War on truth
Posted by aogSaturday, 03 July 2004 at 21:39 TrackBack Ping URL

Kevin Drum is going on about the conservatives “war on the truth”. Apparently he’s upset because a conservative organization is “[“spending money on trying to discredit the ‘liberal news media’”]”:http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/9049444.htm.

Actually, I think that’s silly too - Big Media is doing a fine job of discrediting itself. I’ve long since stopped trusting any major newspaper due to the frequently selective or outright wrong reporting that inevitably (purely by accident, of course) disfavors the current administration.

For one recent example, consider the flap over the 11 Sep Commission report, where in pack fashion Big Media reported the story so wrongly that the chairman and vice-chairman of the committee felt compelled to complain. It wasn’t a matter of opinion - the story had the basic fact wrong.

Or the recent report that Paul Bremer left Iraq without even giving a speech. It turns out, of course, that he did in fact make a speech.

Who, exactly, is really waging a war on truth?

But what I found most interesting were the comments on the post. Apparently the reason that conservatives are bad people is because they

  • Don’t believe in evolution
  • Believe the world is 6,000 years old

These were cited multiple times by various commentors. I found the latter just bizarre. I live in a very conservative area with many conservative, religious in-laws and I have yet to hear the 6,000 year claim even once. Heck, even the Brothers Judd don’t toe that line.

As for evolution, I can see why some might consider that a proxy for valuing reason over faith. However, given the results of rationalist governments in the last century it’s not clear how much of a positive it is. What’s far more important to me, however, is the persistent leftist / liberal belief in managed economies despite the massive and atrocious failures of central planning. That’s the kind of belief that will have a far more negative effect on political action than (non)belief in evolution. In my view, not treating Communism as just as bad as (if not worse) than Naziism is a far better litmus test for someone who discards facts that don’t fit their agenda.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Anonymous Sunday, 04 July 2004 at 11:30

If you don’t like the facts, stop listening to them. Good strategy.

You know, the reason the 9/11 commission staff report was covered the way it was is because the commission spokesman confirmed that it dismissed collaboration between Iraq and al Qaeda beyond the 9/11 attacks. It reflected the views of the staff, not the commissioners, which is why many of the commissioners disagreed with it. But it said what the media said it did. Even Bill Safire understood that one wasn’t the media’s fault.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 04 July 2004 at 16:39

Uh, no - the report claimed no Ba’ath / Al Qaeda cooperation for the 11 Sep attacks in particular. It avoided making any definitive statements beyond that, which is the opposite of your claim and how it was reported. Go read it yourself if you haven’t stopped listening to facts.

End of Discussion