Friday, December 04, 2009

More quote-mining from Fox "News"

Last night during the Reality Check segment of The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly ran the same cropped Jon Stewart clip that Fox and Friends quote-mined to make it seem like Stewart is now a global warming denier who thinks Al Gore's climate change advocacy has been discredited.

That's at least twice that this alleged news network completely distorted Stewart's segment. I have to wonder if this was one of the top down, Memo decisions. Noticing that the Fox News website also used the same quote-mine (plus another) leads me to suspect that this was indeed the case.

I've also noticed via Google search a number of deniers who seem to think Stewart is questioning the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming despite even seeing the quote in context. This reminds me of Chapter 3 of The Authoritarians

The need for social reinforcement runs so deeply in authoritarians, they will believe someone who says what they want to hear even if you tell them they should not. I have several times asked students or parents to judge the sincerity of a universitystudent who wrote arguments either condemning, or supporting, homosexuals. Butsome subjects were told the student had been assigned to condemn (or support) homosexuals as part of a philosophy test to see how well the student could make up arguments for anything, on the spot. Other subjects were told the student could chooseto write on either side of the issue, and had chosen to make the case she did.

Obviously, you can’t tell anything about the real opinions of someone who was assigned the point of view of her essay. But high RWAs believed that the antihomosexual essay that a student was forced to write reflected that student’s personal views almost as much as when a student had chosen this point of view. In other words,as in the previous experiments, the authoritarians ignored the circumstances and believed the student really meant what she had been assigned to say--when they liked what she said. Low RWAs, in comparison, paid attention to the circumstances.

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