We have covered a lot of left/right asymmetric reporting on RR. Calling such journalism ‘asymmetric’ perhaps substitutes a kinder word for what today has come to be called ‘fake news’. One area that has institutionalized fake news is the way our lamestream media report the ‘science’ of climate change. Starting with the leftwing leading lights like the New York Times, we are now getting reports from former reporters for the Gray Lady that the topics it covers has to support what is internally called ‘the narrative’. All reporters are automatically tuned in to that editorial invisible hand, for which they then create the conforming copy to sustain the narrative.
The most recent, from the legion of examples, involves research by climate physicists Peter Cox, Mark Williamson, and Chris Huntington of Exeter University and the UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology. Their work first and foremost admits to the uncertainties involved in predicting climate parameters such as temperature, but also significantly narrows the range of predicted temperature increase, most noticeably removing the possibility of the upper hysterical values of +4.5C and above from consideration and making increases greater than +3.4C highly improbable. Their report has been buried by the lamestream climate science reporters. WSJ’s Holman Jenkins reports more on this here.
The Cox et al study again confirms that the best kept secret about climate science is that this domain of knowledge has not progressed very much – “This 40-year lack of progress is no less embarrassing for being thoroughly unreported in the mainstream press.” A litmus test for advancing science in any domain is that its continuously refined theoretical models generate results with ever smaller uncertainty bounds. This has not happened for general circulation models used for long-range climate forecasting. One reason is that the GCMs incorporate various specific climate and weather processes, most of which are poorly understood and therefore continue contributing to the error of the overall outputs.
As I have reported for years, the earth’s CO2 cycle remains, as confirmed in a recent commentary in the prestigious Nature, “an intractable problem”. For example, no one can answer the basic question “By how much will Earth’s average surface temperature go up if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is doubled?” All we know is that the GCMs have gotten it wrong using historical data. And no one in the lamestream mentions this because it doesn’t fit their narrative, which is to support ‘fundamentally transformative’ changes not only in public policies but also in the fundamental forms and structures of governance. (I again refer you to Agenda21.)
But the skewed ideas about climate change is just one of many areas where the lamestream and their blindered consumers dispense a constant stream of errors and lies. The stats on the political leanings of the nation’s broadcast, print, and online newsrooms has been extremely well documented in multiple studies. And the claim that no matter a journalist’s personal ideology, their professional work product comes out fair and balanced. Nobelist Kahneman and Tversky (q.v.) gave lie to this bullshit decades ago, and it is regularly reinforced by academics and students of decision-making like in Annie Duke’s recent Thinking in Bets (2018). The bottom line here is that confirmation bias is and has been endemic in humans. In simpler times this kind of thinking had a survival value; in more complex times it also leads to narrative-directed reporting.
One can reasonably argue that the impact of this asymmetry affects leftwingers much more than those of the Right. The leftist reader’s confirmation bias is continuously supported by the lamestream, and a negligible fraction of these bother to find out what appears in the more conservative outlets (this is also confirmed by the displayed one-sided knowledge of RR’s leftwing commenters). The rightwing readers have no choice but to be bathed in lamestream reporting because of its sheer preponderance. These readers must go to relatively few outlets that have a different and usually more complete slant on what is going on. Why more complete? Because they also have to report on the output that forms the overwhelming coverage to which their own news consumers have been exposed. The lamestream’s coverage clearly indicates that they have no such concerns about their audiences.
We conclude this observation with yet another current omission in the lamestream media about school shootings and gun control that does not fit the obligatory narrative. I refer you to the study by Dr James Alan Fox, professor of criminology, law, and public policy at Northeastern University. The study contradicts that school shootings are on the rise, and one of its main findings is that “the number of students killed in schools today is one-fourth what it was in the early 1990s – a somewhat surprising fact given the 24/7 media hysteria surrounding atrocities like Parkland.” (more here) In short, there is not an epidemic of school shootings when compared to historical data. Now how many liberals would run across a report like that?