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Politics The 4th Estate - Media....is it truth or fiction? TFP pundits will examine.

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by rogue49, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    I know constantly we are complaining about the media.
    Well, here's the place to note it and bitch about it.

    Especially after this LONG election cycle...emphasizing CONSTANT news cycles.

    One headline after another...just to get your attention.
    If it bleeds, it leads.

    Say what you want about it...it's a necessary evil.
    The informed person, has to use it.
    But what do you filter out?
    What is biased?
    What is truth?

    What is simply just spit and vomit?
    What is changing about it...bad or good?
    Is it useful?

    You tell me what you think?
    Me?...It's like crack. Unheathy, but I can't stop it...I need it. :rolleyes:

  2. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    The media has become a big part of the problem. They are trying to find the next gaffe instead of the next watergate. And when the lack of facts, lots of money, and biases get into it... The coming up with solutions is replaced by whose sports team/political party will win.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    The Pot calling the Kettle black...

    Is this simply the blame game??

    Actually, I mostly watch Fox News for the elections night results.
    CNN and MSNBC were frustrating.
    Fox was on top of it, up to date, had better stats...and even pushed back against Karl Rove when he questioned the Ohio call.

    While there is some significant bias on Fox...there are some certain shows that are truly "fair & balanced".
    BTW...I tried watching MSNBC today...made me want to throw up...just as bad as Fox at it's worst.
    Over the Top, Snide and Condesending...only uber Liberal, instead of ultra-conservative.
  4. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    I consider the polls as a part of the media.

    They put out info to absorb across the communications.

    And they need to be reviewed and evaluated as much as any other.

    So, I have for you this...Who's The Best Pollster Of 2012? ...Not So Fast

    I find this fascinating...because it confused the public...and even the pundits and political analysts.
    It was obvious to me who was highly biased...but it's interesting who got it on target.

    Fortunately, as people have info in front of them...and the polls (ex. PPP and Gallup) and aggragate sites compete (ex. 538 and RCP)
    This will slowly force them to make sure they get it right...because being on target for these guys is more of marketing angle than bias.

    Accurate math
    What a concept.
  5. Willravel

    Willravel Getting Tilted

    I read a book recently, Blur by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, that I think did a good job of very plainly analyzing modern journalism and reached some conclusions that are difficult to ignore.

    One of the points of the book is that the onus of determining objective truth has shifted a great deal over the past 50 years and now lies squarely on the consumer of information, not on the press.

    Major current issues in journalism include 'clerkism', a term coined by Homer Bigart which describes a common practice among journalists to uncritically accept the official story, especially when it comes from sources like government (like the DoD and White House) and larger corporations. Many journalists and news organizations act more as stenographers than people interested in disseminating the truth. Another major issue is one of the new models of news, namely that news organizations are, now more than ever, profit-driven entities. This added budgetary pressure from management and stockholders means that ratings must be maximized and costs minimized, leaving investigative journalism in the dust of the two major types of modern journalism: journalism of assertion and journalism of affirmation.

    Journalism of assertion is built for the modern 24 hour, instant information new cycle. It's built to maximize speed and content meant to get ratings, but there's little verification, it's largely live, and features heavily rumor, innuendo, allegation, accusation, supposition, and hypothesis. It's basically a conduit, whereas older models were more of a filter.

    Journalism of affirmation is built to gain a ferociously devoted audience by affirming the audience's preconceptions. These are the highly biased networks that present cherry-picked facts, accusations against those the audience already doesn't like, are often highly political and are in line with one particular political framework.

    There's also interest-group journalism, which has started to grow with the movement of think tanks and political groups to the center stage of media. Very often heavily biased think tank and political group spokespeople are invited on news programs ostensibly to share a viewpoint but actually just there to heap outright propaganda.

    What all this means is that the fourth estate is not so much the press, but has shifted to the consumers of news media. Savvy media consumers should be ultimately responsible for filtering the media they take in, by using questions like "how reliable is the evidence presented with this segment?" and "who stands to gain from the narrative of this story?" They can, by studying, find journalists that consistently provide news that is reliable and gives the consumer all of the information necessary to come to an informed conclusion about what's really going on.

    I recall taking critical thinking back in college, learning about systems of skepticism and such. Perhaps one solution to the situation we find ourselves in would be teaching critical thinking at a younger age.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    You gotta love this guy...Nate Silver of 538.
    Reminds me of the line..."Just the Facts, ma'm"

    In this day where everyone in the media has an opinion, an agenda...or looking for an angle, (usually just to get more attention)
    he spits it out in the context of a monkish professor...but still interesting. (like Freakonomics...)

  7. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    There's many sentiments that I agree with in this article.
    But I'm not for or against Obama in it...he's made his own mistakes too...however I'm not sure of ripping apart the rep of Woodward either.
    Woodward can be incorrect without all of his career being incorrect, so the author is doing the same of what he's saying Woodward is doing.

    The author is right, it's kind of irrelevant who's responsible for the Sequester law.
    Everyone involved are big boys & girls, they made it, voted on it, signed it. So everyone is culpable for the most part.
    We should be interested on who's making the calls and WHAT calls if it does happen.

