The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Document the Atrocities! The American Political Media

enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
edited July 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
Anyone who's been following the political threads in these here forums know that I have a special disdain for the American news media. Alternately, if you participated in one of the two Phallas I ever ran you will know that I loathe them pretty passionately. Especially David Broder, even if he's dead. They're terrible at their jobs for one, but more importantly they face absolutely no accountability. A couple things I recently saw elsewhere caused me to want to make this thread. But before we begin, a few caveats:

1) This is not the LOL Fox News thread. Nor is it the LOLGOP thread. While they are frequently ridiculous, the topic here is the news media. This is explicitly not a place to talk about whatever crazypants thing that Michelle Bachmann said. You can criticize someone for not challenging said crazypants thing.

Example:
Did you hear that Bachmann said that Obama wants to kill all white children so there are only minorities in the future?

NO, BAD.
Jesus Christ, David Gregory just failed to challenge Jon Kyl lying about Planned Parenthood.

Correct!
Dammit, Chris Matthews, killing Bin Laden does not make Obama a cowboy. Moron.

Also correct!

2) As such, if you are a conservative and would like to point out failures of liberals in the media? Go for it. Hell, if you're a liberal and want to point out the failures of liberals in the media, I would encourage that. This is about document awful, stupid things the media does. We are bipartisan in our shitty media (as most of MSNBC in primetime will attest). Or Roger Cohen.

If you attack Rachel Maddow though, I will cut you.

With those caveats in place, let's talk about the media. Recently I've been frustrated with the general tone of the coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden and the generally wrongness of most of what they say. Obviously they were mindlessly repeating everything the White House said initially and the White House's initial reports were confused, at best. This is a tendency the media has, to blindly repeat the claims of the powerful. Which is an obvious problem. The other issue I have with the tone is my Chris Matthews example up above. He conceives of the mission to kill Bin Laden in terms of cowboys and indians and dudes with big balls. And the same of politics generally. Bush was great back when he was flying out to the flight deck because the flight suit emphasized his groin.

Anyway, someone decided to actually do a study (link is a PDF) on a selection of media members and politicians used as pundits and see how accurate their predictions were. Senators did poorly, some of the better columnists (and Maureen Dowd, somehow) did well. Paul Krugman was the best, mostly because he tended to stick to his main areas of expertise when it came to making predictions. Cal Thomas was the worst. While I was reading some analysis of this study though, I came across something that made clear the extent to which pundits in particular face zero accountability (though the entirety of the Iraq War is pretty good evidence).

Behold:
“Liberalization is a ploy…the Wall will remain”

George Will wrote that in Newsweek, in an edition of that magazine appearing on November 9, 1989. Within twelve hours of it being published, this happened:

1989-Berlin-Wall-Falls.jpg

George Will, as I'm sure you know, is still writing for the Washington Post as probably their premiere conservative columnist. These days he's mostly writing false things about climate change. After that... nada.

So there's no accountability, little accuracy, and general failure in the American news media. Obviously things aren't changing, but at least we can provide some catharthic relief by mocking them here.

One term of art: I tend to refer to the media collectively as "The Village." The origin of this term is from this post by Digby. Its general meaning is explained as such:
In political terms, the term “Villagers” denotes a kind of small-minded refusal to think outside an “acceptable” center-right consensus, and a refusal to acknowledge it when a majority of the American people take a view on a particular issue that is not in line with that center-right consensus. Thus, the “Villagers” include, in part, Democratic elected officials and consultants who insist that their party can’t succeed unless they ally their party with that center-right consensus; think-tankers who churn out position papers designed to prop up this elite consensus view; and elite pundits who insist that mainstream liberal views are radically leftist and insist on “bipartisanship” for its own sake, damn the consequences.

This elite consensus, in the view of the bloggers, represents this particular Village’s hidebound small-town values, which must be maintained at all costs to protect this elite’s status and interests.

The slightly more generous term is "Versailles on the Potomac."

Once again: not a partisan thread, all media bashing/analysis is welcome here. And not an inherently political thread, or it will become locked. If you would like to mock GOP primary candidates, mock them in the primary thread. If you would like to mock GOP representatives/Senators, petition the mods to let us have the Congress thread back, but frankly it didn't really belong there either.

