Friday, September 17, 2004

TCS: Tech Central Station - Too Good to Check

TCS: Tech Central Station - Too Good to Check

The way I see it, the media has always been biased a bit, because people are biased. There was a term used by many around the turn of the 20th century called Yellow Journalism. Hurst and friends were known for their sensationalism. Go back even farther to the muck rags that politicians used to attack one another around the birth of this country. This is quite poinent and timely as we approach the bicentennial of the Burr - Hamilton duel. That duel was fought because of the crap that those guys printed about one anohter over a lifetime of politics; and for most of that time, they were friends! (Granted much of this commentary comes from my memory of a brilliant History Channel show I recently saw on the subject.)

It's even an issue in physics; the act of observation of an object changes the very thing you are observing. Granted this is really only an issue on micro scales like particle physics, but even in the natural world there are parallels; think duck blinds, or really any way animals are observed by humans for even the most begnine studies. To observe and report is to take part in what you are observing.

My basic point here, and I know this is reverse order from how articles are supposed to be written, but hey this is my world, so my rules. Anyway, my point is that bias is to be expected, and the reaction of all to it like I wrote about yesterday with Dan's ratings dropping, is how it is to be countered. The bad thing is reporting falsehoods, and that is par and parcel to the tradition of muck raking that I described above. Hurst, in particular, falsely wrote tons of articles about the "Attack on the USS Maine" that started the Spanish-American war of 1898. It has been since proven that the USS Maine blew up by accident; not Spanish sabotage.

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