Thursday, January 27, 2005

Media Arrogance (plus a little liberal bias)

One of my pet pieves is when someone in the media attempts to explan why some phenomenon occurred by giving one trite reason, when in reality the answer is vastly more complex. The typical example of this is any MSM nightly TV news report on the rise or fall of the Dow Jones average that day. Why did each of the thousands of trades in Dow Jones-listed stocks occur at the prices they did? It must be the same reason for every one(!), usually something like "worries over unemployment figures."

This is both false and blatantly arrogant. Did the reporter interview everyone who traded in the stock and ask him (lest feminists accuse me of sexism, in English the neutral pronoun is male) why he sold/bought the stock at that particular price? For the Dow Jones, at least the particular MSM outlet usually will ask, and sometimes quote, some fund manager who has a clue as to why he may have bought/sold the stock he manages.

Other times, the particular reporter will just make something up that sounds good according to that reporter's particular world view, almost always a liberal world view. This will be a recurring theme of this blog. So for the first example of this hubris/bias we start with none other than the venerable Associated Press reporting on my least favorite nation, France.

Apparently, people aren't buying as much French wine as they used to, so the French winemakers want to distill large amounts of their stockpiles - even (gasp!) the good stuff - into industrial use alcohol. Why, you ask, aren't people buying as much French wine? According to the AP:
Pressured by Californian Chardonnays and other vintages from the new world, French wine exports fell by 6.6 percent in volume and 6.1 percent in value in the first 11 months of 2004.
California makes a lot of wines other than Chardonnays. And, yes, new wine making in Austrailia, Chile and South Africa are making inroads into the global wine market. But could another reason be (and there are many, many reasons, but in a soundbite world we can only list one, right?) the U.S.'s French wine boycott?


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