Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Junk Science as Trojan Horse

for left-wing MSM memes.

Shrinkwrapped has a great post today on a brief Yahoo news piece, entitled "Brain sees violent video games as real life -study."

I think he does a great job separating fact from fantasy (in several meanings of that phrase), most importantly in his observation that the whole news story is truly devoid of scientific content, serving merely as a vehicle for spreading left-wing memes.

This little story provides a crystal-clear example of a cascading effect I have noticed in science reporting. In this case, it appears that the researchers themselves probably got the ball rolling with a seemingly frivolous fMRI study designed to either to promote an agenda, amuse themselves, or garner attention (probably all three). Either way, the MSM gets a hold of it and proceeds to drain all relevant detail from its reporting. This serves to transmit the relevant meme (eg, violent video games are bad) with authoritative imprimatur, and simultaneously to disarm the non-expert reader from any ability to critically evaluate the meme. In a case as egregious as this little gem, there is not even a published study for the diligent reader to turn to. As with politically biased MSM reporting, the opinions of the reporter are placed into the story by means of an oddly pithy quotation from a participant, in this case the scientist. Finally, the headline writer then disregards any actual content of the story at all, including even the minimal caveats inserted in the piece by the reporter, and simply writes a falsehood.

Are these guys really that stupid and lazy, or are they actually diligent in their propaganda mission?


Blogger Goesh said...

The problem with good Blogs such as yours, is there are just too darn many of them! I came across Shrinkwrapped via Neo-neocon and now I have come across yours via Shrinkwrapped.

4:32 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

I guess it is my morning to ramble. I remember when 'scientists' told us there was no food value in potatoes, that they weren't worth eating, never mind the fact that the Irish had died by the thousands for lack of them, forcing their immigration to the U.S. I vividly remember hearing too that cranberries were thought to cause cancer. We had a neighbor who was not the sharpest pencil in the bin and she actually became hysterical over this. She had been eating cranberries and there was a pending church supper in which they were to be served and I can still hear her crying, saying, " people will die and we will get sued". Sheesh!

4:39 AM  

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