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  #51  
Old 10-06-2019, 09:06 AM
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... In general, the solution to this sort of thing - I hate to say it - is government intervention. The tragedy of the commons, races to the bottom, etc. are all problems which are solved by government regulation, oversight, incentivisation plans, etc.

In terms of what that would look like, I would say that there's a supply side solution that is problematic but would probably work and there are a variety of demand side solutions.

On the supply side, the solution would be to use government intervention to make the news media be less entertaining, better researched, more factual, and more nuanced.

The First Amendment rules a lot of possible options for "intervention" out, in the case of false and propagandic news. That I have been able to think of, it really only leaves incentivisation.

Whether it's an ideal methodology or not, I don't believe that there is any solution - other than hoping that some quirk of the free market will kick in and course correct on its own - other than to have the government offer sufficient quantities of free money to the media as a reward for being truthful, non-biased, and having done proper in-depth investigation as to be worthwhile as to offset the funds coming in from the free market.

I can detail how such a system would work that would resolve nearly all complaints with the general approach, if anyone is interested. ...
I'm interested in hearing your explanation. First question: How are you going to keep the government from showering media outlets with free money in exchange for favorable coverage, and cutting off the spigot for media outlets that offer criticism?

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 10-06-2019 at 09:08 AM.
  #52  
Old 10-06-2019, 09:25 AM
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...Vote the fuckers out of office.

Not just this current administration. Everywhere. Local council. Mayors. School boards. Fight for the Senate. Hold onto the House.
This. I will be voting a straight Democratic ticket for a long time. It's sad perhaps, as there are some good Republicans. But they have allowed this current mess. They need to really, really speak up or be voted out.

The GOP needs to re-invent themselves, but I don't know how in the world they would do it after Trump. Their strategy is to keep digging themselves into a deeper hole. Let them until they are so deep they cannot be heard.
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  #53  
Old 10-06-2019, 10:15 AM
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What happens after Trump is out of office? Whether due to term limits, impeachment or a first term loss. The Tea Party arose as a direct response to Obama's election. GOP media has a predilection for lacking executive power, hell they thrive on it. Now that conspiracy theories and lies have been proven to work so effectively I can only see Fox News dialing it up to an 11.
  #54  
Old 10-06-2019, 11:06 AM
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I'm interested in hearing your explanation. First question: How are you going to keep the government from showering media outlets with free money in exchange for favorable coverage, and cutting off the spigot for media outlets that offer criticism?
Do you want a serious answer? Because it's not hard. The media outlets that receive this sort of government support are generally referred to as "public broadcasters". In the cases with which I'm familiar, public broadcasters are required to adhere to the highest standards of journalistic integrity and objectivity far beyond the lowest-common-denominator standards of basic legality applied to commercial broadcasters. As for government interference, they are protected by a fundamental framework that establishes an arms-length relationship with the legislature that funds them, so that any kind of government meddling in editorial policy would violate the most fundamental terms of their charter.

This is, indeed, how public broadcasting works in every major democracy except the United States, and indeed public broadcasters are funded well enough to function as major independent media that serve as a counter to the ills of commercial broadcasting and the drivel of social media. Republicans of course hate the idea, since the last thing they want is a counter to their disinformation agencies like Fox News that keep their political hacks in power. They have managed to keep the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and its subsidiaries, notably PBS, so poorly funded that it has to go out, hat in hand, begging for private support. Which is how David Koch, when he was alive, insinuated himself as a major influence over PBS. Public broadcasting in the US is the most poorly funded by far of any major democracy in earth, whether measured in per capita terms, or the GDP, or any other proportionate metric. American exceptionalism strikes again.
  #55  
Old 10-06-2019, 03:20 PM
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To follow up on the above, here are some comparative numbers on per-capita spending on public broadcasting. In 2011 Norway spent $180 per person annually, the UK $97. The average among the developed democracies was $82. Canada, sadly, lags far behind at only $33 per capita. And the USA, the richest country in the world? It spends $3 per capita on public broadcasting, a national embarrassment which means that compared to commercial media like Fox, public broadcasting is essentially non-existent. For those who wonder why many American voters are so astoundingly stupid and misinformed, and know more about Kim Kardashian's sex life than about the views of their own senators and Congressmen and their Supreme Court justices, wonder no more.
  #56  
Old 10-06-2019, 03:46 PM
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...please note I am not saying or implying anything negative about the person who wrote the thread I'm about to link too: however it is an example of a point I made earlier.

This thread popped up in Elections today.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=883220

It seems a bit random doesn't it? A thread about Obamacare...today? A quick search of google news again shows nothing newsworthy has popped up.

But I posted this yesterday:

