Both sides of the story

A couple of days ago, Matt Yglesias posted a few thoughts on Bob Dole’s support of the smearing of Kerry’s record, in which he calls Dole on the shoddy standard of evidence employed in the attacks. Jesse at Pandagon followed up with a nice post on conservative relativism. To complete the series, Slacktivist today discusses an essay by Bruno Latour on the dark side of scientific uncertainty. From Latour’s essay:

Perhaps the danger no longer stems from an excessive confidence in ideological arguments posturing as matters of fact—which we have learned to combat so efficiently—but from an excessive distrust of good matters of fact disguised as bad ideological biases. While we spent years trying to detect the prejudices hidden behind the appearance of objective statements, do we now have to reveal the objective and incontrovertible facts hidden behind the illusion of prejudices?

Slacktivist continues to be one of the most insightful thinkers around when it comes to making sense of nonsensical journalism. His pointer to Latour follows a post in which he criticizes his own newsroom for adhering to an ill-conceived idea of “balance”:

Balance apparently requires repeating whatever anyone says, without question, without context, without verification. Demanding that assertions be supported, or checked against the historical record, is a kind of bias.