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A lot has been written about “fake news” in the last few months. Too much of that writing has (IMHO) muddled the differences between just-plain-lies and everything else that divides the country at the moment. But the basic issue of politicians who distort the truth because they are more interested in the zero-sum game of political power than they are in governance is an old one. When politicians do this consistently and with coordination and determination, all that distortion ends up in “the news” as if it were true, when really it is just spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. As an article in Science reports, that process is starting in the new Congress with a renewed attack on the Census and the American Community Survey.
- Scientists fear pending attack on federal statistics collection By Jeffrey Mervis, Science (Jan 3, 2017).
As the Science story says, this is not a new attack, but part of “a broader attack on the survey that goes back several years.” Indeed, we covered it here. Read all about the false-facts, bent-facts, unsubstantiated speculation, and ideological faith-healing that typically are used to try to persuade people to support really, really bad policy ideas.