That sure feels like the title of an academic paper. Not unexpected from an academic, but also nothing close to the truth. More the ramblings of a non-expert who does this as a hobby, and has some thoughts to get off my chest. Normal stuff. But here’s what triggered me: A discussion of the news that Pfizer’s COVID vaccine exceeded expectations in the early analyses of efficacy and how it was handled in the bit I heard at FoxNews (and “heard” is accurate, because I was in my car, listening to FoxNews on the radio). It got me thinking about how often the criticisms of other media outlets by folks at FoxNews really feel more appropriately directed at themselves.Continue reading “The role of psychological projection in the “mainstream media” hatred at FoxNews”
No more experts!
I do not like politics of fear. I do not like making policies based on fear. I do not like using fear to play with people’s emotions. But, I am afraid. Genuinely afraid. I see a willful erosion of expertise in this country, and I fear the consequences will be worse than we can imagine. This is not a new feeling, but the removal of Brennan’s security clearance made it especially salient this morning. I recognize that this is a punitive act, and not directed at his expertise, but it’s all part of a bigger problem from my perspective.
What’s a RINO?
Todd Starnes has a piece on FoxNews today about all the people who want to take Trump down. “Mainstream media, Dems, RINOS: They all want to overthrow Trump.” It’s a strange read to me. The premise (that all these people want Trump gone) doesn’t seem far from the truth, but the thing that gets me is the use of “RINO,” Republicans in name only.
How to know when things are upside down
I wish this was an instructional manual to help achieve the title. It isn’t. In fact, I have a hard time knowing when things are all messed up, or when my fears are irrational. That’s the thing with irrational fear, it doesn’t subside with reason. That said, I wouldn’t call myself afraid right now, but I am certainly concerned, and really disappointed. The Trump presidency continues to take a toll, with the primary victim being my faith in the decision-making and analytical abilities of my fellow citizens.
The biased media
Is the media biased? A question that many have asked, and that probably more assume can be answered “yes” without giving it much thought. I’ve generally felt that people have many biases (I certainly do, as I wrote about here), but that strong journalistic integrity helps prevent those biases from affecting reporting as much as possible. Of course we face a world of 24-hour news cycles that fill the time with editorial, that gets confused with news, but for the most part, I think the news does a reasonably good job at staying objective (a few outlets, like FoxNews are exceptions to my view on this). WNYC’s On the Media had a great episode about liberal bias in NPR news (click here). This story, and many other analyses, left me pretty firmly convinced that the charges of media bias are largely overstated (again, this does not include “news” outlets and websites that have a clear agenda). This election cycle has caused me to question my view.
Alternate “news” sources give us alternate realities
The sustained popularity of Donald Trump has been making me very sad lately. His twitter feed is just one horrible statement after another. He’s said that he would consider shutting down mosques, that he wants surveillance of mosques, and, perhaps the worst of it all, he has walked the line of advocating for, or at least not refuting the idea that we have an identification system for Muslims. That last one is a bit complicated, and there might be room to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, but that’s a bit of a tangent for this post. What this post is about is how different views of the world can be, depending on where we get our “news,” and how that difference can actually make me feel much better about my fellow Americans.
Continue reading “Alternate “news” sources give us alternate realities”