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North Carolina GOP undermining the elections...


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IMO there's definitely a difference between LW "fake news" sources and RW "fake news" sources. Even if it comes down to basics of journalism and writing. 

It's probably worth distinguishing between "fake news" (incorrect memes, clickbait made up by people looking to make a buck, etc) and perversion of news/advocacy. What was once a fuzzy line between advocacy and reporting has become almost completely invisible. I do think that movement has largely been the result of the rise of the RW media machine but it certainly happens on both sides of the ideological spectrum. 

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4 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

I do think that movement has largely been the result of the rise of the RW media machine but it certainly happens on both sides of the ideological spectrum. 

I agree with this, but with one caveat.  Before the rise of things like talk radio, etc., all you had was National Review and so forth.  You had the AJC, where the Constitution was "liberal" and the Journal was "conservative," and stuff like WSJ, but for the most part, all media was center left before the rise of talk radio.

Now, the overt partisanship of right wing media, and especially Fox News, did in fact produce a left wing reaction, so now you have a whole lot of overtly partisan media.  And this coincided with the rise of the internet, which makes echo chambers much easier to find and frequent.  So I don't at all disagree that the rise of the RW media pushed the LW media to prominence.  But I also remember the "before time," when all the national news was moderately slanted leftward.  

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8 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

I agree with this, but with one caveat.  Before the rise of things like talk radio, etc., all you had was National Review and so forth.  You had the AJC, where the Constitution was "liberal" and the Journal was "conservative," and stuff like WSJ, but for the most part, all media was center left before the rise of talk radio.

Now, the overt partisanship of right wing media, and especially Fox News, did in fact produce a left wing reaction, so now you have a whole lot of overtly partisan media.  And this coincided with the rise of the internet, which makes echo chambers much easier to find and frequent.  So I don't at all disagree that the rise of the RW media pushed the LW media to prominence.  But I also remember the "before time," when all the national news was moderately slanted leftward.  

So here's the thing about that....(and I realize this is going to evoke reaction from some) what if the "moderate leftward slant" is the closest thing we can get to objective reporting because its the most accurate portrayal of the world around us? The issues of who/what/where/when were more prevalent. The "why" was lesser. Those discussions were certainly being had but less in the context of what we consider "news." And instead in sources like the NR and the WSJ and the Atlantic. 

The rise of talk radio and its progeny has replaced a leftward slant with confirmation bias-feuled relativism. And not deep down philosophical relativism that's fun to kick around a discussion. Like "those things you are upset about are factually incorrect but you refuse to acknowledge that" relativism. That's so so dangerous, IMO. Because not only does it sow distrust and in-fighting....it actually PREVENTS the types of classical liberal vs. conservative policy discussions that we should be having. 

I mean, to a certain extent the issues we're grappling with here are deep-seeded epistomological issues which get at the nature of knowledge, etc. I dont think those things are ever going to go away. But the current situation is untenable. And unfortunately there's no end in sight....aside from outright civil war. Which seems like an overreactionary idea but man....it's really really broken out there. 

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15 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

So here's the thing about that....(and I realize this is going to evoke reaction from some) what if the "moderate leftward slant" is the closest thing we can get to objective reporting because its the most accurate portrayal of the world around us? The issues of who/what/where/when were more prevalent. The "why" was lesser. Those discussions were certainly being had but less in the context of what we consider "news." And instead in sources like the NR and the WSJ and the Atlantic. 

The rise of talk radio and its progeny has replaced a leftward slant with confirmation bias-feuled relativism. And not deep down philosophical relativism that's fun to kick around a discussion. Like "those things you are upset about are factually incorrect but you refuse to acknowledge that" relativism. That's so so dangerous, IMO. Because not only does it sow distrust and in-fighting....it actually PREVENTS the types of classical liberal vs. conservative policy discussions that we should be having. 

I mean, to a certain extent the issues we're grappling with here are deep-seeded epistomological issues which get at the nature of knowledge, etc. I dont think those things are ever going to go away. But the current situation is untenable. And unfortunately there's no end in sight....aside from outright civil war. Which seems like an overreactionary idea but man....it's really really broken out there. 

I can see how someone with a moderate leftward slant might see it that way.  But why would a moderate rightward slant be just as objective?

I'll also say again something I said a couple of weeks ago -- bias is fine.  The problem is bias masquerading as objectivity.  Bias is honest.  I make no bones, for example, of the fact that I come to the table with a particular view on issues like abortion, gun policy, economic policy, etc.  But I'm not on your nightly news pretending to be Sgt. Joe Friday with the "just the facts, ma'am" shtick.

