Fox News recently aired a segment in which it was claimed that herpes (and other diseases) could be transmitted by playing beer pong. While the desire to keep the public informed about health threats is a laudable one, the news segment was based on a hoax.
Of course, this is not the first time that news agencies have accepted hoaxes or jokes as real news. While people do (obviously) get taken in by such things, a major news agency should at least take a few minutes to research a story before presenting it to the public. While it is funny to hear that a news agency made such a foolish error, it is also worrisome. After all, if the beer pong story can slip by without any critical assessment, this entails that other hoaxes and jokes can slip by as well.
This is not to say that we should expect the news folks to never make mistakes. But, it is quite reasonable to expect at least some minimal effort at confirmation before running a story-especially when a credible source is lacking.
Fortunately, this sort of thing is relatively rare and the news is generally reliable. But, this incident does serve to remind people that they need to critical when they watch the news.
CNN and MSNBC fell for the hoax that Barack Obama was not a socialist.
The news is generally reliable in what they report. However, they intentionally leave out a lot of things so people will view subjects as the news editors do. They also use repetition to pound ideas into people’s heads.
Michael LaBossiere says
Well, Obama isn’t a socialist-provided that one sticks with the technical meaning of the term.
If he is taken to be a socialist based on what he has done, then Bush would also be a socialist. After all, Bush got the federal bailout and buyout rolling. The label of “socialist” is a mere dysphemism used in place of actual evidence.
any charges of socialism against bush are still measured as relative to obamas cosmic level of spending in only a month.
would universal health care be a socialist system…
and if you credit obama with good judgement in the bailout, do you give bush credit for starting it…
Michael LaBossiere says
Obama is moving towards socialism, but that is the path the country has been on for a long time. Also, there is still the question of whether this is a good or bad thing.
I think the bailout has numerous serious flaws. My suspicion is that, just as with FDR, the government will not “save us.” Rather, if things improve, it will primarily be a result of some other factor. However, the government can help do some minor (but hugely expensive) repairs. I still think that much of the bailout is transferring wealth from the taxpayers (and Chinese lenders) to companies. I’m against that.
Universal health care run by the state would be moving towards socialism. Again, it all depends on what is meant by “socialism.” If you mean state ownership of all business and industry, then we are not socialist. If you mean state involvement in business and industry, then nearly all states would be socialist.
Let’s not forget that Fox and Friends had a doctor on the show saying it could happen. Why would they disagree? By the way, you REALLY can catch herpes from beer pong. You’ll get it from what follows.
The problem with socialism is how much of it is pervasive in our lives or forced upon us. The more socialism you have the more the freedoms seem to be slipping away. This does not have to be a ‘straw man’ argument. Sort of like business regulations. Every time I talk with a Liberal they seem to think that Conservatives believe in no regulations in a free market system whatsoever. This is of course silly.
Yes, it is silly.