And now, let us start with an edition of "Wow, that is a really, really, really wrong prediction":
Meanwhile, on foreign policy – another Carter weak point – Obama also looks worse. Carter blew it with Iran, encouraging the Iranian armed forces to stay in their barracks, while Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s radical Islamists (whom Carter thought of as “reformers”) took power, and then approved the ill-conceived hostage rescue mission that ended with ignominious failure in the desert. Obama, by contrast, could only wish for such success.

Whooooooooops!

PwH4Ipj.jpg
enlightenedbum on
«134567106

Posts

  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2011
    Haha. Love it.

    I shall use this.

    Elki on
    smCQ5WE.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I think that a good deal of the news media that the OP refers to is only really relevant to people in Washington and old people.

    My perspective is that after the people who watch television and read paper-based media (the people who are still getting scammed by AOL) die off over the next ten to fifteen, maybe twenty years, television and paper media will simply become less relevant, as people will have transitioned to a largely internet-based means of aggregating news.

    I think there will still be problems--significant ones! maybe even worse than now!--but the problem of unaccountable talking head celebrities will fade, relative to, say, the further balkanization of political groups and the associated problems of groupthink and other such ideological filters.

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The problem is that the people in Washington make the laws, so what media they consume is kind of important.

    enlightenedbum on
    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The problem is that the people in Washington make the laws, so what media they consume is kind of important.

    It is, but they're also largely old people. As alternatives become more normalized, the relevance of old media--and its talking head problem--will fade.

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I dont have anything to add at this point, but Im interested to see where this conversation is going.

    I get my news primarily from the internet, but I do try to watch the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and 60 Minutes. Most of the time its what I would consider decent. My problem with the Nightly News is that theyre either oversimplifying something or theyre using time to focus on something that isnt as important as some other international incident. I think 60 Minutes has the same problem, but I'll keep watching because I love Andy Rooney. Seriously. If enlightenedbum gets to cut someone for talking shit about Rachel Maddow, I reserve the right to cut someone for talking shit about Andy Rooney.

    emp123 on
    camo_sig2.png
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    On this subject, and taking into account the paper above about pundit accuracy, you should really read Krugman's blog.

    Other then generally being fantastic, he's basically spent every day since Paul Ryan released his budget slamming the Village, repeatedly, for buying into it as a "serious proposal" while ignoring that if you actually read it, the whole thing is a complete joke.

    He's also been talking about "Zombie Ideas" which is the real problem with the Village and the media sphere in Washington. Ideas that fail over and over and over again, but won't die.

    Economics is one of the worst areas for this.

    shryke on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Absolutely true. Located here.

    enlightenedbum on
    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • HamurabiHamurabi AmsterdamRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    shryke wrote: »
    On this subject, and taking into account the paper above about pundit accuracy, you should really read Krugman's blog.

    Other then generally being fantastic, he's basically spent every day since Paul Ryan released his budget slamming the Village, repeatedly, for buying into it as a "serious proposal" while ignoring that if you actually read it, the whole thing is a complete joke.

    He's also been talking about "Zombie Ideas" which is the real problem with the Village and the media sphere in Washington. Ideas that fail over and over and over again, but won't die.

    Economics is one of the worst areas for this.

    k9270.gif

    Also: I think you're giving editorial column pundits way too much credit. I don't think anyone looks to them for accurate predictions -- I think it's pretty clear that all they have to offer is opinions. This would be why their work is generally in sections labeled Opinion. Some are better-informed opinions than others, but that's all they are.

    Hamurabi on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    shryke wrote: »
    On this subject, and taking into account the paper above about pundit accuracy, you should really read Krugman's blog.

    Other then generally being fantastic, he's basically spent every day since Paul Ryan released his budget slamming the Village, repeatedly, for buying into it as a "serious proposal" while ignoring that if you actually read it, the whole thing is a complete joke.

    He's also been talking about "Zombie Ideas" which is the real problem with the Village and the media sphere in Washington. Ideas that fail over and over and over again, but won't die.

    Economics is one of the worst areas for this.

    Krugman is brilliant, and is statistically one of the best people one could read.

    That said, this sort of thing bothers me a lot:

    The first time I interviewed Krugman, we were sitting in the lobby of the Hilton in midtown, talking about Giffords and Loughner. “I really do think it’s been true,” Krugman said, “that for the past ten years, making sure that you spend a lot of time hanging out with people who are in the mainstream has been really detrimental to seeing what is happening.”

