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Make the facts fit your views....

ArmyRick

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Has anyone noticed with many of these political hot potatoes that extreme left or extreme right are quick to jump on one side or the other?

Its gets really interesting is when people decide what side they want to support and then try to highlight the facts that support their argument but completely ignore, disregard or deny any facts that goes against their beliefs.

Am I the only that sees this? Like it seems to have gotten really bad in the last 5 years (The Trudeau-Trump era?)

It also seems to occur on both sides of the border in Canada and USA.

I look at the recent pipeline blow up (which really had several issues involved) and did people ever dig their heels in one way or another. I am not meaning this thread to be a full blown discussion about the Wetsu'wetin pipeline fiasco but how people "situate the estimate" and try to make the facts fit their view of the world.

My thoughts?

We need to learn to deal with FACTS, how to tell them apart from OPINIONS.
We need to seek out the TRUTH and not let EMOTION derail that process.
We need to know all the facts and figure out how an incident has occurred.
Our media was supposed to do that, but most seem to fail miserably at it.

Now keep in mind, the reaction to anything could still be up for debate.

Thoughts? Observations? Ideas? Theories?
 

mariomike

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ArmyRick said:
We need to learn to deal with FACTS, how to tell them apart from OPINIONS.

Some find this helpful,
Media Bias/Fact Check is a web site that rates factual accuracy and political bias in news media.
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/


 

Weinie

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ArmyRick,

The recipe is quite easy.

Take confirmatory bias
Add the ubiquity of the Internet
Sprinkle in some misinformation and disinformation (both innocuous and malevolent)
Add a touch of disbelief in Occam's Razor
Grate over the meal some distrust in long-established institutions(some deserved)
Bake in an Echo Chamber
Voila - Your own beautifully served [/s]meal facts

Recipe is quite widely followed
 

mariomike

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ArmyRick said:
Thoughts? Observations? Ideas? Theories?

ArmyRick, you may find this discussion of interest,

OP:
Journeyman said:
I believe discussion is required, as Canadian and especially US News is increasingly "WTF."


<snip>


Of course YMMV, but I fear our society is f**ked.    :2c:

Editorial Opinion 
https://navy.ca/forums/threads/128718.0.html
3 pages.

ArmyRick said:
Like it seems to have gotten really bad in the last 5 years (The Trudeau-Trump era?)

"Fake News!"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news#Usage_of_the_term_by_Donald_Trump

 

a_majoor

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The best way to create a holistic picture is to look at it from all angles. The Instapundit web site is perhaps the closest example, since they choose to post articles and links to a multitude of sites, from corporate media from throughout the world, to bloggers and other websites. It doesn't matter if you think CNN or Zerohedge or Haaretz are conspiracy sites, they are still there and available for you to look at in a "one stop shop" for information.

The disadvantage is that who gets posted and what topics are covered are at the whim of the site administrator. If the admin isn't aware of or following the story, then it isn't going to be covered on the site. Obviously it would be ideal to see the same story covered by US, British, German and Israeli media and a multitude of bloggers, but many stories that you might be interested in are not going to be covered by all the different sources. Finally, Instapundit is an American blog, so Canadian stories are not going to get much coverage at all.

A Canadian version of Instapundit would be interesting, although Canadian corporate media tends to be more in lockstep than their US counterparts (and there are proportionality far fewer corporate outlets) and looking for useful alternative Canadian sources is very frustrating (to say the least). An Instapundit type Canadian site might be useful in encouraging and promoting alternative information sources, so the problem can be self correcting to a certain degree, but the site admin needs to have very strong editorial skills and be quite adept at searching through the "blogosphere" to find alternatives to corporate media in order to present a 3600 view of Canadian stories.
 

Weinie

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Thucydides said:
The best way to create a holistic picture is to look at it from all angles. The Instapundit web site is perhaps the closest example, since they choose to post articles and links to a multitude of sites, from corporate media from throughout the world, to bloggers and other websites. It doesn't matter if you think CNN or Zerohedge or Haaretz are conspiracy sites, they are still there and available for you to look at in a "one stop shop" for information.

