realism? clear thinking? whither it go?

Stephen Miller’s insufferable uncle by Paul Mirengoff – “Glosser’s piece is a shrill, hyper-personal rant of the “Give me your tired, your poor” genre. But for Glosser’s status as Stephen Miller’s uncle, I don’t think Politico would even have considered running it.” Here is another example, in detail, illustrating why reasoned discussion is so difficult.

“Glosser concludes that “immigration reform is a complex issue that will require compassion and wisdom to bring the nation to a just solution. . .” True. But it will also require realism, clear thinking, and considerably more intellectual honesty than Uncle David is able to muster in his nasty attack on his nephew.

Using the Truth to Lie by Thales – “for the citations within it are true, even though the spin has rendered it into something it really is not. How do you articulate that?” Another examination to consider …

“Denethor was shown nothing but truth by the palantir. It could not be made to lie to him. But Sauron could spin what was shown, and cause Denethor to mistake the meaning of the things he saw. This tactic is readily employed by the media, and in the past it has been extremely effective. The journalist, if confronted on his spin, could escape with the excuse “but everything I have said is true!” We know there is a wrong here, we can sense it, but to prove it unequivocally is difficult, and essentially impossible if the instances are few enough.

Over time, with many such incidences, we can begin to notice the pattern.

we may have to give up the expedient of looking into the palantir, and just find the answers on our own, the hard way.

Betsy Newmark provides a classic example when she starts out with “Listening to the news yesterday brought home once again what happens when we elect a reality show star for president.” Go see Dana Perino’s column to find out what Newmark’s bias and blindness misses and distorts. and Newmark teaches history…

Complicating the Narratives By Amanda Ripley – “What if journalists covered controversial issues differently — based on how humans actually behave when they are polarized and suspicious?” There are some good points but the argument suffers in taking a “both sides do it” bias. The process and methodology described is all about leading people to intellectual integrity when they don’t want to go there. Ripley is engaged in a voyage of self discovery here.

“I spent the past three months interviewing people who know conflict intimately and have developed creative ways of navigating it. I met psychologists, mediators, lawyers, rabbis and other people who know how to disrupt toxic narratives and get people to reveal deeper truths. They do it every day — with livid spouses, feuding business partners, spiteful neighbors. They have learned how to get people to open up to new ideas, rather than closing down in judgment and indignation.

… After spending more than 50 hours in training for various forms of dispute resolution, I realized that I’ve overestimated my ability to quickly understand what drives people to do what they do. I have overvalued reasoning in myself and others and undervalued pride, fear and the need to belong.

The lesson for journalists (or anyone) working amidst intractable conflict: complicate the narrative. First, complexity leads to a fuller, more accurate story. Secondly, it boosts the odds that your work will matter — particularly if it is about a polarizing issue. When people encounter complexity, they become more curious and less closed off to new information. They listen, in other words.

The Hypocrisy of the NFL’s Raised Fist and Kneeling Players by Toni Williams – “I am not going to relitigate that this is a work place issue and not a First Amendment issue. Instead, I am going to call these athletes out for their hypocrisy.”

“The hypocrisy of these people is as elite as their athletic status. They are getting huge amounts of Social Justice cred and at the same time killing their source of income. Go right ahead guys and keep raising your fists and kneeling. Baseball could really become America’s sport again and y’all might be able to buy tickets.

Hypocrisy is one thing. Ignorance is another. Where would they be in either opportunity, wealth, social justice, freedoms, or status in any other country?

Comments are closed.