Author Topic: The Power of "The Press"  (Read 6104 times)

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Offline milnews.ca

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The Power of "The Press"
« on: December 05, 2016, 13:20:48 »
Not Canadian media, but interesting bit from an article about the incoming U.S. secretary of defence:
Quote
... In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Mattis commanded the Marines who launched an early amphibious assault into Afghanistan and established a U.S. foothold in the Taliban heartland ...
Onto what beach, pray tell, given Afghanistan's landlocked?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 13:41:27 by milnews.ca »
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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Offline Chris Pook

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The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 11:26:15 »
With the dawning of the realization that "The Press" has opinions - a revelation to North Americans apparently, a given in Europe - a discussion about the making of news and fakery.

On December 15 2016 the EU had a conference.  "The Press" trumpeted "Theresa-no-mates" headlines and described the cold shoulder that she had received from the other Heads of Government, and Angela Merkel in particular.



Here is another image from the same day.



No headlines in that one, I guess.

Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 12:32:41 »
With the dawning of the realization that "The Press" has opinions - a revelation to North Americans apparently, a given in Europe - a discussion about the making of news and fakery.

On December 15 2016 the EU had a conference.  "The Press" trumpeted "Theresa-no-mates" headlines and described the cold shoulder that she had received from the other Heads of Government, and Angela Merkel in particular.



Here is another image from the same day.



No headlines in that one, I guess.
I agree that the general narrative has been "UK's been sidelined by EU", and media of all persuasions have been known to "follow the herd" (for better or worse), but what evidence, other than the one photo, do you offer that she wasn't, indeed, sidelined - other than the one photo that appeared in the Daily Mail?

Also, are you saying that we should judge an event from only one image, instead of a range of events/indicators?


Yeah, I'm sure that'll add nuance and subtlety to media coverage ...
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline Flavus101

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 13:11:45 »
Milnews, I have come to know your posts as generally quite insightful and offering up a solid viewpoint on an issue.

I think you are grabbing at straws with the "well we can't judge how things went by only one picture" narrative. It is quite obvious that the majority of the media are against the UK leaving the EU and are doing their damn best to make sure that it doesn't happen.

The media needs to start working hard to get back to the basics by reporting the facts instead of constantly speculating on issues. Give the reader the information they require to create their own position on the subject matter instead of creating the position for them.

Offline QV

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 13:14:41 »
"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."

Christopher Hitchens
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 13:26:53 by QV »

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 14:07:27 »
Milnews - I am suggesting that no information is "trustworthy".  That everything is a balance of probabilities and the only "reliable" judge is the person whom the information affects.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 14:25:15 »
I will argue that the UK press was a tad more upfront in their given lenses/viewpoints. If you picked up a brit newspaper, there was no doubting from which angle they were viewing a story.

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2017, 14:31:18 »
I will argue that the UK press was a tad more upfront in their given lenses/viewpoints. If you picked up a brit newspaper, there was no doubting from which angle they were viewing a story.

And in that lies clarity - red filter left lens, blue filter right lens - coloured, stereoscopic picture.  (Guardian and Telegraph = reality)

It is important to understand the point of view.  Hiding that point of view leads one to consider that the "informer" may be more "propagandist" than "reporter" or even "proselytizer".
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2017, 15:11:02 »
You just have to know who reads which paper, that's all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGscoaUWW2M

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 15:25:12 »
I think you are grabbing at straws with the "well we can't judge how things went by only one picture" narrative. It is quite obvious that the majority of the media are against the UK leaving the EU and are doing their damn best to make sure that it doesn't happen.
I'm not denying that, but the OP showed one photo going against the narrative stream, and asked why there was no headline about it.
The media needs to start working hard to get back to the basics by reporting the facts instead of constantly speculating on issues. Give the reader the information they require to create their own position on the subject matter instead of creating the position for them.
Also agreed, and, as someone else said ...
I will argue that the UK press was a tad more upfront in their given lenses/viewpoints. If you picked up a brit newspaper, there was no doubting from which angle they were viewing a story.
... it's up to the consumer to consider the source.  Also, more (information) tiles makes the ("truth") mosaic clearer to understand, as the OP later suggested
And in that lies clarity - red filter left lens, blue filter right lens - coloured, stereoscopic picture.  (Guardian and Telegraph = reality)
More of the same ...
Milnews - I am suggesting that no information is "trustworthy".  That everything is a balance of probabilities and the only "reliable" judge is the person whom the information affects.
Also agreed.  The trouble is that a lot of information affects a lot of people, so who's the "reference" judge?  And if we believe everyone, even those who may base their assessment on little information, or only information that's previously fed into their preconceptions, who's "right"?  Versus what's "true"?  That may be too big a question, I know, but that's what came out  ;D
It is important to understand the point of view.  Hiding that point of view leads one to consider that the "informer" may be more "propagandist" than "reporter" or even "proselytizer".
While some people know "where their media's coming from", many may not -- or don't care as long as it agrees with their world view.
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline Colin P

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 15:34:34 »
I will argue that several news media like to portray themselves as a "balanced and neutral observers of the news" When in fact they clearly were not. Media is a business attempting to get people to buy, read, watch and listen to their stuff in hope of either subscriptions or ad revenue. Editors will slant content to fit the space, the pace and that which is most likely to catch and hold the revenue generators.

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2017, 15:38:55 »
...While some people know "where their media's coming from", many may not -- or don't care as long as it agrees with their world view.

IMHO - pretty much their problem.  They are the ones surprised by events.

My bigger problem is with those that feel then need to "create a common narrative".  In my view that is equivalent to "settling science".  An arbiter of "Truth" is created - and I want to know who that is and who they serve. 

Or I can accept that everybody has their own view and leave it at that.  But that doesn't bring out big crowds.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2017, 15:40:24 »
I will argue that several news media like to portray themselves as a "balanced and neutral observers of the news" When in fact they clearly were not. Media is a business attempting to get people to buy, read, watch and listen to their stuff in hope of either subscriptions or ad revenue. Editors will slant content to fit the space, the pace and that which is most likely to catch and hold the revenue generators.

Colin - one of the Press's greatest revenue generating commodities is influence.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2017, 16:18:22 »
My bigger problem is with those that feel then need to "create a common narrative".
Having been guilty myself of being a reporter in a previous life, I can tell you that some of that is intentional, some of that is laziness and some of that is that an element is the only "new" thing out there.  Although I only worked in a small/medium market, and had minimal "here's what you should write" pressure (although not zero), I understand the larger outlets may sometimes have bosses watching outlet x, y and z, asking their reporter "why don't we have this angle?".  And I think if/where that might happen, it's driven by this ...
Media is a business attempting to get people to buy, read, watch and listen to their stuff in hope of either subscriptions or ad revenue. Editors will slant content to fit the space, the pace and that which is most likely to catch and hold the revenue generators.
... with more and more revenue generated by clicks and "lookit the shiny thing" - and the attendant requirement to boil a story down to a tiny, yet eye-catching, element that in some cases is completely out of context.

...I can accept that everybody has their own view and leave it at that.  But that doesn't bring out big crowds.
And consensus doesn't sell, either ...
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2017, 17:06:00 »

And consensus doesn't sell, either ...

And are media revenues rising? There seems to be a fair degree of "consensus" among the Premium/Legacy/Mainstream Media in both the US and Canada.  Maybe somebody could try something different.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2017, 17:16:27 »
Media is a business. Business follows the money. George Soros and his ilk own and run the MSM. The story you'll get is the one they want you to hear. All you can depend on, mostly, is a report something happened. After that, you're much better off starting to research the story yourself. You'll never get the full truth from the MSM. Only what they want you to think.
At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child – miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.
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Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2017, 07:48:46 »
And I'll just leave this right here ...
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2017, 08:23:04 »
Chris,

Any information you come upon should be treated with a grain of salt until it's properly verified, this is where the internet, comparative analysis and the balance of probabilities come in to play. 