The disadvantage is that who gets posted and what topics are covered are at the whim of the site administrator. If the admin isn't aware of or following the story, then it isn't going to be covered on the site. Obviously it would be ideal to see the same story covered by US, British, German and Israeli media and a multitude of bloggers, but many stories that you might be interested in are not going to be covered by all the different sources. Finally, Instapundit is an American blog, so Canadian stories are not going to get much coverage at all.

A Canadian version of Instapundit would be interesting, although Canadian corporate media tends to be more in lockstep than their US counterparts (and there are proportionality far fewer corporate outlets) and looking for useful alternative Canadian sources is very frustrating (to say the least). An Instapundit type Canadian site might be useful in encouraging and promoting alternative information sources, so the problem can be self correcting to a certain degree, but the site admin needs to have very strong editorial skills and be quite adept at searching through the "blogosphere" to find alternatives to corporate media in order to present a 3600 view of Canadian stories.

If the admin isn't aware of or following the story, then it isn't going to be covered on the site. Or, if it does not fit with their editorial/political slant.
 

The Bread Guy

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Thucydides said:
... The Instapundit web site is perhaps the closest example, since they choose to post articles and links to a multitude of sites, from corporate media from throughout the world, to bloggers and other websites. It doesn't matter if you think CNN or Zerohedge or Haaretz are conspiracy sites, they are still there and available for you to look at in a "one stop shop" for information ...
Weinie said:
... Or, if it does not fit with their editorial/political slant.

Picking from a wide range of sources doesn't guarantee a less-biased result if the glasses being worn filter out all or most of what doesn't fit a gatekeeper's perspective.

For example, statistically speaking, not all of the Democrats' ideas/positions may be bad (just like not all the Republicans' ideas/positions are bad), so even if, say, someone thinks only 3-6% of the ideas are bad, there would be that much acknowledgement in reporting/coverage.  Instanpundit is linked to PJ Media.  I check out both sites on a fairly regular basis, and I'm still looking for even 2-3% of stories saying "hey, those Democrats may be on to something here."  If the answer is, "well, NOTHING they offer up is good," well, we see the glasses being worn. 

I'm guessing outlets like rabble.ca would be just as unlikely to offer up any "hey, these conservatives have a decent idea here for once", too.

Seeing a wide range of sources =/= sharing a representative range of all seen sources.

It's simple, but it's not easy:  know that all human gatekeepers wear "glasses" of some sort, keep that in mind when you read/watch/listen to a wide range of media outlets (esp. those you don't agree with to keep things in perspective), and remember that almost nothing out there has everything, but almost everything has something.
 

Weinie

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There are a number of methodologies that explain why groups arrive at a different set of facts. From an audience analysis perspective it is sometimes helpful to adopt an emic vs etic methodology.

Emic and etic are two different approaches when trying to explain social realities observed while conducting studies in anthropology and other social sciences. Etic perspective is the perspective of the observer. Emic perspective is the perspective of the studied social group.

From an emic perspective, group narrative, which often determines emotional and group behaviour and attitudes, is usually viewed through the lens of centuries of oral history, shared experiences, cultural biases, perceived slights and wrongdoings, and national or historical accomplishments. This has a dramatic effect on current group or identity attitudes and behaviours and can be disproportionately swayed/hijacked by a contemporary event or a group/person with undue influence or malevolent intent.

The same can be said about the etic approach.

The key to understanding/consensus/altruistic behaviour is to find the common middle ground. (if such a thing still truly exists). In the contemporary info environment, the risk/reward calculus is heavily in favor on those who try to unduly influence, using a vast array of algorithms, AI, and psychology to convert the unconverted and shore up their own bulwarks.

This condition has existed for centuries, it has just become both more visible, and more pronounced as a result of more accessibility by user and abuser of the IE. 
 

Brad Sallows

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Several factors militate.

Most journalists today seem to want to use their occupation to lead opinion, so the first problem is separating opinion journalism from plain reporting.  The latter fraction is small; the former is exemplified by "explanatory" ("talking points") journalism.  And the era of the beat reporter, who knew a particular subject reasonably well (eg. a crime reporter), is either ended or close to it.  And even a pure "reporter" can slide over the line into advocacy by selecting what to write, merely omitting evidence unhelpful to a particular point ("everything he wrote is true!").

