Monday, February 1, 2010

Thought of the Week

Some recent examples of distortions of facts have appeared on major media. An NPR interview gave extensive time to an author who stated that the Islamic religion is basically an evil one that seeks only hatred. Another show allowed an in-depth interview with a CIA spokesman who said that the agency never becomes involved with killing. Brit Hume stated that the Buddhist religion doesn’t allow forgiveness like Christianity.

If we value the First Amendment and oppose censorship, I dare to ask, should we allow blatant distortions? Doesn’t the forum have an obligation to feature ideas and opinions that are based on facts?

1) Any opinion is worthy even if the facts and ideology is totally incorrect — the listener will decide on the value of the information.

2) Forums should be focused on the opinions based on facts, and fact checking based on the questions being asked by the interviewer should occur before any discussion.

3) If a forum allows someone to express their opinions regardless of whether that person distorts the facts, then the forum should provide an equal opportunity for the “other” side to defend themselves.

4) Why is space and time being given to these types of people in the first place? Aren’t these forums simply promoting the demonization of various religious, ethnic, political groups, etc without any constructive discourse?

5) Other

List your choice of answer (or answers), or an alternative in the Comment section. If you pick answer #5, include an example as to why you picked "Other".

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  1. I choose option 2. Forums serve, I believe, a public function, and therefore have an important obligation to educate and inform the public. Therefore, a legitimate forum that aheres to its funtion of providing a public service would seek presenters who educate the public by illustrating the systematic methods the presenter collected data or evidence and his/her form of analysis in order to support a carefully developed argument.

  2. I chose 1.
    no matter what the speaker says, let listener decide if believe her.
    Distorting the fact isn't a big problem, people will know what she said was incorrect and the person distorted will have a bad impression.