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  • #31
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    The site linked in the article on morals is quite interesting, and very, very detailed. There are dozens of tests you can take if you sign up. I did some of them a few years ago. The results can be surprising.

    What I get from reading a number of articles like the one I linked, is that the Left is more insular than the Center and Right. That is the Left tends to associate with the Left, watch news and media that tends toward their own position or is in line with their own position.
    I don't think you understand how amusing it is hearing this about just one side of the spectrum. Liberals say the same thing about conservatives and point to Fox News and talk radio as examples of that same group-think mentality conservatives accuse them of. This seems like another example of partisan bias, where the same general behavior is ignored on the "good" side but pointed out on the "bad" side.

    It is a common human tendency to prefer people of the same affiliation and to prefer information that confirms with ones beliefs. There is enough research on that subject alone to demonstrate that this is completely independent of such broad political thought.

    For example, academia at the college level is overwhelmingly Leftist. That is a pretty insular society of its own. It is the Conservative or Centrist on a university campus that gets to see things from outside the bubble.
    Sure - there are plenty of bubbles inside society. The military is very conservative. The youth are liberal, the elderly conservative. The exceptions to such rules are the rarity, not the norm.

    The same goes for society in general. The news tends towards Left of Center. That means people in the Center and on the Right get exposed to lots of Leftist ideas and positions while those on the Left mostly see stuff they agree with.
    Which is only true if one considers the audience as a passive receptor with no deciding agency on their own. Which is pretty discredited these days.

    And this also equates number of sources with viewership which, again, only holds water if one both treats the audience as passive drones and makes assumptions about number of sources being the same as media exposure.

    As an example, it is irrelevant if there are 9 liberal sources and 1 conservative source for news if that 1 conservative source still holds onto 50% of the viewership. The american audience still receives the same amount of biased information when there is an even split in sources and audience.

    Remember that even studies about the media are struggling to cope with the rise of the social media behemoth. Some studies do show that liberals are still leading the charge on that front - conservatives are generally slower to adopt to new technology compared to liberals (see tv and internet), but that trend doesn't last forever.

    That leaves the Left in a position where they don't get exposed to ideas outside their own and on the occasions when they do, they really don't know how to handle them.
    Again, this assumes that the audience is passive and doesn't seek out information that suits their needs - they're just receptors for the media message and cannot look elsewhere for information.

    And going off what I pointed out above, since # of biased sources does not equal viewership (especially in the age of the internet) then this is doubly problematic since certain sources have much larger viewing bodies than others do, meaning the impact of their biased message has more "power".

    What do you think would have greater impact: one million Twitter accounts with one follower each, or one Twitter account with one million followers?

    And finally, this also makes the mistake of assuming that liberal and conservatives are binary equations without overlap in belief. What happens if one is a pro-choice conservative or a pro-gun liberal? Being slightly off base from whatever bias one is accusing the media of possessing automatically invalidates the argument since it exposes them to plenty of different views, eh?

    Another example, is (and I've seen this numerous times now), a Conservative talker of some sort is invited on a fairly Leftist talk show. When the Conservative challenges Leftist positions in some logical and reasonable way they are met with anger and vitriol rather than a rational response. I watched Hugh Hewett (a Right wing radio talk show host who's a real Constitutional law professor (unlike Obama pretending to be one), among other things and a very smart guy) on the show The Talk several years ago where he hit the hosts (all women on the Left) with a really great and totally opposed answer to their question and the hosts got all huffy and insulting and three of them walked off the set they were so mad.

    His interview on the show turned into a disaster for the show.

    This is not uncommon. Try calling any Progressive talk radio show other than Thom Hartmann's and you'll get berated and insulted by the host for not being in agreement with the Left. Sure, there are some on the Right that do that, but many don't. They try to hold a real discussion with give and take.
    Really? You've never heard conservatives getting angry or belittle their opposites? I can guarantee you that if you were to check into any hour of Fox's punditry shows, you'll get demeaning and insulting comments made about liberals, liberal politicians, and liberal supporters.

    And I'm not even trying to say they're more prone to it (though I have collected some data personally for an old paper that suggested O'Reilly was far more likely to do so than the comparable CNN talking head).

    Watch Samantha Bee sometime. She's a perfect example of a Progressive throwing insults at everything not on the Left.
    I prefer to avoid such people. I don't like the spitting angry crowd.

    But more importantly, none of what I've said so far is about the concept of a general liberal bias in the media: that's got its share of documentation, and even if it were objectively untrue, the perception of it is still so strong that it might as well be true in terms of audience reaction to news content.

