Media Bias

This week we’ve seen some fine examples of media bias in action.

The left wing insists that liberal bias in the mainstream media is a myth, cooked up by those horrible people at Fox.  The right wing insists that Fox is as fair and balanced as talk radio.  Both opinions are idiotic.

Bias, like pornography, can be hard to define, but smartenized people know it when they see it.  It can be the subtle selection of adverbs and adjectives.  It can be the placement of the story in a newspaper.  It can be how often the story is reported.  Or it can be something as obvious as completely ignoring a story that casts your side in a bad light.

The mainstream media has very strong lefty bias which is invisible to lefties.  Fox and talk radio have a strong right wing bias.  Anyone who gets all their information from either the left or the right is going to be ill informed.  Not only will they be getting their news from skewed angles, they’ll completely miss some stories.

We saw two great examples of bias this week.

Both factions covered the Tea Party march on Washington very differently.  Fox celebrated it and gave it wall to wall coverage.   They, along with other right wing news outlets, featured lots of bird’s eye view pictures which showed the size of the crowd.  The official estimate was 70,000 people, but some conservative news organizations put the number as high as 1.2 million.  (Most made corrections later.)

The lefty media used very different tactics.  Virtually every picture  was from a low angle, concentrating on specific sign or two.  I didn’t see any that showed the size of the crowd.

In any crowd of that size there are going to be some tasteless, trashy signs, and that’s what they showed.  About a dozen really sick ones were featured over and over in various media outlets.  And of course, the whining cry of “Racism!” was spewed at every opportunity.

BTW, Lefties, the phrase “teabagging” is not only an indication of your bias and childishness, but it’s such an obvious pun it was an overused cliché within a day of it first being uttered.  I don’t mind juvenile humor (in fact, sometimes I rather enjoy it) but I hate clichés.  If you’d like to get a little more respect, grow up.

I saw several reports that described the crowd as “thousands of people.”  Technically, that’s correct.  But when that phrase is used to describe tens of thousands of people, it’s pretty hard to deny bias.

My local rag, the Times Union, didn’t even put it on the front page.

A better example, though, is the ACORN story.  ACORN is a very lefty advocacy group that receives government funding.  Their long history of voter fraud has been more or less ignored by the mainstream media.

This past week a couple, pretending to be a hooker and her pimp, took hidden cameras to ACORN and asked for advice on buying property to set up a brothel.  The ACORN advisors were eager to help.  They didn’t even flinch when the couple talked about bringing in 13 year old girls from El Salvador to work as hookers, or when asked how to break campaign contribution laws so the pimp could run for office.  Instead they gave them advice on how to cheat the IRS and avoid getting caught by the police.

ACORN insisted it was an anomaly and said they fired the two workers responsible.  The undercover agent’s responded by doing it again, in a different office, and getting the same results.  On their second try the advisor bragged about killing her husband.   They were able to get ACORN advisors in five different offices, all over the country, to provide them with help.

This is a story that has it all – a government funded agency, tax cheats, hookers, pimps and pedophilia.  Did you see the story on ABC, NBC, or CBS?  Nope.  They ignored it completely.  Was it a lead story in the New York Times?  I know, I’m being silly.  (You can find the original videos on

Fox, of course, was on it like a Pit Bull on a Pomeranian.  They played the videos over and over and provided hours of commentary.  Their excessive coverage of the story almost made up for the mainstream media ignoring it.

There was a brief mention of it on NPR, but they closed it with an excuse.  Those poor uneducated women were a product of a nasty environment and so they didn’t know any better.  Boo Hoo.  I’ve known a lot of women who grew up in nasty environments and surprisingly, none of them were eager to help a pimp set up a brothel full of 13 year old prostitutes imported from Central America.

So when each side accuses the other of media bias, they’re both right.  There is no such thing as unbiased media.  It doesn’t exist.  People who get all their news from The New York Times are just as ignorant as people who only watch Fox.  Watching and reading the news presented by both sides, and taking their biases into account, is the only way to be to have any idea of what’s really going on – the only way to be smartenized.

5 Comment(s)

  1. childlessness – you mean childishness. Great article.

    Erik | Sep 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. I really need my own personal proofreader.

    Dave Hitt | Sep 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. Dave,
    I agree that all media has some bias, some more than others, but as I mentioned in a post on another topic, Fox does seem to be less biased than the others. As for “Fair and Balanced” you are correct, they are not, but they do try to just present the news and not give their opinion as to how you should feel about it. And Fox is not all conservative, as is evident by the fact that Geraldo Rivera is still on Fox. As for the example you mentioned of 9/12, only Fox and CNN were actually there, and most were saying “tens of thousands” including the afore mentioned Geraldo Rivera, which implies less than 100,000. But I saw more than that when I was there and this picture suggests there were much more than that.

    This was the picture I was not able to take because they would not let us get on the steps of the Capitol Building. But I can give you a link to the pictures I did take. Also, there is a time lapse video of the march from Freedom Plaza to the capitol Building that shows it was curb to curb for 3.5 hours. I was near the front.


    Brian Riley | Sep 21, 2009 | Reply

  4. I think it’s important to point out too that the U.S. Media has pretty much always been biased since its very beginning. No mainstream news media outlet has ever put out perfectly “fair and balanced” information out to the public. It’s simply impossible to do so. Although I do agree that it’s gotten much, much worse in recent years, it has always been a problem. In fact, the phrase “yellow journalism,” which is a derogatory term to describe biased journalism, dates all the way back to the 1890s, when newspaper magnates William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer both published sensationalist stories (filled with outright lies) about ill-treatment of Americans by the Spanish. This drummed up war support in congress and resulted in the Spanish-American War (sound familiar anyone?).

    Brian | Sep 30, 2009 | Reply

  5. And the very idea that journalism should be unbiased is a fairly recent one. There are still some old daily newspapers around that have
    “Republican” or “Democrat” in the title.

    Hittman | Sep 30, 2009 | Reply

1 Trackback(s)

  1. Sep 17, 2009: from COACHEP » Blog Archive » Posts about ACORN as of September 16, 2009

Post a Comment