    He's also right that Congress makes the laws, not the President...that is the Constitution. He can suggest or coax only.
    President may be able to execute them with some discretion, or do something that is not applied by law.
    But he should NOT go around what's been made law. More so he cannot, otherwise he's breaking the law.

    The President while CIC also can request cooperation...but he can't MAKE Congress cooperate. Just like he can't control the Supreme Court.
    There's been quite a few pundits lately on both sides saying the President is not doing anything by not doing "Leadership",
    totally ignoring the literal limitations of power of ANY president...and the wayward mercurial will of Congress.

    Congress is not a team of horses that are out of control to be brought under control.
    But more like a Board of Directors that votes and sets policy ...and the CEO attempts to implement beyond that.
    Can the CEO try to influence? Sure, but they certainly don't control.
    And the Board and Congress are responsible for their OWN actions...or lack of them.

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  8. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    You know...this is why I created this thread.
    Even the media is now recognizing that the media is now tabloid...the headline means more than the truth and context.

    The internet & 24/7 news cycle has created a beast looking for constant attention,
    by reporting on "beasts" looking for constant attention.

    Welcome to the "Tweet-World" of knowing when your politician shits...and the enraged echo that follows the splash in the toilet. :rolleyes:

  9. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Ok, we hear about how the media has a "liberal" bias all the time.
    Mostly from conservatives worn down by the media harping on some current conservative's inane actions/words and they're looking for a gimme.

    But is is truly liberal oriented??
    I don't think so, otherwise we wouldn't have to hear about Anthony Wiener constantly (another of media's addictions, sex :rolleyes:)

    The media's MO is "if it bleeds, it leads"
    And the 24/7 news cycle doesn't help, nor the variety of news outlets and even more to, the internet.
    They've got to fill it with something...

    Well, here's another perspective...from the liberals themselves.
    One of their sites are bitching about items near & dear to their hearts - Link (**for very pretty graphics & charts)

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  10. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    This is my own translation of conservospeak:

    "The media has a liberal bias" or "the liberal media" generally refers to the rare situations in the media when journalists act like journalists and ask tough questions, let loose "controversial" facts, disprove falsehoods, and challenge extremist ideologies from a centrist position.

    This is driven, in the most part, by that largely (but not exclusively) American phenomenon known as binary thinking (e.g., "If you're not with us, you're against us."). The general formula of American conservative thinking is: If it isn't A, then it must be B, whereby it is assumed that B is the opposite of A, and the rest of the alphabet doesn't exist.

    In summary, conservatives will criticize "the liberal media," but what they're really saying is that they have a problem with anything outside of their rigid, myopic, and narrow ideology.

    They fear liberalism even though they benefit immensely from it. They fear it because they can't control it.
  11. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    I think about 99% of the American do not live in the 24 hour news cycle bubble. I think most people casually follow politics and the news most of the time and occasionally focus on major events periodically for short periods of time. People in the media and politicians take the role of the media much more serious than it actually is. People who read and post on this forum are the exception (yes, I am saying you are not normal). Most people look at media and political issues from a very clear point of view, i.e. - does this make sense? is it reasonable? is it fair? can I trust you? An editorial in the NY Times is not going to make them change their views, nor will a monologue by Rush Limbaugh. There is no media bias. It's the public that has a bias and the public consumes the media favorable to their bias.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I think you've grossly overestimated this figure, especially considering the smartphone penetration in America is over 60%. Add to that television, radio, laptop/desktop Internet, and traditional print media, in addition to word of mouth, to say that 99% of Americans aren't at least indirectly receiving information from the 24-hour news cycle is a bit naive to say the least.

    As for the rest of what you wrote, that is likely the bigger factor: how engaged people are with the information, how they view the information, and how they gauge other peoples' responses to it.
  13. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    I will elaborate. When I am busy and focused on work, family and my down time - politics and hard news come in fourth place and I am a self-proclaimed news junkie. When I do focus on news it is background to other activities, for example my interest in business overlaps with my interest in socio-economic government policy and the politics involved. When I am driving in rural areas and want something other than my Podcasts (hobby related) or music, I will listen to AM talk radio mostly conservative stuff like Rush. When I am getting dressed in the morning I will flip between MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN. During football season my consumption of political news drops significantly and I focus on football. When my wife has control of the remote she she is into Hooda and Kathy or whatever they call themselves - certainly not political news. and so it goes.

    Working people don't spend much time per day consuming political news at all. I know many people who purposefully avoid it. tablets, laptops, cell phones, etc. are not being used for political news but are used for social interactions. Even when I go to my gym, and now almost every machine has a TV attached, a survey of what is being watched shows it is almost never political news. And when people are watching a news channel - that channel had better be spending time covering the weather and traffic!

    MSNBC spent a considerable amount of time this morning discussing the 2016 Presidential election - polls, who may or may not run, who is or is not a serious canidated, etc. I would say 99.999999999% of the public could careless at this point. About a few months prior to the general election is when most will start to pay attention. Most are not even going to participate in the primaries.

