Once again, a basic question!


Erin Burnett works a blur:
We often ask the analysts a basic question. It goes exactly like this:

Are the stars of cable news capable of making accurate statements?

We popped the question again last night as we watched Erin Burnett.

Burnett was speaking to a Bama official. Fearlessly, she was pushing him hard. This created a bit of an irony:
BURNETT (11/15/17): Do you think the truth matters here?

MERRILL: Oh, the truth matters greatly. I think the truth matters in all cases. Whenever an allegation has been made, it should be proven true or proven false and that helps people decide who they need to support and why.

BURNETT: So when it comes to—

I mean, we're talking about Beverly Nelson here. When it comes to the other four accusers, all four of whom were detailed in the Washington Post's expansive report, they spoke to more than 30 people who verified their accounts. More than 30 people!
According to Burnett, those "more than thirty people who said they knew Roy Moore" verified the accounts of the original four "accusers."

Full stop.

The Washington Post made no such statement in its report. It's amazingly easy simply to read what the Post actually said. Almost surely, Burnett's fuzzy paraphrase is at least misleading, in a stampede-friendly way.

We've seen bigger misstatements too, but Burnett is paid millions of dollars per year. What can possibly make it so hard to avoid inaccurate or misleading statements, especially when you're snarking at one of The Others about the glorious need for the truth?

What is truth? Pilate thoughtfully asked. After they get out of makeup and hair, so should our big cable stars!


  1. No excuse for inaccuracy, especially when it comes to Roy Moore.

    1. They're all doing it, not just Burnett. They're also saying that "five women" accused him of "sexual misconduct," which isn't true.

      And, the "child molester!" and "pedophile!" accusation is amazingly slanderous and inaccurate, even at Moore's worst.

      It's all so depressing. These media people are all just so unreliable. And that might be the nice word for it!

    2. A grown man who is sexually interested in 14 year old girls is a pedophile. I don't care how NAM*LA or the men's rights reddits define it.

    3. Merriam-Webster [LINK]:

      pedophilia: sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object; specifically: a psychiatric disorder in which an adult has sexual fantasies about or engages in sexual acts with a prepubescent child

      New York Times column by Rutgers assistant law professor Margo Kaplan LINK:

      By some estimates, 1 percent of the male population continues, long after puberty, to find themselves attracted to prepubescent children. These people are living with pedophilia, a sexual attraction to prepubescents that often constitutes a mental illness....

      The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines pedophilia as an intense and recurrent sexual interest in prepubescent children, and a disorder if it causes a person "marked distress or interpersonal difficulty" or if the person acts on his interests.

      Encyclopædia Britannica LINK:

      Pedophilia, also spelled paedophilia, also called pedophilic disorder, psychosexual disorder, generally affecting adults, characterized by sexual fantasies about or attempts to engage in sexual acts with a prepubescent child of the same or opposite sex.

      In the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; 2013), pedophilia (pedophilic disorder) is classified as a type of paraphilia—a category of recognized disorders defined by unusual fantasies, urges, or behaviours that are recurrent and sexually arousing.

      According to the DSM-5, in order for pedophilia to be diagnosed clinically, such thoughts and behaviours must cause distress or interpersonal hardship to the affected individual or cause distress, injury, or death to persons who are unwilling or unable to consent to sexual behaviours.

      The World Health Organization’s ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders (1993) uses a similar definition. According to both publications, the thoughts or behaviours in question must be present for at least six months for clinical diagnosis, and the affected individual must be at least 16 years of age and at least 5 years older than the child (or children) at the centre of the individual’s sexual fantasies.

      Pedophilia may be distinguished from hebephilia (sexual preference for individuals who typically are between ages 11 and 14) and ephebophilia (sexual preference for late-stage adolescents, typically ages 15 and 16).

      Psychology Today LINK:

      Pedophilia is considered a paraphilia, a condition in which a person's sexual arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about and engaging in sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme. Pedophilia is defined as the fantasy or act of sexual activity with children who are generally age 13 years or younger. Pedophiles are usually men and can be attracted to either or both sexes. How well they relate to adults of the opposite sex varies.

      Pedophilic disorder can be diagnosed in people who are willing to disclose this paraphilia as well as in people who deny any sexual attraction to children, despite objective evidence of pedophilia. For the condition to be diagnosed, an individual must either act on their sexual urges or experience significant distress as a result of their urges or fantasies. Without these two criteria, a person may have a pedophilic sexual orientation but not pedophilic disorder.

    4. Technical definitions aside, in everyday language people use the term to refer to someone sexually interested in children without dividing children into age groups and using distinct terms for them. Fourteen year olds are still children.

    5. That's because they're being gratuitous and dishonest.

      It's more exciting for the pious and the scolding types to exaggerate their claims. And it makes you wonder why they find the need to do it.

    6. It isn't exaggerating to call someone who is sexually attracted to 14 year olds a pedophile. A 14 year old is a child.

      People who "scold" are not chiding others. They are concerned with protecting children from predators. The men who come here trolling, pretending that it is OK to "date" children, are the ones with psychological problems.

  2. Lucy Mercer — FDR should have resigned.

  3. The problem with Moore isn’t the age gap. It is that he “dated” girls below legal age. Somerby argues he treated Nelson differently but it seems to me he “dated” her similarly until she refused him and he forced her in his car. Many men consider waitresses easy, so he may have had inflated expectations.

    1. They weren't below legal age, except the one.

      And her yearbook story is raising questions. Why the "D.A." initials that look like they were unwittingly copied from her 1999 divorce papers, and who gets their yearbook signed at Christmas?

    2. Two, one for sex and one for wine.

  4. Yeah, this is all becoming so tiring-- the hysteria and embellishment. And why do these people find it so necessary to do?

    Are they playing the rubes? Or just dumb (and excessively pious and moralistic) themselves?

    The Moore yearbook thing is starting to look pretty hinkie. Allred won't defend her client now (re: Wolf Blitzer), and it looks like the "D.A." initials from 1977 were a major screw-up.

    But, don't expect any analysis of this from the media. Or even questioning!

    1. Allred wants Moore to testify under oath before Congress snd is using the yearbook as leverage. The right thinks her refusals exinerate him.

    2. Yeah, she wants him to testify at some dumb and legally dubious (and election-interfering) tribunal so that the VIEWERS "can decide if she's credible."

      She actually said that on Wolf Blitzer. Not that SHE believed the woman was credible.

    3. Odd description of the US Congress.

    4. 1:24 PM,
      Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!

    5. Tribunal is the word for what some of them want.

  5. "Are the stars of cable news capable of making accurate statements?"

    Where do get the idea that "making accurate statements" enters into the equation of the cable 'news' business?

    1. "Are the stars of cable news capable of making accurate statements?"

      Asks the guy who sees Trump stiff his contractors for 5+ decades, and insists he's "anti-establishment" LOL.

  6. Journalism 101:
    Republican Congresspeople fear deficits. Bad Journalism.
    Republican Congresspeople say they fear deficits. Good journalism.
    Only one of those statements is true. The media should report it that way.

    1. .... "Only when the President is a Democrat, Republican Congresspeople fear deficits. Bad Journalism.
      Only when the President is a Democrat, Republican Congresspeople say they fear deficits. Good journalism." ....


  7. Did you sleep through the last Presidential election campaign?
    Honesty is for suckers!

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