    The fact is that news content and access to alternative ideas is utterly unrelated to the number of sources as long as the number of sources is greater than 0. The internet has broken down the barrier to accessing information from alternative viewpoints: if one wants to read or view a differing viewpoint, then all one has to do is use a search engine.

    All sources are not equal in impact and viewership, so the number of sources - especially in a world without limits on access such as the internet - is not the end all, be all in accessing content.

    In summary, it is a false assumption to believe that liberals are all less well informed and more insular than conservatives because there are more sources for a liberally biased message than a conservatively biased message. One could make a VERY strong argument claiming the opposite ("since conservatives have access to fewer sources they are drawing their information from only one or two moutpieces rather than the dozen different sources used by liberals") if one were to accept such logic.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
      I don't think you understand how amusing it is hearing this about just one side of the spectrum. Liberals say the same thing about conservatives and point to Fox News and talk radio as examples of that same group-think mentality conservatives accuse them of. This seems like another example of partisan bias, where the same general behavior is ignored on the "good" side but pointed out on the "bad" side.
      As a singular example as opposed to the rest of the spectrum pointing to Reuters, AP, CNN, MSNBC, and a plethora of other Left of Center to Leftist news outlets. One versus many...

      It is a common human tendency to prefer people of the same affiliation and to prefer information that confirms with ones beliefs. There is enough research on that subject alone to demonstrate that this is completely independent of such broad political thought.
      Sure it is. But, when one group is predominant in the public square raising its voice and everyone at least gets to listen to them while the voices of so many others are drowned out or stifled, it tends to make everyone aware of the voice they've heard even if their own voice and opinion hasn't been widely publicized. That's where the Left is today.

      Sure - there are plenty of bubbles inside society. The military is very conservative. The youth are liberal, the elderly conservative. The exceptions to such rules are the rarity, not the norm.
      Ah, but the Left singularly is fairly insular. You only find significant Progressive movements in large dense urban areas and at universities. Rural and small town America generally isn't Progressive in their views. The "fly over" part of the US can hardly be called Progressive in general.
      Yes, the military is very conservative, but for the most part that is a temporary experience for much of its members. Also, unlike universities, the military doesn't practice political indoctrination. In fact, doing so can get those who are in serious legal trouble under the UCMJ.

      Which is only true if one considers the audience as a passive receptor with no deciding agency on their own. Which is pretty discredited these days.

      And this also equates number of sources with viewership which, again, only holds water if one both treats the audience as passive drones and makes assumptions about number of sources being the same as media exposure.

      As an example, it is irrelevant if there are 9 liberal sources and 1 conservative source for news if that 1 conservative source still holds onto 50% of the viewership. The american audience still receives the same amount of biased information when there is an even split in sources and audience.
      Wrong. It is relevant. Quantity has a quality all its own. If there are a multitude of Leftist sources from papers, to television, to radio, to whatever, and far fewer Rightist ones the chances are you get exposed to far more Leftist view points than Rightist ones. Sure, you can filter this to some extent but it's much harder to filter out a tsunami of Leftist views versus a ripple of Rightist ones.

      Remember that even studies about the media are struggling to cope with the rise of the social media behemoth. Some studies do show that liberals are still leading the charge on that front - conservatives are generally slower to adopt to new technology compared to liberals (see tv and internet), but that trend doesn't last forever.
      True. The way we are getting information is changing radically. The Left has fought hard to prevent that from happening. Some examples:

      The Left has:

      Tried to revive "The Fairness Doctrine."

      (via the Obama administration) sell off the Internet to groups that very well would regulate out content they don't like, mostly to be non-Leftist content that gets pushed out.

      Using organs of government to regulate out of existence, or at least stifle, opposing views such as the Lois Learner incident using the IRS to stifle Right Wing groups through selective tax practices and audits.

      Again, this assumes that the audience is passive and doesn't seek out information that suits their needs - they're just receptors for the media message and cannot look elsewhere for information.
      This is more a matter of difficulty. If Leftist messages are prevalent and common while non-Leftist ones are fewer in number then the effort to find those opposing views takes more effort. And, much of the audience is passive. So, they get a much larger sample of Leftist messaging than other parts of the spectrum based on numbers alone.

      And going off what I pointed out above, since # of biased sources does not equal viewership (especially in the age of the internet) then this is doubly problematic since certain sources have much larger viewing bodies than others do, meaning the impact of their biased message has more "power".

      What do you think would have greater impact: one million Twitter accounts with one follower each, or one Twitter account with one million followers?
      Neither. Twitter is almost inane. The messages are far to short to make any real sense of. The best description of Twitter is it's a mass form of electronic gossip.

