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Thomas Graves

This Is My Final Post To Paul Trejo

27 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

On 5/19/2017 at 5:47 PM, Paul Brancato said:

Tommy - I spent the last hour looking on Bellingcat.com, and trying to fact check, and assess the credibility of the journalists. It ain't easy to do. What is the reason that you think they are trustworthy?

Paul,

Thanks for asking.

Look BELLINGCAT up on this website: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com

And just for fun, look up some of your favorite news sources there, too.

Last time I counted, there were 122 English-language news sources that it rated as being "Least-Biased," and all of those 122 are, pretty much by definition, rated as being "High" in factual reporting, too.

I try to limit my new sources to those that have "High" factual reporting, and I find that politically and socially-speaking, I seem to be attracted to those that are either "Left-Center" or "Least-Biased", bias-wise, with the occasional "Left Biased" and "Right-Center"-biased one thrown in from time-to-time for a little extra "spice", but only as long as said "Left" or "Right-Center" news source has "High" factual reporting.

--  Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Thanks for that. It's a minefield. For me, facts are far more important than bias. It's getting more difficult to fact check, and there are more orgs purporting to be fact checkers that are fake news, or at least biased. 

I looked through some of the lists on mediabiasfactcheck, and I also tried to figure out whether this website had a bias. Since there are right wing sources that claim it is biased against them I consider that a good sign that it is center left. But I don't agree with the basic idea that a news source with a left bias on their scale is necessarily less factual. An example is Demoracy Now. Having listened for years (off and on) I have great respect for Amy Goodman, who is a fine journalist. Her bias is mine, usually, but I don't think that my bias or hers is due to some blind spot. 

Generally I am distrustful of labels. I prefer to think of myself as a humanist, and I think that what is called the 'left' is generally that way. I also know some leftists who are not very nice people, and rightists who are. When I talk with people who apparently have a different world view than I do, I try to find common ground. In the thread on Trump that has been moved I engaged with someone who claims to be against Trump but seems to be defending him against the forces of (democratic) intolerance. We agree on many things, yet there is quite a disconnect in how we interpret things. I mean, what do you do with someone that thinks climate science is a hoax? It's ridiculous, and not because I'm waiting fo the sky to fall. What bothers me about this subject in particular is that the whole issue of clean air and water has been subsumed by the question of why the earth is warming. So climate science deniers no longer have to answer for polluters.

I spent considerable time trying to figure out what was going on in Ukraine over the last few years. Clearly this subject is one that you are close to. Did you ever engage with John Dolva when he was posting here? 

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Thanks for that. It's a minefield. For me, facts are far more important than bias. It's getting more difficult to fact check, and there are more orgs purporting to be fact checkers that are fake news, or at least biased. 

I looked through some of the lists on mediabiasfactcheck, and I also tried to figure out whether this website had a bias. Since there are right wing sources that claim it is biased against them I consider that a good sign that it is center left. But I don't agree with the basic idea that a news source with a left bias on their scale is necessarily less factual. An example is Demoracy Now. Having listened for years (off and on) I have great respect for Amy Goodman, who is a fine journalist. Her bias is mine, usually, but I don't think that my bias or hers is due to some blind spot. 

Generally I am distrustful of labels. I prefer to think of myself as a humanist, and I think that what is called the 'left' is generally that way. I also know some leftists who are not very nice people, and rightists who are. When I talk with people who apparently have a different world view than I do, I try to find common ground. In the thread on Trump that has been moved I engaged with someone who claims to be against Trump but seems to be defending him against the forces of (democratic) intolerance. We agree on many things, yet there is quite a disconnect in how we interpret things. I mean, what do you do with someone that thinks climate science is a hoax? It's ridiculous, and not because I'm waiting fo the sky to fall. What bothers me about this subject in particular is that the whole issue of clean air and water has been subsumed by the question of why the earth is warming. So climate science deniers no longer have to answer for polluters.

I spent considerable time trying to figure out what was going on in Ukraine over the last few years. Clearly this subject is one that you are close to. Did you ever engage with John Dolva when he was posting here? 

