Bias – The New Impartiality

Kit

Impartial: n. not partial or biased, treating or affecting all equally.

That’s the dictionary definition of the word “Impartiality”. Up until very recently, it was not a complicated or controversial concept in any way. But these days meanings are rather more fluid than they used to be. Free speech doesn’t necessarily involve being able to speak freely. Democracy doesn’t necessarily involve voting.

And “impartial journalism” doesn’t necessarily involve being impartial.

At least, according to ITV’s political editor Robert Peston. Speaking at the Cheltenham literature festival, he’s quoted in the Guardian as saying:

Impartial journalism is not giving equal airtime to two people one of whom says the world is flat and the other one says the world is round. That is not balanced, impartial journalism.”

You see, under the OLD definition of “impartial journalism”, a representative from each side of a political issue would be given equal air-time to make their case and present their evidence to the public. The people watching at home, being informed, would then make their own decision as to who was more likely correct.

But that’s not TRUE impartiality anymore, according to Robert.

[impartial journalism is about] weighing the evidence and saying on the balance of probabilities…this is the truth. It is the role of a journalist to say, ‘we’ve got these two contradictory arguments, I’m now going to advise all of you which is likely to be closer to the truth.’”

Under Robert’s new and improved version of “impartial journalism”, one side would get more air time because they are probably right. The other side, the wrong side, would get some time to make their case, but afterwards a friendly (and “impartial”) servant of the state would tell all their viewers to ignore it. That it had been declared officially wrong by the powers that be, and all good citizens should disregard it entirely.

This is, of course, nonsense.

Journalists aren’t interpreters, nannies, teachers or parents. They’re not priests or scientists or experts. They are not there to make our decisions for us, wipe our noses or check under our bed for monsters. It’s not their job make sure we don’t get frightened or to keep us from getting confused or to save our souls.

Television news has a simple task: Provide an unbiased, open and honest platform to supply the public with information.

Robert’s words attack this very idea, instead turning the news into a means to enforce state-sanctioned consensus through emotional blackmail and manipulative corporate virtue-signalling.

This follows a disturbing trend, a direct flow from no-platforming on campuses, to calls to shut down RT or banning Alex Jones from social media. It can all be read as one thing: a direct, media-driven push toward state-backed censorship under the guise of protecting the public. Enforcing a one-sided consensus under the false-flag of a sacred duty to “truth” or a hallucinatory public virtue.

Whatever mask it wears – whatever veneer is layered on its surface – the solid body of the issue is still the same: censorship.

Media corporations, both public and private, deciding amongst themselves what viewpoints are fit to air, and which opinions should be frozen out.

Ask yourself: Who gets to decide whether or not an opinion is fit for public consumption? To whom are they accountable? On what grounds is that decision made? What other issues would fall victim to this new meaning of “impartial coverage”?

It was widely reported that Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite. Would the people defending him from those charges be rejected, declared “officially wrong”, and filed away alongside flat Earthers?

How about people who believe the West is enabling fascists in Ukraine in order to undermine Russia?

Or people who thought Hillary Clinton was a dangerous warmonger?

Or people who claimed Saddam had no WMDs?

Or people who support Palestine?

Or people who voted for Brexit?

Scottish Independence?

Donald Trump?

How many political issues would be safe from the BBC’s new mandate to be “impartial” by picking a side? How often in the past has the official state-backed position been shown to be nothing but a pack of lies?

The truth doesn’t require a shield. The truth isn’t fragile or vulnerable or soft. It doesn’t need guards to protect it, a filter to clarify it or a marketing campaign to promote it. The truth doesn’t need a bullhorn to blare it out or censorship to prop it up. The truth is a lion, not a lamb.

You know what happens when you split equal time between the flat-Earth and round-Earth arguments? The flat-Earther loses. Because an impartial viewing of the evidence proves them wrong.

Propaganda is fragile. A false consensus has fault lines. Lies can be torn down by the gentlest of winds. The truth always wins a fair fight.

That’s the real reason the mainstream media are so desperate to stack the odds.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: featured, Kit, latest, Other Media

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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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mog
Reader

Catte writes: Every day independent news outlets are being closed down…. And the people doing it are using EXACTLY THE SAME ARGUMENTS YOU USE Don’t you get it? People ALWAYS rationalise their own prejudice. They ALWAYS believe the censorship they inflict is for the public good. Well this wasn’t addressed to me, but I DON’T GET IT. Does it not matter that the people who are closing down political dissent online are, ultimately, the same people who are integral to the system that maintains an ecocidal activities under discussion? Would it make any difference to Catte’s argument if climate change… Read more »

binra
Reader

Your responsibility is first to yourself. The idea of being responsible for humanity is a grandiosity of arrogance and ignorance. To thine own self be true – not to anyone else’s agenda. A lack of alignment in self-honesty is effected by subjugation under the guilting of moral culpability. But your integrity of thought and action is your own witness and your own experience. Give others the freedom to uncover and align in the integrity of their being or lose your own under the power of deceit. It may seem a long shot because, to a lack of worth, the mass… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
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Mulga Mumblebrain