    I brought up the work of the legal scholar Cass Sunstein, now with the Obama administration, who has studied the radicalizing effects of ideological isolation—the idea, born from studies of three-judge panels, that if you are not in regular conversation with people who differ from you, you can become far more extreme. It is a very Obama idea, and I asked Krugman if he ever worried that he might succumb to that tendency. “It could happen,” he says. “But I work a lot from data; that’s enough of an anchor. I have a good sense when a claim has gone too far.”

    This is the claim of a supreme self-confidence. To say “I am anchored in the data” is really to say “I understand exactly what the data mean.” But it is also the logical extension of a particular view of human nature, one equipped with such a clear view of the way society should be arranged that it can’t comprehend the greed, weakness, and compromise that forestall it. There is society, beautifully. And then there are people.

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    shryke wrote: »
    On this subject, and taking into account the paper above about pundit accuracy, you should really read Krugman's blog.

    Other then generally being fantastic, he's basically spent every day since Paul Ryan released his budget slamming the Village, repeatedly, for buying into it as a "serious proposal" while ignoring that if you actually read it, the whole thing is a complete joke.

    He's also been talking about "Zombie Ideas" which is the real problem with the Village and the media sphere in Washington. Ideas that fail over and over and over again, but won't die.

    Economics is one of the worst areas for this.

    Krugman is brilliant, and is statistically one of the best people one could read.

    That said, this sort of thing bothers me a lot:

    The first time I interviewed Krugman, we were sitting in the lobby of the Hilton in midtown, talking about Giffords and Loughner. “I really do think it’s been true,” Krugman said, “that for the past ten years, making sure that you spend a lot of time hanging out with people who are in the mainstream has been really detrimental to seeing what is happening.”

    I brought up the work of the legal scholar Cass Sunstein, now with the Obama administration, who has studied the radicalizing effects of ideological isolation—the idea, born from studies of three-judge panels, that if you are not in regular conversation with people who differ from you, you can become far more extreme. It is a very Obama idea, and I asked Krugman if he ever worried that he might succumb to that tendency. “It could happen,” he says. “But I work a lot from data; that’s enough of an anchor. I have a good sense when a claim has gone too far.”

    This is the claim of a supreme self-confidence. To say “I am anchored in the data” is really to say “I understand exactly what the data mean.” But it is also the logical extension of a particular view of human nature, one equipped with such a clear view of the way society should be arranged that it can’t comprehend the greed, weakness, and compromise that forestall it. There is society, beautifully. And then there are people.

    I think that author has a rather silly interpretation of what Krugman is saying. If you read his blog regularly, you get a much better sense. You see it when he tears apart shitty theories from other pundits and politicians and such.

    Namely, so much of what people propose is based in what they want to be true and not what is true. And while what is true may be hard to determine some times, especially in economics, most proposals and analysis you see in the media have no grounding in even the facts we have available. 90% of the time when he's tearing a stupid idea apart, it's by going "Well, here's the data. It doesn't say what you claim. Where's the evidence?!?!?!".

    He's saying talking with other non-likeminded people isn't a big deal in many cases because many of those people are talking complete gibberish. Especially in the fields he deals in (economics and politics related to it). The other side has opinions, but not facts or data. They are spouting bullshit. And without facts or data, there's nothing to gain from it.


    And, to bring this back around, this is the real problem. Hamurabi makes a comment about them being "opinions", but that's missing the point. Opinions don't stay on the opinion page. They circulate around. Especially in places like Washington where there's a real self-reinforcing information bubble going on.

    Policy is shaped by opinions and theories and think-tanks and proposals but these things are very often not based on actual data. This is a huge problem and has led us into problem after problem after problem.

    shryke on
  • HamurabiHamurabi AmsterdamRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    shryke wrote: »
    And, to bring this back around, this is the real problem. Hamurabi makes a comment about them being "opinions", but that's missing the point. Opinions don't stay on the opinion page. They circulate around. Especially in places like Washington where there's a real self-reinforcing information bubble going on.

    Policy is shaped by opinions and theories and think-tanks and proposals but these things are very often not based on actual data. This is a huge problem and has led us into problem after problem after problem.

