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« Now it's personal | Main | Less is more »

May 25, 2011

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polifrog

The same argument is ignored in reference to the objectivity of a politically biased academia often dependent on government growth.

The same argument is ignored in reference to the objectivity of global warming "science" funded by governance when governance is the beneficiary of global warming "science's" global solutions.

Is there a compelling reason it should apply in this instance?

bubba

"Is there a compelling reason it should apply in this instance?"

Yes.

Certain worldviews reserve the right to establish the rules by which these things are judged, and they further reserve the right to change such rules at any time without any prior notice.

Hasn't that been the established way policy is made for years now, at all levels of government?

polifrog

I do not find established liberal double standards a compelling argument for their continued existence.

It does, however, argue for Ed Cone's inconsistency.

Ed Cone

Same standards should apply across different arguments.

Comments are open, but I would prefer that this thread focus on the GTRC process. Thnx.

Billy Jones

"Another important point is that the ultimate responsiblity for putting daylight between the GTRC and the GTRP lay not with the survivors group, but with the leadership of the GTRC and its commissioners."

Agreed. Sadly, most of us saw little light between the two.

polifrog

OK.

That doesn't mean the writer should be ignored, or silenced, and it's not an attack on the writer himself or his company -- it's just about the objectivity of the process.

All I can take away from the above statement is that you believe that the News-Record.com should have rejected the opinion piece. Such a route would not have ignored the writer, silenced the writer, nor attacked the writer, however it would have been in fitting with what seems to be your perspective on objectivity in this matter.

Furthermore, I simply do not see how an opinion letter constitutes a "final word on Greensboro's landfill options". It is not being referenced by the city in support for anything and therefore has no bearing on the "objectivity of the process".

It is an individual's opinion letter and nothing more. And if it had been a letter from Waste Management, it would have been an opinion letter by waste management and nothing more.

I do not see your concerns when it comes to the objectivity of the process.

I commend N-R for their objectivity in choosing to print this opinion, though.


Ed Cone

...you believe that the News-Record.com should have rejected the opinion piece.

Not so. The opinion piece is being analogized to worthwhile and fitting contributions by interested parties in the TRC process.

I simply do not see how an opinion letter constitutes a "final word on Greensboro's landfill options".

Right, the letter is not the final word. That's the point, it can't be the final word; instead, it's an example of useful, thoughtful, but impossible-to-accept-as-dispassionate reporting -- very helpful in its place, but not something that could be taken as the product of a truly objective viewpoint. Which doesn't make its conclusion incorrect, just in need of external corroboration.

polifrog
Not so. The opinion piece is being analogized to worthwhile and fitting contributions by interested parties in the TRC process.
How does an employee of Waste Management or even Waste Management itself not fall under that definition? But whatever ... it appears you seem to find the opinion unacceptable not due to content, (you admit that the opinion is worthwhile and fitting) but because of who wrote it.

You then conclude the piece:

impossible-to-accept-as-dispassionate reporting ... Which doesn't make its conclusion incorrect, just in need of external corroboration.

So, external corroboration is apparently needed when some interested parties have an opinion, but not when other interested parties have an opinion ... the decision to be made by...

You may not like this opinion piece, but attacking the author for being insufficiently dispassionate rather than [your] speaking to the content is indicative of the strength of the piece.

Ed Cone

I like the opinion piece, and I'm not attacking the author for anything.

Hence the description of "a well-argued letter by a thoughtful person."

What I'm saying that a good opinion piece by an interested party is no substitute for a dispassionate final report on the same subject.

The analogy is between the survivors group (informed, interested party) and the Waste Management employee (informed, interested party) -- both have something to say, and deserve to be heard, but you wouldn't want either to have excessive influence on a would-be objective report on their respective subjects.

Terry

You seem to be suggesting, and correct me if I am wrong, that one should not dismiss the messenger simply because the messenger stands to gain from his message.
I disagree that the TRC and the landfill are analogous situations. On the one hand you have an individual who was instrumental in bringing about a calamitous situation, leading the revisiting of that situation to burnish his legacy (my opinion); on the other you have an individual who is using his expertise to further the possibility of involvement (admittedly for profit) in a specific situation.
The gentleman from Waste Management has clean hands, Mr. Johnson does not.
(I would imagine clean hands and waste management are rarely used in the same sentence.)

Ed Cone

It's not about dismissing anyone.

It's about having a final arbiter (e.g., a report writing group, or a decision-making body) that can credibly claim objectivity.

Interested parties can and should be heard.

They just shouldn't have final say, because they are going to tend (or be perceived as tending) toward their own interested position.

Thus you would not want a vendor to make the final decision on a public project.

And you would not want a TRC that is too close to one group involved in the precipitating situation.

(FWIW, Nelson's group did provide substantial self-criticism during the process, and emerged, in my view, humanized but with its reputation largely unburnished.)

Andrew Brod

You wish you hadn't mentioned the Waste Industries letter, don't you?

Terry

Who should make the final decision, a decision making body, like an elected council?

Ed Cone

Terry, either an elected body or its hired managers should make final decisions about vendors, and either/both should be held accountable if it turns out that vendors wield undue influence over them. In this particular case, it seems the decision will be made by the elected board.

And an independent panel should write TRC reports.

Back to the point of the post, interested parties should be welcome to share their information and POV, just not to dictate the final result.

Steve Harrison

"...indicative of the strength of the piece."

That piece would have been stronger (in my opinion) if the author had revealed his connection to the company at the beginning, and not as an italicized (editor added?) postscript.

Disclosure comes before discourse in both the dictionary and Steve's little book of ethics.

polifrog
Disclosure comes before discourse in both the dictionary and Steve's little book of ethics.

I could not agree more. It is the reason I link to my blog in each comment - so that readers can view the world through my biases and better understand the arguments I make.

When a reporter, writer, or anyone relaying information claims unbiased reporting I move on as it is their first and only lie cast in my direction.

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