Friday, December 17, 2010

The most dangerous bias

I've said it before. I say it in the column just to the right of this post. And I'll no doubt continue saying it as long as I continue to do this blog (however sporadic that may be): The single most dangerous bias in the entirety of what passes for journalism today is the belief that you're unbiased.

It's dangerous because it's false. It's dangerous because it's never been true. And it's dangerous because it leads unfailingly to the assumption that those who disagree with your "objective" opinions are not just mistaken or misguided, but deliberately lying, with nefarious aims, and so forth.

Hence my deep skepticism of "objective" journalism in general, and "fact-checking" in particular. I have no confidence that any of these groups are aware of or make allowances for their own biases. On the contrary, I fully expect that on any issue that is not a cut-and-dried matter of number crunching, they will adopt partisan points of view (almost always Democratic, given their profession) as the absolute truth, and "fact-check" accordingly.

Case in point: PolitiFact's "lie of the year." Obamacare, they assure us, is not a government takeover of health care. The government is ordering everyone to buy health insurance under pain of tax/financial penalty, the government is telling everyone what kind of health insurance they can and cannot get, and both supporters and opponents of the plan say it is the first and biggest step on an inevitable road to single-payer health care in this country.

But don't worry, PolitiFact assures us. It's not a government takeover, and those who say otherwise are "lying."

See Don Surber for a more thorough disassembly of this blatantly partisan, overtly biased "fact-checking."