Whenever policy makers try to get public schools to teach both sides of issues like evolution or global warming, the mainstream media is there to distort the issues.
With respect to evolution, there are criticisms of elements of the theory from within naturalistic science.
For example, here is an interview with famous biologist Lynn Margulis, published in the radically pro-evolution, pro-naturalism Discover magazine.
Margulis came to view symbiosis as the central force behind the evolution of new species, an idea that has been dismissed by modern biologists. The dominant theory of evolution (often called neo-Darwinism) holds that new species arise through the gradual accumulation of random mutations, which are either favored or weeded out by natural selection. To Margulis, random mutation and natural selection are just cogs in the gears of evolution; the big leaps forward result from mergers between different kinds of organisms, what she calls symbiogenesis. Viewing life as one giant network of social connections has set Margulis against the mainstream in other high-profile ways as well. She disputes the current medical understanding of AIDS and considers every kind of life to be “conscious” in a sense.
Here is something from the interview:
And you don’t believe that natural selection is the answer?
This is the issue I have with neo-Darwinists: They teach that what is generating novelty is the accumulation of random mutations in DNA, in a direction set by natural selection. If you want bigger eggs, you keep selecting the hens that are laying the biggest eggs, and you get bigger and bigger eggs. But you also get hens with defective feathers and wobbly legs. Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn’t create.
Now, that’s a criticism of the standard theory from a prominent scientist who is a naturalist. She has a naturalistic alternative that she thinks can do the creating. Can we teach her criticism of the standard theory in the public schools? This is what people mean by “teach the controversy”. We don’t mean teach intelligent design, we mean teach the weaknesses of the theory of evolution from within the naturalistic scientific community. But this is apparently too much for journalism graduates to understand.
In states like Louisiana, Tennessee, and the current flash point of South Dakota, we have supported responsible academic freedom laws. These laws allow science teachers to present the strengths and weaknesses of neo-Darwinian theory as an explanation of biological novelties. They don’t introduce or protect teaching about intelligent design, and certainly not about any religious doctrine (like creationism). They explicitly extend protection to science instruction alone, and then only when it enriches students’ understanding of subjects that are already part of the curriculum (which ID is not). Yet journalists routinely assert that these laws would shoehorn intelligent design and “creationism” in public school science classes.
In the same context, when we advocate introducing students to “critical thinking” on evolution, with teaching material drawn only from mainstream science, the media claim that “critical thinking” is “code” for intelligent design, or for “intelligent design creationism.” We know that it’s not, and that the “code word” conspiracy theory is utterly false.
The author of that piece tries to explain the difference between criticism of evolution from within mainstream science, and intelligent design, but the journalists just can’t understand what he is saying. There is an example of it here on Evolution News.
Oh my goodness, Trump is going to explode the planet with nuclear weapons! That’s what Ashley Feinberg, a clown journalist for the far-left blog “Gizmodo” wants you to believe. (H/T Christina Hoff Sommers)
According to an official within the Department of Energy, the Trump transition team has declined to ask the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy to temporarily stay in their roles after Trump takes office on January 20th.
The NNSA is the $12 billion-a-year agency that “maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.” It’s unclear when the two officials will be replaced. Their offices will remain vacant until they are.
[…]Trump, however, appears determined to be free of anyone who was appointed by Obama, regardless of whether or not he has anyone in line for the job.
Oh, it’s terrible, that awful Trump! Firing critical personnel before he even takes office.
OK, so what this post is saying is that Trump’s team WAS EXPLICITLY ASKED TO RETAIN these nuclear arsenal administrators, and Trump’s team EXPLICITLY SAID NO. That would indeed be irresponsible, if it were true.
But wait, here’s a correction:
Correction, 1/9/17, 11:03 p.m., : Another NNSA official, speaking on background to Gizmodo and Defense News, has disputed this report as “inaccurate” while confirming that “there have been no discussions between the president-elect’s transition team and any of NNSA’s political appointees on extending their public service past Jan. 20.” In other words, the Trump transition team has not asked the top two NNSA officials to stay on until they can be replaced.
After speaking to our source for clarification, we have updated the story and headline to reflect that, while Klotz and Creedon have submitted their resignations, intend to depart on January 20, and have not been asked by the Trump transition to stay past that date, the Trump team has not explicitly instructed them to leave or “clean out their desks,” as we reported. According to our source, both officials “have expressed [to the Trump team] that they would likely be willing to stay to facilitate a smooth transition, if asked,” as is the tradition for key officials, and have received no response.
