Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

    Just curious what you guys think about this question. Do you think the mainstream media is biased - in a liberal direction?

  • #2
    Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

    Good question Tarmill. I'm going to give this one some thought, and get back to you with a well thought out opinion at a later date. This question definitely raises other sub-questions as well. Looks like it'll be a good discussion here.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

      Tarmill...


      What do YOU think? And why?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

        Do you think the mainstream media is biased - in a liberal direction?

        This is a loaded question especially phrased like that.

        Doesn?t ?Do you think there is bias in the media and if so, do you think its Liberal or Conservative?? sound more ?fair and balanced??

        Even then, I think this question has problems.

        What is "main stream media"? It?s not a single entity. By ?media?, I assume you mean ?mass communication?, but what makes some mass communication ?main stream?? And if not ?main stream? what other kinds of mass communication are there?

        Are "blogs" more in the mainstream then they were 5 years ago?

        If you recall, the blogosphere had a definite impact on the day-to-day headlines during the last national election (& will have in the short & long term unless they succumb to the present assault on the freedom of the internet). Blogs were where the stories about Kerry?s citations in Vietnam, Bush?s reserve duty and the Dan Rather fiasco started and were fueled until ?picked up? by the brand name media outlets. Blogs have no editors and their authors definitely have agendas, but does that negate their possible contributions to the national debate or fact-finding? I say, if you don?t like them, don?t read them.

        Is cable news "main stream"? At one time our national MSM (Main Stream Media) was defined as only ABC, NBC & CBS on the broadcast side & a handful of newspapers like the LA & NY Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, to name a few. Those were the days when facts meant something. Facts ruled. Opinions that were not based in fact were recognized and called hyperbole.

        Once CNN went 24/7 there was a crass competitiveness to get a story on the air & check the facts later. Facts aren?t sexy; they?re wonky and wonky is for nerds. Editors were replaced by program directors & now it?s more important to stick to the program.

        Are all those people that yell their opinions at each other part of the ?news? media or the ?entertainment? media? I think it?s called infotainment.

        Once the science of advertising took hold, facts were framed, twisted or ignored to sell a product without remorse. Then ideas and ideologies became products, commodities. Spin was in. The truth be damned.

        All forms of news, current events and political or social observations are matters of perception that are inherently skewed by perspective. Neutrality is not a commercially viable commodity. If it doesn't sell it isn't distributed and it won?t sell if it's not reduced to the lowest common denominator. You can?t tell a story in a sound byte, but you can sell a lot of papers.

        Messages are transferred via vocabulary & all word meanings are founded with experiential links. (When a Floridian talks of cold weather what does someone from Minnesota hear?) There are undeniable biases at play when a message is conveyed. A conversation can only be carried on when the 2 parties ?speak the same language?. The language selected can have a cultural, intellectual or regional ?dialect?, but there will always be a common, preset and thereby biased thread linking the participants.

        Ever heard the expression ?I couldn?t talk to them? or ?They wouldn?t listen to me?. Even though the language was the same, the ?vocabulary of understanding? was not reached.

        Take the term ?tax relief?. By using the word 'relief' there is an implication that there is distress. Sure, nobody likes to pay taxes, but if there were no taxes we would all be caring guns and garbage would fill the dirt roads. ?Taxes? are not the problem, ?excessive taxes? are. The very choice of the words will reflect a subliminal message. (I touched on this in another thread ?Between the Lines? under the Controversial topics.)

        If someone is against certain tax cuts, are they automatically for tax increases? I hear this over simplification way to often on TV & in the press. It is just not true, yet gets repeated time and again.

        I think the question should be: On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being not very and 10 being extremely, how ?opinionated? do you think the news media are today? Or the entertainment media?

        All communication has a bias, on a mass scale or on a personal level, but by saying ?Liberal bias? is to implicate that that all bias is Liberal.

        There is plenty of bias to go around. On the Internet, on the airwaves & in the papers. We all choose to have our news delivered in the language that we speak & understand & I say "viva la difference."

        For what it?s worth,
        CD
        Need computer assistance?
        See my Classified/Computer maintenance listing or send me a private message.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

          Oh, I think there certainly is liberal bias in the mainstream media. I mean the New York Times - the ultimate in Establishment media is very clearly biased. You can see it almost any day in just their front page headlines or the stories they choose to cover and the ones they choose to ignore. Just the other day for instance they ran this headline on the front page:

          "Once Again, Gazans Are Displaced by Israeli Occupiers"
          July 12th edition

          I just don't see how it gets more biased than that. First, they choose to focus on Gazans as the victims while ignoring the fact that the Israelis are the real victims. They ignore the fact that Israel was not shooting any missiles into Gaza or Lebanon until AFTER they were fired upon by terrorists from there! So just the whole way their headline frames the issue betrays their bias. There was no Israeli "occupation" until AFTER the terrorists decided to break the peace.

          They also say, "Once Again..." trying to make Israel look as bad as they possibly can by subtly suggesting that Israel does this all the time just for the sake of dislocating civilians.

          But the most egregious thing here is that they call Israel "occupiers". So let me get this straight? Hamas and Hezbollah acting out of Lebanon first kidnap an Israeli soldier - FROM Israel (they apparently had to get an Israeli soldier who was IN Israel because they weren't able to seize one of the occupying soldiers! I'm being facetious because there weren't any occupying soldiers to seize)! Then Hamas and Hezbollah begin firing rockets on civilian areas in Israel. Israel strikes back - as they must if they wish to survive - and the New York Times calls that "occupation"!? That is without a doubt one of the most biased things I've read ever.

