Third Party & Independents Archives

Media Bias? What Media Bias?

I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican. So the question of whether or not media bias exists is of only peculiar interest to me: the same way one might be fascinated by a person who has a normally functioning cerebral cortex, but nonetheless denies that there is something called a “moon” that makes regular nocturnal appearances in the sky.

News of Nancy Pelosi’s arithmetical gaff tip-toed on tiny cat paws into the public conscience a few days ago, almost a month after it happened, largely driven by a YouTube video that most media would have preferred we had not seen.

Therein, she opines that “every month that we don’t have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs.” Raise your hand if you’ve never said something stupid like that, just so we know who the liars are among us. Nonetheless…

I’ve seen the clip, and it’s cut short, so I don’t know if any of the reporters jumped to their feet and pointed out that there are only about 306 million people in the United States to begin with, although journalism as a college major doesn’t exactly attract the mathematically endowed, being somewhat content-free.

So I’m guessing: no.

Or consider this: in a YouTube video where she defends the notion that large expenditures for BIRTH CONTROL will stimulate the economy (write your own joke), she actually talks about “more bang for the buck.” Really, I don’t think you have to be a humorist to know that there’s some really low-hanging fruit here.

In a late-breaking development, Sarah Palin has commented, “Maybe Nancy’s tongue’s been a-getting’ in the way of her eye teeth, and she just can’t see what she’s been a-sayin.”

No, really. I made up the part about Sarah Palin. But as a joke, what did you think? I bet that depends.

How media are biased is not a function of what they report, but what they choose to ignore. As evidence, imagine Sarah Palin had said something just as numerically stupid—twice. She would have been pilloried by the Lenos, Lettermans, and Feys of the world. She would be made a laughingstock.

And if she would have chirped the words “more bang for the buck” anywhere in the vicinity of a discussion on contraception? Don’t even get me started.

But so what? I suspect people filter through their own screens whatever they read and hear and make adjustments for perceived biases.

It was that way at the turn of the last century. People chose the newspaper that fulfilled their prejudices then, which is not too different from opting for the New York Times over the Wall Street Journal now.

As long as media are privately owned, they’re will be multiple biases. Conversely, the day that all are government owned, there will just be one perspective.

I hope we all recognize the lesser of two evils when we see it.

Posted by Stephen G. Barone at February 9, 2009 2:11 PM
Comment #275282

I wonder if this clip will get some air time in the media?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 9, 2009 3:02 PM
Comment #275283

Oh! and about the joke…!
It depends on whether you’re a Saturday Night Live fan or not.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 9, 2009 3:05 PM
Comment #275288

Media bias is a joke of an issue raised by people on both sides with, guess what, a bias. Bias pushers have even created a mythical entity called the “main stream media” or MSM so that they can rail against it. Any communication system that has people involved will have some sort of bias in it from either the sender or the receiver. That’s just the nature of humans.

Read MediaMatters or Dick Morris’ Off With Their Heads if you like; they will either confirm or deny your already established bias. As a political issue can be entertaining to highlight obvious attempts at bias from your opponents (interjecting your own bias of course), but entertaining is about it.

Posted by: George at February 9, 2009 4:13 PM
Comment #275292

Media bias, in my opinion, is not a problem so long as the facts are straight. Left, Right, Center, the point of journalism is to get people the truth, not merely as one sees it, but as it actually is. If all Reporters, regardless of their political sensibilities, are required to rise to the same high standards, bias helps, rather than hurts, because that person might pursue what their competitors might shrink from.

Which is to say that we need balance less than we need the truth. The truth sometimes hurts, and hurts somebody in particular. The Republicans blundered into an era of errors by spinning themselves into a cocoon of media bias allegations, which kept them from being honest enough with themselves to catch and prevent their errors. We all get annoyed when somebody we don’t agree with questions us, or those we support. We have to learn to deal with it, and deal with what they’re speaking of, if it’s true.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 9, 2009 5:04 PM
Comment #275300

The government is an oscilating fan and the media is in the front row throwing crap into it.

The rest of us are in the later rows and catch the crap as it flies out of the fan.

Of course our elected officials are on the stage, supplying the crap to the media, so they aren’t affected by the crap either way. They control the crap.

