Thursday, February 5, 2009

Media Bias

Just my opinion ...



When I hear people complain about bias in the news media, I can't help but laugh. Grave concern about this "problem" is endemic among BOTH my Conservative, and my Liberal friends.


Just one little complication to the argument ...

When it comes to news (especially as it relates to politics), "Bias" is pretty much in the eye of the beholder.

- If a news story agrees with your opinion, or supports your candidate, it's judged to be "fair".

- If on the other hand, a news story is critical of your views, and/or supports the views of those you disagree with, it's quite obviously "biased".

The really funny thing is; in today's day and age, when you sit down at your computer, turn on the tv, or even head over to the town bookstore, you're almost guaranteed to find hundreds, if not thousands, of stories and articles of BOTH the "fair", and the "biased" variety.

Media bias may have been a valid concern back in the 70s or even the early 80s, when there were only a couple of TV channels, and no Internet to offer variety from the news and opinion in the local paper. But in 2008, no matter what your political persuasion or interest advocacy, you are almost guaranteed to be able to find ample media sources that support and lend credence to ideas and opinions that you already hold.

Here's the real kicker for me; the next time you hear someone complain about media bias, check this out ...

- You will almost Never hear someone complain that they themselves feel uninformed because the media is too biased.

- The concern is almost Always that other people (who are obviously less savvy) may in some way be influenced by the biased media ... and thus form views and opinions that are "wrong".

That should tell you all you need to know about whether this a Real issue or not.

Just my opinion of course,
Todd
;-)

6 comments:

  1. Hi Grog,

    Nice to meet you. When you say that you're heavily influenced, do you feel that you're "unfairly" influenced? ... or that you don't have enough choices to get a variety of angles, on which to base your opinions?

    Btw, I had a quick look at your blog ... I like yours too ... will stop by and make a few comments when I get home from work later.

    Keep havin FuN!
    Todd

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  2. hi Todd,
    Good post. I agree with you that the problem is "other people" being wrong (though it's not their fault, they're just not as enlightened as I am). The problem isn't bias. It's right and wrong. I'm right. The other people are wrong. Thus, the other people are the problem. :)
    Seriously though, I do think the "media" decides what to cover and what not to cover, and often doesn't cover what I think really matters. Rather than discussing the details of how the 700 billion dollar "bailout" package or the nearly trillion dollar "stimulus" package is going to blown... I mean "spent", they are busy covering a woman that had 8 babies and what Paris Hilton wore at an awards show last night... but I guess that's what the public want to read about...
    ~ Steve, the completely-unbiased trade show guru ;)
    PS. Your reply on wives and what "clean" means had me rolling on the floor again!

    trade show guru’s last blog post..Trade Show Zombies

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  3. Hi Steve,

    You know, if we're really honest with ourselves, most folks don't want an unbiased media (if were even possible for such an animal to exist). What we *really* want is for the media to be biased in such a way that our own views and beliefs are validated.

    Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), with the great variety of Internet, TV and print media out there today, if someone really wanted to, it's quite possible to get literally all of our news from a source that is biased toward our own beliefs.

    Personally, I like the great variety for a different reason. I can hop online, and read the New York Times, or Huffinton Post, then when I'm driving home from work in my car, I can listen to Hugh Hewitt or Michael Medved on the radio. Then I usually come to my own conclusions ... which normally tend to fall somewhere in between.

    I may still be "wrong" from time to time. But ultimately, I like to think that if I'm uninformed about an issue, it's essentially my fault ... not the media's.

    lol, now if everybody was only as conscientious as I, what a wonderful world it would be ...

    ;-)

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  4. I have to disagree and say to a certain extent the media is biased. Stories are often written to sell paper or get viewers on the news. If a story is more interesting more people will want to read it. Footage that you see on the news is edited to show a perspective of the story being told and the same footage can be edited to tell different stories.

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  5. Hey Todd,
    I agree that the important thing is that with the internet, blogs, radio, and cable TV, anyone can find anything they want. I also tend to agree that there is no such thing as "unbiased" reporting, or at least it's not reasonable to expect, because reporting can't cover everything, and what is left out inherently produces a bias.
    I thing the bigger issue, if it is an issue, is that most people just don't care and don't pay attention, and one can't make people care. Plus we've all got our own "special interests". It makes me chuckle when people talk about those bad "special interest" groups. I suppose a bad special interest group is a group that represents an interest different than your interest. :)
    ~ Steve, the trade show guru

    trade show guru’s last blog post..Trade Show Zombies

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  6. @Khaled of course the media is biased ... life is biased ... I just think it's "problem" ... at least not one that there is any sort of a viable solution to.

    @Steve it would appear we think somewhat alike on this issue. It's my belief that we the people are sometimes a little schizophrenic when it comes to what we want (especially as it relates to politics/government).

    For example, one side claims to want "less government"; until you ask them what program/service that directly benefits them or their family should be cut ... almost always followed by a deafening silence.

    The other side has no problem at all with higher taxes ... as long as it's somebody else who's paying them.

    Like you said, we all have our own unique "special interests" ... it's the American way.

    Ok, I'm gonna jump down from rant now ... lol, I don't intend to turn this into a political blog ... but a little debate from time to time sure can be entertaining!

    :-)

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