The following clip features Cenk Uygur arguing with Glynnis MacNicol on The Young Turks about whether Fox News is a legitimate news organization.
It’s frustrating in two ways. For one, MacNicol has utterly idiotic arguments. For two, Cenk has utterly weak retorts.
MacNicol argues that it isn’t the job of the White House to go after Fox News, that this isn’t a nanny state. One wonders how a person survives the fourth grade without knowing that the presidency and the White House are political organs of the government that have no responsibility except to the Constitution (and the laws of the land, by implication). This rather obvious, simple fact continues to perplex mainstream reporters and their ilk, and is the only reason that they fail so miserably at what they purport to do.
Not only does MacNicol fail at understanding the rudimentary functions and responsibilities of our government, she also doesn’t understand simple logic. Apparently the fact that Fox News has a substantial viewership in comparison to other networks is cause to assume that what they do must be legitimate–the very definition of an ad populum fallacy. But it’s worse than that. Not only is it illogical to believe such a thing in and of itself. It’s completely illogical when you assume it’s a valid argument. Fox News has, according to various Google estimates, about 2.8 million viewers during weekday prime-time on average. This amounts to an apparently monumental viewership of about 1% (edit: math fail) of the population of the United States. Clearly the vast majority of people.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of reading anything written by the late physicist Richard Feynman (read this if you have ten bucks and a few hours to spare), you should definitely watch this video. Es muy interesante:
One of the best American, made-for-TV cartoons out there is Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s about a world in which certain people are born with the ability to control an element, either fire, water, earth or air, and a boy named Aang who is the reincarnation of the Avatar, master of all four elements.
The show’s really great. The animation, although choppy at times, is fantastic. The fight scenes are choreographed really well and seem very real. The story is awesome, the characters are funny and interesting. And on and on. Despite that, the show has some glaring quirks.
In the show, earthbenders can control pretty much any kind of rock or metal. Firebenders can shoot fire and lightning from their fingertips (and other appendages). Airbenders can control the air, and waterbenders control the water.
But how totally unfair is that? Metals make up about 75% of the periodic table. Which means that earthbenders get to control more elements than the rest of the benders combined. Waterbenders only get to control one element. Sucks for them. They can control the H2O molecule, but can’t control hydrogen or oxygen separately for some reason. Airbenders cheated the fuck out of the waterbenders there, sorry to say. And firebenders? They also control the air. Or at least oxygen. Because fire is just really quick oxidation. And lightning? Lightning is just electricity. Which means firebenders can control electrons.