Links and Comments: Trump’s Lies; Right Wing Media; Christian Education Agenda; Blowfish Fallacy

Slate’s Will Oremus compiled The Lies, Exaggerations, and Obfuscations That Came Out of Trump’s Mouth While He Called the Media “Dishonest”. Bottom line:

When Trump or his advisers say things that aren’t true, it’s not their fault; the real villains are the media who report on it.

Different audiences hear very different versions of the same event. The Atlantic: One Press Conference, Two Audiences, subtitled, “Viewers who watched it themselves saw a rambling, misleading performance. But those who relied on conservative cable newscasts or talk radio hosts got a very different impression.”

With examples from the press conference, Rush Limbaugh’s version, Matt Drudge’s version, and so on. The article ends,

The American right complains about the media as much as any ideological movement ever has, even as it wallows in a right-of-center media ecosystem far more dishonest and less rigorous than The New York Times on its worst day. Some of its most popular figures pander and mislead and constantly vilify the other side. Insofar as that other side writes off their entire audiences, the populist right-wing will keep winning. Its Achilles’ heel is that it relies on blatant misinformation to win. Can conservatives or libertarians or liberals pierce the bubble? Are they even trying?

Among many other notices of this (e.g. Washington Post), here is Jerry Coyne: A theocracy in America? Influential conservative group calls for injecting God into American public schools. Coyne displays images of their “four assumptions and one pledge” and Phase II plans, which include posting the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the 10 Commandments in K-12 public schools (*public* schools) and implementing select Bible classes.

I’m trying to imagine how proponents of this plan imagine they will explain the First Amendment to the Constitution to their students on their way to Bible class.

Another article on a commonly identified logical fallacies: What do gorilla suits and blowfish fallacies have to do with climate change?, including how these are used deliberately to detract from the scientific consensus about human-caused climate change, such as the “blowfish fallacy”, how pointing out some minor inconsistency supposedly invalidates the whole enterprise:

“…it’s not much more substantial than claiming the Apollo 11 astronauts failed to file some paperwork and pretending this casts doubt on the veracity of the Moon landing.”

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