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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
This is propaganda propagating. The OP may not have seen this tweet. But it became a talking point yesterday in circles that most of us here don't take part in, don't even know exist. It seems like the thread topic came out of nowhere but it didn't.
  #57  
Old 10-06-2019, 04:03 PM
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Still kinda murky there. Even if we had an intact, independent free press, they wouldn't have the power to save anyone They'd have the ability to offer us the right tools to potentially save ourselves. But even then, salvation would be a crapshoot.
So you agree with Banquet Bear that the press isn't going to save us; glad you found a succinct and direct way to say it.
  #58  
Old 10-06-2019, 05:02 PM
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I have no idea what the purpose of this line of discussion is supposed to be. It's supposed to be a fucking democracy, at least in theory. That means that the voters have the power of self-determination, the power to set the future direction of the country. If half of them are too uninterested and apathetic to even bother to vote, and a substantial portion of the other half are misled, misinformed and uninformed dumbasses with no real understanding of the issues, then democracy ceases to function. For Fox News and the masters that it serves, this is a feature, not a bug. To quote the motto of the Washington Post, "democracy dies in darkness". This is not so much a prophecy as an observation of the present.
  #59  
Old 10-06-2019, 06:39 PM
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I have no idea what the purpose of this line of discussion is supposed to be. It's supposed to be a fucking democracy, at least in theory. That means that the voters have the power of self-determination, the power to set the future direction of the country. If half of them are too uninterested and apathetic to even bother to vote, and a substantial portion of the other half are misled, misinformed and uninformed dumbasses with no real understanding of the issues, then democracy ceases to function. For Fox News and the masters that it serves, this is a feature, not a bug. To quote the motto of the Washington Post, "democracy dies in darkness". This is not so much a prophecy as an observation of the present.
Right. I refuse to let it go down without a fight. My question is how.
  #60  
Old 10-06-2019, 07:10 PM
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I have no idea what the purpose of this line of discussion is supposed to be. It's supposed to be a fucking democracy, at least in theory. That means that the voters have the power of self-determination, the power to set the future direction of the country. If half of them are too uninterested and apathetic to even bother to vote, and a substantial portion of the other half are misled, misinformed and uninformed dumbasses with no real understanding of the issues, then democracy ceases to function. For Fox News and the masters that it serves, this is a feature, not a bug. To quote the motto of the Washington Post, "democracy dies in darkness". This is not so much a prophecy as an observation of the present.
People are exercising their right to self-determination. What is happening is that the choices the people make diverge from the choices that a self-selected elite think that the people should make. Why do you think McDonalds is more popular than Kale Hut?
  #61  
Old 10-06-2019, 10:05 PM
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I would say that there's a general issue in the modern day that I'll call the "free market problem".

Overall, this is a bigger problem than Fox. News media is not the only field where this problem is manifesting. And nor is it fair to say that Fox is the only problem child in the moment we live in and - whether that is true or not - it's dangerous to say that it is the only problem child that can be produced or that the free market will only produce the issue on one side of the political spectrum.

~snip~

On the supply side, the solution would be to use government intervention to make the news media be less entertaining, better researched, more factual, and more nuanced.
This. Folks here are probably familiar with the fairness doctrine (now defunct). I'd like to see at least one major information channel in each major media venue (TV, radio, internet) that is publicly funded and required to abide by the fairness doctrine.

In addition the hyperpartisanship needs to be de-escalated. Fox is a direct offshoot of hyperpartisanship (in a righty sort of way; the right gets bellicose and militant, the left pious and scolding). Each side begins to see the other as a "dangerous threat." That's the core problem. The right tends to consolidate under a single script source ("democrats fall in love, republicans fall in line," as the saying goes wrt political candidates), so you get this large organization with a big footprint, a large percentage of 'pubs tuning in and synching up, and you've got Fox's operatic opinion arm foaming at the mouth. Concerns over principles, being truthful, etc. go out the window in the barfight.

I was also thinking the other day that when hyperpartisanship gets bad, even when one or the other side actually has the better idea (the more practical, or more moral, etc.) telling the truth won't get you anywhere. You have to lie, resort to propaganda to do the right thing. So people stop trusting media outlets. That in turn makes people more susceptible to appeals to emotion, for example, and they also start getting real arbitrary in terms of what they choose to believe. Google "partisan doom loop." Bad stuff.
  #62  
Old 10-07-2019, 04:21 AM
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People are exercising their right to self-determination.
No, many are just exercising their right to put scratches on a ballot. There's no self-determination without some requisite degree of knowledge about what you're determining. When people with no health insurance or crappy overpriced health insurance are bamboozled into voting against Obamacare -- because Obamacare is "socialism", because government death panels will come after their grandmothers, because they believe people in UHC systems die in the DMV office waiting for "government health care" -- they are not exercising self-determination, they are acting as the tools and useful idiots of the insurance lobby and the health care industry. And the same process repeats itself for virtually any self-interested entity that has a lobby in Washington. When people are deluged with industry propaganda due to rulings like Citizens United having opened the floodgates of disinformation, and then turn on Fox News and get all the propaganda confirmed, they are quite simply robbed of the ability and the right to govern themselves in their own self-interest.
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What is happening is that the choices the people make diverge from the choices that a self-selected elite think that the people should make.
"Elite" is a strange term to use for "people who are actually informed about the issues". I have no wish to force people to vote for the choices I prefer. There can be legitimate disagreements on values and policy. My wish is to live in a society where, when I listen to people being interviewed in exit polls to explain their choices, I don't have to do a facepalm. The one thing that the vast majority of Americans correctly believe is that their government is dysfunctional. I wonder how that happened!
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Why do you think McDonalds is more popular than Kale Hut?
If someone wants to eat at McDonalds daily because they think it's the healthiest stuff ever, that's their problem and I don't care. What I don't want is McDonalds lobbying politicians to pass a law to make everyone do that. That particular travesty isn't going to happen, but the equivalent has happened on behalf of the health insurance industry, on behalf of oil and coal companies, on behalf of automakers and heavy industry, on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry, on behalf of the AMA and the for-profit health care industry, on behalf of the NRA, and on behalf of thousands of other interest groups just like them. Think I'm exaggerating? The USA is the only country on the planet that isn't part of the Paris climate accord, the only industrialized country on the planet without a universal health care system, and definitely the only country on the planet with an orange embarrassment heading up the executive branch of its national government.
  #63  
Old 10-07-2019, 09:09 AM
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I have no idea what the purpose of this line of discussion is supposed to be. It's supposed to be a fucking democracy, at least in theory. That means that the voters have the power of self-determination, the power to set the future direction of the country. If half of them are too uninterested and apathetic to even bother to vote, and a substantial portion of the other half are misled, misinformed and uninformed dumbasses with no real understanding of the issues, then democracy ceases to function. For Fox News and the masters that it serves, this is a feature, not a bug. To quote the motto of the Washington Post, "democracy dies in darkness". This is not so much a prophecy as an observation of the present.
As I see it, the issue that our normal media (Post, NYT, CNN, etc) is dealing with is summarized by the following old saying: "A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its pants on".

