, delusion, or hatred rationalized?

It’s the assertion that what they say is the TRUTH, and the means by which they convince themselves and others, that will be the subject of this blog and Part II.

Unfortunately much of what they consider to be “the truth” consists of distorting reality and giving it a spin. I’m not trying to say that Aiken is a saint, or has never been abrupt with anyone, or has never made a mistake, but then he is a human being after all--a young guy thrust into the limelight while learning how to live his life--and unlike most of the obsessive haters, the fans are willing to cut him some slack in that respect. But the haters spend inordinate amounts of time and energy finding and exaggerating every human flaw, and if they fail to find something worth amplifying, well then they make something up, supported with half-truths, innuendo, and outright lies.

Here is one relatively harmless example. Recently, there was a post made on a blog entitled “Clay Aiken? Good Call by Our President.” It discussed why Aiken was a good choice for the President's Committee on People with Intellectual Disabilities and went on to point out how many people on that committee were relative unknowns, yet strong and important members. One of the “unknown” members responded to the blog with this quote:

I am one of the named unknowns' you mentioned (Steve Rhatigan) and when we as a group heard that Clay would become our new "celeb" member, our hope was that he had the bones to be there. He was replacing Coach Gene Stallings (TX A&M, Alabama) who's contributions like the Rise Schools and his own advocacy for his son with Down Syndrome were a known quantity. We also came to the conclusion that he was a great addition and filled a void (educator). I have been an advocate now going on 27 years and only knew of 8 members before our first confab. They are all strong and I'm confident our time will be productive. Clay will be one reason for that success.

Here is what they chose to emphasize and distort:

quote from blog:
Good observation. I am one of the named unknowns' you mentioned (Steve Rhatigan) and when we as a group heard that Clay would become our new "celeb" member, our hope was that he had the bones to be there.
I saw this too and found it really interesting that other committee members are now publicly referencing his non-attendance.
igor | 01.10.07 - 12:51 pm

So they completely eliminated the positive reference to Aiken in the quote, and twisted it to be a reference to “non-attendance” (which was mentioned nowhere in either the blog or the response). They then proceeded to react as follows:

"now publicly referencing his non-attendance."

So he has never attended a meeting? What an asshole! I can't believe the mats throw this appointment out as if the lazy ass actually does something!
jsaab | 01.10.07 - 12:58 pm | #

If I was a committee member that would tend to piss me off too.
It is one more example of Clay's self absorbed conduct and his using charity only when it benefits him.
igor | 01.10.07 - 1:16 pm | #

Amazing that they could glean that information out of the blog when … well, that’s actually not what was said. What was said was that Mr. Rhatigan wasn’t familiar with Clay or his qualifications before, but it is not uncommon to be unfamiliar with members prior to meeting them, and now he has confidence that Aiken will be a positive addition to the Committee.

This is a fairly typical kind of spin for them … take a positive and twist it into a negative. Some of the posts which followed stated that they will be contacting the committee to let them know just what a horrible person Aiken is (another typical response … distort the truth, apply the mantra that Clay is a despicable person in some way, and then send emails and letters to let people know their version of reality).

The deliberate twisting of the truth, such as illustrated above, indicates that they have an agenda, are wearing blinders that refuse to allow them to see anything positive about Aiken, or are seriously deluded, and possibly have some deep psychological issues. The incessant need to mock anything and everything Clay and then take it public borders on pathological.

It seems like those who are former fans really need to move on. The word “intense” applies to THEM. Those who are fans of someone else, why not just support that person? Those who were never fans must just enjoy the bullying. ( Actually all participate in the bullying and deliberate cruelty to an extent, but that will be the subject of another blog.)

Of course it is not expected that everyone like Aiken . We all have different tastes after all, but what singles out the obsessive hater is the lengths to which she or he will go to destroy Aiken’s reputation, career, and even his life and the lies they will tell to achieve it. A board that chooses to focus their attention on ranting and obsessing and hating an individual most of them have never met, and none of them really know, is sick, to be sure, but it’s a free country. However taking their distortions public in an effort to destroy a life is simply horrific. The fact that some feel it their mission in life to warn the world about that dastardly horrible Aiken would almost be comical if it didn’t have some real repercussions on his life.

