REPORTING THE WAR….Arthur Silber complains today about confirmation bias:
Since the war began two weeks ago, I have noticed the following (it began well before then, but has become much more noticeable recently): almost every strongly prowar blog that I read references many stories which support the rosiest scenarios about how this war will play out, and what will happen in a post-war Iraq (and beyond). Similarly, most antiwar blogs I read link to many stories raising questions about the positive scenarios, stories which may show serious troubles arising, both now and in the future.
This is pretty obviously true, but in a way I think it might be exactly backward. The main thing I’ve noticed has been the insistence of everyone that all the other guys are biased. Conservatives insist, for example, that the BBC is little more than a communist propaganda tool, while liberals kvetch about the cheerleading on CNN.
But Arthur’s right: as I mentioned in my post about Robert Fisk a few days ago, you shouldn’t ignore news just because you don’t like it. It might be true anyway. And if you want to know how the war is going, check out Fox, CNN, and the BBC and then split the difference. You’ll probably get pretty close.