Dumb or Corrupt?

A great article on the challenges faced by the anti-gun movement. In my part of the world, articles like the ones quoted at the link are published for money by corrupt journalists. On the positive side, everybody knows that this kind of crap can’t be taken seriously. I don’t know how it works here. Are these journalists honestly dumb or are they writing it for openly corrupt reasons?

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12 thoughts on “Dumb or Corrupt?”

  1. Are these journalists honestly dumb or are they writing it for openly corrupt reasons?

    I don’t understand why this has to be either of these choices. The blogger is merely describing a strange, and possibly dangerous, subculture that exists. Is that a dumb thing to do?

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    1. No, the blogger is great. I’m asking about the authors of the articles he quotes that glorify gun culture in these insidiously pseudo-innocent ways.

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      1. Look to the outlets, not the journalists for the answers. You can write the best investigative journalism ever but if it’s on a subject the outlet doesn’t want or has a spin it doesn’t like it will never see the light of day in that outlet. Or they’ll publish something to serve as a strawman to serve as “balance” without undermining the general view the paper wants people go away with.(on #MeToo)

        Even “centrist” or “liberal” outlets publish these kind of stories to appeal to more readers. The Associated Press (AP) is supposed to be read as “neutral” or “balanced”. The Washington Post is supposed to be liberal to neutral (as opposed to say…The Washington Times.

        Hence the sympathetic profiles are published.

        Other than that, I look to the ownership of the paper or the biggest ad revenue sources. It is not immediately obvious why the AP or the The Washington Post would publish profiles like this otherwise. I know, for example, never to expect great critical reporting of Amazon or Jeff Bezos or Silicon Valley from the Post.

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  2. “Are these journalists honestly dumb or are they writing it for openly corrupt reasons?”

    Neither. They’re simply doing what many reporters do when they cover “movement” events or groups: write sympathetically about the subjects interviewed. You’ve seen the same technique in articles on the great “Women’s March” (people who were anti-Trump, pro-abortion, mostly very liberal) and articles on the annual “March for Life” (anti-abortion, deeply religious, conservative).

    The fact that you disagree with the views of the persons interviewed doesn’t make the reporters stupid or evil.

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      1. Sure I read it. The referenced articles all discuss the views of people whom you refer to as the “gun culture.” (Quote: “Rodriguez has long been a gun enthusiast … He also loves the military … he likes the way he feels in control of his body when he’s at the shooting range.”) The reporters present these views in a sympathetic manner.

        You clearly don’t care for the “gun culture,” so you’re criticizing the reporters for presenting those views from a sympathetic rather than critical perspective.

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        1. There is a big difference between views and emotions. What these quotes describe are clearly emotions. Describing emotions of mundane, unremarkable human beings who are not celebrities and doing it at such length can either be done because one is a very bad reporter and is too lazy to do a real reporting job or because one is getting paid.

          It’s completely unimportant what all the emoting described here is about. I’d say exactly the same if the article was about Rodriguez being an enthusiast of Ukrainian folk dancing who likes the way it makes him feel in control of his unremarkable, boring body.

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          1. “It’s completely unimportant what all the emoting described here is about.”

            Then why do you describe the articles as representing “the challenges faced by the anti-gun movement”? Still sounds to me like you consider the articles to be harmful pro-gun propaganda.

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            1. Propaganda doesn’t appeal to reason. It appeals to emotions. In the absence of any reason, the authors of these articles turn to manipulating readers’ emotions. I’m very indifferent to the gun issue but I’m not indifferent to manipulative, low-quality reporting.

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          2. This is precisely what most Americans seem not to understand. Free speech seems to mean to them that their emotions are sacred and cannot be called irrational.

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            1. Exactly. I have noticed a correlation between how much people rant about Resistance on social media and how little they are willing to do in practical terms. It’s like “I’m here fretting about the fates of humanity and you are bugging me over some unimportant little union gathering.”

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  3. Funnily enough pro-gun people hated that WaPo article too and felt like they intentionally chose a weird, crazy guy. Guess we can all unite in hatred of that article!

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