"A cruel debate opponent" "Pagan blasphemer" "Reverse-iconoclast" "don't get pissed at him b/c he pwn yalls whiney asses"
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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Oh that rascally mainstream media

As posted by Stanley Kurtz on NRO The Corner:

Well, from what people have written in, it looks as though CNN and USA Today did suppress the results of their own gay marriage poll. Nobody’s been able to find a report on this poll from either CNN or USA Today. Poll expert Gerry Daly is not sure whether the poll can be treated as definitive or not. But he does suspect that a similar poll would have been touted by the media if the results had shown a strong uptick in favor of gay marriage, instead of a shift against it.

Apparently, when a poll shows a significant shift in public opinion, media outlets can either treat it as a big story, or dismiss it as a fluke. That leaves plenty of room for bias. But I suspect this case is even worse than Daly thinks. I doubt the folks at CNN or USA Today bothered to rationalize suppression of their own poll with Daly’s statistical argument. My guess is that they simply saw the results and knew that a story would have helped the side they were rooting against. Either way, this looks to me like an egregious case of media bias.

This reminded me of some comments by Alexis de Tocqueville in the book Democracy in America. I can't find the exact passage just now but I did find these quotes from Tocqueville online which help to make my point.

In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them. (Tocqueville)

Now if you can control what people think the majority opinion is:

In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own. (Tocqueville)

That was written some time ago and yet rings so true today. A combination of apathy, mental laziness and desire not to offend or be an outcast causes many people to default to what they believe is the "majority" opinion.

It is no wonder that some bray so loudly against Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, bloggers and others that do not tow the standard media line and/or actively fight against it.

While it is good that we now have competition and there is no longer a mainstream media lock on news, it would be even better if more people would actively seek out the information. This will take a bit more energy than just sitting on the couch and watching whatever news show comes on after a favorite sitcom or drama. One may even have to deal with the stress of researching various viewpoints and making a decision.

Such actions, however, become very difficult for those who believe everything is just an opinion or that all things are subjective. I am sure we have all heard something along the lines of "opinions are like assholes, everybody has one" or even said it ourselves. But it is simply wrong that all things are just opinions. If I wanted to play that game, I could just respond to such a statement with "Well, that is just your opinion". What could they say back to that? Put another way, one cannot say there are no absolute truths. For that statement to be true it would have to be absolutely true. But, it is denying the very thing that it must be. Clearly there are absolute truths and not just opinions.

The trick is finding these truths and this takes effort. We have access to more information than every before. Maybe that is part of the problem. There is just so much to sift through. So many choices to make. I believe studies have even shown that stress increases as more choices become available. But I am certain that the difficulties are worth it. There will be rewards to those who seek the truth.

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf, and he give him a stone? or a fish, and he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:9-13)

Now if only I can convince everyone that it is an absolute truth that real sports cars should not have automatic transmissions as an option; the world would then be a perfect place. ;-) A small joke just so people can know that I do believe there will still be some things that just come down to personal preferences. (However, I may fight for this one. lol)

In all seriousness to this subject though, I would like leave you with this encouragement:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
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