I have been remiss of late posting Comments of the Day, and will be trying to catch up. Today produced one to get me going again: Isaac’s continuation of the theme of the post, the way the media reveals its bias and incompetence to anyone who reads a journalist’s analysis of a topic on which the reader has independent expertise.
In the thread on the same post, I learned something: that there was a name for the facially absurd phenomenon that the same people who recognize how thoroughly the news media botches topics that the readers understand well will still assume that the news articles, features and analysis on topics they don’t know well are accurate. Reader Alex posted this quote from a hero of mine, the late, great, Michael Crichton, MD, novelist, science writer, screenwriter, contrarian:
“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them. In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
Here is Isaac’s Comment of the Day on the post, Question: How Do You Prove That The News Media Lies To You?
I thumbed through an issue of Newsweek years ago, when the cover was for an article called “Our Mutual Joy” and the premise was that the Bible was in favor of gay marriage.
Regardless of what you think about it, that premise ain’t true. The article, by Newsweek’s official religion editor, Lisa Miller, was just pages of total bunk, including this statement: “nowhere in the Bible do its authors refer to sex between women.”
Thought I, “well…that’s…just completely wrong.” Romans 1 says, “For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another…”
That’s one of only a tiny handful of scriptures that directly mentions homosexuality…you’re writing an entire article about the Bible and homosexuality…and you get THAT wrong? (I didn’t know at the time that Newsweek had just come under new management and basically tossed out any pretense of journalism.)
This is not going to get better. Intelligence, integrity and honesty cannot be imparted by college. You either want/have them or you don’t. At best, a university can teach principles, plain facts, and disciplines that can develop a person’s internal desire for goodness and truth as much as possible…but universities don’t even do that anymore. The entire culture has bought into the lie that any individual can be pumped through a college and will come out wise, qualified, and trustworthy (the diploma proves it!) This was never true, but it’s even less true now. If universal education happens, it won’t even be a little bit true. Graduation will be about as significant an achievement as having a birthday.
Major media outlets are cranking out subpar, illogical, and dishonest content created by 20-somethings who didn’t learn anything helpful in college and who lack any sort of life experience. The next generation of aspiring journalists will have grown up reading THESE clowns.