Over time and with lots of practice, you'll be able to pick out trend lines and build some predictive intelligence.  The military uses an excellent system for grading intelligence both in terms of source reliability and information reliability.

Source Reliability:

A: Reliable - No doubt about the source's authenticity, trustworthiness, or competency. History of complete reliability.
B: Usually reliable - Minor doubts. History of mostly valid information.
C: Fairly reliable - Doubts. Provided valid information in the past.
D: Not usually reliable - Significant doubts. Provided valid information in the past.
E: Unreliable - Lacks authenticity, trustworthiness, and competency. History of invalid information.
F: Cannot be judged - Insufficient information to evaluate reliability. May or may not be reliable.

Information Reliability:

1: Confirmed - Logical, consistent with other relevant information, confirmed by independent sources.
2: Probably true   - Logical, consistent with other relevant information, not confirmed.
3: Possibly true - Reasonably logical, agrees with some relevant information, not confirmed.
4: Doubtfully true - Not logical but possible, no other information on the subject, not confirmed.
5: Improbable - Not logical, contradicted by other relevant information.
6: Cannot be judged - The validity of the information can not be determined.

You can use this system to score information.  For instance, if some homeless person on the street who you didn't know came up and told you that they used to be a millionaire, do you believe them?  It would score an F6, now if you were to do additional research and you found out the person used to work for a certain company that score would improve to an F5.  As you continue to engage with this person and gather more information, the scores continue to improve or diminish (if they're a big liar) and you can slowly build an accurate intelligence picture of someone or something.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2017, 09:06:25 »
So basically, don't believe anything an E-5 tells you  [:D.







(E-5: a Sergeant or  Petty Officer)

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2017, 09:17:30 »
... The military uses an excellent system for grading intelligence both in terms of source reliability and information reliability ...
While the x-y system you've laid out is a very good one, the problem -- especially with information with political implications -- becomes:  how you get all sides to agree to a source assessment?  There are people who would consider this site or this one reliable, and others who would consider this one and this one reliable when both are far from fully reliable.
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2017, 09:36:19 »
While the x-y system you've laid out is a very good one, the problem -- especially with information with political implications -- becomes:  how you get all sides to agree to a source assessment?  There are people who would consider this site or this one reliable, and others who would consider this one and this one reliable when both are far from fully reliable.

The way you do it is that all sources and information start with the lowest grade.  If I am a person who has never read infowars.com before and I read an article there, I've got no way to gauge whether the source is truthful or if the information being delivered is actually true or not; therefore, it automatically receives a score of F6.  In order to improve that score, the information would need to be cross referenced with other sources to confirm its accuracy and credibility. 

Predictive Intelligence isn't about whether someone or something is being truthful at this particular moment in time, it's about identifiable trends that can be observed over a long period of time IOT improve logical planning and decision-making.

Misinformation is a crucial piece of strategic level warfare and it's something the CAF has only recently started re-wrapping its head around because of Afghanistan and what's going on elsewhere in the world.  A lost art for our military post WWII.

Offline Remius

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2017, 10:50:22 »
One  of the things I attempt to do is get as many news sources as possible from all spectrums and from that try to decide what is what in my own head.

I frequent CBC, CTV, CNN, Fox news, Rabble, Army.ca, the Atlantic, Globe and mail, the Toronto Star and listen to CFRA religiously on my way to and from work. 

It isn`t about listening to what I agree with or know what I agree with but rather trying to get as many view points as possible to avoid one source telling me something and conveniently leaving out certain points or facts to make their case. 

If you can identify bias in all sources it will help you determine what might actually be fact.   Facebook is full of that stuff and I pride myself at times to correct my friends about what they are posting or believing.
Optio

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2017, 10:58:51 »
See you



And raise you  [:D




Two men standing in the street discussing 69 may or may not interest me.  It doesn't affect me.

They may affect me if they block my path, or impede traffic to my office.  If violence breaks out.  Those things may cause me to rethink and have to get involved.   If I do get involved, and have to take sides then I will look at whether I can live with 6 or 9.  If both are equally likely then I will probably end up choosing on what best suits my needs.  The truth may be something other than what I think it is but I can live with my reality.  If my reality conflicts with that of others then that merely continues an existing discussion.

I know that there are many instances where I have acted on faulty intelligence.  Sometimes I have got lucky.  Sometimes I have had to decide if the goal justified pushing on despite a less than optimum outcome.  Sometimes I have just thrown in the towel.  These things happen.  But often you don't have the luxury of time to discern the truth.  You are forced by circumstances to jump and trust that you will survive the jump and at least have an opportunity for another jump.

Information is useful and should be considered, but not all of it is equal.  The certainty of a bayonet up the butt if I stay vice the possibility of a nuclear disaster if I go is probably going to impact the decision I make and the action I take.

But I want to come back to something that milnews said earlier about having started his career as a small town reporter.

You can correct me if I'm wrong but back in those ancient days of your wasn't the Canadian Press (and Associated Press and Reuters) pretty much a two way street?  An interweb for local publishers if you like?

My sense is that it used to be that anyone with an opinion, or just a desire to write, or to make money, or to promote a cause could buy a press, some paper and ink and start publishing.  Presses were in every community, mill town or mine town.  Large communities, amalgams of villages, supported many presses.  The wire system connected all those presses.  It not only allowed folks in Thunder Bay to hear what was happening in their town but also what was happening in Ottawa, London and Washington.  But, in my opinion, as importantly, it allowed Thunder Bay to hear what Robertson Davies was reporting on in the Peterborough Examiner, or what was being said in the Lethbridge Herald.   I don't get that sense of connectivity any more.  I get the sense that my news is not managed by a local editor who I may meet in the street, at a store, in a bar or in church - or even his office - but in an office in Toronto, or Montreal or New York.  That old editor, he interacted with the community, and depending on how many bloody noses he was willing to risk, then he stayed in tune with, if not in line with, the community in which he lived.  The news was relevant and the opinions temperate.   I don't get that sense anymore. 

The news and opinions are created by faceless, heck, even bodyless, entities far, far from my reality.

Kind of like our politicians. 

I find it difficult to trust anyone I can't look in the eye while shaking hands.  It is also easier to dismiss them as irrelevant.


Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2017, 11:28:44 »
... You can correct me if I'm wrong but back in those ancient days of your wasn't the Canadian Press (and Associated Press and Reuters) pretty much a two way street?  An interweb for local publishers if you like? ...
When the earth was still cooling (been outta the biz since 2002), we could contribute stories to the broadcast arm of CP, which then would get shared either across Ontario or across Canada -- don't know if AP & Reuters had/has the same arrangement.  So it was a way for the periphery to find out what's out there in Ottawa and the rest of that big world without having to staff their own foreign bureaus, and the centre to get access to important stories they may not know about from smaller places it didn't have reporters posted to.

A big caveat, though, was that when I was still reporting, CP was a not-for-profit co-op of member papers/stations.  As of late 2010, it became "a new for-profit entity, Canadian Press Enterprises Inc." owned by La Presse, The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.  I have no idea about what the back-and-forth involved there now is about.

Still, even under the old system, all sorts of choices at all sorts of levels coloured what got out there.

As for which stories got selected to go out from "the hub" to member stations/papers, it was always Toronto-based decision makers that made the call.  I understand that population- and political-power-wise, Ottawa and the provincial capitals are foci of attention, but I found it sometimes led to a Toronto-centric algorithm for picking stories from the periphery.  More recently, I listen to CBC Radio on the weekends, and it seems an awful lot of the stories in the "Ontario" newscast are Toronto stories.

