Friday, January 27, 2006

The worst of biases: statements of unsupported facts

As most of my readers are aware, I don't hold the so-called "mainstream media", or MSM, in high regard. I feel they have abandoned their role of keeping the public actually informed and are, instead, interested only in pressing their agenda. That agenda happens to be squarely on the liberal side of the spectrum. They bias their reporting in the language they use, the questions they ask (or don't ask), the stories they run with great frequency and those they ignore, and in the act of reporting opinions and theories as facts. This last is probably the worst of the bunch because it's the most subtle. They toss in a reference to something by way of discussing a completely separate topic and do so in such a way as to avoid allowing any dialog on their referent facts. I ran into another one of those today.

Seems the PM-elect up in Canada, Stephen Harper, decided to make it clear nice and early that he's no puppet of the US and is making noises about Canada's territorial claims to regions in the Arctic Circle. Specifically, he's claiming a section of seawater that we routinely use to transit our subs up in to the polar areas. We say it's international waters and Harpers says it's Canadian. That's news and it's important that we know the issue has risen.

Get this comment, however, buried in the story:

::::::::Canadian media reported last month that a U.S. nuclear submarine traveled secretly through Canadian Arctic waters in November on its way to the North Pole.

The Northwest Passage runs from the Atlantic through the Arctic to the Pacific.

Global warming is melting the passage — which is only navigable during a slim window in the summer — and exposing unexplored fishing stocks and an attractive shipping route. Commercial ships can shave off some 2,480 miles off the trip from Europe to Asia compared with the current routes through the Panama Canal.

Emphasis mine. Global warming is a theory. While there is data to fuel the discussion, there's plenty of data that suggests that no such phenomenon is actually happening. Bottom line is this: no one's proven that global warming exists, let alone that it's responsible for melting the passage. Assuming that the passage is even melting, in fact as opposed to in theory.

But there it is, tossed out there in an unrelated story as if it were as solid a fact as the existence of the moon, plainly visible to all. It is this kind of casual bias that causes the serious damage to people's ability to discuss the issue clearly. That's what I find so galling about the MSM these days.