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(14,559 posts)
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 01:47 PM Aug 2022

Interesting quote from the Alex Jones trial . . .

“Truth — truth is so vital to our world. Truth is what we base our reality on, and we have to agree on that to have a civil society.”
— Scarlett Lewis, the mother of a child killed at Sandy Hook and plaintiff in the first of three defamation damages trials against Alex Jones,

What Jones did was to promote unfounded OPINION to a group of people susceptible to believing the government would murder 20 children to 'take away the guns.'

That's why it's important not to confuse OPINION with honest journalism. It's like equating religion to science.

If someone honestly cannot tell the difference they should follow Abraham Lincoln's advice and "Remain silent and be thought a fool rather than speak and remove all doubt."

If, on the other hand, they really do know the difference and speak anyway those who pay attention to them are the fools.
21 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Interesting quote from the Alex Jones trial . . . (Original Post) AndyS Aug 2022 OP
OPINION is really BIG business. dchill Aug 2022 #1
I would take issue with the notion that it was even his opinion. mzmolly Aug 2022 #2
✔️ blm Aug 2022 #5
. mzmolly Aug 2022 #13
Andy, you have said it ALL, and so well. I have nothing to add but... CaliforniaPeggy Aug 2022 #3
Here's an interesting article on that quote attributed to Lincoln: Wednesdays Aug 2022 #4
My Mexican bricklayer brothers have a somewhat similar statement: panader0 Aug 2022 #20
Opinion does not equal fact. n/t discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2022 #6
Nor does it equal journalism. nt AndyS Aug 2022 #7
I'm really sure I already agreed on that... discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2022 #8
Is this what you mean? AndyS Aug 2022 #10
I infer you read and write English. discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2022 #12
Accepted and thank you. AndyS Aug 2022 #17
Cool, I was hoping you would understand. discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2022 #21
I was taught that an Opinion is a position based on facts. mackdaddy Aug 2022 #9
In an ideal world, one that might have existed in the '80s AndyS Aug 2022 #11
Oh, BTW, I'm glad jones is being fined. n/t discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2022 #14
The problem is that fools have no way of knowing what's true Warpy Aug 2022 #15
What's more, in a civilized society the liar is liable for damages. jaxexpat Aug 2022 #16
It doesn't even qualify as opinion. hadEnuf Aug 2022 #18
That quote Rebl2 Aug 2022 #19


(51,026 posts)
2. I would take issue with the notion that it was even his opinion.
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 01:54 PM
Aug 2022

It was bullshit and he knew it. Lies.


(17,725 posts)
4. Here's an interesting article on that quote attributed to Lincoln:
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 02:05 PM
Aug 2022

They contend that the phrase was coined by Maurice Switzer in 1906, and not by Mark Twain (which is the source I had heard) or Lincoln.


(25,816 posts)
20. My Mexican bricklayer brothers have a somewhat similar statement:
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 04:51 PM
Aug 2022

"En boca cerrado, no entran moscas."
In a closed mouth, no flies can enter.


(18,496 posts)
8. I'm really sure I already agreed on that...
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 02:12 PM
Aug 2022

...made the relevant edit to convey the same. Are you unconvinced still by this reply?


(14,559 posts)
10. Is this what you mean?
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 02:28 PM
Aug 2022

Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on the interaction of events, facts, ideas, and people that are the "news of the day" and that informs society to at least some degree.

The Herald is a source of public information and the article linked seemed to convey some politically based IDEAS which IMO loosely falls under the heading of journalism. My pointed difficulty has to do with:
"While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of – truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability – as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public."


I am guilty of not operating according to your definition of journalism.


who cares

I'm sure there's...whatever.


(18,496 posts)
12. I infer you read and write English.
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 03:03 PM
Aug 2022

I edited my post to fit what I expected fit your preferences.

I DON'T HAVE AN ARGUMENT with your idea on what "journalism" encompasses. I changed what I wrote to fit that.
Are you unhappy with me labeling the quote from the article as opinion?

Americans who hold the musket-rights granting Second Amendment near and dear to their hearts...

Would you prefer a term like whimsy, brain-fart, hyperbole, allegory, creative license or something I haven't yet guessed?

I prefer to remain congenial on the site and I got your message that you object to op-ed type opinion based information as not journalism. I will here and now acknowledge:
- my use of the term journalism was wrong
- I made a mistake
- I expect that many people may and probably do share your view
- You are the all-being master of the definition, scope and use of the term journalism.

I humbly ask that you stop looking to continue discussing what is obvious. Mea culpa, whatever,


(14,559 posts)
17. Accepted and thank you.
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 04:31 PM
Aug 2022

My Masters is in Photography and the Photo department at Texas A&M Commerce is in the Journalism school. As such I got a healthy dose of Journalistic ethics in all my courses. The emphasis of my degree was Commercial Photography but a prerequisite was Journalism 101; an overview of print, video and film news. Even in the Commercial world truth in advertising is part of the ethos. I was taught that in the '50s it became illegal to put marbles in soup when making illustrations for sales (the marbles push the solid ingredients to the surface making the soup look more hearty). So journalistic honesty is a big deal to me and to others steeped in the field.

