If You Believe 'Bothsidesism,' You Believe In An Oxymoron

When I was studying journalism in college in the late 1970s, it was when a philosophical shift was taking place about how to cover news. Instead of striving to be 100% "objective," the new school of journalism (sometimes called "New Journalism") was that every human being brings some subjective perspective …

3 comments about "If You Believe 'Bothsidesism,' You Believe In An Oxymoron".
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  1. Kevin Killion from Stone House Systems, Inc., July 14, 2022 at 10:56 a.m.

    Tell us, Jeff, how you score on Scott Adams' hoax beliefs test:

    How many of these hoaxes do you still believe are true?
    1. Russia Collusion Hoax
    2. Steele Dossier hooker story
    3. Russia paying bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan
    4. Trump called Neo-Nazis "Fine people."
    5. Trump suggested drinking/injecting bleach to fight COVID
    6. Trump overfed koi fish in Japan
    7. Trump cleared protestors with tear gas for a bible photo op
    8. Hunter's laptop was Russian disinformation.
    9. Elections were fair because no court found major fraud
    10. January 6th was an "insurrection" to overthrow the government
    11. Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of The Beast

  2. Nys Cof from NYSCOF, Inc, July 16, 2022 at 10:38 a.m.

    Unfortunately, both sides doesn't always work with fluoridation.  Journalists, especially younger inexperienced ones who haven't questioned authority yet, truly believe that government and organized dentistry wouldn't lie to them.  They are also trained by the rich and power dental lobby to doubt anyone who questions fluoridation.  The simple truth is that fluoride isn't a nutrient or required for healthy teeth.  Consuming a fluoride free diet doesn't cause cavities. 

    Of course, fluoride, like all drugs has adverse side effects.  It was added to US water supplies in 1945 because dentists truly believed that fluoride was essential to build decay free teeth.  But it isn't.  Now politics supports fluoridation, not science.

      Old-time editors are the most ingrained in their disbeliefs and rarely allow investigative reporters to look at the science.  They simply ask for an he said; she said - usually one line from someone opposed and paragraphs from pro-fluoridationists. .  If they did look at the science, they would know the fluoridation promoters are spreading misinformation.  However, editors also many be hampered by fluoride toothpaste advertisers who will bail when articles denigate its fluoridated products e.g. Johnson and Johnson, P&G, SmithKline, Colgate

    So why do dentists support fluoridatoin.  They were trained with one-sided information in dental schools - which are all accredited by the American Dental Association. Most dentists refuse to treat low income folks.  80% of dentists refuse Medicaid patients.  The ADA successfully lobbied to have dental excluded from Medicare.  Fluoridation doesn't hurt dentists bottom line but gives the illusion they care about the low income folks who aren't welcomed in their dental chairs.

    And an unexpected gain to dentists is that 70% of US kids are now fluoride overdosed and afflicted with dental fluorosis - discolored teeth.  They advertise to cover up those dentist-caused unsightly teeth for an out-of-pocket expense See before and after advertisements here

  3. Bob Guccione, Jr from WONDERLUST, July 16, 2022 at 4:39 p.m.

    Joe, you make an excellent point --- actually you make several excellent points but I specifically mean about subjectivity. When I taught journalism for a year at Ole Miss I stressed to the students to dump this ecclesiastic devotion to the notion of "objectivity." I said being objective isn't the point, being honest, and accurate, and observant is what's important. If a reporter doesn't give us the benefit of what they saw and what they think about it, then what value do they have? 

    This is not to greenlight or forgive bias or predijuce, obviously. That's not being honest or accurate. Bias is for Op Eds, and can be found on both sides of the ideological divide.

    Subjectivity is valuable when it's intelligent and honest. I think listening to the other side is vital, not just a box checking exercise, which exercise is too often skipped these days frankly, under the protective cover of "not wanting to spread misinformation."

    That phrase is itself too often disingenuous --- where is the line between something verifiably untrue or just something we don't like hearing? Defining that line --- honestly --- would go a very long way to healing the awful disconnect and problems in our society, and greatly help bring back civility in public discourse, on both sides.

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