I think Trump-world understands this, and they pump out an enormous volume of misinformation. It takes a huge effort to debunk their lies, and by the time Lie #1,991,945 is debunked, they've moved on to lie#1,992,018. People don't even remember the earlier lie, because they're now being surrounded by the latest lie, many lies down the line.

Regular media is fighting not only TrumpTV (which is what Fox essentially is), but also social media and talk radio, where misinformation is even trafficked even more heavily. This has also filtered into the regular Republican party, who parrot the lies often to avoid the wrath of Trumpworld or because they themselves believe in it.
  #64  
Old 10-07-2019, 10:01 AM
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...I think Trump-world understands this, and they pump out an enormous volume of misinformation. ...
And advertising, too. It's crazy, it's everywhere. I watch a Youtube channel of a fella who sings homemade anti Trump songs, and even his videos begin with a Trump campaign ad and are followed by an ad featuring a media conspiracy guy directing you to his news publication.

Last edited by bobot; 10-07-2019 at 10:01 AM.
  #65  
Old 10-07-2019, 11:00 AM
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As I see it, the issue that our normal media (Post, NYT, CNN, etc) is dealing with is summarized by the following old saying: "A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its pants on".

I think Trump-world understands this, and they pump out an enormous volume of misinformation. It takes a huge effort to debunk their lies, and by the time Lie #1,991,945 is debunked, they've moved on to lie#1,992,018. People don't even remember the earlier lie, because they're now being surrounded by the latest lie, many lies down the line.

Regular media is fighting not only TrumpTV (which is what Fox essentially is), but also social media and talk radio, where misinformation is even trafficked even more heavily. This has also filtered into the regular Republican party, who parrot the lies often to avoid the wrath of Trumpworld or because they themselves believe in it.
I think another critical issue is short attention spans. If you reduce an issue down to the size of a sound bite, a bumper sticker, or a slogan on a t-shirt, it's only going to be a bare expression of the idea. Good ideas, bad ideas, smart ideas, dumb ideas, true ideas, and false ideas all look the same at that scale. In order to differentiate between ideas, you need to look at what they are supported by. And a lot of people don't bother; they want the TLDR version of reality.
  #66  
Old 10-07-2019, 12:04 PM
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I think another critical issue is short attention spans. If you reduce an issue down to the size of a sound bite, a bumper sticker, or a slogan on a t-shirt, it's only going to be a bare expression of the idea. Good ideas, bad ideas, smart ideas, dumb ideas, true ideas, and false ideas all look the same at that scale. In order to differentiate between ideas, you need to look at what they are supported by. And a lot of people don't bother; they want the TLDR version of reality.
Yes, I agree. Joe Sixpack and Jane WineDrinker are busy with their daily lives. They have jobs, and kids, and in-laws, and errands to run. Leaky faucets to fix, cars that need the tires rotated. Weekends are spent cheering for the Bears or the Packers, or the Braves during baseball season. I think a lot of people just don't sit down to really study many issues. A guy like Trump, armed with his ministry of media misinformation, can boil everything down to a few words, and Joe just goes with it...
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:09 PM
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What happens after Trump is out of office? Whether due to term limits, impeachment or a first term loss. The Tea Party arose as a direct response to Obama's election. GOP media has a predilection for lacking executive power, hell they thrive on it. Now that conspiracy theories and lies have been proven to work so effectively I can only see Fox News dialing it up to an 11.
Edward Louis Bernays, a pioneer in mass psychological manipulation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

It ain't just Fux News
  #68  
Old 10-07-2019, 12:11 PM
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Yes, I agree. Joe Sixpack and Jane WineDrinker are busy with their daily lives. They have jobs, and kids, and in-laws, and errands to run. Leaky faucets to fix, cars that need the tires rotated. Weekends are spent cheering for the Bears or the Packers, or the Braves during baseball season. I think a lot of people just don't sit down to really study many issues. A guy like Trump, armed with his ministry of media misinformation, can boil everything down to a few words, and Joe just goes with it...
Then it's on us, and Joe, not some aristocrat to come save us.
  #69  
Old 10-07-2019, 12:27 PM
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... In general, the solution to this sort of thing - I hate to say it - is government intervention. The tragedy of the commons, races to the bottom, etc. are all problems which are solved by government regulation, oversight, incentivisation plans, etc.

In terms of what that would look like, I would say that there's a supply side solution that is problematic but would probably work and there are a variety of demand side solutions.

On the supply side, the solution would be to use government intervention to make the news media be less entertaining, better researched, more factual, and more nuanced.

The First Amendment rules a lot of possible options for "intervention" out, in the case of false and propagandic news. That I have been able to think of, it really only leaves incentivisation.

Whether it's an ideal methodology or not, I don't believe that there is any solution - other than hoping that some quirk of the free market will kick in and course correct on its own - other than to have the government offer sufficient quantities of free money to the media as a reward for being truthful, non-biased, and having done proper in-depth investigation as to be worthwhile as to offset the funds coming in from the free market.
Donald Trump is currently the President. Does that affect your view that the government should be deciding which news media are doing proper investigations, without bias?

