Not the best example, but this should hopefully get the point across:

Lets say you have this one friend, who really hates some journalist, maybe a movie or game critic or something. He says something like:

"This guy has no idea what he's talking about! He thinks a game/movie deserves only a 5/10 because of this one thing!"

Even though the journalist gave a very reasonable list of complaints he had with a game/movie and it was not just because of "this one thing!".

What do you call such people?

closed as off-topic by tchrist Mar 20 '17 at 0:07

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  • He didn't mishear, he misinterpreted. He deliberately misinterpreted. – vickyace Mar 19 '17 at 23:38
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    @vickyace He didn't write mishear, he wrote 'mishear'. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 19 '17 at 23:40
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    The quote marks are significant, as Edwin Ashworth points out. In context, they imply some kind of dishonesty whereas the bare term mishears might not. – Lawrence Mar 19 '17 at 23:45
  • @Lawrence What I'm saying is mishear means a mistake, which is mostly honest. How can one willingly make an honest mistake, as mentioned by the OP. Although the meaning is obvious because of common use, words should be used for what they are meant. Misinterpret is better because "interpret" accounts for things such as mistakes, dishonesty, etc. – vickyace Mar 20 '17 at 0:01
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    @vickyace Highlighting the dishonesty is exactly what the quotes do, especially coupled with the word willingly. Misinterpretations are no more dishonest than mistakes, particularly willing mistakes, and especially willing 'mistakes'. – Lawrence Mar 20 '17 at 0:02

They are disingenuous.

disingenuous adjective

not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.

"this journalist was being somewhat disingenuous as well as cynical"

synonyms: dishonest, deceitful, underhand, underhanded, duplicitous, double-dealing, two-faced, dissembling, insincere, false, lying, untruthful, mendacious...



I found several:


According to the Cambridge Dictionary:

showing an unreasonable preference or dislike based on personal opinion


According to Merriam-Webster:

a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance


Also according to Merriam-Webster:

marked by a tendency in favor of a particular point of view


A phrase sometimes used to describe this phenomenon is selective listening or selective hearing.

Simon and Garfunkel sang, in The Boxer that "a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

The Urban dictionary gives an example of selective hearing in the following dialogue

"Jimmy, do the laundry and then you can go to the movies."

"Sweet! I can go to the movies!"


"What? You never said i had to do the laundry."

"I swear, you have selective hearing"

One hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

Another example would be:

Teacher: Everything you have written is very clearly the most utter drivel.

Pupil: Why, thank you, do you really think so, Sir? My last teacher said nothing I wrote was clear.


Outside the issue of whether or not the journalist (or other exemplar) was being even-handed in the review I'd say that your friend was simply biased (alt. biassed). Your friend already "hates some journalist" and, it's suggested, disagrees with that journalist's review of Game/Film XYZ on the basis of that bias. Your friend is pre-disposed to disagree with (biased against) negative comments from that journalist and possibly also biased against any negative comments about Game/Film XYZ.


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