Critics Take Gil Bailie to Task (Part 1)

SlanderThe following is a transcription of a discussion that occurred beginning 6/16/13 on Gil Bailie’s The Cornerstone Forum Facebook Page:

The Cornerstone Forum (Gil Bailie)

A friend alerted me to this. It apparently comes from Bill O’Reilly’s message board. It’s about the last presidential election, and the figures appear to be accurate.

As each state reported their final election details, the evidence of voter fraud is astounding. Massive voter fraud has been reported in areas of OH and FL, with PA, WI and VA, all are deploying personnel to investigate election results.

Here are just a few examples of what has surfaced with much more to come.

  • In 59 voting districts in the Philadelphia region, Obama received 100% of the votes with not even a single vote recorded for Romney. (A mathematical and statistical impossibility).
  • In 21 districts in Wood County Ohio, Obama received 100% of the votes where GOP inspectors were illegally removed from their polling locations – and not one single vote was recorded for Romney. (Another statistical impossibility).
  • In Wood County Ohio, 106,258 voted in a county with only 98,213 eligible voters.
  • In St. Lucie County, FL, there were 175,574 registered eligible voters but 247,713 votes were cast.
  • The National SEAL Museum, a polling location in St. Lucie County, FL had a 158% voter turnout.
  • Palm Beach County, FL had a 141% voter turnout.
  • In Ohio County, Obama won by 108% of the total number of eligible voters.

NOTE: Obama won in every state that did not require a Photo ID and lost in every state that did require a Photo ID in order to vote.

Jim Daly responds:

I love and respect you, Gil, but it really makes you look bad when you post scurrilous rumors. It tends to discredit the many other true and helpful things you post. I have no idea why you say that the figures are accurate. In fact, just a little fact checking shows them to be false. Here is a link to the snopes.com page that refutes these claims.

The Cornerstone Forum: 

statue1Jim, thanks for passing this along. Everyone is welcome to take a look and come to a decision. If I had more confidence in this administration, I would have been less
credulous. I remain skeptical. But, everyone is welcome to take a look and come to his or her on conclusion.

Sophie Sommers:

Gil, one way to avoid propagating scurrilous rumors is to do some careful fact checking before you post anything of this sort. Stories like the one above do unjustified damage to people’s reputations, and that is wrong by any moral standard. Your distrust of Obama and your faith in people like Bill O’Reilly could lead you down some dangerous paths. Please give everyone the benefit of the doubt and speak no evil of anyone without really solid evidence of wrongdoing. You know as well as I do that the Internet is full of false reporting about everything that’s going on in government and society. There are a number of fact-checking resources. Jim Daly mentioned Snopes.com. There are others, all mostly reliable. (Just avoid the ones that are funded by groups with ideological agendas.)

Jim Daly:

Trust meGil, when you say that you remain “skeptical,” do you mean that you doubt Snopes.com’s debunking of these ludicrous claims? Could you explain why? Is it simply because your dislike of so many of the Obama administration’s policies inclines you to believe the worst about the President? That’s understandable. But recognizing your biases should give you the incentive to be extra diligent about verifying the things you post, so you don’t end up committing the sin of slandering your neighbor and discrediting the many true and helpful things you post.

The Cornerstone Forum:

My skepticism of the present administration and the Chicago politics it represents is such that I find stories like the one my friend highlighted believable. Whatever the validity of the article in question, my skepticism remains.

Jim Swenson:

scandal2There are clearly a lot of people in this country who will believe anything about Obama and his policies as long as it is bad. This is very unhealthy for our democracy, because we are seeing unprecedented infusions of misinformation into the media to satisfy these people’s need for scandal. Willfully passing along false and libelous information is, according to the Catholic catechism, a very serious sin for which penance is required. It’s so serious, in fact, that it is mentioned in the Ten Commandments.

To make responsible decisions, citizens need accurate information. Responsible citizens will do their part to ensure that the media don’t contaminate and distort the political process. When we put up Facebook pages and blog sites, the “Media ‘R’ Us.” Let’s keep it clean!

Jim Daly:

TruthPerhaps you found it “believable,” in the sense of being at least plausible, but that doesn’t make it true. And since we as Christians have an overriding responsibility to the truth, especially when what’s at stake is the reputation of our neighbors who may be innocent of the accusations brought against them, don’t we have a responsibility to check our facts before we post something that turns out to be a scurrilous fabrication? You’ve rightly complained about the decline of journalistic integrity, as journalists sacrifice their traditional commitment to the truth and allow themselves to be used as mouthpieces to promote an ideological agenda. But your credibility on this and many other points vanishes if you do the very same thing you complain about when it’s done by others. That’s what your concerned friends on this thread are trying to help you see.

