Summary: A trick of propagandists is giving rebuttals to theories held only by a few extremists, and ignoring the far stronger theories held by thoughtful opponents. That gives the illusion of strength while marginalizing opponents. It works only when your side dominate the media. Which neither Left or Right does in America today. Here we see how this works for climate change propaganda.
- Epistemic closure on the Right
- Epistemic closure on the Left
- For More Information about Climate Change Propaganda
(1) Epistemic closure on the Right
One of the more striking features of the contemporary conservative movement is the extent to which it has been moving toward epistemic closure. Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted. … This epistemic closure can be a source of solidarity and energy, but it also renders the conservative media ecosystem fragile.
… If disagreement is not in itself evidence of malign intent or moral degeneracy, people start feeling an obligation to engage it sincerely— maybe even when it comes from the New York Times. And there is nothing more potentially fatal to the momentum of an insurgency fueled by anger than a conversation.
(2) Epistemic closure on the Left
Sanchez’s description appears true of the Right, IMO. But also true to some degree of the Left as well. In, for example, many of their writings about climate change. As in these two articles.
- “Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility – In One Pie Chart“, James Lawrence Powell, Desmogblog, 15 November 2012
- “Why Climate Change Denial Is Just Hot Air“, Phil Plait, Slate, 11 December 2012
Powell tests this hypothesis (red emphasis added):