Bias is natural and inherent in just about anything and everything. It’s natural; as natural of a law as the General Law of Relativity and quite related to it in point of odd fact. In anything approaching science, however, it is inconvenient at best…if one actually wants accurate results. This is because observer bias can color and cloud the results.
It needs to be noted and remembered, however, that those who conduct such research or contract others to conduct it on their behalf are only inconvenienced by such bias if and when they desire truthful, accurate, and objective results. This is far from the norm, especially when the government with its many and diverse perceived vested interests is performing or paying for the research in question.
A Case In Point
The FCC’s recently suspended – not cancelled – hunt for “station bias” and for television news teams not meeting the “Critical Information Needs” of specially protected demographics was based upon methodology and metrics developed for them under contract by Social Solutions International, which is a “minority owned” firm enjoying the pecuniary advantages of their 8(a) status.
In and of itself, SSi’s 8(a) status is just barely the appearance of bias. What is telling is their self-identification and mission statement.
Social Solutions is a research and evaluation firm dedicated to the creation of positive change for underserved populations. Our work touches those in our community and in countries worldwide. We are a mission-driven organization that believes that superior science can improve the world.
Social Solutions International, Inc. (Social Solutions) is a Hispanic and woman owned 8(a) and Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB). Social Solutions emphasis is on quality research and evaluation, development of evidence-based education materials, and cultural adaptation and translation.
Social Solutions International, Inc. is a research and evaluation firm dedicated to the creation of social and health solutions to improve the welfare of underserved populations worldwide.
It is ludicrous at best to even entertain the thought that a company describing itself as a “Small Disadvantaged Business” which is “mission-driven” to “improve the welfare of underserved populations” is capable of- much less willing to deliver objective testing methodologies in any context involving what they consider underserved populations.
The only plausible reason why the FCC would have awarded them the contract was that the FCC didn’t want to be inconvenienced by objectivity. No, instead they were seeking agenda-driven junk science because there was a specific result that they wanted from the study.
And that, my fellow Americans, could be a very inconvenient bias for we, the People.