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 Post subject: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:02 am 
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https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-co ... ia-in-2016

The Washington conventional wisdom presupposes a kind of symmetry between our polarized political parties. Liberals and conservatives, it is said, live in separate bubbles, where they watch different television networks, frequent different Web sites, and absorb different realities. The implication of this view is that both sides resemble each other in their twisted views of reality. Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity, in other words, represent two sides of the same coin.

This view is precisely wrong, according to a provocative new book by Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, and Hal Roberts that will be published next month by Oxford University Press. The book’s title, “Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics,” is a mouthful, but the book’s message is almost simple. The two sides are not, in fact, equal when it comes to evaluating “news” stories, or even in how they view reality. Liberals want facts; conservatives want their biases reinforced. Liberals embrace journalism; conservatives believe propaganda. In the more measured but still emphatic words of the authors, “the right-wing media ecosystem differs categorically from the rest of the media environment,” and has been much more susceptible to “disinformation, lies and half-truths.”

“Network Propaganda” is an academic work at the crossroads of law, sociology, and media studies. Benkler is a law professor at Harvard and a co-director of the university’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, where Faris and Roberts both conduct research. The book is not a work of media criticism but, rather, of data analysis—a study of millions of online stories, tweets, and Facebook-sharing data points. The authors’ conclusion is that “something very different was happening in right-wing media than in centrist, center-left and left-wing media.” Accordingly, they wrote the book “to shine a light on the right-wing media ecosystem itself as the primary culprit in sowing confusion and distrust in the broader American ecosystem.”

The core of the book is the study of how that right-wing ecosystem works. According to the authors, false stories are launched on a series of extreme Web sites, such as InfoWars (the home of Alex Jones), “none of which claim to follow the norms or processes of professional journalistic objectivity.” Those stories are then transmitted to outlets such as Fox News and the Daily Caller, which, according to the authors, “do claim to follow journalistic norms,” but often fail in that function when it comes to tales from the Web sites. Notably, the authors write, “this pattern is not mirrored on the left wing.” There are no significant Web sites on the left that parallel the chronic falsity of those on the right, and the upstream sources do follow traditional journalistic standards, and serve “as a consistent check on the dissemination and validation of the most extreme stories when they do emerge on the left, and have no parallels in the levels of visibility or trust that can perform the same function on the right.”

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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:37 pm 
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This is my single biggest concern with our political culture and what I think is the main driver of the problems we see with contemporary conservative / Republican politics. I think if we don’t reverse course soon this has the potential to collapse our democracy. The threat is that serious.

The thing is, as much as I think and read about this phenomenon, I’ve seen no viable solution. This produces a sense of despair and frustration that wouldn’t be there if there was a clear path to making the situation better. I’ll almost certainly read this, but I expect that it’ll also be at a loss for getting us out of this cultural hole.


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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:40 pm 
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So, uh. What do you think? The author of this article is a pretty well-known center-left journalist, so it's unsurprising that he thinks his industry is losing ground to 'propagandists'. I mean, it's not like HE was a propagandist or anything working with other journalists to tank Hillary Clinton's campaign with whataboutist coverage. It was completely buffoonish to do so, I guess borne out of a hubris thinking she had the election in the tank, so I'm not sure why we should listen to him when he's been a regular on CNN, which is straight up a Leftist propaganda mill.

I can't believe that any of these people still haven't figured out that Fox news and other right-wing media outlets are a direct result of their constant Leftist slanting on the news. They want to claim they're centrist or 'factual' news reporting types, but that's a load of absolute BULL ____.

Anyway. The ICBM has left the silo, so I don't really know what it is he and others like him want. The electorate is too frazzled and frankly daft to really parse out nuance. And that works to a politician's advantage. Here in Utah we have politicians straight up stealing land, doling out contracts to buddies, going to work for oil companies after tanking the Bears Ears thing, OUT IN THE ____ OPEN. I've never seen anything like it. The balls on these guys (and two women that come to mind right now). The Salt Lake Tribune, a fairly centrist news organization, ____ outed these people every step of the way, and it still doesn't make a difference.

So. Again. What's Toobin getting at? He doesn't have the moral high ground with Trump since he's a shameless adulterer himself. What's his deal? Where's he going with this?

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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:46 pm 
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CNN isn’t remotely “leftist.” It’s biases are primarily towards tabloid topics and covering politics like it is a he-said, she-said sporting event. In fact, to the extent that CNN’s need for “balance” magnifies rampant dishonesty / bad faith coming from the right wing media ecosystem, it ends up creating a right wing bias. CNN’s absurd coverage of “emails!” that contributed to by far the most important reason why Clinton lost is a good example of that.


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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:46 pm 
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Maksutov wrote:
Liberals want facts; conservatives want their biases reinforced. Liberals embrace journalism; conservatives believe propaganda.