The ‘argument’ that ANY opinion, even one that, like anthropogenic climate destabilisation denialism, is void of any merit and anti-scientific and omnicidal in its consequences, must be allowed to be disseminated, is grotesquely mistaken. The calculus of good and Evil tells you that in an instant. One must also note that this site does not just allow specious propaganda that works to prevent humanity from saving itself from the greatest threat in all our history, but actively supports it, and attacks critics of this moral insanity.

binra
Reader

Another way to illuminate the choice for human being is between the fruit of the tree of the judgement of good and evil – by which to become ‘as gods’ or to partake of the fruit of the tree of life – which is the extension and expression of the True. So the conflicts and divisions of good v evil narrative dictate give way to discernment of false from true, the instant the investment in a corrupt and corrupting sense of self-power is released or disinvested of. But the nature of the choice for the mind of the judge is… Read more »

mog
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Admin
Moderator
Admin

If you support censorship of opinion, you can’t complain when others do the same. This is where it leads unfortunately

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

Lying, omnicidal, propaganda is not mere ‘opinion’.

binra
Reader

But what you are doing is what you are SAYING that you hate!? It is your current opinion or choice to hold such an extreme view and assert it in extreme terms. You have your own reasons for what you do or don’t choose to think and say and do. I feel you undermine yourself and your root cause by the way you go about it. What is the core foundational motive for getting behind and investing in the AGW or ACC or ACD political campaign? You may think you are being aligned with life but the way you are… Read more »

mog
Reader

@Admin, That is sounding like a rather robotic response I’m afraid. I’ve read no engagement with the points raised against such absolutism in these comments. I am reminded of a series of articles by Tarzie on related matters: With truly painstaking simple-mindedness, absolutists render all contested expression equal. If all expression is equal, all “offense” taken is equal too, which means it’s all equally irrelevant, since only the speaker’s interests matter. There is no burden to consider power disparities between speaker and spoken to…. The answer to bad speech, they say, is more speech. That sounds nice, but let’s say… Read more »

mog
Reader

Would it make any difference to Catte’s argument if climate change social media sites were shut down ?

If you are like me and see radical politics as an essential component of responding to climate change then this is in a sense already the case. There has already been plenty of state repression of green politics in other arenas, most notably NVDA.

mog
Reader

‘you’re involved.’

-please, an edit option.

Winterrun
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Winterrun

If the price of having independent news sites like this is having to use a spell check before you post, I’d try that for a while, before you start getting too entitled and demanding.

binra
Reader

Regardless of any judgements as to rights or whatever, a spell check flags words that do not exist such as yoor while your and you’re both pass. There can also be ‘autocorrect’ or predictive text services that make errors and not corrections or shortcuts. The momentary frustration of releasing an error and being unable to correct it may have overstated itself. But the desire for an edit option is in itself a reasonable desire but may not be an immediately practical option. Ideally I would not type into a text box but into a text program that I then paste… Read more »

Antonyl
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Antonyl

Pravda (the Kremlin Truth), Guardian (for London’s Deep state), the Independent (of common sense), the Times (of the City), New York Times (Manhatten’s elite), Washington Post (Pentagon’s paper), a dime a dozen.

Money – power (=fake happiness).

Hugh O'Neill
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Hugh O'Neill

“Impartial journalism is not giving equal airtime to two people one of whom says the world is flat and the other one says the world is round. That is not balanced, impartial journalism.” Apologies for coming late to the party and my slow-thinking. Suppose Mr. Peston had been around doing the Dark Ages, then no shrift would be given to those who argued that the world was round: as any fool knoweth, the world is held up on the back of a large tortoise. Heretics should be burned at the stake. Ah, but those were the Dark Ages; if there… Read more »

Sean O'Donoghue
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Sean O'Donoghue

There’s a FB meme going about…if one person says it is raining outside and another person says it’s not, it is the journalists job to look out the window to check the Weather rather than give equal airing to both views.

Ultraviolet
Reader
Ultraviolet

I find myself really torn with this article. The problem is that when you give equal time to flat-earthers and round-earthers, you misinform the viewers into thinking the arguments have equal weight. That can be propaganda just as much as silencing the flat-earth voices altogether.

I regard the journalist’s job as being to publish facts. Anyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the more facts we have in the public domain, the better informed we will all be.

