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If I’ve learned one thing as I’ve grown older — some people (including some auctioneers) tend to believe (or not) the messenger, with little regard to the accuracy of the message itself. It’s a precarious case of affirmation versus information, or in some circles “confirmation bias.”

We wrote about affirmation versus information here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/auctioneers-information-versus-affirmation/. This phenomenon is looking for information that affirms a prior belief, rather than information independent of prior conclusions.

However, only taking information from certain sources as absolutely true, and any information from any other (all other) sources as completely false is an even more problematic stance. Nobody has an exclusive right to the truth, nor is any source of information always wrong.

If I said that the Washington Post found secret recordings of a senior White House official, these folks would say that’s false because “everything the Washington Post says is false.” However, if I told you the Wall Street Journal found secret recordings … that would be true since the Wall Street Journal is “always correct.”

However, we would suggest the Washington Post nor the Wall Street Journal or any other source of news has any better record producing facts or fiction. They have their perspective, their bias to the news (nobody is without bias) but one’s not always wrong nor is the other is always right.

Auctioneers have been historically very conservative, and advocates of smaller, more businesslike government. It seems lately, the move has been that the government cannot be trusted at all — that is, unless their preferred politician says something, and then he or she can be trusted implicitly.

For example, I recently read a Facebook post from a well-known auctioneer who told me all media is biased (with their slant) and then added that the “mainstream” media is really in the business of creating news, something the conservative outlets don’t really do … of course, “your” source is right, and everyone else’s is wrong.

The Washington Post’s tag line is “Democracy Dies in Darkness” suggesting that more information — facts — promote democracy. I would suggest more information helps auctioneers be better auctioneers. A start might be securing news from additional sources than you currently do if you tend to consume media from only one place.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.