Saturday, May 17, 2008

"I find it outrageous that... garbage is being printed in journals that used to be prestigious and that average or downright stupid women and men who can't reach the ankles of people whom I consider scientists of global importance are being presented by dishonest journalists-activists as the world's leading scientists. This proliferation of idiots and parasites in the name of political correctness is just disgraceful. And it is very dangerous, too."

Lubos Motl, Physicist (formerly of Harvard), on an environ-mental "paper".

Sunday, May 11, 2008

cross-posted on Biased BBC

Spurious balance in the celebrity culture

Isn't it terrible how today we are exposed to so much idiocy, not least through the BBC, just because of the cult of celebrity?

The response to the post David Vance made on Biased BBC about "most disliked" BBC personalities just shows the flip-side to the pursuit of celebrity- which is that many people are sick of their inanity.

The Biased-BBC blog is about bias, but there are some intersecting themes. Sometimes a comment is made and reported not because of newsworthiness per se but because of celebrity. How can a journalist be balanced starting from a statement like "Chefs should be fined if they haven't got ingredients in season on their menu."? Mussolini, Hitler, would have been proud of such high kitchen standards.

If your ten year old brother said it you'd tell him to shut up, but if Gordon Ramsay said it, and you were a BBC journalist, it'd be "news" (there again, who made G.R. except the BBC-led media establishment?).

Two lines of criticism have been picked up by the BBC, unworkability! and trade for poorer countries, but as Neil Reddin points out, the biggest of all is missing: the freedom argument.

"See what was missing? Of course, there was no mention of consumers making their own choices over where their food comes from. Individual freedom and all that. Hard to believe that the BBC, an organisation funded by a mechanism that gives its consumers no choice, could miss that one *cough*."

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