Stupid People ► Fake News

The plague of fake news is largely assumed to be due to the ruling class trying to convince people to stop noticing things. There is a lot of that, for sure. When the New York Times instructs its writers to use “guest worker” to describe illegal aliens employed in the cash economy, it is a deliberate attempt to deceive. The mythical Backlash™ that is always lurking after a Muslim goes boom is deliberate agit-prop. At the same time, most of the people in the media are true believers so their bias goes unnoticed.

Another aspect of the Fake News phenomenon is the general stupidity of the people in the media. Theirs is the worst sort of stupidity in that it is tightly wrapped with an overweening sense of righteousness and superiority. The typical newsroom is a collection of credentialed mediocrities that are convinced they are the smartest people in the room. It is a reckless stupidity that makes them easy to fool, thus all the hoaxes, but also prevents them from asking sensible questions. This article is a good example.

Clearly, this “study” was shopped to the media via press release. They provide copy that can be cut and pasted into a news item and they provide a graphic, which is like catnip to the modern media. Mx. Chang was given the task of writing up a story about it and someone got the job and slapping on a click bait title. If Mx. Chang bothered to read the underlying study, she clearly did not understand what she was reading. Of course, the people at the Missouri School of Journalism have no idea how to do a study.

The most obvious flaw is that they used a questionnaire, which they distributed to news sites and had them get readers to fill them out. Unsurprisingly, the readers of NPR like and trust NPR. Even less shocking, no one who reads Drudge bothered to fill out the survey as Drudge did not participate. The billion people who go to his site, therefore, were left out of the survey. Even though the methodology used to arrive at their analysis is probably good enough, the data collection is crap on stilts. Therefore, the whole thing is crap.

People who work with data understand that data collection is critical to any analysis, so that’s often where you see the most effort.  If you want to know how people intend to vote, for example, you better have a sample size that is large enough so that you can model the electorate. A survey of the most loyal readers of news sites can tell you something about those readers, but it tells you nothing about public attitudes regarding the news or the fake news phenomenon. It is a fake study for the purpose of fake news.

That’s why the public is increasingly cynical about the mass media. When they see a story about how The Economist, of all things, is the most trusted news site in America, they know they are being fed fake news. Mx. Chang, on the other hand, hasn’t the slightest idea what any of this means. She is just paid $25 to do a cut and paste job and get it up on the site. She is probably a very nice person, but nothing in her resume qualifies her to write about any of the topics assigned to her by Market Watch.

This is something you see all over the news media. The people assigned to cover the news, rarely have any experience in the field. In fact, they rarely have any experience or education outside of media. Their alleged expertise consists of years reporting on topics they don’t understand. It is impossible for someone like Mx. Chang to ask sensible questions when she does not know the first thing about the topic. The result is she has to take everything at face value, repeating whatever is said to her.

This shortage of intellectual capital is probably the main driver of the fake news problem and the decline in trust in the news. It’s not just the stupid people saying stupid things. It is the lack of smart people at the top. That Missouri study is a good example. They lack the wattage to figure out what is going on in their own ranks. Throw in the fact that most news organizations are overrun with Progressive nutters and you end up with a mentally disturbed lesbian anchoring your prime-time news channel.

Tucker Carlson has characterized the Washington media as a collection of stupid rich kids. That’s a good way to think of it. The upper middle class family has one kid, who is not so bright, so they send her off to journalism school and a career in the media. That’s been the case for a couple generations, but there’s a limit to that formula and we may be reaching it. One byproduct of the fake news era is the collapse of social status of the media. To be a TV talking head is to be on the same level as a carny barker.

Regardless, anything dominated by stupid people is going to fail eventually. The mass media is experiencing the corollary to the Smart Fraction. It’s not that the mean IQ is falling to a certain point where the enterprise fails. It’s that stupid people tend to chase away smart people. You see this in a social setting where the smart and sophisticated move away from the boorish and loud. How many smart people want to be on the same set with a talking airhead like Don Lemon or Jake Tapper? The news is becoming this.

