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Author Topic: Fox most trusted name in news
scifibum
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It works for me just fine - I clicked the link to open the PDF. I'm certain I have no subscription. [Big Grin]
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yossarian22c
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Worked for me too. Likewise no subscription. I just opened it in the browser. Did you try to download it Seriati?
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
why would an impartial investigative journalist cave in to pressure and give a false apology if it wasn't warranted
Because apologies are free, and it's only in recent years that conservatives have started saying, "Look, he apologized for this narrowly specific thing! That means our every wild-eyed, worst-case conspiracy theory must be validated!"
It kind of runs along with how liberals have spent decades saying, "Look, he apologized for this narrowly specific thing! That means a free pass on anything and everything!" [LOL]
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TomDavidson
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Hm. I can't actually think of a single example of that. Which sprang to your mind?

[ May 19, 2015, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Greg Davidson
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Any response to the case laid out in the article I linked to that showed a strong correlation between Fox News viewing and factual error?
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TomDavidson
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Greg, I think you'll find that defenders of Fox News could not possibly care less about facts.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Any response to the case laid out in the article I linked to that showed a strong correlation between Fox News viewing and factual error?

I apologize, it turns out you can get into the opinion piece anonymously without a subscription. And I said opinion piece on purpose, there's no actual fact or argument made until more than half way through, instead it's largely a restatement of history through its own bias.

When it gets to the portion that you seem to think lays out a case, it actually doesn't, it cites to other studies (many of which have been individually questioned, and virtually all of which that he provides examples from are subject to bias inherent in the questions). And virtually all of which are warped by politics. Does it mean anything for instance that Fox viewers and MSNBC viewers gave opposite answers on whether the President was legally a citizen? The question has more than one interpretation (it's intended to be a question specifically about his official legal status - which has a correct answer, but it could also be read as calling for an opinion on his compliance with legal requirements - which is disputable in good faith (if not in good sense)). Hence you'd get a swing just from political division, that would be magnified by the coverage of your network on the topic. A lot of the studies ask questions that only clearly have correct answers if you share the politics of the study's authors.

This is literally a liberal feel good propaganda piece written to appear to be a study so that it can be pointed to as "proof".

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Does it mean anything for instance that Fox viewers and MSNBC viewers gave opposite answers on whether the President was legally a citizen?
Boy, I'd love to see a survey that asks the same people if Ted Cruz is legally a citizen. I bet the Fox viewers would do much, much better with that one. [Smile]
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
it cites to other studies (many of which have been individually questioned, and virtually all of which that he provides examples from are subject to bias inherent in the questions). And virtually all of which are warped by politics.
Seriati, it is both lazy and lame to counter arguments by claiming that they have already been refuted, without actually bringing forward the evidence that refutes them. If yours was the standard we used around here, debate would end. Whenever someone would claim something, an opponent would merely have to say "That's been proven wrong".

So take another shot at refuting even one of the multiple examples of studies showing the malign influence of Fox News from the report (below). These are not trivial questions - even the Republican candidates for President in 2016 are finally acknowledging that if they knew after 9/11 that Saddam was not working closely with al-Qaeda and that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, then there would have been no basis for a war which resulted in the loss of thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and trillions of dollars of additional US government expenditures.

So why is it not relevant that Fox News views were significantly more likely to believe in false answers to the following questions?

quote:
Is it your impression that the US has or has not found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with the al-Qaeda terrorist organization?

Since the war with Iraq ended, is it your impression that the US has or has not found Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?


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Fenring
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Greg, don't you think those questions are so biased that any answers to them will be useless?

For the first question let's say for example that no news outlet says anything other than any other, but that Fox News happens to be more pro-patriotism than the others. If more people who feel 'patriotism' watch Fox News (a case can be made for this), or at the very least who are more pro-military, then they would be less likely to call into question actions the military has conducted or to accuse the government of betraying the people. One doesn't need any actual biased information coming from Fox to suggest that its views will be less likely to accuse the government of things.

Regarding the WMD question there has been a lot of disinformation out on this topic. The question doesn't specify whether it's the nukes some people were theorizing Saddam was making (just like Iran, hmmm...), the gas weapons, or whatever else. We know with a good deal of certainly there was no nuclear program, but then the goalposts can move and it can be claimed it was the gas all along. But then - which gas? The gas weapons the U.S. itself gave Saddam? Does that count. The whole question is muddy as hell.

