Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why 24 hour news channels are destroying journalism

Let me start off with a clip from Rachel Maddow. And before you watch, I would like to state that I have not once seen an entire episode of her show because she seems as bad as any news personality on FOX News. This was brought to my attention by a friend, and it highlights what is the biggest flaw in the 24 hour news channel system:

FOX News gave some of the facts, but not all of them. And only providing some of the facts, particularly the facts that are chosen specifically to support a certain point of view, is perhaps the worst thing a news organization can ever do. It allows people to reference real events but with a skewed mind; it makes people believe they know the facts when in reality they don't.

It's the equivalent of telling someone about Newton's Laws of Motion, F = M*A, and then saying, "So obviously you can go faster than light, you just need the right amount of force to keep the acceleration going" -- using that information it seems completely obvious that you can do that. You can't. The information you were given is correct, but you weren't given all of the information and therefore the conclusion, "can go faster than light", seems correct. This is what 24 news media shows and "commentators" do. FOX News personalities like Beck, Hannity, and O'Reilly, and MSNBC's Maddow, Olbermann, and Matthews do it the most.

MSNBC has a strong liberal bias and is known to do the same thing as FOX (though on the other end of the scale). I don't support watching MSNBC anymore than FOX. CNN shows a liberal bias though it's not nearly as extreme as FOX's conservative one; if you watch CNN, take it with a grain of salt. (Although if you're watching Anderson Cooper or Fareed Zakaria, they both do a good job of avoiding bias.) NPR and PBS both do good jobs of keeping the news fairly unbiased because both are publicly supported and thus don't have a parent company to provide profits and advertising revenue for.

Please, everyone, check your sources and then check their sources before believing what you see and hear and read.

And never trust a political commentator. Finds the facts and make up your own mind.

Friday, July 16, 2010

While looking for a profile pic

As any logical person does when they're up later than they should be, I decided to redo my blog a bit. I brought back the Twitter feed on the right and updated the "about me" section. One of these days I'll get around to redoing the whole thing. Maybe even posting regular updates.

Hey, a guy can dream.

Anyways, I came across this picture while looking for a profile pic and thought I'd share it.