"Balance" Deception

From civicintelligence
Revision as of 17:52, 26 February 2014 by Wagjus20 (Talk | contribs)

Much like a mirage at sea, balance deception can make two differently weighted arguments appear as equals.


This pattern refers to a common (and arguably very effective) journalistic practice in the United States whereby one side will be presented and then, and with equal time allotment, the "other side" will be presented. Thus a study on climate change will be endorsed by thousands and thousands of climate change scientists worldwide and then another person, perhaps a single academic in a non-related field, will point out that there is no such thing as climate change. This can lead to a situation where it appears that there are two, equally credible ways to view an issue, when in fact there may not be.

How it works

This is a useful pattern for confusing the public by suggesting that if there are two sides to an issue, then they both have equal weight. Note that this pattern is definitely not to be exercised in all cases.

This pattern is also very effective at obscuring issues because it can be be defended and justified by saying that "presenting 'both' sides" is a sound journalistic principle, thus silencing those who may realize the deception at play.


Media Monopolies, Silenced Voices, Professional Obfuscation,