Thursday, January 10, 2019

I don't know, but I've been told

Have you ever wondered if anything you read is true? Take yesterday, for example:
“The president stomped out of the meeting when he said to me, ‘Will you support a wall?’ and I said no. Now they’re trying to mischaracterize what he actually said,” Pelosi said of GOP leaders. “It was a petulant president of the United States.”
Was it? Do you trust Nancy Pelosi's account of the matter. Or do you have to pass the meeting to see what's in it? There's more:
Trump made clear to Democrats that “there will be no deal without a wall,” said Vice President Mike Pence. It was the third such bipartisan meeting in a week, all of which were unproductive. But this was the shortest, clocking in at about 30 minutes.
Did some one have a watch? Read on:
In the bipartisan meeting, Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Trump, Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen did almost all the talking, according to a person briefed on it.
A person briefed on it? Who is the person? Who did the briefing? In a court of law, this would be called hearsay. Based on previous observation, although from afar, it's easy enough to believe that Pelosi and Schumer were doing a lot of talking. Schumer in particular loves the sound of his own droning voice.

We can believe that these individuals were in the same room, but do we really know what happened in the room? Do we trust any of the participants are telling the truth? Based on what assumptions?

You can go a long way into the weeds with epistemological discussions, but as you attempt to observe the sausage being made, especially from over 1000 miles away, it's never a good idea to assume you're being told the truth.

9 comments:

R.A. Crankbait said...

I noticed the "stalked out" construction in yesterday's Strib. I know what my old J-school professors would have said about that.

I thought about commenting on the article, but I saw there were already 790+ comments logged, and decided to just move on.

Gino said...

i'll just stick to my confirmation bias. It's just as reliable, if not more than...

W.B. Picklesworth said...

I assume they're lying every time. There's abundant evidence that they are, in fact, the enemies of the American people - assuming a little wiggle room for the use of "they". Maybe it's only 85% of them? In any event, the overall culture of journalism is hostile to America and I hope they pay for it.

J. Peterson said...

It's much more fun to think that they're out to get me. That way I get to feel special

Bike Bubba said...

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

My take is that the MSM bias is achieving, or has achieved, critical mass. There is simply no other way to explain all the "fact checkers" putting their fingers on the scales. Or, put differently, if we had journalists worthy of the name, we would not need dedicated "fact checkers" because the newsmen would have already done some fact-checking.

To draw a picture, it always drove me nuts during the Clinton administration that the media always seemed to accept the most sublime BS he constantly spewed, and it's only gotten worse.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Interesting mind-reading fallacy you've got there.

Let's use Occam's Razor instead. They're trying to be good leftists more than they're trying to be good journalists. It's not a problem for the country when an individual journalist is a partisan hack. People are going to people, after all. But it's a rather larger problem when almost an entire profession, which is ostensibly dedicated to reporting reality, decides that they want to try to manipulate reality instead. They're not just hurting conservatives by doing this. They're hurting public discourse (and their credibility is already gone for those who don't agree with them and even for some who do.) Let's hope that the damage doesn't proceed past this as these are serious enough.

Bike Bubba said...

On the light side, check out Jim Acosta sidling up to the portion of the border wall that exists and noting that, near that section of the border wall, there are no obvious problems.

Well, yes, Jim, that's how it's supposed to work, just like around the White House, and just like around former President Obama's home, and just like around former President Clinton's home.....

Mr. D said...

On the light side, check out Jim Acosta sidling up to the portion of the border wall that exists and noting that, near that section of the border wall, there are no obvious problems.

Well, yes, Jim, that's how it's supposed to work, just like around the White House, and just like around former President Obama's home, and just like around former President Clinton's home.....


I saw the Acosta bit. It reminded me of the term my old English professor used to refer to our football coach – articulate dumb guy. A variation on the Kevin Kline character in “A Fish Called Wanda.”

R.A. Crankbait said...

"Of those who have nothing to say, few are silent." Thomas Neill