The facts are what you want them to be

The U.S. added jobs, according to NPR this morning — because some people have stopped looking for work, according to Fox News Radio this afternoon.

So U.S. employers “added” jobs when people have stopped looking for work.

That’s like saying the kids have gotten smarter because the SAT became easir.

(See this website for some useful tips on listening to media reports.)

You really only need to understand one thing about our media age: The facts are what you want them to be, whatever you want them to be.

For example, the MSNBC documentary “Mind Over Mania” asserted Teen Mania Ministries demonstrated elements of a mind-control cult. Following the documentary, Christian Research Institute head Hank Hanegraaff wrote, “brainwashing techniques did not work in the 20th century reeducation camps of communist China…”

Hanegraaff was then refuted, but he has yet to post a correction or clarification.

He also took a subtle shot at two of the experts consulted on the program, saying they were “billed as experts specializing in recovery from mind control…”

Hanegraaff was also refuted on his dismissive use of language there: “billed as experts.” He easily could have looked up the Duncan’s credentials.

Factual accuracy doesn’t matter, however, because many people accept what Hanegraaff says without hesitation or qualification. Because Hanegraaff agrees with their presuppositions, they will agree with Hanegraaff on everything.

If only that was true of Hanegraaff alone. Unfortunately, few people think critically or independently, instead choosing to get on one bandwagon or another, or follow one media pundit or another. Which cult do you belong to, and who is your cult leader?

You might as well expect Obama supporters to say the economy has “added” jobs, and the GOP presidential candidates to say people have lost hope in the economy. What else would they say?


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