As for which stories get selected by member stations & papers, that's back to individual editors/decision makers at each media outlet.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 11:34:12 by milnews.ca »
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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2017, 12:47:39 »
I try to follow broadly from as many angles as I can, including non-western sources. Take for instance this site https://www.almasdarnews.com/about/

I don't believe everything they report, I know they are regime friendly, but I also note they often post a story long before it reaches western presses and have more contacts with on the ground reporting than most western sources.

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Re: Politics in 2017
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2017, 19:24:52 »
CNN the news organization that uses pictures of video games to show apparent evidence of Russian hackers?

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Re: Re: Politics in 2017
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2017, 19:41:24 »
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/01/cnn-uses-video-game-image-in-fake-russian-hacking-story/

Who cares what picture they showed. Any News outlet, not just CNN, would be incapable of accurately and effectively describing how hacking is done, let alone provide an accurate "background photo" (and that's all it was; a "computer/techy" picture in the background). Who cares what picture they used.
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Re: Re: Politics in 2017
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2017, 19:59:42 »
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/01/cnn-uses-video-game-image-in-fake-russian-hacking-story/

Is this where you are referring us to?

"The website spends most of the day complaining about Barack Obama and liberals, and the occasional flirtation with outright white supremacists."
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/The_Gateway_Pundit



« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 20:20:15 by mariomike »

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Re: Re: Politics in 2017
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2017, 20:26:48 »
Who cares what picture they showed. Any News outlet, not just CNN, would be incapable of accurately and effectively describing how hacking is done, let alone provide an accurate "background photo" (and that's all it was; a "computer/techy" picture in the background). Who cares what picture they used.

Some people care more about accuracy than others.  Also some might consider using a video game picture to push a story involving two world super powers and rigged elections as a bit unprofessional.  Consider it credibility.

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Re: Re: Politics in 2017
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2017, 20:54:46 »
"rationalwiki" is just a snotty snarky progressive take on information.
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Re: Re: Politics in 2017
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2017, 21:00:03 »
"rationalwiki" is just a snotty snarky progressive take on information.

You guys are way ahead of me.  I had never heard of Gateway Pundit till now. OMG :)

« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 21:08:08 by mariomike »

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Re: Re: Politics in 2017
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2017, 21:08:41 »
Some people care more about accuracy than others...

And those people avoid "The Gateway Pundit".
“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
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Re: Re: Politics in 2017
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2017, 21:19:05 »
And those people avoid "The Gateway Pundit".

Uh huh. You got me there,  I grabbed the first link that popped up.  Plenty others out there.  I'll get back on track.

The whole fake news stuff might even be deserving of its own thread.  Liberals aren't above falling news like having  Trudeau memorize a wiki page about quantum computers then asking himself the question at a press release lol
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 23:22:54 by Jarnhamar »

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Re: Re: Politics in 2017
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2017, 06:06:23 »
The whole fake news stuff might even be deserving of its own thread.
Funnily enough, we already have several such a threads - here and here.

Standby for a bit of a merge ...
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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2017, 06:31:01 »
... I grabbed the first link that popped up.  Plenty others out there.  I'll get back on track ...
There's other outlets carrying similar stories:

So it comes down to who do you trust.  Over time, as Humphrey Bogart said earlier in the thread, you learn to judge sources of information by their track record.

Looking over Gateway Pundit, it's easy to see what glasses it wears:  clearly anti-Democrat, pro-Republican/Trump.  Just like there's no shortage of clearly pro-Democrat, anti-Republican/Trump sites/blogs/pages out there.  Using Chris Pook's elephant image, each outlet chooses chich part of the elephant to look over, thereby also choosing which element of the elephant doesn't make the cut. 

So it comes back to the fact that the more widely/broadly you read, the fewer blind spots you get - and that includes reading more than just what you agree with.
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2017, 11:52:20 »

... that includes reading more than just what you agree with.
But that is hard on my blood pressure and has to carefully managed.   ;)
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2017, 11:58:04 »
Actually - that brings up an interesting point:  the possible correlation between an "activist" media outlet and declining revenues.

I enjoy reading good articles from writers across the political spectrum.   I resent paying for them if I know that I am going to be contributing to efforts to thwart my political preferences.  Why would I, a Conservative-pro-tem, pay money that is going to end up, directly or indirectly, contributing to the Liberal campaign?

The more activist, the more divorced from the general market.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2017, 16:40:38 »
But that is hard on my blood pressure and has to carefully managed.   ;)
But at least you're transparent about that -- and it shows you've tried if you know the effect  ;D
I enjoy reading good articles from writers across the political spectrum.   I resent paying for them if I know that I am going to be contributing to efforts to thwart my political preferences.  Why would I, a Conservative-pro-tem, pay money that is going to end up, directly or indirectly, contributing to the Liberal campaign?
Very good point.  The balance between knowing in detail what the other team is saying and not actively supporting their cause is an individual choice.  Would I pay for access to Stormfront or rabble.ca?  No.  Does that mean these are the only places to find out what each side is saying?  Not true -- there's all sorts of free access out there to the whole panoply of political thought (and both left & right each have their own list o' good & bad sources).  The usual "caveat lector" applies to all sources, of course.

The more activist, the more divorced from the general market.
But, referring back to your useful elephant graphic, they may be looking at parts of the elephant nobody else is because of their activism.  If all media choose what they share and choose what they leave out, seeing that process with activist media is useful.  Also, if you want to take the "know your enemy" philosophy seriously, it helps you better understand what glasses they're wearing when it comes time to counter their arguments/assessments. 

For example, from my own geeky obsession, I read a lot of stuff about Ukraine from outside agencies/NGO's, from the Ukrainian and separatist governments, and Ukrainian, separatist and Russian media.  Sometimes, something pops up in only one set of media, making one ask, "so, what's this about?"  Could be fake news, could be something the other side ignores, could be partly true, whatever.  Sometimes, in the old Soviet tradition, someone says, "hey, lookit what a great job we're doing to deal with x" when there's been no other media coverage of an x problem - hmm ... I know not everyone has the time to pick fly poop from ground pepper, but even if I'm in a hurry, I check out a few key outlets from all sides to get something triangulating into a "central tendency truthiness".

The word picture I like to use is a mosaic made up of lots of little tiles - or, if you're higher tech than me, a digital image made up of pixels.  The more tiles/pixels you can see, the better idea you have of what the picture looks like.  Not all information tiles/pixels are created equal, but the more tiles/pixels you can see, the better the aggregate result is.
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The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2017, 17:35:48 »
...
But, referring back to your useful elephant graphic, they may be looking at parts of the elephant nobody else is because of their activism.  If all media choose what they share and choose what they leave out, seeing that process with activist media is useful.  Also, if you want to take the "know your enemy" philosophy seriously, it helps you better understand what glasses they're wearing when it comes time to counter their arguments/assessments....

Agreed that they may have useful intel.  From sources to which I would not have access, ordinarily.  Insofar as I consider them the "enemy" and have no desire to support their cause through paying them, are you effectively counselling me to "hack" them through third party sites like Realclearpolitics and indulging in searching via "incognito" pages? 
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: Re: Politics in 2017
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2017, 18:41:17 »
The whole fake news stuff might even be deserving of its own thread. 

I remember hearing this story when I was nine years old. To me, it's like a jewel that changes colour as you look at it from different directions.

The Kitty Genovese Story Was the Prototype for Fake News
http://observer.com/2017/01/the-kitty-genovese-story-was-the-prototype-for-fake-news/
Our need for tidy narrative is hardly recent

Did The New York Times try to smear the good city of New York? The World Fair was going on.  How many people moved away, or stayed away, because of the way this incident was reported? We will never know. 