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97 Comments on "Stupid People ► Fake News"

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Dutch
Guest
One smart aleck said that to work in the media, you have to not know quite a few things. Willful blindness. It is not that the media types are low-IQ people, it is that they have a nice little fantasy world going on, where they sit on a high perch making important observations about the world around them. They don’t want to be interrupted by reality. It messes with their fantasy world. We each live in our own bubbles, but you’ve got to do some reality checks once in a while, and make sure you are not living in fantasy-land.
Ivar
Guest

The Escape into Fantasy is not discussed nearly enough. In varying degrees, most of us suffer from it most of the time. Modern tech facilitates it. The cure is Reality, and lots of it. I suspect The Cure is coming for nearly everybody.

Outdoorspro (former)
Guest

I used to work in TV news on the technical side (Director, Technical-director).

Walk into any newsroom and look at the reporters and editors desks. Take a good look at what they read in their down-time: US, People and other celebrity rags. That is where their true interests are.

Leverage
Guest

I’m sure the briefly decent political reporter Andrea Mitchell would privately agree with your premise.

cerulean
Guest

Fake news: is it intentional or just stupid?

In the absence of hard data to the conrary, I’ll go with intentional, primarily. Stupid supports the intent, of course.

Larry Darrell
Guest

A quick glance at that survey tells any sentient person that it is preposterous. I am fairly confident that at least 98% of the U.S. population does not know what The Economist is.

Tykebomb
Guest

The survey sample was mostly moderates and Liberals. The Economist is one of those things liberals keep on their coffee table so people think they are smart. A smart person would read The Economist, so The Economist is trust worthy.

Karl Hungus
Guest

The Economist was widely read…25 years ago! It is dusty, moldy, and irrelevant.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Karl; I would say that The Economist is now irrelevant because it gradually became unreliable due to a complete feminist-globalist elite (i.e. Cloud Folk) takeover. When I was working in international business 30 odd years ago it was a good source for general background info on unfamiliar places. At that time you could dial out their obvious pro-EU sideline pom pom dances and still be left with useful nuggets of information. But I finally got tired of their all pervading yet incoherent anti-American snark about 15 years ago and dropped my subscription. IIRC, for example, their idea was that M… Read more »
Matt
Guest

Economist articles do not have listed authors. It’s impossible from the *outside* to easily identify who wrote which piece of drivel.

Granted, with machine learning (ML) it’s now possible to identify authors.

This would be a fun ML course assignment. Grab 10 random Economist articles, mine twitter, and blogs, and come back with the author of highest probability using existing algorithms.

http://cs229.stanford.edu/proj2013/StankoLuHsu-AuthorIdentification.pdf

Dutch
Guest

I was done with The Economist a long time ago when they went full EU. No more and no less than that.

Zeroh Tollrants
Guest

I have no beef with what you said, Al, because I’ve never been a big Economist reader, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable making that claim.
However, from mid-80s-early 90s, I did political polling for the GOP, and I can guarantee you, a solid 90% of the country either hadn’t , (at that time), heard of, or had read, The Economist.
People on the coasts, in financial type business, politics, Hollywood, tech, and especially the people in the Acela corridor, have an EXTREMELY skewed view of what the rest of the country know or think.

Ivar
Guest

I don’t think we can overestimate the extent to which social convention drives these people. Many of them would flip to the Dark Side without missing a beat if the tables turn.

Jack Dobson
Guest

I doubt two percent of people who work in media are familiar with The Economist.

Member

Good call. The latest circulation figures I could find show the Economist with worldwide print and digital subscriptions of just under 1.5 M. About 57% of those are in North America. They get about 10 M unique visitors each month for their free content.

Member

Isn’t that a Jason Statham movie?

Tony Bacon
Guest

The Economist jumped all sorts of sharks years ago and has lost its collective tree about Brexit (much like the FT). But it still carries informative articles about all sorts of things. I wouldn’t pay for a sub myself, although lots of finance pros still do.

Member

Dropped my subscription when they dedicated an entire edition to evolution.

JamesG
Guest

Gee, I missed that.

Where could I get a copy?

Recusant
Guest

The Economist is read by corporate wives who want to appear knowledgeable.