If you present arguments as equal without fact-checking them objectively, that is not good journalism.

binra
Reader

If there is someone willing and able to present the ‘flat earth’ position – let then speak and listen. If anything is said that merits response in terms of a dialogue – engage with them in making or challenging the point. My limited sense of the ‘flat earth’ position is that a world of lies operates and has done for who knows how long. There might be something in that, but what is to say that ‘flat earth’ isn’t just another shifting form of deceit? The sense of being lied to by authorities that are either blind or complicit does… Read more »

Francis Lee
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Francis Lee

The western dominated world order is facing an unprecedented crisis, both internal and external: political, geopolitical, economic and cultural.This has been largely brought about by US hegemonic ambitions. Russia and China are sovereign states preventing the realisation of this neo-con project – thus all the brouhaha in response to this geopolitical roadblock. This is preventing the project of a ‘benign’ US global empire. But this is absolutely unacceptable to the neo-con vermin in DC. The populations of the west must therefore be blitzed with an unrelenting propaganda campaign to get them ready for conflict. In essence this is what all… Read more »

harry stotle
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harry stotle

“Does the MSM report on any of this.” – not if Preston, or other top churnos have their way, those dozy bastards have been asleep at the wheel for decades.

binra
Reader

IN a sense is not the wholesale shift into fake news the symptom that reveals the underlying crisis or paralysis.
Reading the ‘news’ is a matter of discerning beneath its presentation. Insofar as one reads it at all!

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

The Ministry Of Truth becomes more pervasive day by day.

mog
Reader

‘You know what happens when you split equal time between the flat-Earth and round-Earth arguments? The flat-Earther loses. Because an impartial viewing of the evidence proves them wrong.’ What just a one off? Two examples – 1. Judy Wood gets hundred of thousands of views and subsciptions on Youtube, when she has been putting out discredited nonsense for years – and that is in a field where there supposedly are no censorship boundaries or coroporate/state interests promoting one side at the expense of the other (vis-a-vis demolition theory). 2. The clear tactic of the fossil fuel lobby has been to… Read more »

vexarb
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vexarb

@mog: !Wot? Just a one off? Correct, it takes thousands of years before some things become “obvious”. I have been listening to a History of Mathematics (on Librivox) and was astonished at the number of times someone measured the circumferendce of Earth, or the relative distances of Sun and Moon. Someone worked on the Ellipticity of Planetary Orbits centuries before Kepler; and even when Kepler came along, Mainstream Science in person (the great Galileo) ridiculed this truth which is so obvious, even to TV viewers, in our day. Part of the trouble with Flat Earth is that reality “is not… Read more »

binra
Reader

You speak of an ideal science. I see a collective ‘consensus’ of “what we are thinking now”. If honesty uncovers something that is not part of “what we are thinking now” it is ignored,denied, subverted or attacked. This is regardless of nobel prizes or distinguished service or qualifications. Narrative control sets the framing of where funding and attention are directed. That our reality experience (of being) is each a unique interpretive perspective is simply obvious. But agreeing to make the focus of reality OUTSIDE operates The attempt to judge, define or fix down exactly what is “Real” is already under… Read more »

mog
Reader

Binra
The discoveries of materialist science do not stand opposed to idealism as a fundamental philosophical viewpoint, they are included in it.
Read some Kastrup:
https://www.bernardokastrup.com/

binra
Reader

I hold no division between science and philosophy or indeed religion – but see all differences arising from organised or institutionalised identity.
So my assertions are not anti science but calling out the blocks and distortions to honest and transparent endeavour.
Anyone can suggest that anyone else ‘read’ anyone. It merely calls on presumed ‘authority’.
The dependency on ‘authorities’ is an alignment in trust that easily becomes blind or captive to its ‘establishment’ as the order of things.

mog
Reader

It was just a suggestion binra,
a link to a thinker,
a broadening of discussion.

Kastrup is not considered ‘an authority’ by anyone that I am aware of.

binra
Reader

Accepted Mog. But in terms of your premise – that I did not identify, and a dropped author that I have heard of, but nothing more, led me to feel a miscommunication and perhaps a sense of being patronised in terms of go and educate yourself.
I prefer to follow a suggested link in terms of more of a contextual sense of why or what for.
I accept you wrote in good faith.
Brian/binra

PSJ
Reader
PSJ

“Science is nothing but organized honesty.”