The progenitor of this myth was A.M. Rosenthal, the New York Times editor who gave Kitty’s story prime front-page acreage. He and reporter Martin Gansberg crafted a story that was so compelling, many forgot to check the facts. That would remain true for decades, as the story entered the narrative of American urban despair.

Mr. Rosenthal's grave marker has only five words: "He kept the paper straight."

On the other hand, I believe there has been a fair amount of recent "feel good" revisionism about this story in books and documentaries.

I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between.





« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 20:00:35 by mariomike »

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2017, 20:09:29 »
Agreed that they may have useful intel.  From sources to which I would not have access, ordinarily.  Insofar as I consider them the "enemy" and have no desire to support their cause through paying them, are you effectively counselling me to "hack" them through third party sites like Realclearpolitics and indulging in searching via "incognito" pages?
As one-on-one advice, if you're not willing to pay for access, I wouldn't advise hacking in, given all the alternative ways to get at approximately the same information/viewpoint/spin out there. 

As for me, I wouldn't hack in.  For my individual consumption of media, I don't need the most extreme/inaccessible bits of information to shape my opinions.

That said, each individual* considering hacking in would have to weigh the pro's & con's - and be willing to face any consequences if they're breaking some rule/law. 

* - Governments doing this?  I leave it in their hands to do things within the limits of the law.
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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2017, 22:32:23 »
I'm defining "hacking" broadly - as in securing access to a good or service that someone claims to own without offering remuneration.

Even if it is just equivalent to going from store to store to collect freebies intended to lure in new clients.

The point is, if newspapers and tv stations decided that they were not going to endorse a candidate or party, that they would refrain from contributing to campaigns, that they would hire a diversity of opinions, then I would have no trouble paying that outlet for their product.

I consider the Toronto Star to be an honest outlet.  It makes no pretence of neutrality. I don't read it but I admire it.

I consider the Globe, CTV and the CBC to be dishonest.  They have defined opinions and pretend neutrality.

I actually do pay for British news, of both stripes, because they are honest in there convictions.

Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2017, 06:22:59 »
I'm defining "hacking" broadly - as in securing access to a good or service that someone claims to own without offering remuneration.
Same here.
Even if it is just equivalent to going from store to store to collect freebies intended to lure in new clients.
If it's freebies offered for a limited trial, without having to give a credit card #, I'm good to give it a try.  I pay for a few specialty sources (mostly think-tanky & NGO'y), and I'll donate a few bucks to sites like the Federation of American Scientists to help dig up government paperwork, but I'm still cheap hesitant about paying for access in general.
I consider the Toronto Star to be an honest outlet.  It makes no pretence of neutrality. I don't read it but I admire it.

I consider the Globe, CTV and the CBC to be dishonest.  They have defined opinions and pretend neutrality.

I actually do pay for British news, of both stripes, because they are honest in there convictions.
As others have said previously, I agree that you know EXACTLY where Brit papers come from.
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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2017, 18:51:49 »
Having "borrowed" access to the American media via an incognito perusal of Realclearpolitics,  ;D I came up with this:

http://theweek.com/articles/672551/why-medias-trump-dossier-coverage-suicidal

Quote
The effect of BuzzFeed's item was not that journalists, elected officials, and intelligence agents were sharing a load of ridiculous tosh with each other, but that they were sharing something of indeterminate value. Maybe it's trash, maybe it's the smoking gun. BuzzFeed invited readers to judge for themselves.

The context for this immense error of judgment makes it worse. Earlier in the week, The Wall Street Journal's editor-in-chief Gerard Baker responded to a question about headlines or stories that report on what Trump says without attaching an assessment of its veracity by arguing, "I think it's then up to the reader to make up their own mind." Journalists lined up to condemn him on social media and across other news sites.

Readers making up their own minds?  What on earth are they thinking? 

Interestingly there was this commentary from Tim Stanley, a writer for the Daily Telegraph that I regularly read.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/11/opinions/trump-news-conference-stanley/index.html

Quote
...calling out the press is not entirely unheard of. Obama scolded reporters for doing things he didn't approve of; Nixon obsessed about the hostile liberal press. What's different about Trump is how happy he is to personalize his battles, to roll up his sleeves and jump into the fight while on live TV.

Un-presidential? Yes. Unpopular? I suspect not. The media has to accept that popular attitudes towards journalism have shifted according to partisan bias, and there are a lot of conservatives nowadays who disbelieve unfavorable reporting of Trump simply because they don't trust its source.

I suspect Tim Stanley's attitude is coloured by growing up in a rougher journalistic school than that of the US.

When was the last time that the US, or Canada for that matter, had a proper knock-down, drag-out newspaper war?
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2017, 19:05:14 »
When was the last time that the US, or Canada for that matter, had a proper knock-down, drag-out newspaper war?
Good question ...
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2017, 19:59:40 »
Much of the "power" that the "News" used to have was due to the limited access to competing sources of information. However it is easier to get information from different sources, either from different places (you can now click onto newspapers from the United States, Canada, the UK and anywhere else), as well as a multitude of non traditional sources.

This also allows us to quickly identify when people are manipulating the news in concert (the US Journ-O-List scandal was perhaps the first quickly identified), and watching the US media beclown itself with the unverified "intelligence" documents simply makes what little trust people may have had in the media evaporate. This is even stupider on their part since it is a close clone of Rathergate, which was also discredited relatively quickly. If you are going to collude in your attack on the incoming administration, then you need to be much smarter about it.

The other reason the power of the "press" is evaporating is people can connect without filters or gatekeepers. President Trump does not need to hold a press conference, he just tweets to his followers, and the press is in reactive mode, coming in behind the tweet. He also used this sort of direct connection with his "yuuge" rallies. Each person in a 30,000 person rally has a smartphone, so Trumps words and images are being broadcast on social media to potentially millions of people, and once again, the media can only react to this. Newt Gingrich made a very preceptive speech on "How Trump beat the Liberal Media", which bears rewatching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIe95tyHQs4

Edit to add:

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/254399/

Quote
ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II:

● Anne Frank’s stepsister compares Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.

—Headline, CNN.com, January 27, 2016.

● Anne Frank Center: Trump’s ‘Nazi’ quip insults Holocaust survivors.

—Headline, Yahoo News, yesterday.

Well yes, it does. But so did all of the Godwin-violating insults from the left last year comparing Trump to Hitler, which culminated nearly 75 years’ worth of such tactics by Democrats, beginning with FDR and Harry Truman. It’s not surprising that finally, as Scott Adams wrote yesterday on Trump’s “Nazi quip,” “The Master Persuader Scrambles the Frame.”

You can almost hear the left saying it: How dare the president-elect call us Nazis — only we’re allowed to call the other side Nazis! Evidently, they believed that their scorched earth tactics, so effective against first Hillary and then McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, would have been sufficient against Trump, and then conveniently forgotten afterwards, until needed for the next presidential election, and in the interim, Democrats would go back to pretending they’re obsessed with fairness, civility, tolerance, and unicorn flatulence. Or if Trump somehow managed to win, he’d play by Marquess of Queensberry rules in DC. Something tells me that his memory won’t be very short, and that he’ll act like a Democrat himself when it comes to getting in his enemies’ faces and punching back twice as a hard, to paraphrase a famous community organizer.

This isn’t a political culture — or media “overculture” — that I wanted to see, but it’s one that the left created and wrote the rules for long ago; and thus, to coin a phrase, chose their eventual destructor.

The final piece of the puzzle is Trump, the Alt -Right and the New American Party are using the Progressive playbook against the Progressives....
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 00:26:46 by Thucydides »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2017, 23:28:18 »
Thanks for the video link Thuc.

From the video there is a great read which also helps explain Trumpism.

https://medium.com/incerto/the-intellectual-yet-idiot-13211e2d0577#.9rm1k0grl

I feel the CAF is inundated with IYIs also. 


