Sometimes two people watching the same video see it as supporting opposite points of view. We seem to be quick to pick up on elements that support our biases but sometimes miss elements that can be interpreted to oppose them. This is a phenomenon I have written on before. Recently, I encountered another example.
Egberto Willies writes in his blog, “Jon uses the mayor of New York to justify the necessity of taxes and the absurdity of constant tax cuts. In other words you get what you pay for.” He then links to a video of Jon Stewart reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I read his blog and then watched the video. I had a slightly different take on it.

It is interesting that Egberto picked out Stewart's coverage of Bloomberg to support taxes - explaining that taxes often go for good things, and that we do need to have some government - especially in times of crisis. I agree, but I noticed that Stewart subtly made the case against excessive, runaway taxation of the kind we have today at all levels of government by illuminating two examples of taxes spent wastefully. One of them (shaving Liberty's legs) I hope is fictional. The other one (implementing and enforcing the 16oz rule) sadly is not. So one could interpret Stewart as making the case for tax cuts. How did Egberto miss this?

So some people see allies everywhere, even among those who disagree with each other. Then again, many people seem quick to think the worst of others. The world is a complicated place. Friends and foes are often indistinguishable and we may sometimes find we agree more with members of another party than we do with members of our own. It’s not as simple as left and right.

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