Monday, September 26, 2005

Fake Controversy; the Right Wing Modus Operandi

Lisa at RockyWatch is 100% correct that this is the m.o. of the Right Wing. It hearkens back to Maha's How to Fake the News: A Primer. Take one piece of information which may or may not be supported by fact but which supports the Right Wing Agenda, disseminate it in different venues and repeat until it becomes Conventional Wisdom, at which point it is nearly impossible to correct.

Here's the Speakout in the Rocky Mountain News that RockyWatch criticizes
As early as 1986, government scientists wrote a letter to the British medical journal The Lancet acknowledging that abortion is a cause of breast cancer. They wrote, "Induced abortion before first term pregnancy increases the risk of breast cancer" (The Lancet, Feb. 22, 1986). [emphasis added]

Here's the 2003 report from the National Cancer Institute
The relationship between induced and spontaneous abortion and breast cancer risk has been the subject of extensive research beginning in the late 1950s. Until the mid-1990s, the evidence was inconsistent. Findings from some studies suggested there was no increase in risk of breast cancer among women who had had an abortion, while findings from other studies suggested there was an increased risk. Most of these studies, however, were flawed in a number of ways that can lead to unreliable results. Only a small number of women were included in many of these studies, and for most, the data were collected only after breast cancer had been diagnosed, and women’s histories of miscarriage and abortion were based on their “self-report” rather than on their medical records. Since then, better-designed studies have been conducted. These newer studies examined large numbers of women, collected data before breast cancer was found, and gathered medical history information from medical records rather than simply from self-reports, thereby generating more reliable findings. The newer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk. [emphasis added]

Since the updated science completely contradicts the Right Wing Agenda, it doesn't exist.

Says RockyWatch
This is how the game is played: Instead of offering well-reasoned and solidly researched opinion, the Christian fundamentalist editor of the Rocky provides a forum for a right-winger who spouts junk science and misrepresents medical research. Then, a week or so later, he runs a piece (chosen by him) to serve as a "counterpoint," thus creating the illusion that there's a "debate" between two equally weighted, equally informed "sides."

In truth, the "sides" are Calculated Misrepresentation versus Fact.


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