While I'm sure the authors have plenty of examples showing this divide drawing on the aggressiveness of right-wing news sites, I can't agree with the statement above. People are people and we have that all too human tendency lean on facts when they work in our favor and propaganda when they don't. If the above were true, sites like Daily Kos would have withered long ago. Maddow may be correct far more frequently than Hannity but I don't think for a moment it has anything to do with a stronger affinity for truth.


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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:53 pm 
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The fact that CNN devoted a huge amount of air time to just showing Trump rallies is also a major reason why he was the Republican nominee. They did it because the clown show was good ratings and they made an editorial decision that Trump being Trump itself was fair because he hangs himself. That’s liberal bias producing conservative bias though, as all that did is give Trump a fortune’s worth of prime infomercial ad space.


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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:53 pm 
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There's no doubt about it.

I've been thinking a lot about this weird little cult on the right, and the outrageous things they believe about themselves and others. What's remarkable is that if you're outside the cult, you're labeled (dismissed) a "leftist." It doesn't matter where you fall on the political spectrum on any given issue; the moment you say anything which contradicts info inside the cult bubble, you're some version of an evil, deranged leftist.

It's easy to recognize this phenomenon after the experience with the term "anti-mormon." Right wing media has created a monster.

It's amusing that the people who call disagreement a mental disorder are the ones who also openly express disdain for facts.

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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:03 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
CNN isn’t remotely “leftist.” It’s biases are primarily towards tabloid topics and covering politics like it is a he-said, she-said sporting event. In fact, to the extent that CNN’s need for “balance” magnifies rampant dishonesty / bad faith coming from the right wing media ecosystem, it ends up creating a right wing bias. CNN’s absurd coverage of “emails!” that contributed to by far the most important reason why Clinton lost is a good example of that.


You can keep saying that all you want, but when this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_bia ... ted_States

indicates the perception of reality is different what we're left with is 'what do we do'?

Well, I think what 'we're doing' is creating news media organizations that fill niche needs in the various target audiences. Basically the only thing that can happen is the creation of echo chambers through which people who find whatever chamber comforts their notions of right and wrong will consume the product.

That's where we're at and unless our government successfully seizes control of the flow of information, media, and communication channels to ensure whichever party in power controls the narrative we're stuck with irrationality, propaganda, and everyone claiming they're being totes and fair and balanced.

- Doc

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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:29 pm 
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The most essential grift of modern conservatism is to call all non-conservative propaganda liberally biased which causes news sources obsessed with being fair and balanced to “both sides” to skew their coverage to right wing narratives rather than just trying to aim for what is correct. It ironically plays on liberal biases of journalists who are afraid of being accused of biased and is just a transparent working the refs strategy. So you get mainstream sources pulled by right wing narratives while they simultaneously try to sow distrust among dedicated conservatives in anything that isn’t right wing agitprop.

This is a very serious problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:41 pm 
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Once again EAllusion is astonished to find CNN falls to the Left almost to the same degree Fox falls to the right:

Image

Not that he'd ever admit to being wrong about, well, anything. :rolleyes:

I don't know why he's so slavishly devoted to downplaying Leftist 'grifting' of the narrative (whatever "grift" means in context to the thread), because he's totally-not-a-Leftist so it's a bit weird to see him white knight on behalf of Leftists more often than not. *shrugs*

That said, Mak, I'm not really sure what point of the article was because you haven't weighed in with your opinion. Are you suggesting the the Right are somehow propagandists while the Left are fairer in their treatment of news?

Also, it's probably fair to note that most online news sources that get a fair amount of clicks are hands down Leftist 'propaganda' mills.

- Doc

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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:50 pm 
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Doc, I think you are mixing audience slant with the news organization slant. Although PBS/NPR have a predominantly liberal audience I don't think it fair to say their lean is equal to that. There is some left lean there, primarily in the stories they choose to cover, but they are notorious for offering perspective on both sides. They also generally have a "pro-government" bent that leads them to not always call-out politicians/officials on both sides of the aisle for the things they do.

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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:54 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:55 pm 
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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Once again EAllusion is astonished to find CNN falls to the Left almost to the same degree Fox falls to the right:

Image

Not that he'd ever admit to being wrong about, well, anything. :rolleyes:

I don't know why he's so slavishly devoted to downplaying Leftist 'grifting' of the narrative (whatever "grift" means in context to the thread), because he's totally-not-a-Leftist so it's a bit weird to see him white knight on behalf of Leftists more often than not. *shrugs*

That said, Mak, I'm not really sure what point of the article was because you haven't weighed in with your opinion. Are you suggesting the the Right are somehow propagandists while the Left are fairer in their treatment of news?

Also, it's probably fair to note that most online news sources that get a fair amount of clicks are hands down Leftist 'propaganda' mills.

- Doc


Notice that the Sean Hannity show, which is on FOX, is all the way at the Right end of the spectrum. If you take away the opinion shows at night time, like Hannity, Carlson,FOX & Friends, and Judge Jeanine, then FOX News probably isn't that bad of a new source.