The kind of distortion of the truth that I illustrated above is a daily, even hourly, occurrence on the places they post. The Clay Aiken they have defined from their selective use of reality is a twisted caricature of who Aiken really is. Their Aiken is a lying, cheating, hypocritical, dishonest, weak, bullying, ugly, talent less, in the closet, internet-trolling, vicious, ungrateful, guilt ridden, pill popping, diva freak. It is utterly over the top and laughable. It also goes against what most people who really know him and work with him think (well except for that kid that didn't like him when he was 15, which must prove it’s all true).

The concern is that they have taken this Clay Aiken that they’ve created and have been repeating the lies about him to anyone who’ll listen. They refuse to look at a different reality. They, in turn, are gullible and believe the lies that any charlatan or famewhore passes off to them, as long as those lies are in keeping with their own preconceived ideas. It is truly the epitome of ignorance, delusion, and obsession.

The next three blogs (not sure in which order):

Semantics and Other Word Games, Part II

Misogyny and Ageism: Alive and Well in America

Cruelty in an Internet World

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Anonymous said...

I think your most recent blog is absolutely brilliant. Your insights are right on the money. I thank you for putting into words the feelings and opinions of many Clay fans. Your blog reminds me of a post I read on one of the Boards during The Mess of 2006. It went something like, if Clay found a cure for cancer, or AIDS, or world hunger, the idiots would trash him for not doing it quickly enough. How very true. Everyone on this planet is a flawed human being. If all of our words and deed were twisted,turned,and spun, we would all come off looking like divas or monsters.

Anonymous said...

...when we as a group heard that Clay would become our new "celeb" member, our hope was that he had the bones to be there.

I took this comment to mean "had the right/qualifications/substance to be there/included/useful", not as a comment on attendance.

tnmtmama said...

Excellent blog, nighthawk. Please give more examples of their spin in Part 11. It might show some of them their insanity and make them realize how far they have drifted into delusion. It might make some of them seek help. At this point, some of these people aren't fit for the real world.

WRU said...

I guess the idiots quoting that CA hasn't attended never heard of conference calling. I have set up international conference calls in which the entire group of people could be heard and could be seen.

It's called technology, dumbasses!

Oh Crap said...

Nighthawk, you tell the truth and expose the lies and games with such class. I really have to take my hat off to you and I have to say, Thank You.

oneidolwoman said...

Nighthawk, you've written yet another excellent analysis of how the minds of the weak and delusional disfunction.

I witnessed how the FOOLS distorted "...our hope was that he had the bones to be there." Anybody with half a brain or less would know that the committee member was referring to Clay's qualifications (bones) that were still unfamiliar to the members when they first learned of his proposed appointment. Only a total dummy or malicious mind would see those words as referring to Clay's attendance. Although the FOOLS are definitely malicious, I think there's also a significant amount of just plain stupidity going on there. Dumb as stumps! LOL

Anonymous said...

You have written a very well structured and truthful commentary on the daily word games played by a small yet prolific group of internet haters.

Their tactics are vile, their obsession is intense, and their motives sinister.

kit said...

Another great post, Nighthawk. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this work you're doing. It's becoming harder and harder to bear the incessant disses of Clay. For example, the recent Globe photoshopped pic of a "double-chinned" Clay, plus a disgusting, lie-filled full-paged article inside! The buyers and readers of this cr*p are generally lacking the intelligence to work through the deceit. This is why your work is so important, Nighthawk. I'm praying that this entire site will ultimately be picked up by a legitimate journalist or TV News Show, and made at least as public as the trash mags & bloggers publications.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, NIGHTHAWK! We all have your back.

Truth Rules said...

With malice and forethought they practice character assassination with words. Shame on them and shame on the legal system that allows this to go unchecked.

Anonymous said...

Bravo again Nighthawk. Everyone on the Claynation is rejoicing your blog! Keep up the good work! I heard ATD on the radio today woo hoo!

Anonymous said...

