Saturday, January 8, 2011

Points will be deducted if your answer is based on neither faith nor prejudice

Today the national broadcaster makes its contribution to the ever-growing pile of human ignorance and stupidity by encouraging the populace in the belief that there is no difference between opinion and fact, and furthermore that everyone's opinion has the same value and anyone who says it doesn't is one of those horrid inner-city tertiary-educated latte-sipping leets. I give you the ABC's article on the mysterious mass bird deaths occurring around the world, complete with comments thread: 'What do you think killed the birds?'

It only took about two seconds for someone to turn up and say it was God's wrath, too, though this chap gets shot down in flames in short order and just as well. Fortunately quite a lot of the commenters aren't buying it, in fact, as you'll see. Suggestions as to the bird death cause include 'Stephen King' and 'Lord Voldemort'.

And look on the bright side: at least it wasn't structured as a quiz with opinion options A-D, or, worse, A-B, like those pernicious things all the MSM sites run from time to time that go 'Do you think [insert name of person involved in sub judice case here, totally inappropriately, destructively and quite possibly illegally] is guilty? YES/NO.'

Every time a mainstream media site asks one of these cunningly phrased yet inane questions the populace gets just that little bit more confused about the nature of truth and just that little bit dumber. What do you think blood is made of? What do you think NaCl means? Who, in your opinion, is the Prime Minister? What do you believe two and two adds up to? What colour do you think the sky is? Do you think it's turtles  all the way down?


seepi said...

Ben Elton's Blind Faith is a frightening glimpse of the end result of this sort of thing.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

That's a fantastic book, actually. Very funny, and quite horrifying as you say.

Helen said...

I have no idea what's causing the bird deaths, but it makes me very sad.

I'm sure if your world view had an end-times and apocalyptic flavour this sad occurrence would fit right in.

KJ401 said...

Definitely turtles. Definitely.

The ABC JustIn webpage has pretty absymal sub-ed & journo standards; let alone the innanities of quizzes to establish the known perimeters of science.

Perhaps a culture of indignant complaint is called for. Someone needs to construct a template of complaint, which can filled in and flicked through to Aunty when required. Which seems to be increasingly often.

Stephen L said...

Thanks for drawing this to my attention.

Emily said...

For some time now the ABC has been slowly sliding into the quagmire which contains commercial media, so you can imagine my surprise this morning when I tuned in for the news at 7.45 am and was then drifting in and out of sleep. Through the fog I heard the Sunday morning program which normally I would quickly turn off - being very much anti Ian McNamara the usual presenter. The fill in, Trevor ?, had two interviews which were interesting enough that I listened for a change. One was with a painter and the other was a photographer - both talking basically about the colours and contours of inland Australia.
How I wish we could have more of these interesting interviews - nobody was rude or agressive. There was no posturing by the host treating the interviewees as mere "content" bolstering the hosts image. Refreshing.
Nowadays I usually turn the ABC off after the news and the AM program - although over the past while I'm even tuning out of these when they seem to merely present as if they were a commercial station.

Fyodor said...

There's only one correct response to this post, and this is it:

Casey said...

Okay I admit it, I admit it.

But I swear, it started so innocently. Just a few here and there...who knew she had such powers.


heh heh heh

heh heh


Look I will speak to the coven about reversing it. Mortals are such babies about these things.