Let me just say Vexarb that is among the best summations I’ve come across to date of what science is (or is supposed to be).

binra
Reader

How about “Organised crime in a ‘white coat’? Was science used from the outset as the trojan horse of our being hacked from within to fall prey to every kind of attack from without? Corporate cartel monopoly running State monopoly ‘collectivism’? Idols must fall because they have no life but what is given them in worship and sacrifice. But no matter the humiliation, a true ground reveals itself in the willingness to disinvest of ‘taking offence’. Let there be no shame in nakedness. Love of truth aligns true and the uncovering of the already true is the true business of… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

The fakestream media sewer in Austfailia, particularly the Murdoch cancer, does NOT provide ‘balance’ between science, rationality and simple observation, and rank denialism in the case of the anthropogenic climate destabilisation Holocaust just beginning to descend upon us. No, the Murdoch cancer is STILL fully denialist (but denies that truth in a weird assault on reason)and a vicious, bitter, enemy of all environmentalism, and the rest of the outlying media sewers are either ‘balanced’ between the sane, and the omnicidal Rightwing psychopaths, or totally ignore the subject. When, in the next few years, the real truth of our terminal predicament… Read more »

binra
Reader

Such a mad world, mulga! Have you ever thought of changing it for a better one? A terminal predicament sound like where one might start a new journey. Alight here! No one anywhere has changed another’s mind who is not themselves willing to change. When the baited hooks of temptation to be phished – (and give up my freedom or power to choose) – are dangled to my own targeted profile of triggered reaction, I say “thanks but no thanks’ or disregard entirely because I am listening to truth now. And so the lie fades from my own mind as… Read more »

mog
Reader

Pity, or not if you prefer, the poor denialists then. Sadly that seems to include some who are astute on many other issues. Ryan Dawson who I endorsed the other day on matters geopolitical, sees fit to put up two barely readable graphs as a claimed debunk of AGW. James Corbett still vaunts his lack of understanding of how scientific arguments are constructed. Even one of the OffG editors seems to see more of ‘an agenda’ in the BBC running reports of the IPCC announcement, than in the speed at which those reports are swept away behind trivia and lies… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

And the latest IPCC Report was, as ever, a pile or ordure that downplays the extremity of our situation, as they have for years.

mog
Reader

Absolutely mulga. There is a kind of thinking that is blind to how the establishment have manipulated and suppressed the climate debate that seems rooted in Rightwing Libertarian thinking. Capitalism and de-carbonisation are mutually exclusive, it is as simple as that. [see Roy Scranton]. The more European traditions of Left anarchism have been clearer eyed on the subject, more closely tied to science and anti-religion, and this is a matter of science. No matter what is presented here on this forum, there is no argument anymore and it takes remarkable ignorance to insist that there is. I agree it reflects… Read more »

binra
Reader

Why would I ‘argue’ with a wilful ignorance? The very nature of any campaign of ‘settled scientific consensus’ REEKS! It stinks of deceitful manipulation! I understand you want to save the world? Save yourself first or you’ll be saving the problem from the answer. The manipulation of the Media REEKS! But only if you stick your head in its framing. Instead of playing the polarised identity – look at the way it is set up. Ironically I do see catastrophic outcomes unfolding through a broad spectrum of – but not the manipulated sideshow of diversion and mind-capture in subjection to… Read more »

Admin
Moderator
Admin

Sorry, Mog, but nothing is going to persuade us to start suppressing one side of a scientific debate. We are not scientists and we don’t feel qualified to say whether or not the arguments are beyond questions. But we DO believe the truth doesn’t need to be defended by censorship.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

There is NO ‘debate’ or ‘two sides’ in regard to anthropogenic climate destabilisation. The US National Academy of Sciences, speaking on behalf of ALL the Academies of Science and scientific societies of the planet, has declared the theory to be based on ‘settled science’. The denialist industry, like the tobacco harm denial industry before it, or the Roundup harm denial industry, or scores of other ‘astroturf’ operations, is a creation of the fossil fuel industry and the ideological Right. Just why OffGuardian has chosen to join this pernicious operation, and thereby run the risk of thoroughly discrediting itself, is beyond… Read more »

binra
Reader

Yes you have been already agreed with – debate has been effectively killed, censored, denied. “No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.” ~ Alan Bullock, in Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. I live the freedom to associate freely in the ideas that resonate as worthy and significant within me regardless its ‘market value’ in attracting status, money or ‘impact’. I’m riding the wave… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

There is no other ‘side’ to the science of anthropogenic climate destabilisation. To state that there is, in regard to the greatest ever threat to human existence, and with the lives of billions at risk, is morally Evil.

Emily Durron
Reader
Emily Durron

“All the answers to your denialist disinformation are contained in the 200 years of climate research”

I note that you haven’t tried to answer any of the questions, Mumblebrain. Just attacked as usual because somebody looks up and sees the Emporer has no clothes. Interesting.

By the way, I think I would rather fry in an AGW-induced-1.5 °C-above-pre-industrial-levels sauna than live in a world where people like you told everyone what to think.

By the way no. 2, much of what you are claiming, especially the 99% stuff, is utter garbage. Not even Mann and Nuccitelli would exaggerate so outrageously.