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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2017, 00:57:39 »
Illegitimi non carborundum
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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2017, 07:00:40 »
Everyone has skeletons in their closet.  No one has a perfect track record; and I think even most, if not all of us, on this board have things they would rather not be common knowledge, this if no different than politicians.

My issue with the press is the veracity with which they dig on people. It is totally dependant on their own political beliefs and not about truth above all. 

So sum up, if they are going to dig to China to get dirt on Trump I expect that they would do the same for Obama or Clinton ect.  Of course I know that will never happen.
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Offline ModlrMike

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #50 on: January 13, 2017, 12:10:27 »
As others have pointed out, part of the problem for the press these days is the modern news cycle. The press is constantly trying to stay ahead of not only competitors, but the internet as well. When we were restricted to print news, the press had the luxury of time to develop the stories and to do in depth fact checking. While there certainly was political bias, the need to publish the truth (however coloured) was paramount. I think that the rush to publish now leaves little time for such niceties as accuracy, and we are all worse off for it.

On the topic of fake news, it looks like the BBC may be stepping up to the plate:

BBC sets up team to debunk fake news

« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 12:39:21 by ModlrMike »
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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #51 on: January 13, 2017, 12:36:12 »
... I think that the rush to public now leaves little time for such niceties as accuracy and nuance/context, and we are all worse off for it ...
That.  Right.  There.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2017, 14:07:58 »
That.  Right.  There.

No the whole, but certainly part.

Another part is bias.

Still another part is "celebrity reporting".

National Enquirer type reporting on dumped boyfriends and the latest in body art.  A lot of celebrities have started pushing back against reporting that has become more and more mainstream.  With some resorting to "publish and be damned" attitudes as notoriety is at least as marketable as fame.  Many fans are equally likely to disregard all negative press in any event.

The Press has done itself no favours by chasing those types of stories.  Each one chips away at its credibility.

Guess what.  We now have a "publish and be damned" President that is both inured and immune.  And very hard to hold accountable.  Especially by a "press" that has a diminishing base of people that hold it in esteem.
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Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2017, 14:17:04 »
Precisely.

The media could do better if they actually wanted to, rather than simply engage in partisan sniping because their preferred candidate lost and they're all in a childish snit.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443823/donald-trump-democrats-why-media-always-loses-trump?utm_source=jolt&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Jolt%201/13/2017&utm_term=Jolt

National Review

Why the Media Lose to Trump

by Rich Lowry January 13, 2017 12:00 AM

When it comes to a media circus, Trump always seems to have the advantage.

The best thing that happened to Donald Trump all week is that BuzzFeed published the raw Russia dossier about him.

It can’t be pleasant for anyone to see his name associated with prostitutes and a bizarre sex act in print — the principle that all publicity is good publicity can be taken too far even for Donald Trump. But in the media’s ongoing fight with Trump, BuzzFeed’s incredible act of journalistic irresponsibility represented the press leading with its chin.

Trump thrives off media hostility, and the more hostile - and the less defensible - the better. It allows him to portray himself as the victim of a stilted establishment. It fires up his supporters. It keeps the debate on terrain that is familiar and favorable to him - whether or not he is being treated “fairly” - and allows him to adopt his preferred posture as a "counterpuncher."

There are legitimate questions raised about how determined Trump has been to ignore evidence of Russia's hacking operations prior to the election. BuzzFeed unintentionally did more to obscure and delegitimize these questions than Trump Tower could ever hope to. By publishing the uncorroborated dossier, BuzzFeed has associated the Russia issue with fantastical rumors and hearsay.

Its decision to post the document has to be considered another chapter in the ongoing saga of the media and Democrats losing their collective minds. If the election had gone the other way, it is hard to see BuzzFeed publishing a 35-page document containing unverified, lurid allegations about President-elect Hillary Clinton that it didn’t consider credible. This was an anti-Trump decision, pure and simple.

It created a media firestorm, even though everyone should realize by now that media firestorms are Trump’s thing. They have been literally since the day he got into the presidential race. They suck the oxygen away from everything except the transfixing melodrama surrounding Donald Trump. The question is always, “How can he possibly escape this?” And at the center of attention, vindicating his own honor and that of his supporters by proxy, he always does.

For all that Trump complains about negative press coverage, he wants to be locked in a relationship of mutual antagonism with the media. The paradox of the Trump phenomenon is that he may be ripping up sundry political norms, yet he benefits when his opponents and adversaries do the same. When Marco Rubio descended to Trump’s level in the primaries and mocked the size of his hands, it hurt Rubio most. The Democrats have done themselves no favors by implicitly refusing to accept the election results after browbeating Trump for months to accept the results in advance. And if the press is going to lower its standards in response to Trump, it will diminish and discredit itself more than the president-elect.

For all that Trump complains about negative press coverage, he wants to be locked in a relationship of mutual antagonism with the media. It behooves those journalists who aren’t partisans and reflexive Trump haters to avoid getting caught up in this dynamic. If they genuinely want to be public-spirited checks on Trump, they shouldn’t be more bitterly adversarial, but more responsible and fair.

This means taking a deep breath and not treating every Trump tweet as a major news story. It means covering Trump more as a “normal” president rather than as a constant clear and present danger to the republic. It means going out of the way to focus on substance rather than the controversy of the hour (while Trump did a fine job shaming reporters at his news conference, he was notably weak on the details on how he wants to replace Obamacare). It means a dose of modesty about how the media have lost the public’s trust, in part because of their bias and self-importance.

None of this is a particularly tall order. Yet it’s unlikely to happen, even if it was encouraging that so many reporters opposed BuzzFeed’s decision. The press and Trump will continue to be at war, although only one party to the hostilities truly knows what he is doing, and it shows.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via e-mail: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. © 2017 King Features Syndicate

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #54 on: January 14, 2017, 12:45:01 »
First, I agree 100% with A. J. Liebling who said, circa 1960, that "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."

Second, I cannot conceive of an unbiased media ... I think the whole notion is rubbish and I disregard pretty much everything and anything written by any journalist who claims to be unbiased.

I expect bias in reporting. I actually admire the Toronto Star for publishing and, generally sticking to their Atkinson Principles even though it makes them biased. I think I pretty much understand and usually share many of the biases of my favourite newspapers and magazines: the Financial Times, The Economist, Foreign Affairs and the Globe and Mail: all are, broadly, Anglo-American, capitalist, liberal and pro-democracy ... so am I so, I guess, I can be accused of only reading that which is likely to reinforce my own views.

I think the blogosphere is 99% an intellectual wasteland. "Fake news" in out there, that's a fact, but it appears equally on CBC, CNN, Fox News, Global, RT and Xinhua and in thousands of blogs, too. Nonsense knows no borders. Ditto for stupidity and gullibility.

Caveat lector was good advice hundreds of years ago and it is good advice now, too.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #55 on: January 14, 2017, 14:04:23 »
I have no problem with you, Edward, citing the Economist to bolster your arguments.  I prefer the Spectator myself.

None of which makes either of our positions fake, surely?  :)

I don't take issue with debate, disagreement or even the inability to find common ground.  I take issue with an apparently inability in society at large to manage the consequences of disagreement.  Conformity is not going to happen, despite the best wishes of the corporatists of Davos.