Fifty years ago it was a good, but dull, read. Twenty five years ago it was a read for those who thought the world would be a better place if everybody had an MBA. Know? Corporate wives and junior executives desperate to appear sophisticated.

Recusant
Guest

Know =now!

Member
If you want to go forward with this enterprise originally known as the The United States of America, you need to start unwinding it’s “fundamental transformation”. What is needed is an Article V Conv. of the States. Though not in the Mark Levin idea where you recreate 1787. No go for the low hanging fruit of term limits in congress. Go and attack that power center/media center. We do have President Trump on board for this populist movement.. But term limits is just an unacknowledged Principle/Agent problem. To really attack the vested interests: insert about 12 words into: Article I… Read more »
D&D Dave in the bubble
Guest
D&D Dave in the bubble

Great idea, but would be massively attacked as racist and bigoted by the demography of the left and establishment. Of course there is nothing racist and bigoted about term limits and taking back the credit card as you said, but those are the bread and butter arguments of those that don’t want the apple cart upset.

Ivar
Guest

It couldn’t happen now because the population which would drive such in a useful way is only about a third of the country, if that.

Jack Dobson
Guest
I worked my way from a beat reporter to top management for a major media corporation in the Eighties. The people around me were uniformly ignorant, ill-informed and, yes, stupid even way back then. The bias was just as pronounced, too. What really destroyed the industry was the proliferation of alternative information sources and the ability to fact check anything. Even the disinterested target audiences caught onto the farce once they could see, often on social media, reality vs. what they were told or, less likely, read. Carny barkers actually have brighter futures, and Trump actually had precious little to… Read more »
Member
The need to generate 24/7 content is driving a lot of the fake news. You just can’t produce that much content and maintain decent editorial standards. Also, there’s this interpretation in the media that fake news = false news. They scoff at this, even though they’re not fooling anyone. But I think average people out in flyover country also think the massive imbalance in the reporting is also fake news. None of the media batted an eye that all of Clinton’s aids were given immunity, or that no grand jury was empaneled…even though Comey’s public statement in July 2016 made… Read more »
Member
“If you want to know how people intend to vote, for example, you better have a sample size that is large enough so that you can model the electorate.” It is equally, if not more, important to have a representative sample. Consider this from Pew Research: “The percentage of households in a sample that are successfully interviewed – the response rate – has fallen dramatically. At Pew Research, the response rate of a typical telephone survey was 36% in 1997 and is just 9% today.” http://www.people-press.org/2012/05/15/assessing-the-representativeness-of-public-opinion-surveys/ Fewer than one in ten are answering the phone. There is a self selection… Read more »
Occasional Commenter
Guest
From the article: “An attempt was made to match all survey respondents and non-respondents to records in both the voter and consumer databases so they could be compared on characteristics available in the databases. Very few telephone numbers in the cell phone frame could be matched in either of the databases, especially for non-respondents, and thus the analysis is limited only to the landline frame.” Fewer and fewer homes have land lines, which further contracts the pool of possible respondents. In fact, many homes now use cell phones exclusively, mostly younger households. And as a matter of fact, I got… Read more »
jbspry
Guest
When I think of a J School graduate I think of a Miss America contestant: “And if you earn this Diploma, what will you do with it?” “I want to, oh, just do something important, something that will change the world and make it a better place!” So these naive know-nothings, these superannuated teenagers who have never done anything but attend school and run up Daddy’s American Express card, who have never experienced anything in life more perilous that having to retake Chicano Studies if they flunk a final exam, come out of J School thinking that it has trained… Read more »
james wilson
Guest

J-school graduate=artificial intelligence.

Allen
Guest
Why did I bother? I should have known the author of this piece, the author of the piece she lifted it from, and the study behind it all were crap. But no, I had to look. The second graphic didn’t make any sense, 0.3%, huh? You know you have a problem when the people doing the study can’t even label their graphics correctly. But it had math and stuff associated with it, so it must be top notch. It’s not so much I don’t trust the media, it’s they don’t have the faintest clue about what they write. They’re selling… Read more »
cerulean
Guest

Remember how all the polls turned out wrong last presidential election? According to analysis at theconservativetreehouse.com, it was because the wrong relative proportions were used in assembling the “strata” on which the polls were based. Ds were heavily oversampled. It’s not rocket surgery to cook a poll that way, but it requires at least halfway decent math skills.

