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 No.1184

File: 1565220470862.jpg (98.38 KB, 1000x679, 1000:679, main-qimg-dc93708bd0027609….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Can something be entertaining and/or comedic while also being an accurate and legitimate source of information?

I've discussed world events and political topics on the internet a few times, and I've occasionally tried to use clips from shows like "The Daily Show" and "Last Week Tonight" as a source and to illustrate my point in and entertaining way. But I've found that sometimes certain people will try to dismiss my usage of those kinds of clips or stories, claiming that those shows are comedy shows and therefore cannot and should not be taken seriously as sources of information. I disagree with this sentiment for a number of reasons.

The first being that these programs consistently offer the sources of their statistics and video clips they use within the program itself, so any dispute over the accuracy of the information already has other more "legitimate" sources from which it came. Shows like "Adam Ruins Everything" go to even greater lengths to back up and source all the claims they make. So trying to dismiss the information because it's being delivered by a certain program is not actually dismissing the information itself. It's a strawman argument. The program is just an easily digestible and vastly more entertaining way to deliver that same information, but it doesn't negate the information itself for the program to be comedic. My second reason for disagreeing is because of the hypocritical nature of the claim. It seems to me we only run into this issue when it comes to world events and political issues. No one claims that programs like "Bill Nye The Science Guy" are not legitimate source of science information, or that any of the numerous shows on Discovery Channel are not legitimate sources of information because they uses comedy and skits to deliver their information. In my personal opinion, it's unfair to hold "news" to a different standard. And lastly, I disagree with the sentiment because studies over the past 10 years have show that people who watch programs like The Daily Show are just as informed as those who watch more traditional news stations like CNN and MSNBC, if not moreso. Here are a few examples. (https://www.businessinsider.com/study-watching-fox-news-makes-you-less-informed-than-watching-no-news-at-all-2012-5) (https://thinkprogress.org/survey-daily-show-colbert-viewers-most-knowledgable-fox-news-viewers-rank-lowest-854e2c6d917d/) (https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-Fox-News-effect-What-causes-it) It should also be noted that Fox News viewers consistently rank last in accurate knowledge of national and international affairs, meaning that shows like the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight are more legitimate sources of accurate information than Fox News is.

What is your opinion on the matter?

 No.1186

>>1184
>I disagree with this sentiment

As do I

 No.1187

File: 1565224792714.png (228.05 KB, 1280x854, 640:427, squirrel.png) ImgOps Google

>>1184
>only run into this issue when it comes to world events and political issues
I would ask, do the people who dismiss your use of these shows have political sentiments that do not align with these shows?

 No.1188

>>1184
>Can something be entertaining and/or comedic while also being an accurate and legitimate source of information?
Yes.

>>1184
>But I've found that sometimes certain people will try to dismiss my usage of those kinds of clips or stories, claiming that those shows are comedy shows and therefore cannot and should not be taken seriously as sources of information. I disagree with this sentiment for a number of reasons.
Depends on what you're citing them for.  If it's specific data, e.g., "iatrogenic deaths outnumber deaths from firearms by an order of magnitude", you should cite the original source(s) of data if at all possible rather than the summary given in the TV show.

>So trying to dismiss the information because it's being delivered by a certain program is not actually dismissing the information itself. It's a strawman argument.
Sounds more like an ad hominem than a strawman.  But it might actually just be a request for the original source of the data, which is usually more detailed and nuanced than the summary presented on TV.  Like, no serious researcher would cite a video of a conference presentation when they can cite the corresponding conference paper instead.

>>1184
>It should also be noted that Fox News viewers consistently rank last in accurate knowledge of national and international affairs
It should also be noted that the error bars in your OP pic for Fox News overlap with those of CNN, MSNBC, and others.  

>meaning that shows like the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight are more legitimate sources of accurate information than Fox News is.
No, it does not mean that, unless it was a randomized controlled trial, and even then it wouldn't even be single-blind so you'd need to be very careful about biases and effects similar to the placebo effect.

