160612 EU sovereignty
Valuable insight on the problem with providing ‘balanced’ reporting on the TV news, from Simon Wren-Lewis on his Mainly Macro blog:

I watched the BBC’s early evening news on Saturday: not something I would normally do but for the football. (Unfortunately I cannot find a recording of it.) The bulletin reported the IMF post-Brexit forecasts, and then (for balance) had Patrick Minford saying why the IMF had got it all wrong. The impression most non-economists viewers would have received is that the long run economic impact of Brexit could go either way.

This is politicisation of the truth; a claim that “views differ” similar to when we were all told that some people believe the Earth is flat, rather than an oblate spheroid. It does not take account of the fact that the vast majority of people may hold one view, and only a few believe in the other.

A clear Brexit example of ‘shape of the earth: views differ’ style of reporting is the £350 million a week figure. Furthermore it is a clever lie, because it focuses attention on a direct benefit of Brexit, and away from probable costs. (I’ve no idea if this is true, but I once heard that when Joseph McCarthy claimed there were many communists working in government, he would keep changing the number. As a result, the topic of conversation became how many there actually were, rather than whether there were any at all and whether it mattered.)

It is not the only example from those campaigning for Brexit.

Source: mainly macro: More on Brexit and the politicisation of truth


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