Dear Paul,

What's "a minefield"?  Don't know who the hell to trust, but you're already convinced that the U.S. is an evil, evil country and the Ruskies are the good guys?  (lol)

Maybe you're what I consider to be "Alt Left", in which case I guess it's fair for me to assume you've been led to believe that the United States government and foreign policy is controlled by the evil, evil, evil, evil "MilitaryIndustrialntelligence Complex", whereas Russia's government and foreign policy are incredibly benign by comparison.

Are you highly skeptical of "Main Stream Media" like "Left-Center Bias" with "High Factual Reporting" Washington Post , New York Times , CNN ,  PBS?

If that's the case, then IMHO there's no hope for you, and there's no need for us to continue this conversation.

Suggestion:  Why don't you go back to mediabiasfactcheck.com and click on the category "LEFT Bias" (not just "Left-Center"), go to that page, and click on them one-by-one to see which ones are rated as having "High" factual reporting.  Maybe those will be more palatable to you. 

--  Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Lol indeed Tommy. You don't know me at all, and your condescension is not at all appreciated. Do you think everyone is stupid and unable to think for themselves in or outside the box? Let me point out that it was you who assumed, on the basis of one point I made about not being computer savvy that I didn't know how to search on Google. Now you are assuming that I skimmed the surface and didn't look more closely at your suggested website. What is the point of that? Do you have a need to knock others down so you can feel good? This response of yours, to a well meant exploration of your suggestion, is pathetic.

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, Paul Brancato said:

Lol indeed Tommy. You don't know me at all, and your condescension is not at all appreciated. Do you think everyone is stupid and unable to think for themselves in or outside the box? Let me point out that it was you who assumed, on the basis of one point I made about not being computer savvy that I didn't know how to search on Google. Now you are assuming that I skimmed the surface and didn't look more closely at your suggested website. What is the point of that? Do you have a need to knock others down so you can feel good? This response of yours, to a well meant exploration of your suggestion, is pathetic.

Dear Paul,

So I take it you're not going to substantively address the questions, comments, and suggestions in my last post.

For example, have you found any "High Factual-Reporting" news sources, (regardless of their Left or Right or Centrist biased-ness) that YOU like on that, IMHO, very useful website: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com ?

--  Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Posted (edited)

Democracy Now. The reason I mentioned it the first time is that bias is not the important criteria, it's high factual reporting, it's left. Do you have a high factual reporting right you would like to mention?

the right wing media dislikes this site, and claims it is leftward. As I said, that adds to the credibility of the mediafactcheck site, since as you surely know, this left/right thing is a charade. It's truth vs lies that is important. I don't bother with sensationalist leftward news sources, don't watch Fox or listen to right wing radio ever. I do my level best to fact check everything, and it's becoming increasingly difficult. I read the center media, watch CNN and MSNBC and do what my dear dad taught me to do - read between the lines, 

so when I looked at bellingcat I also looked at their critics. That of course confused me, so I dug into a few articles and looked up the authors. The reason -  I don't know enough about Ukraine/Crimea and the news that tries to make sense out of that to understand the fine points. But I am not in doubt about the invasion itself.

Edited by Paul Brancato

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, Paul Brancato said:

Democracy Now. 

Paul,

I'm on my android right now (seriously), so it's a little awkward for me to look up.

Sounds interesting, though.

How does it grade out on https://mediabiasfactcheck.com ?

--  Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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I edited that two word post. Scroll up when you can.

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Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Democracy Now. The reason I mentioned it the first time is that bias is not the important criteria, it's high factual reporting, it's left. Do you have a high factual reporting right you would like to mention?

the right wing media dislikes this site, and claims it is leftward. As I said, that adds to the credibility of the mediafactcheck site, since as you surely know, this left/right thing is a charade. It's truth vs lies that is important. I don't bother with sensationalist leftward news sources, don't watch Fox or listen to right wing radio ever. I do my level best to fact check everything, and it's becoming increasingly difficult. I read the center media, watch CNN and MSNBC and do what my dear dad taught me to do - read between the lines, 

so when I looked at bellingcat I also looked at their critics. That of course confused me, so I dug into a few articles and looked up the authors. The reason -  I don't know enough about Ukraine/Crimea and the news that tries to make sense out of that to understand the fine points. But I am not in doubt about the invasion itself.