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:32 PM
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Donald Trump is currently the President. Does that affect your view that the government should be deciding which news media are doing proper investigations, without bias?
Perhaps you missed what I wrote in post #54 about how public broadcasting actually works in every modern democracy in the world. Only in totalitarian dictatorships does the government actually meddle in any material way in broadcast editorial policy. There is in these countries a fundamental principle of public broadcasters being independent entities that are above politics that not even Trump could violate without major repercussions, equivalent to suspending civil liberties, and would indeed violate the First Amendment. Trump may be a wannabe dictator but he isn't actually one, no matter how much he wishes it. Those kinds of worries are the stuff of conspiracy theories rather than reality.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:57 PM
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I have no idea what the purpose of this line of discussion is supposed to be. It's supposed to be a fucking democracy, at least in theory. That means that the voters have the power of self-determination, the power to set the future direction of the country. If half of them are too uninterested and apathetic to even bother to vote, and a substantial portion of the other half are misled, misinformed and uninformed dumbasses with no real understanding of the issues, then democracy ceases to function. For Fox News and the masters that it serves, this is a feature, not a bug. To quote the motto of the Washington Post, "democracy dies in darkness". This is not so much a prophecy as an observation of the present.
Let's bear in mind the source of that quote.

Jeff Bezos, publicly subsidized Amazon oligarch, buys up the Wash Po, then enters into a deal with the Pentagon worth 3 times what he paid for the paper. Then he hires an ex-CIA operative to push endless war on the editorial board.

Can ya feel the light?
  #72  
Old 10-07-2019, 02:06 PM
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Perhaps you missed what I wrote in post #54 about how public broadcasting actually works in every modern democracy in the world. Only in totalitarian dictatorships does the government actually meddle in any material way in broadcast editorial policy. There is in these countries a fundamental principle of public broadcasters being independent entities that are above politics that not even Trump could violate without major repercussions, equivalent to suspending civil liberties, and would indeed violate the First Amendment. Trump may be a wannabe dictator but he isn't actually one, no matter how much he wishes it. Those kinds of worries are the stuff of conspiracy theories rather than reality.
I do not share your apparent optimism that the proposal is something that Trump or a President like him, on the left or the right, could not possibly abuse.

Regards,
Shodan
  #73  
Old 10-07-2019, 02:10 PM
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Let's bear in mind the source of that quote.

Jeff Bezos, publicly subsidized Amazon oligarch, buys up the Wash Po, then enters into a deal with the Pentagon worth 3 times what he paid for the paper. Then he hires an ex-CIA operative to push endless war on the editorial board.

Can ya feel the light?
Well, better than you, as this writer's opinion was also published in the WaPo:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...d5f_story.html

Less blocked content here:

https://www.twincities.com/2019/03/2...f-endless-war/
Quote:
Katrina vanden Heuvel: Time for a reckoning with the catastrophic costs of endless war
Quote:
Sixteen years after the invasion of Iraq, these voices of restraint and realism demand to be heard. It is long past time for a national reckoning with the catastrophic toll of endless war, including accountability for the people whose reckless actions and advocacy led us into disaster. We also need the space for real dissent from the views of a foreign policy establishment that has so clearly failed us. Otherwise, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:12 PM
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Well, better than you, as this writer's opinion was also published in the WaPo:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...d5f_story.html

Less blocked content here:

https://www.twincities.com/2019/03/2...f-endless-war/
Was she hired to be on the editorial board as well my friend?
  #75  
Old 10-07-2019, 02:15 PM
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I do not share your apparent optimism that the proposal is something that Trump or a President like him, on the left or the right, could not possibly abuse.

Regards,
Shodan
IMHO it will depend on who is controlling congress, not bloody likely with a Democrat as president, it is more likely with a Republican senate that does the three monkey act with gusto.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:19 PM
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Was she hired to be on the editorial board as well my friend?
The fact that she was published, and there are other articles like that too, is good evidence that you can not deny.

Tap dancing around that is silly.
  #77  
Old 10-07-2019, 02:25 PM
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No, many are just exercising their right to put scratches on a ballot. There's no self-determination without some requisite degree of knowledge about what you're determining. When people with no health insurance or crappy overpriced health insurance are bamboozled into voting against Obamacare -- because Obamacare is "socialism", because government death panels will come after their grandmothers, because they believe people in UHC systems die in the DMV office waiting for "government health care" -- they are not exercising self-determination, they are acting as the tools and useful idiots of the insurance lobby and the health care industry. And the same process repeats itself for virtually any self-interested entity that has a lobby in Washington. When people are deluged with industry propaganda due to rulings like Citizens United having opened the floodgates of disinformation, and then turn on Fox News and get all the propaganda confirmed, they are quite simply robbed of the ability and the right to govern themselves in their own self-interest.
This. We live in an age where truth no longer has an objective meaning and when few people have the time, resolve, or intellectual resources to seek the truth, particularly when the most popular news TV news source, one that has reached its many tentacles into the Internet and social media, actively persuades people to trust no other media source but itself.

I'll agree that the problem is much bigger than Fox News, though I won't agree with those who say bias is as severe in all news sources. My concern is that the bigger and more abstract the parameters of the debate become, the less likely solutions can be formulated. Probably if Murdoch hadn't come up with the idea of exploiting the credulous masses with a conservative news station appealing to tabloid readers, some other slime ball would have. Nor is Fox News the only propaganda source masquerading as news. But if we can figure out how to effectively counteract this one concrete example, we stand a good chance of combatting all of them. That's my hope, anyway.
  #78  
Old 10-07-2019, 02:32 PM
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This. We live in an age where truth no longer has an objective meaning and when few people have the time, resolve, or intellectual resources to seek the truth, particularly when the most popular news TV news source, one that has reached its many tentacles into the Internet and social media, actively persuades people to trust no other media source but itself.

