A highlight from The Skeptics Guide #907 - Nov 26 2022


You see this media bias chart on Facebook? You know we did. We were just talking about it. But only before we turned on the switch bob. It only counts if we have not real unless we're recording. Clearly, according to this chart that we wound up being a part of. I do like these sort of media bias charts. I look at them a lot. Hopefully the source is reliable. It basically says, there's two axes left right is politically left, right, and then up down is some measure of quality. Objectivity or whatever. In this chart, they have at the top. This is a little odd that you have the top is factory porting, and then one notch below that is mostly analysis or mix of fact reporting and analysis. So they're putting analysis inherently below fact. I'm not sure I agree with that, but as you go down, keep going, then it just straight up says opinion. Yeah, then it's opinion. And then incomplete unfair persuasion propaganda. Propaganda starts to hit. And then contains misleading info and contains inaccurate fabricated fabricated. I get it though, because if you look at the axis label, they're literally calling it news value and reliability. So it's true. Like the higher up on this axis, the more it's just straight reporting the news with no analysis, what's over. This is what happened. And then down at the bottom, it's like completely fabricating stuff. It's fiction fiction. And then, of course, an op-ed is going to be somewhere in the middle. Yeah. But we ranked pretty high. They put us just a tad bit left of center, which okay, I mean, I don't necessarily agree with that, but I think reality is a little bit tad left to center, but to be honest with you, I know I stole that joke, but it works. I love the fact that Joe Rogan is like in his own little space way down in the middle. Way down. He has he's all alone. Straddling the depths into misleading information. He's weirdly in the middle, which I am very like. He's dead center. I don't get how he stood center. And my only idea and it's funny because lots of people are commenting that to, like, since when is Joe Rogan in the middle? Oh, they replied to this person who asked. So this is from the media company who produced this. Rogan himself has various political views, but his shows are mostly the guest talking about their view, so his ratings are guests dependent, making it both ballast, balanced bias and varying and reliability. So basically, they're saying, there's a ton of misleading claims and stuff all over the show. But it's all over the place in terms of its partisanship because his guests are all over the place. That kind of makes sense, actually. And I have a feeling they're looking at his whole back catalog, not just how his show is now. Because his political bent has changed a lot. But yeah, ours hasn't. I mean, I don't know, were you guys would you say that we skew more left now than 15 years ago when the show started simply because the goalposts have moved in our actual political discourse in the country? It's obviously it's hard for us to say. First of all, probably little. I would say probably a little only because the center of gravity on the right has moved so far to the right that even if you're standing still, you're going to be pulling left. You know what I mean? As a result of the earth moves below your feet. Yeah. I mean, what's interesting is just politically speaking. Four of the 5 people on this show and you could probably guess who that is. Are 20 years ago would have described ourselves as right of center. Interesting. And now we're basically left of center and again, I think it's mainly because the right has moved so far to the right. Yeah, because you can't even define moderate anywhere near the same way you could 15 years ago. Biden is actually a moderate, if anything, you know, like 20 years ago, what his politics are today would have would have been moderate politics. And also like all of this is within the context of the American lens, because if you plucked any of this up and put it in other countries, they would have wildly different rates. It was very center politics in America is right politics in Europe. But I think that the more important lens to look at a critical thinker or a skeptic would be that we are following whatever whatever the evidence says whatever the science of it says, that's where we're at, right? So yeah, which we are trying to be nonpartisan as much as we can be. It's hard. It's really hard. It's very hard. But that's our goal, and we do our best, and we're pretty close to the middle there, so I think that that's assuming this is a reasonable assessment. We struck pretty close to our goal. And we are overtly about analysis. That's what we do. Which is why we're not at the tippy tippy top, because the tippy top of the curve here. Just straight fact reporting. This is what happens. We don't do that. No, we do critical thinking. Could you think of it? It's inherently analysis. Yeah. True. But we do a lot of straight science reporting, though, where there's not necessarily a tremendous amount of analysis. And where are the science podcasts, though, on this on this grouping? Where are we at? We might be the only thing. 'cause I'm looking at it. Wow. Let's look at everyone else that they brought in for science on this. A lot of these are actually political podcasts. Yeah. Which is kind of interesting. I don't know why. Is that a bias? Well, no, I think it's probably because we are a science podcast, but we are covering science news very often. Yeah. So as opposed to just saying, this is interesting science. It's like, you know, Reuters just reported that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But they could have put rice, Cara, but they could have put a hundred science podcasts in here. They chose us. I think it's probably just a function of listenership, really. I think it's like an influence, probably more than some, I don't know, it would be interesting to ask them what were your parameters for inclusion? But if I had to guess, it would be based on listenership. I'm happy to be here, and I think they pegged us pretty correctly. I agree. But I would like bob mentioned earlier. How do we climb even higher? I mean, but the truth is climbing higher would mean just like straight reporting. And that's not what we do. Yeah, exactly.

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