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There's an excellent book titled "Post-Broadcast Democracy" written by Marcus Prior where he shows with empirical evidence the consequences of the rise of partisan media.

It began with a shift in the information environment.  Prior to cable and internet, most people were forced to consume some political information from credible sources.  If you wanted to watch TV at 6PM, you had the choice of news on NBC, news on ABC, and news on CBS.  So you either watched news or nothing at all.  It's not that people WANTED to watch news; it's just all that was available to them.  So everybody got something.

Now we have all of these choices and people who don't want to watch news can tune out.  And they have tuned out.  Only the people who follow politics because they find it entertaining and are passionate about it watch the news.  They also select into biased sources that promote their preexisting partisan beliefs.  That's the echo chamber we often refer to.  

But the majority of people either watch a little of the nightly news (if they are moderately interested) or they tune out of political information completely (if they don't care and aren't informed).  It's not that the public has changed, it's that they now have the choice they didn't have before the rise of cable and internet.  The only people who have changed are those very passionate people - who are also the most partisan and ideological - that live in the echo chambers.  Those people have become far more polarized and insular in their beliefs.   These are also the people most likely to believe the insane conspiracy theories (on both sides) and to engage in the confirmation biased nonsense that we're talking about.

As Marcus Prior shows, the main consequence of this is that the people who are tuning out are also not voting as often as they were in the past.  The passionate partisans are voting at higher rates than in the past.  So the ELECTORATE is more polarized than ever, but the PUBLIC is not.  There is a growing disconnect between the polarized parties and candidates and the still moderate and pragmatic majority of the citizenry...that obviously fuels disatisfaction with the political system that leads to even more people "tuning out" and not voting.

All of that is to say that the bulk of the problem we're talking about is driven by changes in the information environment itself...the rise of cable and internet that provides choices that didn't exist previously.  The public never changed.  They're not going to change.  Those people who don't care about politics are not going to start caring about politics.  Those people who wanted to live inside their echo chambers are not going to suddenly start consuming neutral content, let alone content that is biased against their beliefs.  

The only way that I know of to reverse the trends is to somehow force people to consume neutral or relatively non-partisan political news against their will.  And I don't see that ever happening in the future.  I'm not sure there is any way to feasibly reverse the trends towards polarization without a complete overhaul of the entire media industry, which isn't going to happen as long as these sources are making tons of money peddling their biased, partisan, and extremist rhetoric to the most partisan and ideological citizens who only want to hear louder echoes of their own voices (to quote Cass Sunstein).

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Let me also suggest, when it comes to matters of opinion, news reporters are supposed to show all sides.  That wasn't done, say, pre-1990 or so.  You had shows on TV like Firing Line or whatever that showed the intellectual conservative side, but the main news outlets (that is, the networks and newspapers) back then would give you the supposedly unbiased version, but with slant and weasel words and so forth.  

And for someone with a moderate right-leaning worldview, it was obvious as the day is long.  In modern times, we've discussed here before things like abortion coverage, where Sarah Kliff gives a ton of coverage to things like the Susan B. Komen boycott and Sandra Fluke and so forth, but can't bother to give any coverage at all to the Kermit Gosnell trial because it is a "local crime story."  Or the well-trod example of CNN showing video of machine guns in a piece discussing the "assault weapons" ban.  Those aren't matters of opinion.  The Gosnell story is pertinent to abortion policy and should have been covered from the outset, not merely after the mainstream outlets were shamed via social media to cover it weeks into the trial.  The "assault weapons" ban is a serious issue affecting Constitutional rights and public safety, and deserves to be covered accurately, not skewed with utter falsehoods, conflating "assault weapons" with machine guns.

If CNN or the Washington Post wants to go on record and say "we take X position on these policy matters and our coverage will reflect that," then that's fine, and honest.  But they don't.  They pretend they are giving you unvarnished facts when the truth is they are in the former case giving only one side of the story, and in the latter case outright lying to the public.

Want to see some proof of it?  Look at the coverage (such that there will be any coverage) from the mainstream outlets on the upcoming March for Life in less than a month.  Every single year, it is downplayed, if it is covered at all.  Watch the nightly news on January 27.  Watch CNN.  Watch whatever you want that pretends to be unbiased.  See if you think that event is rightly covered.  Then go to a place like lifesitenews.com or thefederalist.com.  Compare the two, and tell me who is being dishonest and who is merely exhibiting a slant toward the policy issue, but honestly so.