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scifibum
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For the first example, maybe if the question was asked in a vacuum of reporting on Iraq. But Fox News has covered Iraq. If they chose coverage that downplayed or omitted the facts on Saddam Hussein's connections (or lack thereof) to Al Qaeda, then it's not wrong to blame Fox News for its viewers' ignorance on that topic. I'm sure you could make a case for why that wasn't as important as airing speculation about Obama's birthplace, but...
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Greg Davidson
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Fenring,

It was not the military that was responsible for determining if there were a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, it's the intelligence community. Are you saying that there's a selection effect where Fox News viewers have a naturally higher degree of confidence in the government's intelligence community than other viewers?

Regarding the the military or intelligence community when a Democrat is President - this runs counter to your hypothesis.

Regarding WMD, there's revisionist history saying that the Iraq WMD was mere musing about some minor chemical weapons capability with similar lethality to conventional munitions, but I seem to remember that the arguments were made in terms of an imminent threat for major use against the civilian population of the US (mushroom cloud). Remember the 5-color "threat" level signs we had posted around?

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
It was not the military that was responsible for determining if there were a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, it's the intelligence community. Are you saying that there's a selection effect where Fox News viewers have a naturally higher degree of confidence in the government's intelligence community than other viewers?

I honestly doubt many people try to parse precisely which part of government was the one responsible in the final determination for an operation to be a go. If you ask many people I'm sure a lot of them approach these things as a gestalt, where 'the government' performed a military maneuver or conducted a war, and 'the government' is to blame if it's bad or to be congratulated if it's good. I wouldn't expect the majority of people to make compartmentalized statements such as "the military performed very well in the Iraq war, while the executive was too cavalier, and the intelligence communities failed to provide enough information to allow the Congress to deliberate sensibly." This is just not going to be the thought process of the average person. And this isn't even getting into sub-specification, such as "the military performed efficiently on the battlefield however oversight was lacking in detention facilities with the treatment of prisoners."

When you ask someone who thinks in general gestalt terms whether or not there really was a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda the question they are going to really answer is "did our government have the military do a bad thing" and someone who is pro military and has faith in government will be very hesitant to accept that.

quote:

Regarding WMD, there's revisionist history saying that the Iraq WMD was mere musing about some minor chemical weapons capability with similar lethality to conventional munitions, but I seem to remember that the arguments were made in terms of an imminent threat for major use against the civilian population of the US (mushroom cloud). Remember the 5-color "threat" level signs we had posted around?

The revisionist history was already being written every week that the Bush administration was trying to push the Iraq war. At first they pushed the Al Qaeda narrative, where Saddam had direct ties to terrorism and to Bin Laden. Claims were made that they had satellite photos of Al Qaeda camps in Iraq borders (we never saw them). Then they made claims that Saddam was sponsoring Al Qaeda. Then they became less specific and were saying that Iraq was part of the war on terror and not directly related to Al Qaeda but rather to other unspecified terrorist groups, and thus still needed to be invaded. Then they invented the WMD angle, which began with the suggestion that Saddam had a nuclear program. Then they began saying that it was gas all along and the nukes were just a 'maybe' that was still a possibility. Then instead of saying that Saddam was producing illegal gas weapons they pointed to his use of gas weapons in the past - weapons which they didn't mention came from the U.S. to be used against Iran. And then it finally came to the point where they just made the statement "we know they have WMD's and we know they are a threat." This is more or less where the narrative ended.

So now when you ask someone "did Saddam have WMD's?" what part of this slippery narrative are they supposed to reference? I'm sure many people who want to have faith in government and the military will still claim now that Saddam had WMD's, without being able to specify what that means. Does it mean nukes? A nuclear program but no nukes? Gas the U.S. gave them? Gas they made illegally? Gas they bought? Honestly I don't even know the answer to this precisely, to tell the truth. They probably did have some illegal gas weapons (like every country does), but that fact doesn't really address whether or not the war had a legitimate reason to be waged.

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Pete at Home
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The war was ethically legitimate. by. international prfecedent and accepted intlaw doctrine. Howsever, it was stupid strategy.


Some republicans make the same argument for the assassination of Bin Laden.