So in addition to the stupid crap you’re calling out, there’s something more deliberate going on, too.

Dutch
Guest

They are deliberately lying to support the prejudices of those who believe the lies. Those who believe do not want facts, they want a collection of credentialed articles and findings that support the lies that they believe in. The media is just an enabler for such stuff.

cerulean
Guest

Having the polls contradicted by reality on election eve also lent support to the “Russia hacking” blather. That, in turn, was useful for trying to de-legitimize the Trump presidency. Coincidence or design?

sirlancelot
Guest

Who was the last real reporter ? Walter Cronkite ?

Connie Chung was everyone’s darling until she backstabbed Newt’s mom and Brian Williams more recently was a household name before his Iraq combat zone whopper of a tale !

Now there’s an endless parade of bubble headed bleach blondes that just have to look good.

Joey Junger
Guest

I don’t really buy into the Cult of Cronkite. He didn’t do as much damage as Jane Fonda or John McCain, but his injection of his own opinion into the news during the war probably marks his tenure as the beginning of the decline in media credibility. Lee Cary had a good piece at “The American Thinker” awhile back on “the most trusted man in America.” I’d say Andy Rooney bitching about bottled water or his hemorrhoids was more informative.

tamaleman
Guest

Upvoted for the Henley reference.

Joey Junger
Guest
I don’t trust polls or surveys for the simple reason that I think our society is oppressive enough that people who disagree with the dominant orthodoxy are frightened of giving the wrong answer. We all know saying you support Trump or oppose gay marriage even in an “anonymous” setting (as if such a thing existed these days) is social suicide and could even get you physically harmed and unemployed. Polls almost always confirm what the powerful want them to say, which is suspect enough in itself, except on immigration, where (despite a massive and unceasing propaganda effort) most people across… Read more »
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[…] The Z Man pointed this out [via […]

Whitehat
Guest

It would be great to have a website that just rewrote the news to remove the moronic program overlay and had commentaries on the stupid articles. Oh Ja, Mr Sailor, do tell….

D&D Dave in the bubble
Guest
D&D Dave in the bubble
Funny you mention the “Muslim Backlash” which the fake news throws out after every terrorist attack. All these reports saying hate crimes on Muslims are on the rise and “peaceful” muslims being targeted because of the actions one the dreaded lone wolf. Yet where are all these so-called hate crimes? Every time some Muslette claims a Trump supporter pulled off her Hijab, CNN, HuffPoo, MSNBC and all the rest of the propagandists are running the story 24/7 until the truth comes out the actual crime committed was the Muslette hoaxed the story and filed a phony police report. Then the… Read more »
Nori
Guest

Minneapolis police officer Mohammed Noor,pride of the Somalian muslim community,still not speaking on why he shot a white woman,in her pj’s,who had called police for help. He was immediately enveloped in the warm loving embrace of CAIR and a slew of muslim lawyers,who decried “Islamophobia!” before the blood had dried.
Where are the reporters? Normally in police shootings,they have to be held back with cattle prods.
Apparently cowardice and the ability to ignore painful truths are the standards for modern journalism.

Dutch
Guest

The Congressional baseball practice shootings as well. Down the rabbit hole.

Member

I include malice in my analysis. I look in Jim Acosta”s eyes and I see hatred.

