Saturday, January 14, 2006

Searching for Fairness and Accuracy

Madison based PR Watch, aka Center For Media and Democracy, is a group with the mission to monitor the public relations industry and to “recognize and combat manipulative and misleading PR practices”. In other words, they have set themselves up to counter any spin that hired propagandists use to influence the public. The Center also runs a “wiki” format encyclopedia of these propagandists and their employers.
Source Watch: A key difference between Wikipedia and SourceWatch is that Wikipedia's editorial policy is based around the concept of neutrality. Unfortunately, a neutral point of view only works when there is a universal consensus on at least the basic, key facts, a state which is hard to achieve in the face of disinformation. Thus, SourceWatch is based on the policy of "fairness and accuracy".
A quick run through the Staff Biographies indicates these propagandist monitors have leftist inclinations. Since they overtly declare they are rejecting neutrality in favor of fairness and accuracy, I searched through a few entries.
Monsanto The Monsanto company was created in 1901 by John Francis Queeny. Named after his wife, Olga Mendez Monsanto, the name Monsanto has since, for many around the world, come to symbolize the greed, arrogance, scandal and hardball business practices of too many multinational corporations.
OK, nothing neutral in this entry and since this group is the watchdog for disinformation this must be a fair and accurate description of the company.
Cato Institute Founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane and David H. Koch, its stated mission is "to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and peace" by seeking greater involvement of the "lay public in questions of public policy and the role of government." Despite its decidedly ideological agenda on many topics, members of the Cato Institute are often cited as non-partisan experts on news programs.
Now that I’m aware of the facts, the next time I see someone from the Cato Institute on the news I will know the person is a paid shill for the concepts of limited government and individual liberty.
George Soros "Soros has been active as a philanthropist since 1979, when he began providing funds to help black students attend the University of Cape Town in apartheid South Africa. Today he is chairman of the Open Society Institute (OSI) and the founder of a network of philanthropic organizations that are active in more than 50 countries.
Philanthropy is a good thing therefore this Soros gentleman must be extra special good if he engages in philanthropy in more than 50 countries. SourceWatch is wiki format and I could edit any of these entries, but then again my edits could be edited by those with more knowledge. For now it is good enough to know where to turn when I need guidance to help me see through the disinformation all around me.