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False equivalence: how 'balance' makes the media dangerously dumb

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Posted

that gets dangerous too, though. i remember last year leading up to the election when bing came out with this commercial where this conservative dude looks at the camera and goes "you know what i like? conservative news!" and then this chick pops up and goes "i'm pretty liberal and i sure like my liberal news" and then this bing rep jumps on and goes "well now bing gives you the exact type of news you want!!!!! subscribe today!!!!"

that's so fuging moronic it boggles my mind, but i guess it's nothing new, as loud ideologues have been telling their hordes of followers exactly what they want to hear for years (and generating massive revenue for themselves as a result.)

People are naturally going to gravitate to other people who agree with their points of view, regardless of which ideology or belief system they follow. And honestly, I don't see that as a problem.

The fact that intelligent people can look at things and come away with completely different viewpoints and ideas doesn't bother me at all. Don't quite get why it bothers you.

People are different. To me, that's a good thing.

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Posted

People are naturally going to gravitate to other people who agree with their points of view, regardless of which ideology or belief system they follow. And honestly, I don't see that as a problem.

The fact that intelligent people can look at things and come away with completely different viewpoints and ideas doesn't bother me at all. Don't quite get why it bothers you.

People are different. To me, that's a good thing.

I agree. Different perspectives allow for advancement.

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Posted

Yes, six mega corporations controlling over 90 percent of the media Americans come in contact with on a daily basis is a diverse spectrum of views.  :thumbsu:  :rolleyes:

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Posted

People are naturally going to gravitate to other people who agree with their points of view, regardless of which ideology or belief system they follow. And honestly, I don't see that as a problem.

The fact that intelligent people can look at things and come away with completely different viewpoints and ideas doesn't bother me at all. Don't quite get why it bothers you.

People are different. To me, that's a good thing.

 

accepting or rejecting objective data based on whether or not it fits your predetermined worldview sets you up to be manipulated by social or political forces who recognize susceptibility to control when they see it. it is a fundamentally flawed way of looking at the world because it allows predetermined biases and framing to control what information is viewed and how it is received.

 

this isn't an argument about whether or not people can disagree and still be smart, it's an epistemic question, a methodological question, one that transcends specific beliefs.

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Posted

the interesting thing to me is this notion of "choices" we think we have. be it cable or even sat radio. tons and tons of channels yet we mentally segregate ourselves more than we realize.

 

the oddity of there being no need for balance in what the news is reporting stems, to me, specifically from the insidiousness that is two parties.

 

i would argue there is a grassroots effort to consistently undermine the need for a third party and the effect it could have to make our politicans even better.

 

isn't it flat out stupid that we are lead to believe that a business gets to big it's called a monopoly or anti trust laws come into play yet the Dems and Reps have been monopolizing ideals for a long long time. yet nobody seems to challenge that.

 

heres an example. Doesn't matter if it's a Rep or Dem who comes up with an idea but by and large, the person on the "other side of the aisle", almost instinctively or out of tradition HAS to disagree, at least pubicly, with his or her counterpart.its just dumb.

 

 

i know many here ascribe to the validity of the golden mean argument and i would say many aren't pass the age of 30 as there are things that are more gray than black or white.

 

we have hundreds of cable or radio channels to give us the illusion or false sense of security in having choices and yet we turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to having limited true choices in our so called leaders.

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Posted

In what way does having several parties which represent fewer people's views make the government better?

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Posted

accepting or rejecting objective data based on whether or not it fits your predetermined worldview sets you up to be manipulated by social or political forces who recognize susceptibility to control when they see it. it is a fundamentally flawed way of looking at the world because it allows predetermined biases and framing to control what information is viewed and how it is received.

this isn't an argument about whether or not people can disagree and still be smart, it's an epistemic question, a methodological question, one that transcends specific beliefs.

Name me somebody old enough to do critical thinking that doesn't have a predetermined world view. Granted there are people who will tell you they don't. They're usually referred to as 'liars'.

Truthfully, it's not that people reject objective data so much as they don't agree on what's objective. If we're being honest, most people's definition of what's 'objective' generally means 'whatthink about it'. The narrative goes that "it's everybody else who's subjective, not me. I'm a free thinker. All those goofballs who disagree with me are blind sheep."

And really, how much of what's seen in political discussion today could rightly be called 'objective data'? Numbers reported by government? You could say they're objective, but what caused a certain figure to be a certain amount? Was it something the government did? Something the public did? Who's to say? Heck, do you know with absolute certainty that they even reported the true number?

