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Kaitlyn Smith
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After posting on another discussion board which is far more liberal leaning than RSP, I responded to a post I found somewhat interesting - asking the liberals why they think that they are the correct ones and I am the brainwashed one. I'd like to give the RSP liberals a shot to answer the same question.

a random liberal from another site wrote:
Kaitlyn, I don't think you are batshit crazy. I happen to think that you see yourself just as you describe yourself, but that you have been cloistered, intellectually, in a right-wing bublle chamber, and that you have lost the ability to think critically. Hence the professor story, and your friends' reaction to the Obama meme, and now your unthinking, and uninformed, view of Soros. And of course your belief that the first step to a socialist dictatorship is the implementation of nationalized health care (which is really funny, in a very sad way). It can be humbling and very difficult to admit that almost everything you believe, politically, is simply not real....just not true at all....and maybe you can't step back from your beleifs enough to even begin to admit it.

The person you described yourself as being should be able to do this. The person I think you are, based on what you have posted....I doubt that that person could do it at all. I guess we will see.


My reply to his was:

What you appear to be asking me to do is to assume that everything I think politically is incorrect and blindly buy into the other side. You're really not saying that, you're saying to think for myself, but it appears that if I reach any conclusions other than the ones you have reached, some of you (maybe not you personally) are going to say that I am still falling for bullsh*t propaganda.

First, you ask me to step back for a minute. OK, let's do that. What I see is this:

Every time I try to make a political point, I am asked to back up what I am saying with sources. I present sources, and am told that only racist hateful people would ever use such sources. It doesn't matter what sources I choose, between here and BGG I have used hundreds of different sources and each and every time I am told that the source I have chosen is right wing nutjob propaganda. Frankly, I do not specifically subscribe to any sources. I haven't listened to Rush in several months, and only have a ear half-cocked when my sweetie has Hannity on. The way I get my sources is that I know I have read something in the past, but I need a source to verify it because I am asked to. I google the thing I'm looking for, and present the top hit. Sometimes if the top hit is Breitbart or Jihad Watch or one of the several that I know is going to get me flamed for quoting it, I'll go to a source that I have not been previously flamed for quoting. I do not look for the right wing conspiracy sites, I just look for something and relate where I found it.

Now you have to understand why I am not willing to just give in and say you are all right and everything I believe is total nutjob supplied bullsh*t. For on the one hand, I have all of you telling me that all my sources are nonsense-based and everything I believe is wrong, and on the other hand, I have several well educated, apparently well informed friends telling me that everything you are telling me is wrong. When I go to a political meetup which is clearly right-leaning, everything I currently believe is reinforced and each and every one of the members will say "The left will try to call you a homophobic racist, stupid, nutjob, and crazy to make you disbelieve the truth. Do not buy into it." And they are right, that is exactly what is happening.

So why are you right and they wrong? They will present as much evidence as all of you. There are many tables lined with literature free for the taking. All of it backs them up and makes your point of view seem uninformed. Of course, each and every one of you will say that every bit of the literature, much of which is backed up by real life examples showing why the points they are making are correct, is just nut job propaganda.

I will agree that most of you are quite intelligent people and successful at what you do. However, the people at these meetings and my conservative friends are also quite intelligent and successful people too. Many of them are successful politically after having been successful in another career. Perhaps the truth is somewhere between what they are saying and what you are saying, but you are trying to convince me that you have the truth and they have nothing, while they are trying to convince me that they have the truth and you have nothing. So tell me, intellectually, why should I believe you and not them?
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Chapel
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Re: Serious question: Liberals, why do you thinkk you're right?
I'm not really a liberal, I lean left, BUT, right about what?
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Re: Serious question: Liberals, why do you thinkk you're right?
People who think they know everything irritate the crap out of those of us who do....*

laughlaughlaugh

It's like religion. True believers cannot comprehend any other viewpoint, even those that mirror their beliefs 90% of the time. It's not just liberals or conservatives. It's comfortable to think you know "the truth" and those that disagree or object are despicable human beings. It's far less comfortable to find one's viewpoints or thought processes may not be correct. Thus, people refuse to accept anything that disagrees with their viewpoint.

*--A paraphrase from a quote from the late, great Isaac Asimov.
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Josh
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Re: Serious question: Liberals, why do you thinkk you're right?
Just on the surface I would suggest you look into cross-checking sources and lesrning to hunt for 'tells.'

