Bias? What Bias?


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Kelsey
June 30, 2005, 03:05 AM
From the Washington Times:

When will the network media and other "mainstream" outlets finally stop pretending to be balanced?
Last week, for instance, the Big Three -- ABC, NBC and CBS -- had a wonderful time covering White House adviser Karl Rove's remarks at a conservative gathering in New York. As the Media Research Center reported, the day after Mr. Rove gave his talk, ABC's World News Tonight was on the story. CBS and NBC, both on their respective morning and evening shows, joined in a day later.
However, the same three networks didn't bother to mention Sen. Dick Durbin's Senate floor comments from June 14. It wasn't until Mr. Durbin apologized June 21 -- seven days later -- for equating American soldiers to Nazis and other barbaric regimes that ABC's and NBC's evening news programs first aired the original comments. CBS didn't do so until Friday, and then only on its morning program.
Major newspapers weren't much better. While The Washington Post gave front-page coverage to Mr. Rove's comments the day after he said them, it took three days to give an inside story to Mr. Durbin's. The New York Times, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times performed even worse.
The suppression of Mr. Durbin's remarks might come as a surprise since lately the media has been all too eager to publish every outlandish criticism of the American military. But the exception also proves the rule: His indefensible comparison strengthens the critics' point that the left's anti-military bias has reached absurd levels. To publish it would only undermine the media's contention that its own anti-militarism is balanced and refined.
Of course the media is not obligated to treat all scandalous comments equally. Coverage often depends on the reaction to the comments. By that standard, however, it seems fair to believe that the public is more sensitive to a U.S. senator's slander of American troops, than it is to Mr. Rove's comparison of liberals and conservatives. A Pew Research Center for the People and Press study found that "the percentage [of Americans] saying press criticism weakens American defenses has been increasing in recent years and now stands at its highest point [since] 1985 [47 percent]."
And it's been known for a while that public opinion is turning against the media. Editor and Publisher cited a Gallup survey earlier this month which found that "public trust in newspapers and television news continued to decline ... in the United States, reaching an all-time low this year." What's surprising is that the establishment media seems intent on doing nothing about it.

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mnrivrat
June 30, 2005, 03:29 AM
And it's been known for a while that public opinion is turning against the media. Editor and Publisher cited a Gallup survey earlier this month which found that "public trust in newspapers and television news continued to decline ... in the United States, reaching an all-time low this year." What's surprising is that the establishment media seems intent on doing nothing about it.

Sensationalizim and propaganda - that is the so called news. If they change they will not be following their agenda .

As far as public trust goes I am reminded of the old saying that " you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but not all the people all of the time" .

Biased "news" will remain because the agenda they have still remains.

Rebar
June 30, 2005, 04:20 AM
Newspaper and News magazines subscriptions have been falling like a rock. Meanwhile FNC ratings have soared.

Anyone else not suprised?

Joejojoba111
June 30, 2005, 04:43 AM
News media has always been biased. When the first guy started the first newspaper, do you think it was for some noble cause of higher enlightenment? It was to make money, and/or to persuade people on issues. Being fair and unbiased is a noble cause, but it is in no-way compatible with the free market. So

A)the Press for Profit will never be unbiased

B)Government-run media will never be objective either (no supporting argument needed, imo)

C)Government-run media over which the government has no control will be unpopular with EVERYONE, because being fair means EVERYONE disagrees with you, and the government spends money on a news agency they have no control over! Plus the other news agencies will despise competition that is funded by the government.

c_yeager
June 30, 2005, 07:01 AM
Newspaper and News magazines subscriptions have been falling like a rock. Meanwhile FNC ratings have soared.

While i agree that this shift from "mainstream media" is a good thing as it provides a wake-up call, i would hardly call FNC an unbiased source of anything. They are just as biased as anyone else, but they have a DIFFERENT bias.

spartacus2002
June 30, 2005, 08:01 AM
Meanwhile FNC ratings have soared.

Because of the new Heat 2-disc DVD set?

ba-DUM-CHING!! :D

cuchulainn
June 30, 2005, 10:10 AM
Actually, the Founders put the 1st in place because they wanted to protect a biased press. They didn't see newspapers as neutral providers of just the facts, ma'am. They saw them as vehicles for political propaganda.

The idea that the press should be unbiased is a 20th Century conceit, and we should leave it back in that century with pet rocks. It was never true, and it never will be.

It is similarly untrue that the press became biased. Rather, people became aware of the bias because it changed. Until the early 60s the bias leaned pro-American. After Vietnam, it leaned anti-American. But both were biased. The latter simply made more people angry than did the former.

