Monday, 2 January 2017

Nothing but the truth (2)

The New World: Nothing but the Truth certainly made for a provocative start to the week.

It began with a montage featuring (a) the £350 million figure (which Jo Fidgen later said "Was THE Fact of the EU referendum campaign"), (b) Donald Trump claiming that some US Muslims celebrated after 9/11 and (c) Michael Gove on experts. 

These were the programme's opening "post-truth" examples (all coming from the political Right/pro-Brexit camp). 

The £350 million figure featured again later.

"I'll come clean. I'm a liberal. I'm flipping terrified", said Jo Fidgen.

A series of experts - all left-liberals - duly followed, backing up her line of argument that we can't handle the truth because of our psychology. 

"We all live in bubbles, not just liberals", she said (reacting against the internet).

The closing message was: We (liberals and conservatives) need to doubt our own beliefs, stop living in echo chambers and start really listening to people we disagree with. 

Clearly there's a good deal of truth in that, and the programme was interesting and persuasive in that regard. 

I also smiled at "liberal angst"-suffering Carl Miller of the think tank Demos being made to realise that he followed no right-wing think tanks on Twitter - something he himself didn't seem to realise and which he was now going to put right. 

But then Jo's programme was pretty much entirely an echo chamber too (if a somewhat self-questioning one). 

All of her 'talking heads' were liberally-minded types, just like her - except for one former US politician (the non-expert 'talking head'), and he was only on because he's a conservative who brought down the ire of conservative America by changing his mind and becoming a believer in man-made global warming. 

Plus she herself works inside one of the UK's biggest and most influential echo chambers: the BBC. 

And it's just the kind of 'echo chamber' that would put out a left-liberal-dominated programme like this and then (as Ozfan noted on the previous thread) immediately follow it with a "leftist, progressive" Turkish journalist on a programme on another new series, Imagining the New Truth, who also had a dig at Trump and Brexit. 


  1. The timing of this programme alone, just like the timing of the arrival of the terms "post-truth" or "fake news", places it firmly in the anti-Brexit and anti-Trump genre.

    1. Yes, the timing and the choice of subject matter place it just where you say.

  2. As a regular attender at Skeptics In The Pub, I actually agree with the main points being made. Always be skeptical, don’t live in Echo Chambers and listen to contradictory opinions, be willing to change your mind.

    The conclusions are fine if they apply to everyone equally, and at one point there was even some humorous admittance that even they are subject to the same flaws occasionally (snigger). But it was quite obvious that Jo Fidgen is not speaking to everybody, it's only to people that voted Brexit or Trump who she regards as being incapable of critical thought. The other. Hence the sniggering at their own occasional lapse.

    One only has to ask, if we had voted to Remain in the EU and/or Clinton was now the President elect, would this programme have been made? I very much doubt it, or if it had not now.

  3. Media: What to look out for in 2017

    Read the section about post truth - without a hint of irony it accuses others of state propaganda, Russia, Iran etc etc. Made me laugh.

  4. Always think about context and FRAMING
    - Here the context is the BBC bangs on about mouse sized Fake-News , yet pushes elephant sized FALSE-Narratives all the time.
    - Framing : November 16, 2016 BBC News did an article
    : Are we really living in a "post-truth" world?
    They FRAMED it by using a big photo of Trump and Farage in the golden elevator
    .... Oh yes the Beeb are that blatant about building false narrative they do it in their articles about Post Truth.

  5. About 10 of us commented over on Biased BBC
    (search the page for Post Truth or Fidgen)
    Starting with Quisquose observation

    extensively promoted on R4 with : “do facts matter any more?”
    Wrong question. It’s BBC “facts” that don’t matter any more.

  6. chrisH came in with this :
    Having heard nearly all of it now, I have to say it`s yet another biased disgrace-starts with some twerp who wants a grant , and is using this show to get it. The rest is full of set up set pieces for Remain,for those who don`t want Trump. All the usual soundbites and backdrops we`ve all got used to re “experts” re “350 million” and Trump by passing the brains and making us all racist and stupid.
    Utter quasi-cod science mealy-mouthed gloop…oh God, she`s onto “climate change” now. Can`t imagine what Jo`s verdict will be-let alone who`ll she`ll choose to tell us why it`s NOT “post-truth”, but “settled scientific fact”.
    .......... Crap.