      And finally, this also makes the mistake of assuming that liberal and conservatives are binary equations without overlap in belief. What happens if one is a pro-choice conservative or a pro-gun liberal? Being slightly off base from whatever bias one is accusing the media of possessing automatically invalidates the argument since it exposes them to plenty of different views, eh?
      Of course there is some overlap as you move from Right to Left. The difference is the response you get from those near your own position. A pro-choice conservative won't be met by a vulgar, vehement, and angry shouting mob of people telling them they are absolutely wrong. A pro-gun Progressive will.
      Take that in reverse too. The pro-choice Conservative will still get hammered by the Left if their position is not abortion on demand at any time. If they are say, first trimester is okay, that's not going to fly on the Left. You get massive pushback.
      If the pro-gun Liberal talks to the Right there may be disagreement on position but they will get heard and not simply shouted down as wrong.


      Really? You've never heard conservatives getting angry or belittle their opposites? I can guarantee you that if you were to check into any hour of Fox's punditry shows, you'll get demeaning and insulting comments made about liberals, liberal politicians, and liberal supporters.
      Not the way the Left so consistently does it. You'd be hard pressed to find cases of the Right on those shows using direct insults like "You're an idiot!" or profanity against the Left. The Right also doesn't storm off the set like the Left does when they don't get their way.

      And I'm not even trying to say they're more prone to it (though I have collected some data personally for an old paper that suggested O'Reilly was far more likely to do so than the comparable CNN talking head).

      I prefer to avoid such people. I don't like the spitting angry crowd.
      And, that's the difference. The Left tends to act like an angry mob far more than the Right where it is much more an individual viewpoint that is held up. The validity of that viewpoint is a different issue from how it's presented.

      But more importantly, none of what I've said so far is about the concept of a general liberal bias in the media: that's got its share of documentation, and even if it were objectively untrue, the perception of it is still so strong that it might as well be true in terms of audience reaction to news content.

      The fact is that news content and access to alternative ideas is utterly unrelated to the number of sources as long as the number of sources is greater than 0. The internet has broken down the barrier to accessing information from alternative viewpoints: if one wants to read or view a differing viewpoint, then all one has to do is use a search engine.

      All sources are not equal in impact and viewership, so the number of sources - especially in a world without limits on access such as the internet - is not the end all, be all in accessing content.

      In summary, it is a false assumption to believe that liberals are all less well informed and more insular than conservatives because there are more sources for a liberally biased message than a conservatively biased message. One could make a VERY strong argument claiming the opposite ("since conservatives have access to fewer sources they are drawing their information from only one or two moutpieces rather than the dozen different sources used by liberals") if one were to accept such logic.
      Quantity has a quality all its own. When the viewpoints in the public square generally hail from the Left it makes knowing that viewpoint far easier than knowing other ones. That's where Conservatives generally know more about Liberal views than the reverse. The Conservative looks for their own views but is still heavily exposed to the Liberal ones. The Liberal can easily filter out Conservative views and only be exposed to their own.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        Here's one article of dozens, if not hundreds, that demonstrates that those on the Left just don't understand the rest of the political spectrum...

        http://hotair.com/archives/2012/04/1...ive-positions/
        A couple other good quotes from that link to consider;
        ...
        Haidt and Biggs both have a point. It takes just about a year of actively debating politics or witnessing the debate of politics to realize that (a) the two parties to the debate don’t speak the same language and (b) the liberal party will have few opportunities to learn the conservative’s language. It’s not only that we don’t use the same words, it’s that we also assign completely different meanings to the same words.
        ...
        The word “just” is defined as “based on right.” Our concept of what is fair starts with our concept of what is a right. Whereas progressives think that rights are given by the government, conservatives think that “we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.” Among our God-given rights is the right to keep the fruits of our labor. So far, I have never heard a good argument that we have a right or a claim to the fruits of others’ labor unless they have promised them to us for some reason. We certainly never have an intrinsic a priori claim on the fruits of someone else’s labor.

        As long as he is allowed to keep what he has earned, the conservative thinks he has been treated fairly — even if others have more than he has. The liberal has a completely different definition of fairness. Liberals seem to think we have a right to the same fruits no matter what our labor.

        It is true that different kinds and quantities of work yield different kinds and quantities of fruits. That is sometimes hard to take — but if, in the end, we receive the fruits we agreed to when we selected our labor, then the fruits we receive are fair. (For example, if we agree to a particular day’s wages and we receive that day’s wages, then we have been treated fairly. Nobody changed the deal to which we agreed.) In making the choice to be a secretary and not a hedge fund manager, for example, the secretary forgoes some of the fruits of the hedge fund manager — but obtains some fruits the hedge fund manager never tastes, say the fruit of more time to spend with family or the fruit of less stress. If we are not content with the fruits of our labor, perhaps we ought first to consider changing our labor, rather than demand we be given different fruits.