 No.1189

File: 1565225091867.jpg (25.64 KB, 480x268, 120:67, 4fbbf449eab8ea4c79000007-4….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

>>1187
Well, that's a tricky question.

Technically speaking, the shows don't have one political standing. They criticize both sides of political arguments. However, if one misbehaves more than the other, it can give the illusion of a bias.

>>1188
Green is the amount of accurate information. Here is another graph that shows the same results.  Fox News scores is still below CNN and MSNBC, and in this case, people who watch no news at all.

 No.1190

>>1189
>Here is another graph that shows the same results
That graph doesn't show whether the differences are statistically significant.

 No.1191

>>1190
I'm not sure what you mean, could you please elaborate?

Both graphs show that, on average, viewers of Fox News have less accurate information that people who watch other news programs or no news at all. And this is sited in the OP.

 No.1192

>>1189
>Technically speaking, the shows don't have one political standing
I'm pretty sure The Daily Show is geared toward a Democratic-leaning audience.

 No.1193

>>1191
>I'm not sure what you mean, could you please elaborate?
I don't know how else to say it.  Are you familiar with the concept of statistical significance?

>>1191
>Both graphs show that, on average, viewers of Fox News have less accurate information that people who watch other news programs or no news at all.
It shows an estimate of the true population mean.  It doesn't show a confidence interval of that estimate.

 No.1194

>>1192
I think it only appears that way because there is a lot more to criticize on the Republican side, but they have criticized the democratic party before.

 No.1195

>>1193
>Are you familiar with the concept of statistical significance?

I guess not? Are you saying that the control group wasn't big enough?

 No.1196

File: 1565226210953.png (880.55 KB, 1618x824, 809:412, force.png) ImgOps Google

>>1189
>shows don't have one political standing
Well, I quickly pulled up the latest episode to get a sense for it, and the host did not seem to favor Republican ideas for preventing mass shootings.  I don't know if something needs to be necessarily in line with the opposing political party to be bad evidence, it will be suspected as soon as it goes against Republican or Democrat ideas.  (Which, as I think of it, is why I can both be a Nazi and a snowflake.)

 No.1197

>>1196
Which show?

If you mean The Daily Show, saying Noah or the show's staff "did not seem to favor Republican ideas for preventing mass shootings" is mischaracterizating what he was saying.

He was accusing those things being said by those specific politicians of being talking points to distract for the real issue. He's not unfavorable of "Republican ideas", he is out and out claiming that they aren't ideas. They are excuses. Whataboutism and distractions from actually having to talk about gun control.

Being for gun control isn't an inherently Democratic stance.

 No.1198

>>1197
>claiming that they aren't ideas. >They are excuses
Well, I'm not going to talk about the gun issue directly.
But dismissing Shawn Hannity's solution, for example, will be read as political move.  At least, I believe him to be one of the Republican thought-leaders.

 No.1199

>>1198
Well if you mean this portion of the show starting at 4:22 of this clip, I don't see this as anti-Republican. It's disagreeing with Hannity, yes. But it's calling out the idea itself.

 No.1201

I think an issue here is the difference between "bias" and "misinformation" or just straight up "lying".

Many episodes of comedic television shows can be seen as slanted due to the outside importance paid to Republican comments and ideas. But they're still accurately quoting the Republicans before the politicians get slammed. Information is given in context.

In terms of Fox News, information is frequently given out of context and material-- even when it comes to easily fact-checked things like "who said what, when"-- gets chopped up into nonsense. Basic terms with real definitions from "racist" to "communist" to "socialist" to "atheist" to whatever else get treated as loose labels that can apply to anything or anyone. It goes on.

I think it's clear that Fox News is uniquely bad in terms of delivering factual content in a way that even other conservative-leaning services aren't.

 No.1202

>>1201
Well, I only brought up Fox News tendency towards misinformation to illustrate that some things considered "legitimate" by some can actually be LESS accurate and informative than something like the Daily Show. It wasnt just to rag on Fox News for being inaccurate and uninformative, although, as you explained, it certainly is that.

