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About Political Discussions


Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The biggest danger in our current political climate is that some unscrupulous parties are using these ginned up controversies and scandals to rile up the populace and turn their attention away from the things that are really going on. It's part of that "under siege" mentality that is constantly being drilled into the audiences of certain radio and TV talk shows.

How, for example, do the Benghazi talking points from 2012 help to find the culprits, improve the security of diplomatic installations, or, most important, enable the middle class to earn a living wage?
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
Well said! This phenomena is also a big problem in the non-corporate, alternative media.

This morning I adapted the Society of Professional Journalist Code of Ethics into a fun test.

Put any journalist's name in the blank. If the sentence makes you chuckle, that journalist should probably do some soul searching. Eg. try it with "Shaun Hannity" or "Rachel Maddow".

------------------------------------------------------

________ tests the accuracy of information from all sources and exercises care to avoid inadvertent error.

________ diligently seeks out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.

________ identifies sources whenever feasible.

________ always questions sources’ motives before promising anonymity.

________ makes certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent, oversimplify, or highlight incidents out of context.

________ never distorts the content of news photos or video with image enhancement for reasons other than technical clarity.

________ avoids misleading re-enactments or staged news events.

________ avoids undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public.

________ never plagiarizes.

________ tells the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.

________ examines their own cultural values and avoids imposing those values on others.

________ avoids stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.

________ supports the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.


________ gives voice to the voiceless because both official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.

________ distinguishes between advocacy and news reporting by always labeling analysis and commentary, and never misrepresenting facts or context.

________ distinguishes news from advertising and shuns hybrids that blur the lines between the two.

________ recognizes a special obligation to ensure that the public's business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.

________ shows compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage, and uses special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.

________ is sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.

________ recognizes that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort, and understands that pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.

________ recognizes that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention, and believes that only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.

________ shows good taste, and avoids pandering to lurid curiosity.

________ is cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.

________ is judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

________ balances a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.
________ is free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.

________ avoids conflicts of interest, real or perceived.

________ remains free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.

________ refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.

________ discloses unavoidable conflicts.

________ is vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.

________ denies favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.

________ is wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.

________ clarifies and explains news coverage and invites dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.

________ encourages the public to voice grievances against the news media.

________ admits mistakes and corrects them promptly.

________ exposes unethical practices of journalists and the news media.

________ abides by the same high standards to which they hold others.
This is a clever post. Hannity and Maddow are both commentators, so largely exempt from these standards. I still can't come up with a list of well-known reporters who live up to this. It might not be possible.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
But the difference is that, if you asked Maddow about those standards, she'd know what they were and could explain which ones she chose to follow and which ones she might not follow. Hannity would be utterly ignorant of most of them, and would use bluster to explain why they weren't relevant. This comment has nothing to do with their respective political bias, but on their well-known behavior and approaches to their shows.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
I second manxman's request. I personally would rather not talk politics but find it difficult to not engage people who I view as attacking my culture and character. Yeah, I'm talking to you BS, you hippie freak. Human nature is what it is you know.
I really love being called a hippie freak, especially since I grew up in the most brain numbing, apolitical decade ever, the 80's. Fortunately, I'm a strong believer in the opportunity for human nature to change its habits once better informed.

But on a more serious note, @Gene Steinberg , I think the forum needs a different kind of revamp in terms of creating a forum environment that is welcoming to all. While politics leads to name calling and other childish pranks I think more attention needs to be paid to how positively you promote a space of diversity. The most obvious element being the sexism that frequently sidelines women's voices. And to continue with my hippie philosophy I think it would be wonderful if we could not only elminate sexist banter from the show and forum, but even extend these radical ideologies of equity and diversity to include a screening of Chamish like guests whose racial ideologies are beyond suspect before they hit your airwaves. Similarly, fostering pro-social views that are more inclusive of lower classes, non-white posters, immigrants, sea-serpents and inter & intra-dimensional beings of all stripes and bumps, would also engender a type of environment that even Bakhtin could get behind, and result in a much wider listening audience to develop a heteroglossia in the forum space.

Consequently, you can see how politics gets in the way of everything.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
I would agree that any deliberate sexism needs to go. But we've never had any complaints from women who participate in the forums, or won't for some reason.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
If women are not complaining then that only speaks to the fact that when forum members tell them not to get their panties in a bunch or that they're PMSing it's not likely that they're going to go to a male forum mod for support.

Similarly a search of words like 'panties,' 'douchebag' and the very existence of the Space Babes thread all speaks to this discussion, but what the hell do I know?
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
I knew I shouldn't have hit the un-ignore button. Curiosity got the best of me. BS please don't get your boxers in a bunch, just utilize the ignore feature. This kind of anger isn't healthy.
 

manxman

Paranormal Adept
do ya reckon if gene compared ip address's, yours and the new duncan account would be the same pd.

whats with all the edge man.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
I knew I shouldn't have hit the un-ignore button. Curiosity got the best of me. BS please don't get your boxers in a bunch, just utilize the ignore feature. This kind of anger isn't healthy.
But I never get angry. ;) But I do get sad, and disappointed sometimes. I was just telling it like it was. Nothing new here either.
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
do ya reckon if gene compared ip address's, yours and the new duncan account would be the same pd.

whats with all the edge man.
Not me man, I think he's a Brit. He seems smart though, so thanks. My edge comes from being called a genocidal anti-earth pos by a sanctimonious -insert culturally sensitive expletive here-
Other than that, I'm cool.
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
Not true. I mind lies, misquotes, quotes out of context, etc. I mind it when I provide actual evidence of a lie, and the evidence is simply ignored as if it was never posted. Such discussions do not have a political persuasion. If you examine the fact-checking organizations, or the fact checkers at some newspapers, you'll see I'm correct, but still pay attention to which political party gets more "pants on fire" ratings in their pronouncements.