Ron
Guest
Any business that wishes to stay viable and relevant requires feedback to check the pulse of its customers–Except for the news media. It’s worth mentioning how many of the online news media outlets no longer have a comment section to challenge their narrative. NPR dropped theirs several years ago, and recently MSN has taken down theirs, claiming that they are “looking for another format”. Some say its because of trolls that the news media sites just don’t want to bother moderating the comments section to keep it civil, but as one who enjoyed contesting their articles with facts, along with… Read more »
Severian
Guest
I’ve always wondered just what skill “journalists” think they have that is so rare, it requires an entire professional guild to nurture. Writing? Lots of people rite good, as any number of mommy blogs can attest. Asking questions? Anyone can do that. Stenography? Our undergrads are abysmally ignorant of everything else, but they’re competent at frantically scribbling down every word the prof says. Making observations, and clearly expressing them? Much tougher, but there are a zillion no-name blogs with about three readers apiece that manage it. Getting a degree in “journalism” does not make you a Certified Genius Without Portfolio,… Read more »
Saml Adams
Guest
Went to a college that had what is considered the #1 or #2 J-School in the country depending on the year. The vast majority were not stupid. But the students were imbued with a sense that they were on a “special mission” to combat evil (now embodied by cis gendered white, maile Republicans) And therefore with a hard wired confirmation bias in how they process information. More recently, live in a town that has a ton of media types, reporters, management, name brand personalities. with the exception of a few, the tradeoff most made was they simply do not make… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest
Building on your observation, one can posit that they lack any awareness that their actual worldview centers around narciscistic pride and envy constantly reinforced by groupthink. But why_? One possibility is that they are completely lacking in biblical literacy, or even familiarity with any overt religious knowledge, regardless of what religion we’re talking about. Now, biblical literacy alone will not transform a sinner into a saint but it will impart some idea that pride and envy are indeed sins. It could even cause a twinge of recognition or self awareness now and again, particularly if pointed out. It *might* even… Read more »
Member

“…biblical literacy alone will not transform a sinner into a saint but it will impart some idea that pride and envy are indeed sins”

You can glean this sort of thing by reading Plutarch, Thucydides, and other ancient sources besides the bible. In point of fact, journalism schools churn out students who are ignorant of history, culture, and even geography.

Al from da Nort
Guest
E; Agreed. It’s almost as though the entire education system diliberately discarded the entire past just to make their preferred present sound plausible. And now their J School grads are stuck with the results. They may not really like them but don’t know what else to do or where to start (if they cared). Look at the article Z Man cited. You don’t actually have to know too much about ‘the internals’ to reject it. That ‘s because the report’s conclusions are so entirely implausible to the educated public at large. Why_? Apparently it is due to a complete absence… Read more »
Saml Adams
Guest

Wouldn’t wager a two-fer against yourr observation being true. Think they are a peculiar type of amoral topped with envy. I’ve had to do interviews with financial publications and was always struck by how many basic concepts had to be explained to reporters that ostensibly covered that beat as their professional specialty.

Roulf
Guest

This brings back memories of my own college experience. Took a journalism class as an elective and on day one found my fellow classmates openly mocking the First Amendment. They were already plugged into the Borg and were on a mission, truth be damned. My teacher was an old bearded Dr. of the typical liberal stripe, but he found himself constantly on the defensive, stressing the need for objectivity and ethics.

Eclectic Esoteric
Guest

Operating the cultural marxist clown car doesn’t require much of an IQ. The resumes of these affirmative action memes are chock full of participation trophies. The one Don Lemon got for his dark hole theory must have been covered in rainbow sparkles.

Member

One could almost take the attitudes and arguments in favor of the press and elites today and substitute them into Robert Filmer’s Patriarchia, and use the arguments against in Algernon Sidney’s Disourses Concerning Government, using “media” and “press” for kings and monarchs, and end up with a long form of the above article, especially when it comes to rule by inbred idiots and lunatics.

Member

The proliferation of females and homosexuals in the media has also driven out the hard boiled journalists who at one time did all the heavy lifting. Ernie Pyle is not coming back.

Member
E, Not even Jack Germond is coming back (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Germond), a man who looked, drank, ate, and smoked the part as well. I have a lot of reporter friends from my SE Asia days and they are mostly old school, many of them without J-school degrees. They did real reporting and snorted derision at the idea that a story has to conform to The Narrative. Z, A proper sampling of the U.S. population would require a sample size of at least 4500, 4x the current standard, to account for the relevant stratifications in the population. This is too costly for the… Read more »
Pericles
Guest

Notice the decline of reporting with the influx of journalism degrees, just as political science degrees correlate with tyrannical government. And as for the rest of what used to be Liberal Arts education ….

