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18 October 2013

Quelle Surprise! The People (even the smart ones) are Easily Manipulated by the Media

Thursday afternoon, Politico posted an article on its web site titled, "Eureka! Tea partiers know science."

In this article, it was revealed that Yale law professor Dan Kahan conducted a study of more than 2,000 Americans to see what the relationship was between an individual's science comprehension and their political ideology.

Yale law professor Dan Kahan, in his own words, said, "identifying with the Tea Party correlates positively with scores on the science comprehension measure."

According to Kahan's study, a person identifying with the Tea Party understands science more than an individual who does not identify with the Tea Party.

These results surprised Yale law professor Dan Kahan, because, using his own words, "As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I'd be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension.

Don't believe what you read. Don't believe what you hear. And definitely don't believe what you see on TV. Do your own homework. Do your own research, lest you be forced to publicly admit that your opinions and thoughts are controlled by the media.

"But then again, I don't know a single person who identifies with the Tea Party. All my impressions come from watching cable tv -- & I don't watch Fox News very often -- and reading the 'paper' (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused internet sites like Huffington Post & Politico)," Kahan says in his report.

Yale law professor Dan Kahan, a smart man, just publicly admitted that he was manipulated by the media.

Dan Kahan's study, and the accompanying article seen in Politico, is not an indictment of the left's preconceived notions of the right. Kahan's study and the Politico article is an indictment of the unwashed masses who believe everything that is fed to them by the media.

When I was younger, I remember watching an episode of Garfield and Friends that featured a segment called, "If It's on TV, It Must Be True." The segment showed Garfield spouting off absurd "facts" about the world, such as, "There is no state of Wyoming. Think about it, have you ever actually met anyone from Wyoming?" Each "fact" presented by Garfield was book-ended by a cheesy TV announcer proudly proclaiming, "If it's on TV, it must be true!"

Years later, I saw the movie, Wag the Dog, where Robert De Niro's character, Conrad Brean, was asked if there really was an American-led war in Albania. De Niro replied, "Of course there's a war. I saw it on TV."

If it's on TV, it must be true!

Make no bones about it, the people are easily manipulated.

If MSNBC says the Tea Party is racist, then that's the gospel for some folks. After all, MSNBC would never lie to the nation on TV.

If Fox News says ObamaCare features death panels, then of course ObamaCare features death panels. I saw it on TV, and if it's on TV, It must be true. If the New York Times says it, it must be true. If Bill O'Reilly says it, it must be true. If Al Sharpton says it, it must be true. Why? Because these people and venerated institutions would never lie to the people. They would never, ever mislead the people.

Retired radio talk show host Neal Boortz would always say to his listeners, "Don't believe anything you read on this web page, or, for that matter, anything you hear on The Neal Boortz Show, unless it is consistent with what you already know to be true, or unless you have taken the time to research the matter to prove its accuracy to your satisfaction. This is known as 'doing your homework.'"

Don't believe what you read. Don't believe what you hear. And definitely don't believe what you see on TV. Do your own homework. Do your own research, lest you be forced to publicly admit that your opinions and thoughts are controlled by the media.