Tag: Bias

[Member Post]


Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum still has relevance for contemporary scientists, who are just as prone to bias as the Natural Philosophers of Bacon’s day. In fact, I am convinced that most scientists do not understand science as a discipline. They understand how to do research in their field of study or, to be more cynical […]

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The Truth About Fact-Checking Truth and Fiction


sorting fact fictionNoodling around the internet, searching on “truth or fiction,” I pulled out truthorfiction.com and mediabiasfactcheck.com. Opening up mediabiasfactcheck.com and reading their “about” page prompted this post. Take as true that a very small organization is dedicated to accurately sorting media sources on the independent left—right and “conspiracy-pseudoscience”—”pro-science” axes. The viewpoint of the team or the team members comprising the organization may not blind, but will at least distort their judgment. If not a blind spot, they will certainly have a cognitive astigmatism. “Fact-checking” political and other value-laden stories was dominated, almost from the beginning, by leftists, who understood the value of controlling information and public perception.

Consider this paragraph from mediabiasfactcheck.com:

The credibility of a website/media source is not determined by who owns them but rather by their track record. Everybody starts as a beginner and, through experience, becomes an authority in their field. MBFC [Media Bias Fact Check] is no different. Over the last 5+ years, we have proven to be a trusted authority on the rating of bias and the credibility of media sources. For example, MBFC is trusted by major media outlets and IFCN fact-checkers. This is evidenced by frequently being referenced by sources such as USA TodayReuters Fact CheckScience FeedbackWashington Post, and NPR, among dozens of others. We are also frequently used as a resource in libraries, high schools, and universities across the United States.

Join Jim and Greg as they dissect President Biden’s attempt to put a fresh coat of paint on the same old agenda Democrats have been pushing for decades, including his push for massive tax hikes and insistence that his gun control agenda is compliant with the second amendment. They also cheer Tim Scott for a terrific GOP response, in which he blew up several false narratives from Democrats and pushed for critical items like school choice. And they hammer media outlets of both political persuasions for publishing stories that didn’t have all the facts right and for catering to favored politicians.

Media Narrative Flips in Boulder Shooting


The mass shooting at a Boulder, CO, grocery store left 10 dead Sunday. As the gunman was taken into custody, bluechecks flooded Twitter with their hot takes. The cops didn’t kill the murderer because he was a white male promoting white supremacy, obvs. On Monday, the shooter was identified as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa and the narrative flipped in an instant. Back in 2015, I created the following chart and it still holds true:

Oh man, it’s media day in our year-end Three Martini Lunch awards and Jim and Greg are holding nothing back.  Specifically, they look at the stories the mainstream media covered far too much, the ones they conveniently ignored because they didn’t fit their narrative, and what they saw as the best stories of 2020.

A Brave Man Stands Up


Jeff Poelvoorde, whom I met through mutual friends, is a smart, charming, lively, funny guy, a professor of history and politics at Converse College in South Carolina, and an orthodox rabbi. He is also courageous, and when I read his open letter to colleagues and friends, published by the National Association of Scholars, I was sad but not surprised.

The powers that be at Converse had set out “a series of measures to demonstrate the College’s seriousness in addressing the existence of racism and racial bigotry… [including] the mandatory viewing of several videos that purport to address the issues of sensitivity, bias, prejudice, diversity and inclusion.” In his response, Jeff lays out the reasons for his refusal to comply, and it is a refreshing change from the long, abject line of apologizers. The letter is also a model of understanding and manly restraint, and I believe that it is unanswerable, at least from a civilized point of view.

We’re ending the week with all crazy martinis! First, we dissect the partisan fury of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel who says President Trump is no longer welcome in the state because he didn’t wear a mask before cameras while visiting a Ford plant on Thursday. They also hammer Joe Biden for telling a prominent black talk show host, “If you have a problem figuring out if you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” And they react to President Trump unloading on Fox News for not doing more to help him and other Republicans win.

Hey, we actually have a good martini today! Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the apparent news that the Biden campaign is not seriously thinking about Stacey Abrams the running mate to a very wobbly nominee. They’re shocked – although in some ways pleasantly shocked – to see former longtime New York Times figure Martin Tolchin publicly admit he doesn’t want justice or an investigation of Joe Biden in the Tara Reade matter, he just wants a coronation of Biden from the media. And they cringe at the imagery of a SWAT team forcing a Texas bar to stay closed after the bar owner brought in second amendment activists to protect the reopening.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the recovery of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his heartfelt thanks to those who saved his life. They also slam Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for implementing insane restrictions like not being able to visit someone else’s home and not being able to buy plants, flowers, seeds, or even child car seats. And they unload on the New York Times for dismissing a woman’s sexual assault claim against Joe Biden by saying it could not find any other pattern of abuse except for the women who already accused him of hugs, kisses, and touching that made them uncomfortable.

The Irrelevance of the Truth


The letter sent by 1,100 former officials from the Department of Justice condemning AG William Barr is a travesty. That these former officials would demand AG Barr’s resignation in the face of the circumstances that have been publicized and the lack of a complete set of facts is so blatantly political that it should be embarrassing to all of them. They are so blinded by their political biases, however, that they have no clue about how they have tarnished their own reputations.