O'Reilly admitted that these shows are just opinion shows and not news. They don't even pretend to be news, which is why it is legally OK for them to lie so often. Its basically entertainment which was Alex Jones' defense in court.


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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:00 pm 
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X,

Look. If you want to believe what you just posted feel free. Who am I to say your perception of reality isn't what it is?

But that's point, and I'm more interested in pragmatism than than winning some internet karma, as it were. The question op entertains is:

What is to be done by those who want to balance out a perceived inequity?

My answer is that it's already happening. Take, for example one of my favorited websites:

https://deadspin.com

That place is a hotbed of passionate Liberal circlejerking. Notice all the linked websites at the top? More hot Liberal on Liberal ____ making. Who's the parent company? Gawker ____ Media.

Now, don't get me wrong, I read their content, but I certainly don't pretend they're not leaning hard to the Left. And that's the answer to Fox and Rush and KSL here locally.

In other words, there is balance, but there's also an arms race. We're not going back. The genie is out of the bottle.

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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:02 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
CNN isn’t remotely “leftist.” It’s biases are primarily towards tabloid topics and covering politics like it is a he-said, she-said sporting event. In fact, to the extent that CNN’s need for “balance” magnifies rampant dishonesty / bad faith coming from the right wing media ecosystem, it ends up creating a right wing bias. CNN’s absurd coverage of “emails!” that contributed to by far the most important reason why Clinton lost is a good example of that.


Yes this is true. Every once in a while I'll see Leftist outlets attacking CNN for having the audacity to hire a Trump supporter to be on their shows.

On CNN, new pro-Trump contributor confirms he is contractually forbidden from criticizing Trump

On FOX they appear contractually obligated to refrain from ever saying anything remotely favorable to anything remotely Leftist.

CNN commentator Ken Cuccinelli shares fake Maxine Waters quote with a fake CNN chyron


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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:25 pm 
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My point is that there are lots of sources out there that have a generally centrist approach to reporting facts and providing clear differentiation between opinion vs news reporting. As your graphic highlights for us, those sources are consumed primarily by those who lean to the left. Those that lean to right are more likely to gravitate to Fox, at best. If your starting point for the Right's news consumption is Fox News that doesn't bode well for the insulated levels of you constituency compared to a starting point of something like Reuters, NPR, New York Times, WSJ for the Left.

I don't see anyone arguing here that there aren't far-Left leaning sources or that the divide isn't growing; just that there is a huge difference in where average populations rest and the degree/speed at which the partisan lean takes off.

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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:30 pm 
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The charts seem to favor text based commentary. What about radio and other "hot" media?

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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:27 pm 
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NorthboundZax wrote:
Maksutov wrote:
Liberals want facts; conservatives want their biases reinforced. Liberals embrace journalism; conservatives believe propaganda.


While I'm sure the authors have plenty of examples showing this divide drawing on the aggressiveness of right-wing news sites, I can't agree with the statement above. People are people and we have that all too human tendency lean on facts when they work in our favor and propaganda when they don't. If the above were true, sites like Daily Kos would have withered long ago. Maddow may be correct far more frequently than Hannity but I don't think for a moment it has anything to do with a stronger affinity for truth.


I agree. Confirmation bias isn't liberal or conservative, it effects all humans. The worst of the news media knows they can increase viewership and ad revenue by only reporting what their loyal viewers want to hear. nobody is immune from confirmation bias, but we can all watch for it in ourselves as we recognize it in others. The biggest problem, of course, is that for people to be aware of it in themselves, they have to first understand what it is. Unfortunately, that requires intelligence and knowledge. This is probably my own confirmation bias coming out, but it seems that those who have never heard of it, or don't understand the concept, or who think it's some libtard invention or government conspiracy to take away their guns, are most likely Trump supporters.

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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:42 pm 
God

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Something like Democracy Now! is what an actual leftist news source looks like, but even then, it’s not propagandist per se. It’s ideological. It’s just got an editorial point of view that on occasion leads to poor sourcing that at least attempts to be done in good faith. It’s really hard to find anything near the onslaught of dishonesty in right media in left wing equivalents with any kind of audience. That asymmetrical situation begs for an explanation.

Doc. That graph doesn’t chart what you claim it does. Maybe read it again? It actually supports the notion that liberals tend to gravitate more to mainstream journalism.

Remember when the Weinstein story broke and CNN put up a counter on how long Clinton, who neither held nor was running for office, had not addressed it yet? If you can’t reason out in your head why that’s not something a liberal propaganda outlet would do, try to imagine Fox News doing that with a favored Republican figure over an equivalent person. The very idea should ring as laughable.


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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:54 pm 
God

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I've linked this report a few times on this board, but I think this a good thread to bring it up again:

https://www.cjr.org/analysis/breitbart- ... -study.php

It's by the authors of the upcoming book referred to in the OP. I'm guessing the book is an elaboration on what this piece discusses.


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 Post subject: Re: Damage Done by the Right-Wing Media in 2016
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:45 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
CNN isn’t remotely “leftist.”



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