Monday, August 06, 2007

Is it my imagination or is the species known as the 'neutral finder of fact' well on its well to extinction?

Once upon a time, these people - journalists, scientists, judges, economists and so on - set out to discover the truth of life. They reported on what they found, period. They didn't set out to advance 'truth' as they knew it to be, but went out, looked at the facts of a situation and reported those facts in a neutral, non-biased, non-partisan manner. They didn't bury results that were odds with their political positions. Even better, they didn't manipulate data and facts in order to achieve a desired outcome.

Today, it sure seems as if people in these positions have abandoned any pretense of neutrality. They no longer even bother to hide whatever biases they have. They have become full members of a partisan agenda.

Judges ignore the written law and years of precedent in favor of making 'right' decisions.

Journalists are no longer taught to confine their reporting to the '5 Ws and an H', they no longer report what is actually happening. They ignore news that runs counter to the story line they're pushing. They make things up in order to advance their agenda: witness the latest kerfuffle involving a writer making up stories in the New Republic in order to push his anti-war anti-soldier agenda.

Today, editors not only are no longer are bothered when their reporters are discovered to be making things, they rally behind their reporters for fear that doing otherwise would be 'bad for the cause'. Question: would the Washington Post have exposed Janet Cooke today? Or would they have, like the New Republic is doing, brush off critics, claim that they've investigated and confirmed the basics of the story, all in order to avoid giving ammunition to those who didn't like the story?

Supreme Court reporters no longer even bother to hide their disdain for certain nominees, as these supposedly neutral reporters now actually feel free to write that they cried during the hearings for Alito and Roberts.

And scientists are no better. Once someone got into science because they wanted to discover things, they wanted to know how things work, but now they do so because they want to advance a certain agenda.

For example, global alarmist scientists lack the solid data to prove that the earth is warming and that human activity is responsible. They have less factual evidence that supports their position than organized religion has for the story of Adam and Eve, yet these supposed neutral scholars have banded together as only true zealots to a cause can do, branding as industry stooges anyone with the audacity to disagree with their cries of the 'sky is falling, the end is near'. Funny, isn't it, that they ridicule the likes of Pat Robertson when he claims our troubles are because God is mad at us, while they - with no more real evidence in support of their hypothesis than Robertson has in support of his - see nothing wrong with blaming just about everything that happens today on the effects of my car getting a whopping 12 miles to the gallon.

Maybe things haven't changed, and that they were just as biased and slanted then as they are now... but I don't think so.

I used to daydream about going back in time with a video recorder and capturing on file what 'really' happened in history. I'd cover Noah, Jesus' tomb, the burning bush, the Red Sea parting and so on... and I'd (likely) come back with incontrovertible proof that things just didn't go down the way lots of people think.

In the same way, it would be nice to fast forward into the future and check out the history of what is going on today. I'd love to find out what the scientists of 300 years from now viewed the whole topic of global warming. Did they discover that there really was, as is with Oakland, that there just isn't anything there? Did our earth's temperature really rise and was it really our fault? Did it matter in a way that was overall detrimental to life on earth? Or was it the 2000ish version of cold fusion... lots of hype and nothing to show for it?

Oh that's right, I can't do so, and not simply because time travel isn't possible... but because those writing the history and science books that will be in circulation in 300 years will be just as biased as their predecessors. Of course, the books will report that global warming was a huge deal... because to do otherwise just wouldn't advance the cause, would it?