    What's the solution, then? The entire premise behind contemporary think tanks isn't to look at all the data objectively and come a non-partisan conclusion -- it's to go in with preconceived notions about how the world works and try to come up with cherry-picked data-points that reinforce that worldview. At some point in our history (around the middle of the 20th century, namely) think tanks were about offering the best policy advice based on the data; now they're about feeding talking points to either conservative or liberal policymakers. This is reflective of a shift in news media consumption towards partisan filters. It's no longer just CBS, NBC and ABC running the show and controlling what people see and hear.

    Used to be, those networks funded unprofitable news bureaus because they burnished the network band -- and, it could be argued, because they felt some sense of civic duty to inform people in a responsible, objective manner. This was the era of Edward R. Murrow. These were the days when 60 Minutes first went on the air.

    Now everything is much too commercial for legitimate and objective reporting. People who lean left know where they'll get the news and talk they want to hear, and vice-versa.

    Bottom-line: the democratization of the news, and the transformation of news from a means to inform the public in the interest of better self-governance into news-as-entertainment, has brought us to this point. I don't know that the New Media has any real answer to this dilemma.



    (I basically stole this entire premise verbatim from Fareed Zakaria's The Future of Freedom.)

    Hamurabi on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Well, from the actual solutions, keep re-stating facts as much as possible, because that shit sort of works (with independents... if the economy is behaving correctly).

    But more, this thread is for catharthis. And mockery.

    enlightenedbum on
    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    On this subject, and taking into account the paper above about pundit accuracy, you should really read Krugman's blog.

    Other then generally being fantastic, he's basically spent every day since Paul Ryan released his budget slamming the Village, repeatedly, for buying into it as a "serious proposal" while ignoring that if you actually read it, the whole thing is a complete joke.

    He's also been talking about "Zombie Ideas" which is the real problem with the Village and the media sphere in Washington. Ideas that fail over and over and over again, but won't die.

    Economics is one of the worst areas for this.

    Krugman is brilliant, and is statistically one of the best people one could read.

    That said, this sort of thing bothers me a lot:

    The first time I interviewed Krugman, we were sitting in the lobby of the Hilton in midtown, talking about Giffords and Loughner. “I really do think it’s been true,” Krugman said, “that for the past ten years, making sure that you spend a lot of time hanging out with people who are in the mainstream has been really detrimental to seeing what is happening.”

    I brought up the work of the legal scholar Cass Sunstein, now with the Obama administration, who has studied the radicalizing effects of ideological isolation—the idea, born from studies of three-judge panels, that if you are not in regular conversation with people who differ from you, you can become far more extreme. It is a very Obama idea, and I asked Krugman if he ever worried that he might succumb to that tendency. “It could happen,” he says. “But I work a lot from data; that’s enough of an anchor. I have a good sense when a claim has gone too far.”

    This is the claim of a supreme self-confidence. To say “I am anchored in the data” is really to say “I understand exactly what the data mean.” But it is also the logical extension of a particular view of human nature, one equipped with such a clear view of the way society should be arranged that it can’t comprehend the greed, weakness, and compromise that forestall it. There is society, beautifully. And then there are people.

    I think that author has a rather silly interpretation of what Krugman is saying. If you read his blog regularly, you get a much better sense. You see it when he tears apart shitty theories from other pundits and politicians and such.

    Namely, so much of what people propose is based in what they want to be true and not what is true. And while what is true may be hard to determine some times, especially in economics, most proposals and analysis you see in the media have no grounding in even the facts we have available. 90% of the time when he's tearing a stupid idea apart, it's by going "Well, here's the data. It doesn't say what you claim. Where's the evidence?!?!?!".

    He's saying talking with other non-likeminded people isn't a big deal in many cases because many of those people are talking complete gibberish. Especially in the fields he deals in (economics and politics related to it). The other side has opinions, but not facts or data. They are spouting bullshit. And without facts or data, there's nothing to gain from it.

    The critique is that Krugman doesn't have much contact with people who don't think like him. You note that people who don't think like him are mostly talking complete gibberish. Your "the other side" line also suggests a false dichotomy. My issue is with the former. I'm not suggesting that he doesn't frequently show the problems with views he's opposed to, and I think it's problematic to encourage/forgive/overlook the problem of intellectual isolation by putting Krugman on one side and everyone else on the other side.

    I think Krugman is brilliant, and that's reflected in the quality of his opinions. I don't think he's inhuman though, which is why his confidence in regards to his relationship with data bothers me.

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    If you attack Rachel Maddow though, I will cut you.
    Even if she at some point actually committed a journalistic sin?