I actually think the Globe pic is real, taken when he put his head down at that angle. I guess the point for the Globe would be that just about every other picture of him taken that day showed him to be incredibly handsome. Shows they have nothing but malice on the mind.

Let's just find one more way to try to hurt him and make people laugh at him. What's wrong with our society?

Carol said...

Thanks for taking on this topic, we've seen the agenda driven posts for some time now. I really like your comments on non-fans who have invested so much of themselves into creating and spreading misinformation about Clay. WTH is it with some people?

The titles of the topics you're working on sound very interesting.
I'll be back to read them!

Thanks for speaking up for Clay and the fans.

nzclaynz said...

nighthawk - brilliant blog.

You've got it all in a nutshell - they either really believe this, stuff; or don't and expound on it anyway; or just do it because for some reason that's totally beyond me - hate Clay (a person who would never willingly hurt a soul) and us.

Why anyone would spend so much time on a celebrity they detest is totally beyond my comprehension...

But it's not going to work. I hold fast to the belief that they will be exposed one day in the not too distant future; and that in the public eye; Clay will be vindicated...

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with our society? Whether through constant exposure or an honest interest in sleaze such as Howard Stern, Perez Hilton and others, we have become conditioned to reading stories where people are criticized, bullied and made fun of. It's an everyday thing...a kind of modern day version of throwing the Christians to the lions.

It seems like an overwhelming task to turn this trend around, however I like this quote and feel there is truth here.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

Keep up the good work, Nighthawk

Anonymous said...

PH had a blog up where lunitics were dissing Washington, the black man on Grey's Anatomy for calling his castmate a "faggot". They were calling for Washington to be fired. While there is no excuse for what Washington said, can you believe they were dissing someone for calling someone a faggot? I guess it's OK to use that word on someone who has said they are not gay but it's so wrong to use on someone who is out? Can you say hypocrite?

To the Clay bashers I say, you will not win. Clay has way too much too character to be bullied.

I think that Globe photo was "enhanced".

Anonymous said...

HaHa. Yeah, I've been banned from the fools' blog. I'm proud to be banned trying to expose the lies they blatently tell about Clay. It's a little frustrating at times, like when I want to correct a wrong statement they post, but I am definitely better off. It's less stressful not to argue back and forth with a bunch of evil, delusional fools, who, no matter what facts I could give them, believe what they want to believe.


I have gone to the 411 on occasion. Not recently though. I would post until I got called all kinds of names, then I would be banned. It was sweet. HEE

Anonymous said...

I, too, thought the comment about bones was an indication of Clay's qualifications for the position. It was only too obvious from the last line that that was exactly what it meant.

Of course, the fools are too stupid to figure that out for themselves.

Great blog, NH. Bravo!

always and forever loving clay aiken said...

I don't think the pic was photo-shopped, just taken at a bad angle.
And everyone has had a less than flattering picture taken.

Guess they had to look for the worst one taken of Clay that day, for there are a slew of good ones that show just how good looking he is.

But - the headline and the photo is meant to be attention grabbing. The story itself is just a regurgitation of the same garbage the tabloids have been spewing about Clay from the start.

Didn't buy it then - ain't buyin' it now, no matter what anyone says.

Thanks, Nighthawk for so eloquently putting the truth out there.

Feisty said...

Each time one of those FOOLS type something, they are proving exactly why they are known as FOOLS. To think we have over 3 years of their twisted words saved, and I do hope that you continue to show what the FOOLS have been doing.

As for the Globe picture, only FOOLS would believe that picture is true. Nothing more need be said. Let them wallow in their own delusional, sorry lives.

Great blog Nighthawk.

neveradullmoment said...

I think what matters is not the photo (which I actually saw at the originating site and it IS real - we all have bad picture moments especially when the head is at that angle) but is the SPIN that's put on everything. Not just in the trashy tabloids, but at some of the hater sites. I read over at TFH and the 411 site and it was all just so jaw droppingly stooooopid! It is just unreal how they morph everything to fit into their mindset. They also spew their crap over at Pulse and TWoP.

