Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Hamas, The Media, And The Gell-Mann Effect

"Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know."
– Michael Crichton (1942-2008)

In this case the media itself seems to suffer from the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect in relations to reports it gets from Hamas that it then parrots to the world. 

Hamas will announce 500 casualties from the Israelis dropped a bomb and destroying a hospital.

The media runs with it unquestioningly. Then it turns out that it was a Hamas-allied group that dropped a rocket into a parking lot and there were less than 50 and possibly as low as 12 casualties from the incident, oh and the hospital is still standing.

Hamas' Health ministry then announces 35,000 dead composed of mostly women and children.

The media instead of being skeptical, runs with it unquestioningly.  Then it turns out the Hamas announcement  of 35,000 dead composed of mostly women and children.  It then turns out that Hamas had made up at least 12,000 of these "women and children" casualties and is under-counting its combatant casualties.

Hamas then announces that Israel attached the safe zone killing 43 people.

The media instead of being skeptical, yet again runs with it unquestioningly. Then it turns out that the Israeli strike was a mile outside the safe zone, used munitions that would not have caused the fire, and the cause was most likely the explosions from a Hamas munition depot that was hit in the strike causing the fire among the tents, and the strike area hit where Hamas had been firing rockets at Israel.

The media will go right back to reporting Hamas' claims as gospel without the slightest hint of skepticism, helping the lies go 'round the world before the truth can lace up its boots.  

The media does this Every. Damn. Time.

Partially this is due to media bias against Israel, and partly because per Obama's adviser Ben Rhodes, reporters are easily manipulated, especially if the manipulation is in line with their biases

The credulous media consumers then lap it up each time while suffering from the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect brought to them by the complicit media, until yet again the claim is shown to be false. We'll note the finding of falsehood never gets the same amount of coverage as the initial false claim. Then the cycle starts again.

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