I'll agree that the problem is much bigger than Fox News, though I won't agree with those who say bias is as severe in all news sources. My concern is that the bigger and more abstract the parameters of the debate become, the less likely solutions can be formulated. Probably if Murdoch hadn't come up with the idea of exploiting the credulous masses with a conservative news station appealing to tabloid readers, some other slime ball would have. Nor is Fox News the only propaganda source masquerading as news. But if we can figure out how to effectively counteract this one concrete example, we stand a good chance of combatting all of them. That's my hope, anyway.
The concern here is that many on your side only appear interested in "effectively counteract[ing] this one concrete example", that, rather than "combatting all of them", you'll wash your hands of the whole business once item #1 on your punchlist is complete and give the rest a pass. If I had even a minimal amount of faith that leftists were more interested in restoring impartiality, factuality, and honesty to media generally, rather than just destroying Fox News, I'd be eager to partner with them in that effort. But I don't have even a minimal amount of faith in that.
  #79  
Old 10-07-2019, 03:24 PM
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... If I had even a minimal amount of faith that leftists were more interested in restoring impartiality, factuality, and honesty to media generally, rather than just destroying Fox News, I'd be eager to partner with them in that effort. But I don't have even a minimal amount of faith in that.
I suspect we'd have a hard time agreeing on what "impartiality, factuality, and honesty" actually means. How do I know this? Because Republicans are forever whining that some of the nation's most respected news organizations -- the New York Times, Washington Post, PBS, NPR -- are hotbeds of liberal propaganda (though it appears that Fox News is just fine -- fair and balanced, one might say ).

And the same thing happens outside the US, too. Here in Canada the national public broadcaster, the CBC, holds itself to the highest journalistic standards and produces some remarkably informative documentaries and discussion programs with world-class experts both on television and on commercial-free radio. But conservatives decry it as liberal-biased, and the last time I had this argument with them the support for their argument was that it was hounding the then-current Conservative government, holding it to account and exposing broken promises, inaccurate statements, etc. Then the Conservatives lost an election and Liberal government came into power, whereupon the CBC proceeded to hound it, holding it to account and exposing broken promises, inaccurate statements, etc. The right-wing types appeared to go silent at this point -- you could hear the crickets.

All I truly want is accurate information and an end to the kind of shameless lying and distortion that comes out of Fox News and the present administration, and let the chips fall where they may, as long as people are making informed decisions, because I'm confident that if they're informed they will act in their own self-interest and not the interests of soulless corporations and the plutocracy. If you want that, too, you couldn't possibly support rulings like Citizens United, because no lobbyist is going to pay big money for saturation ad campaigns and/or sleazy astroturfing front groups to communicate honest and balanced information, since the media can do that just fine for free.

Last edited by wolfpup; 10-07-2019 at 03:25 PM.
  #80  
Old 10-07-2019, 04:13 PM
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The concern here is that many on your side only appear interested in "effectively counteract[ing] this one concrete example", that, rather than "combatting all of them", you'll wash your hands of the whole business once item #1 on your punchlist is complete and give the rest a pass. If I had even a minimal amount of faith that leftists were more interested in restoring impartiality, factuality, and honesty to media generally, rather than just destroying Fox News, I'd be eager to partner with them in that effort. But I don't have even a minimal amount of faith in that.
So you agree Fox News is impartial, nonfactual, and dishonest, but you won't partner with those who want to change that because you've decided all the OTHERS fighting this fight are liberals--and liberals who won't continue the fight against other biased sources, both liberal and conservative? Man, that's quite a dance.

Let me simplify my previous post for you:

Start by figuring out a way to fight Fox, the most egregious of the biased news sties.
Use that same method or variations of it to fight bias elsewhere.

You want to fight bias over at MSNBC? Right behind you. You want to fight it at Breitbart? I'll be there, too. If you can't find any conservatives willing to join you in fighting bias at Fox and then elsewhere, fight on our own. Or join liberals and independents and then split off and fight it elsewhere. But don't use a lame, disingenuous excuse for not righting a wrong.
  #81  
Old 10-07-2019, 07:53 PM
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Start by figuring out a way to fight Fox, the most egregious of the biased news sties.
Use that same method or variations of it to fight bias elsewhere.
...if you are looking for a "one-stop-shop" solution to propaganda it isn't going to happen.

Here's the elephant in the room.

America is on the road to authoritarianism.

It isn't there yet. The system is holding up.

But everything hinges on the next election. Everything.

The best case scenario is that Trump is defeated, he leaves with his tail between his legs, and the Dems start bringing things back to some semblance of normality.

The worst case scenario? I honestly don't want to think about it.

So looking to institute things like the "fairness doctrine" or "public broadcasting" is all well and good and everything, but you can't do that if you aren't in power.

The number one priority: the only way to even hope to have a chance at addressing this, is to win the next election.

This is all so much bigger than Fox News and to make them the big bugbear is to ignore the scope of the tools that this administration and its minions are using to influence public opinion.

What we can do now to combat the flood of propaganda coming from Fox is what I suggested earlier in the thread. Go after their advertisers. Call them out each and every time. Marginalise them. Make them unpalatable. Get people to stop appearing on their panels. There isn't a legislative fix to something when you don't control the legislation. Its going to take direct action.

But its a mistake in my opinion to think that Fox News is the biggest problem. They are simply one channel in a vast and ever-growing propaganda machine. Its like thinking the Maginot Line will successfully stop the flood of propaganda only to discover that they overrun you simply by going through the Ardennes. They are conducting asymmetric warfare while we are digging trenches.

Nothing matters more than winning the next election.

