The cult of the paranoid Medium post
Washington Post
27633

In my mind, the main problem that faces the public of any nation, is that there is a curtain between them and their government. This curtain may only be crossed by journalists who can be considered “insiders” and who know how the system works day to day. I’m sorry to say that the rest of us don’t have a clue how our governments actually work. I’m not saying we don’t know the theory of branches of government, checks and balances, etc. What I’m saying is that we have formed a very simplified, rudimentary, and very possibly erroneous picture of our governments based on the scraps of targeted (around a current event, with bias in the interest of a certain party) information we receive from our respective news media organizations.

The news media does not provide its consumers with a holistic view of how our governments work on a day to day basis, or even what the core interests of our elected representatives are (we only hear responses in reaction to current events), and moreover, there is a red team/blue team paradigm (at least in, but not limited to, the US, where there are only 2 main parties) in the media that essentially makes it an extension of politics. And this last sin of the media is the most dangerous, as it bastardizes its function of informing the general public into propaganda for a political party.

So, in light of the aforementioned circumstances, can you blame individuals for being paranoid? These paranoid posts you refer to can only be the expression of an individual who is trying to make sense of their government based on a wholly inadequate set of data, which will remain inadequate for the foreseeable future… thanks to the media.

Pepinski says that Zunger’s hypothesis fell victim to observational equivalence. I say that the data available to us (ordinary citizens) does not allow us to form any conclusions whatsoever, because it is corrupted on a fundamental level. And people wonder why such a large segment of the population doesn’t trust the media.

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