The only thing that the myth of unbiased press ever did was to make people less aware of the bias. People in the 19th and earlier centuries were well aware of the biases and read the papers with that in mind.

Incidentally, Fox News is just as biased as ABC/NBC/CBC/CNN. Its only saving grace is that it wears its bias on its sleeve. It doesn't pretend. I admire that.

Third_Rail
June 30, 2005, 10:34 AM
Actually, the Founders put the 1st in place because they wanted to protect a biased press.

We have a winner.

The 1st amendment to slander whomever you wish, to convince people the government is bad, the 2nd to do something about it. Sneaky BoR, no?

richyoung
June 30, 2005, 10:45 AM
Actually, the Founders put the 1st in place because they wanted to protect a biased press. They didn't see newspapers as neutral providers of just the facts, ma'am. They saw them as vehicles for political propaganda.

The idea that the press should be unbiased is a 20th Century conceit, and we should leave it back in that century with pet rocks. It was never true, and it never will be.

True...but misleading. The Founding Fathers also felt tha tthe free market would result in numerous sources of information with DIFFERENT, COMPETING biases, allowing the public at large to at least hear all major sides of an issue. The modern, monolithic press, with major cities like Dallas served by only ONE real daily paper, and only 3 major networks, (plus Clear Channel on the radio) is a twentieth century phenomenon, slowly dieing thansk to talk rasio and the Web.

It is similarly untrue that the press became biased. Rather, people became aware of the bias because it changed.

...rather, became MONOLITHIC, and borderline TREASONABLE.

Until the early 60s the bias leaned pro-American. After Vietnam, it leaned anti-American. But both were biased. The latter simply made more people angry than did the former.

Some things should not be closely examined. The way laws, sausage, or war is made falls into that category. Had the press been the way it is now in WWII, waging that war would be impossible. And ince when is it good business practive to antagonize your customers? Such an attitude can only occur when THERE IS NO COMPETITION!

The only thing that the myth of unbiased press ever did was to make people less aware of the bias.

The "press", viewed in totto, WERE unbiased - for every "Daily Worker" advocating communism or anarchy as as solution to society's ills, there was a "Record Tribune" advocating debtor's prisons and public work houses for the indigent. Viewed as a whole, ther was no PREDOMINANT, OVERALL bias, unlike Vietanm Era to today, where clearly there is a massive, overall, statist/leftist/anti-american slant.

People in the 19th and earlier centuries were well aware of the biases and read the papers with that in mind.

...and could easily access a competing opinion from another paper, unlike today...

Incidentally, Fox News is just as biased as ABC/NBC/CBC/CNN. Its only saving grace is that it wears its bias on its sleeve. It doesn't pretend. I admire that.

FOX is far closer to neutral than any other source I've seen - how about you?

XLMiguel
June 30, 2005, 11:05 AM
Just as we should question authority, we also need to be sceptical of the 'news'. There's nothing wrong witha diversity of opinions, indeed, that's a good thing, but we all have the responsibility to examine the 'facts' and think it through.

Lack of critical thought is a sign of a lazy, indolent and self-absorbed society, and to me, that's the bigger problem. With the depth and breadth of information source available today, there's no excuse for not having a fully operative BS meter in any home that wants one.

What has been annoying me the most about the 'mainstream' media is how they carp about all the death and distruction in the ME with NO mention of what's gone right. We all know that war is messy, deadly business, but I want to hear about some of the good stuff that's being accomplished that balances out some of the sacrifices that are being made.

Clearly, the market mechanism is working in that as their credibilty erodes, so too does their circulation decline :neener: Still, the general laziness of teh public is worrisome.

Don Gwinn
June 30, 2005, 11:23 AM
Good thread. If you look at the old newspapers from about the turn of the last century and earlier, their advocacy was very open. An editor imposed his point of view without exception, and politicians all needed editors who would shepherd them along, protect them, and attack their opponents.

cuchulainn
June 30, 2005, 12:02 PM
FOX is far closer to neutral than any other source I've seen - how about you? Fox is neither neutral nor unbiased, and it makes no pretense to either. Neither fair nor balanced is a synonym for neutral or unbiased.

Fox does an imperfect job at being "fair and balanced," but it does better than many other networks. Some of them don't even make a token effort.

Kelsey
June 30, 2005, 12:02 PM
Critical thought is the key to the success of liberty. If we continue to accept what is being fed without personally anaylsing and researching, we end up becoming echo chambers for our sources. In the former Soviet Union, critical thought was quelled for years as the propoganda machine rolled forward. The result was millions of people enslaved without realizing it. Germany under Nazi rule of WWII is another example of how propoganda with force can turn common citizens into what we would describe as "monsters".