Nuff said.

BigB
Reader
BigB

“By the way, I think I would rather fry in an AGW-induced-1.5 °C-above-pre-industrial-levels sauna than live in a world where people like you told everyone what to think.” Even as a rhetorical device, and not an actual declaration of intent, that is incredibly revealing. It is not all about you Emily. At even 1.5 degrees, millions, if not billions would die …that is across all classes of biotic life. We are all in this together. If only we could think like that, and not so exceptionally individually, we might have a chance. That is my POV in a nutshell. AGW… Read more »

binra
Reader

Theories of inter being are all very well as pointers to direct experience but ‘being’ already Is All That it is – and it is theories rising from self-concept and self image, believed and acted as real, that operate the filtering and distortion of the awareness of ‘being’ – which is direct knowing rather than imaged thoughts and associations that map out in mutually agreed definitions. The A in the AGW or ACG is a key factor because without the A – there would not be the basis of a guilt-induced crusade to atonement by self-denials and sacrifice – and… Read more »

binra
Reader

Theories of inter being are all very well as pointers to direct experience but ‘being’ already Is All That it is – and it is theories rising from self-concept and self image, believed and acted as real, that operate the filtering and distortion of the awareness of ‘being’ – which is direct knowing rather than imaged thoughts and associations that map out in mutually agreed definitions. The A in the AGW or ACG is a key factor because without the A – there would not be the basis of a guilt-induced crusade to atonement by self-denials and sacrifice – and… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

I’m sorry to hear that Admin, because that is quite an indefensible POV. I can only echo mog: there is no ‘scientific’ debate, just a hot air anti-dialogue that is as disempowering as it is pointless. As if ‘impartial’ uninformed debate could establish it either way? You are not defending anything with non-committal ‘impartiality’, except the status quo ante …and I might as well add the last word that everyone drops – bellum …i.e. the war on everything that lives. At some point the talking has to stop, and the defense of life and living begin in earnest. The point… Read more »

Emily Durron
Reader
Emily Durron

“I can only echo mog: there is no ‘scientific’ debate”

There is total uncertainty in this topic; anyone that claims otherwise is deluded or a liar. There is a hypothesis related to CO2. The global warming crowd seek to shut down discussion of the topic by denying there is a topic.

Don’t ask me: Go to Judith Curry, one of the world’s finest climate scientists for confirmation. All else is just piss and bluster.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

Utter, utter, lunatic, garbage-but that’s denialism for you. When a theory is supported by 99% of actively publishing climate scientists, and ALL ie very Academy of Science and scientific society on the planet, there is NO debate. To call that ‘total uncertainty’ is insanity. Moral insanity, the worst type.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

This is to ‘Emily’, below. All the answers to your denialist disinformation are contained in the 200 years of climate research, by tens of thousands of scientists, particularly in recent years thanks to scientific advance. They are the basis of the TOTAL concurrence of all the Academies of Science and scientific societies on Earth, and 99% of actively researching and publishing climate scientists, with the anthropogenic climate destabilisation theory. The peculiar arrogance of the hard-core denialist claque that they, or the TINY handful of denialist scientists with ANY credibility (many openly on the fossil fuel or Rightwing pay-roll, and some… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Emily: OK, you are right. I concede to your POV. Only, it is not the only POV. It is a legacy way of doing science that is the problem. That Cartesian legacy is to create a reductio ad absurdum POV. That ecologically and evolutionary redundant POV has produced: a) an isolated and wholly distorted conceptual view of Man (and it is a patriarchal quasi-divine POV) as isolated and alone among the unknowable Other b) an wholly dysfunctional mathematicised exploitative economic calculus that is isolated from the environment, a statistical function of labour and capital, that is not dissipative (reliant on… Read more »

Emily Durron
Reader
Emily Durron

“To call that ‘total uncertainty’ is insanity. Moral insanity, the worst type”. OK, quiz time, and I expect precise answers, no uncertainty allowed. It is said that the Earth has warmed about about 1° C (1.8° F) since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, around 1750. How much of this is due to human activity, and now much is recovery from the Little Ice Age? Be precise in your answer. If the world warms by 1.5°C, will it be cloudier or sunnier on average? What will be the net effect of this increased or decreased cloudiness on average global temperatures?… Read more »

manfromatlan
Reader

“Pseudoscience”: a term much used and abused by the sciency absolutists, who would GMO, fluoridate and compulsory vaccinate the planetary herd. Oh, and they’re allergic to freedom of speech and association; their authoritarian streak’s showing.

