Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Truthers Statistics and Press Freedom

I was quickly scanning through the list compiled by Jon Gold that one one of the troofers was spamming here. I can't post a response to this at the original location at 9/11 Blogger, because they immediately ban any dissension in the name of fighting fascism, but I found this an interesting enough point to deserve a post. In general this is just another example of argument by list, where a troofer relies on a long list of largely irrelevant, fallacious and disconnected factoids, knowing that nobody will ever go through them all, and thus he can declare himself intellectually victorious. In any case this one factoid deals with the press freedoms in the United States:

Fact #25

As I mentioned in the introduction, the Mainstream Media has not covered the questions concerning the 9/11 attacks as they should, and for the most part, with the exception of small town news, have attacked those that do. According to James Goodale, the founders of the United States "enacted the First Amendment to distinguish their new government from that of England, which had long censored the press and prosecuted persons who dared to criticize the British Crown." On 10/31/2005, Reporters Without Borders reported that the United States ranked 44th in the world for Freedom Of The Press "mainly because of the imprisonment of New York Times reporter Judith Miller and legal moves undermining the privacy of journalistic sources."

The implication being that because we don't have a free press, the media is controlled and haven't investigated 9/11, despite the fact that this was one of the most covered media events in history, and to this day books, documetaries and magazine articles continue to come out on the subject.

This is little more than cherry picking though. Why do they have to pick a survey from 2005, during the controversial Judith Miller event? Personally I don't think that is an example of "press freedom", she was jailed because she refused to help investigate the current government. Regardless of what you think of the whole Valarie Plame incident, independent investigations of governments are hardly a sign of fascism. So why don't they have a more current survey instead of this 3 year old outlier?

Well because it would not make their point. For example the current Freedom House Global Press Freedom 2008 survey shows the US at 21, just ahead of such tyrannical states as Canada, The UK and Australia. Even scoring in the 40s again in this survey would hardly be meaningful, that would put them in the company of such police states as France (40) and Spain (46). The category of "free" press doesn't even end until you reach Benin, at 73.

Now where do Venezuela, Russia and Iran, the 3 most truther friendly regimes rank? Well, at a less than stellar 161, 170, and 185, out of a 195 countries. That should tell you something.


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