 No.1204

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>>1184
>this portion of the show
Yeah, that's what I watched.  You are correct, Noah is not attacking Sean Hannity but his idea.  (Of course, someone and their ideas are not wholly separate, but there are harsher and gentler approaches.)

>>1197
>mischaracterizating what he was saying
Hmm...I'll just ask for the sake of my understanding, is there something outside of more guns, more God, and more guards that republicans see as a solution?

I mean, I don't think I'm against entertainment mixed with news, which is part of what you're asking in OP.  Maybe I'm just arguing otherwise the obvious, that no format will overcome the spirit of faction.

 No.1205

>>1204
Well, whether or not shows like Daily Show are "biased" or cannot avoid being so is a topic for another thread. Perhaps we can create that and discuss that.


But in regards to your question: In my opinion, Republicans aren't looking for a "solution". They are looking for a scapegoat. Blame lack of God, blame video games, blame a lack of guns! Anything to blame to avoid discussing gun control, because of monetary ties to the NRA and because of it's a popular talking point with their constituency to push the "taking your guns away" narrative. I don't think it's inherently Democratic or even anti-Republican to call these things out. The Daily Show would be dismissing these ideas if they came from the other side. In another clip Noah says that blaming Donald Trump's hateful rhetoric for the shootings (which is something some Democrats are doing) is also not a good solution, because it ignores the root of the problem. Trump's dehumanizing and racist comments are not helping, but no matter how radicalized white supremacists get, they have to have access to a gun to commit a mass shooting. Guns themselves are the only common element.

 No.1206

>>1195
>I guess not?
I suggest you take the time to become familiar with it.  It is hard to have a conversation about data without knowledge of fundamental statistical concepts.
https://www.khanacademy.org/math/statistics-probability

>>1194
>there is a lot more to criticize on the Republican side
You don't really expect Republican-leaning citizens to agree with that assessment, do you?

 No.1207

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>>1205
>Guns themselves are the only common element.
I'd say there's another common element: humans willing to commit mass murder.  And they can do with things other than guns, such as IEDs.  

 No.1208

>>1206
If you're so knowledgeable about the topic, then you should be able to explain what you're trying to say in a simpler way. I even asked you if it was about the sample size. But if you're unwilling to do so, the statistics were not really the point of the OP. I just used it to illustrate the idea that something being considered a more "legitimate" source of information than another thing by some people does not automatically make that source more accurate or informative.

>You don't really expect Republican-leaning citizens to agree with that assessment, do you?

No, but when they disagree with it, it's usually because of a fundamental disagreement over what is deserving of criticism, not that the Republicans are not doing what is being criticized.

 No.1209

>>1207
I feel like that's not really relevant.

Like, for example, you wanted to lessen the amount of automobile accidents. It would be unproductive and silly to say "People die in other types of accidents too. Like construction workers." Ok, granted. Yes, people die in other ways than just auto accidents. But that usually has NOTHING to do with our attempts to lessen automobile accidents.

 No.1210

>>1205
>topic for another thread
>black text
'K, thanks.

Not sure that's a thread I want to make.  Personally, I've got no solution, I just know a bunch of things people will fight to show aren't good solutions.

 No.1211

>>1210
Solution to gun violence, or potential media bias?

 No.1212

>>1211
Mass shootings.  Media bias, I don't know.  Guess you could find out which media is most scientific, but that's not relevant to politics near as I can tell.  And with a poll you could tell which medias republican and democrats like better.

 No.1213

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>>1209
The relevancy is that it if you take away guns, then would-be terrorists will just use other things like home-made explosives.  Like in Britain, how gun violence was replaced by knife violence.

>>1211
>>1212
We should emulate Japan to achieve a similarly low rate of gun deaths: More tentacle hentai!
:derp1:

 No.1214

>>1213
You don't know that would be the case.
And even IF gun violence is replaced by "knife violence", it's very hard to kill 30 people in as many seconds with a knife. It's also much easier to subdue a person who is only armed with a knife.