Catte
Reader
Catte

You’re SORRY to hear we don’t intend to start censoring opinions here? Reflect, please, on what you just said. And then remind yourself about why we started this site. Some people have attacked us in just this way for giving a platform to 9/11 sceptics. In just the same way as you express above, they think this is an “indefensible POV” and they tell us we are discrediting ourselves etc etc by allowing these “conspiracy theorists” to have their say. You, in fact, are one of those “conspiracy theorists” aren’t you, and you appreciate our comment is free policy which… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Catte: you conflate your own position …there is solid empirical reasons to be skeptical about 9/11. So much so it is impossible to believe the “official” version …9/11 skepticism is based on fact. So are you declaring OffG is a platform for fact-free opinion? Because the climate holocaust we face is at least as important a catalyst for change as 9/11 …but climate skepticism is built on thin air. It is not about being right or de-platforming a countervailing opinion: it’s about being empirical. Facts etc. Without empiricism, uninformed opinion is pointless hot air. Anyone can say anything. How can… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Catte: It seems we are coming from exactly the same environmental perspective: only with different practical outlooks. The time for talk was in the 1970s, the time for action has also past. Talk and inaction compound the magnitude of the task (very possibly insurmountable task) of finding an enacting solutions …that is solutions for survivability. My POV is a version of the Sartrean Existential of radical responsibility and conscious choice toward Universal Humanism. I said we are facing mortal rupture of the web of life, and an integration of the Three Ecologies (mind, economy, and environment) is an emergent paradigm… Read more »

binra
Reader

“I’m siding with life” – you say – but are you merely defining life in terms of death and accepting that as a substitute for the living? Orwell’s boot on the face of humanity may very well turn green. The subversion of the movement of the heart is the art of the deceiver. And to rule out any challenge to your mind-set is to claim yours is the only true god. Of course no one states in in such terms – but the pattern is a very old one – as is the pattern in the human guilt >> Catastrophe>>human… Read more »

Catte
Reader
Catte

BB – we are obviously coming at this from very different perspectives. I am a founding editor of OffG, alt media is a milieu I spend a lot of time in. Right now we are all facing censorship on a level previously unknown. Every day independent news outlets are being closed down, de-monetised, thrown off social media. OffG could be next. We might not even be here tomorrow for all we know. And the people doing it are using EXACTLY THE SAME ARGUMENTS YOU USE. Don’t you get it? People ALWAYS rationalise their own prejudice. They ALWAYS believe the censorship… Read more »

mog
Reader

Is there a direct comparison between scepticism of 9/11 and scepticism of climate science? Are you (Catte) comparing like with like? I get to read climate denialism in mainstream newspapers or on the radio/TV regularly – either in its explicit form or in the form of censorship by omission. Not so 9/11 scepticism. The so-called scientific argument of the official 9/11 story is not science. ‘Science is not done in secret’ as Margulis so clearly stated. The science of climate change is a huge, open, transparent effort of thousands of professionals around the world, who have worked for oil companies,… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

By supporting the lunatic Evil of anthropogenic climate destabilisation denialism with the oxygen of publicity and acceptability, when billions of lives are art risk, is truly despicable, and will bring this entire site into well-deserved contempt. Would you allow ‘opinions’ that call for the murder of children, in their millions, to be published, on the grounds of ‘freedom of expression’, because that is what supporting anthropogenic climate destabilisation deniers amounts to.

mog
Reader

Fair enough, although my point is that there are no two sides of a ‘debate’. By being ‘impartial’ you are giving equal footing to, on one side climate science, and on the other, state/ corporate lies and disinformation. Everything that I have read by sceptics/deniers is either religiously driven psuedoscience, astroturf propaganda or has been considered and integrated by climate scientists for many years (as per the scientific process). If you are cool with that, then press on, although I am bemused at how you clearly are so well versed in the propaganda of vested interests yet cannot seem to… Read more »

binra
Reader

Exceptionalism cant help but accuse itself in the other – and then coerce the other for its own good.

binra
Reader

What is given attention, is what serves the purpose of the mind in the moment of giving it and so it is the active definition running at the time that sets or frames the ‘choice’ or response of action and not ‘objective facts’ or ‘rational thinking’. The entanglement of the personality structure in the manipulative or predatory intent is very ancient and very complex – as an ‘evolution’ of stratagems and counter stratagems for ‘getting’, dominating or using others – and thus of being subject to the same from others. The development of the manipulative or ‘war’ mind has extended… Read more »

binra
Reader

“Propaganda is fragile as it is a manipulation of the narrative to hide/obscure the facts. So propaganda needs protection and support, it needs feeding.” A false witness demands sacrifice of the true, in order to pass off as true or in place of true. It is only willing or open to receive confirmation and support of its ‘self’ and so when it believes itself ‘attacked’ by truth it will only see or hear that which it can take in and use against truth. Because it is by nature blind to anything true, being a substitution for You. A false witness… Read more »