If someone with Hillary inton tattoed on their fwce told you Trump has a net worth of zero I think you might be skeptical, both of the info and of the source. I wouldn't blame you. Similarly when you present sources that are strewn with conspiracy theories and unabashedly wild assertions presented as 'fact.' you should be skeptical. Not all sources are equal. I hunt Foxnews frequently to get their take on things specifically for a counterpoint.

Another key:If people claim the 'mainstream media' is ignoring and explosive story, it's probably bullshit. Mainstream Media thrives on eyeballs. If a story has even a whiff of credibility it'll be run.

If you are interested in help filtering feel free to pm me a source to look st. I promise to give more feedback than good/bad, and try to point out the why of it so you can kearn vetting skills yourself.
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Kaitlyn_Res wrote:
So tell me, intellectually, why should I believe you and not them?


You're better off learning what a good argument looks like because on any given forum there are a handful, maybe one or two people who are real content creators.
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M. S.
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Quote:
Kaitlyn, I don't think you are batshit crazy. I happen to think that you see yourself just as you describe yourself, but that you have been cloistered, intellectually, in a right-wing bublle chamber, and that you have lost the ability to think critically.


Why care what that person, a stranger on the internet, thinks of you?
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Jake
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Shadrach wrote:
Another key:If people claim the 'mainstream media' is ignoring and explosive story, it's probably bullshit. Mainstream Media thrives on eyeballs. If a story has even a whiff of credibility it'll be run.

This definitely depends on agendas. No entity with a huge vested interest will torpedo that interest for temporary ratings.
Fox won't air anything that would cost Trump the election, and CNN won't air anything that would cost Clinton the election.
Don't take my word for it though. The media collusion with the DNC isn't a suspicion or conspiracy theory, the news broke when they found proof of it.
 
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Andy Beaton
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I guess at this point, it comes down to lived experience. Twenty years ago, I was telling people that gay marriage wouldn't destroy society, that immigrants make a society stronger and that providing health care for everyone was viable. At the same time, I argued that invading Iraq was wrong, trickle-down economics was unworkable and coal burning was bad.
And it turns out I was pretty much right on all the big issues. Maybe I was wrong in the past on some other issues, but when I was wrong I learned from it. So I've grown pretty used to trusting my judgement on politics.
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Kelsey Rinella
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Kaitlyn_Res wrote:
Every time I try to make a political point, I am asked to back up what I am saying with sources. I present sources, and am told that only racist hateful people would ever use such sources. It doesn't matter what sources I choose, between here and BGG I have used hundreds of different sources and each and every time I am told that the source I have chosen is right wing nutjob propaganda. Frankly, I do not specifically subscribe to any sources. I haven't listened to Rush in several months, and only have a ear half-cocked when my sweetie has Hannity on. The way I get my sources is that I know I have read something in the past, but I need a source to verify it because I am asked to. I google the thing I'm looking for, and present the top hit. Sometimes if the top hit is Breitbart or Jihad Watch or one of the several that I know is going to get me flamed for quoting it, I'll go to a source that I have not been previously flamed for quoting. I do not look for the right wing conspiracy sites, I just look for something and relate where I found it.


This paragraph is really where you identify the problem. High Google rankings tell us very little about the credibility of sources. Moreover, if you search for something false, even if results were listed in order of credibility, the claim would still be false. It's extremely rare for a page debunking a claim to have a higher Google rating than all of the examples of that claim, even when it's flagrantly, verifiably false. So if you make a claim and then do a Google search for it, your method shows you lots of people who agree and insulates you from those who don't. You're also pretty clear that you don't cultivate familiarity with some outlets or authors and gain the ability to judge them based on their past successes and failures; instead, you're usually presenting claims from people who are new to you, whose sites you've only encountered because they made the same claims you did using the same words you chose.

Here's a test case: vaccines cause autism. This claim is very stupid. The proposed mechanism makes no sense, the research which started the scare was fabricated and has been overwhelmingly corrected, and it's a particularly damaging false belief, which has already killed people and sickened many more. There's been a massive backlash against it, with hundreds of highly credible expert opinions and tremendous amounts of research demonstrating that it isn't true, published all over the world. Despite all of that, if you search for "vaccines cause autism", the number one Google hit supports that claim.

A good place to start with replacing your Google method is simply to tell us where you heard a claim, and what about that source made you find it credible.

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I'm not sure it is all the 'liberals' think we are correct. These things tend to run in cycles and currently it is the rights turn to fall prey to the 'RINO' syndrome.

The outcome is a lurch to ever more crazy positions because even if you agree with the goal but disagree with the method then your labled 'traitor'. It is a self sustaining cycle.

