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Episode 530: Can We Still Trust the News? with Bonnie Kristian


Research now shows that people who constantly consume the news are three times more likely to hold incorrect perspectives than those who only consume news occasionally. How did the news business shift from reporting to distorting? Phil, Skye, and Kaitlyn discuss a new article that blames comedian Jon Stewart and The Daily Show for unintentionally transforming the media into a “subscription-based narrative production” business.


Then, Skye talks to journalist Bonnie Kristian about her book, “Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community.” She explains the economic and cultural forces that have warped journalism, and strategies that can help us avoid being misinformed. Also this week, Focus on the Family defends Christopher Columbus, and Phil reports on his latest Twitter skirmishes involving abortion and trans vegetables.


Bonus Patreon Interview with Bonnie Kristian: Three steps against conspiracism - https://www.patreon.com/posts/73183372/


News Segment

0:00 - Intro

4:11 - Phil's Twitter skirmishes

21:39 - Columbus Day

32:52 - Narratives in media


Sponsor

51:45 - Sponsor: Biola University's Talbot School of Theology

Visit www.biola.edu/talbot for more information and to apply today.


Interview with Bonnie Kristian

"Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community" - https://amzn.to/3MpJ2bc


55:03 - Journalism over the past decade

57:23 - Knowledge crisis on the right and the left

1:00:13 - The perception gap

1:03:44 - Profit-driven news

1:09:18 - Social media and news

1:14:53 - Cancel culture

1:22:15 - Navigating media engagement

1:29:07 - Episode credits


Articles from news segment:


"Go Ahead and Celebrate Christopher Columbus, Who Sought to Tell the New World About Jesus Christ" by Paul Batura (Focus on the Family's Daily Citizen) - https://dailycitizen.focusonthefamily.com/go-ahead-and-celebrate-christopher-columbus-who-sought-to-tell-the-new-world-about-jesus-christ/


"How Stewart Made Tucker" by Jon Askonas (The New Atlantis) - https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/how-stewart-made-tucker


Holy Post website: https://www.holypost.com/


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26 Comments


Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Oct 14, 2022

I’ll have to go re-read Niebuhr’s book, but the conclusion that the “children of light” are more dangerous than the “children of darkness“ is not born out in reality. Kaitlyn talked about the ignorant lights stumbling into catastrophe, which can and does happen. However, it doesn’t even hold a candle to those that profiteer on lies, fear, and hatred - people like Carlson and Jones. They absolutely know what they’re doing is wrong, and sinful, but rather than enabling them to put up guard rails, it actually allows them jump over the rails. Say what you will about Stewart, but he’s helped thousands of 911 first responders and combat veterans while Carlson and Jones profit from telling lies about the…

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I got off Twitter about 6 months ago. I had a mild following and almost exclusively used it for jokes and silliness, even getting some Likes and laughs from bigger named people.


However, I realized it was coming at a cost - and I didn't really realize it until I was off for a few months. Trends I was told were the Most Important Thing Ever hardly registered with me now. The culture wars took a back seat to church (not without its own drama, unfortunately), family, friends, outdoors, etc. FWIW, if someone wants to stay on that's fine --- but if you end up losing sleep over it you may find yourself winning a few battles but ultimately losing…


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Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Oct 14, 2022
Replying to

Kind of… Stewart rarely strayed from his shtick pointing out the absurdity in both parties. Yes, most of the time it was at the expense of the right, but you have to make do with the material that presents itself. Bush was an easy target. Limbaugh rarely met a reality-based fact he couldn’t turn into a malignant lie. These two are in no way equal.


Also, let’s not kid ourselves that the 2000 election was anything like the 2020 election. 2000 came down to 500 contested votes in FL and was decided by a seriously biased SCOTUS. 2020 was handily won and upheld in every court it was brought in front of.

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Phil Vischer
Phil Vischer
Oct 12, 2022

My exact words were "disgraced Christian historian," but I take your point.

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Matthew Dowell
Matthew Dowell
Oct 12, 2022

A conclusion of both-sideism what are we going to do about it? Still is not an adequate story to address the misinformation and news consumption among Christians.


Kaitlyn is right in that what we need are better stories to make better sense of the world. I would argue that there are better stories that the secular world is beginning to tell that Christians will be late to adapt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RlhhRfREa0


Meanwhile, most institutions (including the church and news media) are BY IN LARGE either missing-in-action in telling better stories, OR are just lazily competing in an attention race to the bottom of our lizard brain. Holy Post needs to deeply think about how the driver of these problems isn't subscriptions, o…


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Lisa Mountain
Lisa Mountain
Oct 12, 2022

I heard a new word today - metanarrative. I was wondering if there are any books Skye would recommend on how the Bible is a metanarrative. Great show! I look forward to listening every week.

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Bible Project!

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