Nope. Everyone has their spin, and everyone has their projection on what happens next. And all too often we base what we think should be done more on the prediction of what happens next than on the fact of what happened.

Here's the basic flaw in your argument: When someone says "why can't everyone just agree on something" what they're really saying is "why can't everyone just agree with what I think". Hence, everybody agreeing is only a good thing if they all agree with me.  And let's be real; that's the heart of what you're saying here. So hey, maybe that would be a good thing...if you were flawless. But sadly, none of us is. (though some dolt will likely follow this post by claiming to be)

Bottom line: Differences of opinion are good because nobody gets everything right.

Complicated? Heck yeah, but I'll take that over a hivemind any day.

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Posted

Much of the public seems to buy into the media's false equivalency.  Many Americans either don't care or don't have the time to determine the truth, so they accept things based on faith or Fox.

 

This is what happens when the majority of Americans base their lives on superstition, not fact.  When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer, superstition isn't the way.

Very superstitious, nothin' more to say, very superstitious, the devil's on his way, thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin' glass, seven years of bad luck, good things in your past.

When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer, Superstition ain't the way, no, no, no.

http://youtu.be/me4dTKAaEu0

 

480px-Ted_Cruz%2C_official_portrait%2C_1

 

Senator Ted Cruz ® Texas

 

http://youtu.be/37-yFGJngPs

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Posted

I think a lot of people like their jerseys and enjoy the narrative their media outlet gives them. Most people love to have there views enforced and get angry and uncomfortable when presented with evidence and views that counter theirs.

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Posted

So based on some you guys logic how come fox doesn't have 80 milliom viewers and msnbc 60 million and cnn 80?

The total # overall viewers for all combined barely reach 15 in a given day. Maybe there is more myths as to how much the everyday person consumes from tv.

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Posted

People are naturally going to gravitate to other people who agree with their points of view, regardless of which ideology or belief system they follow. And honestly, I don't see that as a problem.

The fact that intelligent people can look at things and come away with completely different viewpoints and ideas doesn't bother me at all. Don't quite get why it bothers you.

People are different. To me, that's a good thing.

Well stated and I agree. 

 

The trouble these days is that the explosion of media has diminished the art of journalism. I don't have a problem with opinion pieces in the media that favor one side or the other, as long as the author clarifies that it is an opinion piece.  Most of the so called journalist that post articles on sites like Fox, Huffington Post, Drudge etc... either don't understand or don't care about the difference between opinion and fact.   

 

I don't like much of what the tea party acolytes do or how they do it.  But they do have a legitimate point that spending needs to be reigned in, and in the media frenzy over the evil republicans and the shutdown, that has been largely ignored. 

 

 

Let us state this unequivocally: false equivalency – the practice of giving equal media time and space to demonstrably invalid positions for the sake of supposed reportorial balance – is dishonest, pernicious and cowardly. On the other hand, according to the grassroots American Council of Liberty Loving Ordinary White People Propped Up by the Koch Brothers, the liberal media want to contaminate your precious bodily fluids and indoctrinate your children in homosocialism

 

Who decides what is demonstrably invalid?  If the majority of journalist decide that a position is invalid, regardless of what that position is, does that mean it actually is invalid?  The author seems to be implying that the media should take sides (as long as the side they take is the one the author supports),  I definitely unequivocally, wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment. 

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Posted

Well stated and I agree. 

 

The trouble these days is that the explosion of media has diminished the art of journalism. I don't have a problem with opinion pieces in the media that favor one side or the other, as long as the author clarifies that it is an opinion piece.  Most of the so called journalist that post articles on sites like Fox, Huffington Post, Drudge etc... either don't understand or don't care about the difference between opinion and fact.   

 

I don't like much of what the tea party acolytes do or how they do it.  But they do have a legitimate point that spending needs to be reigned in, and in the media frenzy over the evil republicans and the shutdown, that has been largely ignored. 

 

 

Who decides what is demonstrably invalid?  If the majority of journalist decide that a position is invalid, regardless of what that position is, does that mean it actually is invalid? 

 

The Tea Party uses a legitimate point to drive an anti-minority, anti-immigration, anti-diversity agenda. That's not exactly a new concept.

 

Data:

 

http://www.washingtonpoll.org/results/June1_teaparty.pdf

 

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