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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bitz'n'Pieces

Conservative Media Strikes Back:
boots~ had a post about a news article he found and I made a comment about the 'liberal' media. It got me thinking, and that's never a good thing.
You see, I'm always amused by the term 'liberal media' because it's generally spewed by FOX News and conservative talk radio hosts who all seem to fail to realize that THEY are apart of the media themselves! It would be as if I said "God, Dr. Bitz never criticizes himself. What an arrogant jerk!"
Even so, the liberal media is at it again. This time in the form of Wikipedia. For those of you living in a cave with no Internet access (ummm....how are you reading this?) Wikipedia is an open source online encyclopedia that allows anybody to edit any entry. The theory is that everybody knows something about something, right? So let them write what they know online. Sure, somebody could write an inaccurate entry, but the theory is someone else would correct the entry. It's self policing. In my opinion, Wikipedia shoud not be cited in your thesis paper but is perfect for settling bets.
Anyway, like Wikipedia, what I said above is only mostly accurate. You see, not EVERYBODY can change entries in Wikiepedia. Apparently, only liberals are allowed to edit Wikipedia. Well, that's according to the people who started their own website, www.Conservapedia.com. It has become the alternative to the anti-American, anti-religion Wikipedia. Take that liberal media!

Instead of stating my opinion on the stupidity of creating an alternative to Wikipedia, Mathew Sheffield states my opinion much better than I could have here: http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/aug/21/conservatives-miss-wikipedias-threat/

However, I do have a point of my own to make.
In order to do some research I delved into the depths of Conservapedia. It's pretty silly, really. Right down to it's refusal to accept any dates that are BCE/CE. They will only allow BC/AD dates, because those are good Christian dates. Well, actually, they say BCE/CE have no known historical context and thus make no sense. I would argue that while BC/AD originally began by referring to a historical event, it has since degenerated and is now as arbitrary as the BCE/CE dates. But I would first have to gather some more information on the modern calendar and its changes over the years before fully fleshing out that argument.
I also looked up Conservapedia's entry on atheism. The entry explained what atheism is and then proceeded to discuss why atheism is bad. The entry spewed statistic after statistic on why atheists are more likely to do evil things, less likely to give to charity, and so on. I have no idea how valid the studies that produced those statistics are, however I could listen to an argument saying that those statistics do belong in a purely informational encyclopedia entry. But at the end of the day the whole idea of Conservapedia and the whole 'liberal media' argument in general just makes me laugh and cry at the same time.
It's humorous to me because I'm all for eliminating biases in the media as far as information is concerned. There's a place for opinions in the media and there's a place for unbiased information. So I can actually get behind the idea of eliminating liberal biases from Wikipedia, if you such biases do exist. (Just like I can get behind eliminating liberal bias in cable news.) But like Fox News, Conservapedia doesn't eliminate bias from its information. All it does is replace liberal biases for conservative biases. As if to say, it's unacceptable to have a website with a liberal bias, but a website with a conservative bias is just fine. I guess the conservatives believe two wrongs do make a right.
It's saddens me though, because it feels like I have to choose which bias I agree with more and then go to places where the information given leans towards that bias. And in doing so, I simply feed my own ego and start to think I'm always right without my views ever being challenged. The idea of going to a place strictly to get straight information without any filtering or ulterior motives seems impossible these days.
Basically, if I want to get the straight facts on what's going on over in Iraq, I'd have to hop on a plane and go see things for myself. I long for a news source I can trust. But I guess this is just the world we live in.
All that being said, I've never found Wikipedia to be that biased in the first place. Then again, I'm a liberal, so I have the tendency to turn a blind eye to the inherent liberal biases in all "media".

Sarah Palin's hot...hot like Dr. Elsa Schneider from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/09/politics/animal/main4430259.shtml OK...comparing Sarah Palin to a book burning Nazi is going a bit too far. Well, way too far. I just can't resist a good cheap shot. Still, even if she didn't officially ban any books, just the thought of someone in power considering to ban books from a public library sends shivers down my spine.
What's next? Sarah Palin's against lesbian porn?

Speaking of the liberal media, this story just plain amused me: http://mediamatters.org/items/200809090009?f=h_latest

Oh, and finally, I read this story, there's no reason to lie about it, but I still refuse to believe it: http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hdxoX11mNeMos6lXUITnhxQQyy6w

2 comments:

  1. I certainly share your frustration with the lack of an unbiased information source. I feel like I should be able to pick up the front page of a newspaper (and by "pick up" I mean, of course, go online) and read an unbiased recounting of the previous day's newsworthy events without having to worry or wonder what the political bias of the article's writer may be.

    Then, if I'm so inclined, I can "turn" to the editorial page for an opinionated and biased interpretation of the same events, and either get enraged or feel justified by what I read there, depending on my mood at the time.

    I find this particularly vexing when reading history books lately. Sometimes I have no problem reveling in a particular bias that speaks to me (everyone enjoys being a part of the choir that's getting preached to once in awhile), but sometimes, I just want an unbiased retelling of historical fact (and contrary to what some people at the extreme ends of both political spectrums believe, a "just the facts, ma'am" kind of history does exist: historically speaking, certain things either happened or they didn't, regardless of your personal bias). But such books are becoming increasingly harder to find, as many authors feel the need to capitalize on the relatively recent extreme political divisiveness by presenting a "liberal" or "conservative" telling of various historical events.

    I find myself forced to question, and in some cases, actually research, the potential political bias of the authors of some books, not because I only want to read something that speaks to my bias, but because I want to read something that is BIAS FREE. And if I am going to read a piece of history that is biased, I at least what to know what to look out for when doing so.

    Also, 82-0? In a hockey game? That's insane...

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  2. Everything is bias, to a certain extent. The trick, easily accomplished by someone with remote intelligence, is separating the facts from the fiction. If someone is only praising the virtues of another but refusing to acknowledge their faults then it's quite easy to recognize their bias.

    For example, the majority of GENTLEMEN on this blog are obviously pro-lesbian porn and anti-Scott Summers. This is a bias we promote by hosting this blog.

    President Bush is another good example. the majority of the population, influenced by the media, has called him one of the worst presidents in history but these same people would have a tough time listening to all of the people in Africa who love him for the work he's accomplished in getting those with AIDS proper care and medication. Everyone has their strengths and faults. Ignoring one or the other is asinine.

    I was a part of a hockey game where the other team scored 3 goals within the first minute. The other team recognized we truly sucked and proceeded to play keep away with us, but still mananged a 26-0 final score. 82-0 is quite attainable.

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