Monday, December 10, 2012

Yes, the news hides information from its viewers.

I am feeling a bit lazy today, so I will just repost a nice report from Media Matters for America demonstrating CNN engaging in the Suppression of Relevant Data. As a quick reminder, the suppression of relevant data is a fallacy in which one hides or obscures information that would be relevant to establishing the truth or falsity of the conclusion. So, let's watch the video, then discuss it:

The key suppression of relevant data occurs when Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) says, "the American people have clearly said, we don't want our taxes to go up." As Media Matters notes, when the host, Candy Crowley fails to follow up on this point, she is guilt of the fallacy. Media Matters writes:
On December 6, CNN reported that a majority of Americans support raising taxes on incomes over $250,000 per year as part of a deficit reduction deal.
Furthermore, national exit polling from the 2012 election revealed that six in ten voters favor increasing taxes. That echoed an October 12 Pew Research Center survey finding that 64 percent of Americans support increasing taxes on households making more than $250,000, and a December 2011 survey concluding that 57 percent of Americans feel the wealthy don't pay their fair share of taxes.
The Washington Post, citing a Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll, reported that "nearly 2 to 1" of Americans will blame Republicans, not Obama, if a deal to avoid the automatic tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for January is not reached.
All of this makes clear that Rep. Blackburn's statement was false, and Crowley failed in her journalistic oversight role because of her failure to cal out Rep. Blackburn's statement for what it was: a lie.

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