Paul,

Thanks for sharing, Paul.  

I absolutely agree with you -- Degree of factual reporting is much more important than the emotional language or "slant" that might be used in an article or book or, in this case, "news source" (since that's what you and I are talking about right now).

When I'm doing basic research (like just getting started on something), I like to find the subject matter on Wikipedia, if possible, and then I "take it from there" by reading the article on Wikipedia and clicking on any interesting-looking "links" therein.  https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/wikipedia/

Of course, if I'm reading an article on what I consider to be a reputable JFK assassination-oriented website (like on the MFF or in Simpich's State Secret), I just click on any interesting-looking links there, too.

I spend one heck of a lot of time on Facebook, posting and "sharing" oodles and gobs of anti-Trump, anti-Putin, anti-Assad, and pro-Ukrainian stuff, and when someone else posts or "shares" something having to do with those subjectmatters, I'll typically run that person's news source through https://mediabiasfactcheck.com to see whether or not said "news source" has my required "High" level of factual reporting.

As I said in an earlier post, I like the NYT and the WP. I also like AP (Associated Press), PBS, Reuters, and believe it or not USA Today.  There are others that I like that I can't think of right now.  I'll even go "Left-Biased" sometimes as long as it has "High" factual reporting.  If memory serves, MOTHER JONES is one of those.  Surprised?

Regardless, none of news sources I "share" on facebook are "Right" or "Right-Center" biased according to https://mediabiasfactcheck.com The only exception might be the occasional military-oriented one in the "Right-Center" category, but it's still gotta have "High" factual reporting for me to be interested in it.

Sound reasonable?

I hope this answers your question.

--  Tommy :sun

PS  Your DEMOCRACY NOW looks like a good one because it has "High" factual reporting.

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/democracy-now/

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Pretty close to what I do. In browsing Bellingcat I tried two articles on Ukraine. The second one was by Christo Grozev. I've never heard of any of the journalists, so I picked him and looked him up. Not much there, but he is a Bulgarian national and he owns some media outlets in Holland I think. This subject of Ukraine is important to you, as you have pointed out. I presume you are better able to read details and interpret photos. How do you ascertain the bonafides if someone like Grozev? Or do you need to? 

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Wikipedia, like Paul Trejo, serve a great purpose. You get a story knowing that you have to break it down, discard the parts that don't work, and rebuild it with new parts.

Studying ancient history is far easier on Wikipedia because the sources are so few in number that you quickly become farmiliar with them, you quickly get an idea of their reliability, and you can easily verify the attribution easily (because they are known, and so few).

Regarding the JFK Assassination, the WCR serves a similar purpose as Wikipedia and Trejo.

Regarding real-time contemporary news, it's very difficult.

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10 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Pretty close to what I do. In browsing Bellingcat I tried two articles on Ukraine. The second one was by Christo Grozev. I've never heard of any of the journalists, so I picked him and looked him up. Not much there, but he is a Bulgarian national and he owns some media outlets in Holland I think. This subject of Ukraine is important to you, as you have pointed out. I presume you are better able to read details and interpret photos. How do you ascertain the bonafides if someone like Grozev? Or do you need to? 

Paul,

I don't  know if I've ever read any of Grozev's articles.  If the stuff he writes "rings true" to me, based on what I already know about the wars in Donbas, etc, I'll "go with it" because I know from experience that bellingcat is a "straight shooter" news source.  

If you spend a little more time reading the articles there about the wars in Syria and Ukraine, etc, I think you'll notice the lack of emotional language and the straightforward, detailed, and often social-media-based (and therefore photographically verifiable) subject matter.

For example, the "selfies" and regular photos that Russian solders seem to love to take of interesting-looking things and of their soldier buddies while they're in Syria or Ukraine, and which they foolishly post on some social media website. I say "foolishly post" because often times there are self-incriminating geo-specific "land marks" in the background of those photos which can be found on Google Earth by the bellingcat analysts and thereby used to figure out exactly where those Russian soldiers (and their tanks, etc) were and what the heck they were "up to" when the photo was taken.

Etc.

--  Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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