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How Journalists Use ‘Science’ in Political Arguments To Advance Their Own Bias

 

Yesterday I pointed out how Newsweek compared Charles Manson with Donald Trump. The Newsweek article seemed like a cheap attempt at clickbait that took advantage of a popular topic in the news Manson and linking it with the most clickable name of the year, Trump.

The article was perfectly poised to accommodate those readers on social media who would love to read a well-written comparison between the two most evil people in American history. And, at the same time, it accommodated what we like to call “hate clicks” from Trump supporters who are so outraged by the comparison that they just have to click that link to see how outrageous it is.

But there is something a little more insidious at play in this article and it illustrates how the media covers issues that generally have a liberal perspective or objective.

The journalist who dreamed up the Manson=Trump article was Melissa Matthews. She’s identified by Newsweek as their “Science Writer” so all of this is presented under the umbrella of Science. And science, as you know, can’t be challenged or questioned or criticized. If you do, you’re labeled a “denier” or a “flat-Earther” or your just plain “anti-science.”

Convenient, isn’t it?  A “Science Writer” wants to draw parallels between the most notorious mass murderer in American history and Donald Trump so she finds an expert to make the comparisons all under the guise of science which, in our current political and social zeitgeist is not allowed to be challenged… science must be believed.

Ms. Matthews used an expert to support the “Trump is just like Manson” thesis presented. His name is Mark Smaller and he is the past-President of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

A cursory search of Mark Smaller, past President of the American Psychoanalytic Association reveals that he’s a pretty busy past-president. And by “busy” I mean he makes himself available to lend his expertise to any left-wing news outlet looking for a science-based shelter for a liberal idea.

Is rioting a justified and legitimate action given race relations in America? Let’s call Dr. Smaller! That’s what Vox did in 2015 after the Baltimore riots:

“These groups can become the vehicle for expressing anger, rage and helplessness,” he said in an email to Vox. “One must keep in mind that this behavior is not simply random, but a group or community’s way of communicating their frustration at chronically not being listened to, responded to, and finally marginalized.”

Science!

How about more email analysis of Donald Trump? So much has been written about the president’s father… but what about his mother? Oh… Freud would have a field day exploring Trump’s “Mommy Issues” wouldn’t he? But, he’s dead… don’t worry, Politico did what any media outlet would do… they Dr. Smaller!

Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump’s behavior—as much as, or more than, any policy he’s advanced—stands as a subject of consternation, fascination and speculation. Psychology experts read and watch the news, and they have the same basic curiosity lots of people have: What makes somebody act the way he acts? None of them has evaluated Trump in an official, clinical capacity—Trump is pretty consistently anti-shrink—but they nonetheless have been assessing from afar, tracking back through his 71 years, searching for explanations for his belligerence and his impulsivity, his bottomless need for applause and his clockwork rage when he doesn’t get it, his failed marriages and his ill-tempered treatment of women who challenge him. And they always end up at the beginning. With his parents. Both of them. Trump might focus on his father, but the experts say the comparative scarcity of his discussion of his mother is itself telling.

“You don’t have to be Freud or Fellini to interpret this,” says Mark Smaller, the immediate past president of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

And last year the Detroit Free Press called on good old, reliable Dr. Smaller to explain that the Flint water crisis was really wrapped in race and socio-economic class issues.

What happened in Flint is among the most egregious examples of government’s failure to protect its people, said Mark Smaller, a psychoanalyst in Saugatuck and president of the American Psychoanalytic Association. The undercurrent of race and class in cases like Flint can be psychologically damaging to the people who live there.

“It’s pretty unfortunate that we’ve come to expect that government is not looking out for people in these communities — whether it’s a community like Flint or Detroit or other similar communities made up of people of color and of a certain socioeconomic level,” Smaller said.

Science wins again!

And you just can’t challenge these premises or these conclusions because if you do, you’re a Neanderthal. Good God man, you’re not a past-President of the American Psychoanalytic Association! What are you, anti-science?

No, I’m not anti-science. I’m anti-science-used-as-a-weapon-to-attack-political-opponents-and-validate-ridiculous-left-wing-propaganda.  I’m also anti-hack.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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