We must always question what we are being told and make decisions for ourselves.

mete
June 30, 2005, 12:18 PM
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050630/D8B1N4400.html This is a story about Howard Beach Brooklyn and to understand perhaps you have to be familiar with a story from there in the past. But you see it has quickly changed from 'blacks trying to steal cars' to 'hate crime against blacks' .I'm sure that now it will become a much bigger story since it changed to hate as did the older incident !

ChandlerM
June 30, 2005, 01:05 PM
Lets not forget that it is the "news" portion that should remain "fair and balanced". The editorial shows are what can be as biased as they like. Just hope the networks and us don't confuse the two.

Art Eatman
June 30, 2005, 11:25 PM
Separating "news" from "eidtorials": The first, allegedly, is to give the who/what/when/where information. The latter is intended as opinion.

Fine. Trouble is, news stories are written by people with viewpoints, and not only do they choose what or what not to cover, they can't help but put in some sort of bias by the choice of words that are used.

Straight reporting has little in the way of adjectives; adjectives commonly reflect an individual's views, as in, "...a deadly hail of lethal gunfire..." etc.

Purple prose from somebody with an emotional viewpoint about certain subjects automatically creates biased reporting...

Art

Monkeyleg
July 1, 2005, 12:24 AM
Here's an example of bias from a supposed "news" story concerning GW's speech on Tuesday evening, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

>>"We fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand," Bush said in the only passage that drew applause from troops. "So we will fight them there, we will fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won."<<

Notice the phrase "the only passage that drew applause from troops."

Those troops were under orders not to applaud, boo, hiss, say "hoorah", or make any other noise.

The reporter could have written "...their stand," Bush said. That would have left out what I see as a cheap shot.

The reporter could have written "...their stand," Bush said, drawing applause from troops who had been ordered not to applaud." That would have given some background.

The reporter could have written, "...their stand. So we will fight..." That would have been entirely neutral.

Instead, the reporter wrote what he thinks he saw, which is different from what I saw and was told.

That's why I read newspapers less and less. I don't need somebody explaining to me what I saw.

ravinraven
July 1, 2005, 08:13 AM
"...and could easily access a competing opinion from another paper, unlike today..."

Right on. The bias business is so bad...I once sat beside a reporter for one of our local rags at a County gov't meeting and watched her write her notes. later, her article came out. You'd have thought she were at a different meeting. Later, I met her on the street. She whipped out a sheet of paper. "Don't blame me," she said. "This is the report I turned in."

Her report was exatly as things happened. The "editors" hade changed things to reflect their bias and they weren't even at the meeting. The only thing they printed that she had was written was her name.

About 6 months later, she quit.

Different topic: You get a good view of bias and the way competing opinion ought to work by reading the account of the OK Corral in the two papers printed in Tombstone.

Still a different topic: Years ago there was a race between a hot Russian car and an hot American car. The American car won. The Russian press said: "The Russian car came in second. The American car came in next to last."

rr

Third_Rail
July 1, 2005, 09:12 AM
I like how the Russian paper put it. That's creative! :D

bogie
July 1, 2005, 09:20 AM
Well, there's a sizable group of folks out there who seem to think that they're intelligent. In fact, they're going to do us all the favor of taking care of us. They make sure that the news is reported the right way. They make sure the right stories are reported on.

They're from New York, and they're here to help us.

ravinraven
July 1, 2005, 09:30 AM
"They make sure the right stories are reported on."

The proper wording is: "They make sure the LEFT stories are reported on."

rr

c_yeager
July 2, 2005, 06:15 AM
There has ALWAYS been bias in journalism. Its part of the show. However, we live in a time where opposing viewpoints are more easily accessed than EVER before in history. Want to see the other side of the coin? then change the channel, subscribe to a different paper, or start up the internet. Bias in the news is LESS of a damaging influence today that it has ever been.

RealGun
July 2, 2005, 10:35 AM
The press is an antagonist of the establishment, which includes the current administration. Rove and the GOP are on the radar. Dem Durbin isn't, until his statement raises a fuss for a few days. Despite this simplistic model, I think the liberals get a break consistently. Who in his right mind would say the press as a whole is conservative or totally objective? In any case, the Dems digging the dirt or slinging mud is not news...no surprises there. It's status quo. A combative WH is much more interesting.

XLMiguel
July 2, 2005, 10:55 PM
"All the news that fits, we print."

With apoligies to Alfred E Neuman

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