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Greg Davidson
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Fenring,

Thanks for a nuanced response, but still, I believe that you are engaged in countering my hypothesis that people watching Fox News are more mis-informed than those who get their news from other sources. Your defense appears to be that it's not that Fox produces an inaccurate product, but rather that there is self-selection in terms of who chooses to watch Fox News - and that's a valid line of inquiry. But it also seems like the characteristic that you are hypothesizing that draws viewers to Fox News is an excessive trust of the government. That does not seem consistent with anyone's experience of Fox News. You would to need to modify that assumption to an excessive trust of government when Republicans are in charge, and a vastly different view when Democrats are in charge. And if you accept that modification, you have a plausible hypothesis - Fox News viewers could demonstrate this higher level of ignorance on key questions not because of the effects of Fox propaganda, but because Fox provides a comfortable home for those already with a high propensity to believe in Republican-based propaganda. I am not sure if this hypothesis is true, but it is consistent with the data.

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Fenring
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Greg,

I think your specification is a good one. However I will offer a slight variation on the premise that people who watch Fox News are more trusting of government, but only when Republicans are in power. What I would suggest is that those people have a fundamental faith in the apparatus of the U.S. government, but believe that when certain untrustworthy people are at the helm they can wreak havoc with the good system that people should otherwise believe in. It's faith in the system with a lack of faith in the operator. When Democrats add populist measures to the U.S. way of life a typical Republican will frame it as the Dems wrecking the good system that was there before and corrupting it. Contrast this with more Tea Party type of people (or just basic libertarians) who fundamentally do not have faith in the system regardless of who's at the helm, because they believe that bureaucracy fundamentally tends towards corruptions and inefficiency. To such a person any party that tries to increase government power (either towards populist or towards oligarchical ends) is making the country worse.

So I think the final version I would choose to go with for now would be: I believe Fox News viewers tend to be people who fundamentally believe in the apparatus of government even though they believe certain operators of it are unfit (i.e. Democrats). But even with Democrats in power either in the Executive or the Congress I would guess that Fox viewers are still more likely than other viewers of news to believe in unelected agencies such as the intelligence agencies, the military and the police, and to think of them as "those brave men who defend our great nation."

[ May 24, 2015, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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Greg Davidson
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Okay, we have convergence on one plausible hypothesis, what we need is data. Unfortunately, I can't find a poll of Fox News viewers vs. other viewers that specifically focuses on trust in government. There is only one major topic that I can find polling on where the government (including the Defense Department) takes a particular view and Fox News viewers are asked whether they agree or disagree. The hypothesis we have discussed, Fenring, would suggest that Fox News viewers would be more likely to support the position of the government (explicitly including the military) on a major issue than the rest of the American public. But it turns out in that one case on which there is substantial polling, climate change, the results directly contradict the hypothesis. Fox News viewers are least likely to believe the position of the government.

One case does not conclusively disprove the hypothesis, but it certainly is one strong indicator that argues against the hypothesis.

I wish there was analytically rigorous polling on issues such as gays in the military from 3-4 years ago (again, the hypothesis would indicate that Fox News viewers should have been the most supportive, since it was a policy position advocated by the leaders of the US military), or a contrary example would be to poll regarding concern about the US military's Jade Helm 15 exercises (the hypothesis would suggest that Fox News viewers would be least likely to be suspicious, since according to the hypothesis Fox News viewers have a greater than average level of trust in the government). I'd bet that if there were polling in these areas, it would decisively refute the hypothesis that Fox News viewers trust the government or the military more than most Americans, but since we don't have polling it will be for all of us to make our own judgements.

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Fenring
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I am making a much weaker suggestion than you think, Greg. All I'm saying is that Fox viewers being misinformed about topical issues such as the ones you mentioned does not prove that Fox is providing disinformation. I'm not actually saying that Fox is not doing that, but merely that I think you were drawing too strong a conclusion from some data.

Regarding your examination of my suggestion, though, I'm not sure why you chose climate change as a good barometer, notwithstanding the fact that there is polling data available on that subject. When you say "the government" takes a particular view on climate change, do you mean the senate? The House voted to not recognize it last year. As for the senate, in January they passed a resolution declaring climate change not a hoax, but rejected the resolution about it being caused by humans, and again in May the senate (narrowly) voted to reject accepting a resolution that it's caused by humans. Or are you talking about the President? I seriously doubt Fox viewers will be excited to believe what he says.