Gell-Mann Amnesia affects everyone, not just experts.  Coupled with the decrease in knowledge of reporters, it means more of what is supposed to be factual (rather than opinion) is at best misleading, and at worst just wrong.  And people are not skeptical enough, and outsource their judgement to fact-checkers and media bias websites.

And then there is how we discuss.  Arnold Kling wrote Three Languages of Politics (PDF) to describe his hypothesis of how framing affects debate (how an idea is expressed, and how it is received).  Short version: there are three axes of communication - Progressive, Conservative, Libertarian.  The Progressive frame is oppressor-vs-oppressed; the Conservative frame is civilization-vs-barbarism; the Libertarian frame is liberty-vs-coercion.  He doesn't claim that the frame drives ideology; he claims that each group skews toward one of the frames when communicating, which results in different groups talking past each other and wondering why the others don't get the point.
 

ArmyRick

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Interesting insights here.

In this recent issue with pipeline blockades, I think the waters get murkier when you hear of organizations like Tides foundations bribing heriditary chiefs with money (not sure if its fact)

Then you look at a 1-2 years ago, Vivian Krause uncovered the Rockefellers interference with Canadian energy production.

I also take the fake hijab cutting incident years ago. The extreme left and Liberal government were super quick to issue a condemnation on an incident I believe they were hoping for (to validate the claims of rising white supremacy), once it turned out to be a hoax, silence from the same crowd. To me it was sickening and shocking that they these folks would acknowlegde one side of a story and ignore facts.

This mind set repeats itself (hear and see only what we ant to hear and see), humanity is in grave trouble.
 

The Bread Guy

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Brad Sallows said:
Most journalists today seem to want to use their occupation to lead opinion, so the first problem is separating opinion journalism from plain reporting. 
I think part of that comes from many who want to take up journalism (like many politicians, I guess) going in wanting to "make a difference" or "help the underdog" or "comfort the oppressed and oppress the comfortable." 
Brad Sallows said:
... the era of the beat reporter, who knew a particular subject reasonably well (eg. a crime reporter), is either ended or close to it ...
Very true, especially as the number of reporters in newsrooms shrinks, and the number of local newsrooms shrink.
Brad Sallows said:
... people are not skeptical enough, and outsource their judgement to fact-checkers and media bias websites ...
The other side of that coin is that some are too skeptical, believing nothing but what they choose to believe.  Taken to its (maybe hyperbolic) extreme, as one satirical Twitter poster puts it, "We don't do propaganda* so you believe something. We do it so you believe nothing. And more importantly, do nothing."
Brad Sallows said:
... Arnold Kling wrote Three Languages of Politics (PDF) to describe his hypothesis of how framing affects debate (how an idea is expressed, and how it is received).  Short version: there are three axes of communication - Progressive, Conservative, Libertarian.  The Progressive frame is oppressor-vs-oppressed; the Conservative frame is civilization-vs-barbarism; the Libertarian frame is liberty-vs-coercion.  He doesn't claim that the frame drives ideology; he claims that each group skews toward one of the frames when communicating, which results in different groups talking past each other and wondering why the others don't get the point.
Outstanding reference - thanks for sharing that.  This looks like another version of figuring out what glasses people wear when reading/seeing/listening to/assessing information.

* - Realizing that propaganda is in the eye of the beholder to a certain extent ...
 

mariomike

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milnews.ca said:
The other side of that coin is that some are too skeptical, believing nothing but what they choose to believe.  Taken to its (maybe hyperbolic) extreme, as one satirical Twitter poster puts it, "We don't do propaganda* so you believe something. We do it so you believe nothing. And more importantly, do nothing."

Got to love "Darth" Putin: "So tired of winning."  :)
 

a_majoor

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Weinie said:
If the admin isn't aware of or following the story, then it isn't going to be covered on the site. Or, if it does not fit with their editorial/political slant.