Right or left when this happens the fear\hated whipped up becomes the 'truth' and the peddlers of such truths to gain more influence have to move futher to the crazy side and round and round the cycle goes.

Very quickly you move to the point where people outside of your core even if they have sympathy towards your idea look into the goldfish bowl and say fuck that they are crazy and divorced from all reality.


For example It doesn't help also when you make such big histrionic deals over issues that seemingly for the majority of people you seem to be on the wrong side of history. They might not be totally at ease with changes like gay marriage etc but they feel to descriminate against some one goes against another core principle equality\fairness.
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Andrew Bartosh

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To be blunt, because I'm educated, intelligent, and have used both things to parse the information I've been presented and believe that I have arrived at the closest to correct that I can at this time.

This is not to say my analysis are perfect or unassailable. This is not to say I'm I'm always right. But that is kind of the nature of making decisions: once I arrive at a conclusion I will act with confidence and argue for my beliefs until otherwise proven incorrect.
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Shawn Fox
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Conservatives are right about some things, liberals are right about other things. If you find yourself mostly agreeing with one side or the other, you can be certain that you are wrong. Both sides push a lot of ideas that are based more on feelings than facts.

So I'd just echo what MWChapel said, which is to ask what is it that you think you are right on and others are wrong about? Can you actually dispassionately look at evidence or is your opinion based more on the way you and the people around you feel about it? Do you always go looking for poof that you are right? Have you ever tried taking the opposite side and tried to prove yourself wrong?

Anyone who has participated in debate while they were in school has probably noticed that some people can win debates from either side. That doesn't mean they are right, it just means they are better at debate. I can say for certain that most people have never tried to prove themselves wrong, but it is a healthy exercise (and very hard to do, but eye opening when you succeed at changing your opinion about something).
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Bwian, just
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For me it was predictive capability. I compare people's predictions to mine, and when they differ try to keep an eye out for which ends up being right.

For example: When I was younger, I didn't think off-shoring was going to be a problem. What sort of idiot shuts down a perfectly good factory and moves to a new country to set up shop? If they're going to set up a new factory, why not keep the old one running and get both income streams? Liberals said otherwise. So far, it seems like they were right.

When Bill Clinton raised taxes, every conservative I knew promised it would totally crater the economy. That fear seemed overblown to me at the time. And as you may have heard, the economy did not enter some death spiral in the 1990's.

Liberals have turned out to be right on several issues that I was not expecting: off-shoring, minimum wage, tax policy. Conservative predictions have generally been pretty lousy, and that's not counting their atrocious record on social policy. Seriously, how are Adam and Steve getting married going to affect my marriage, much less millions of marriages around the country?

(The only time a conservative prediction came true against my expectation hinges around a technicality, but I'll relate it: conservatives told me that Bill Clinton was going to be impeached, and I didn't believe it. Turns out impeachment is just getting articles to the Senate, not actually being removed from office.)
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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Though I agree that people dismiss sources too easily here without actually seeing if the source was actually making a good point with good information or not, there are cases where a source gets caught either regurgitating outlandish tall tales or making them up themselves. One of my personal turn offs that makes me disregard a source in perpetuity are stories with a sensationalist headline with an article that does not even try to support the opening assertion.

For example, I no longer go to Buzzflash like I did years ago. The hyperbole, propaganda and lack of follow-up became too much work to wade through with eyes wide open. If you have any skeptical bone in your body the site is a drain to digest. Many of the sources I see people, such as yourself, cite are similar and I don't get how people keep going back to them for information when they are guilty of being disingenuous time and again. Yes, they all probably have a and odd story here and there that uses solid facts to come to interesting conclusions. Once they hit a certain threshold of sensationalism then it isn't worth anyone's precious time to waste on them.

To agree with Chapel though, right on what? I think my world view is right because it uses empathy, justice, logic and compassion to guide decisions. But if you are asking something like why I am right about supply side economics being a fools game that doesn't make sense for the purported benefits. I don't need a source, it is basic logic.
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Jake
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AndrewRogue wrote:
once I arrive at a conclusion I will act with confidence and argue for my beliefs until otherwise proven incorrect.

I think most people would say that this is what they do. The problem is that so many people (not just in politics) internalize their conclusions as "beliefs." You get confirmation bias, which only makes the problem worse. People dismiss proof all the time if it contradicts firmly-held beliefs.