The power of persuasion inherent in presenting media to the public is not something to be taken lightly even on discussion boards. With the ability to manipulate imagery today it is even more important to delineate honest fact from political and personal coloring. I can make any photograph look like anything I want and now there's even Deepfake. There is a place in discourse for emotion, feelings and gut reactions. There's a place for art vs reality but that line must be clear. That's why Newspapers have separate sections for the opinion page and Letters to the Editor.

Again, I accept your honest apology and ask that you understand my passionate reaction.


(1,544 posts)
9. I was taught that an Opinion is a position based on facts.
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 02:25 PM
Aug 2022

I found this from a university site on writing and the differences between Facts, Opinions and Beliefs.

Distinguishing Fact, Opinion, Belief, and Prejudice
When forming personal convictions, we often interpret factual evidence through the filter of our values, feelings, tastes, and past experiences. Hence, most statements we make in speaking and writing are assertions of fact, opinion, belief, or prejudice. The usefulness and acceptability of an assertion can be improved or diminished by the nature of the assertion, depending on which of the following categories it falls into:

A fact is verifiable. We can determine whether it is true by researching the evidence. This may involve numbers, dates, testimony, etc. (Ex.: "World War II ended in 1945.&quot The truth of the fact is beyond argument if one can assume that measuring devices or records or memories are correct. Facts provide crucial support for the assertion of an argument. However, facts by themselves are worthless unless we put them in context, draw conclusions, and, thus, give them meaning.

An opinion is a judgment based on facts, an honest attempt to draw a reasonable conclusion from factual evidence. (For example, we know that millions of people go without proper medical care, and so you form the opinion that the country should institute national health insurance even though it would cost billions of dollars.) An opinion is potentially changeable--depending on how the evidence is interpreted. By themselves, opinions have little power to convince. You must always let your reader know what your evidence is and how it led you to arrive at your opinion.

Unlike an opinion, a belief is a conviction based on cultural or personal faith, morality, or values. Statements such as "Capital punishment is legalized murder" are often called "opinions" because they express viewpoints, but they are not based on facts or other evidence. They cannot be disproved or even contested in a rational or logical manner. Since beliefs are inarguable, they cannot serve as the thesis of a formal argument. (Emotional appeals can, of course, be useful if you happen to know that your audience shares those beliefs.)

Another kind of assertion that has no place in serious argumentation is prejudice, a half-baked opinion based on insufficient or unexamined evidence. (Ex.: "Women are bad drivers.&quot Unlike a belief, a prejudice is testable: it can be contested and disproved on the basis of facts. We often form prejudices or accept them from others--family, friends, the media, etc.--without questioning their meaning or testing their truth. At best, prejudices are careless oversimplifications. At worst, they reflect a narrow-minded view of the world. Most of all, they are not likely to win the confidence or agreement of your readers.

(Adapted from: Fowler, H. Ramsey. The Little, Brown Handbook. Boston: Little, Brown, 1986.)


(14,559 posts)
11. In an ideal world, one that might have existed in the '80s
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 02:42 PM
Aug 2022

that was true.

Discourse has degenerated to my opinion is just as important as your fact.

Free speech has become synonymous with slander because freedom, unless someone takes the time, money and effort to confront it.

Journalistic outlets make the separation of opinion and reporting obvious because reporting is held to a standard of verification and fact that opinions don't carry. Just as newspapers publish Letters to the Editor they don't purport to verify the content any more than they do the opinions expressed on the opinion page. There is a huge difference in the standard the pieces are held to.

The point is that when someone uses an opinion piece to lambast honest journalism by equating the two it is disingenuous at best.


(111,770 posts)
15. The problem is that fools have no way of knowing what's true
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 03:50 PM
Aug 2022

or even that they're fools. See: Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Maybe the disinformation squad will realize they'd better go back to Bigfoot sightings rather than slander people who can sue them. If one of them has been badly hurt when a victim fights back, the potential is there for all of them.

Remember, bullies are the biggest cowards out there. They'll always go for the weakest targets and I don't see Bigfoot suing them.


(7,039 posts)
16. What's more, in a civilized society the liar is liable for damages.
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 03:59 PM
Aug 2022

"Liar is liable", I like that. I'm adopting it, already picked out the wallpaper for its room. So proud.


(2,311 posts)
18. It doesn't even qualify as opinion.
Sat Aug 6, 2022, 04:46 PM
Aug 2022

It's 100% lying propaganda by a whack job that HATES our current form of government and loves to torment grieving Amercan families while making millions at it.

He is one of the lowest forms of life and that's not an opinion.

It's a FACT.

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