You Got to Be Kidding Me!

Pigs Fly, Film at 11!

Posted in Politics by Stacy McMahon on January 29, 2007

Mickey Kaus makes a good point about the trouble with reading someone’s interpretation of a video–the actual video often doesn’t support the argument. This is selection bias, where you cherry-pick the evidence that supports your viewpoint. It’s part of human nature and we’re all guilty of it from time to time. I suspect it gets worse when you’re trying to run a blog and feel the pressure to post on current topics several times a day, as Andrew Sullivan does. In real life people just don’t usually pull the kind of blatant crap that makes a great gotcha. There are exceptions, of course, but the more common situation is something like George Allen’s “macaca” flap. Allen said the word “macaca”, but the actual video wipes out most of the other conventional wisdom on that incident (I don’t have access to youtube right now, but you can easily find it)

Of course that doesn’t stop people from linking such videos and adding their sensational and accuracy-challenged commentary. I try to avoid just linking and saying “uh huh, what’d I tell ya!” here. “Nuance” jokes aside, most issues are a little more complicated than first meets the eye, and to me it’s more interesting to get into that complexity as opposed to stuffing every newsbite into an ill-fitting pigeonhole.

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