A blog . . . in spite of how pathetic blogging actually is.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Are There Really Two Sides to Every Issue?

So, I was talking with a friend the other day about the concept of legacy in Presidential politics. That somehow got turned into a discussion over the idea of balance in political discourse (Hint: Both MSNBC and FOX News came into the conversation----NOTE: If you rely on either for your primary news, you're being played like a fool. And if your solution is to watch both, then you're just being silly. Now, if you're watching one or both for entertainment . . . and you KNOW that's the reason why you're watching . . . then I think I sort of like you).

Watch this.

The point of that scene is to deny the existence of the hackneyed cliche, "There are two sides to every issue."

There aren't.

Know of any issues that would fit this criteria? Share please. Give us an issue (or set of issues) that have, for all practical purposes, one side. When we see the "other side" being brought into mainstream media or a personal conversation, they (the media and/or the conversants) are entertaining us . . . giving the appearance of being fair . . . but not being realistic (in any reasonable sense of the word).


John Jacobson said...

Global warming.

John Jacobson said...

My hit count would appear to be significantly higher than my "participation" count.

But that's OK

Santera said...

Liberty and justice for all.

John Jacobson said...

I'm with you (Santera) on the justice part . . . but the liberty part?? Hmmmmmmmm.
Really? Is that really what we want?

Try an ISSUE as opposed to a concept. Seriously. Haven't we been trained to (wrongly) assume that all issues have two viable sides to them (or more than two)??

emilyg123 said...

Taxation without representation (a prong of justice, I suppose). Racism. The Holocaust.

John Jacobson said...

Yeah, but how are racism and the Holocaust "issues"??

emilyg123 said...

The Holocaust issue is "The Holocaust Didn't Happen," which has its very own special brand of junk science attached to it.

An issue for racism - one could phrase the issues related to racism many ways...how about white supremacy as an issue. Are there really two sides to the idea/issue that one person is better than another because of the color of their skin?

John Jacobson said...

But aren't the Holocause and racism (Bell Curvish stuff, I guess) only issues with . . . uhhh . . crazy people?

There are actual sane people who will argue against the existence of global warming.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jacobson!

Sorry if I'm bumping a thread you want to leave down, but I felt like mentioning something I thought was worth the time it takes me to type it.

As far as the media presenting only one side of an issue, or presenting the other side in a humoring manner (or to provide "balance"), I think that there's a very real explanation to that.

For the same reason that people like Al Gore are famous and make TONS of money, is that doom sells. When people hear about the world ending, puppies dying, or rights being violated, it's an easy story to show.

When the topic is tough love (let Chrysler, GM and Ford go under without loan help from the Fed), it's a much more time-intense piece because you need to think about those with your head, not your heart.

That's my two cents about why there are sometimes only one side of an issue presented. It won't work on questions of fact, but it's great on questions of policy and questions of value taken by the media.


John Jacobson said...

I like it. Makes sense.

I think I was wondering if there's an attendance to the "two sides" approach to news which, at times, makes no sense (aka, doesn't exist). . . . Like, what's the other side of this whole "earth is round" thing? But I like your take on the topic. Thank you!