OH!!!!!! So the Trump team never actually asked them to leave or clean out their desks? Wow, that makes the whole story false. And the author of the post is a “Senior Reporter” for Gizmodo. She has a BA in Communication and English, which is about the least challenging major there is, except for maybe Education. The bottom of the barrel. I would imagine that this is what people who want to major in being drunk and hooking up study.
Why do Democrat voters rely on fake news for their view of the world? I guess they think that clowning is more important than accuracy.
If you ever wanted to understand how secular leftists journalists operate – I mean from the lowliest blogs right through Slate to the New York Times and Washington Post, there you have the perfect example. Ashley will probably be working for the NYT or the WaPo in the near future. She has every qualification. This is why I keep telling young people to study STEM, because at least that won’t give you brain damage.
First, the story from The Daily Signal. Then, we’ll see examples of how Facebook’s censorship allies are biased against conservatives.
Facebook announced Thursday an aggressive plan to combat so-called “fake news,” giving users more power to report hoaxes and empowering fact-checking outlets as arbiters.
[…]Facebook is working with outside fact-checking organizations accredited by Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network to help it determine what content is fake. They include ABC News, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and Snopes—all of which have been accused of liberal bias in the past.
“We’ll use the reports from our community, along with other signals, to send stories to these organizations,” Mosseri wrote. “If the fact checking organizations identify a story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed will also appear lower in News Feed.”
By putting these stories lower in the News Feed—the page you see when you log in—Facebook is reducing the likelihood that its users will see the content, and therefore, less likely to share it. But even in cases when they do see it, a “warning” will appear noting that the story has been disputed. These “flagged” stories can’t be promoted with an ad.
Yes, the same ABC News that employs for Clinton hatchet man George Stephanopolous. That’s who will be doing the “fact checking”. An example of a “fake news” site, by the way, is The Daily Wire, which is run by Harvard Law graduate Ben Shapiro.
Let’s look at another far-left Facebook partner: Politifact. Politifact is just a group of journalists from the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.
Avik Roy, health care policy expert at Forbes magazine, writes about Politifact’s assessment of Obama’s promise to Americans about keeping their health plans after Obamacare.
2008 PolitiFact before the election: ‘We rate his statement True’
Roy writes: (links removed)
On October 9, 2008, Angie Drobnic Holan of PolitiFact published an article using the site’s “Truth-O-Meter” to evaluate this claim: “Under Barack Obama’s health care proposal, ‘if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it.’” The article assures us in its headline that “Obama’s plan expands [the] existing system,” and continues that “Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here…It remains to be seen whether Obama’s plan will actually be able to achieve the cost savings it promises for the health care system. But people who want to keep their current insurance should be able to do that under Obama’s plan. His description of his plan is accurate, and we rate his statement True.”
[…]As per PolitiFact’s usual M.O., Holan didn’t seek out any skeptical health-policy experts to suss out the veracity of Senator Obama’s signature claim. Instead, its sources included Jonathan Cohn, a passionate Obamacare supporter at The New Republic, and various interviews and statements of Mr. Obama. Holan simply took the “keep your plan” promise at face value, dismissing as dishonest anyone who dared suggest that Obama’s claim would be impossible to keep. “His opponents have attacked his plan as ‘government-run’ health care,” she wrote, the scare-quotes around “government-run” being visible to all.
PolitiFact’s pronouncements about Obamacare were widely repeated by pro-Obama reporters and pundits, and had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the election. Indeed, in 2009, PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 campaign.
Here’s the screen capture from 2008:
Before the election, it’s true! And Obama got re-elected, because people believed that. But what happened after the election?
2013 PolitiFact after the election: ‘We rate his statement Pants On Fire’
Roy writes: (links removed)
On December 12,  the self-appointed guardians of truth and justice at PolitiFact named President Obama’s infamous promise—that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it”—its 2013 “Lie of the Year.”
[…]On November 4, Jacobson rated as “Pants on Fire” the President’s new claim that “what we said was, you can keep [your plan] if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” Both pieces were edited by Angie Drobnic Holan, who had initially granted PolitiFact’s seal of approval to Senator Obama’s 2008 promise. Holan delivered the coup de grâce, declaring as PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” the “keep your plan” promise.
“The promise was impossible to keep,” says Holan in her December piece. Now she tells us! But none of the key facts that made that promise “impossible” in 2008 had changed by 2013. The President’s plan had always required major disruption of the health insurance market; the Obamacare bill contained the key elements of that plan; the Obamacare law did as well. The only thing that had changed was the actual first-hand accounts of millions of Americans who were losing their plans now that Obamacare was live.