    Why should she be above reproach?

    WotanAnubis on
  • HamurabiHamurabi AmsterdamRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    If you attack Rachel Maddow though, I will cut you.
    Even if she at some point actually committed a journalistic sin?

    Why should she be above reproach?

    I think you know the answer to this one.

    Hamurabi on
  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Englightenedbum, you, like me, are really into college football. We see the ESPN college football guys every year put up their predictions. How often do they come true? Super rare. The thing is, they're on so often, and they have so much footage, they become almost too big to deal with. There's too much crap to disseminate.

    This is how I've viewed the 24 hour news channels in a general way. The accountability isn't there because there, frankly, is just way too much crap. At this point, it's difficult to sift through it all. Who has the time and energy to do it? On top of that, that person would than need the resources to put out the message that counters what was said falsely. The bigger problem is that it is usually years before a lot of things predicted come to fruition.

    You may recall all the people missing the recession coming. I still remember Art Laffer saying that there was no housing bubble. He later said on Bill Maher that it was impossible to predict that far into the economy (like a year and a half.) I couldn't help but be like, than why make a prediction at all asshole? There he is on CNBC and Fox Business though. I just find it inexplicable.

    devCharles on
    Xbox Live: Hero Protag
    SteamID: devCharles
    twitter: https://twitter.com/charlesewise
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Well, college football predictions are trivial. People don't die because Kirk Herbstreit picked Texas to win the national title. Nor do they lose their jobs or pensions.

    Being an "expert" about foreign policy and missing the fall of the Berlin Wall the week it happened? (Being generous, as his column was in a magazine so he probably didn't turn it in the morning of printing) You probably shouldn't be influential in formulating policy anymore. This happens all the time. See also: everyone who supported the Iraq War and continues to spout off their bullshit. It's pernicious.

    I suppose the point I should make is that the media do have a role in forming the nation's opinions and shaping its politics. Based on what stories they choose to cover (example: Tea Party protests against PPACA get wide coverage, Democratic/liberal outrage over Ryan's budget plan is barely covered at all), how they choose to cover a story (example: the NYT, NPR, Washington Post, etc refuse to describe waterboarding when done by Americans as torture; when done by other countries, they do describe it as torture), they can alter American opinions, and the way our politics functions.

    Also: college football pundits are considerably more accurate than most members of our political media. Except Lou Holtz, obviously. And actually with college football there's basically a viable model to fix things (obsessive fans like Matt Hinton for national stuff or Brian Cook for a specific local flavor), unlike political media. Essentially because it *is* trivial. Besides SEC SPEEEEEED we can mostly agree on a set of facts. Not so much with politics, where facts are up for debate, for reasons which are... also related to how shit the media is at its job.

    enlightenedbum on
    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I would go gay for Rachel Maddow.

    I....I think that's how it works.

    Tox on
    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    If you attack Rachel Maddow though, I will cut you.
    Even if she at some point actually committed a journalistic sin?

    Why should she be above reproach?

    Well, mostly because she would correct herself the next day she had a show. She's screwed up before, but I've never seen her caught and not issue a correction.

    enlightenedbum on
    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    If you attack Rachel Maddow though, I will cut you.
    Even if she at some point actually committed a journalistic sin?

    Why should she be above reproach?

    Well, mostly because she would correct herself the next day she had a show. She's screwed up before, but I've never seen her caught and not issue a correction.

    To be fair, her corrections do tend to come across a bit like backhanded compliments. Partly because, from what I've always seen, the correction is on some minor, largely irrelevant point, or the actual fact turns out to be worse than the fact she originally reported as bad.

    Tox on
    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Tox wrote: »
    If you attack Rachel Maddow though, I will cut you.
    Even if she at some point actually committed a journalistic sin?

    Why should she be above reproach?

    Well, mostly because she would correct herself the next day she had a show. She's screwed up before, but I've never seen her caught and not issue a correction.

    To be fair, her corrections do tend to come across a bit like backhanded compliments. Partly because, from what I've always seen, the correction is on some minor, largely irrelevant point, or the actual fact turns out to be worse than the fact she originally reported as bad.