If we look carefully at this situation, we can see that there are differences of opinion on what actually happened regarding the sentencing recommendation of the Stone case. The protest letter authors assume they know exactly what happened, but given AG Barr’s reputation, I think they don’t have the grounds for a legitimate protest. In their letter, they make this statement:

The Department has a long-standing practice in which political appointees set broad policies that line prosecutors apply to individual cases. That practice exists to animate the constitutional principles regarding the even-handed application of the law. Although there are times when political leadership appropriately weighs in on individual prosecutions, it is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case. It is even more outrageous for the Attorney General to intervene as he did here — after the President publicly condemned the sentencing recommendation that line prosecutors had already filed in court.

Don’t Ruin the Internet Over Flukey ‘Bias’ Incidents Like the One on Pinterest


What passes for “evidence” of Big Tech bias against the right tends to be of the anecdotal variety. A piece of content gets blocked or hidden. An account gets suspended or banned. And then conservative media goes crazy, charging that Silicon Valley is suppressing conservative thought and thinkers.

The latest controversy involves a Pinterest employee sending a series of internal documents to the right-wing political website Project Veritas. The documents supposedly prove flagrant discrimination against pro-life groups and religious conservatives. This whistleblower claims the documents show that Liveaction.org — a pro-life informational website with more than 3 million followers on social media — was unfairly added to a domain blacklist reserved for porn domains, which are prevented from being pinned by Pinterest.

As is typical of these things, the more you look at them, the less substance that appears. Pinterest responded that Live Action site had been “actioned,” Fortune magazine reports, “for “misinformation related to conspiracies and anti-vaccination advice,” and not porn. Indeed, Pinterest was the first platform to clamp down on anti-vaccination content under health and public safety considerations. After the Project Veritas report came out, Pinterest responded by removing Liveaction.org from its porn domain list and said the list name was a legacy from an anti-porn effort years ago. Indeed, there are other URLs on the list, which have nothing to do with porn, such as ZeroHedge.

[Member Post]


People who care about the free exchange of ideas — of any ideas, not merely the ideas that conform to the popular orthodoxies — are frustrated by a seeming paradox: though we are a free people living in an era of unparalleled connectivity in which the communication monopoly represented by old-fashioned media has effectively been […]

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http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20180806-how-hidden-bias-can-stop-you-getting-a-job I was just reading the BBC essay above, on problems encountered in the hiring process, and how employers can further eliminate their hidden biases. Some of it was probably helpful but one sentence jumped out at me: Preview Open

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When It’s Not Punching Down


Although a weaponized bureaucracy, academia, and pop culture are also in the running, with good reason most of us believe that media bias is the single biggest advantage the Left has over conservatism. Bush lied to get us into Iraq.  Sarah Palin was a moron. Romney was a heartless vulture capitalist. The 2008 economic crisis was capitalism’s fault and had nothing to do with government overreach. Bush’s mistakes during Katrina show how racist he was and caused the deaths of thousands while Mayor Nagin’s and Governor Blanco’s ridiculous behavior isn’t even worth mentioning. The only Republicans who aren’t motivated by hate for the poor, gays, immigrants, women, minorities, and Mother Earth are backwards idiots who take the Bible too seriously. All of these beliefs and countless others have been adopted by large swaths of our population, and every one of them was advanced with the help of the mainstream media.

One can only imagine how different Washington would look today were the media merely fair. Of course, I’d love for CNN to have ferociously sought to destroy Lois Lerner instead of politically incorrect rodeo clowns, but had our esteemed Fourth Estate simply gone after Lois and the clown with equal fervor, we’d still be doing far better electorally. Note how much better we do in state and local elections where the national media has far less sway.

3 Journalists Leave CNN for Publishing Unverified Trump/Russia Hit Piece


The DC press corps, desperate to sink Trump, post a new story about Russian election meddling daily. Most of these stories share the common threads of unnamed sources, assumption of bad faith, and wild conjecture. A particularly odious example was a CNN piece published late last week claiming that Senate investigators were looking into Trump backer Anthony Scaramucci’s connections to a Russian investment fund. The allegation was made on the word of a single unnamed source.

Friday night the story vanished from CNN’s website, and some hours later, was replaced with a formal retraction notice and an apology to Scaramucci. After a busy weekend, all three journalists involved with the piece have resigned from the network: Thomas Frank, who wrote the story; Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the unit; and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit.

The departures of Haris, Lichtblau and Frank are likely to come as a surprise to colleagues, particularly given the reputations of the three men.

Adjusting for Publication Bias Reveals True Climate Sensitivity


One of my good friends (who I’ve unsuccessfully been prodding to join Ricochet) writes the underappreciated blog “Grok in Fullness” under the pseudonym Jubal Harshaw. Since he’s refused my brow-beatings, I’m forced to regurgitate his brilliance here.

His most recent post references two articles on climate science. The thesis of his article is that there is statistical bias in prestigious journals with regards to climate science (“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”). Both “Publication Bias in Measuring Climate Sensitivity” and the counter article “No evidence of publication bias in climate change science” actually conclude the same thing, titles notwithstanding. Please go there to see all the lovely details complete with “funnel plots” and intellectual rigor.

But the bias is not the most interesting part for me. The most interesting part is the climate sensitivity conclusion, on which both articles agree. You see, CO2 has a mathematical contribution to the greenhouse effect that amounts to about 1.0 C for every doubling of carbon. It’s logarithmic, which already mitigates the effect of continued burning of fossil fuels. What it all comes down to is what the secondary “forcing” is (mainly the feedback loop of extra water vapor, a powerful greenhouse gas, released into the atmosphere due to increased temperature). Climate alarmists would have you believe the effect of all the other factors is 3x to 6x. It turns out both the bias adjusted factor and the “complete” factor (including the results in obscure journals) came out to about 1.6x.