Posts tagged "Media"

Don Draper gets to be a hedcut but Rainbow Dash doesn’t?

Don Draper gets to be a hedcut but Rainbow Dash doesn’t?


Both [Australia and the United Kingdom] have long labored under the belief that they have a special relationship with the United States, although that has seldom been reciprocated.

Philip Bowring, “Britain, Australia and the U.S. — What is it about Anglophones?,” The International Herald Tribune, March 27, 2003

Found this while tearing into some shoddy News journalism and pre-emptively heading off Obama-coinciding media superlatives about how close Australia and the US are.


isabelthespy:

emergencyreports:

markcoatney:

One of the least-appreciated perks of being David Brooks is that the NYT allows him to lead off his columns with anecdotes that most likely did not happen.

This reminds me of that time that Thomas Friedman was taking a cab in Dubai, and the cabbie, you see, had some very interesting opinions.

found this via sexartandpolitics but clicking through to the notes i had to reblog from emergency reports for A+ addition.

As I told Twitter…

isabelthespy:

emergencyreports:

markcoatney:

One of the least-appreciated perks of being David Brooks is that the NYT allows him to lead off his columns with anecdotes that most likely did not happen.

This reminds me of that time that Thomas Friedman was taking a cab in Dubai, and the cabbie, you see, had some very interesting opinions.

found this via sexartandpolitics but clicking through to the notes i had to reblog from emergency reports for A+ addition.

As I told Twitter


3. Remember that what matters out of Iowa is the spin.

4. Remember that the spin will be influenced by two main things: press biases, and party actors.

5. I count three big relevant press biases. One is that “news” trumps “not news”, which means that surprises get more coverage than whatever is expected to happen — which is where the expectations game really does matter. The second is that the press has limited capacity, and can only really handle one big and one minor story line. The third is that there’s a press bias in favor of portraying the nomination contest as close and uncertain.

Jonathan Bernstein, “Quick Iowa Notes,” A Plain Blog About Politics, December 19, 2011


The half-century between 1912 and 1962 was a period of … impressive social cohesion.

Oh, hi, David Brooks. You’re an idiot.

The half-century between 1912 and 1962 was a period of … impressive social cohesion.

Oh, hi, David Brooks. You’re an idiot.


The dumped Queensland state Labor candidate Peter Watson was making neo-Nazi comments on the internet as recently as last month, and yesterday said he stood by his racist remarks.

Mr Watson, who was to stand in the state election, was expelled from the ALP yesterday after admitting to a series of online rants, including anti-homosexual views, which he claimed were several years old and did not reflect his current view.

Yesterday he admitted to brisbanetimes.com.au he had posted neo-Nazi remarks recently on the blog Whitelaw Towers.

Bridie Jabour and Daniel Hurst, “OK to be racist, says axed candidate,” Sydney Morning Herald, February 22, 2012

OK, this guy’s a prick; that’s pretty straight forward. Labor was right to disendorse him, and you’ve gotta wonder how they allowed him to be a candidate in the first place. Wasn’t anyone paying attention?

But here’s the interesting bit:

The 19-year-old said he did not want to resign from the candidacy for the seat of Southern Downs and that it was forced on him.

[…]

He said he would have worded differently comments he posted four to five years ago, comparing homosexuals to paedophiles.

Is this advanced warning of what politicians who grew up with the Internet are going to face? This is not an ideal test case; Watson was still making nasty comments online as of last month. But the article reporting his sacking discusses things he posted when he was fourteen or fifteen. His youth blurs the issue a bit, but do we really want to talk about the stupid and offensive things politicans were saying when they were in high school? Five years ago might seem recent, but a nineteen year old has changed a lot more over that period of time than, say, a thirty-nine year old.

Or you would hope. Seems like Watson didn’t grow up much at all, and is paying the price. Which, in this case, is perfectly justified.


Pop Quiz: Can you spot anything unusual about the first two pictures in this Daily Mail article about how New Yorkers are upset by the 'Mad Men' billboards near Ground Zero?

Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty has gone viral. To be more specific, her Wednesday restaurant review of Olive Garden has gone viral.

[…]

The website postings were because residents of more metropolitan areas found it amusing that a chain restaurant would be reviewed. In larger markets, newspaper reviews are reserved for exclusive, high-end eateries that offer fine dining.

Ryan Bakken, “UPDATE: Marilyn takes America by viral storm … thanks to Eatbeat review of Live Garden,” Grand Forks Herald, March 8, 2012

That explanatory paragraph!

(Original review here. I don’t find it particularly absurd because I’ve never been to Olive Garden.)


Cognitive scientists use the term “availability bias” to refer to the human tendency to generalize based on nearby information. In this case, we could speak of first-order and second-order availability biases. A national survey of journalists found that about twice as many are Democrats as Republicans. Presumably their friends and acquaintances are also more likely to support Democrats, and a first-order availability bias would lead a journalist to overestimate Democrats’ support in the population — as in the notorious quote misattributed to movie critic Pauline Kael.

Political journalists are well aware of the latest polls and election forecasts and are unlikely to make such an elementary mistake. However, they can easily make the second-order error of assuming that the correlations they see of income and voting are representative of the population. The aforementioned survey found that 90% of journalists are college graduates and their incomes are mostly above the national average — so it is natural for them to think that they and their friends represent Democrats as a whole. It is easy for elite journalists to falsely project an incorrect correlation of income and Demoratic voting on the general population. Again, we are using Michael Barone as an example precisely because he is so well informed but is still vulnerable to the cognitive traps that affect us all.

Another form of availability bias is that the centers of national journalistic activity include the relatively rich states of New York, California, Maryland, and Virginia. Once again, journalists — and, for that matter, academics — avoid the first-order availability bias: they are not surprised that the country as a whole votes different from the residents of big cities. But they sometimes make the second-order error of too quickly generalizing from the correlations in their states. Richer counties tend to support the Democrats within the media centers of Maryland, Virginia, New York, and California, but not, in general, elsewhere. And richer voters support the Republicans just about everywhere, but this pattern is much weaker — and thus easier to miss — within these richer states.

Andrew Gelman, Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State (2008)

I suspect there may sometimes be a racial bias as well — I’ll be interested to see if Gelman discusses this. I think for a lot of political journalists, lower-income black and Hispanic voters code as non-white rather than lower income, and therefore their voting preferences are discounted.


The other type is more interesting: the professional centrist. These are people whose whole pose is one of standing between the extremes of both parties, and calling for a bipartisan solution. The problem they face is how to maintain this pose when the reality is that a quite moderate Democratic party — one that is content to leave tax rates on the rich far below those that prevailed for most of the past 70 years, that has embraced a Republican health care plan — faces a radical-reactionary GOP.

What these people need is reasonable Republicans. And if such creatures don’t exist, they have to invent them. Hence the elevation of [Paul] Ryan — who is, in fact, a garden-variety GOP extremist, but with a mild-mannered style — to icon of fiscal responsibility and honest argument, despite the reality that his proposals are both fiscally irresponsible and quite dishonest.

Paul Krugman, “On Ryan Apologists,” The New York Times, April 7, 2012

The temptation is to read this as a politically motivated attack on a Republican politician. No. It’s a reasoned critique of a too-prevalent form of faulty analysis. There is nothing per se admirable about excusing yourself from partisan politics on the grounds that your disinterest authorizes you to act as an unbiased arbiter.



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