    She's rarely actually wrong in a way you could portray negatively. But she has been, and then corrects herself. But yes, her more frequent corrections are more along the lines of "So I said this thing about Paul Ryan's budget that would be horrible in X ways. Actually, I was wrong, it's actually terrible in 2X ways. Sorry!"

    enlightenedbum on
    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    If I could wave a magic wand and fix our news media, the first thing I would do is force them to cite their segments at the beginning and again at the end. Because seriously, if you're just going to read from the Heritage Foundation's press release, people probably deserve to know that's what's going on.

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    If you attack Rachel Maddow though, I will cut you.
    Even if she at some point actually committed a journalistic sin?

    Why should she be above reproach?

    Well, mostly because she would correct herself the next day she had a show. She's screwed up before, but I've never seen her caught and not issue a correction.

    When she claimed that Wisconsin had a balanced budget, did she ever correct that?

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I'm referring to this:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2011/feb/22/fact-checking-pundits-wisconsin-budget-crisis/
    "Despite what you may have heard about Wisconsin’s finances, Wisconsin is on track to have a budget surplus this year."

    Rachel Maddow, Thursday, February 17th, 2011.

    I'm cherry-picking this largely because (1) I have the biggest crush on Rachel Maddow and (2) she's so rarely wrong that when she is, it's in sharp contrast to her usual content.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • ExrielExriel Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I can largely only agree with the premise, not much more to add, other than I'm generally frustrated with the lack of real journalism. Luckily, it seems like we're not alone, even in the "mainstream". I think it is very telling when, much to his own chagrin, the host of a comedy program is our current Most Trusted Name in News. Thankfully, at least we now have other avenues for finding information.

    Exriel on
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Deebaser on
    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    To be fair, Obama is a Cowboy on account of that bitchin' hat.

    Fencingsax on
    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • hanskeyhanskey Registered User
    edited May 2011
    Tox wrote: »
    I would go gay for Rachel Maddow.

    I....I think that's how it works.

    I'm not the kind of person to support even the concept of sexuality conversion, but if I could turn her straight with pure love and then marry her I totally would (she's soooo much like my wife, but a lesbian).

    hanskey on
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Deebaser wrote: »

    SWEET

    Thanks

    Edit: oh man I am watching this video and she is raking Politifact over the coals.

    Edit 2: hahahahaha 5:15
    If you squint a little bit, I do kind of look like a dude. And I am definitely gay.

    <3

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I lost a lot of respect for Politifact when a couple of groups emailed them and said "This thing you said isn't actually true/We corrected our error" and they replied "We don't care, not changing anything".

    Captain Carrot on
  • hanskeyhanskey Registered User
    edited May 2011
    I lost a lot of respect for Politifact when a couple of groups emailed them and said "This thing you said isn't actually true/We corrected our error" and they replied "We don't care, not changing anything".
    That would involve admitting fallibility and I think Politifact really wants to be the ultimate arbiter of correctness in politics, so I'd actually be surprised if they were to undermine that authority by admitting fault.

    Not saying it's OK to behave that way, but that it's not surprising for me (I'm also super cynical about such organizations' motives, since they are also not answerable to anyone).

    hanskey on
  • Saint MadnessSaint Madness Registered User
    edited May 2011
    2) As such, if you are a conservative and would like to point out failures of liberals in the media? Go for it. Hell, if you're a liberal and want to point out the failures of liberals in the media, I would encourage that. This is about document awful, stupid things the media does. We are bipartisan in our shitty media (as most of MSNBC in primetime will attest). Or Roger Cohen.

    I loathe Roger Cohen. All of his articles on Europe are so disgustingly snide and condescending. He wrote one during the cold snap last winter which basically boiled down to "Some of the airports are shut and transport is hampered because of heavy snow, lol Europe is so useless ololololol".

    Saint Madness on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »

    SWEET

    Thanks

    Edit: oh man I am watching this video and she is raking Politifact over the coals.

    Here's politifact's point of view:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2011/feb/25/responding-rachel-maddow/

    Scroll to the bottom. I don't think Maddow looks very good:

    First, you begin by questioning the use of a quote Ms. Maddow plainly used in her show. In fact, it was positioned at the very beginning of a segment, in which she stated:

    "I’m here to report there is nothing wrong in the state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin is fine. Wisconsin is great, actually. Despite what you may have heard, about Wisconsin’s finances, Wisconsin is on track to have a budget surplus this year."

    She goes on to emphasize this point by stating: "
    I’m not kidding."

    Then she very clearly cites her source as the memo from the state’s legislative fiscal bureau. We note this in the item.