I came across this little gem today:

Quote
In 1991, the Club(ofRome) published The First Global Revolution.[8] It analyses the problems of humanity, calling these collectively or in essence the 'problematique'. It notes (laments) that, historically, social or political unity has commonly been motivated by enemies in common: "The need for enemies seems to be a common historical factor. Some states have striven to overcome domestic failure and internal contradictions by blaming external enemies. The ploy of finding a scapegoat is as old as mankind itself - when things become too difficult at home, divert attention to adventure abroad. Bring the divided nation together to face an outside enemy, either a real one, or else one invented for the purpose. With the disappearance of the traditional enemy, the temptation is to use religious or ethnic minorities as scapegoats, especially those whose differences from the majority are disturbing."[9] "Every state has been so used to classifying its neighbours as friend or foe, that the sudden absence of traditional adversaries has left governments and public opinion with a great void to fill. New enemies have to be identified, new strategies imagined, and new weapons devised."[9] "In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself."[10]

 "Alexander King & Bertrand Schneider - The First Global Revolution (Club of Rome) 1993 Edition". Scribd. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
 King & Schneider, p. 115

per Wikipedia.

In today'sTelegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard talks about nationalism versus Davos man.

Two passages in particular stood out:

Quote
...Worker productivity in the US has risen by 243pc since 1973: hourly pay has risen just 109pc – and real wages for both blue-collar workers and the lower middle class have fallen since the turn of the century.

Few still deny that globalisation is a big part of this insidious effect. It allows companies to play off wages in the US and Europe against cheap pay in the emerging world, with the profit going to the owners of capital.

What is unfair is to blame the WEF’s éminence grise, Klaus Schwab, for the moral shortcomings of the mighty who gather each year at his Alpine shrine of globalism. He is their high-minded priest and scold. “We have sinned,” he likes to tell them.

Prof Schwab has been warning for 20 years of the backlash sure to come unless steps are taken to tame transnational capitalism. It is his code of “stakeholder” inclusion, the philosophy that informed his movement since it began in 1971. It has roots in the Rerum novarum of Pope Leo XIII and the ethos of south German Christian democracy.

That passage stood out because, according to Max and Monique Nemni in Young Trudeau, Rerum novarum, written in 1891, was a seminal document for Pierre Trudeau.  It offers a clear call for a Church adjudicated hierarchy to ensure justice for the common man.  It is unashamedly and openly opposed to liberalism.

The other passage that stood out for me was this:

Quote
Davos Man reflexively pigeon-holes Brexit in the box marked “populism/anti-global anger” but the category does not quite fit. Britain has not resiled from its climate commitments or its role in the Nato alliance, and the leaders of the repatriation movement are broadly free-traders.

The Prime Minister (Theresa May of the UK) is a cautious Oxonian at the helm of an old establishment party with a knack for heading off revolution, and ultimately co-opting it. Absolutist Europe has a bad habit of letting matters fester until they spin out of control.

That is in line with my personal antipathy for constitutions and the suborning of the democratic will to panels of experts.

 That prompted me to go looking for the World Economic Forum and Klaus Schwab.  Which inevitably led me to the Club of Rome, Limits of Growth, the UN Environment Programme of Maurice Strong, the IPCC and the Rio Summit  - all by way of the declaration to which I refer above.

I suggest that that represents a cornerstone of the edifice of institutional bias that afflicts most centrist opinion.  And more to the point it is a concerted effort to maintain the edifice.

I get confused over the terms liberal and conservative.  Strangely enough I don't find them at odds.  Conservatives want to retain that which was.  Liberals, once upon a time, wanted freedom. Conservatives now are people that want the time when they felt they had freedom.

In WW2 the "Liberal Democracies", predominantly Anglo-Saxon and protestant defeated the continental powers.   Those powers were broadly underwritten by the Roman church (and I am not accusing Pius XII of supporting Hitler).  The Church had constantly found itself at odds with liberalism because it represented, to them anarchy, chaos, disorder and unpredictability.  Their world view was built on predictability, order, structure, archy.  The liberal view embraced chaos and revelled in freedom.  The alternative view embraced order, with freedom being constrained by justice arbitrated by the Church.

There is not a matter of right and wrong here.  There is a matter of those people that are comfortable with chaos trying to live with those that demand order.  Those that value freedom vs those that expect justice and truth.  The issue is how to get along.

The Church has always championed universality.   That is in keeping with the internationalist instincts of many socialists, and conservatives, and liberals, and communists.  But it is at odds with parish driven protestantism which gave rise to the US - where even top down Lutherans and Anglicans could find a home beside bottom up Presbyterians and Congregationalists by the simple expedient of letting all parties decide, within their own church, how they were going to conduct their religious affairs.  That concept extended to the original union of the 13 colonies.  Each colony, within their own colony, would decide how they were going to conduct their own internal affairs.  As independent entities the churches cooperated within their colonies.  As independent colonies the colonies cooperated within the Union.

Episcopalians did not impose on Presbyterians.  Maryland did not impose on New York.  But this still represented a degree of chaos foreign and intolerable to the continentals of Europe.  It was at odds with thousands of years of failed efforts to impose order, where the highlights of history were those periods of empire represented by autocrats.

My sense is that post WW2 those that treasured order sought to re-establish order by claiming the mantle of liberalism, and imposing a veneer of a society that looked like those societies that liberalism had built.  But fundamentally they could not come to terms with the basis of liberalism and that is the embrace of chaos.  They have been trying to impose that order for the last 70 years but once again find chaos breaking out.

They are uncomfortable with the notion of managing chaos by letting locals have local control and insist on universal solutions.  We hear that language all the time in Canada where the demand is for all laws to be universally applied so as to avoid a patchwork of solutions within our borders. 

Given a choice between an illiberal universality and a patchwork I will opt for the patchwork every time.

(Sorry for the rant - but it is one of my pleasures in associating with this site  :cheers: )

 






« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 14:14:50 by Chris Pook »
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline ModlrMike

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #56 on: January 14, 2017, 20:01:42 »
But Edward, would you not agree that it's possible to be both biased and fair at the same time? A combination too sadly lacking in the modern era.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2017, 12:43:03 »
I call democracy “organized revolution” the elections act as a safety valve for pent up frustration. However for that to work, the parties have to be different enough to be distinguishable, close enough to the centre to be electable. The other key ingredient is tolerance for losing, and that is built on the assumption that your party will win again eventually. As long as people believe there is a difference and a fair chance that their party can win, they will take part and play by the rules of the game. Things go off the rails if they believe these conditions do not exist.

As for chaos and order, they are equal, opposite forces pulling on us. When we are young  chaos is appealing as it represents opportunity, changes and challenges. As we get older, order appeals so we can protect and husband our resources we spent a great deal of time acquiring for the day we are unable to acquire or to help our offspring. The demographic makeup of a countries population will often dictate which force is in ascendancy, a young population yearns for chaos with the people in power trying to hold off any chaos or attempting to find some outlet for it without rupturing the social fabric. So far Canada has ridden a path which was fairly balanced between the two despite many outside forces at work on it. Not only do policy makers must consider the internal dynamics but also the outside influences that that purposely or inadvertently tip the balance one way or another.   
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Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2017, 09:58:52 »
... it's possible to be both biased and fair at the same time? ...
This caught my eye -- do you have a decent example of this?

I ask because to me, part of "bias" involves ignoring or underplaying information/data that contradicts one's position, while "fairness" would include at least a range of resonable viewpoints with a comparable critique of all.  At that level, anyway, the ideas would be mutually exclusive, no?
(Sorry for the rant - but it is one of my pleasures in associating with this site  :cheers: )
Happy to read your rants - helps me learn  :salute:
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2017, 10:21:20 »
This caught my eye -- do you have a decent example of this?

If I can give it a try milnews: It would be like the old Optimist/Pessimist perspective thing. The glass is 50% filled with water. That's the fair fact. Optimist's article would have the title: "All is Well, Still Half Full", while the Pessimist's title would be "Time to Panic: Glass Half Empty!".

A recent article reported in the papers and referred to in the Yazidi thread in these fora has to do with the assistance of the Conservative in bringing this about. Rona Ambrose is quoted in the article as stating that the government had ignored the problem in the past (which means the Conservatives under PM Harper too), but the title is about collaboration with opposition making Parliament work as intended. But, as has been suggested, with the exact same content to the article (facts), it could have been titled "Conservative admit ignoring plight of Yazidis".