I think what the tabloids do is just google the online stuff and put in in their rag. And then the idiots at sites like 411 and tfh whoop and holler like a bunch of chimps and say that must validate what they were saying (forgetting the fact that they had a hand in planting those online stories in the first place.) BWAH!

rtw said...

Great blog, Nighthawk. There is only one thing that you said that I disagree with, and that is the Carl Rove comment. Since this isn't a political blog, I'll stick with what we do agree on, the very talent and wonderful man we all support.

I'm so glad you started this blog. I hope not just "us" will get to read here and see the truth.

The example you gave with the President's Council member, I have seen so many outrageous comments by the fools regarding that quote. I even saw similiar comments on Jeff Varner's blog. Since the 411 fools do post there, it was probably one of them spreading their hate around.

Looking foward to your future blogs. "Cruelty In An Internet World" sounds particularly interesting. That's been one of my pet peeves for a long time.

celebhith said...

Brava and kudos to you for continuing to expose the haters for what they are: stupid, twisted, and sick folks with a clear agenda of destruction, not truth, as they claim. Keep up the good work ~ can't wait to see the next installment!

Anonymous said...

I definitely think it is a real photo of Clay in the Globe. I had seen the picture on many boards before it made its way into the rag. So Clay takes one bad picture among the 100 great ones at the UNICEF event.

Birdie9 said...

Just thank you, Nighthawk. You are doing a great job.

tnmtmama said...

PH had a blog up where lunitics were dissing Washington, the black man on Grey's Anatomy for calling his castmate a "faggot". They were calling for Washington to be fired. While there is no excuse for what Washington said, can you believe they were dissing someone for calling someone a faggot?

Anon at 5:43
I'd just like to point out that this may be entirely fake. It's on PH's blog, so it is very likely made up in his usual phony style. I wouldn't be;lieve this or anything else I read there.

Anonymous said...

Nighthawk rules.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for cutting through the lies. We all know they're full of shit, but it's nice to see it layed out so methodically like this.

Anonymous said...

It IS a sad society when lies and cruelty, supported by lies and directed towards people you don't even know are accepted. Whatever happened to kindness and honesty as social and internal values?

kit said...

I have a somewhat presumptuous suggestion to make to you Nighthawk; namely, when you've completed your work, I would love to see you turn it over in its entirety to a credible TV investigative reporter.

I have one in particular in mind, Glenn Beck. He's on every evening on Headline Prime, an affiliate of CNN. He's an honorable and courageous reporter who consistently rails against inequities, and doesn't tolerate FOOLS! He tells it like it is. I think he could do great justice to your/our/Clay's story.

clayrocks said...

I agree that all of this would make a VERY interesting study for someone, somewhere. Lots of different levels to explore. Celebrity crushes and celebrity hate, how the anonymity of the internet lets otherwise good people let their inner bully out, how lies are so easily accepted, even when delivered by anonymous people on the internet, how people with real personality disorders and mental issues can have lie and influence and sway people on the internet (certain recent bloggers come to mind)and how that can have an impact in real life, and lots of other things. If it didn't cause such hurt and have such a real impact on other people's lives it would be really interesting.

I wonder - when some of these haters snap back to reality and take a good look at their lives and at their actions directed towards another human being, how they are going to feel about themselves. I wonder how their family, friends, neighbors, business associates would feel about them if they were ever exposed and could look at their actions.

Anonymous said...

You can fixate on the positive or you can fixate on the negative. In their case they fixate on the negative.

How sad that the word that defines them and the energy they put into the world is "haters".

Anonymous said...

Did you see that ridiculous blog the other day? Yet another so-called insider who knows aaaallll these people and had "worked with" Clay has miraculously found their way to their site (in this case TFH which was sited as the source - LOL). Amaaaazing how all these "insiders" with the same talking points as the haters try to push find their way to obscure places like TFH and the hater blogs isn't it? BWAH!

Do they really believe this shit, or is it like a role playing game?

rtw said...

Kit, I love Glenn Beck. He is one of the most sanest, fairest people around. I love your idea.

POlice said...

TFH = Percocet

nzclaynz said...

"Do they really believe this shit, or is it like a role playing game?"

