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Dec 31 2020

Objectivity

Posted by ek hornbeck on 12.31.2019. Re-posted by TMC for ek hornbeck.

(A) philosophical concept of being true independently from individual subjectivity caused by perception, emotions, or imagination. A proposition is considered to have objective truth when its truth conditions are met without bias caused by a sentient subject. Scientific objectivity refers to the ability to judge without partiality or external influence, sometimes used synonymously with neutrality.

So called Objective Journalism is the reason why American Politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long. Stockton

It’s not often relevant but I have watched TV “News” in the company of both Richard and Emily, and TMC. I think Dad just likes yelling at the screen because he’s also a sports fan. As a group they tend to be self reinforcing so this is not an observation on Holiday fisticuffs, fascinating as those are they tend to be about different issues.

No, my point is that there is very little difference between TMC’s prescription for improvement and Jennifer Rubin’s. Well, Jennifer is conservative but that’s what she is. Additional corrective actions suggested include demotions, suspensions, firings, and just coating them with Pine Tar, dumping a bag of feathers on them, and riding them out of town on a rail.

It always surprises and gratifies me when someone like Paul Waldman or Rachel, or even Chris or Larry, pick up on a story or theme. You get that “Great Minds and so do ours,” glow.

How mainstream media outlets can defend the truth
By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post
Dec. 31, 2019

One can always bemoan mainstream media TV (and to some extent, print) outlets’ glacial pace in coming to understand that “balance” in an era of Russian and Trumpian propaganda is nothing more than propaganda itself. If one gives equal weight to what we know to be true (e.g., Russia meddled in the 2016 election) with what we know to be false (e.g., Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election), one has served the propagandists’ aim in creating an equivalence between truth and falsity.

The sole means by which a free and independent media properly can serve a democratic citizenry is by revealing and disseminating the truth with as much accuracy and factual backup as possible. That requires labeling what is untrue as false and what is true as factual. That requires calling out President Trump and his right-wing media allies.

Chuck Todd has been wrestling with this problem.

I’ll break here so you can search the smoking ruins available (not the whole show is on YouTube and I’ve done my best approximation of running order but I didn’t watch live because I never do, A.M. Joy duh).

Russia

Twits

Pravda and Izvestia

To continue-

Here are some entirely provable facts: We have never had a president of the United States willfully and consistently carrying foreign propaganda, attempting to discredit all independent sources of information, entirely indifferent to truth and able to persuade an entire political party and millions of Americans to disregard provable facts to defend his grip on power. We have one party operating with an objective that is antagonistic toward any and all facts unfavorable to its leader and the other trying, however imperfectly, to adhere to the old, normal rules of politics in which spin and self-puffery are permissible but out-and-out lies (especially more than 15,000 of them) are not.

If cable TV news got serious about patrolling the truth, it could screen guests and panelists. Did Russia interfere with the election? Did Ukraine? If the answers are not yes and no, respectively, the person is not put on the air. Period. But I can hear the howls: That would mean most Republicans would not get on the air! Yes, and that’s the result not of media bias but of a party determined to sublimate truth to power. The outlets should explain why they do not have a Republican on air on a certain topic (e.g., We tried but all insisted on lying) and then, as best as possible, attempt to present the universe of known facts, from guests, anchors, experts and reporters. (In print, the solution is easier. One can report, “Cruz lied, again insisting Ukraine. …”)

A second approach would be to end interviews when the guest insists on lying. The next time Sens. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) or Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) start arguing that “Ukraine meddled too,” the host stops the interview cold, asks the senator to correct the record and, if he refuses, end the interview or at the very least ends that part of the interview with an explanation that this is not a platform for misinformation.

Another option is to prerecord interviews, refusing to air propaganda, or, alternatively, annotate the interview in real time to determine where the facts end and the lying begins. This is not a solution, certainly, for breaking news stories but much of what politicians say on Sunday shows can be recorded hours, if not days, earlier.

Finally, whatever approach is taken, it is critical to avoid equating liars with truth tellers and giving “equal time” to fabrications. That may require a full rethinking of the nature of many interview shows, at least in the short term. However, legitimate news organizations need to come to terms with the new reality: One party is an echo chamber for Russian propaganda. Only by telling news consumers what is true and what is not can the mainstream media do their job and retain their credibility.

The other thing I want to emphasize is the name of that Party.

The Republican Party.

And it’s not like they got captured by a mind bending mutant (ever read Foundation by Asimov? You should)…

They are all liars.

They have to be. Their policies are unpopular and bad. They are already a minority and dying at a faster pace. If not at we are rapidly approaching Peak Gerrymander. Without Racism, Bigotry, God, and Guns they have nothing.

And they haven’t for 40 years.

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