Shameless Bias in Presidential Science

Print Article
Posted on October 16, 2016 in Dumb Ideas, Education, Media, Philosophy of Science, Politics and Ethics

Why do “science” news sites go after the Republican candidate only? This is another arena Donald Trump could show is rigged.

This entry is about news bias; it does not take sides. Readers are free to make their own conclusions about the better candidate. But a fair result can only come from getting facts straight and reporting them with balance. Since these news sites quoted below often defend Darwinian evolution, it’s instructive to see if their bias on that subject shares commonalities with bias in the political arena.

All the Lies That Are Fit to Print

Medical Xpress often regurgitates articles from The Conversation, a blog-like site written by scientists. Although this piece is marked “Opinion” fair enough, it’s based entirely on a false premise. “Opinion: Trump is wrong, I treat combat veterans with PTSD, and they are not weak,” opines Joan Cook, bouncing off a widely-misreported comment from Trump a few weeks ago. In response to a question from a veteran who began a ministry to serve other veterans suffering mental health problems with PTSD, Trump agreed that they need help. The problem is, Trump never said that veterans with PTSD are weak! (see Fox News YouTube clip of original statement by Trump, and remarks by General Boykin, who was present). The one who asked the question explained on FRC’s Washington Watch (Oct 8) that he didn’t take it that way at all, nor did anyone else in the room. Some reporter took the statement out of context, ran with it in the newspapers, and it became an urban myth. Neither Joan Cook nor the website editors decided to fact-check the statement. Yet the headline shouts in bold type that “Trump is wrong”. Did Cook make any effort to fault Hillary Clinton for her numerous lies that are coming to light from her own emails that she failed to submit to Congress under subpoena, and additional lies she stated under oath? Not a peep.

What Hits the Fan Is Not Evenly Distributed

The country can’t stop talking about lewd comments Trump made 11 years ago, and no one – not even his supporters – are defending the statements (certainly not CEH, either). But there’s plenty of mud to sling on both sides of the debate stage. Trump denies actually doing anything to women, although everyone is weighing evidence of claims by seven women who suddenly came out of the woodwork since the second debate to accuse him of groping or inappropriately touching them over a decade ago. Why they never brought these accusations up till now—just a few weeks before the election—seems highly suspicious, a bit like the Anita Hill tactic. Trump is actively trying to present evidence to refute their claims, such as friendly quotations from those same women in recent years (never mentioning abuse), or from eyewitnesses present when the abuse supposedly occurred. At the time of this writing, it’s hard to say who’s right.

But for years at least four women have accused former President Bill Clinton, the Democrat candidate’s husband, of worse sexual assaults, and one of them claims she was raped. That’s all in addition to the well-documented Monica Lewinsky affair that led to Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. Fox News anchor Sean Hannity has interviewed all four women. They all described how candidate Hillary Clinton attacked them and threatened them, never defending them. There’s also the tape of Hillary laughing at a rapist she defended in her early law practice; she got him off the hook after he had raped a 12-year-old girl. Then there’s the hypocrisy that Hillary Clinton has stated firmly in speeches that rape victims have a right to be believed. Her website contained that statement, Hannity claims, but it inexplicably disappeared the following day. Hannity says it was because it put her in a vulnerable position: someone could ask, “Then why didn’t you believe Juanita Broaddrick?”

So what do you expect from Live Science? Fair reporting of these facts? No; twice no! In one piece, Sara Miller defends the long-delayed accusations of the women who are now accusing Trump, but says absolutely nothing about the Clintons. Same in another Live Science entry by Sara Miller, “Five Misconceptions About Sexual Assault.” Again, there’s no mention of the Clintons. The entire piece is aimed at discrediting Donald Trump, this time spreading the blame at one of the Republican senators who came to his defense. Her article gives an appearance of scientific credibility by quoting “Yolanda Moses, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Riverside” as an authority. This is the half-truth fallacy, a dangerous form of propaganda, accompanied by card stacking and misuse of authority.

Sexual assault, even verbal abuse, is never excusable. Reporters, however, owe it to their readers to give a balanced presentation of the facts. It’s all the more egregious when the bias is on an alleged “science” news site. By common admission, the mainstream media are overtly biased against Republicans and conservatives. Why are science news sites even talking about politics, much less taking sides? Where is the “science”? The last thing a science site should try to become is a propaganda arm for a political party.

They’re not even trying to be unbiased any more. This is blatant political advocacy. The media, including the science media, are in the tank for Hillary. They are openly pushing to prevent Trump from winning—whatever it takes—even when it means selling their souls. So this is scientific?

 

 

6 Comments

seeko October 16, 2016

Christians are to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. We all have an internal sense of right and wrong. But the conscience can be seared and no longer function. It is foolish to expect people who believe it is OK to take organs out of a living fetus with a beating heart and sell those human organs to have an unseared conscience. Knowing then that a group has a seared conscience, do not expect them to act fairly. But we Christians must be wise and realize that they have worldly wisdom and will use our conscience to attempt to make Christians do their bidding. They would love for Christians do drop out of that “dirty” political stuff then they can do whatever they want. The seared group will tell you that politicians must be perfect for Christian support [and since no one qualifies the seared group alone does the choosing]. We must engage as salt as light and do what is right and get the best, not the perfect, people in office.

Feitsma October 16, 2016

The leader of our world is called the father of lies. This is how you know which candidate is supported by this so called “leader” and which candidate is not. Keep in mind, one of the best known champions of God, David, was not without faults; nevertheless God Himself called him His beloved friend.

beeljo October 16, 2016

“Why are science news sites even talking about politics, much less taking sides?”
While I usually support this site, this is one time you could ask the same about yourself.

“There’s also the tape of Hillary laughing at a rapist she defended in her early law practice”
While she is indeed heard laughing on the tape, nothing indicates that she’s laughing at the rapist (or the victim, for that matter). As explained by “Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin[,] ‘The reactions that you mention were very clearly expressions of disbelief at breakdowns in the handling of the case and absurdities she encountered within the court system’s bureaucracy.'” Furthermore, such a depiction seems at odds with her objections to defending him.
“she got him off the hook after he had raped a 12-year-old girl”
Not entirely, as he pled guilty to a lesser charge and received one year jail time and four years probation. Furthermore, a key piece of evidence against the defendant had to be ruled inadmissable after the prosecution mishandled it.

Editor October 16, 2016

beeljo, Thanks for your comment.
You’re welcome to your beliefs about the candidates, as the article says. The fact remains that the articles attacked Trump only, saying nothing about the Clintons. Our response criticized that imbalance. Interesting that the sources you listed are all part of the liberal mainstream media which are all in the tank for Clinton.

beeljo October 16, 2016

“You’re welcome to your beliefs about the candidates….”
I wasn’t discussing beliefs, I was discussing facts….

Editor October 16, 2016

OK, we’re getting off track here. Quibbling about details doesn’t change the observational fact that the vast majority of “science” sites are critical of Trump but not of Clinton. I call it as I see it — and I read hundreds of science headlines a day. That’s the point.

Leave a Reply