Saturday, August 19, 2006

Return of the rules

Rule #30: Bias blarney

Allegations of liberal bias in the media would be far more legitimate if they didn't come from Ann Coulter or other people barely to the left of Mussolini.

After all, I wouldn't say there was a deliberate conservative bias in the mainstream media (though there is a distinct corporate one). Anyway, who would be swayed if I did? Of course, I'm not counting Fox News, the Washington Times and Newsmax as "mainstream media"--they're all run by professed conservative titans. And you don't have to be in the middle to know that.

Virtually nobody, left or right, thinks the mainstream media speaks for them; so why should we lend special credence to people like Michael Reagan when they say their extreme voices aren't being heard? Especially when such an allegation appears in one of their nationally syndicated columns?

The problem with such an allegation is that it comes mainly from one side of the political spectrum. And because that side has most of the money, there's a lot of economic pressure on the press to overcorrect this (nonexistent) bias. Soon enough, it'll be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

MAD Magazine once joked that half of its readers complained that it was too liberal, while the other half found it to be too conservative. In a way, that's the true mark of a balanced publication--if it pisses off everybody, it's a good source. Figures a humor magazine would be the first to get that right!

Simply put, everyone has their turn in front of the journalistic firing squad. Clinton had his, and now Bush is having his. Okay, bad example. Still, if your idea of biased news coverage is truthful reporting of your party's shenanigans, then you are the biased one.

Rule #31: Groomed to be a bride?

Singlehood is not a disease. Just because TV portrays singles as neurotic novelties desperately searching for someone to complete them doesn't mean that we're all looking for sympathy. Plenty of singles are happy with their status, just like plenty of married people are happy with theirs. And most of the unhappy singles probably wouldn't be that way if people weren't trying so hard to sympathize with them all the time.

There are two types of single people: those who like it and those who lip-sync Match.com commercials. This is a very important distinction, so proceed with caution. Even though you mean well, saying "Don't worry. Your prince/princess will come" is the wrong approach. It makes confirmed singles squirm and it only makes lonely people feel worse.

Some people find it nice to not have to factor another human being (or pet) into everything they do. It's nice to not have to seek approval from another person, or have to make arrangements for a babysitter or kennel, every time they wish to step outside. If a friend of mine wants me to hang out with them, it's as easy as brushing my teeth and walking out the door. I don't have to explain to anyone who I'm going to see, or why, or hear that I shouldn't be hanging out with that person, etc. I know, I know...it's hard to keep from crying!

Even happily married people will admit to feeling neurotic from time to time over having to rationalize the most trivial of actions. Why are your shoes in the middle of the floor? Why do you sigh like that? Hey, don't roll your eyes! I want to know why you stopped for a Gatorade before you came home and didn't tell me!

And it isn't about hedonistic freedom, either. Most singles are not sleeping with every person they meet. Most are not painfully lonely either, given that singles tend to have lots of friends or are happy to be alone. Occasionally hanging out with friends, going out to work and running errands gives people like us all the human interaction we need. If that special one comes around, great. If not, then at least we've carved out our own quirky lives. Better to be true to yourself than to be miserable trying to be what someone else expects of you.

So don't cry for us, America. Well, at least not over that.

Rules archive

14 comments:

Jester said...

http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=6664

http://www.polisci.ucla.edu/faculty/groseclose/Media.Bias.pdf#search=%22liberal%20media%20bias%22

Ian McGibboney said...

Cute, Jess. The study gauges media bias by comparing it to the most conservative Congresses in decades? Of COURSE they'd come off as liberal! Assuming that methodology even makes sense, which it doesn't. And considering that Joe Lieberman is their barometer for liberalism, and that most of the outlets didn't even measure up to his standards for liberalism, I'd have to say that something's fishy.

And the Drudge Report is liberal? Please! You can't gauge a site by links to other peoples' material. If that were true, I'd be to the right of Rush!

Considering that the National Review and equally prominent conservative publications have praised the findings, and that the survey virtually has to excuse Fox News and the Washington Times from its survey to make its claim, you further prove my point. To fairly peg the media, you can't be on either side of it.

