Re: MD On Faith

From: Arlo Bensinger (
Date: Fri Oct 29 2004 - 17:22:06 BST

  • Next message: Steve Peterson: "Re: MD On Faith"

    Platt asked:

    >Please tell me you also admit Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Hannity make no
    >claims to "objective reporting" but freely and openly reveal their
    >conservative point of view whereas in contrast the NY Times and CBS cling
    >to their blatantly false claim of being unbiased and under the lie of
    >"objectivity" spew their liberal propaganda.
    >Please . . .

    I do believe that pure objectivity is a myth, yes. In this sense all news
    stories should always be critically read and examined. Indeed, critical
    thinking is perhaps the one skill most lacking in the citizenry. Certainly
    as well, as individuals we tend to gravitate towards media channels that
    reconfirm our worldview. While this fracture was problematic in the past, I
    believe it is devastating in current times. It has led to, among many other
    maladies, the dichotomies we argued about earlier. What we end up with, is
    two media channels, one propagandizing conservativism, the other
    liberalism, both knowingly distorting the issues to increase their own
    power, while claiming to be objective and "balanced", both villainizing the
    other and heroifying themselves. Discourse ceases. Critical thinking ends.
    The issues cease to be important, labels become everything. Whoever shouts
    the loudest is right.

    As to your point about these people "openly revealing their conservative
    point of view", O'Reilly claims to be an "independent", something any
    critical listener would see as a falsehood. So his distortion leaves people
    with the idea that he just "reasons" his way to a conservative viewpoint
    every time. Pure coincidence, I'm sure. Indeed, the whole "Fair and
    Balanced" slogan of Fox is ridiculous. Limbaugh, granted, is open about his
    conservative viewpoint, I'll give you that. But what bothers me about the
    "right wing bias" is that it bills itself as being an "objective bias".
    That is, to be biased towards the right is to be more objective, to be
    biased to the left is to be biased towards lies and deceit.

    You, Platt, may not believe these biases align this way (we may be
    critical-thinking brothers-in-arms), but many, many people I speak with do.
    Just earlier this week on the Hannity radio broadcast, a caller said (this
    is near verbatim), "thank god there are people like you [hannity] who fight
    the liberal media to bring us the truth". Hannity's response, "Thank you,
    sir. It's certainly not easy, but someone has to do it". This theme is
    repeated over and over again by callers to his, Limbaugh's and O'Reilly's

    This witnesses the death of critical thinking, and the reliance on very
    narrow media outlets to provide us with "truth", and the false belief that
    "my bias" is somehow a "non-bias", while "others' bias" is deceitful is
    dangerous. And the only ones who win? Not us common folk.


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