That’s what happens when you surrender control of 300 million people, or 500 million people a month, to 565 people.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 9, 2009 6:31 PM
Comment #275302

Agree WW, Big biz can easily continue to buy up 565 hungry lawyers. that’s why I’m advocating for reform through a new third party with a different attitude. A Party that can put accountability into politics by having members provide oversight for party members fortunate enough to become elected to fed or state office.
Takes a lot of greed and a ‘give a s..t attitude’ to allow the Southern border to remain open. Now Atlanta and Phoenix are experiencing the cartel violence. Over 109 cities have major drug violence. This government not only refuses to enforce our laws but fuels the violence by giving guns and money to the Mex. government. We’d be way better off giving guns and money to Mugabe or some such dictator who is distant from our borders. But, few seem to mind. Praise be the transnationals and pass the biscuits! Shoot them all and let God sort them out attitude. People are leaving the border ares and S. Calif. to get away from the violence. That will work for a while. Surely, we are the laughing stock of the world.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 9, 2009 7:34 PM
Comment #275307

We’re not the laughing stock of the world! We just don’t realize how many people in the world looking at our government the same way we are, as our provider.

How many of those cities are looking toward and waiting for our government to show us the results of the “War on Poverty” and the “War on Drugs” and now the “War on Terror” and let’s not forget the “War on the Middle Class”?

All have been initiated and approved by the government we bow to! Where’s the results, or are we just waiting for the hell of it? Hoping for change again?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 9, 2009 9:40 PM
Comment #275310

Who are we kidding? We haven’t had a NEWS media in several decades. It’s all just entertainment. Entertainment is by nature biased. It is biased in favor of what sells. It doesn’t have to take sides on issues, because it rarely touches real issues. Issues are boring. Is the media leaning left…unlikely because it is owned by the right. Any left leaning just means there are more liberals taking liberal arts (journalism) than conservatives, who lean more toward business and/or religion (perhaps because business is religion to some, and religion is business to others)

Posted by: Marysdude at February 9, 2009 10:32 PM
Comment #275315

Yeah WW, that’s what globalization has done for us. If we sneeze they get a cold. Bush had a plan to put Mexican citizens on SS by cutting in half the number of quarters it took for a US worker to qualify for SS. Wonder how much of the $8T in bailouts will be used to purchase foreign materials? Generally a job is about half labor and half materials. So, a rough wag might be $3T.
True also, that some developing countries have lost their manufacturing to the lands of cheaper labor and are not at all happy with globalization.

Looking for change? Hardly. You know I’m hell bent on reform. (include my standard spiel on a new third party in here)

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 9, 2009 11:07 PM
Comment #275318

As a First Amendment absolutist, I have no problem with media bias itself—why shouldn’t members of the media be biased? I get annoyed when people decry the lack of “objectivity” in the media as if the media were supposed to be a branch of government that somehow “serves the greater good.” They’re not that and never were. The media is made up of quirky, odd, and sometimes outrageous individuals that are allied with various interested parties who put up the money to broadcast/publish them, and they’re virtually always pushing one agenda or another. Just look at the history of the media in this country. In more than one way, it’s like a history of pirates, and I don’t meant that as an insult. Pirates are kind of cool, and all those wild and very interesting pamphlets published during the Revolutionary War (like those of Thomas Paine) are what the First Amendment freedoms of the press were expressly designed to protect. None of those things were “objective,” and by now psychologists and philosophers have pretty much demolished the idea that anybody is ever really “objective” anyway. So lets drop the pretense.

The problem with the biased media, however, it two-fold. And again, the problem isn’t really the bias itself.

1). The pretense of objectivity where none exists. This is less a problem of bias that with the stupidity of any person who believes what he was taught in American public schools about civics and the role of the press in a “free society.” Such a person lacks the ability to see beyond dominant media paradigms and understand that he is seeing the world through a filter. Why shouldn’t a deeply biased talking head claim to be unbiased if doing so will cause large numbers of people to more easily brainwashed? Don’t blame the media. If anything, blame parents for not rioting in the streets over the dumbing down of our public education system at the hands of the commissars of political correctness and collectivist ideology.

One of the cleverest liberal tricks (and I do give them credit for it) is their success in instilling, on a massive scale, a kind of what Marx called “false consciousness,” an inversion of values wherein the advancement of left wing values are interpreted as the advancement of freedom and independent thinking rather than utter intellectual conformity and intellectual/economic slavery.

2). And the second problem is the corruption of the First Amendment, corruption wherein anybody who designates themselves as “the media” enjoys rights to speech that common citizens do not. This is the MOST serious problem of all in my opinion because it results, as in Orwell’s Animal Farm, in a situation where some people are “more equal than others.”

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 9, 2009 11:53 PM
Comment #275334
utter intellectual conformity and intellectual/economic slavery.

Umm, that’s the gameplan of the right, not the left. Which highlights the cleverest right wing trick (and I do give them credit for it) which is to recognize their own vulnerability and accuse the other side of being guilty of it.

If Pelosi doesn’t know the numbers any better than indicated by the gaffe, then it should be big news. But of course she does and so it isn’t.

