Thursday, July 19, 2012

Reality or otherwise

Comment is Free has done it again. This has got a lot of people spluttering on various forums. It is another in the long line of apologias, this time for ... wait for it ... North Korea.  According to the author, a football writer;
... the hypocrisy of using one-sided journalism to label North Korea a rogue, propaganda-led state is surely self-evident and fans the fire of intolerance and animosity.
It is a perfect example of the genre. It is so perfect that I wonder if this could possibly be another version of the Sokal Hoax - where a bogus and utterly meaningless jumble of jargon was accepted in an academic journal. Could the author be testing CiF's editorial control by submitting a spoof? The trouble is they have published so much of the genuine tosh it is hard to tell.

Who knows. I am probably being too kind. What it does show, however, is that the culture of publishing anything contrarian, regardless of its relationship to truth or even, in this case, common humanity, is alive and well in the Guardian's portals. You can almost hear them,  'Let's be reasonable and give a fair hearing to murderous dictatorships old boy. They deserve to have their case heard.' This is the posh paper's version of phone hacking: abandon all standards ye who enter here.

Originally via Norm.


Graeme said...

The Guardian isn't alone here though they certainly are among the worst. I'm more and more of the opinion that the papers are straight-up trolling when they publish things like this. They know that bloggers are going to make posts to it (with links back to the article, which is good for search engine rankings), they know they'll get hundreds, maybe even thousands, of comments (commenters, unlike mere readers, will repeatedly go back to the article and the comments section instead of just reading it and moving along), and this is all good for the newspaper as a business, even though it is toxic for journalism or opinion-making. Best to just register your frustration silently and ignore it.

The Plump said...

You are undoubtedly right. Very depressing though that controversy needs to be manufactured when there is plenty enough of the real stuff as it is.

Graeme said...

Absolutely, and the cynicism of it is shameful. It's especially so with the Guardian which can be a truly excellent paper at its best.

michalek said...

Sokal's paper was not published in a peer-reviewed journal

The Plump said...

Your are right michalek. The journal had a policy of not using peer review, something that made it very vulnerable. I have corrected the text. Thanks.