Regarding gays in the military I'm not actually sure if most Fox viewers still maintain the old bigotry against it, but even if they did I think this is a bit of an extreme expectation on your part. I don't think I suggested that a Fox viewer would blindly endorse any single thing involving the military, I just said they would be more likely to support anything to do with the military. A topical issue that is specifically troublesome to a conservative person, such as gays in the military, won't just be wiped away because they tend to be pro-military in general. It's like saying that because Democrats tend to be against war that if polled they will therefore be expected to denounce the U.S. involvement in WWII. There are trends, and then there are specifics.

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Greg Davidson
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Fenring, I think we are close here. It is possible that there is a selection effect with Fox News viewers - I wouldn't bet that's the sole clause but it is plausible. There may also be correlations associated with a population that is primarily older. As with many things, we need more data to draw firm conclusions.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
quote:
it cites to other studies (many of which have been individually questioned, and virtually all of which that he provides examples from are subject to bias inherent in the questions). And virtually all of which are warped by politics.
Seriati, it is both lazy and lame to counter arguments by claiming that they have already been refuted, without actually bringing forward the evidence that refutes them.
I think you know me well enough to know I willing to engage in a good faith debate. I'm not however, willing to grant propaganda equivalence to arguments to do so. If there are specific things you want me to respond to feel free to cite them, but I don't really want to spend more time with that piece than I have to.
quote:
If yours was the standard we used around here, debate would end. Whenever someone would claim something, an opponent would merely have to say "That's been proven wrong".
There are several posters that do debate in that manner and are rarely called out for it.
quote:
So take another shot at refuting even one of the multiple examples of studies showing the malign influence of Fox News from the report (below).
How about the birther questions. Presented as evidence that one set of viewers is misinformed, yet hopeless linked to political ideology. You might construct an objective test in the same field by asking questions like the following:

Is a child borne in the US to non-citizen parents automatically a US citizen?

Is a child borne outside the US to US-citizen parents automatically a US citizen?

Is a child borne outside the US to a non-citizen mother with a citizen father automatically a US citizen?

Is a child borne outside the US to a US-citizen mother with a non-citizen father automatically a US citizen?

And then see which viewers got the most correct. Of course it gets complicated because even these aren't properly constructed questions, consider how some who understands the difference between automatically entitled, and automatically granted might get the "wrong" answer. Consider how if you were trying to test for the President's situation, you'd also have to understand how the Hawaiin law of the time varies from the current law.

Instead, we got a question specifically about the president, with a political answer for which is "correct", used to determine which viewers were misinformed.

I could do the same with the following question to prove that liberals are all misinformed:

Did President Bush lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
quote:
These are not trivial questions...
No they are deliberately misleading questions.
quote:
So why is it not relevant that Fox News views were significantly more likely to believe in false answers to the following questions?
Because the questions were designed to show political correctness not actual factual knowledge. Which is why I said they are designed to put a scientific coating on liberal feel good positions.
quote:
Is it your impression that the US has or has not found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with the al-Qaeda terrorist organization?
It's my impression that many terrorists have multiple connections and allegiances and that its a false narrative to try and claim there is a correct answer to the question as phrased. I understand the intent of course, and Iraq was not seriously aligned with any greater portion of Al Quada's network, notwithstanding multiple contacts and various areas of interconnection and support over time.

Saddam personally probably wasn't working closely with anyone but his own advisors in any case, which makes the question again meaningless. Why ask about Saddam though instead of Iraq or his government? Again to parse away the explanations that could be reasonably believed based on the actual involved history. Makes no difference to liberals, because they were going to answer it no regardless (as a matter of political belief though, not nuanced knowledge), it's only there as a trap.
quote:
Since the war with Iraq ended, is it your impression that the US has or has not found Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?
This would depend on the timing of the answer. There's no question that we didn't find what we thought we would. But we certainly found de minimis amounts of probably defunct weapons. So in effect, the answer they picked as correct, is actually incorrect in specifics even if correct as a theme. So which answer shows someone is misinformed again?

There were a couple cited studies by the way that seemed designed to get at interesting questions. I was struck by the one that asked questions about the situation in Egypt and Syria for instance. No obvious politic position to influence the answers, just pure response to the level and type of coverage. But throwing in a couple gems to a propaganda piece is a long standing tradition to try and create credibility by association.