kingfelix
Reader

“You see, under the OLD definition of “impartial journalism”, a representative from each side of a political issue would be given equal air-time to make their case and present their evidence to the public. The people watching at home, being informed, would then make their own decision as to who was more likely correct.” Neither approach works well in these times. To take the above, one ends up with extremist groups like Henry Jackson Society or Tax Payers Alliance or UKIP being given disproportionate exposure on the BBC, relative to their support base, on the premise they represent the opposing… Read more »

binra
Reader

If there was mutual agreement to moderation such that the dark arts were not acceptable forms of communication, then communication can occur. Otherwise polarised faced off positions work the denial of the chalice of listening. (in ref to the well known illusion of two faces OR chalice). Schopenhauer’s list of 38 stratagems to win an argument by trickery or guile are a good enough introduction to the dark arts. Bringing communication into truly present terms is owning only what is ours. Every kind of self deceit operates the human mind. Until we recognise this, we are subject to them and… Read more »

steve hilling
Reader
steve hilling

Deception by omission, is standard fare in UK media.

Yarkob
Reader
Yarkob

it’s certainly the stock in trade of our esteemed state propaganda outlet, the BBC; other pubs just lie, blatantly, and then point and shout “conspiracy theorist” loudly when questioned (or just block you on Twatter, like Bellendcat)

rilme
Reader
rilme

It’s not like Mission Impossible being the opposite of Mission Possible.
It aint a Partial <=> Impartial biwhatsit.

The verb is TO IMPART.
Now you see why they seem to be pushing a point of view.

Mulga’s little sister
Reader
Mulga’s little sister

The ‘news’ is nothing but opinion presented as fact. Journalists are reporters but for decades have presented themselves as ‘experts’. I even heard a BBC newsreader – a reader of news – recently talking about her ‘humanitarian work’ in Africa. I imagine what passes for humanitarian work is shoving a microphone at a starving African. Shameless. Journalists present unnamed ‘sources’ as some sort of virtue and indication of their status. When I was a cadet journalist we were told to respond to anyone who wanted to go off the record: ‘our newspaper is a journal of record, if you won’t… Read more »

Admin
Moderator
Admin

Have to ask – are you actually Mulga’s sister? 🙂

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

“Impartial journalism is not giving equal airtime to two people one of whom says Assad gassed his own people the other who says the white helmets might not be quite as squeaky clean as the neocons say they are. That is not balanced, impartial journalism.” – no, its state propaganda Mr Preston, because for a media outlet to be fearless and impartial it has to maintain a fair degree of independence from the powers controlling it, conditions which simply do not apply to the likes of the BBC or ITV and certainly every MSM newspaper. The fact that you employ… Read more »

axisofoil
Reader

Are you saying you don’t believe the earth is flat?

Yarkob
Reader
Yarkob

I’m looking out of the window right now. It looks pretty flat to me. I can see all of the way to the end of the road.

I think I might re-evaluate my position on this hotly contested subject.due to this newly discovered evidence

jonny
Reader
jonny

The earth must be flat otherwise they wouldn’t be able to print it in books or newspapers!!

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

Not if Preston says so!

HB
Reader
HB

👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

In terms of everyday experience my impression is that the mass of people are fully aware that the system they live under is a racket. It is a sort of collective (dare I say ”class” consciousness). Racketism is no respecter of social, economic or political systems, you’ll find it everywhere regardless of regime. This is the wisdom of the man in the street. Firstly we had racket communism which collapsed due to its internal contradictions and generalised corruption, now we have the same process occuring within the sacred environments of capitalism. Human imperfectibilty and propensity to sin is a given:… Read more »

tutisicecream
Reader

Propaganda is fragile as it is a manipulation of the narrative to hide/obscure the facts. So propaganda needs protection and support, it needs feeding. Truth lies buried you have to dig to find it. There can be two sides to an argument and there can be more. Peston’s argument is a manipulation to help hide the truth to support and protect the propaganda, it is clearly a corruption. The truth can be painful the truth can be hard. Letting someone sugar the pill will not lead to enlightenment, Robert. William Blake put it well: “What is the price of Experience?… Read more »

Tim Groves
Reader

AN excellent article, Kit, thank you. My two new pence worth: The earth may or may not be flat, depending on what one means by “the earth”, “may”, “not”, “be”, and “flat”. But Journalistic Impartiality is the official religion that the masses are expected to genuflect to on pain of being declared possessed by devils. Reporters are the clerics who handle the religion’s clerical tasks of recording the the facts properly in order to set the goal posts of respectability and moderation, and ensure a level playing field in the arena of acceptable debate. Journalists are the scribes who scribble… Read more »

tubularsock
Reader

Well the way Tubularsock see it:

Impartial is just the space one stands until all the information is presented.