And the screen capture from 2013:
So when Politifact rates a statement by a Democrat as true, what they really mean is that it’s pants-on-fire-false, but it’s election time so they don’t say that. It’s not like the critical assessments of Obamacare from health policy experts were not out there between 2007-2012. It’s just that the liberal journalism-major bloggers at Politifact couldn’t be bothered to read them.
What about Snopes? Maybe Snopes is more reliable than Politifact?
Snopes’ main political fact-checker is a writer named Kim Lacapria. Before writing for Snopes, Lacapria wrote for Inquisitr, a blog that — oddly enough — is known for publishing fake quotes and even downright hoaxes as much as anything else.
[…]She described herself as “openly left-leaning” and a liberal. She trashed the Tea Party as “teahadists.” She called Bill Clinton “one of our greatest” presidents. She claimed that conservatives only criticized Lena Dunham’s comparison of voting to sex because they “fear female agency.”
[…]Lacapria — in another “fact check” article — argued Hillary Clinton hadn’t included Benghazi at all in her infamous “we didn’t lose a single person in Libya” gaffe. Lacapria claimed Clinton only meant to refer to the 2011 invasion of Libya (but not the 2012 Benghazi attack) but offered little fact-based evidence to support her claim.
After the Orlando terror attack, Lacapria claimed that just because Omar Mateen was a registered Democrat with an active voter registration statusdidn’t mean he was actually a Democrat. Her “fact check” argued that he might “have chosen a random political affiliation when he initially registered.”
Snopes is just spin for Democrat gaffes – playing defense for the DNC.
Can we verify that Snopes actually lies in order to defend Democrats. Well, yes –right here. Snopes lied about American flags being present throughout the first day of the 2016 Democrat convention.
It’s groups like these who are being relied upon to spot “fake news” for Facebook. When you are on Facebook, it’s important to understand that it is a web site run by Democrats, for the benefit of Democrats. There is no balance. There is no critical thinking. The simple fact of the matter is that many fake news stories are pushed by the leftist mainstream media, and ignored by the leftist “fact checkers”. Here’s one recent example of how that works.
In the Tuesday elections, the Republican party won the Presidency, and held onto the Senate and the House of Representatives. Republicans also hold a majority of governorships and state legislatures.
How did this happen? Did the Democrats not paint all of their opposition as racist? Yes, they did. Did the Democrats not paint all of their opposition as sexist? Yes, they did. Did the Democrats not paint all of their opposition as Islamophobic? Yes, they did. Did the Democrats not paint all of their opposition as homophobic? Yes, they did.They said all those things. That’s how they talk about Republicans.
But this time, the American people did not accept the normal caricature of Republicans. This time, the voters decided to vote Republican in every possible race, in overwhelming numbers.
Yet again, Democrats breathlessly declare the Republican candidate a Nazi — and wonder why no one is listening.
The Republican nominee for president is a racist, sexist threat to American democracy — and this time, we really mean it.
In a nutshell, this is the Democratic argument against Donald Trump. In a wild, topsy-turvy political year, it is the one exceedingly familiar piece of the political landscape — because it is a version of the argument the Left makes against every Republican nominee.
That this line of attack is so shopworn, just when Democrats think we need it most, has led to self-reflection and regret from one of the harshest commentators on the left. The HBO host Bill Maher said the other day that “liberals made a big mistake” when they attacked George W. Bush “like he was the end of the world,” and did the same thing to Mitt Romney and John McCain.
Maher himself was a prime offender, with no hesitation about resorting to Nazi analogies (he compared Romney’s aides to Adolf Hitler’s dead-end loyalists, and Laura Bush to Hitler’s dog).
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been touring the country saying that Trump isn’t like past Republican nominees, even though they were attacked in exactly the same terms.
George W. Bush was a man of deep faith who did all he could to reach out to minorities and soften conservatism’s edge. Yet right out of the gate in 2000, the NAACP ran an ad accusing him of being all but complicit in a hideous racist murder in Texas. His botched handling of Hurricane Katrina wasn’t portrayed as a mistake in trying circumstances, but of his disregard for black people. He was called a fascist, a war criminal, and a would-be theocrat.
Obama now says Romney was only “wrong on certain policy issues.” This is rank revisionism. His campaign’s entire approach in 2012 was to disqualify Romney as a person, basically for being too coldbloodedly rational and prim and proper (i.e., the opposite of Trump).