I think some of them do - but I've always had the feeling that most of them are playing a 'game'.

A sick kinda game. I wouldn't wish this game played on anyone; let alone a nice guy like Clay.

nighthawk - I'm really looking forward to your upcoming blogs. You tell it like it is - hopefully one day soon those asswipes will be exposed to the world for what they really are.

Anonymous said...

Some people believe Glenn Beck is sane and courageous; others believe he is a bigot. I'm not sure what to think about him, but I'm also not sure he'd be sympathetic to issues of sexual prejudice.

Media matters finds Beck offensive

Beck reacts to "flamboyant"

opposed to gay marriage

Anonymous said...

They really do hate Clay don't they. this goes beyond not liking someone this is malicious intent. they won't be happy unless he's gone. I can't stand Kelly C. but I have no interest in anything about her, and I certainly don't stalk the internet for her. they have certainly gone off the deep end.

rayofhope said...

Believe it? Nah. They make it up and revel in the lies. They have no character. There is truth in some of those old sayings. Karma is not mythical. It often happens because of a person's actions.

They were having so much fun trashing Clay that they did not hesitate to cause a charity to lose money. Granted that particular charity may not have had people running it who had good common sense. But they lost a bundle of money that would have gone to support teens. That point got lost in the victory dance. It is very sad.

Depending on the event and participation of others, Clay has raised hundreds to thousands to millions of dollars for charity. Every list I've seen is impressive and even then doesn't always cover it all. The fans too deserve credit for wanting to do good, most without wanting any attention from Clay. Between a piano signed by celebrities, David Foster and Clay, a million dollars was raised in one evening for a charity. If the fools could have sabotaged that auction, how much do you want to bet they would have tired. Again sad.

Some of us are aware of other examples where they planned to distrupt other events but did not. That they even discussed doing something like that is almost unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

I see that they are attacking his foundation now, sadly they use the Better business bureau as thier Proof, which only says they know nothing about the foundation itself as they haven't responded to the BBB with information. now KNOWING clay's foundation was checked by an independant auditor for problems which origionated from complaints by some of the very haters that are there now, and proven to be perfectly FINE and the fact that since then the AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, and a MILLION dollar grant from Good Neighbour(i believe) is proof enough for me that it's a viable charity,

why isn't that enough for them? because it adds to thier delusion of the Anti-christ Clay. Sorry fools, I'm still betting on Clay, and I know I;m in the right corner.

Anonymous said...

HOW OFTEN DO THOSE POEPLE BLOG ? my God that is an obsession for Darn sure. And they can't see that? How can they not see it? It's UNBELIEVABLE to me. they are soooo sick in the Head.

rtw said...

"Do they really believe this shit, or is it like a role playing game?"

Unfortunately, I believe most of them really believe what they say.
I think it has become like a mass mental illness. They certainly feed off of each other.

nighthawk said...


I think the difference is that some people just use their blogs more like message boards. It does represent a lot of time and energy, which goes back to that obsession thing again.

(Don't expect blogs that frequently from me, though ... I actually have a life.) ;) I'm aiming for 2-3 a week.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I do not agree with Glenn Beck as a responsible journalist. He takes tabloids as gospel truth sometimes, he does not do his own research, and he indeed is a bigot.

Hopefully, Nighthawk's well supported writings will be forwarded to a journalist or TV personality of integrity for an investigative report.

foolishfools said...

I see the fools are dicing and slicing the comments over here, their typical MO. They can't refute the truth so they take bits and pieces of posts an build their stories around them.

Once a fool, always a fool.

Silly rabbits.

nighthawk said...

Yes, I know they do that with the comments. I actually think a few of the comments are "plants" that allow them to do just that. I catch some of the more obvious ones, but of course some will slip by.

I honestly think that they (or at least some of them) know in their heart that what they are doing to Clay and to the fans is wrong on a moral and ethical level and so will squirm and bait and twist information to deflect attention from that...even to themselves so they don't have to self-acknowledge.

I have an interim blog coming up in a little bit. Just something I came across while doing the research to support the next full blog and wanted to comment on.....maybe in 30 minutes or so.