Flap over Palin line in MCT’s ‘Mikado’ reflects the hazards of bias

Years ago, as a teenager, I attended a meeting of my church youth-group led by a guest minister. I still remember how he arrayed our group in a circle, and without any explanation, whispered something in the ear of one of our group members.

She laughed, turned, and whispered in the ear of the person next to her, who then passed the message along around the circuit.

The secret eventually got around to me. Now, 20-plus years later, I don’t remember much of it, but it had something to do with a bicycle, a list of items from the store, and some places and names. “Pass it on,” I was told.

Eventually, the circle was completed. The minister asked the last person in line to say what he had heard out loud. Then, the minister read from a piece of paper the original message he had whispered in the first girl’s ear.

Neither a single fact nor even the basic gist of the story had made it all the way around the circle. [Read More...]