Posted by: Schwamp at February 10, 2009 1:08 PM
Comment #275347

Well, all I think I know at this point is the government is going to make available around $8T to almost any entity that wants to participate in spending it. That Geithner fella can talk for hours throwing around financial terminology while baffling them with BS. If they have the votes, which they seem too, why don’t they just vote on it and get it done. The longer they wait the less likely the public will agree.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 10, 2009 4:42 PM
Comment #275365

You are correct in your historical perspective re. the press. William Herst comes to mind. As for your statement about “clever liberal trick” . Through the looking glass on that one. Individual freedom is a basic liberal tenent. Look it up in a dictionary sometime, or is Webster biased?

I am living overseas now and really miss PBS News Hour. That is about as unbiased a news program as you will ever find. The draw back is they go into so much depth that they do not have the time to cover as many issues. The plus is that they do not report things like “Upper caste female still missing in Aruba!”. Some on the right may believe they are biased because they us big words,though.

Posted by: bills at February 10, 2009 10:59 PM
Comment #275382

While very insightful and dead on, the “One of the cleverest liberal tricks” statement was not mine.

Individual freedom may be a basic liberal tenent from days long past, but it is no longer a tenent todays liberals believe in.

And yes, we know you all on the left think you are so much smarter than everybody else and that you should dictate how everybody else lives, for their own good. But the bias has nothing to do with the “big words” used to make yourselves feel superior, and everything to do with your policies you wish to force upon us.
Its surprising, with your superior intellect and all, that you guys haven’t figured that out yet.

Posted by: kctim at February 11, 2009 10:17 AM
Comment #275406

It’s funny. Either way you look at it if you are extreme right or extreme left you do not truely believe in freedom. Just as Kctim says the stuff about liberals, the same can be said about the righteous right on how they believe all their ways are right based on a bible the majority they don’t follow.

Posted by: kudossupreme at February 11, 2009 8:15 PM
Comment #275418

It may not be just the right that fails us in our times. I think the name of the song, “America The Beautiful”, should be changed to, “America The Ignorant”…

>In the 150 years since he published his groundbreaking On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, and the 200 years since the date of his birth celebrated this week, Charles Darwin has failed to convince the majority of Americans of the validity of his theories; an August 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, found that 63% of Americans say they believe that humans and other animals have either always existed in their present form or have evolved over time under the guidance of a supreme being while only 26% say that life evolved solely through processes such as natural selection. A similar Pew Research Center poll, released in August 2005, found that 64% of Americans support teaching creationism alongside evolution in the classroom.

I know how unbiased (tongue-in-cheek) the Pew is, but even the Pew can’t have missed this by more than 25%, and if 38% of Americans still don’t believe in evolution…Gawd help us! After all, all they have to do is look at the male of our own species to see evolution at work. You would not think that in this modern age, with all the information at hand, we’d be one of the most backward nations on earth…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 12, 2009 4:34 AM
Comment #275420
A faith that requires you to close your mind in order to believe is not much of a faith at all.

An exert from:

This is the difference between Christians and Evangelicals. This writer is a Christian…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 12, 2009 9:20 AM
Comment #275421

I can assure you that I am not part of this “righteous right” you speak of and that none of my “ways” come from any bible.

Do you think that number will change much if the so-called “missing link” is ever found?

Posted by: kctim at February 12, 2009 9:43 AM
Comment #275436


The so-called, ‘missing link’, is inconsequential. I don’t need the missing link to believe the earth was formed more than eight thousand years ago. And the missing link is not needed for me to believe that man is separated from monkey by just a few genetic differences, which are explainable by evolutionary theory.

The missing link is for faith based, argumentatives who have nothing else to back their blind adherence to the Holy Ghost. Did you ever wonder why those old Hebrews called their YehWeh, Ghost? Holy Ghost…hmmm…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 12, 2009 2:01 PM
Comment #275443

Of course we don’t need the link in order to believe in evolution, that is the direction of our own bias. But would such a discovery be enough to change the mind of a person who is biased towards a religion?
Would people be so willing to make excuses as they do with their political bias, as we see currently being done on a daily basis?

Posted by: kctim at February 12, 2009 2:51 PM
Comment #275447

Nope…for those people, nothing will convince them. Only education will help. Almost 80% who have some college to post graduate college know life is evolving. That percentage drops to less than 30% for those with little to no education. I guess that means…the more you know, the more you know?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 12, 2009 4:31 PM
Comment #275448


You can draw your own conclusions as to the last half of your query…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 12, 2009 4:33 PM
Comment #275450

We both know the 80% who know life is evolving also disagree on how it is evolving and from what or where it is evolving. Maybe such a discovery would settle that disagreement for many?

Anyway, that Pew info was interesting and I since I find such things interesting and have no reason to be hostile or demeaning to those of faith, I was just kind of wondering out loud.
Didn’t mean to waste your time.

Posted by: kctim at February 12, 2009 5:03 PM
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