What to do if Trump is defeated at the next election is an entirely different subject. I'm not in favour of things like the fairness doctrine. We live in a world where a guy in broadcasting out-of-his-bedroom can get an audience of millions. Try and bring it in and it will get locked up in the courts for decades. Fox would get creative: maybe set themselves up to broadcast in from Canada or something like that. The fairness doctrine worked when there was a scarcity of the broadcast spectrum but everyone has a platform now. You can't force broadcasters to be "fair and balanced": not when deciding if something is "fair and balanced" is an entirely subjective decision.

What can be examined though are the power structures. Facebook. The Sinclair Group. Big business has been skirting the boundaries of ethical behaviour for a very long time: what are they doing with peoples data? How big do we allow these companies to get, how much of a monopoly should they be allowed to have? I honestly can't don't know, but it needs to be a the forefront of any discussion.

But we all need to recognize that we are in a "post-truth era." This is bigger than Fox. To learn how to combat post-truth I think we have to take lessons from the fight against goobergate. Gaters were at the fore-front of the post-truth age but we don't hear much about them now. They were marginalised, deplatformed, and the people that they attacked fought back, reclaiming their spaces. You choose how to engage them. You don't let them set the and control the narrative.

I'll say it again: we are going to have to do a lot of the hard work ourselves. And that means fighting to win the next election. Then fighting to preserve your democracy. Push back against the talking points. Deplatform. Keep the elections fair. Get people out to vote. Don't mistake the symptoms for the cause.

Because post-truthers aren't going to give up without a fight and they aren't ever going to go away completely. What we are seeing right now is the endgame of a strategy that started a long time ago. They are patient and they are not going anywhere even if you win the next election.

The best way to fight them is to attack the structures that preserve their power. Gerrymandering. Voter suppression. Start listening to the voices of marginalised people. They have been fighting these structures since the very beginnings of what we call the United States of America. Listen to people like Sarah Kendzior who had very loudly and clearly warned everyone what was about to happen when Trump got elected, and IMHO advocates the best course of action to deal with Trump now and what to do in his aftermath.

But Fox is just a foot soldier in a much bigger battle. Sure, they need to be addressed. But dealing with Fox won't win the war.
  #82  
Old 10-08-2019, 08:08 AM
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If someone wants to eat at McDonalds daily because they think it's the healthiest stuff ever, that's their problem and I don't care. What I don't want is McDonalds lobbying politicians to pass a law to make everyone do that.
To make his analogy a little more accurate is that McDonalds isn't lobbying positions so much as passing stories that kale is poisonous and anybody who eats anything with kale in it is an idiot and forcing everyone else to eat kale as well.
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The best case scenario is that Trump is defeated, he leaves with his tail between his legs, and the Dems start bringing things back to some semblance of normality.
...
The number one priority: the only way to even hope to have a chance at addressing this, is to win the next election.
The picture I have in my mind's eye is that the ship of state has been struck by a rogue wave, broached, and is now heeled over at a forty-five degree angle. Anything not fastened down is crashing to the low side causing damage and injuring people. That some well-meaning people have been unclipping tie-downs and sawing through supports has not helped.

At such times a properly designed ship will have a force, called a righting moment, but the shifting has lessened this force and another wave is coming. With the righting moment compromised, even a wave smaller than the rogue wave could well cause the ship to capsize.

That's why for the first time in my life I will be voting for the Democrat candidate for President regardless of who he or she is. To vote for the Republican is to join those who are busily sawing through the supports.
  #83  
Old 10-08-2019, 08:57 AM
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So you agree Fox News is impartial, nonfactual, and dishonest, but you won't partner with those who want to change that because you've decided all the OTHERS fighting this fight are liberals--and liberals who won't continue the fight against other biased sources, both liberal and conservative? Man, that's quite a dance.
It's not really a dance. Mostly because liberals believe that media bias begins and ends with Fox News. They don't believe, or are not willing to admit, that any other sources - the ones they agree with - are biased.

So liberals won't "continue this fight". Silence Fox News, and then we're done. That's not a worthwhile approach.
Quote:
You want to fight bias over at MSNBC? Right behind you.
OK. The SDMB is heavily dominated by liberals and liberal thought. In order to combat the real problem of liberal bias, we will need an approach that deals with media bias everywhere. What, in your view, is a good approach to combating media bias that can and should be applied both to MSNBC, and to Fox? Not one first, and then the other - both.

Regards,
Shodan
  #84  
Old 10-08-2019, 09:17 AM
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So liberals won't "continue this fight". Silence Fox News, and then we're done. That's not a worthwhile approach. OK. The SDMB is heavily dominated by liberals and liberal thought. In order to combat the real problem of liberal bias, we will need an approach that deals with media bias everywhere. What, in your view, is a good approach to combating media bias that can and should be applied both to MSNBC, and to Fox? Not one first, and then the other - both.
Heavy criticism when the reporting is contrary to the facts, including opinion journalism/infortainment disguised as news.
  #85  
Old 10-08-2019, 11:04 AM
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It's not really a dance. Mostly because liberals believe that media bias begins and ends with Fox News. They don't believe, or are not willing to admit, that any other sources - the ones they agree with - are biased.

So liberals won't "continue this fight". Silence Fox News, and then we're done. That's not a worthwhile approach. OK.

The SDMB is heavily dominated by liberals and liberal thought. In order to combat the real problem of liberal bias, we will need an approach that deals with media bias everywhere. What, in your view, is a good approach to combating media bias that can and should be applied both to MSNBC, and to Fox? Not one first, and then the other - both.
How about this: A medium is biased when it does not report on an issue in a way that reflects the reality about that issue.

Let's say a media outlet is some state is frequently reporting about how one of the Senators in its state is involved in scandals while it rarely, if ever, reports on any scandals involving the other Senator. Does that mean the media outlet is biased against the first Senator and for the second Senator? Maybe. But it's also possible that that the first Senator is genuinely involved in more sandals and the media outlet is just reporting the objective facts.

