Why is so much political commentary misleading?

Much political commentary is highly misleading. Though media evaluation of policy agendas and the conduct of politicians tends to be better, analysis of policy effects and the role of parties is very poor, even in the ‘quality’ press. When assessing policy records, commentators tend to mistake noise for the effects of policy interventions, research suggesting that performance metrics are mostly outside the control of politicians.

Why would this be? If societies are to function optimally, should they not use information which conforms tightly with reality? As cultural evolution theory emphasizes, the most efficient societies tend to outcompete alternatives, good information being crucial to this.

In the case of political commentary, better information is available, academic research being more reliable than media analysis. The reasons why this phenomenon occurs are fascinating, demonstrating the limits of rationality. Misleading commentary boosts confidence in liberal democracy; it may be better not to challenge it.

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 Πηγή: thomasprosser.substack.com

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