Just a quick point–it’s obvious if you think about it, but most people don’t:
It is nearly impossible for a journalist to be unbiased on any contentious issue. If you understand an issue well enough, you almost certainly have an opinion. If you have an opinion, you assume that your opinion reflects “The Truth”. And as a journalist, you must report “The Truth”.
That’s the date the rapture will occur, according to this biblical scholar. His reasoning is as follows, and I’m sorry I couldn’t put it in block quote form, but blogger’s software is screwed up.
“The number 5, Camping concluded, equals “atonement.” Ten is “completeness.” Seventeen means “heaven.” Camping patiently explained how he reached his conclusion for May 21, 2011.
“Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.,” he began. “Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that’s 1,978 years.”
Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days – the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.
Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500.
Camping realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500.”
Full article here.
I must say, this is inspired. The Christians have to find some way to beat out the Mayans doomsday prophecies, and now they’re offering doomsday a whole six months earlier. This may well increase their market share.
As I have said, almost everyone seems to think the media is against them. However, as far as news media and Journalism is concerned, this charge has been obsolete since, at the latest, 2004. The internet has enabled people to easily access propaganda for any viewpoint they want. This is one argument many people made a few years ago, when there were rumors of a revival of the so-called “Fairness doctrine”. You don’t need any one News source to be unbiased when you have thousands of News sources that cater to various ideological, religious, or whatever persuasions.
Now, this is true for News sources and journalism. But the argument I would expect (especially from Conservatives.) is that this is only the tip of the iceberg. The argument is this: It’s more than just journalism that is biased, it is all forms of entertainment. For example, witness the Conservative anger at the film “Avatar”. That entire site exists because conservatives believe that Hollywood is biased heavily against them, with the vast majority of films containing messages and morals that are contrary to their worldview, and, more importantly, brainwash audiences in the same way.
All of this sounds extremely reasonable, (I have not researched it, but I personally suspect that, broadly speaking, movies have a bias that is generally liberal.) I can put my own political commentary on the internet with ease, but I am not, as of this writing, capable of producing a special-effects laden adventure film to advance my views. And really, which would you rather see?
So, if we extend the definition of media to include fiction movies, novels, non-political, non-news television shows, music, stage performances and video games, we may be getting somewhere. After all, if all this is biased against you, what chance do you really have?
Except the internet defeats even that. Think about Big Hollywood again: if you don’t like what you see in any of these entertainment forms, you go there and get to read people who agree, and see what they recommend as good entertainment for the conservative mind.
Furthermore, I question the idea that people can be brainwashed by simply placing messages like this in entertainment media; I think audiences are not given enough credit by those believe that the mere presence of such biases can persuade them to change political views.
To be continued…
1. a pl. of medium.
2. (usually used with a plural verb) the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely: “The media are covering the speech tonight.“
“America today is a confused society, caught up in a terror war, a culture war, and a media war, where honesty and professional standards have vanished.” —Bill O’Reilly, Fox news commentator.
“The most dangerous thing about TV is its equalizing factor, its lowest common denominator factor. And that’s what I fight against all the time.” —Keith Olbermann, MSNBC commentator.
Is there a more ubiquitous enemy of all people than “the media”? It is denounced by many people for many reasons. It is anti-Republican and anti-Democrat, anti-Business and beholden to business. It is anti-religious, it is too religious. It is anti-Western, and it is too centered on the West. It focuses only on lurid scandals, and it doesn’t investigate them thoroughly enough.
And no one will ever admit that “the media” is biased in their favor. A Republican might admit that talk radio and Fox News are in his favor, but “the media” is undoubtedly against him. A Democrat might concede MSNBC, and basically all comedies, but “the media” is still run by corporations, and they are most definitely against the Democrats.
And I’ve never heard anyone, in discussing any issue, say “I’m just glad the media is on my side.” Inevitably, there are conspiracies by the “media” against everyone’s beliefs.
So, what I wanted to know is: What is “the media”? Go back to that definition of media at the top. It neglects to mention the internet, but it is accurate when it defines media as “the means of communication”.
Woe to him against whom the very means of communication are biased.
The fact is most people aren’t thinking quite this broadly when they say “the media”. They mean the Press–journalists. Sometimes artists are included as well. But if the means of communication were biased against anything, it would be, well, Newspeak.
I think the internet has basically killed any institutionalized bias in the media. MSNBC and Fox news still exist, but they are not the only source of information for anyone willing to use the internet.
To be continued…
Or so the Russians say. Other space agencies are not so sure.
Because I have a taste for making up conspiracy theories, I wonder if this is in fact part of a secret plan for world domination by the Russian government.
But who should replace her?
It would be great if Obama would can her, then publicly lobby for Dick Cheney to fill her position. He’d never do it, of course, but afterwards, he’d look a fool if he tried to criticize Obama’s security policy.
No doubt everyone will be upset over this, (I am) but it ought to be remembered that the U.S. must get a huge number of warnings like this. And besides, who knows how many terrorists we arrest without anyone in the press ever finding out about their existence.
As someone once said: “In counter-terrorism, we rarely hear or remember the success stories, only their failures.”
In my earlier post about charisma, I mentioned that fewer women seemed to have charisma than men. I can think of three charismatic women:
I’m sure there are others but these are the only ones that spring readily to mind. (And Thatcher only came to mind because she’s on the Wikipedia list) In addition, one might claim numerous actresses and singers as charismatic, but I’m not going to include them because I suspect that such people are capable of “faking” charisma by carefully controlling the concerts they perform at, and the films in which they appear. Politicians and Royalty have no such luxuries.
Now, I offered one explanation for why women don’t seem to be, on average, as charismatic as men. The explanations of sexism is a good one, but there are several variants even on that one explanation:
I’m sure there are other explanations. I encourage readers to post other explanations in the comments. Also, if anybody can provide examples of non-actress, non-singer women who are/were charismatic, I would appreciate it.