If you have "no place to go," come here!

Oh why bother...

Valhalla's picture

Efforts to correct mistakenly(?) reported facts are counterproductive:

...journalists’ attempts to correct misinformation is unlikely to sway public perceptions, according to a series of experiments by a Duke University political scientist.

“What we found is that corrections are ineffective for the group most likely to have the misperception,” said Brendan Nyhan, a Ph.D. candidate in Duke’s political science department. “Even worse, we found that those people may actually end up believing in the misperception more strongly after hearing a correction.”


“In the paper, we suggest motivated reasoning as an explanation for these results. People often counter-argue information that contradicts their predispositions. That may be what is happening here,” Nyhan said.

Ok, well that's depressing.

To escape from pondering the worthlessnes that is now my 401k, I turned to some widgets on Pew's site:

Where do you fit? Political typology

-- Liberal

NewsIQ test

-- better than most, but I try not to brag. Too much.

Internet Typology

-- Omnnivore, although I'm not under 30, male, or a college student. I think I belong more in the 'Connected but Hassled' category, but hey, it's science. Isn't it?

No votes yet


amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

in examining and/or factchecking, the media repeats and further propagates the accusations and that further cements them in people's minds.

It's why the GOP always repeats and repeats and repeats whatever they're pushing -- they send out multiple people to push it and they all always use the same wording, and the media usually ends up helping them by then "examining" it.

And every time the opposition says stuff like --"they're just lying. I did not _________" --- they too are further cementing it in people's minds--which is why candidates have to be so careful in responding, and should never repeat the accusations using the wording the opposition used (which Obama does all the time and sucks)

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

that's the usual media m.o.--and they usually think they're doing journalism by raising the attacks as questions.

like -- "Did Obama call for sex education for 5 year olds? We'll investigate right after this message."

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

would be for MSM to try factchecking before they roll tape, or the presses. But those days seem long gone.

Repetition and attack questions and promos make it worse, but from reading about the study, those aren't even needed for factchecks to reinforce the incorrect information solidifying in someone's brains.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Via Digby, Chris Cillizza's September 17, 2008 post is very revealing:

Drudge-ology 101: McCain, Obama and Media Bias

Yesterday was a typical recent day on the Drudge Report -- the single most influential source for how the presidential campaign is covered in the country.

In the banner headline spot for most of the day was a picture of entertainer Barbra Streisand touting a Beverly Hills fundraiser for Barack Obama -- not exactly the sort of headline that the Illinois senator wants as chum for the cable channels 49 days before the election.

Two other stories never merited attention from Drudge: a claim by a senior aide to John McCain that the Arizona senator had invented the BlackBerry and a statement by McCain surrogate Carly Fiorina that neither McCain nor Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be equipped to serve as CEO of a major U.S. company.

(A quick note to preempt the inevitable argument that Drudge's influence is overblown. Tomorrow morning, take a minute to look at the stories Drudge is highlighting. Then, later in the day, watch a few cable channels to see what stories they are talking about. It will open your eyes.)

The emphasis on Obama's Hollywood ties and the omission of two negative McCain items is consistent with a broader trend over the past month (or so) that has seen the Arizona senator receive far better treatment from Drudge than he had during the primary season when, as several other acute political observers noted at the time, a number of tough stories for McCain regularly appeared on Drudge.

The increase in positive McCain stories featured on Drudge has coincided with more skeptical coverage of Obama's candidacy. In recent weeks, Drudge has featured in his center well spot: A picture of Obama shooting at a far off basketball hoop with a subtitle asking "Will he get his groove back?"; an image of Obama sweating on stage at the Democratic National Convention during the Illinois senator's acceptance speech; and heavy coverage of the "lipstick on a pig" comments.

What explains the change in tone? It's easy to lapse into the tired old logic that Drudge is nothing more than a conservative mouthpiece returning to his roots as election day nears.

But, those who follow the news choices that Drudge makes on a day in and day out basis -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- argue that the shift in focus by Drudge is in keeping with a long time strain of his site: a healthy disdain for the mainstream media and their perceived biases.

"The Drudge Report penalizes mainstream media bias more effectively than any other venue," said one Drudge-ologist who was granted anonymity to speak candidly. "The more flags Drudge throws, the more site traffic he seems to get."

These Drudge-ologists (of which The Fix considers himself one) note that the coverage turned in earnest after McCain named Palin as his running mate.

Palin, an unknown commodity on the national stage, was immediately greeted with a series of tough stories about her background (Bristol Palin's pregnancy, Troopergate, earmark questions).

The McCain campaign smartly turned those stories into an "us versus them" narrative all its own, alleging that the mainstream media was trying to destroy Palin because she didn't fit the press' image of what a vice presidential candidate should look like.

Drudge, believing that the media had gone overboard in its skewering of Palin, began playing up stories that highlighted Palin's crowds and the polls that showed that the Alaska governor had helped bring McCain back to even in national head to heads.


"Matt Drudge is successful because he has a nose for news: Sometimes his choice of stories and photos reflect the current news narrative, but often it reflects Drudge's understanding of where it is going," explained Tim Griffin, a GOP attorney and strategist who was U.S. Attorney in Arkansas and has held senior roles at the Republican National Committee and White House.

See, it's all so very logical. Drudge determines the media narrative because Drudge hates the media narrative (well, that's not contradictory at all). But, hey, don't take Cillizza's word for it, take Karl Rove's protege Tim Griffin's word for it. I'm sure he doesn't have any reason to lie to you.

We are ruled by morons.

Submitted by jawbone on

checking and doing some digging to make sure what they report is accurate.

But that's just journalism 101--and they're more into journamalism and truthiness. And big paychecks.

*MCM--Mainstream Corporate Media (knowing which side their bread is buttered on and by whom)

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

24/7 -- the result of real factchecking beforehand would be to not air or print anything that's false--which they'd never do.

And to not put on air all the surrogates who push and reinforce all this stuff.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

...that the best thing to do is then not to make the mistake in the first place. I know; easier said than done, but we do make a lot of unnecessary errors.