Friday, May 08, 2009


There was a recent local incident where I work in which someone, in a non-threatening manner, brought something to the workplace that was against policy and what he brought alarmed some people.

Now I work in the main building for our department, but we have another building about a mile away that houses a signigicant portion of our employees. It was that other building where he worked, and that other building where he entered with the item(s) in question.

In the newspaper story, they had the guy bringing it into THIS building, though. It was an assumption, I'm sure, as this is where the Director for the department works. The main office is here. Since our department is listed as being in this building, the reporter likely assumed that this is where the incident took place. But the reporter reported, but obviously didn't ask.

The reporter also got at least one other fact wrong, but that fact probably came from a question the reporter presumably asked.

Now we talk about "I read it somewhere", or "I read in the news", and we hear newspeople say their reporting isn't biased. Not that this story wasn't reported fairly, and that second fact wasn't corrected the next day. However, reading the paper the first "fact", that this building was the location ... that will probably be left.

The whole point of this post is this. We all have biases. Biases can lead to assumptions, and assumptions aren't facts. If 80% of the people in the press are progressives, which direction do you suppose most of the assumptions that slip through as facts ... tend to go?

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