As a reward, here is some fun reading:

http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2005/12/the_problems_wi.html

http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/004006.php

Hillary For President said...

that how you can make fun off this guy is hard four me to understand. Help is that what he needs. Psycolodgeical help and a second chants. Judge is what you do. NOt very librail of you. Are you ashame? You shood be. More librail is what you shold be. More forgive. MOre understand. MOve peece. Move love.

ccgirl said...

Ian,

Fascism is not a conservative ideology. It is barely to the right of communism.

I'm glad that you are back online.

ccgirl

Ian McGibboney said...

ccgirl, fascism is as far right as you can go on the political spectrum. Its tenets include corporate ownership/influence of the state; unquestioned allegiance to a ruler (who may or may not claim divine right); extreme nationalism; a tendency for military conquest; and a particular inclination to scapegoat liberals, anarchists, communists and anyone else deemed as a threat or as "inferior." Fascism is the extreme extension of conservative principles, just as communism is an extreme extension of liberal principles.

Your misunderstanding is a common one, based largely on the fact that Hitler's party was known as the National Socialist German Worker's Party. Of course, Hitler's Nazis had as much to do with socialism as the German Democratic Republic had to do with democracy or republicanism (you might remember it as East Germany).

Though numerous complex political spectra exist, for the most part they involve these beliefs from left to right: communist, socialist, liberal, moderate, conservative, neoconservative, fascist. Various subcamps are sandwiched in between, with anarchy, nihilism and libertarianism all over the map.

Jester said...

I had a funny feeling that I could get your goat by posting links from your own side (college students) that prove you wrong. Ruffling your feathers is like shooting fish in a barrel!

Ian McGibboney said...

Yes Jess, because every college student in the world thinks exactly the same. I guess that means you never went to college. Too bad...maybe then you would know better than to confuse informed rebuttal with feather-ruffling.

ccgirl said...

I don't have time to comment in detail, but my understanding of fascism, is that it is state ownership of corporations and it is a form of socialism.

Jester said...

Ian, I did go to college, but not for the same reason that you did. I've gone to three different colleges over the course of my life in order to work in three separate careers, the third of which I just started. Far contrast from you, who went solely in order to sit up in your elite liberal ivory tower and relish peeing on the heads of uneducated unwashed conservatives below you. Too bad your degree isn't good for anything else, including getting you actual employment. But that's Bush's fault, right?

Ian McGibboney said...

ccgirl, socialism is state ownership of corporations. Fascism is corporate ownership of the state. They're polar opposites.

Jester, if that's why I went to college, then I would have gone to Berkeley instead of the University of Louisiana. Big liberal school, that place. Yep. Most of the professors are conservative, most of the students think evolution makes Jesus cry and I was enough of an outcast to turn heads with my column there.

And by the way, I'm not unemployed. If you're going to make ad hominem cracks at me, at least get your info straight.

Jester said...

I meant a real job, Ian, not running this blog.

if that's why I went to college, then I would have gone to Berkeley

Man, you really blew it.

Ian McGibboney said...

I'm not talking about this blog, genius. As obsessed as you are, you don't know every facet of my life. I leave out stuff like that because of people like you, who have nothing better to do than to flame my blog with their idiocy on a daily basis.

And I don't follow you on what exactly I blew by saying I would have gone to Berkeley if I wanted to go to a liberal school. Is it that I blew some cover that only you and the equally worthless Alday think I have?

Jester said...

I'm not talking about your paper route job either, which btw doesn't make you a "journalist".

How did you blow it? You blew it by not going to Berkeley. You could've been the next Michael Moore, Al Franken, or John Kerry, man! Actually, I take that back. President Bush blew it for you by not creating an all-expense paid program for you to attend Berkeley. How sad for all the socialists of the world.

Ian McGibboney said...

Oh, I beat you for that available paperboy position? Sorry, man!

No, I'm not a paperboy, though I suppose it would be a bad idea to criticize me if I was. I have very good aim, and the local papers are crammed with advertising.

Al Franken graduated from Harvard. John Kerry graduated from Yale. Michael Moore dropped out of the University of Michigan-Flint. Now what was that about Berkeley again? Or about needing to go there to succeed?