Then one becomes Partial.

EVEN if they are WRONG!

Godfree Roberts
Reader

The proof of the pudding is readers’ trust. According to the American Press Institute, “Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions”.

According to Edelman, 80% of Chinese trust their media, lower than their trust in government, but significantly higher than even Singaporeans’ trust in their media.

Matt
Reader
Matt

The low trust scores can be explained by the fact that the general public wants to seem more smart than it actually is. This involves putting on a show of how one is “too smart” to believe the “mainstream media”. Bashing the MSM has become the modern-day counter culture. Few want to defend the media, for fear of being “sheeple”. So they attack it and smugly pat thsemveles on the back for being such geniuses. Even politicians have picked up on the game, portraying themselves as being “against the corrupt MSM”. I’m sure you’ve seen election ads of various alt-right… Read more »

binra
Reader

Dissonance does not show up within a shared – or rather – a mutually aligned bias – for the bias operates the projection of the dissonance to OTHER or OUTSIDE. Only the true can be truly shared and recognized as such WITHIN being. Who in this world does not in some way present themselves as they want to seem rather than as they are? Who that identifies in self-lack does not take a perverse joy in pointing or targeting those ‘worse’ then themselves – so as to seem ‘more than’ or ‘better’? To pick out the sins and failings of… Read more »

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

1.’This involves putting on a show of how one is “too smart” to believe the “mainstream media”.’ Errm, you don’t have to be very smart to disbelieve the mainstream media. ”’you’ll find Leftists complaining about how CNN or the NYT didn’t use the “right words” in the titles of their articles.” Yes, that’s because words and language are crucial. For example the IMF uses phrase, ‘Structtural Adjustment Policies’ which serves to conceal what they really mean, – which is to say, Austerity, which in turns means making the mass of people poorer whilst a tiny clique at the top of… Read more »

Thomas Peterson
Reader
Thomas Peterson

Matt wrote:
“The low trust scores can be explained by the fact that the general public wants to seem more smart than it actually is. ”

no, they can be explained by the fact that the media is lying

binra
Reader

The experience of realizing one is ‘being lied to’ does not necessarily result in a re-education in awakened curiosity as to what then IS true, but plays into polarised and hateful reaction – that bases itself on the ‘truth’ of the sins of the other. It may well be that people are ‘lied to’ or worked and managed by the lie because those who work such a manipulative intent base their sense of truth on the sin of unworthiness or incapacity to be trusted with power or a real voice, and so are managed under false narratives. Impartiality is not… Read more »

bc
Reader
bc

Painful to read. If you have a point to make, just state it plainly and succinctly.

binra
Reader

Vengeance operates the blinding mind of its own judgement by assignment or ‘false flagging’ to others.

That I offer many significant points to the theme does not mean they are acceptable within your current bias. But nor are they any demand upon you to read or engage with.

writerroddis
Reader
writerroddis

Matt, I disagree fundamentally. You ignore the reality of news provision underwritten and hence constrained by market forces. See my recent OffGuardian review of the new Media Lens book or, better, read that book itself then say where in your opinion its authors go wrong. Inadvertently, however, you do stumble on a truth. I agree that polls of audience trust overstate scepticism re the media. I think the reason is not that those polled want to sound savvy’. There’s not a shred of evidence for that. There’s plenty of evidence though for the proposition that humans fail to recognise the… Read more »

Rhisiart Gwilym
Reader
Rhisiart Gwilym

Is ‘Matt’ a loony, or a paid hasbarollockser team in Tel Aviv? Not, of course, that it has to be an either/or proposition. You could just as well say ‘loony AND hasbarollockser’.

axisofoil
Reader

Arthur Cadbury
Reader
Arthur Cadbury

Zionist editing is one of the pastimes of the Neo-Con Press Room then to be broadcast via the bullhorns of the State Department

James Connolly
Reader
James Connolly

Matt, every independent content analysis of BBC News has revealed its political and economic coverage to have a glaring rigjtwing/ establishment bias. Little wonder when its output is filtered through a host of well-known Tories, both on and off screen. Were there anything even approaching balance you would be able to name at least one high-profile left winger at the BBC among all the Tories. Do yourself a favour and check out Media Lens’ new book Propaganda Blitz. You will recognize all the tactics that are deployed.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

‘Moshe'(Matt)has that hasbarist’s talent for chutzpah. The bigger the Big Lie the more sacramental it becomes.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

The stench of Zionazi hasbara surrounding this troll is rising.

axisofoil
Reader

You are correct if you condone mass murder.

ragheadthefiendlyterrorist
Reader

Yeah, like Brutish “impartiality” was ever a thing. Ask those of us whose countries were under “impartial” Brutish colonialism.