    I am not trying to be offensive, but you are a person in the bubble. Step out of it and talk to people, observe people and you will begin to realize that I am correct.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  14. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Let me elaborate myself. Facebook, which I'm sure you've heard of despite your online habits, has over a billion active users. Think about that for a moment. 1) That's a huge number. 2) That's just one "portal" through which people will be exposed to the 24-hour news cycle, whether directly (links to articles/videos) or indirectly (commentary from "friends" or "friends of friends"). The nature of social media is such that it is highly penetrating. Facebook and many other places such as Twitter and Tumblr are the new commons. It's what many people now use to know what's going on in people's lives, whether it's immediate family, extended family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, etc. While I'm aware that there are many who aren't that "connected," many are, especially those who live urban lives and who participate in popular culture (engaging online is highly popular when it comes to entertainment and even virtually any product and service).

    I know people with busy professional and family lives. This doesn't stop them from logging into Facebook on their smartphone when they have a spare moment while waiting in line, sitting on the toilet, stuck in traffic, waiting for a flight connection, etc., you get the point.

    I haven't even mentioned more traditional ways people get news. Americans still like TV, right?

    You say that news and politics comes fourth to you. Hey, it's in the top 5 in a world where there is too much choice. I'm sure it is the same for many people.

    You're kidding, right? Your exaggerations are absurd.

    You assume too much. I don't go much beyond top headlines when it come to the news. Some days I don't catch more than one or two headlines, and often they aren't even anything that relate to me directly. On weekends, I can go a day or two without knowing what in hell is going on in the world beyond my apartment. I'm more into books, essays, and the like.

    I do talk to people, and usually I get the impression they are way more connected to the news than I am. Smartphone penetration in the U.S. is over 60%, and the figure is similar in Canada. Keeping connected to the world is way too easy on one of these devices. I recommend getting one if you haven't already. It's amazing how you can go anywhere and always have information at your fingertips (though I admit this can be abused).

    So if over 60% of Americans have such capability to connect, why do you think your 99% figure is so accurate? When you actually look at the trends, it seems absurd. If you said the same about India, it'd be less so, but I'd still be skeptical.

    You claimed that barely 3 million Americans live in the 24-hour news cycle. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that that many New Yorkers live in the 24-hour news cycle. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean by that. Could you explain what you mean by this "bubble"?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  15. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    I am not saying I use the internet for adult content, I am not saying anyone is, it is a private matter in my opinion as long as it involves consenting adults. If you think FB's billion users are impressive...

    And if you think people are actually following the news on their news feeds rather than looking at photos of family, friends and cats or sharing jokes and amusing stories involving cats...you may be 100% correct because I don't spend time on FB. I am just going to say I am a cynic.

    Right. Given about 315 million Americans - the number one MSNBC show gets less than 800,000 viewers. What is that about .2%

    Ratings - TVNewser

    I know this is just one little isolated way of looking at this issue - I suggest you do your own homework. No doubt when I write something like 99.99999% I am not being precise. But if you actually look at some numbers, then tell me about how I am exaggerating!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  16. redux

    redux Very Tilted

    Foggy Bottom
    Here is another way of looking at it:

    More than half of those in a Pew Center for People & the Press watched the news yesterday, but only a third of the 18-29 demographic:

    At the same time, those 18-29ers, particularly those using social networking, are increasingly receive their daily news in that manner (up from 14% to 41% in 2 years):

    In Changing News Landscape, Even Television is Vulnerable | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

    The frequency is not the issue as much as the source...and the growing reliance on social networking for "news" that is more likely to be biased and/or partisan, less likely to be fact checked, and generally less reliable than the more traditional news sources.

    And I wont get into the studies that have shown Fox News viewers/readers (TV and/or website, facebook, etc) are more likely to be misinformed than other similar sources.
  17. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    among the problems to maybe think about is the consequences of a combination of cut-backs in correspondents and bureaus with a concomitant increase in reliance on officially pre-packaged infotainment that circulates as if it were "news". remember the selling of the iraq debacle?

    for example.
  18. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Can you find a single adult website that has over a billion active users? My guess is that you can't. Do you understand what I'm getting at here?

    Do you know how many articles from MSNBC are posted via Facebook alone? What about virtually all other news sources? What about other social media sites and all the other means people use to access information on their smartphones? Do you understand what I'm getting at here?

    I've done my homework. Have you done yours? I've told you how you're exaggerating, and all you've done is given me data on a single show from a single network. You pulled a number out of your ass. I suggested you're exaggerating and have given you some ideas why. The onus is still kind of on you.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  19. redux

    redux Very Tilted

    Foggy Bottom
    Al Jazeera America goes live tomorrow (check here for availability)
    A fresh perspective on cable news is a good thing even if if will only be available in half of all US households with cable.

    A Fox News panel today was not so open-minded, proclaiming it is still a "mouthpiece for bin Laden...and most Arabs supported bin Laden and killing Americans" (despite overwhelming polling data to the contrary).
    • Like Like x 1
  20. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    way to go, fox assholes.