Going further, a media outlet in this state which gives equal scandal coverage to both Senators is actually biased despite its equal coverage. If the first Senator is involved in significantly more sandals then he should be receiving significantly more scandal coverage. Giving both Senators an equal amount of scandal coverage is bias in favor of the first Senator.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 10-08-2019 at 11:04 AM.
  #86  
Old 10-08-2019, 11:41 AM
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It's not really a dance. Mostly because liberals believe that media bias begins and ends with Fox News. They don't believe, or are not willing to admit, that any other sources - the ones they agree with - are biased.

So liberals won't "continue this fight". Silence Fox News, and then we're done. That's not a worthwhile approach. OK. The SDMB is heavily dominated by liberals and liberal thought. In order to combat the real problem of liberal bias, we will need an approach that deals with media bias everywhere. What, in your view, is a good approach to combating media bias that can and should be applied both to MSNBC, and to Fox? Not one first, and then the other - both.

Regards,
Shodan
My comment was a response to Hurricane Ditka, and my questions were directed to him. Since you answered, please don't ascribe motives to me or my OP. YOU are the one saying it's fight Fox News and then done. I said otherwise. So one more time, and I'll bold this so maybe it'll stick this time:

Fox News is the most egregious example of bias, so we start there in proposing solutions. If you want to know what possible solutions I and others have discussed so far to determine for yourself if they'd work at MSNBC, Breitbart, et al, I suggest you read the thread. Feel free to propose your own solutions for Fox News and all the other biased media. That, after all, is what this thread is about. If you want to defend Fox News or bash the independents, liberals, and conservatives who criticize the bias, there's another thread for that.
  #87  
Old 10-08-2019, 11:52 AM
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So you agree Fox News is impartial, nonfactual, and dishonest, but you won't partner with those who want to change that because you've decided all the OTHERS fighting this fight are liberals--and liberals who won't continue the fight against other biased sources, both liberal and conservative? Man, that's quite a dance. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
My comment was a response to Hurricane Ditka, and my questions were directed to him. Since you answered, please don't ascribe motives to me or my OP. ...
(emphasis mine)

Oh the irony is thick in here.
  #88  
Old 10-08-2019, 03:57 PM
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(emphasis mine)

Oh the irony is thick in here.
Nice dodge to avoid answering the questions. Actually, your refusal to answer is an answer in itself, and that IS ironic.
  #89  
Old 10-08-2019, 05:33 PM
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Fox News is the most egregious example of bias, so we start there in proposing solutions. If you want to know what possible solutions I and others have discussed so far to determine for yourself if they'd work at MSNBC, Breitbart, et al, I suggest you read the thread. Feel free to propose your own solutions for Fox News and all the other biased media. That, after all, is what this thread is about. If you want to defend Fox News or bash the independents, liberals, and conservatives who criticize the bias, there's another thread for that.
Fox has, at least for a good bit of the last 2+ years, been a part of the Trump administration itself. He's gone to them for advice, for talking points, for policy pointers, for people to staff his administration, for phone calls, for ways to counter what he deems the "fake news". There's never been a station that is as intertwined with a president as much as Fox and Trump.

So, they set themselves apart based on that alone. People often bring up CNN or MSNBC. But those channels were not part of the Obama White House. Fox "News" is part of the West Wing currently.

I'm not sure there is a silver bullet solution for Fox News. But I think the first step is to Impeach Trump, and elect more Democrats in 2020.
  #90  
Old 10-08-2019, 05:43 PM
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Nice dodge to avoid answering the questions. Actually, your refusal to answer is an answer in itself, and that IS ironic.
You want an answer to "So you agree ...?"

No, I don't agree, and "please don't ascribe motives to me".
  #91  
Old 10-08-2019, 05:52 PM
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nelliebly, I'd encourage you to review Bone's "So I'm wrong" rule.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 10-08-2019 at 05:53 PM.
  #92  
Old 10-08-2019, 05:59 PM
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You want an answer to "So you agree ...?"

No, I don't agree, and "please don't ascribe motives to me".
I didn't have to ascribe anything. You did that all on your own.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
If I had even a minimal amount of faith that leftists were more interested in restoring impartiality, factuality, and honesty to media generally, rather than just destroying Fox News, I'd be eager to partner with them in that effort. But I don't have even a minimal amount of faith in that.

Sure, you made it conditional on the bias being removed from media in general, but that would include Fox News. So do tell: How do YOU propose to restore honesty, impartiality, and factuality to the media generally and to Fox News in particular, since that's the subject of the thread?
  #93  
Old 10-08-2019, 09:15 PM
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I'm interested in hearing your explanation. First question: How are you going to keep the government from showering media outlets with free money in exchange for favorable coverage, and cutting off the spigot for media outlets that offer criticism?
This isn't the only method, but as an example of a method that should function appropriately:

