Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Global Climate Shenanigans

I was in middle school and high school during the "ice age scare" years. There was a full-blown propaganda push to get people to reduce energy use, increase government power, and generally have people turn their lives around in the name of saving the environment or we would all end up under a 20' sheet of ice. In other words, it was the same rhetoric we hear now in the name of saving us from 'global warming', which was then modified to 'global climate change' when the earth failed to actually warm. Check out this flashback that shows the propaganda retread from Real Science

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Journalistic trash-talk

I have heard a lot of people trash news sources like Breitbart, The Blaze and Fox lately. They are painted as extreme right-wing media and any story coming from them is suspect. When you press their detractors for specifics, you hear often hear "they LIE!" or "they just promote the republican party line!" 

When asked what news sources they prefer, you get a list that includes NPR, Huffington Post, CNN, and MSNBC. Yet all of these media companies could easily be classified as being "creative" with their facts and quick to tow the democratic party line. Especially after a Huffington Post contributor publicly admitted  having "political commitments on the left" and MSNBC was caught for the 4th time in less than a year selectively editing video to change a story and fit a particular slant

First of all, regardless of where you get your news, verify the source. In the age of the internet, there is no excuse for not following up on a questionable story. Second, here is one specific case where the people at Breitbart and Fox News were painted by the left as a bunch of right-wing, racist nut jobs. Turns out Breitbart's reporting and Fox's follow up of the story were right all along.

"Breitbart directed investigations of the Pigford fraud and championed the cause of the original black farmers in the lawsuit, arguing that many of them had been left behind while opportunistic lawyers and fraudulent claimants looted the federal treasury in exchange for votes and support.
The left, led by the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America, attempted for years to dismiss claims of fraud in Pigford, calling it Breitbart's "stupidest conspiracy theory." When Fox News picked up the story, Media Matters called it an attempt to attack "anti-discrimination efforts.

In fact, the 5,529-word report by LaFraniere shows that Pigford and subsequent settlements had little to do with redressing discrimination and everything to do with politics and greed, while the true victims of discrimination continued to suffer in obscurity." - full story here 

This one example does not mean Breitbart, The Blaze or Fox News is always correct. It does show that dismissing them as biased while CNN, NPR, and the Huffington Post are held up as some pillar of truth is ridiculous. 

Everyone has a bias. Fact. Trashing the bias of the right while ignoring the bias of the left doesn't do anyone any favors. Check any story you read for additional sources. Examine your own bias when reading the news. Be honest with yourself and demand honesty from your news sources. Finally, don't be so quick to dismiss news just because it comes from someone you don't like or a source that doesn't share your politics.