Friday, January 13, 2017

The Failure of the 'Real' News is the Real Threat Posed by Fake News

Amanda Taub gets almost everything perfectly wrong in her Upshot piece The Real Story About Fake News is Partisanship.

My Comment on this article at NYT:
Here we go again. The false balance that got us into this mess, the false belief that the truth is always the arithmetic average of two diametrically opposite points of view. "And Clinton voters, he said, would be similarly drawn to stories that deride Mr. Trump as a demagogue or a sexual predator." By this logic, there can never be any such thing as a demagogue because anyone who considers a person a demagogue, even though that is solely based on that speaker's very public appeal to the worst in people, is biased and therefore mistaken. You could fact check every NYT article claiming that the world is perfectly balanced between two equal and opposite sides and you will find a flawed example like this regarding the "liberal" side that is demonstrably false. OK New York Times. There is no demagogue. But then there is no climate change either because that is the belief of those 'biased' liberals. The claim that people have beliefs based on their tribe is the philosophy de jour, but is inverted. People derive their political beliefs from the way they reason about the world. People have grave differences within their tribes. For every story about Facebook friends sharing their rabid political diatribes, there are friends of those same people who avoid Facebook for the division those polemics create.

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