 No.1215

File: 1565316049143.png (498.58 KB, 579x819, 193:273, 1529837627079.png) ImgOps Google

>>1214
> It's also much easier to subdue a person who is only armed with a knife.
I disagree, unless if by "subdue" you mean "shoot" (with a gun or other long-ranged weapon).  Knives are melee weapons.  Once you're within striking range, a knife is just as deadly as a gun in the hands of someone who know how to wield a knife.

>You don't know that would be the case.
It's plausible enough that you can't realistically say that it "not really relevant".

>it's very hard to kill 30 people in as many seconds with a knife.
OK, but I think that terrorists (as opposed to street gangs) would opt for home-made explosives.  And it's just as easy to kill lots of people with explosives as it is with firearms.  Organized terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda use explosions.  Lone-wolf nutjob terrorists seem to prefer firearms, probably mainly for psychological reasons like killing people up close and personal.

 No.1216

>>1215
This thread isn't for discussing gun violence. I'm surprised there isn't a thread FOR that, but this isn't it.

If you wanna make a thread about that, we can continue this conversation, but a lot of what you are saying is speculating on things we don't know for certain would happen.

 No.1222

>>1187
That's a good question

 No.1223

I don't disagree with the idea that accurate news information can be delivered in a fundamentally comical way, but I think the point people actually have is that even if it's accurate, it's delivered with a suggestion of how it's to be interpreted. It's basically the most editorialized way of delivering news.

Now, that being said. I do find this much better than any news outlet that is also heavily opinionated but presents itself as if it is not. Shows like Last Week Tonight or the Daily Show don't pretend not to be fundamentally editorial in their presentation passing off their own commentary as if it was fact, they seem to make it pretty explicit that they are fundamently editorial.

Also I think the criticism of such shows for being "biased" kind of comes of as a pointless argument since a) the bias of these shows mostly seems to be a matter of what opinions about the news are presented (which is to be expected given the fundamentally editorial nature of those shows) and not a matter of the accuracy of the information presented (and as a side argument, why should such shows be considered to be at fault or irresponsible for not presenting all possible opinions when there is basically nothing presenting consumers from seeking out other editorial content themselves?) and b) to argue that the source is bad because it's "biased" is implying there is an unbiased news source out there when market forces now are such that unbiased coldly presented news just doesn't sell and the market rewards bias and attention grabbing sensationalism?  

 No.1225

>>1222
For the most part, they would say yes. But as Ive neen saying, these shows arent actually universally supporting one political group over another.

 No.1226

Dismissing a source of information for being too funny is ad hominom, even if it's a bit of a weird form.  "They made people laugh" doesn't tackle the argument or data presented, it's not a counterpoint.

 No.1258

>>1226
I had a feeling it was ad hominom. Especially since the person I link the video of Last Week Tonight to, he said he didn't even watch the video because he found John Oliver humor "just awful". That person was known for his ad hominon and dismissal of my points.

But I wanted to bring this topic up for the future here on /townhall/. Because there might come a time when a comedic clip cogently illustrates someone's point about a certain topic. And I didn't want that same thing to happen again.

 No.1259

>>1208
In statistics, the null hypothesis is a general statement or default position that there is no relationship between two measured phenomena, or no association among groups. A result has statistical significance when it is very unlikely to have occurred given the null hypothesis. More precisely, a study's defined significance level, denoted "α", is the probability of the study rejecting the null hypothesis, given that the null hypothesis were true; and the p-value of a result, p, is the probability of obtaining a result at least as extreme, given that the null hypothesis were true. The result is statistically significant, by the standards of the study, when p < α.

tl;dr: A study's result might just be the result of random chance.  Statistical significance is a way of quantifying this.

>sample size
Using a sample size that is too small is certainly one way of failing to obtain statistical significance.


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