News organizations across the globe should count themselves lucky that I am basically a lazy slob. For if I were otherwise, mega media conglomerates would shutter at the sheer number of snarky letters my angry fingers would produce. I would drive them to their knees with the frequency by which they would be forced to casually hit the delete button of their inbox. Many editorial rooms would be driven to block my emails altogether, requiring me to take my limitless aggression out on innocent questioners posting on Ask Google. Thank whatever god you pray too, that we do not live in such a hellish dystopia.
Mostly, I just write to NPR, and only occasionally. It’s because, all and all, I think they are doing an OK job and I want to make sure they continue to do so. I think the rest of the media are a lost cause. Nowadays news is nothing more than scheduled press releases and infomercials disguised as stories. Pick up the book, It’s Not News, It’s Fark, by Drew Curtis. He does a great job of categorizing fake news into its many ugly manifestations.
One ugly manifestation that I think the media is guilty of all too frequently these days, is that of creating a false equivalent. This is the act of inflating one side of an argument in a false attempt to cover both sides equally. The news media often do this in a lazy attempt appear balanced. Unfortunately, when they do this in a situation in which there really is a right and wrong position, they elevate positions in the social consciousness, that really do not deserve to be given consideration.
This leads me to point my angry finger at NPR. In a recent article, they asked the question,”Are Republicans More Anti-Science Then Democrats?” They could have conducted a poll and asked Republicans and Democrats how old they thought the Earth was. Or they could have asked all sitting US Senators if they accept the theory of evolution as true. They don’t even have to call the Representatives’ offices. Most Senators have already addressed this question on their websites or in old interviews. Instead NPR asks its readers what they think.
Shame on NPR. This is not opinion. This is a question with a factual answer. This should not be NPR’s way of constructing a false equivalent, without being accused of doing so. I challenge NPR to answer their own question. Simply pick a subject such as evolution (which according to everyone in the field is settled science) and see where politicians and pundits stand on the subject.
Face it, we all know what the answer will be, but NPR is too cowardly to report it. They should not avoid the issue by asking its audience’s opinion. They should do their job. Do the research and then report the facts.
Hey NPR, I’ll start it for you. Gallup poll - 60% of Republicans think the world was created 10,000 years ago versus 38% for Democrats. Let’s stop this false equivalency crap now.