Erections have consequences

Many interesting things in the newspaper for the study of argument today.  One item insists the media is biased because 80 percent of the press will vote for Obama and Howard Kurtz, darling of the conservatives, says the media is baised.  That unfortunately doesn't shed any light on the question of bias.  Bias, after all, has to do with their coverage of the election and the candidates (who was it who said that conservative blogger and scandalmonger Matt Drudge rules their [the media's] world?), not the personal views of the media. 

Another item in the NYT discusses three studies that challenge the notion that universities indoctrinate their students in some kind of liberal agenda (I'm still working on mine, but I can tell you now it includes (1) a bias against lying; (2) a bias against non-science in place of actual science; (3) a bias for learning about later Hellenism in an Ancient Philosophy course).  People of that age group shift left generally, one study points out, among other things. 

I've always been struck by the more simple point about indocrinatation: I spend all of my time attempting to "indoctrinate" my students into the following liberal views (1) arguments ought to have a premise and a conclusion, (2) students ought to read the text and do the homework, and (3) they ought to proofread their papers before turning them in.  Oh the liberalism!

Anyhoo.  Deep thought for the day.  Erections have consequences.  Discuss.

12 thoughts on “Erections have consequences”

  1. jcasey, I can attest to that … I had some classes with you and you never tried to “indoctrinate” anyone. Now, I can’t make the same claim about the majority of the other professors I had at NEIU.

  2. More than attributing bias based on who journalists are voting for (after all, they’ve got to vote for SOMEONE), I’m annoyed by claims that the fact that networks give more time or more positive/negative coverage of a certain candidate shows that they are biased. If a candidate… let’s call him, Joe, Joe the Candidate… if Joe the Candidate does nothing in the campaign day other than tell lies and slander his opponent, one would hope that, supposing the media were NOT biased, he would receive both less coverage than his opponent and more negative coverage.

    All of these “media surveys” are metrics of some sort, sure. But they certainly don’t measure media bias.

  3. I’m wondering why (1) is worded normatively, when it seems, to my mind, to be a descriptive claim.  Arguments, by definition, have premises and conclusions. It’s not that they should have these components, it’s that they do have these components. If whatever view one is striving to articulate doesn’t have premises that purport to demonstrate a conclusion, well, as Monty Python has taught us, it’s just not an argument.

  4. jcasey, I know you had a good opinion of me … and I don’t want to ruin that by telling you who I am ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I think you are mistaken, BN. jcasey doesn’t have any opinions. He only speaks Truth.

  6. He does spew truth from every orifice. 

    However, I am bummed to learn that all those students that I gave good grades to based purely on their political beliefs had me fooled.

  7. “Erections have consequences.  Discuss.”

    I would, but I would place myself in Herm’s way.

    I resisted saying that as long as I could.

  8. Hey Dagon.  Now that is the dumbest thing I’ve read all day.  Take this, for instance.  He writes:

    According to recent Gallup polls, the president’s average approval rating is below 30% — down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.

    This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, “Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust.”

    So Bush is unpopular because he tried to work with Democrats.  Really?

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