Romney was not, as an Obama ad put it, “one of us.” He basically killed people with his heartless layoffs. He posed a real and present danger to Latinos with his policy of “self-deportation.” He was waging a “war on women.” One prominent piece of evidence for Romney’s unhinged sexism was his entirely anodyne, if awkward, comment that he asked for “binders full of women” when making appointments as governor of Massachusetts.
Harry Reid infamously alleged, with no evidence whatsoever, that Romney didn’t pay taxes for a decade. When the Republican candidate released his returns, it turned out he had overpaid. And so it went.
It has always been the case that Republican leaders are retrospectively deemed statesmen by the Left when they are dead or retired. It has happened to Ronald Reagan, who went from a warmongering right-wing radical to a statesmanlike moderate; to George H. W. Bush, who was an out-of-touch elitist and now is the epitome of class; and to George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, who now are getting their revivals.
This isn’t about the softening passage of time so much as opportunistically using past Republican politicians as a bludgeon against contemporary Republican politicians.
Genuinely alarmed by Trump, Bill Maher apparently realizes how tinny it sounds to lodge against him all the accusations routinely made against any other Republican. It was just a couple of years ago that Paul Ryan – an earnest policy wonk who operates in the inclusive style of the late Jack Kemp – was attacked as a racist for commenting on men not working in troubled inner-city neighborhoods.
If this isn’t crying wolf, what is? Confronted with Trump, Democrats don’t have any radioactive denunciations in reserve. They have all been deployed against a couple of generations of Republicans whose politics and characters were starkly different than Trump’s. And will surely be deployed once again – the charges never change, just the target.
The problem is that the blame for the election cannot be placed on Republican voters being motivated by racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc. This election result was caused by two things: 1) the Democrats inflicted 8 years of failed social policy, fiscal policy and foreign policy on the American people, and 2) the Democrats ran the most entitled, secretive, corrupt candidate who has ever run in any American election.
The problem is that the average Democrat voter has not been following the news closely enough to understand how damaging the failed policies of Barack Obama have been, and how bad their candidate really was.
The average Democrat voter:
does not know about Benghazi being blamed on a Youtube video.
does not know about the disasters in Libya and Egypt following our military interventions.
does not know about our failure to support pro-democracy forces in Syria, arm the Kurds, give anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, and give missile defense to European countries.
does not know about the details of the Iran nuclear deal.
does not know about the running of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels.
does not know about the handing out of taxpayer money to green energy companies run by Obama bundlers.
does not know that Obama doubled the national debt from 10 to 20 trillion.
does not know that Christian business owners are forced to celebrate gay marriage and cover abortifacients in the health insurance plans they offer to employees.
does not know about illegal immigrants killing Americans after the federal government fails to deport them.
has not watched the Center for Medical Progress videos showing Planned Parenthood officials optimizing abortion procedures in order to maximize profit from organ trafficking.
has not watched the Project Veritas videos showing Democrats talking about organizing violence at Republican events, and organizing voter fraud.
does not know about terrorist attacks committed by Islamic refugees who were fast-tracked to green cards while skilled legal immigrants had to wait in line for decades.
does not know that Obama blocked construction of the Keystone pipeline, and that labor force participation is at a 30-year low because of Obama’s anti-business policies.
does not know that thousands of veterans have died waiting for healthcare, while VA bureaucrats falsified records and collected big performance bonuses.
does not remember how Democrat politicians wanted to give space to BLM rioters to break the law.
does not understand how Hillary circumvented information security policies to hide her emails from her employer, and how the Clinton Foundation accepted donations from foreign donors in exchange for access and favors.
believes that Obamacare is working as designed, and that everyone kept their doctor, kept their health plan, and is now paying less premium, with a lower deductible.
The average Democrat voter is not well-informed, and does not realize that the average Republican voter is aware of all of these things and more – and that this is why the average Republican voter voted for a clown like Donald Trump, rather than vote for a corrupt politician like Hillary Clinton. They voted against Hillary because she intended to double down on policies that we all know have failed catastrophically.
In my experience, the Democrats I know never ask me to explain my views, nor do they read any new source or scholarly work that contradicts the caricature they have of Republican voters. Republicans are familiar with the views on the other side, but Democrats believe caricatures. At some point Democrats have to put truth above their need to feel superior to others, and get informed. Laughing at people who differ with you on serious issues for substantive reasons does not lead to irenic discussion.
