American news-watchers are so jaded as to the lack of objectivity in the news and media, that we rarely ever take any story or quote at face-value (and I doubt this is limited to America). We have become ingrained with the idea that some media outlets are overly-liberal, singing the praises of the likes of Hillary and Obama, while others are inherently conservative and tend to be apologetic to the antics of Bush and his ilk. Is it really true though? Or are we only confirming out own biases?
Erik Bucy, a communications studies professor, has an interesting podcast on the topic, specifically examining whether Hillary Clinton's assertions that the media is pro-Obama have any substance. Check it out.
- Log in to post comments
Snort! Bad question. I don't think you can see the bias in specific terms, like which politician is hounded more. What bias does exist is often more philosophical. Some, like Fox, seem to only hire people that have a conservative bent, use the tactic of talking over people to stop facts from being presented, and on slow news days will dredge up what ever liberal issue they think there watchers want to hear them rant about, but never talk about conservatives the same way, unless its to make lots of apologetic noises, while trying to look like they are raking them over the coals even more than they did the last six liberals they had in their sites.
The bias isn't *personal*, but it can be, and for some of them is, a combination of lack of basic research to get their facts right, pandering to the public **opinion** of what some of those facts are (ignorance is kind, since telling people they are wrong and explaining why pisses the viewers off) and, in some cases, a definite bias towards spinning that ignorance in a specific ideological direction.
If we could get them to fix the first two of those, so they make sure they are describing the real, and stop them pandering to the most common ignorant view of what things are, then we might at least partly cure the third. If your purpose is to get the facts, then present them truly unbiased, then its damn hard to have any ideological position that isn't about getting the damn facts right. When you intentionally bring on "experts" that are the stupidest morons on the planet, aside from some segment of the viewers, and pick them either based on lack of credibility, or worse, on ***perceived** credibility by people that don't check their facts either, then either yours intentionally picking those people to present that view, or you are just too damn stupid to figure out that someone has hijacked your news crew, to bring in people to specifically present that view. In either case, your not getting the fact, the truth, or anything resembling the real events, out to the public.
Oh, and if you try to do the right thing for 1 hour a night, but then your TV station has hired 50 talking heads to fill up the other 23 hours with people that do precisely the above, guess what the people that are not ignorant fools are going to say when asked, "Is X News biased?"
I think people only give a shit about Kristen Dupre right now.
Congratulations Kagehi! You managed to write 420 words in 11 sentences! Granted, your first two sentences bring your average down a bit. If you get rid of them, you average over 45 words per sentence! Awesome.
It certainly got you angry though, so I think it was a GOOD question!
When people seriously talk about media bias, Fox news is only a tiny piece of the puzzle. There have been numerous objective studies of media bias over the past several years, and they generally pool their data from all major news outlets (there are a LOT of newspapers).
There is bias, and it is not for a particular Democratic candidate. It is more like what Kegehi is talking about. FOX in fact gets talking points directly from the Bush Administration, and considers it their job to sway public opinion to what Dick Cheney wants the public to think. This is not some big secret. Nor is it a secret that MSNBC used to require a ratio of two conservatives to one liberal on their shows.
Also you see things being omitted. It is a clear international crime to pre-emptively invade another country, and waterboarding is clearly torture. Most so-called "news" stations avoid those issues like the plague. They report from the viewpoint that the US invaded Iraq to spread democracy, when in fact, that is not the case. Besides being false, it wasn't even the reason the USA gave for invading Iraq (WMD) which itself turned out to be a lie. Besides, as pointed out, both reasons do not justify a pre-emptive war under international law. You will NEVER see that stated on FOX or CNN or any of the three TV major networks
Also, that the media has not done investigative journalism into Dick Cheney shows a clear , close co-operation with him to use media such as the NYT, all the major TV networks, to achieve the neocon objectives in domestic and foreign policy.
The media is completely, overwhelming conservatively biased and functions mainly as a propaganda apparatus.
All other views have been relegated to satellite TV and Radio, and the blogosphere, where they can't be shut out by the big monopolistic media corporations.
Fortunately, as Kagehe noted, less and less people are buying the BS. It's a big joke now when Bush comes on TV and says the war in Iraq is great success for Democracy, and that the economy is doing well and his tax cuts are stimulating growth.
Still, the MSM reports it as fact, with no questioning of the premise. It makes the press look stupid at best, criminal at worst, and above all, untrustworthy.
"The most trusted name in news" stands out as one of the most blatant examples of Orwellian doublespeak to be found anywhere on the planet. If there is any network besides FOX that is nearly complete propaganda, CNN runs a close second. Xenophobia and racism are packaged are "debate," and whatever isn't spin is completely meaningless BS, like celeb gossip.
No wonder a lot of people like me have just turned off the TV and now get our news online. Do you keep the company of people that you know are lying through their teeth to you all the time? Neither do I.
That's pretty much what the MSM has become. The press as an industry has failed to do its part in a democracy. Reporting and journalism used to be professions that garnered a lot of respect and had a rep of integrity. No so any more.
And from what I have seen, the MSM is not interested in restoring their integrity.
Yeah. I tend to have a problem some times figuring out where to end sentences. At least I don't usually change direction mid-sentence much any more, with the result that I have two halves of two separate thoughts in them. lol
Seriously though, the biggest joke has got to be that these some idiots spend almost as much time insisting that the press has a liberal bias as they spend convincing the same press to buy every bit of idiot BS they say as absolute truth. But, I chock that up to the same insane stupidity you get from them when talking about everything from pushup bras to flavored toothpaste being an inducement to teen sex, while their own constituent's kids get knocked up 2-3 years earlier and more often than the "liberals" who "don't understand why abstinence is the only answer."
Its all projection. They can't imagine someone else not being as biased as they are, so any one that even *occasionally* fails to repeat what ever insane ranting they come up with as absolute truth must be both biased, and biased in favor of the other party/political spectrum. I personally think 50% of the Republican party, *and* 50% of the left wing too, need serious psychiatric help. The first tends to be paranoid, delusional and prone to repetition of useless rituals, while the later... is filled with UFO believers, and various others, who are often just plain delusional, and sometimes even more paranoid. I figure those of us on both sides that are relatively stable would all be a lot less stressed, if they rest of them where taking their medication properly. lol
there is a strong bias towards sensationalism over facts, debate over discussion, celebrities over science, emotion over reason, and fluff over substance. The other biases pale in comparison.
Media is developed by humans and will inherently carry bias even by those who guard against it. Even citing only factual information, it's very possible for two people telling the same story to portray very different realities. I think what is concerning to many of us is that many mainstream news organizations no longer even seem to try to guard against it. The need for advertisers to pay the expenses, and therefore the need for ratings, seems to be a shot setting off a race for the bottom. Whether the rise of Rupert Murdoch is its genesis or Murdoch merely exploited and benefited from it hardly matters. One of the most interesting questions for me is, before the internet, would you have known?