The Credibility Of The Dissenting
I have been to enough sporting events to know what booing sounds like and make no mistake Dick Cheney was booed big time at yesterday's Washington Nationals baseball game.
Go and watch the video. The booing is about 80% to 20% cheers, roughly matching Big Dick's own approval rating.
So why did Reuters carry the headline, 'Cheers, boos as Cheney opens baseball game'? Cheers is capitalized and placed before boos, suggesting there were more cheers than boos.
The Washington Post went one further.
"The first pitch of the Washington Nationals' second season at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was low and away, bouncing in the dirt before being scooped up by catcher Brian Schneider."
"For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon. But the catcalls didn't last long before the fans cheered for the Nationals, who took the field in their white uniforms with red trim against the New York Mets."
The intelligence agency/government mouthpiece is actually claiming that it was the quality of Cheney's pitch that caused the boos! The video proves Cheney was booed before he touched the ball!
The Reuters headline is an example of how the messianic zeal to be 'balanced' - in this instance including both boos and cheers in the headline - often deliberately obfuscates a true representation of the story.
The Post article is an outright lie and if an alternative blogger had made such an obvious faux pas he would have been bombarded with e mails for a week telling him he had been exposed as a charlatan. Yet don't hold your breath for the Post to issue a retraction. It is amazing that alternative journalists are held to an even higher standard in some cases than the 'trusted mainstream' and are widely tarred as crackpots if they step out of line once.
This is why alternative and dissenting viewpoints on modern day and historical events - the so-called 'conspiratorial view of history' - are significantly more substantial in the evidence they cite to back up the argument. They have to be, because the raging fury of the orthodox backlash is expected and prepared for. This is why alternative blogger articles are always sourced with hyperlinks at every turn, something you just don't see in 99% of mainstream pieces, even when it's an opinion piece and not straight news.
This idea that the dissenting view, because of its very form and nature, is immediately more credible than the orthodoxy, is discussed in a new book by Michael Parenti.
“Can we ever think that one subjective, imperfect opinion is better than another? Yes, as a rough rule of thumb, dissident opinions that are less reliant on the dominant paradigm are likely to be more vigorously tested and challenged. People approach the heterodox viewpoint with skepticism, assuming they ever get a chance to hear of it. Having been conditioned to the mainstream orthodoxy most of their lives, they are less inclined to place their trust automatically and unthinkingly in an unfamiliar analysis, one that not fit their background assumptions. They even will self-censor it by tuning out. If given the choice to consider a new perspective or mobilize old arguments against it, it is remarkable how quickly start reaching for the old arguments. All this makes dissent that much more difficult but that much more urgent.”
Cheney was booed! He was booed more than he was cheered. The boos drowned out the cheers. Reporting this fact is not breaking some holy commandment of balanced journalistic ethical code. Tell the truth. End of story.
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