The Cornerstone Forum:

For what it’s worth, I find Bill O’Reilly to be insufferable. The things I quoted from his message board seemed to me plausible, for reasons that most people might recognize. I’m done with this post. Carry on if it seems worth your while.

Ben Boyce:

So that proves it! Not only is Obama not a citizen, but five million votes were manufactured to install the Anti-Christ as president. (That’s the problem with the right-wing Republicans; they not only have their own opinions but they make their own facts). It has come to this. It must be hard to breathe in that bubble, what with all the noxious fumes being emitted.

Jim Daly:

Shame2I do understand why you found the figures to be plausible, despite their untrustworthy source. But plausible doesn’t mean true and, when what’s at stake is the possibility of unjustly sullying the reputations of so many dedicated poll workers, it’s morally imperative to verify your claims to avoid promulgating the sort of falsehoods found in your post. Earlier today, you posted a beautiful sentiment about how heavenly it would be to have the opportunity to seek forgiveness from all those whom we have wronged. But, of course, before we can seek forgiveness, there must first be an admission of wrongdoing. That may actually be the hardest part, because our desire to get right with God and our neighbor meets all kinds of resistance from that proud part of ourselves that is loath to admit our mistakes. That’s why the person who can admit error is so deserving of our respect. It would be wonderful if you could stop hiding behind the excuse that it’s alright to spread calumny as long as it strikes our biased ears as initially “plausible.” There is no shame in admitting a mistake. To the contrary! The shame lies in refusing to do so.

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3 comments so far

  1. Ben Boyce on

    Little did I know that I was about to join a select club of the “disappeared” on the Cornerstone Forum by putting up the following post, which was airbrushed off the site within five minutes: “This entry is troubling, because it clearly refers to some of the recent commentaries that I and a few others have made specifically regarding your posts on the Cornerstone Forum FB page. I know when I’m being shown the door, but in all fairness, it seems remarkably tone-deaf and thin-skinned to characterize the sincere commentaries calling out your political partisanship as “angry disquisitions” or as some kind of trolling of your page by people who have not studied your work and are merely taking random potshots at Christians out of animosity towards the Church and the values for which it stands. What is being brought into question is your conflation of Catholicism with political conservatism. What has galvanized me to comment on some of the most partisan posts is the suspension of your fine critical faculties with regard to promulgating false or tendentious right-wing media tropes regarding the President and his administration, and liberal and progressive political figures. You’re entitled to your political views, but some of us are going to resist the implication that the Catholic Church is the Tea Party at prayer. For someone who wants to stand as an example of moral and intellectual clarity, it seems like a gaping blind spot in your thinking. Rather than seek to silence this corrective critique, I would like to see you address that issue straightforwardly. Do you believe that it is incompatible to be a faithful Catholic and a political progressive?”
    Ben Boyce
    Sonoma

    • thebentangle on

      Hi Ben,
      I have been watching developments at TCF with great interest lately and trying to nab comments before they disappear. I wasn’t alert enough to catch this one, however, so thanks for sending it our way. I have “known” Gil for many years through his writings and blog sites, and have been fascinated by the evolution of his thinking. Before I happened across “Violence and the Sacred,” I had read a lot of Girard, so I expected to find discussions of mimetic theory on Gil’s sites. However, I never did. The truth is, Gil cannot handle a discussion. He panics at the first sign of disagreement, however cordial. This suggests to me that he is very, very fragile, and he knows that his worldview cannot stand up to much scrutiny. This is a position of weakness, not strength.

      I am gay and atheist (secular humanist), but I never thought that would have disqualified me from entering into conversation with Catholics about matters of faith and sexuality. I believe in dialog, even when it gets messy and unruly. I have blogged with Catholics—both conservative and progressive ones—for years, but I’ve never run into anyone as frightened of dialog as Gil. Nevertheless, I feel “called” in some sense to rebut him for probably the same reasons that you do. He’s a bit like a loose cannon, and he needs a counterweight, in my opinion.

      I think the question that you put to Gil (about whether he thinks a progressive can even “be” a faithful Catholic) gets to the nub of the problem that he has with that Facebook page and, I might add, with the world of Catholicism itself. And I have blogged with countless conservative Catholics who feel no hesitation in saying that any so-called “Catholic” who disagrees with their rigid view of things is indeed unfaithful to the Church.

      In future, if you see anything on Gil’s site that you’d like to comment on, let me know, and I’ll port the post over here for you. I’m not getting as many visitors as Gil’s site, but that could change.

      • Ben Boyce on

        After discovering your site, which was linked to by Timothy Brock, I feel like I’ve been initiated into an exclusive (pun intended) club. It has been a bit of a shock to see how different the real man Gil Bailie is from the image that I had formed listening to his cassettes and CD’s for over a decade between 1995- 2008. The urbane, witty, and literate intellectual I thought I knew has been revealed to be a petty tyrant with very thin skin.


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