Saml Adams
Guest

Dead on about old school. Had a journalism major roommate who decided he wanted to do an assignment on Mike Royko. Would not return any of his calls, so he did the natural thing and staked out the Billy Goat until Royko came in, the goal being to get him before he’d had too much to drink. Ambushes him at the bar and after a two minute expletive laden tirade (including a long diatribe on “fucking Medill assholes” , Royko sees he is not going to back down and gives him the interview.

Kentucky Headhunter
Guest

Seems like “journalism” should be a 3 hour course and not a degree in itself. So if you wanted to be a STEM journalist you would get a STEM degree and take journalism as an elective. Work in the field for a couple of years. You would (supposedly) then something of what you were writing about. Same for poli-sci, economics, healthcare, etc…

Ryan
Guest

Owe My Balls really went downhill after Season 4. In the end he becomes a lumberjack? What the hell is that?

On the issue of arrow of causation: perhaps the smart fraction correlates with high GDP because smart people seek out the best economic opportunities. As traditional media becomes outdated and unable to make any money, the smart fraction starts looking elsewhere for work. This lowers the quality of media, accelerating its economic decline. Nice little feedback loop.

Fred Doe
Guest
“The results were based on a survey of more than 8,000 people conducted by 28 media organizations in the U.S. Participation was voluntary but respondents tended to reside near the news outlets that made the questionnaire available on their websites, and leaned toward the liberal side of the political spectrum.” Replace “28 media organizations” with “28 left wing university newspapers”. Replace “8000 people” and “respondents tended to reside near the news outlets” with “8000 brainwashed students who lived on campus near these campus papers” and you then begin to understand this “survey” and it’s intended purpose. The left now has… Read more »
cerulean
Guest

One of the first things they teach in any decent statistics course is that a voluntary-response sample will be more biased than any other kind (short of outright fraud). The very next thing they teach is that when you have a biased sampling strategy, no amount of well-intended fiddling with the data can remove the bias.

Anonymous White Male
Guest
Journalists have never been first-rate minds. They have never been trusted and always looked down on. Why would anyone trust narcs and gossip peddlers? When you look at what passes for journalism students in college today, you see mediocre minds with mediocre language and writing skills. When you add the self-righteous religiosity of the left’s ideology, you have a toxic mix of incompetence and the need to tear down the established social structure. Even though you have nothing to replace the social structure with, a social structure that took generations to establish. Who do journalists today revere? Edward R. Murrow.… Read more »
Member

The media’s target audience isn’t the public anymore (if it ever was), it’s the ‘decision makers’.

The normal person sees a story and can decide whether it’s true or false.

The decision maker can see a story and the question is not true or false, it’s: what do I do if they keep saying this?; or how can I make this work for me?; or I guess this is the official story what am I supposed to think about it?

The media is still powerful because so many decision makers think it is.

Rich Whiteman
Guest

It’s a shame the “opinion” “journalists” can’t serve a witty riposte like “There’s that FAG stuff we were talking about” to their *conservative* guests. You know they want to.

Dutch
Guest

Bloomberg plays the same game as the others, but does a little bit better in putting up the charade. Quite often in interviews, the author being interviewed fields the reporter’s questions, and then exclaims with pleasure that the interviewer “must have actually read my book”. What does that say about the journalism industry in general?

Amateur Brain Surgeon
Guest

For liberals, politics is their religion and the media is their clerics. Low information acolytes of the American religion of politics are dangerous lunatics who will lie to defend their Faith.

That is why they will simply not accept that Americans legally voted for Trump because that made him the Pope of their religion and he is, daily, hurling anathemas at them.

Mueller (look at what he did with the Irish Mobster, Whitey Bulgar, in South, Boston) has the contract to Kill the Pope.

