[Marxism] Fwd: In defense of Counterpunch | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Fri Jul 24 16:42:55 MDT 2015


At 18:35 24-07-15 -0400, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
>
>Jeff, you are a trained scientist. Can you take those statistics 
>seriously?

No, and I know for a fact that the author isn't very comfortable with those
statistics (the left vs. right article count) either but it was the best
she could do (I learned first-hand how hard it was to accurately query the
Counterpunch site by author in order to get such figures) and was an honest
attempt to quantify the problem. She worked yet harder to look through
articles for their attitudes toward Ron Paul, Gilad Atzmon, and the
"Israeli lobby controls American foreign policy" line (in the other
tables). If someone believes that she intentionally biased the results
(so-called "cherry-picking") then they should repeat the exercise and
report their figures.

But you're missing one important point here:

> someone who is not a regular reader would conclude that 
>rightwing articles outnumber those of the left.

If they thought Counterpunch had published less than 1000 articles total
they might have thought that. Otherwise they'd realize that this was a
sample of some prominent rightists vs. leftists but a small minority of the
total publication. A lot of the articles on Counterpunch aren't even
political enough to classify and aren't by known figures. But the main
statistic that I think DOES need to be heeded is that she identified 674
(but given an updated count, actually over 1000) articles written by
infamous figures who should NEVER appear ONCE on a truly left wing
publication (except possibly with a disclaimer in order to illustrate what
the enemy is saying).

No, the claim isn't that right wing articles outnumber the legitimate
articles, but that there is a systematic attempt to inject such material
and especially that this corresponds to the "Querfront" strategy of the
right where they attempt to garner left support for their own purposes.
Like the German fascists wisely calling themselves "National Socialists" to
gain the legitimacy conferred by the latter term, and countless other
examples. 

- Jeff



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