Tag: Bias

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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Welcome to the Celestial Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for August 22, 2017 it’s the Liberal Eclipse edition of the show with your hosts Todd Feinburg, radio talk show host, and Mike Stopa, nanophysicist. This week, beneath ominous and foretelling skies we bring you ominous and foretelling tales both ancient and modern of the fates of our times. We will talk about the following Orwellian premise: how can you sort out truth from fiction when all messaging is biased? Whatever happened to unbiased journalism? Was it ever more than a myth?

And then we will discuss the defection (I almost wrote another similar-sounding word there that would have been more appropriate) of one Julian Krein from (so he says) the Trump defenders over to the Bill Kristol/Jennifer Rubin/Bret Stephens/etc. etc. wing, the so-called “irrelevant wing” of the conservative movement. Krein writes:

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.

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club podcast for September 27, 2016! It’s the Trump Rocked It, But the Media Won’t Say It! edition, brought to you by SimpliSafe!

The morning after the Thrilla in Hampstead, nanophysicist Mike Stopa and radio talk host Todd Feinburg tell you who won the debate and how. Then we’ll share our prerecorded predictions (just to make ourselves look dumber than usual), followed by our shower thoughts and our Hidden Gem from the band XTC.

Why the Media Is So Liberal


media_biasI recall seeing a political cartoon that contrasted the way the media treated Tim Tebow versus how it treated Jason Collins, the first openly-homosexual NBA player. It depicted Tebow saying: “I’m a Christian,” and the reporter turns his back to him and walks away muttering: “Keep it to yourself.” Next to that picture, Collins is depicted saying: “I’m gay,” and the reporter lifts his microphone towards him and exclaims: “Tell me more, you big hero!!!”

Have you noticed a difference in the way the media covers liberals versus conservatives? When it comes to left-wing economic and social policies, do you find that the media functions more as advocates than reporters? In fact, the media bias is so rampant in this election cycle that Michael Goodwin of the New York Post was forced to write: “American journalism is collapsing before our eyes.”

Why are journalists so liberal? Or perhaps to put it more precisely: How can an institution that claims to be impartial and objective in its reporting turn out to be so blatantly biased?

Zuckerberg’s Conservative Battle

zamzawawi isa / Shutterstock.com

Mark Zuckerberg and his massive social-media site Facebook have come under strong criticism for allegedly suppressing stories of interest for conservative readers from its influential “trending” news section. Facebook has roughly 1.6 billion users worldwide, of whom 167 million are in the United States. Its “trending” topics is therefore a powerful political influence.