JohnTyler
Guest
Fake news used to be called propaganda, and that is exactly what fake news is. It is straight up propaganda in the best traditions of Joseph Goebbels or Stalin’s/Lenin’s/Russian Communist Pravda and Izvestia. The “official” propaganda vomited from the above was owned and distributed by the government and everybody knew it; it was the pro-government “news;” there was no ambiguity about the purpose or goal of govt. reported news. Contrast that with our news media today. We have independent (i.e., non-govt. owned) news outlets owned by publicly held corporations. They can legitimately make the claim that they are not just… Read more »
Brianguy
Guest
@JohnTyler http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1595013/posts For anyone that has never read this link I truly believe this explains it all. In my opinion at least. The Left has their hive minded mentality of course in which their dupes are furthering the agenda linked above. I don’t know how deep the Communists are entrenched behind the scenes but they’ve definitely set a particular course and we’re on it! Perhaps that’s all they’ve had to do was set the course and let herd mentality do the rest. I would guess the majority of journalists are unknowingly furthering this. While the minority of them are actually… Read more »
Peter
Guest

One thing I have always resented about the media is that they think that by doing a few hours of research on a topic, they are now experts. I see this in my profession when a medical student reviews a topic. They may learn a lot about said topic, but without any practical experience no one would call them an expert. The difference of course is that the medical student knows this while the journalist does not.

Member
Unfortunately the original speech transcript seems to have been memory-holed, but when Michael Crichton was one of the first to notice this when he wrote of the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. You can still find the quote online if not the whole speech. I noticed that once I had acquired a little bit of expert knowledge in the late 80’s, just about anything I read about that field in the press seemed ludicrous. I tried turning to “smarter” media like the Economist and The Atlantic but after the Internet became part of my daily life, simply lost interest in them. I… Read more »
Dutch
Guest

So which is it? Is the news delivered as agitprop to stir people up? Or do people want the media agitprop to confirm their opinions and feelings? I argue for both. The Libs and the media are co-dependent.

Remember that the media is not about capturing eyeballs, it is about capturing advertisers. Make the fake news toxic for the advertisers and the game is over. IMO we are half way there already.

Member
If you want cheap labor, then you are going to agitate against traditional family structure (to keep women in the workplace) and traditional ethnic groupings (to legitimize both high skill (H1B) and low skill (illegal) immigration). Yes. Absolutely. The same folks who are interested in those two things are the bill payers for the agitprop. The government party (to use Codevilla’s formulation) is just an alternate means to achieve the same effect. It provides a human organization with a putative ideology that believers can identify with instead of a mere set of financial transactions that they would find repugnant.
Member

http://larvatus.com/michael-crichton-why-speculate/

The talk in which Michael Crichton discusses the Gell-Mann Effect. Crichton is sadly missed; we need more like him.

Member

Thanks, Eskyman. Old links didn’t work and it didn’t come up on the first three search pages.

Sam L.
Guest

There is no organization on that list that I trust.

Tony Bacon
Guest

I like this blog because I like to read people saying uncharitable things about other things. But can you point me to a primer about the genetic science about race you often refer to.

I thought I knew my way around this turf but apparently there is all this new science about how some races are better than others.

I’m hoping that it will be better than your litcrit. What was is? Jane Austin; “not bad”.

You’ll be suggesting that Taleb is a more distinguished scholar than Beard if you’re not careful.

Roulf
Guest
Did science ever suggest some races are “better”? Better at what exactly, being ‘moral’? Playing the victim? Picking their nose? You seem confused as to what science is. It’s so easy to put on those spectacles of social justice to make yourself appear virtuous, but the veneer makes the view a bit hazy. Maybe that’s why you guys fudge the numbers as often as you do regarding genetics, climate and gender. The facts just don’t jive with the technicolor dreamworld you envision and therefore must be erased. No, good old fashioned science was doing just fine before you came along… Read more »
Tony Bacon
Guest

A central theme of this blog seems to be about “race realism” and its underpinnings in modern genetic science. One could be forgiven for thinking that there is a suggestion in this about racial hierarchy. Nevertheless, and I do have a passing interest in human genetics, I seem to be missing something in the literature. Just wouldn’t mind been pointed in the right direction.