    ...


    Next, you take issue with a line we included in our piece:

    "She added a kicker that is also making the rounds: Walker and fellow Republicans in the Legislature this year gave away $140 million in business tax breaks -- so if there is a deficit projected of $137 million, they created it."

    Your view is that Ms. Maddow made no such claim. You cite this statement as support for your position:

    MADDOW: Even though the state had started the year on track to have a budget surplus—now, there is, in fact, a $137 million budget shortfall. Republican Governor Scott Walker, coincidentally, has given away $140 million worth of business tax breaks since he came into office. Hey, wait. That‘s about exactly the size of the shortfall.

    If anything, your statement reinforces what we wrote. She cited the shortfall, but only to immediately knocked it down with information about $140 million given away as "business tax breaks" and with this pointed statement: "Hey, wait. That’s about exactly the size of the shortfall."

    Additionally, I would call your attention to the headline on the Feb. 18, 2011 blog post I cited earlier.

    That headline reads: "Wisconsin gov made his own problem"

    As our item clearly noted the tax cuts in question have not yet taken effect, so they cannot be a cause of the current shortfall. That position is reinforced by the very person who wrote the fiscal memo Ms. Maddow cited. In short, he agrees with our interpretation.

    Finally, your own email acknowledges that Ms. Maddow was inconsistent within her own statements – first saying there was no shortfall, then saying there was (albeit only to immediately knock down that idea with an incorrect statement about the impact of the tax cuts)

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    This kind of talking head lionizing kind of lends itself to the problems the OP outlined.

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    In re-reading the original Politifact article about Maddow, it seems like she responded dishonestly in her segment addressing Politifact.

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I lost a lot of respect for Politifact when a couple of groups emailed them and said "This thing you said isn't actually true/We corrected our error" and they replied "We don't care, not changing anything".

    I believe it was the Medicare argument that really did Politifact in. Their position was so incredibly dishonest and uneven it bordered on parody. Apparently voting to replace a program with vouches isn't a vote to "end" that program, and if you vote for something but it probably won't pass its not fair to say you voted for it.

    Politifact isn't a new thing, there have been dozens of "fact-checking" websites that have previously attempted to play the role of a fair arbiter that distinguishes truth from lies. All of the non-partisan fact checking websites have fallen for the same reason, they end up arguing that some pieces are true or false on really ludicrous grounds in some effort to maintain balance and are eventually ignored.

    PotatoNinja on
    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    "She added a kicker that is also making the rounds: Walker and fellow Republicans in the Legislature this year gave away $140 million in business tax breaks -- so if there is a deficit projected of $137 million, they created it."

    As our item clearly noted the tax cuts in question have not yet taken effect, so they cannot be a cause of the current shortfall.

    Um...

    This is unclear.

    The source of the $137m deficit number... for which budget year is that deficit reported, and do the calculations take into account Scott Walker's tax breaks?

    I see the issue under contention but I don't think Poltifact's rebuttal, as it is stated, carries water.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • AtomikaAtomika Peendubs (status: VERIFIED) Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I think my biggest gripe is that success of punditry is measured by ratings, so instead of being a contest of who can be the best journalist/arbiter of fact, it's a race to see who can throw the biggest freakshow and draw the biggest crowd.

    Not to go against the OP's wishes too much, but that's basically been FoxNews' mantra since going on-air (though no network is absolved); it doesn't matter how wrong, damaging, hateful, or flat-out irrelevant an opinion or proposition can be as long as a lot of people tune in to see it doled out. Not that this particular problem is novel; Broadcast News came out, what, 30 years ago? It wasn't even particularly novel then.

    But the American media collective has seemingly unanimously decided that journalism is just the means, and ratings (i.e. profit) is the end. This is where the fourth estate has failed us; there is no more exposure, just sensationalism. The news no longer informs, the news simply titillates forces opinion upon the audience. These days you don't have much of a choice in HOW you get your TV news, you only have a choice in how you want it spun.



    God bless the internet, I suppose.

    Atomika on
  • hanskeyhanskey Registered User
    edited May 2011
    I see the basic problem with these fact checker organizations as this: if you can't admit fault and correct faults without undermining your own existence, then you are in a very fragile position and pretty much doomed to a quick march into obscurity as soon as you fuck up once.

    hanskey on
«134567106
This discussion has been closed.