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The Fairness Doctrine, Truth, and Respect for Evidence

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It may be that OpEdNews is to become a truly great forum for opinion.  What is opinion but the preliminary conclusions drawn from the metabolization of facts from reproducible evidence. Of course, there is always a question about the selection of evidence and, therefore, about biasing facts and misrepresenting the truth. This is why we have forums to discuss matters in contention.

Related to that perennial problem  is the so-called Fairness Doctrine that the corporate media have accepted in its least meaningful version. The major corporate media are manifestly inconsistent in their application of fairness, giving 50% exposure to wholly irrational, non-evidence-based contention as if this were carrying out their obligation to be fair. The question of global warming was a case in point where the voices of 1%-3% of scientists who thought that the truths being offered by 97%-99% of scientists were given 50% of the coverage. That is not fairness; it is cowardice.

Of course scientists, even 99% of them can be wrong at times, but the reasons for being wrong are as important as the fact of being wrong. For instance, in the case of the theory of floating continents propounded by Wegener in the first half of the 20th century, most of his colleagues could not believe his thesis until the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58 showed that there was an efficient mechanism that provided the rationale for Wegener's hypothesis. When the mid-Atlantic and other oceanfloor rifts were discovered the evidence fell into place and Wegener was vindicated. At the same time the rest of the scientific community was also vindicated because they had refused to accept an argument on flimsy and almost whimsical evidence. There are still some that do not believe it, and strangely enough there are those who still think the earth is flat despite the evidence.

In the case of Hillary Clinton, whose campaign has foundered this year, the fact that she is the first woman with a shot at the presidency is promoted as a reason for ignoring the other evidence, namely, that she does not have the votes to claim the nomination. Whether she is the first woman with a shot or whether she is actually only the first ex-first lady to take advantage of her husband's coattails is a realistic and honest question. This is not Argentina.

It is claimed that she won Texas, but she got fewer delegates from that contest, so in fact the hard evidence says that she lost Texas.

There are compelling stories that she won the Ohio open primary with the help of Rush Limbaugh minions who crossed over to vote on the Democratic side in the hope that this would confuse the Democratic Party presidential preference voting. It certainly did!

Winning big Democratic states in a primary is completely different from winning the states in a general election when the opposition is the choice is between parties not within parties.

The accumulation of hard facts for Hillary Clinton fans is that there is no democratic way for Hillary to claim the nomination.  She is way behind Barack Obama in delegates and has no realistic way of making up the difference in elected delegates.

Why then would Rob Kall call for a "better balance" of articles at OpEdNews? The evidence, the facts, and the logic of the situation all point in another direction--rallying around the leading candidate and beating the hell out of the Republicans, particularly now that we know that the Republican candidate will continue the policies of this, the most corrupt administration in modern times? It just doesn't make sense for the grocer to be putting his hand on the scales at this point.


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James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) a long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese (more...)

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