Member

Better at is different from better than, as in blacks are better at basketball then whites. The primer on this is called the NBA. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_ethnicity_in_the_NBA). I don’t think Z has ever talked in terms of better than. This is strictly the territory of the cult of modern liberalism, as in “I’m better than you because you’re a racist and I’m not.”

james wilson
Guest

mlb.com fake news is back at it, with Rachael Robinson gushing and hugging a transgender softball player. –MLB educational consultant Sharon Robinson speaks at the RBI World Series opening banquet on behalf of Breaking Barriers– “Through it all, Nikole says, making her high-school softball team was the moment she realized just how happy she was….Sports has that effect; it makes us feel like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.” (Ha!) There are thirty other stories on the site, all with comment sections except that one.

Tony Bacon
Guest
I am a little bit suprised that anyone ever thought that hacks knew anything they were reporting about. Maybe it’s a US/UK thing. Everyone of my generation was always astonished by the idea that you could get a DEGREE in journalism on the other side of the pond. We were always struck by the idea that HST had a doctorate in journalism. The fuck? Traditionally, here, it is something you would have done either after leaving school at 15 or else a thick upper-classer who didn’t get into/dropped out of university. Either way you had to be an alcoholic. I… Read more »
Dutch
Guest

The U.K. press, much of it, at least, doesn’t put on airs in its reporting. The story is the thing, in all its glory and rumor-mongering. No drivel about how important the reporters are. In fact, most of the time, the U.K. reporter, or paper, for that matter, doesn’t seem to matter much. It is all about the story and the photos.

Tony Bacon
Guest

Not so much anymore and I didn’t even get on to the “lobby” for political journalism.

Poss worth referencing something about the explosion in the college scam on this side though. Now 100s of journo grads every year with attaching student debt. About 10 entry level journo jobs in proper journo orgs. So we get Owen Jones lord save us.

Tony Bacon
Guest

Scoop! By Evelyn Waugh tells you everything you need to know about the hack trade. Nothing new under the sun.

UKer
Guest
Years ago, I knew a man who became an editor of a newspaper. He would relate how journalists — yes, even his journalists — did stupid things. He said he once was part of a newsroom that heard a rumour of a baby penguin being stolen by a schoolboy while visiting a zoo. It escaped everyone there that this was just one of those urban myths that spring up from time to time. In their haste to locate the ‘facts’ they all spent a couple of hours phoning every local school to ask if any that school’s students had been… Read more »
Member
This reminds me of one of the things I try and remind myself of every day. When you are an expert on a topic it’s always easy to point out where an author gets things wrong. Because you are an expert and they typically are not, it’s extremely easy to notice their mistakes. However, when you read articles on subjects that you are not an expert it’s far too easy to assume the author knows what they are talking about when in fact they do not. The problem is that they are no more of an expert on the topics… Read more »
Dutch
Guest

Where this false expertise thing gets very powerful is when people cross-reference to each ofher’s work. The human mind considers the testimonial a very powerful thing. Amazon product reviews and car dealer TV advertisements that interview happy customers are good examples of this phenomenon.

Severian
Guest

Michael Crichton called this “Gell-Mann Amnesia.” You see a story in the media that gets something so wrong, it’s often completely backwards — “wet streets cause rain.” You laugh, you turn the page, and you forget all that. “Oh, so that’s what’s really going on in Syria!” It’s the only thing that has saved the news biz from collapsing these past decades.

TomA
Guest

The situation is actually a lot worse than you describe. I assert that watching MSM isn’t just a waste of time, you will destroy brain cells at an accelerating rate by routinely exposing yourself to this stupidity radiation. It’s may appear benign because it’s just words and images, but the rot goes deep.

trutherator
Guest

Mockingbird Press.

Occasional Commenter
Guest
I ascribe most of the “fake news” to the urgency to be the first to break a story. In the halcyon days of newspapers (and I’m simplifying here to make a point), there were at least two major newspapers in any given major city. Stories, columns, opinion pieces, etc., had to be finalized by around 10 PM so that the typesetters could do their magic in order to produce a physical paper before dawn, to meet morning deliveries. If a reporter got wind of a story during the day, he generally had some time to make a few phone calls,… Read more »
cerulean
Guest

Maybe some of the fake news comes from eagerness to break a story. However, consider the “Russian hacking” stuff. It’s been going on for months and months. You can only break a story once — even a fake one.

Ken in NH
Guest

You could apply this whole thesis to the public education establishment.

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