Tuesday, 20 September 2016

"Why Do People Hate The Media?"

In a post yesterday at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen poses the question: "Why do people hate the media so much?" His answer is interesting, but there's a simpler explanation: we hate the media because, essentially, they are shit. Allow me to illustrate...

The opening paragraph from a front page report in today's Taipei Times by Chen Wei-han:
"About 1,000 Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) employees yesterday marched to the Executive Yuan in Taipei to protest a planned amendment to the Electricity Act (電業法) aimed at power market liberalization, which they said would split the state-owned company and allow private businesses to monopolize power rates."
What is this? Employees of an existing State monopoly protesting against privatization on the claim that private businesses will then "monopolize" electricity prices? If there are several businesses in competition with one another to broker electricity prices to consumers, then this cannot be a monopoly by definition. The obvious contradiction passes through the remainder of the article entirely unremarked upon.

Do gross errors like that arise from mere temporary incompetence or a deeper conceptual derangement? How else could have Chen Wei-han and the editors at the Taipei Times contrived to publish this gibberish?


I found another of these mind-numbing contradictions at the News Lens International the other day. At the beginning of an article about some "research" ostensibly about why some women in China do not get married, the writer notes that no firm conclusions can be drawn from the research due to its' methodological weaknesses. By the end of the same article however, the writer is telling us that the research "unmasks myths" and "exposes truths" about the marriage market in China. Look darling: it's one or the other, you can't have it both ways.

How these people get to work in the media ought to be a source of fascination for historians; it seems like you could just curl out any old mindless shit and as long as the themes are politically correct, it'll get published.

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