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2 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

There's an excellent book titled "Post-Broadcast Democracy" written by Marcus Prior where he shows with empirical evidence the consequences of the rise of partisan media.

It began with a shift in the information environment.  Prior to cable and internet, most people were forced to consume some political information from credible sources.  If you wanted to watch TV at 6PM, you had the choice of news on NBC, news on ABC, and news on CBS.  So you either watched news or nothing at all.  It's not that people WANTED to watch news; it's just all that was available to them.  So everybody got something.

Now we have all of these choices and people who don't want to watch news can tune out.  And they have tuned out.  Only the people who follow politics because they find it entertaining and are passionate about it watch the news.  They also select into biased sources that promote their preexisting partisan beliefs.  That's the echo chamber we often refer to.  

But the majority of people either watch a little of the nightly news (if they are moderately interested) or they tune out of political information completely (if they don't care and aren't informed).  It's not that the public has changed, it's that they now have the choice they didn't have before the rise of cable and internet.  The only people who have changed are those very passionate people - who are also the most partisan and ideological - that live in the echo chambers.  Those people have become far more polarized and insular in their beliefs.   These are also the people most likely to believe the insane conspiracy theories (on both sides) and to engage in the confirmation biased nonsense that we're talking about.

As Marcus Prior shows, the main consequence of this is that the people who are tuning out are also not voting as often as they were in the past.  The passionate partisans are voting at higher rates than in the past.  So the ELECTORATE is more polarized than ever, but the PUBLIC is not.  There is a growing disconnect between the polarized parties and candidates and the still moderate and pragmatic majority of the citizenry...that obviously fuels disatisfaction with the political system that leads to even more people "tuning out" and not voting.

All of that is to say that the bulk of the problem we're talking about is driven by changes in the information environment itself...the rise of cable and internet that provides choices that didn't exist previously.  The public never changed.  They're not going to change.  Those people who don't care about politics are not going to start caring about politics.  Those people who wanted to live inside their echo chambers are not going to suddenly start consuming neutral content, let alone content that is biased against their beliefs.  

The only way that I know of to reverse the trends is to somehow force people to consume neutral or relatively non-partisan political news against their will.  And I don't see that ever happening in the future.  I'm not sure there is any way to feasibly reverse the trends towards polarization without a complete overhaul of the entire media industry, which isn't going to happen as long as these sources are making tons of money peddling their biased, partisan, and extremist rhetoric to the most partisan and ideological citizens who only want to hear louder echoes of their own voices (to quote Cass Sunstein).

One thing that can be done is simply educating people on the difference between viable news and non-viable news.  As a conservative, the "echo chamber" publications I read tend to be things like the Western Center for Journalism, the Federalist, National Review, etc.  But I don't accept them uncritically.  The flipside, and what I think most people don't do, is I read Vox and Slate and Mother Jones and whatever else pops across my feed day to day.  And, obviously, I don't read them uncritically either.  

But when it comes to news, I still go to CNN, Fox News, the nightly news, GMA, etc.  I still read the NYT and the Washington Post.  I know bias when I see it, and I can filter as needed and think for myself.

I think the problem is I think there is a large minority of people who only get their news from biased sites, and who accept them uncritically.  From conservatives, I see a ton of crap from places like thefederalistpapers.com, etc.  From the left, it's stuff like US Uncut.  And it's glaringly obvious that they are not only slanted, but using weasel words and poor reasoning, and a lot of clickbait.  I wonder sometimes if these folks ever read past the headline, because more often than not, the text doesn't say what the headline says.  

Teaching people to think for themselves and weigh issues accordingly would be a great start.  We teach our kids that way.  We don't shy from exposing them to alternate viewpoints, and we are ready to make a defense for our beliefs if they have questions, and also to explain (hopefully in the most charitable way) what the other side may believe.  It's easy to let the internet make you lazy, but for people with healthy intellectual curiosity, it is a boon of information.

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What I think is very concerning is how the Trump presidency is going to drive this stuff. Because enough of his (and the rhetoric of his cohorts) rhetoric and stated aims are such that they necessitate a judgmental response. So you've got traditional news sources caught between settled rules of discourse and a fairly well-established Overton window with a decidedly non-traditional candidate with no policy experience or knowledge. So the "supporters say....critics say" model of yesterday isn't really equipped to handle these sorts of issues. All it's going to do is piss everybody off. Liberals will accuse outlets of "normalizing" and conservatives will say "NBC NEWS IS FAKE NEWS" and opt for something more salacious. 