Same facts, bias in presentation.

I think that is what ModlrMike had in mind (MM, feel free to correct me).

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2017, 11:26:16 »
This caught my eye -- do you have a decent example of this?

I ask because to me, part of "bias" involves ignoring or underplaying information/data that contradicts one's position, while "fairness" would include at least a range of resonable viewpoints with a comparable critique of all.  At that level, anyway, the ideas would be mutually exclusive, no?Happy to read your rants - helps me learn  :salute:

Thank for the encouragement. You know you will regret it.  :nod:

With respect to Mike's comment: Does this go anywhere?  In my childhood, when I was a gay youngster, I was taught the merits of being a discriminating gent. 

Discriminating and judicial were two attributes to be sought in any serious individual.  It was expected that you would observe everything around you then judicially sort your way through the info, discriminating as necessary, to make sense out of chaos.

Of course you were going to be biased.  So was the other chap.  The question was could you both fairly evaluate the information available to both of you, have a civil debate and decide on an accommodation that suited both of you.  Agreeing to disagree should not be the exception.

Edit:  Simultaneous post OGBD - I think we might on a similar wavelength.


Personally I blame the 60's.  I clearly remember classroom debates where civility was derided as hypocrisy.  Your feelings mattered more than the other persons.  ----- You know, as I write that, it occurs to me that Political Correctness - Microaggression - Triggering is the pendulum swinging the other way.  The other persons feelings matter more than yours.

1960s - Be Free! Or I will beat your skull in.
2010s - Be Civil! Or I will beat your skull in.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 11:35:16 by Chris Pook »
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #61 on: March 05, 2017, 14:38:16 »
Thoughts:

Universal agreement is impossible.

The state relies on coercion to manage disagreement.

Liberalism is tolerance of disagreement.

Can any coercive state be liberal?

Or are all states illiberal?
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline Kat Stevens

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #62 on: March 05, 2017, 17:31:06 »
All states are coercive toward the press.  That's what press secretaries, public affairs people, and image consultants are for.
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

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 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

Offline recceguy

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #63 on: March 05, 2017, 23:08:58 »
 :whistle: However, The Press has prostituted itself. She's gone from being the high class call girl she was, the one everyone wanted and needed to be with. Her conversation was intelligent, honest and fair to all. Societies darling.

Then she started getting old and irrelevant. Then she caught a STD or two. Started jonesing for the advertising dollars that were no longer coming her way and started to spiral. Back alley encounters for a few quick bucks became too hard to resist. The money got larger, the encounters became more frequent. Doing whatever her clients wanted her to do. Even those acts that most found obcene, are performed.

Our pox ridden ***** now gets enough money to get a facelift and pretend she is interested in us again.

Truth being, she's gaily dancing a non stop waltz for the business/ political people that own her.

They are the architects of their own demise and more people are finding them irrelevant and ignoring them.

People are starting to realize that Pravda Canada is just a welfare ***** and want no association with her.

However, she still has a pretty good business with criminals and perverts.

 :2c:
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 23:15:00 by recceguy »
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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #64 on: March 05, 2017, 23:13:27 »
:whistle: However, The Press has prostituted itself. She's gone from being the high class call girl she was, the one everyone wanted and needed to be with. Her conversation was intelligent, honest and fair to all. Societies darling.

Then she started getting old and irrelevant. Then she caught a STD or two. Started jonesing for the advertising dollars that were no longer coming her way and started to spiral. Back alley encounters for a few quick bucks became too hard to resist. The money got larger, the encounters became more frequent. Doing whatever her clients wanted her to do. Even those acts that most found obcene, are performed.

Our pox ridden ***** now gets enough money to get a facelift and pretend she is interested in us again.

Truth being, she's gayly dancing a non stop waltz for the business/ political people that own her.

They are the architects of their own demise and more people are finding them irrelevant and ignoring them.

 :2c:

You should write some '50 shades of grey' stories.  Good job. [:D
As the old man used to say: " I used to be a coyote, but I'm alright nooooOOOOWWW!"

Offline Colin P

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #65 on: March 06, 2017, 12:29:30 »
CBC North is a different beast and still very relevant to the people up there. The CBC archive is a treasure trove than needs to be preserved as well.

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #66 on: March 07, 2017, 01:24:15 »
CBC North is a different beast and still very relevant to the people up there. The CBC archive is a treasure trove than needs to be preserved as well.
Absolutely Colin. They need it, I won't deny. We can even streamline it. Close the giant down but keep the north operating, advertisement free, and I'll even stop griping about the abuse of my tax dollars 😀 I also agree about the archives. There's good stuff there from the last century and we should be making sure that CBC is digitizing everything and among sure the archives are being cared for properly. The archives belong to us. Not them.
At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child – miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #67 on: March 13, 2017, 20:18:35 »
Canada, with a smaller and more insular set of "Laurentian Elites" is perhaps more susceptible to this than the US, but the effects of the "bubble" are arguably true across the board and across the pond as well (see Brexit). Instapundit and similar sites may provide a form of relief, Glen Reynolds links to a multitude of sites both ideologically (NYT and Breitbart) as well as geographically (US, Canadian, European and even Israeli sites and blogs have been linked), providing a means of escaping groupthink and bubbles:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/there-really-was-a-liberal-media-bubble/

Quote
There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble
Groupthink produced a failure of the “wisdom of crowds” and an underestimate of Trump’s chances.
By Nate Silver
Filed under The Real Story Of 2016
Published Mar. 10, 2017


This is the ninth article in a series that reviews news coverage of the 2016 general election, explores how Donald Trump won and why his chances were underrated by most of the American media.

Last summer, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in what bettors, financial markets and the London-based media regarded as a colossal upset. Reporters and pundits were quick to blame the polls for the unexpected result. But the polls had been fine, more or less: In the closing days of the Brexit campaign, they’d shown an almost-even race, and Leave’s narrow victory (by a margin just under 4 percentage points) was about as consistent with them as it was with anything else. The failure was not so much with the polls but with the people who were analyzing them.

The U.S. presidential election, as I’ve argued, was something of a similar case. No, the polls didn’t show a toss-up, as they had in Brexit. But the reporting was much more certain of Clinton’s chances than it should have been based on the polls. Much of The New York Times’s coverage, for instance, implied that Clinton’s odds were close to 100 percent. In an article on Oct. 17 — more than three weeks before Election Day — they portrayed the race as being effectively over, the only question being whether Clinton should seek a landslide or instead assist down-ballot Democrats:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is planning its most ambitious push yet into traditionally right-leaning states, a new offensive aimed at extending her growing advantage over Donald J. Trump while bolstering down-ballot candidates in what party leaders increasingly suggest could be a sweeping victory for Democrats at every level. […]

The maneuvering speaks to the unexpected tension facing Mrs. Clinton as she hurtles toward what aides increasingly believe will be a decisive victory — a pleasant problem, for certain, but one that has nonetheless scrambled the campaign’s strategy weeks before Election Day: Should Mrs. Clinton maximize her own margin, aiming to flip as many red states as possible to run up an electoral landslide, or prioritize the party’s congressional fortunes, redirecting funds and energy down the ballot?

This is not to say the election was a toss-up in mid-October, which was one of the high-water marks of the campaign for Clinton. But while a Trump win was unlikely, it should hardly have been unthinkable. And yet the Times, famous for its “to be sure” equivocations, wasn’t even contemplating the possibility of a Trump victory.3

It’s hard to reread this coverage without recalling Sean Trende’s essay on “unthinkability bias,” which he wrote in the wake of the Brexit vote. Just as was the case in the U.S. presidential election, voting on the referendum had split strongly along class, education and regional lines, with voters outside of London and without advanced degrees being much more likely to vote to leave the EU. The reporters covering the Brexit campaign, on the other hand, were disproportionately well-educated and principally based in London. They tended to read ambiguous signs — anything from polls to the musings of taxi drivers — as portending a Remain win, and many of them never really processed the idea that Britain could vote to leave the EU until it actually happened.