For example, if someone reads something like naturalnews.com all the time, they've read plenty of articles that support a certain viewpoint on some particular thing, with plenty of references and science to back it up! If the scientific community happens to find that viewpoint on that particular thing to be 100% wrong, the naturalnews.com reader sees only one study disagreeing with their belief, and hundreds agreeing with it. With that study dismissed, it won't be included as a legitimate addition to the list of "evidence against." Add in ironic claims of propaganda and bias.

It's a rare person who doesn't do this at all, even though almost everyone claims that they're the exception.
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Andrew Bartosh

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Captain Coconut wrote:
AndrewRogue wrote:
once I arrive at a conclusion I will act with confidence and argue for my beliefs until otherwise proven incorrect.

I think most people would say that this is what they do. The problem is that so many people (not just in politics) internalize their conclusions as "beliefs." You get confirmation bias, which only makes the problem worse. People dismiss proof all the time if it contradicts firmly-held beliefs.
For example, if someone reads stuff like naturalnews.com all the time, they've read plenty of articles that support a viewpoint on some particular thing, with plenty of references and science to back it up! If the scientific community finds that viewpoint on that particular thing to be 100% wrong, the naturalnews.com reader sees only one study disagreeing with their belief, and hundreds agreeing with it. With that study dismissed, it won't be included as a legitimate addition to the list of "evidence against."
It's a rare person who doesn't do this at all, even though almost everyone claims that they're the exception.


Definitely, definitely. It's part of why I do my best to also question those beliefs on a regular basis.

(It also doesn't hurt that there are very few things I am decisively one way or the other on. A lot of things I am definitely in a "could go one way or the other" for a lot of subjects.)
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Captain Coconut wrote:
It's a rare person who doesn't do this at all, even though almost everyone claims that they're the exception.


yea-up.
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I don't think I'm correct.

I have a preferred set of outcomes for what I consider morally right -- I think God commands us to take care of the poor and the sick, and that we should legislate that morality.

Average conservatives in America would rather that happened through private charity. That doesn't alleviate homelessness, so I'd rather we did something like UBI -- UBI has some sad side effects like enabling addiction, but it covers bases and reduces overhead -- good stuff. And if we consider the addicted as sick, we can help them too -- by doing things like funding better processes for rehabilitation, as classical conditioning in rehab is rather weak. This is ongoing, but it's something I think we should take seriously, rather than saying "let those drunks kill themselves."

Otherwise, there are simple questions like "Are gays people with rights?" and if your answer is "no" you're merely evil. We can nitpick about whether gay white bakers have to bake KKK-cakes for black Trump supporters and that's fine, but saying you can't be in a hospital room with someone you've loved for 20 years because they're not your spouse is nothing but evil. 1 John 4:8, "God is love," denying God from the room at someone's death is inhospitable -- and you really shouldn't be inhospitable in a hospital, right? devil

More importantly than anything I said above -- the grand secret of liberals and conservatives is that most of them are neither stupid nor ill-informed. People just want slightly different stuff, and even smart people just want to see their tribe win. Smart people go along with their groups, no matter what side of the political fence they're on.

(The grander secret is that they're barely different, but that's for another time.)
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Mac Mcleod
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Kaitlyn_Res wrote:
Kaitlyn's first post Question...


Liberals are not always right. They are frequently soft-headed on social issues. Their math doesn't add up. They ignore unintended consequences of their actions. They engage in the same group think and "my team right or wrong" that everyone does.

You haven't lost our capacity for reasoning. I've said so to you and others here often. I thought you showed you could reason in your second or third post here on RSP.

Conservatives have lost their way. They need to fix their party and drive racist extremists and those who feel the ends justify any means from their party or form a new party.

I'm not sure they can fix it because wealthy right wing extremists have essentially taken over the party.

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Lynette
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Kaitlyn_Res wrote:


I will agree that most of you are quite intelligent people and successful at what you do. However, the people at these meetings and my conservative friends are also quite intelligent and successful people too. Many of them are successful politically after having been successful in another career. Perhaps the truth is somewhere between what they are saying and what you are saying, but you are trying to convince me that you have the truth and they have nothing, while they are trying to convince me that they have the truth and you have nothing. So tell me, intellectually, why should I believe you and not them?


As one of the people who belong to neither "side"... I find that both sides take nuggets of useful facts and then build up a dialogue that may or may not have some valid points and chains of logic within it.

In short if you aren't going to be a mindless consumer of either side you have to do a LOT more actual work shifting through the dross that each side presents.

Let me use a fun Joke to make my point.

So this is a joke that was very commonly seen, especially at work places about 20 years ago.

Quote:


You say you need a day off?!?!?!

