But Many Truths When Spreading Propaganda
By Kathy Six
January 20, 2022
Everyone is Biased
First things first, know the position of the reporting person or body. Everyone comes to the table biased. There is no human who doesn't already have a position except those absolutely confused by the information. They are not the ones you should be seeking for truth. Avoiding pitfalls of always relying on sources that reiterate what you hope to hear is simply confirmation bias. Trying to stream through the facts of diametrically opposed positions and figure out which one is closest to the truth is a exercise in knowledge tug of war. What then, can we do to find truth if every one is biased to some degree and we cannot glean truth by listening to opposing extremes. How do we find middle ground? We do this by avoiding the most common mistakes made in seeking truth of factual information.
Let's Look at Some Mistakes to See How Easily We Can Lose the Truth
Mistake number one; use a source that has a record of being unreliable or at least partially misleading or straight up lying. The CDC, once well known for its truthful reporting of health data, has suddenly become a source that many Americans have stopped trusting for truth, and for good reason. When the mouthpiece for this government
agency has flip flopped his position more times than the Jacksonville Jaguars have suffered turnovers this season, people become skeptical, as they should. Fauci has been caught lying in front of congress, his emails, and has lied by omission far too often to for us to rely anymore on the CDC or Fauci as truth. When a reporting agency has an agenda, they will manipulate data, leave some out or misreport. Finding a source that has only one purpose, to give raw facts is the best way to get truth. With something like COVID, it's best to get data worldwide from multiple sources that give raw
numbers. Then look for trends in the data. in the graph below It's not hard to examine and see the rising trend. If you go to state statistics and world statistics, the positive COVID cases went up in every country and state during their winter months. Yet, the headlines of our media read, more or less; "Panic!, COVID is back!", while it never left and behaves like any other flu virus during seasonal change. But they hope you avoid seeking out factual data.
Mistake number two is, as mentioned earlier, accessing confirmation biased information. When I was looking for data trying to determine whether vaccinated and unvaccinated people were experiencing equal or unequal numbers of COVID positive cases, I had to avoid strictly conservative sources. I have to avoid trying to bias confirm my own theories. Rest assured, those who believe being vaxed is best and those who believe it has only a minor role to play in combating a new virus, are both reporting the vaccine does not stop one from contracting COVID. The difference is to what degree they are reporting the vaccination is helpful. That means you have to find information that does not appear to lean toward one or the other. To do this, you have to also be aware of which search engine you use. More on that later.
The White House in a press conference quoted the CDC numbers claiming that 98% of all new cases of COVID were from the unvaccinated. What they didn't tell you was that data came from a year ago from January 2021 to June 2021. This was prior to the many new variants that have occurred since then. Even the website, Our World in Data, provides information only up to last October for the United States while other countries are updated to January of 2022. Four months and a new variant later makes a big difference. The truth is that few sources and even entire countries are actually keeping track both in an unbiased format and one that is up to date. For COVID, I needed to seek out sources from countries that have nothing to gain or lose politically or otherwise from the information.
Mistake number three, choosing a search engine., Search engines themselves can guide you to a biased set of articles or sources.
For example, Google has a formula that coincides with the narrative of the liberal agenda. When Project Veritas gave them a visit, this revelation was brought to light. Test this theory by searching for facts about President Trump. Type in his name using Google and again using Duckduckgo. You will see an incredible difference in what you'll get on the first 5 pages of both search engines. Look for how many of the sites are from the same source under Google and offer only negative press coverage of Trump. This is another give away the search engine is using a formula to direct your searches to their narrative agenda.
Mistake number four; being lazy when looking. When you're trying to find truth for something like COVID and vaccination's effectiveness, you really need to dig in. Few are going to offer it up on a silver platter. Even with raw data, truth is a mixed bag. Remember when we learned deaths attributed to COVID had been inflated by coercing doctors and hospitals with additional funding to include COVID on health forms and death certificates? You may personally know people who were inaccurately included in COVID numbers who were negative or never tested at all. You have to really put the time in and like a detective, look for things that seem wrong, that need a closer look or give clues to their dishonesty. That means looking up lots of sources, using math, and looking for trends.