While true, since Instapundit is a libertarian you would expect that libertarian sites might predominate, but the site features links to a multitude of different sites which have different ideological biases. And since the links are also multi national, what is "liberal" or "conservative" in the US may not be so in England, Germany or Israel.

The main issue is that it is still up to the site admin to decide what to post. If there were more sites like Instapundit and different admins,  then there would be multiple different lenses to look through.
 

The Bread Guy

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Thucydides said:
While true, since Instapundit is a libertarian you would expect that libertarian sites might predominate, but the site features links to a multitude of different sites which have different ideological biases.
As with many such outlets on all points of the spectrum, all these sources are being used as evidence to prove a certain view/vision/position.  The Drudge report has a slew of links to all sorts of sources with a range of viewpoints, but they pick/choose/edit/curate/triage based on what they want to push.  A wide range of sources =/= a wide range of ideology in output.  Or maybe I've missed all the Instapundit/PJ Media stories highlighting the few good ideas left-of-centre parties/politicians have.  As always, I stand to be corrected ...  ;)
Thucydides said:
... what is "liberal" or "conservative" in the US may not be so in England, Germany or Israel ...
Very good point - that's actually a significant factor that isn't mentioned often when assessing sources.
 

Remius

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I find that there are few sites or journalists that are without some bias. I guess you need to temper that with being able to actually listen to someone or something that might oppose your own view.

The first step is to maybe research what someone or who is saying it and then see how it fits into the narrative.  I don't need to read much from Ezra Levant to know what he's going to say.  or whatever Anderson Cooper might have to say about Donald Trump. 

But...

I do like watching Michael Smerconish and Fareed Zakaria on CNN. 

I will go on the Foxnews website and read their OP Eds to see the pulse of that side just like I might occasional peruse Rabble to see what they are saying. 

The key is to find the facts and maybe see what various outlets might be doing to analyse the repercussions,  what the outcome sand predictions might be etc etc.

The real issue is that in the face of overwhelming evidence, some people will never change their position on something even if it hit them in the face.  It's like talking to anti vaxxers. Nothing you say or do will change their mindset or their support.   
 

mariomike

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Remius said:
The real issue is that in the face of overwhelming evidence, some people will never change their position on something even if it hit them in the face.  It's like talking to anti vaxxers. Nothing you say or do will change their mindset or their support. 

Don't know how true it is, but I have heard it said that it may be easier to get some people to change their religious opinions than political party.
 

Remius

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mariomike said:
Don't know how true it is, but I have heard it said that it may be easier to get some people to change their religious opinions than political party.

sometimes they can be one in the same...
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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I have to say that sometimes, when I look at political news from multiple sources, it looks like Canadian Maritime Law.

In our maritime law system, you start proceedings by filing a notice with the Federal court that basically states: "I am suing you for XX$ because your ship collided with mine". Then you also file a statement of all facts and all supporting evidence (charts, log books, recordings, etc.) with the court under seal. Your opponent replies in the same way. Only when both sets of facts and evidence are in are they then copied by the court and distributed to the opposing side.

Many times, the discrepancies between the facts are so great that you wonder if the ships were on the same body of water.  ;D

What would be great, of course, would be to have parties to discourse agree on an independent fact checker, but the effect of the internet is exactly the contrary: I found reading the following book quite useful a few years ago: https://www.amazon.com/Death-Expertise-Campaign-Established-Knowledge/dp/0190469412

I am not sure if there is a way to put that genie back in the bottle, however.
 

The Bread Guy

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
... What would be great, of course, would be to have parties to discourse agree on an independent fact checker ...
In an ideal world, you're bang on.  The problem is that people being human, how "independent" can one truly be?  Who's paying them?  Who's employing them? 

And these days, almost as importantly, as with conflict of interest, how can one party be SEEN to be independent by all groups?  No matter what a decision might be, whoever doesn't like it will scream about some level of bias/misunderstanding.  If both sides don't like the result, maybe that's the sign of a true meeting in the middle, but in the age of gotcha oppo research, not many people out there who can be seem as independent by more than a few parties.
 
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