News Media

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for News Media

This post might have to get filed under “careful what you wish for”, but Martin Robbins’ latest column about the cozy relationship between science journalists and the scientists they cover seems to have struck a nerve, if The Twitter is any indication. Here’s a good snippet: Churnalism is a real problem in science reporting, to…

Hopefully, I’ll suffer the same lack of consequences. Regarding Planned Parenthood, Republican Senator John Kyl recently uttered this factually disabled statement: …Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) defended Republicans’ willingness to shut down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood by falsely claiming that abortion is “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” In reality,…

If you haven’t heard, rightwing slime mongerer James O’Keefe struck again and managed to give National Public Radio (NPR) a black eye, although to a considerable extent, this was a self-inflicted wound. Over at Whiskey Fire, Thers makes a very astute observation (italics mine): The most bizarre aspect of this wingnut “sting” is its intended…

By way of Observational Epidemiology, we find an interesting NY Times article by Michael Winerip describing a seventh grade teacher’s experience with value added testing in New York City. I’ll get to value added testing in a bit, but the story also highlights why we need more reporters who have backgrounds in math and science.…

That’s really the only way to think of it. Fox ‘News’ Bill O’Reilly’s show has an average viewership age of 71, which isn’t ‘middle-aged’, but elderly. Anyway, one of the propaganda pieces Fox has been catapaulting is the false notion that the Wisconsin protests are out-of-control or violent (police have described the crowd as ‘civil’).…

Recently, I argued that the widespread ignorance of the most basic elements of U.S. politics should be viewed as an educational failure–an adult educational failure–committed by the political press corps. Basically, the political news media, with some exceptions, are either failing to provide relevant information or actively promoting ‘misinformation’ (also known as propaganda). To give…

I want to follow up on something from a post about the educational failure committed by our political press corps (italics original; boldface added): That so many people lack even a basic understanding of how government works and what it does–even among likely voters (keep in mind that your average Tea Buggerer spends a lot…

A study showing that many people who receive assistance from government programs don’t believe they have done so has been making the rounds once again (you heard it here first! Months ago!). My favorite idiocy is how 43% of Pell Grant recipients–federal aid for college–don’t realize it’s a government program (one does wonder how that…

Not so much. Because, according to a letter signed by over 400 hundred U.S. rabbis, Fox seems to have a Glenn Beck problem: We are rabbis of diverse political views. As part of our work, we are devoted to preserving the memory of the Shoah, and to passing its lessons on to our future generations…

But not for the reason you’re probably thinking. Loughner’s ideas are a ludicrous hodge-podge of conspiracy theory, libertarianism, and anti-government sentiment, but what’s striking about them is how incoherent they are. This incoherency isn’t limited to Loughner either: …the strange thing is that so much of this furious opposition to activist government appears to be…