The real losers of this election are the celebrities, entertainers and the mainstream media. They have lost their authority to scare Americans with caricatures of Republican political views. I am not happy at all with a Trump presidency, he has just done too many things to burn bridges with me: false accusations against Cruz, slandering George W. Bush, petty insults against Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, etc. But I am glad that Hillary Clinton lost the election and I am glad that the Democrats wasted so much money trying to get her elected. I am happy that the mainstream media lost. I hope that the people like Stephen Moore, John Bolton, Trey Gowdy, etc. who are on board with Trump (I’m not, I’m a #NeverTrump Cruz supporter) are able to punish the Democrats and shrink the size of government. That would be a really good thing for America.
My advice to Democrats is this: pick up a book by Thomas Sowell and read it. Try “Basic Economics”, which will teach you how different economic policies have actually worked out in different times and in different places. Then maybe you will have a more accurate picture of reality which will help you to understand what motivates the people who disagree with you on public policy.
One can debate whether the WikiLeaks documents pertaining to Hillary Clinton and her campaign have produced a “smoking gun.” My view is that they haven’t, not yet anyway. But the leaked documents corroborate important portions of the conservative critique of Clinton and of the mainstream media.
The latest example is an April 30, 2015 email in which Politico’s chief political correspondent Glenn Thrush asked John Podesta to approve his writing pre-publication. Alex Pfeiffer of the Daily Caller has the details.
Thrush’s story, about (get this) Hillary Clinton’s supposed fundraising woes, seems designed to generate sympathy, if not funds, for the Clinton campaign. But just to make sure his article was fine by Team Clinton, Thrush emailed it to Podesta in advance of publication. He asked Podesta to “tell me if I fu*ked up anything.”
Thrush stated: “Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to u.” He added: “Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this.”
Podesta responded that there were “no problems” with Thrush’s story.
By the way, there is a “smoking gun” in the e-mails, as I blogged in my previous post from yesterday afternoon.
If the mainstream news media were doing their jobs, we would be hearing all about what the WikiLeaks e-mails tell us about Hillary Clinton. But instead, we get this:
Let’s review peer-reviewed studies on whether there is any media bias, and which way the media bias goes.
Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS’ “Evening News,” The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.
Only Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume” and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.
The most centrist outlet proved to be the “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” CNN’s “NewsNight With Aaron Brown” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” were a close second and third.
“Our estimates for these outlets, we feel, give particular credibility to our efforts, as three of the four moderators for the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates came from these three news outlets — Jim Lehrer, Charlie Gibson and Gwen Ifill,” Groseclose said. “If these newscasters weren’t centrist, staffers for one of the campaign teams would have objected and insisted on other moderators.”
The fourth most centrist outlet was “Special Report With Brit Hume” on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “Nightly News” to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found.
“If viewers spent an equal amount of time watching Fox’s ‘Special Report’ as ABC’s ‘World News’ and NBC’s ‘Nightly News,’ then they would receive a nearly perfectly balanced version of the news,” said Milyo, an associate professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Missouri at Columbia.”
The programming studied on Fox News offered a somewhat more positive picture… of Republicans and more negative one of Democrats compared with other media outlets. Fox News stories about a Republican candidate were most likely to be neutral (47%), with the remainder more positive than negative (32% vs. 21% negative). The bulk of that positive coverage went to Giuliani (44% positive), while McCain still suffered from unflattering coverage (20% positive vs. 35% negative).
When it came to Democratic candidates, the picture was more negative. Again, neutral stories had a slight edge (39%), followed by 37% negative and 24% positive. And, in marked contrast from the rest of the media, coverage of Obama was twice as negative as positive: 32% negative vs. 16% positive and 52% neutral.
But any sense here that the news channel was uniformly positive about Republicans or negative about Democrats is not manifest in the data.”
MSNBC.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.
The donors include CNN’s Guy Raz, now covering the Pentagon for NPR, who gave to Kerry the same month he was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq; New Yorker war correspondent George Packer; a producer for Bill O’Reilly at Fox; MSNBC TV host Joe Scarborough; political writers at Vanity Fair; the editor of The Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition; local TV anchors in Washington, Minneapolis, Memphis and Wichita; the ethics columnist at The New York Times; and even MTV’s former presidential campaign correspondent.
Those are the facts.
I presented the two academic studies to a Democrat I know who was complaining about Fox News, and he said that Harvard University, UCLA are biased against progressives. He is an avid reader of Politico, along with the UK Guardian, the New York Times, and MSNBC. I’m sure that they would all agree with him, that those published, peer-reviewed studies are from conservative hacks.