01.24.19. Fake News, Anti-Science, and Democracy

This week after fact-checking media coverage of contentious events in Washington, we are joined by Michael J. Thompson, co-editor of the book Anti-Science and the Assault on Democracy.

A Note to Our Listeners: The majority of this program was recorded on January 24, with an addendum in our weekly “wrap up” section to allow coverage of breaking news about a temporary end to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Hence, early portions of this episode will reflect coverage of the ongoing shutdown, which as of January 25, 2019, has reportedly been lifted for a period of three weeks.

In addition to news about the government shutdown, including the baffling fact that partisanship in Washington seemed to prevent the passing of a House Resolution that would fund the U.S. Coast Guard, we turn our attention toward fact-checking a variety of news outlets; particularly in relation to coverage of a viral video depicting an interaction between students at a Catholic high school and a Native American activist in Washington. The affair is revealed to have been an unfortunate combination of media biases, unreliable reporting without a complete investigation, and even elements of systemic racism that complicated an already troubling situation. In our investigation, even popular fact-checking sites like Snopes appear to have contributed to misleading information, in an attempt to get the facts straight; we attempt to negotiate the entire affair on nonpartisan terms, while making observations that have largely been left out of coverage by media sources.

Then later in the program, we are joined by Michael J. Thompson, a professor of political theory in the Department of Political Science at William Paterson University. His areas of focus are in theories of justice, critical theory, Marxism, German Idealism, moral philosophy and the history of political thought, and his forthcoming books include The Specter of Babel: Toward a Reconstruction of Political Judgment (SUNY Press) and Twilight of the Self: The Eclipse of Autonomy in Modern Society (Stanford University Press). He is also the founding editor of Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture.

In the introduction to his co-edited anthology, Anti-Science and the Assault on Democracy: Defending Reason in a Free Society, the editors write: “It is our contention that tendencies that defend anti-science views in the name of “democratic pluralism”—whether invoked by the Left or the Right—are actually destructive of a broader culture and the mind-set appropriate for a democratic society. Rather than enhancing the capacity for rational debate and critical discourse, we could see this as a return to premodern forms of subservience to authority and a deeply entrenched irrational refusal to submit beliefs to rational scrutiny. In this respect, we believe that we are witnessing a peculiarly new manifestation of anti-science belief systems that are, in spirit, akin to a premodern worldview but carry new consequences in contemporary society and politics.”

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2 Replies to “01.24.19. Fake News, Anti-Science, and Democracy”

  1. You watch Pewdi Pie and go this is an idiot presenting third rate narrating skills over a waste of gb’s and time…you watch NSMCB Pull-osi Yaba dababa SMblue, some fifth rate youtuber…and…start narrating along even??? with 10th rate observation skills even…

    You know people do not say what they mean, that it is a script, you watch movies and you still cry, you watch politicians knowing someone else wrote the speech and you…vote with your scripted tears then it turns to wall paper and you still cry

    You know history is written by BSers, Lunatics who ruled by lie or else, and half assers, yet spread um…

    you know words come from books/the past/ideals and yet a guy talks and ahhhh gulp…gobble gobble…gulp…gobble D kook….

    god that guy speaking words, the science of forming sense, makes sense, I should jump off a bridge, cause he pronounced it right, drink jenkum using a vice to keep the plastic bag over my head, cause he made a complete sentence…
    isn’t it amazing all the people who play the game of sense “Words” from Milken Family and not one citizen player has the balls to say I’m done playing? No lets listen to drivel coming out the other end of an ass pipe, till- sound effects of a nuclear explosion…

    all because humans are fart sucking apes…they suck farts in through the eyes and nose and mouth…without farts they die…or go crazy…with farts they die and go crazy…

    did you know our air, that which gives us the atmosphere that allows us to voice things, live and breathe, is tree shit? Trees have no way to release water and fecal matter other than as gasses, this is the stink you are lead by, a fart gobbler? Fart Goblins…listen to this (spreads)pjdide38hejji0kkkkkkjjjjjjjjjjlllpppwwty….wow that is so hot…nutty with a hint of oak…two thumbs up…the new president of the united states…

    I think all speakers should be transcribed and then shot, so that only the people can benefit from what they say…or you can just take the words leave the fucking ape? Hmmmm thanks for the words Ellen hits the joy stick………flushhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    what we need is another first moon landing…it really brought all of mankind up watching the rocket go up…we can take a voodoo doll and a sling shot, tie on everyone’s scientific, skeptic, logic, and pin on belief in nonsense that one man going is for all, or that staring at a rocket and believing your sprit/country/ is in it and being risen is rational? IQ Quiz: Flags, Rocket ships, and Democracies are… A:insanity B:blackmagic C:misfire spark of extinction- I choose B…

    everyone’s a hard core skeptic and hard line rationalist until that national anthem comes on…and then pass around a mic and ask what is your favorite of the amendments…I only like voodoo dolls, cheap knock off’s, and in the lieu’s of…the real thing is evil…

    Ooho say I- could- have- memorized 25 amendments, but instead- let me waste my time- worshiping with ape horse shit- oo oo ahah ee ee…oh say can you name every player on your favorite sports team…but past amendment number 2 you have to plead the fifth…cause you saw that on a cartoon or was it a movie?

    The only time it is rational to salute a symbol of something is if that thing is dead…no longer with us…no longer exists to be saluted itself

    10th rate narration gulp…repeat…

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