RMV writes:Taken from Marvin Kalb, Trump’s troubling relationship with the press;www.Brookings .edu.blog 2/22/17
Eric Sevareid once said “Our rigid formulas of so-called objectivity have given the lie the same prominence and impact that the truth is given;they have elevated the influence of fools to that of wise men;the ignorant to the the level of the learned;the evil to the level of the good.’Kalb goes on to add that in a reporter’s quest for fairness,he or she often tends to balance the good against the bad thereby risking the creation of a false symmetry or balance. Why is this concept both valid and vital to the survival of democracy? my(RMV)opinion is that the news media,particularly cable,Public Television and the networks reach out to us by presenting “The News”in the form of two or three commentators discussing a critical issue on the basis that each presenter speaks “the truth” albeit from a different personal or political slant.Their job is to educate us(and we certainly welcome varying perspectives);unfortunately ,tragically,nowadays one or more of the presenters is merely lying ,purposefully distorting known facts. The truth.is hidden under a fusilade of politically inspired jargon.He or she is merely there to balance out the “opposition”however far from truth their position may be.Nobody is there as referee to call “foul” or “out of bounds” or more accurately “Bu….it”and to insist on bringing forward the facts as widely known and acknowledged.The average listener/watcher wants to be and needs to be informed;issues are complex and solutions distant and many sided. It helps not at all to be lied to and to be subjected to game show tactics(more accurately shell game tactics).”Under which expert is the truth hidden?”as if each input is equally valid.This is the way democracies die.
Relatedly,Kalb quotes the respected Tyndall Report which showed that the three TV networks -ABC,CBS and NBC helped elect Trump by giving him 1,144 minutes of free coverage compared to 506 minutes given to Clinton,more than double the time.Cable news.even more inequitable with Trump seen and heard everywhere and at anytime.He was treated as a TV star acting as his own producer deciding when, where and how he would appear with the networks always obliging.My question(RMV) is why was there no response time given as there is following a President’s of governor’s state of the union or state of the state address.Of course as Kalb tells us “cable news made more money in 2016 than ever before”…(follow the money)…Trump sold better than Hillary making the networks great again!
RMV is addressing here priority number one – how do we know the truth of things and beliefs (especially our own)? Premises that are not accurate lead to conclusions of similar fate.
The evidence of experience demonstrates that the universe in which we find ourselves has logical structure. Math and formal logic ACTUALLY allow our minds to identify past patterns and with relative degrees of probability predict the flow of events. We can understand what must be known in order to attribute high or low probability to any claim about “knowing” a truth. For instance, we can know that ABC, CBS, and NBC gave Trump 1,144 minutes of free coverage compared to 506 minutes given to Clinton. But from this evidence alone we cannot determine with certitude how much of this coverage was negative or positive. Thus we cannot honestly claim that this greater coverage helped but did not hurt Trump in his election effort.
Another example: We can “know” with the application of the most basic of logic skills that if those warring against us believe that it is their religion that demands this effort to displace us there is absolutely no way we can defend ourselves ONLY from those acting on this specific religious belief without engaging in act(s) of religious discrimination. Therefore when we see arguments that claim ALL religious discrimination to be immoral, we can “know” that this statement is both foolish and perhaps very dangerous. We can know too, that because our Constitution protects for all U.S. citizens a freedom of religion, we are placed in a (dangerous) conundrum. Without a Constitutional amendment we can legally apply our protective discrimination only against those of this religion (or pertinent portion of a religion) who are not citizens. If actions designed to do this necessary thing are for this reason alone called immoral, or other degrading adjectives, we can know that such accusations come from logic-deficient minds (that are probably motivated by agendas other than prioritizing the truth of things). (Interestingly even many who have been elevated to the level called “judges” are not immune.)
If, while witnessing a discussion panel designed to provide idea diversity (PBS or anywhere) we see an argument stemming from such logic deficiencies, we can “know” why such person’s conclusions should be suspect.
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