As to "commies," well, there are very, very few in the U.S., so it's largely a non-issue. And don't anarchists tend to be extremely right wing?

Really, if you examine the facts, you'll find that the ones who are really attacking your culture may indeed be those who claim to protect it by making up stories about non-existent threats. Do you really and truly believe there is a "war on Christmas" in the U.S.? Really?
Well, as long as my account is still active, I'll take a stab at it.
You like to point to so called fact checkers, as if they are unbiased scorekeepers with no ax to grind. I disagree. One can find fact checkers to support any side of an argument. If you could point me to a fact checker checker, I'll have a look. Until then, I'll check my own facts.

Next, you are correct about the commies being few. They are however, over represented in this forum. That is not a complaint. I welcome their presence, and the opportunity to debate them. I was simply pointing out your inconsistency in the way you moderate political discourse. As far as the anarchists being "right wing", what are you implying?
Are you trying to imply that the anarchists are in the same camp as, say, the Tea Party grandmas? Absurd.

Finally, is there a "war on Christmas"? Well, I don't know. First off, the whole "war on ..." is way overplayed. I think you might have made some assumptions about my culture that are incorrect. We don't celebrate Christmas at my house, and to be honest, the whole season is a royal pain in the butt. What I can tell you is that the majority of people that I work with are Christians, and they feel an uneasiness about the way the language of Christmas has changed. I reside in Minnesota, so those are all Democrats. If your fear is that the Republicans are going to win their votes by fabricating a "war on Christmas", you need not get your tidy whities in a twist. They'll put their beloved Democrat party above Jesus every time.
 

manxman

Paranormal Adept
PD whats a commie ?, i mean your idea of a communist, what kind of post here comes under, a commies post, im interested, and not just picking, this is where your culture is a lot different than mine, here no-one gives a shit whether you go to church or not, or which church it is, religion, or politics NEVER come up, not in my everyday life ever, only on the internet do they enter my world.

and whats all the fear about, is a communist going to eat your kids or what, is laballing someone a commie the ultimate middle class insult, what gives ?
 
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Charlie Prime

Paranormal Adept
...He writes on how Samsung bribes the media to get favorable coverage:
That's a good example. Of course "payola" has always existed, but I feel like there has been an extreme increase in this type of thing over the last ten years. Every time I visit a site like Gawker, Mashable, Lifehacker, Cnet, PCMag, et al. it seems to have become more blatant.

Best examples of 2013 here: The Best Sponsored Content Of 2013 | The Content Strategist

At least Huffpo is being up-front about it: HuffPost Partner Studio

I used Hannity and Maddow as examples of poor ethics because I heard they were the most extreme. I don't watch television "news", so I've only seen a few clips of them. Maddow works for the giant military contractors Microsoft and General Electric, so that's who she serves. I don't know which bank owns Fox.

All of us must grow more sophisticated at detecting bias in the "news". My kids are actually better at it than I am.
 
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pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
The biggest danger in our current political climate is that some unscrupulous parties are using these ginned up controversies and scandals to rile up the populace and turn their attention away from the things that are really going on. It's part of that "under siege" mentality that is constantly being drilled into the audiences of certain radio and TV talk shows.

How, for example, do the Benghazi talking points from 2012 help to find the culprits, improve the security of diplomatic installations, or, most important, enable the middle class to earn a living wage?
The Benghazi story has resurfaced because Hillary Clinton is running for president and her involvement in the situation could cost her votes. Hillary misled the public on this issue and the republicans think they can make hay with it. Do you honestly think the Democrats wouldn't do the same if the situation was reversed? I suspect that the reason this story has your britches in a bunch is that you are a Hillary supporter.
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
whats a commie ?, i mean your idea of a communist, what kind of post here comes under, a commies post, im interested, and not just picking, this is where your culture is a lot different than mine, here no-one gives a shit whether you go to church or not, or which church it is, religion, or politics NEVER come up, in my everyday life ever, only on the internet do they enter my world.
But the difference is that, if you asked Maddow about those standards, she'd know what they were and could explain which ones she chose to follow and which ones she might not follow. Hannity would be utterly ignorant of most of them, and would use bluster to explain why they weren't relevant. This comment has nothing to do with their respective political bias, but on their well-known behavior and approaches to their shows.
I am not a consumer of Hannity's product, so I don't know enough about him to judge how many points on charlies checklist he could fulfill. Ditto Maddow. I would hope you would agree that they are both commentators and not held to the same journalistic standards as a news reporter. The unbiased journalist reporting just the facts is probably mythology that never really existed anyway. I will say that Maddow has earned my eternal gratitude for her role in cleansing the world of Alec Baldwin's godawful TV show.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
I'm not a Hillary supporter. But Benghazi revealed genuine problems with security of diplomatic installations. The investigators pointed out over two dozen failures, and that's the story. The story was not the talking points, the phony claim of real-time video, the phony claim that the U.S. refused to send help, etc. etc.

One reason that the real problems aren't being mentioned by Hillary's opponents is because it will reveal another problem, which is that the Republican-controlled House wouldn't approve higher funding for security of diplomatic installations. That opens up a huge can of worms.
 


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