I think Dave's point about the consumption of across-the-spectrum outlets is a good one. What I think the internet has done, unfortunately, is it's destroyed the walls of social marginalization for both good and bad. So if you're a social minority, you can likely connect and interface with people from around the country that are similarly situated. Which could lead to better more productive self-image and comfort. I think these are good things in the world. The flipside is obvious.....the intellectual minorities that hold world views that are antithetical to the aims of a free and just society used to be marginalized and left with relatively few people to talk with. Now? All you've gotta do is hop on Twitter or Gab or whatever. Now you're in a reinforcing community. Which emboldens consumers. And it tests the limits of free speech and freedom of information. Because those things are great but man....the price keeps going up. 

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Screen-Shot-2016-12-28-at-2.31.59-PM-e14

 

Screen-Shot-2016-12-28-at-2.32.14-PM-e14

 

Screen-Shot-2016-12-28-at-2.33.12-PM-e14

And it's not just that people believe things that are FALSE, but they also reject things that have been reported as TRUE:

Screen-Shot-2016-12-28-at-2.32.43-PM-e14

 

There are a few more results here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/rampage/wp/2016/12/28/americans-especially-but-not-exclusively-trump-voters-believe-crazy-wrong-things/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-d%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.5d1e85bcc544

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5 hours ago, Leon Troutsky said:

 

Screen-Shot-2016-12-28-at-2.31.59-PM-e14

 

Screen-Shot-2016-12-28-at-2.32.14-PM-e14

 

Screen-Shot-2016-12-28-at-2.33.12-PM-e14

And it's not just that people believe things that are FALSE, but they also reject things that have been reported as TRUE:

Screen-Shot-2016-12-28-at-2.32.43-PM-e14

 

There are a few more results here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/rampage/wp/2016/12/28/americans-especially-but-not-exclusively-trump-voters-believe-crazy-wrong-things/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-d%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.5d1e85bcc544

Yes, people do not believe the BS that they're told to believe anymore. You're right.

The media completely ousted themselves in this election cycle and they can't go back now. They went all in on Hilldawg and all of it backfired.

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12 minutes ago, Psychic Gibbon said:

Meanwhile, in Georgia...

Republicans in the General Assembly are moving to strip Josh McKoon, the guy who led the fight for his religious freedom bill here and refuses to take a hint after it failed, of the chairmanship he used to launch that battle. So, good on you, Georgia GOP.

I hope it's still good for the gander and all :ninja: 

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11 hours ago, Psychic Gibbon said:

Meanwhile, in Georgia...

Republicans in the General Assembly are moving to strip Josh McKoon, the guy who led the fight for his religious freedom bill here and refuses to take a hint after it failed, of the chairmanship he used to launch that battle. So, good on you, Georgia GOP.

Deal surprised me when he vetoed the religious freedom law and the campus carry law in the same week. Seems Republicans can use common sense when they aren't up for re election. We'd be NC 2.0 with with no superbowl, no NCAA touries and the growing movie industry here would have fled. We dodged a bullet to our economy with that one.

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On 12/29/2016 at 1:05 AM, FalconFanSince1969 said:

Yes, people do not believe the BS that they're told to believe anymore. You're right.

The media completely ousted themselves in this election cycle and they can't go back now. They went all in on Hilldawg and all of it backfired.

Not that many of us didn't already know the bias, but you are right.  The SCM did nothing this election cycle to hide their bias/  They went in guns a blazing full bore in an attempt to get Hillary elected.  I don't know if they ever recover from this, unless they change the way they report the news.  In other words, honestly and unbiased.  But as you can see after the election they haven't changed, as a matter of fact they've doubled down in some instances.  

You have to pick your spots.  I mean papers like WashPo, HoffPo, NYT's, LATimes, among others, papers that a couple of posters want us to trust are notorious for slanting the news to the left and falsely reporting stories where they were either redacted/retracted days later.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/30/2016 at 10:55 PM, Psychic Gibbon said:

Meanwhile, in Georgia...

Republicans in the General Assembly are moving to strip Josh McKoon, the guy who led the fight for his religious freedom bill here and refuses to take a hint after it failed, of the chairmanship he used to launch that battle. So, good on you, Georgia GOP.

Actions have consequences. (BTW, that's not McKoon in the picture, that is John Pezold). 

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