Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Schumer’s Fairness Doctrine fatuity

One of my good internet friends is William Briggs, a statistician. Smart guy. Just published a book called "Breaking the Law of Averages: Real-Life Probability and Statistics in Plain English," which you can buy here. I am reading it now. Excellent.

The post below is his. I give to you the first portion and then a link to his site. Nothing like logic to rip apart Chucky Shumer.

Here you go ... enjoy:

First listen to the appalling Chuck Schumer responding to a question about the proposed Fairness Doctrine (link from Unfair Doctrine).

I think we should all try to be fair and balanced, don’t you?

[Radio broadcasts]: It’s not like printing a broadside…Do you think we should allow people to put pornography on the air? Absolutely not.

The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine, want the FCC to limit pornography on the air.

But you can’t say “Government, Hands off” in one area to a commercial enterprise, “But you’re allowed to intervene in another.” That’s not consistent.

Schumer is treasure trove to people like me who are always on the lookout for examples of appallingly bad reasoning to use for teaching students logic. Almost any Schumer speech can be milked for at least one lesson—you could probably get half a semester from this bare minute.

Now, nobody knows what any new Fairness Doctrine might be since it is now in its “trial balloon” phase. But we can look to an earlier, abandoned incarnation of it for some clues. We can also glean hints from Schumer’s words.

Continue reading at William Briggs, Statistician.

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