Look:

There are 365 days this year.

There are 52 weeks per year in which you already have 2 days off per week, leaving 261 days available for work.

Since you spend 16 hours each day away from work, you have used up 170 days, leaving only 91 days available.

You spend 30 minutes each day on coffee break. That accounts for 23 days each year, leaving only 68 days available.

With a one hour lunch period each day, you have used up another 46 days, leaving only 22 days available for work.

You normally spend 2 days per year on sick leave. This leaves you only 20 days available for work.

We are off for 5 holidays per year, so your available working time is down to 15 days.

We generously give you 14 days vacation per year which leaves only one day available for work and I'll be damned if you're going to take that day off!


Now assume it didn't go to quite as an absurd ending point... clearly anybody reading it KNOWS they actually have to show up to work for more than one day a year... so obviously it is a Joke... But what makes it work is that you don't realize how silly the end point is going to get until that last line. Because each "fact" is true and the whole series of sentences sound reasonable chained together one after the other like that, yet somehow the way they are combined lead to a clearly false conclusion.

Now in the joke's case the "trick" is that specific units of time are accounted for repeatedly so they get subtracted more than once.

But if the end point were not so ABSURD... one could have made a similar series of statements that didn't go quite that far that would have been convincing to many ... while still clearly WRONG in actuality.

So the real value of that "Joke" (and other similar ones) to me is that they quickly and clearly exemplify how a series of facts can be strung together to create at totally false chain of logic if one isn't careful about considering all the factors that go into each item of the chain and how they all work together when combined.

This is very much how typical "Spin" to persuade the masses (or even delude ourselves) gets created.

The best way I have found to avoid being taken for a "Spin" is to not only listen to both sides and then spend time sifting out nuggets of truth and looking to see how they construct their fast talking chains of points, but to also try to actually SEE what is really driving each side's passion.

If I try to really understand the POV of both sides I can usually figure out what passions are potentially clouding their vision... which in turn points me to where their "facts" and "chains of logic" are more likely to contain flaws because they will be less rigorously self checked by them for erroneous thought processes and/or spin..

It also helps to know my OWN passions. Anything that sounds too perfectly logical to me is probably playing to MY passion driven blind-spots. So those are areas I need to be especially careful about double checking for my potential to bias confirm without proper fact checking and logic chain vetting.


Hope that helps.
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Neil Carr
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In terms of sources you might check out some great analysis that the Pew Research Center has done over the years. This report might give some context.

This chart breaks down a decent spread of media outlets and how people view them:


From the above, reading the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, the BBC, and the Guardian ought to give you a good yardstick on measuring the validity of other sources. Those four are the most "measured" of the whole lot. Google News could also be included, but as a aggregator, it's not really editorializing the content.
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Tom McVey
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echoota wrote:
In terms of sources you might check out some great analysis that the Pew Research Center has done over the years. (great graphic snipped)


That was really interesting, but it is from 2014 - hence Buzzfeed should get a bit more love, as they've since hired several journalists who have been pretty good at investigative reporting.
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Josh
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Captain Coconut wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
Another key:If people claim the 'mainstream media' is ignoring and explosive story, it's probably bullshit. Mainstream Media thrives on eyeballs. If a story has even a whiff of credibility it'll be run.

This definitely depends on agendas. No entity with a huge vested interest will torpedo that interest for temporary ratings.
Fox won't air anything that would cost Trump the election, and CNN won't air anything that would cost Clinton the election.
Don't take my word for it though. The media collusion with the DNC isn't a suspicion or conspiracy theory, the news broke when they found proof of it.


Fox has aired things damaging to Trump and XNN has definately aired things damaging to Clinton. SO in your post you make unsubstantiated claims to diminish faith in the mentioned sources, as well as in *all* soirces which creates a mind more fertile for direct duggestion (because if you point out the consliracy you must be hinest) you also have substituted CNN for MSNBC on the scale, which is a subtle trick to try to shift the center in your favor in future arguments.



What I just did is the sort of analysis you should be looking at Kate. You'll notice I didn't liberal/conservative anyone anywhere in that analysis either, just examined the rhetoric presented.
 
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Tom McVey
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rinelk wrote:
[
This paragraph is really where you identify the problem. High Google rankings tell us very little about the credibility of sources. Moreover, if you search for something false, even if results were listed in order of credibility, the claim would still be false.


Also, as Google and other search engines personalize the results from searches based on previous searches and clicks, what I get from a search on climate change is going to be very different from what Kaitlyn or Tripp would get.
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