So did journalists in Washington and London make the apocryphal Pauline Kael mistake, refusing to believe that Trump or Brexit could win because nobody they knew was voting for them? That’s not quite what Trende was arguing. Instead, it’s that political experts aren’t a very diverse group and tend to place a lot of faith in the opinions of other experts and other members of the political establishment. Once a consensus view is established, it tends to reinforce itself until and unless there’s very compelling evidence for the contrary position. Social media, especially Twitter, can amplify the groupthink further. It can be an echo chamber.

I recently reread James Surowiecki’s book “The Wisdom of Crowds” which, despite its name, spends as much time contemplating the shortcomings of such wisdom as it does celebrating its successes. Surowiecki argues that crowds usually make good predictions when they satisfy these four conditions:

1.Diversity of opinion. “Each person should have private information, even if it’s just an eccentric interpretation of the known facts.”

2.Independence. “People’s opinions are not determined by the opinions of those around them.”

3.Decentralization. “People are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge.”

4.Aggregation. “Some mechanism exists for turning private judgments into a collective decision.”

Political journalism scores highly on the fourth condition, aggregation. While Surowiecki usually has something like a financial or betting market in mind when he refers to “aggregation,” the broader idea is that there’s some way for individuals to exchange their opinions instead of keeping them to themselves. And my gosh, do political journalists have a lot of ways to share their opinions with one another, whether through their columns, at major events such as the political conventions or, especially, through Twitter.

But those other three conditions? Political journalism fails miserably along those dimensions.

Diversity of opinion? For starters, American newsrooms are not very diverse along racial or gender lines, and it’s not clear the situation is improving much.6

 And in a country where educational attainment is an increasingly important predictor of cultural and political behavior, some 92 percent of journalists have college degrees. A degree didn’t used to be a de facto prerequisite for a reporting job; just 70 percent of journalists had college degrees in 1982 and only 58 percent did in 1971.

The political diversity of journalists is not very strong, either. As of 2013, only 7 percent of them identified as Republicans (although only 28 percent called themselves Democrats with the majority saying they were independents). And although it’s not a perfect approximation — in most newsrooms, the people who issue endorsements are not the same as the ones who do reporting — there’s reason to think that the industry was particularly out of sync with Trump. Of the major newspapers that endorsed either Clinton or Trump, only 3 percent (2 of 59) endorsed Trump. By comparison, 46 percent of newspapers to endorse either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney endorsed Romney in 2012. Furthermore, as the media has become less representative of right-of-center views — and as conservatives have rebelled against the political establishment — there’s been an increasing and perhaps self-reinforcing cleavage between conservative news and opinion outlets such as Breitbart and the rest of the media.

Although it’s harder to measure, I’d also argue that there’s a lack of diversity when it comes to skill sets and methods of thinking in political journalism. Publications such as Buzzfeed or (the now defunct) Gawker.com get a lot of shade from traditional journalists when they do things that challenge conventional journalistic paradigms. But a lot of traditional journalistic practices are done by rote or out of habit, such as routinely granting anonymity to staffers to discuss campaign strategy even when there isn’t much journalistic merit in it. Meanwhile, speaking from personal experience, I’ve found the reception of “data journalists” by traditional journalists to be unfriendly, although there have been exceptions.

Independence? This is just as much of a problem. Crowds can be wise when people do a lot of thinking for themselves before coming together to exchange their views. But since at least the days of “The Boys on the Bus,” political journalism has suffered from a pack mentality. Events such as conventions and debates literally gather thousands of journalists together in the same room; attend one of these events, and you can almost smell the conventional wisdom being manufactured in real time. (Consider how a consensus formed that Romney won the first debate in 2012 when it had barely even started, for instance.) Social media — Twitter in particular — can amplify these information cascades, with a single tweet receiving hundreds of thousands of impressions and shaping the way entire issues are framed. As a result, it can be largely arbitrary which storylines gain traction and which ones don’t. What seems like a multiplicity of perspectives might just be one or two, duplicated many times over.

Decentralization? Surowiecki writes about the benefit of local knowledge, but the political news industry has become increasingly consolidated in Washington and New York as local newspapers have suffered from a decade-long contraction. That doesn’t necessarily mean local reporters in Wisconsin or Michigan or Ohio should have picked up Trumpian vibrations on the ground in contradiction to the polls. But as we’ve argued, national reporters often flew into these states with pre-baked narratives — for instance, that they were “decreasingly representative of contemporary America” — and fit the facts to suit them, neglecting their importance to the Electoral College. A more geographically decentralized reporting pool might have asked more questions about why Clinton wasn’t campaigning in Wisconsin, for instance, or why it wasn’t more of a problem for her that she was struggling in polls of traditional bellwethers such as Ohio and Iowa. If local newspapers had been healthier economically, they might also have commissioned more high-quality state polls; the lack of good polling was a problem in Michigan and Wisconsin especially.

There was once a notion that whatever challenges the internet created for journalism’s business model, it might at least lead readers to a more geographically and philosophically diverse array of perspectives. But it’s not clear that’s happening, either. Instead, based on data from the news aggregation site Memeorandum, the top news sources (such as the Times, The Washington Post and Politico) have earned progressively more influence over the past decade:

The share of total exposure for the top five news sources climbed from roughly 25 percent a decade ago to around 35 percent last year, and has spiked to above 40 percent so far in 2017. While not a perfect measure, this is one sign the digital age hasn’t necessarily democratized the news media. Instead, the most notable difference in Memeorandum sources between 2007 and 2017 is the decline of independent blogs; many of the most popular ones from the late ’aughts either folded or (like FiveThirtyEight) were bought by larger news organizations. Thus, blogs and local newspapers — two of the better checks on Northeast Corridor conventional wisdom run amok — have both had less of a say in the conversation.

All things considered, then, the conditions of political journalism are poor for crowd wisdom and ripe for groupthink. So … what to do about it, then?

Initiatives to increase decentralization would help, although they won’t necessarily be easy. Increased subscription revenues at newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post is an encouraging sign for journalism, but a revival of local and regional newspapers — or a more sustainable business model for independent blogs — would do more to reduce groupthink in the industry.

Likewise, improving diversity is liable to be a challenge, especially because the sort of diversity that Surowiecki is concerned with will require making improvements on multiple fronts (demographic diversity, political diversity, diversity of skill sets). Still, the research Surowiecki cites is emphatic that there are diminishing returns to having too many of the same types of people in small groups or organizations. Teams that consist entirely of high-IQ people may underperform groups that contain a mix of high-IQ and medium-IQ participants, for example, because the high-IQ people are likely to have redundant strengths and similar blind spots.

That leaves independence. In some ways the best hope for a short-term fix might come from an attitudinal adjustment: Journalists should recalibrate themselves to be more skeptical of the consensus of their peers. That’s because a position that seems to have deep backing from the evidence may really just be a reflection from the echo chamber. You should be looking toward how much evidence there is for a particular position as opposed to how many people hold that position: Having 20 independent pieces of evidence that mostly point in the same direction might indeed reflect a powerful consensus, while having 20 like-minded people citing the same warmed-over evidence is much less powerful. Obviously this can be taken too far and in most fields, it’s foolish (and annoying) to constantly doubt the market or consensus view. But in a case like politics where the conventional wisdom can congeal so quickly — and yet has so often been wrong — a certain amount of contrarianism can go a long way.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.