Mistake number five; ignoring what's right in front of you. If you're trusting what you're told is true even when what you're seeing doesn't back up what is reported, you're leaving out an important component of seeking truth, your common sense. Surprisingly, your own personal community is often a microcosm of the larger community and the country. Ask yourself, what trends are you seeing among people you know?
Is there a lean toward positive tests among vaccinated or unvaccinated or are they fairly equal? Personally among my friends, family and coworkers the COVID positive rates are near fifty-fifty for vaccinated and unvaccinated. Big hints can be found by using your community. Let's consider the 2020 election just for reference. How many Trump signs did you see VS Biden? How about when you traveled outside your community? Did you see a similar trend or was your neighborhood an anomaly? What was the trend when you put it all together? When there are rallies for Trump, how big are the crowds VS Biden's? The media insisted Biden is the most popular president in history. Your eyes told you otherwise.
Mistake number six; listening to rumors or information from other people without checking their validity. And worse, spreading that information. For example, someone told me that negatively tested people can still shed COVID up to 28 days. Luckily, I already knew this was false because I'd done my homework. I said, no, the vaccine sheds spike proteins but COVID negative does not. And even those who are positive shed (or spread) the virus generally within the first five days. This is not unlike the various flu viruses we already know.
Granted. the contagion time frame varies depending on how severe your flu symptoms are. As noted in the Huff Post, regarding your contagability while positive or negative, his statement was inaccurate. He was mixing up information from being contagious, shedding spike proteins from the vaccine and negatively tested people. If you don't know what someone tells you is true or false, expect them to tell you where they got their information. If they say, "I just heard it", or "I'm not sure", your response should be something like, "I'll need to verify the facts on that." You should not be afraid to ask someone to prove what they're saying, I heard it on the news doesn't fly anymore. When was the last time you heard the news quote a study done on masks, COVID or the vaccine?
Last but not least, mistake number seven is not recognizing the difference in verbiage between fact or opinion..
Here's an example. In the article, "Why Face Masks Work" published in Healthline, the writer states,
"On July 14, 2020 the CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a press release 'Trusted Source': “Cloth face
coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus — particularly when used universally within a community setting.”
Note the words in bold. There's simply nothing scientific in this statement. The words powerful weapon and stop the spread are meant to engage your emotions. No study is provided. Further, this same article states, "these recommendations have been met with some skepticism among the public, scientific evidence continues to show that masks do work."
Again, the claim is made, but no study is identified or referenced. If we just trust the words, we are merely trusting someone's opinion. I spent a great deal of time searching for some actual controlled studies on mask efficacy and found only one. Surprisingly it comes from the CDC which has touted that masks work even though their own scientific study's show that they don't.
Emotional Response Words
It's important to watch for those words that are meant to derive an emotional response. Let's take a look at the word scandal. It's a negative term and without the actual "scandal" evidence, using the word can be troublesome. Let's compare Obama's eight years to Trump's first three. In the article, "Trump Scandals vs. Obama Scandals: What the Numbers Show", Trump's name was attached to this term in reference to his presidency far more than Obama.
It's not even a close call. If you examine the graph from the article and look at the dates, Obama's spikes occurred when scandals actually existed. Note the first four years of Obama's presidency. He was treated by the press as the golden president in spite of substantive issues such as Benghazi and other major blunders in those first four years.
Since most of the usage of the word scandal in Trump's presidency were in relation to the Russian Hoax, the word scandal had zero facts to back up its usage. It didn't matter to the press. The word scandal was used to make you feel, not think. Start honing in on verbiage when you listen or read any news. Knowing when words are just words and have an ulterior motive, you can better delineate information that is meant to show truth. As Gara Kasparov stated so eloquently, "The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate the truth."
The Truth May not Conform to Our Bias
When we seek out truth, we seek to find that which may or may not confirm our own biases. The goal is to root out lies, misinformation, slanted facts, dishonesty by omission or misinterpreted information and data. We have to be smarter and work harder. The barrage of information coming at us is never ending. Sifting through it is our duty if we wish to find truth. You are now armed with ways to better scrutinize what is being touted as truth. Go boldly now and seek truth.
Kathy Six - Teacher with a Master’s Degree in Gifted and Talented Students. Community involved at her lifelong residence of Fruitport, Michigan. Married to her husband Scott for 40 years and has two married children and four grandchildren. Kathy loves to hunt, fish, playing softball, and reads everything and anything she can get her hands on.