        One last thought: Conservatives clearly have a more expansive view of what constitutes “fruits.” We do not measure success and fairness solely by money. In the example above, I recognize the worth of time off and less pressure — two intangibles. For all that liberals like to talk about conservative greed, it’s interesting that conservatives can content themselves with less money in exchange for other benefits whereas liberals seem blind to those benefits and just want the money.
        ...
        http://hotair.com/archives/2012/04/1...ive-positions/

        Certainly see signs of this here on ACG.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          As a singular example as opposed to the rest of the spectrum pointing to Reuters, AP, CNN, MSNBC, and a plethora of other Left of Center to Leftist news outlets. One versus many...
          Yet the problem there is the equation of them all as being part of the same political spectrum, even if one were to accept they were all biased: MSNBC is not the same ideologically as CNN or the AP.

          Sure it is. But, when one group is predominant in the public square raising its voice and everyone at least gets to listen to them while the voices of so many others are drowned out or stifled, it tends to make everyone aware of the voice they've heard even if their own voice and opinion hasn't been widely publicized. That's where the Left is today.
          You just described every political group and the state of American (if not human) social interaction, not just the liberal mindset. Trump alone is a refutation that such ADHD attention on the loudest, most attention grabbing voice is limited to the left. Both sides do so, and have done so for ages. How long has apocalyptic hyperbole been a part of American politics?

          Who are you more likely to look at while at a restaurant: the man quietly eating his dinner in the corner, or the guy screaming in pleasure with every bite?

          Being loud and extreme draws attention. Full stop. Politics and media is a reflection of that common truth.

          Ah, but the Left singularly is fairly insular. You only find significant Progressive movements in large dense urban areas and at universities. Rural and small town America generally isn't Progressive in their views. The "fly over" part of the US can hardly be called Progressive in general.
          Yes, the military is very conservative, but for the most part that is a temporary experience for much of its members. Also, unlike universities, the military doesn't practice political indoctrination. In fact, doing so can get those who are in serious legal trouble under the UCMJ.
          Your point is subverted because a) your argument could be revered and still be true (conservatives find traction in rural and not urban areas and are thus more insular), b) urban areas have much higher population densities than rural areas, making geographic spread irrelevant, and c) rural areas are dying while urban areas continue to grow.

          If 90% of the population for a state lives in the cities, and one party dominates in those urban areas, then it's easier to claim the other, non-urban party with the smaller population base is more insular since it has a smaller body of followers.

          Wrong. It is relevant. Quantity has a quality all its own. If there are a multitude of Leftist sources from papers, to television, to radio, to whatever, and far fewer Rightist ones the chances are you get exposed to far more Leftist view points than Rightist ones. Sure, you can filter this to some extent but it's much harder to filter out a tsunami of Leftist views versus a ripple of Rightist ones.
          First, news media consumption and trust in the news media is low and has been decreasing for decades. That is a bipartisan development. That should be understood because there is a reason the younger generations are more prone to social media and comedy shows rather than trusting in your CNN/Fox/MSNBC broadcast.

          Secondly, you are overstating the importance of quantity as the audience has a limited desire to consume news media. Also, the average American doesn't consume news media randomly, and prefers it from certain sources.

          If the average American is only interested in, say, 15 minutes of serious news media content a day, and they're not passive consumers but seek out outlets they prefer, then the number of sources has far less impact than the actual audience figures.

          True. The way we are getting information is changing radically. The Left has fought hard to prevent that from happening. Some examples:

          The Left has:

          Tried to revive "The Fairness Doctrine."

          (via the Obama administration) sell off the Internet to groups that very well would regulate out content they don't like, mostly to be non-Leftist content that gets pushed out.

          Using organs of government to regulate out of existence, or at least stifle, opposing views such as the Lois Learner incident using the IRS to stifle Right Wing groups through selective tax practices and audits.
          It's kinda funny since there was a lot of GOP support for the different attempts to regulate the Internet. Indeed, I wonder if you're not trying to just attach everything negative to the left since SOPA was introduced by a Texas Republican, while PIPA had its vote postponed by Reid.

          And we've had multiple conservatives see little issue when journalists are killed - they probably deserved it anyway.

          It sounds like attacks on free speech and attempts to control the message are more bipartisan than expected. We know for a fact liberals do it, and we know for a fact conservatives do as well. Heck, the hypocrisy on both sides abounds as both sides always want to believe they're in the right.