[ May 26, 2015, 11:46 AM: Message edited by: Seriati ]

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scifibum
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quote:
How about the birther questions. Presented as evidence that one set of viewers is misinformed, yet hopeless linked to political ideology. You might construct an objective test in the same field by asking questions like the following:
Um, objective test of what, is the question. I'm confused by your apparent belief that it doesn't matter that some people get the wrong answer about Obama's citizenship because it's just linked to politics. That's kind of the point: politics influences the coverage, and misinforms people.

The question of how much people know about the dry facts of civics or history may yield different results, but we don't rely on our news stations to educate us, but to inform us on current events with relevant context and analysis.

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Seriati
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The question Scifibum is to distinguish between people who are misinformed and those who have a difference of opinion.

It only takes one fact change to make the question of Obama's citizenship flip - ie where he was borne. If you tested how well Fox viewers understood citizenship law and found they consistently got the standards wrong, you'd have a point about Fox misinforming them. On the other hand if you're only willing to review whether they got the right political answer, it's just feel good liberal nonsense.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
It only takes one fact change to make the question of Obama's citizenship flip - ie where he was borne.
Could you elaborate on this, since I currently understand that even if Obama was born outside of U.S. territories, he would still be qualified as a citizen who could become President. At least, according to current Republicans. [Confused]
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TomDavidson
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No. There would in fact be a legitimate constitutional challenge to his presidency in that scenario, since the definition of a "natural-born citizen" at the time of his birth would not have included him. He'd still be a citizen, but he would not be "natural-born." It would probably go to the Supreme Court, and this court is politicized enough that it's an open question how they'd rule.

That said, it is not an open question or a matter of opinion whether Obama was born in Hawaii -- or, rather, to assert that it is means that you're also asserting that there has been a determined conspiracy to hide Obama's actual birthplace from people since the moment of his birth, which is something that I strongly suspect certain news agencies are more willing than others -- without any proof -- to present as a credible possibility.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
The question Scifibum is to distinguish between people who are misinformed and those who have a difference of opinion.

It only takes one fact change to make the question of Obama's citizenship flip - ie where he was borne. If you tested how well Fox viewers understood citizenship law and found they consistently got the standards wrong, you'd have a point about Fox misinforming them. On the other hand if you're only willing to review whether they got the right political answer, it's just feel good liberal nonsense.

It's not a matter of opinion whether Hawaii certified that Obama was born there. There's no "right political answer" in this case, there's just the documented facts vs. unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. That there's a politically aligned difference between correctly informed people and incorrectly informed people on this question is the problem.

We're not talking about political bias in civics curricula.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
It only takes one fact change to make the question of Obama's citizenship flip - ie where he was borne.
Could you elaborate on this, since I currently understand that even if Obama was born outside of U.S. territories, he would still be qualified as a citizen who could become President.
This has to do with the history of Hawaiin law on the point. It's my understanding that if he was borne today in Kenya to the same mother in the same circumstance he would be a natural borne US citizen, but at the time, due to the age of his mother and her own residency history he would not have been. What's interesting to me is the amount of people who know the "right" answer and don't know that history of law. That's just proof of what I'm saying, this isn't a test of who's better informed.
quote:
At least, according to current Republicans. [Confused]
Apples and oranges, for most of these questions. Take a look at the laws that actually apply.

Now that said, I'm not a believer that the differences in these laws should exist. But's it definitely part of the current character of the left to not care at all about what the law actually says if it's in the way of their goal.
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
No. There would in fact be a legitimate constitutional challenge to his presidency in that scenario, since the definition of a "natural-born citizen" at the time of his birth would not have included him. He'd still be a citizen, but he would not be "natural-born."

