Saturday, September 26, 2015

My Mental Man Cave

We shouldn't trust newspapers.  We should trust YouTube videos.

Some background:

On Facebook, a Friend posted how she was disturbed by the photo of a dead, Syrian infant washing up on shore.  One of her Friends (Perhaps he was a friend.  I didn't ask.) replied that the mainstream media was misreporting what was happening : most of the Syrian refugees were men.

I refuted his arguments with witty, incisive remarks.  He posted YouTube video after YouTube video to prove his point.

Then things took "a turn for the jackass."  (That's my new expression.  Feel free to use it.)

I argued YouTube and blogs weren't trustworthy.  He countered that news organizations weren't trustworthy.  How could I trust The New York Times?  They were covering up The Truth!

I don't know about you, but when I can't come up with a good response, I curl up in my mental man cave and brood until I think of one.  It can take months.

Posting on my wall.
Some examples:

To the man who insisted GMO labelling was good because he had "a right to know"
Why?  If you want to avoid GMOs, buy organic. If you're curious, email the company.  The only reason to label GMOs is as a first step to banning them.

To the woman who insisted being compelled to vaccinate based on evidence was like forcing her kids to pig out in a bakery because other parents said it was great (no, really!)
Not inoculating your kids is like driving 100 mph in a school zone because some chucklehead on the internet said car crashes are a fabrication by car companies to sell more brakes.

This is the response I should have given instead of "You fucking racist go fuck yourself you fuck fuck fuckity fuck.":
Should we trust mainstream newspapers?  Of course not.

Newspapers have layers of editors who try to remove bias from articles.  Newspapers fact check.  When they get something wrong, they print retractions.  I see retractions in the New York Times almost every week.  We got this name wrong.  We got this date wrong.  They post every failure.

Remember the Jayson Blair scandal?  The New York Times could have tried to hide their involvement or attack the people who discovered his fabrications.  They didn't.  They owned up to it.  They changed their policies so it wouldn't happen again. 

Why?  Because newspapers are held up to public scrutiny.  Their editors are named.  Their standards are posted.

Should we trust newspapers?  Of course not.  We should always look for their failures. 

YouTubers and bloggers, on the other hand don't...  Well, they just don't.

Don't fact check.

Don't post retractions.

Don't list their standards.

Don't print their names.

Should we trust them?  Of course.  We should trust them to lie to us.

Excuse me while I go skin a mammoth.  If you know what I mean.

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