          Free speech can be strangled far too easily, and from any side. That's what makes it so difficult to protect.

          This is more a matter of difficulty. If Leftist messages are prevalent and common while non-Leftist ones are fewer in number then the effort to find those opposing views takes more effort. And, much of the audience is passive. So, they get a much larger sample of Leftist messaging than other parts of the spectrum based on numbers alone.
          First, the audience isn't passive. That's a generally discredited and outdated model that isn't given much traction these days. Just as a quick thought experiment, consider that you're right and the audience is a passive receptor and do not shape or mold the message: if this were true, and your claim about the number of liberal sources was true, then the American population would reflect that message much more closely and the % that would share that liberal mindset would be much higher.

          Secondly, it isn't more difficult to find non-liberal sources because all sources are not equal. The only situation in which your argument is true is in the case of extreme poverty, where the individual has basic cable (access to ABC et al. on tv) but no internet access, or just one newspaper and no tv/internet access.

          As long as one has Internet on their phone, access is not more difficult. One just has to google "conservative news" and you have access to multiple conservative sources.

          Remember that news media access has changed dramatically in recent years. Fox News and CNN and MSNBC are always available on the television where access is just a button press away, and the Internet has torn down even those barriers by making it even easier than ever to access articles you want to find.

          Again, I'm not saying that the liberal bias in the news media isn't an issue - goodness it is - but that the idea that the liberal bias is some reflection of an inherent opposition to free speech is wrong, and that the idea that this is not known or being addressed is also false. Media content is fluid and reflects market pressure.

          The AP was built upon the concept that less ideologically biased copy would sell better to national outlets than if it were explicitly partisan - and for most of the 20th century, news media was explicitly biased.

          Fox News was built upon the concept that conservatives deserved their own biased news source because it was an untapped market - and they're continuing to grow their market share because of it.

          Today, people are less trustful and less invested in major media outlets.

          Neither. Twitter is almost inane. The messages are far to short to make any real sense of. The best description of Twitter is it's a mass form of electronic gossip.
          Any news media outlet that ignores Twitter and social media is grossly incompetent.

          On the more pragmatic sides, how do you expect to get accurate information out of Syria when the major media sources aren't paying to send journalists into the country? YouTube and Twitter are the purest representation of the bottom-up journalist model - and are as problematic as one would expect!

          Of course there is some overlap as you move from Right to Left. The difference is the response you get from those near your own position. A pro-choice conservative won't be met by a vulgar, vehement, and angry shouting mob of people telling them they are absolutely wrong. A pro-gun Progressive will.
          Take that in reverse too. The pro-choice Conservative will still get hammered by the Left if their position is not abortion on demand at any time. If they are say, first trimester is okay, that's not going to fly on the Left. You get massive pushback.
          If the pro-gun Liberal talks to the Right there may be disagreement on position but they will get heard and not simply shouted down as wrong.
          I might just summarizing these responses as "Liberals are just worse" responses, since every one is the same: accuse the left of a negative trait/behavior, admit that conservatives do the same but on a much smaller scale, then return to original point that liberals do it more/worse than conservatives.

          And ironically, it seems you're just falling prey to the same "loudest voice gets the most attention" phenomenon you addressed before. Don't fall victim to assuming that just because you see something on tv or YouTube repeatedly, it represents the mainstream or norm.

          Not the way the Left so consistently does it. You'd be hard pressed to find cases of the Right on those shows using direct insults like "You're an idiot!" or profanity against the Left. The Right also doesn't storm off the set like the Left does when they don't get their way.
          Hard pressed?

          How many examples do you want for me to provide so you will admit you were wrong?

          And, that's the difference. The Left tends to act like an angry mob far more than the Right where it is much more an individual viewpoint that is held up. The validity of that viewpoint is a different issue from how it's presented.
          "Liberals are just worse".

          Quantity has a quality all its own. When the viewpoints in the public square generally hail from the Left it makes knowing that viewpoint far easier than knowing other ones. That's where Conservatives generally know more about Liberal views than the reverse. The Conservative looks for their own views but is still heavily exposed to the Liberal ones. The Liberal can easily filter out Conservative views and only be exposed to their own.
          Again, this concept is an outdated one due to the rise of the Internet and alternative media outlets. A conservative can easily consume news media without ever being exposed to direct liberal bias. This is not an argument against the liberal bias, only that the argument that this bias somehow results in conservatives being more informed and just "better" is a flawed one. Heck, just look at how people consume media and the concept starts taking on water.

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