25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 Hanlon's Razor Applied to Trump

...journalists come up with overly convoluted explanations for Trump’s behavior (“this seemingly self-destructive emotional outburst is actually a clever political strategy!”) when simpler ones will suffice (“this is a self-destructive emotional outburst.”). In doing so, they violate both Ockham’s razor and Hanlon’s razor — the latter of which can be stated as “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” One can understand why journalists wh...
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19 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 History of the Fairness Doctrine and Rise of Media Relati...

The intellectual erosion of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, as science sat silently on the sidelines and anti-science rose to rule on both the left and the right, was greatly worsened in August of 1987 when, during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) abolished what was called the "fairness doctrine" in an historic 4-0 vote, severing one of the last ties to a common public foundation of knowledge and its cousin, the carefully researched publi...
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Once the Doctrine was removed, the media turned to emotive appeals to bring in audiences and public discourse declined.

18 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 The Journalist's Responsibility in Health Science Reporting

Given that published medical findings are, by the field’s own reckoning, more often wrong than right, a serious problem with health journalism is immediately apparent: A reporter who accurately reports findings is probably transmitting wrong findings. And because the media tend to pick the most exciting findings from journals to pass on to the public, they are in essence picking the worst of the worst. Health journalism, then, is largely based on a principle of survival of the wrongest. (Of...
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If 2/3rds of research papers are wrong, then reporters are communicating bad and dangerous data to readers of their health news. Even worse, with conflicting research on different health issues, reporters are able to craft any thesis they like by cherry-picking for the journals.

28 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 80 Percent of Americans Can't Read the NYT Science Section

One prominent researcher on the public understanding of science has even found that due to their failure to understand basic scientific terms or the nature of the scientific process, 80 percent of Americans can't read the New York Times science section.
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Due to scientific ignorance.