I presume you are correct, but I honestly couldn't guarantee that result if it was determined that there were fraudulent representations about his birth location.
quote:
It would probably go to the Supreme Court, and this court is politicized enough that it's an open question how they'd rule.
I agree the judges on the left are very politicized.
quote:
That said, it is not an open question or a matter of opinion whether Obama was born in Hawaii...
It's also not for the majority of us a knowable fact. I do agree with you, that absent proof to the contrary we have to accept the validity of the official records.
quote:
-- or, rather, to assert that it is means that you're also asserting that there has been a determined conspiracy to hide Obama's actual birthplace from people since the moment of his birth, which is something that I strongly suspect certain news agencies are more willing than others -- without any proof -- to present as a credible possibility.
A number of you made this point in arguments at the time, as if it was unbelievable that a mother would lie to guarantee her child US citizenship. You seemed to believe she'd have to know he'd want to be President someday. But that's really not the case, no more than its the case for Chinese birth tourists or Mexican mothers. US citizenship is and was incredibly valuable, and it's not improbable at all that a young mother and her family would collude in a story that avoided a sticky issue. Not saying it happened, just that if he was borne outside the US there would have been a strong incentive to pretend otherwise.
quote:
It's not a matter of opinion whether Hawaii certified that Obama was born there.
I agree. And that's the problem I have with the question. If you read it soft, that is the fact that is generating the correct response. But it wasn't written to be clear on that point, it was written to skim that concept.
quote:
There's no "right political answer" in this case, there's just the documented facts vs. unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.
Lol. There were perfectly easy ways to draft questions to determine if people knew what Hawaii said, and what the law would therefore require. They didn't ask them in that way (or if they did they didn't highlight the responses), with at least one possible reason being that it wouldn't show the favored result - ie Fox viewers being less knowledgeable.
quote:
That there's a politically aligned difference between correctly informed people and incorrectly informed people on this question is the problem.
The problem is that the question allows ignoramuses on the left to get the correct answer simply by being consistent with their political ideology. Might as well ask if the Democratic party are the good guys, and judge the answer as correct or not.
quote:
We're not talking about political bias in civics curricula.
If they had asked the civics curricula you'd have a point, and that is exactly why I do have a point.
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scifibum
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quote:
Lol. There were perfectly easy ways to draft questions to determine if people knew what Hawaii said, and what the law would therefore require. They didn't ask them in that way (or if they did they didn't highlight the responses), with at least one possible reason being that it wouldn't show the favored result - ie Fox viewers being less knowledgeable.
Do you agree that the result shows that Fox viewers seem to subscribe to unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Obama's birth place?

You seem to want to narrow the question to knowledge of the law. I think the more interesting question is: do people believe false things because their preferred news source makes them seem more plausible than they are?

It's a different kind of ignorance - ignorance of how stupid your belief is.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
A number of you made this point in arguments at the time, as if it was unbelievable that a mother would lie to guarantee her child US citizenship.
But here's the thing: Obama's citizenship has never been in question. Even if he were born outside the country, he would still -- even by federal law at the time -- be a citizen. What he would not be is "natural-born." What motive would a mother have to ensure "natural-born" status for her child, above and beyond the citizenship to which he was already entitled?

[ May 27, 2015, 12:32 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
A number of you made this point in arguments at the time, as if it was unbelievable that a mother would lie to guarantee her child US citizenship.
But here's the thing: Obama's citizenship has never been in question. Even if he were born outside the country, he would still -- even by federal law at the time -- be a citizen.
No. Now you're mixing issues. To my understanding a child born to a 17 year woman with a non-citizen father on foreign soil would not have been a US citizen, natural borne or otherwise in 1961. Feel free to grab the statute or explanation that you feel proves otherwise.
quote:
What he would not be is "natural-born." What motive would a mother have to ensure "natural-born" status for her child, above and beyond the citizenship to which he was already entitled?
Since you've mixed the issues the question is moot. I don't think anyone would care about the natural born status of a baby. It was the citizenship itself though that was at risk.

If you get confused on that, it would explain why you seem to think a conspiracy doesn't make sense.

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TomDavidson
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No, you misunderstand me. Obama, from the moment of his birth, would have met the qualifications for naturalization, even if he was born in Kenya. His mother could have immediately asked to have him naturalized upon her return to America -- or he could have requested it, himself, at any time in his adult life. The one thing he would not have been, in that scenario, is a natural-born citizen. So the only thing that some kind of ridiculous early-life conspiracy would have gained him would be natural-born status, since he was assured of citizenship at any rate from the moment he might have desired it.

And, hell, if someone like Ron is right and his mom wasn't technically married at the time he was born, then he's natural-born again under the somewhat bizarrely more forgiving rules for children born out of wedlock.

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Seriati
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It's more complicated than even that Tom. But again, the point isn't to prove it one way or another, only to point out that people can be very knowledgeable and reach different conclusions based on their assumptions with respect to the facts. This could have been resolved as follows:

Assuming that President Obama was born in Hawaii...rest of the question.