1) Modify the Electoral College to be an actual deliberative group that assembles and does work.
2) Explicitly declare the recruiting mechanism for the College. E.g., randomly select 12 people from each Congressional District and have them meet and nominate one person from among their number to join the College for that election cycle.
3) The College will headhunt and interview candidates to lead the Media Rating Bureau. They will elect one using a Condorcet methodology across the entire body of the College. Previous to this, however, the College may perform a simple up-down vote to maintain the current director of the bureau. While interviewing, the College may request any experts or other entities for consultation, with Congress obligatorily covering these expenses, though the experts must travel to the assembly location and may not provide any thing of value to any College member beyond the answers to their questions.
4) The Media Rating Bureau shall issue scores (or ratings) for news organizations based on those organizations' worst examples of journalism, in terms of honesty, depth of research, non-partisan coverage, etc.
5) Any organization receiving a score from the MRB may optionally choose to request a subsidy from the Federal government based on their score. The subsidy will be a percentile (which may exceed 100%) multiplied by their domestic, non-governmental revenue that year. Congress has no latitude in budgeting this expense.
6) The percentile for each score will be determined by the Electoral College and remain unchanged until the next college. The College may call any current or previous members of the MRB, of Congress, or any other person or entity to consult with as a component of making this determination. (Though, the College must meet with all persons on the premises of the College Assembly and may not accept any thing of value except answers to their questions from these parties.)
7) Similarly, the College will decide the operating budget for the MRB. These funds must be furnished to the MRB by Congress, obligatorily.
  #94  
Old 10-08-2019, 09:17 PM
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Donald Trump is currently the President. Does that affect your view that the government should be deciding which news media are doing proper investigations, without bias?

Regards,
Shodan
No, it strengthens my belief that the electoral college needs to be boned up and applied more widely.
  #95  
Old 10-08-2019, 10:44 PM
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...liberals believe that media bias begins and ends with Fox News. They don't believe, or are not willing to admit, that any other sources - the ones they agree with - are biased.
Which liberals? Name them, please. Count me out. All US commercial media exist to sell eyeballs to advertisers, and thus do whatever it takes to keep and grow their audience. The FauxNuz audience is happy with bullshit, so that's what they get.

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No, it strengthens my belief that the electoral college needs to be boned up and applied more widely.
No "electoral college" exists. That's a retroactive label for unelected delegates who don't meet except in bars and brothels. The US electoral system values less-populated states more than those where most Americans live. A Delaware voter is worth more than a Texan. Is that good? National losers are installed in power. How well does that work?

Impose such a system on other areas? So losers always rule? I hope not.
  #96  
Old 10-09-2019, 07:17 AM
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It is telling that Fox News dropped their original slogan (Fair and balanced) some years ago in favor of Most Watched. Most Trusted. Nuthin' about factual.
  #97  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:21 AM
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Instead of Fox news you would prefer us, or heck require us, to watch the Clinton News Network?
  #98  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:58 AM
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Nobody is required to watch any TV news. You are not required to watch Fox. You are free to develop your own views without having them spoon fed to you by your favorite talking heads. You are allowed to think for yourself.
__________________
"Sometimes I think that the surest sign of intelligent life in the Universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." - Calvin and Hobbes
  #99  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:29 AM
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It's not really a dance. Mostly because liberals believe that media bias begins and ends with Fox News. They don't believe, or are not willing to admit, that any other sources - the ones they agree with - are biased.

So liberals won't "continue this fight". Silence Fox News, and then we're done. That's not a worthwhile approach.
If I don't believe "that any other sources - the ones [I] agree with - are biased", then how come I've said -- approximately a thousand times -- that to some degree there is bias in all media? Perhaps you would cease making this claim if I said it another thousand times, but I doubt it.

The difference with Fox is also something that's been alluded to quite often in these forums. Fox News is special; it isn't just biased, it lies, it distorts, and it selectively omits and misrepresents material facts in order to aggressively push Republican politicians and Republican ideology. Examples abound in the GD thread dedicated to this topic. Other media may have bias, but no one else even comes close to this outright mendacity.

The goal here isn't to silence Fox News, although you'd have to admit, Fox being the biggest and most egregious of the lying right-wing media outside of maybe Infowars and Breitbart, doing so would go a long way to restoring balance in media and a more functional democracy.
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OK. The SDMB is heavily dominated by liberals and liberal thought. In order to combat the real problem of liberal bias, we will need an approach that deals with media bias everywhere. What, in your view, is a good approach to combating media bias that can and should be applied both to MSNBC, and to Fox? Not one first, and then the other - both.
What "approach" do you think is necessary for MSNBC, which tends to have liberal commentators and an acknowledged liberal bias? Whereas Republican-supporting wingnuts have huge pipelines of disinformation of which Fox News is the flagship, but they also have talk radio, Infowars, Breitbart, Newsmax, the WSJ, National Review, and of course thousands of morons flooding social media about Hillary Clinton's pedophilia or Joe Biden's corruption.

One might think that at least requiring factual accuracy in news reporting might help, and requiring a clean separation between news and opinion, but I know just how Fox News would handle that, because they're already doing it. In addition to all their other tricks like minimizing unfavorable news, lying about, and flooding their front page and airwaves with ridiculously biased and inaccurate commentary, I've noticed a tendency lately to react to bad Republican news by aping Trump's "people are saying" gambit. So instead of reporting on the bad-news event, they report on what lying Republican hacks are saying about it, thus magically turning it into a good-news event!
  #100  
Old 10-09-2019, 03:10 PM
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No "electoral college" exists. That's a retroactive label for unelected delegates who don't meet except in bars and brothels. The US electoral system values less-populated states more than those where most Americans live. A Delaware voter is worth more than a Texan. Is that good? National losers are installed in power. How well does that work?

Impose such a system on other areas? So losers always rule? I hope not.
The purpose of the Electoral College is not to balance rural versus urban states. That is how the numbers were chosen but it's not the central purpose.

The purpose was to ensure that reasonable and educated individuals perform due diligence to select a President. That purpose has been destroyed and replaced with populist rule by state.

Populism is what creates things like caudillos. When people say, "The US is becoming a Banana Republic", they mean that it is veering away from reasoned and deliberative rule towards populist rule.

Removing the Electoral College will give the urban states extra power, but it also gives the majority more power and the majority like soap opera, charisma, entertainment, conspiracy theories, and us vs. themism.

The move towards populism had already given us GW Bush and Trump. Must you really continue to move the ball in that direction?
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