Confirmation Bias on My Side? I Certainly Don’t Recall Any!

 

shutterstock_146163434Thank goodness confirmation bias never strikes the purveyors of global warming panic. In the Washington Post, Chelsea Harvey reports on a study regarding the spread of misinformation online. She eagerly applies it to those who are skeptical of global warming claims and dives into a lesson on confirmation bias … which apparently only affects people she disagrees with.

It’s true: confirmation bias affects global warming skeptics; I’ve seen it myself. But I’ve also seen it in the warming-affirmers, both the moderates and the we’re-all-going-to-die panickers, for whom every warm spell is taken as proof of global warming, while every cold spell is dismissed as merely “weather” (this approach has its mirror image of the other side, of course). But now that the discussion is about “climate change,” the side of panic will often take both hot and cold spells as confirmation of their biases. For them, it’s a win-win.

But while the effects of confirmation bias are probably about equal on both sides of the lay public, I think the effect of confirmation bias among scientists is actually worse for the warming-affirmers. Their position has become dogma among climate researchers, which magnifies the effects of confirmation bias. Skeptical scientists know they’re challenging the dominant paradigm and are daily confronted with contrary opinions. For my own part, I’m kind of a lukewarmer: I believe there is some warming (especially early and late 20th century) and that some of it could be caused by humans, but that the amount and effects are exaggerated. I’m not doing any climate research, but I work with model-fitting in astronomy, and we have to deal with similar systematic errors and biases.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review close out their special year-in-review political awards by handing out the prestigious crystal martinis for person of the year and turncoat of the year.  They also share their political New Year’s resolutions.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review reveal their choices for most under-reported story, most over-reported story and the best story of 2015.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review hand out year-end political awards for best idea, worst idea and boldest tactic.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review present the second installment of their 2015 year-end political awards.  Today they discuss the political figure they were sorry to see pass away in 2015, their top rising political stars and who they see fading into oblivion.

Festival of Smugness

 

Antonin_Scalia_2010There are few more repugnant spectacles among the liberal elites of this country than the festivals of smugness that follow any comment by a conservative public figure that can be twisted into a racial slight.

This week it is Justice Antonin Scalia’s turn. In an oral argument over affirmative action, Scalia said:

There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to — to get them in the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less advanced school, a less — a slower track school where they do well.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review note the liberal gun control narrative fell apart in San Bernardino fell apart as it became clear the shooters were operating an “IED factory” as well.  They also sigh as Democrats renew their demands for gun control legislation that wouldn’t have stopped this or any other mass shooting.  And they unload on liberals for viciously mocking conservatives for saying they are praying for victims and their families and the San Bernardino community.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are glad to see some coverage returning to the issue of Hillary Clinton making decisions at the State Department that regularly favored huge donors to the Clinton Foundation.  They also shake their heads at Pres. Obama after he suggests holding a summit on climate change is the best possible rebuke towards ISIS.  And Jim unloads on liberal double standards over when political speech supposedly contributes to the motives of shooters and he also rails against the notion that we have to tone down the rhetoric in the hopes that crazy people might stop wanting to kill others.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud Neil Cavuto’s dismantling of the free college arguments of the Million Student March.  They also sigh as some Republicans are still trying to find a path for Mitt Romney to join the race and save the party from the likes of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.  And they react to Donald Trump calling Iowans and other Americans “stupid” for believing Ben Carson’s personal story.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review discuss the FBI expanding its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails to probe whether she or any aides made false statements, which is a felony.  They also slam MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for suggesting Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio aren’t Hispanic and are actually Cuban nationals.  And they unload on the University of Missouri protesters for claiming the first amendment right to free speech creates a hostile learning environment for them.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review applaud the clear, direct questions in Tuesday’s debate and the substantive discussions that followed.  They also cringe as Donald Trump has to be told China is not part of TPP and discuss how Trump and Ben Carson tend to get quiet as the discussions get more detailed.  And they slam John Kasich for his belligerent personality and his liberal answers on everything from immigration to bank bailouts.

Six Photographers Each Told a Different Story about the Same Subject

 

As a pretty fabulous illustration of the power of media to direct narrative, Canon Australia hired six photographers to shoot portraits of the same man, wearing the same clothing, in the same setting. The twist: each photographer was told a different backstory about the man. One was told he was a self-made millionaire. Another was told he was a recovering alcoholic. Another was told he was a self-proclaimed psychic. Etc. They were then given the task of “capturing his true essence” which is, of course, utter poppycock.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough for pointing out that every one of the top network television news positions is held by a liberal and has been for 50 years.  They sigh as the Republican candidates turn frustration over the CNBC debate into a circus of endless demands.  And they slam New York Times “conservative” columnist David Brooks for saying he will move to Canada if Trump wins.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review give credit to MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski for calling Hillary Clinton “pathetic” for playing the gender card against Bernie Sanders.  They also question the choice of liberal John Harwood to moderate Wednesday’s GOP debate on CNBC.  And they shake their heads as MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry tells her guests to be wary of using the term “hard worker” because she somehow connects it to slavery and single moms.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud the Republicans on the Benghazi committee for revealing key facts, including that Hillary knew right away that the video had nothing to do with the attack.  They also scold some GOP members for using the hearing as a soapbox.  And they slam Democrats for doing nothing but ripping Republicans and sucking up to Hillary.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Joel Gehrke of National Review discuss Paul Ryan’s demands before running for speaker.  They groan as President Obama vows to veto legislation designed to prevent defaulting on debt payments if the debt ceiling is not extended.  And they slam the media for bending over backwards to distort the truth behind the latest Middle East violence.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review discuss new poll results showing Democrats are more favorable towards socialism than capitalism by a 12-point margin and how that should be a huge advantage for conservatives in 2016.  They also slam Joe Biden for dragging out his decision on whether to run for president.  And they shake their heads as Jim Webb abruptly quits his 2016 bid and the Democratic Party while mulling an independent bid.  Finally, they observe five years of the Three Martini Lunch by looking back on one of their favorite martinis of all time.

Member Post

 

The editors were just asking each other, backstage, who among us might be in Canada and able to give us an update on the Canadian elections. We were running through the names of our Canadian members from memory. Then we realized we should really be more organized about this. Ricochet has a presence in every inhabited continent (and we […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are glad to see the FBI being diligent about it’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s server despite political pressure to conclude there’s nothing there.  They also shudder as former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Pres. Obama is paranoid about military leaders trying to force his hand.  And they react the media abruptly ending its fawning over a Joe Biden candidacy after Hillary survives first debate.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review explain why Hillary Clinton is an an increasingly difficult position as more classified emails are released and why her “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer” defense is politically unwise.  We also rip House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for suggesting the House Benghazi Committee was about damaging Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.  And we marvel at the new movie that still claims Dan Rather was telling the truth about the George W. Bush national guard documents that are proven forgeries.