If, it was in fact a test of knowledge, and not just a political gotcha. I still maintain its a poor question when people on one side (the Democrats) who have NO actual knowledge of the rules will be inclined by political leanings to choose the "correct" answer. If you want a politically correct example in this area look at any discourse on the racial discrimination inherent in the SAT for example.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I still maintain its a poor question when people on one side (the Democrats) who have NO actual knowledge of the rules will be inclined by political leanings to choose the "correct" answer.
Are you not of the opinion that Republicans with no actual knowledge of the rules will be inclined by political leanings to choose a given answer? Because if the problem is simply that actual events do not frequently align to the Republican narrative, that does not make me more sympathetic to their sources.

[ May 27, 2015, 06:25 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
A number of you made this point in arguments at the time, as if it was unbelievable that a mother would lie to guarantee her child US citizenship.
But here's the thing: Obama's citizenship has never been in question. Even if he were born outside the country, he would still -- even by federal law at the time -- be a citizen. What he would not be is "natural-born." What motive would a mother have to ensure "natural-born" status for her child, above and beyond the citizenship to which he was already entitled?
That was, like, more than 2 years ago. What difference does it make?
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TomDavidson
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Well, personally, I think it makes no difference at all. But Republicans who've been misled by Fox News appear to feel very strongly about it, even now.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Well, personally, I think it makes no difference at all. But Republicans who've been misled by Fox News appear to feel very strongly about it, even now.

I'm neither republican nor a viewer of fox news. But, I think it matters a great deal. When we have a law, we should follow the law or change the law. We shouldn't just ignore it when we find it inconvenient. The law says clearly:

quote:
Article III, Section 1 No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President
I am not a conspiracy theorist. However, the proof he has offered to date has certainly been digitally altered: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf

When you continue to characterize these legitimate questions as off the wall and crazy, you are playing a team sport, and I think you're smarter than that, Tom.

There are legitimate reasons to suspect that President Obama is not a natural born citizen. If he is not, then he should not have served as president. To date, he has not provided any convincing evidence that he was born here.

---

Some have suggested that the birth certificate linked to above is legitimate, but has been subjected to optical character recognition and replacement. Well, ok. That sounds very plausible. But can I see the one that hasn't been altered, please? Why am I still waiting after 7 years?

[ June 05, 2015, 06:29 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
There are legitimate reasons to suspect that President Obama is not a natural born citizen.
Name one. I mean, a legitimate one, obviously. Not a wackadoodle one.
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JoshuaD
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I just did; the birth certificate that President Obama released is certainly digitally altered.
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Greg Davidson
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JoshuaD, you have provided an excellent litmus test. I am curious, has anyone else on this site agree about Obama not being eligible to be President?
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Fenring
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An interesting litmus test for whether a topic has merit is how it's addressed. Very often a very foolish point that has no basis in reality will simply be brushed aside as inconsequential or will be addressed in brief and treated as "dealt with". Notwithstanding the fact that the side offering the foolish point may pursue it and twist it through sensationalizing it, if it really has no merit the matter won't attract that much ire or interest from the other side. When you hear the other side, on the other hand, begin to use terms such as "conspiracy theory", "fringe belief" or "ridiculous" (all terms that actively try to silence the notion of debating the topic) one's ears should perk up a bit more.

This doesn't mean that every theory labelled as ridiculous must therefore have merit, but rather the extent to which a group discourages taking a topic seriously should make one ask why they care so much.

In the case of Obama, were I in Obama's place (assuming I was totally legit) I would have swiftly addressed the birth concerns by legitimizing them and saying I agreed fully that it was something the people should care about. And then I would have immediately volunteered all necessary documents to quell suspicion and avoid doubt. But it seems to me like the Democrats rather tried to treat the matter as silly right from the start, as if one shouldn't bother too much about antiquated details such as whether the President fulfills the letter of the law of eligibility. Not the best strategy, in my opinion.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
I am curious, has anyone else on this site agree about Obama not being eligible to be President?

You misunderstand me. If I had to bet, I'd bet that President Obama is a natural born citizen.

Before the birth certificate was released, my confidence level was about 97%. After the birth certificate was released, my confidence level dropped to about 70%.

I don't know why President Obama took this approach. I think perhaps it was about power or about belittling his opponents. Or perhaps because he is not a natural born citizen.

In all three cases, it's really ugly.

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