Category Archive: Media

Oct 29 2013

Please tell me they show this comic in journalism school


And that it’s shown as an example of what not to do, rather than a recipe for success. I don’t know about you, but it seems all of the news sites I read have adopted this as a model.

Oct 26 2013

How to make a funny-looking mouse


I’m going to tell you about a paper that was brought to my attention by some poor science journalism, so first I have to complain about the article in the Guardian. Bear with me. This is dreadfully misleading. Though everybody’s face is unique, the actual differences are relatively subtle. What distinguishes us is the exact …

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Oct 21 2013

Malcolm Gladwell is simply an awful person

I don’t get it. Jonah Lehrer was rightly pilloried for dishonest journalism, so why is Malcolm Gladwell, the king of shallow, pseudo-scientific hackery, still getting published, and still raking in absurdly high lecture fees? Why is anyone still giving him the time of day? For instance, read this piece published in the New Yorker in …

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Oct 07 2013

There’s a reason we need good science journalists

Media outlet: The Sun
Freelance journalist: Matthew Barbour
Query: Further to my last request, I also now urgently need an expert who will say tattoos can give you cancer. We can plug any relevant organisation, give copy approval, and pay a fee. Please get back to me asap if you can help.

It’s because the bad ones are appalling hacks. Here’s an ad for The Sun looking for a scientist to give them the answer they want. May I suggest that Matthew Barbour ought to be drummed out of journalism, and that any “expert” who is cited in his article promoting lies for cash ought to be …

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Sep 19 2013

The media have become Jesus-stupid

OK, this is just stupid. A lawyer is trying to get the conviction of Jesus overturned. The state involved no longer exists, the man has no living kin or friends to carry the case forward, and it’s not even certain the individual actually existed…not to mention that the case is 2000 years old and is …

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Sep 12 2013

I think I’ll pass on This vs. That, too


Skepchick earlier reported on This vs. That, a poor man’s version of Mythbusters that was actually more like a reanimated version of the thankfully deceased Man Show. The creators have since turned to twitter in a manic campaign to get people to watch their awful show. Take a look at their feed — it’s spam …

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Sep 12 2013

Completely unrealistic and more than a little misogynistic


Hey! Hey! I’ll have you know I read the webcomics every morning for a bit of humor and escapism, not to have my faith in humanity shattered further and my cynicism enhanced. So I was reading Something Positive… Oh, wait. That’s what S*P does. Never mind. Anyway, I saw this comic and thought, “WTF?” And …

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Sep 09 2013

It’s going to be very popular, I fear

I was stunned by Rebecca Watson’s account of the promotion efforts of a new show that looks like a drunk version of Mythbusters. Then I watched a couple of their videos, which were garbage, and I heard this tag line: You’ll know stuff your friends don’t, which will give you a temporary feeling of superiority, …

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Sep 09 2013

Read Krugman this morning

The Republican party is appallingly misinformed: there is a Wonk Gap . But that was then. Modern conservatism has become a sort of cult, very much given to conspiracy theorizing when confronted with inconvenient facts. Liberal policies were supposed to cause hyperinflation, so low measured inflation must reflect statistical fraud; the threat of climate change …

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Aug 26 2013

The Onion explains it all

The purported managing editor of CNN explains how they picked their top story in a fictitious opinion piece (which still rings very true). There was nothing, and I mean nothing, about that story that related to the important news of the day, the chronicling of significant human events, or the idea that journalism itself can …

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