Confirmation bias is a powerful thing. We’re all guilty of it at one point or another, but some of us refuse to even admit we have it or have done something because of our own biases. Katy Conrad is a perfect example of confirmation bias in action.
In a tweet from October 16th, Conrad couldn’t help but take a shot at Senator Rand Paul for a comment he made about Ebola.
#uhmm indeed, Katy. In fact, this tweet is pretty embarrassing.
For one, Conrad is a “journalist” for CBS who “lives for #breakingnews.” Well that’s great, Katy. It’s a shame you haven’t learned what “journalism” actually is, because you didn’t bother to fact check something that is common knowledge. Rand Paul has been an opthalmologist for 20+ years. That’s a medical doctor, meaning he went through med school. He also had to go through additional certification and an internship. Rand Paul isn’t some hack spewing nonsense, he’s a real deal 100% doctor. Everyone knows this. Well, everyone except for Katy Conrad.
Katy Conrad thinks that someone as stupid as a Senate Republican has no right to comment on medical issues, or she’ll hit them with a great big #uhmm because, well, you guys, she’s Katy Conrad and she’s in love with the world and a total journalist you guys.
So as could be expected from someone employed by the organization that fabricated documents to embarrass a former President, Conrad deleted the tweet (apparently this “journalist” hasn’t learned that the internet has a permanent memory) and then posted this after the firestorm really got going…
Poorly researched? I’m just kinda curious as to what kind of research led her to making a determination on Rand Paul’s ability to comment on medical issues but didn’t also help her arrive at the conclusion that he was, in fact, a doctor. She is a journalist, after all, so you would think research would have been more fruitful?
No, Katy, this wasn’t a “poorly researched tweet.” It was a non-researched tweet from someone who sees “Republican” and goes “Too stupid for science” and then, using the power of confirmation bias, makes a statement so ignorant that only a left-wing nut working for a left-wing media outlet could possibly dismiss it as an “oopsie.”
This is confirmation bias in action. Conrad believes a Republican like Rand Paul is a stupid anti-science fundamentalist, so when he says something she doesn’t think is true, she immediately siezes on the moment to make her “point” of how stupid he is. The problem, at least in this case, is that her bias showed her to be, basically, an idiot, who didn’t bother to do anything other than take the opportunity to smack a guy she doesn’t like for his party affiliation.
We’ve seen this many times in the past. On many occasions, for example, Sarah Palin (who I’m no fan of, believe me) would catch hell for every dumb thing she said, but when things were examined further, it was often discovered that she wasn’t even wrong. The corrections rarely made the media. The facts never really mattered. That they could portray “stupid Sarah” as “stupid” was really all they cared about.
Consider her statement about death panels in Obamacare. She explained what she meant, that there was going to be a board that would examine the financial feasibility of a medical procedure and decide whether or not it would happen. Everyone mocked her and pretended she was comparing it to the Spanish Inquisition. In the end, not only was she right, and she had read it correctly (unlike her critics which didn’t read the bill at all) but certain parts of Obamacare were changed afterward and the same media that mocked Palin’s remarks and called her stupid for them unironically reported that the boards would be disbanded in updated legislation.
Or the time she said she wanted to party like it’s 1773 and was jumped all over with stomping rage because, as we all know the country was “born” in 1776, except that isn’t what she was talking about. She was talking about the Boston Tea Party which, indeed, did happen in, you guessed it, 1773. “Stupid Sarah” was right again. Her critics were wrong. Again. And yet nobody held them to task for their clear confirmation bias.
Or how about the time that Sarah Palin, on the spur of the moment, couldn’t name a specific magazine she read? Man, that story sure was important. Look how stupid she is! She doesn’t consume mainstream media voraciously! Unlike Joe Biden who told us that the reason the country didn’t panic during the stock market crash in 1929 was because FDR took to the television and told Americans what was going on. The problem, of course, is that FDR wasn’t President in 1929, and TV wouldn’t be invented for another 10 years. That, however, wasn’t stupid. No. That was just “Joe being Joe,” a phrase that has come to be used every time Joe Biden says something stupid (which, if you know his record, means really really often), but confirmation bias allows all those aligned with Biden to simply move on with their lives no matter how dumb the words that come out of his mouth are because “he’s not really stupid.” Unlike Palin who, without an illustrated guide, couldn’t tie her own shoes.
I should point out that I’m not holding Katy Conrad up as an example of all mainstream media, but I do think she shines a light on something that’s been going on for years: the media has an agenda. They disguise their activism as journalism and use their pulpits to slander their enemies and rivals. The fact that someone could stand up and say something as uninformed as she did, then follow it up with an apology for it not being “well-researched” is laughable, but that’s the kind of world the media operates in: a politically left-aligned bubble of self congratulatory spin disguised as unbiased news and spewed forth to the masses.