          I call it self-defense. But if you want to be seriously unbiased your headline would read something like this:

          "Gazans Are Displaced as Israel Fights Back"

          That's a statement of fact. Calling Israel "occupiers" is a statement of opinion. But even this headline would be biased because it puts the emphasis on the displaced Gazans instead of where it should be - on the Israelis that were attacked first and now must fight for their very survival.


          It's not really a question of whether or not there is a liberal bias in the mainstream media. I don't think anybody seriously questions that. I mean look at Dan Rather and CBS News last year actually making stories up. Stories to hurt John Kerry? No. Stories to hurt Bush. When a media organization stoops to making stories up, all you have to do is look at who would be hurt and helped by these made up stories to determine what their bias is.

          The problem though is not that there is bias in the newsroom. It would be absolutely impossible to keep bias out of the news. The problem is that what many perceive as "liberally-biased" news organizations will say publicly that they're not biased. That they're mainstream. And that's the problem. They need to just say "yeah, we're on the liberal side of most issues". Then it wouldn't be a problem at all. But to pretend that they have no bias when clearly they do - that's the harmful part. If they were upfront about it, then no harm done. Everybody knows where everybody else is coming from.

          FoxNews who many say is biased - at least is very open in letting viewers know what their various personalities think. I mean everyone knows Sean Hannity is conservative. No attempt to hide that. Everyone knows Alan Combes is liberal. They have many liberal commentators who are identified as such. And their conservative commentators are identified as such as well.

          The problem isn't in the bias. The problem is in trying to hide the bias.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

            Vbad:

            Yet again, I must concur with your analysis. You pretty much verbalized here what I was thinking. I choose not to watch any program on Fox News(primarily because I despise Bill O'Reilly), so I cannot comment on their bias or lack thereof. I do however, watch MSNBC quite a lot. And, between Tucker Carlson (He is a self-professed Liberal/Conservative...Huh?) and Keith Obermann, I'm not quite sure whom I would deem more liberally biased. Liberal, yes. No doubt. Expressing their personal opinions in a thought-provoking manner? Absolutely. Do I always agree? Not always. But on topics so controversial such as the Middle East, Immigration and our so-called president, I appreciate their opinions and well-thought out commentary.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

              Yes, that's exactly right CC69. I think MSNBC is kind of like Fox in that they don't really try to hide what their bias is. I mean I think Keith Obermann is pretty open about the fact that he's liberal. He gives pretty blatant "commentary" during his newscast so he's obviously not trying to hide who he is. And that's why I don't have a problem with him.

              The kind of people I have a problem with are the Dan Rathers and the Tom Brokaws (and their replacements whose names I don't even know)! But they went out of their way to hide where they were really coming from. Although to any objective observer their bias came through loud and clear through their newscasts.

              It was their dishonesty in not admitting they were liberal that bothered me. Whenever they were directly asked what they were they steadfastly refused to answer. Same with the New York Times which continues to pretend it's middle of the road.

              For me the problem isn't bias - and I do agree with seedy on this - EVERYONE is biased. It's the attempt to hide your bias that's the problem. Just be open about it. Admit you're liberal or admit you're conservative - be honest with your viewers. Let them know where you're coming from so they can assess your reporting accordingly. It's dishonest to pretend you're something your'e not and it misleads viewers and readers. And therein lies the danger.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

                Why is does everything have to be presented in binary code (0 or 1)? Life is not presented in black & white. There are not only many shades of grey, but then you get color as well.

                This has been a problem for me on on this board.

                I don't think of myself as coming from the same place all the time on different issues. I don't like being called a liberal nor do I like being called a conservative. As I'm sure you've seen, I have no problem speaking my mind, it's just that I don't appreciate other people trying to paint me with their bias brush. Just because I have an opinion with a right leaning perpective on one issue doesn't preclude that I may have a stand that leans slightly left or even far left on another.

                The political issues that I deal with daily are extremely complex and I refuse to put in a box for the sake of simplification. The issues are not simple, I am not simple & I would not insult my fellow conversationalist by dummying things down to a simplistic form.

                I'm a wonk. I revel in nuance. I might not even answer the same question tommorrow as I have today. That doesn't mean I'm hiding anything, it just means that I may have new information.

                Presenting the news is not as easy as it may seem.

                I remember back in 2001 there was a story the Reuters had instructed it's editors to strike the word 'terrorist' from all copy. Their contention was that from a purely neutral point of view, a terrorist to one person might be a liberationist or merely an opponent to another.

                I have to go, but I will elaborate later.
                CD
                Need computer assistance?
                See my Classified/Computer maintenance listing or send me a private message.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

                  Originally posted by seedyonenyc
                  I don't like being called a liberal
                  I don't think anyone called YOU a liberal seedy. Dang! I guess it's all about YOU huh Seedy!? Fact is, I don't think anyone here was talking about YOU. I wasn't. I was talking about the MEDIA! I know you like to make things seem ultra-complex so no one can ever come to a conclusion and stick by it. And so complex that no one should ever come up with generalizations. But unfortunately, without generalizations no one would be able to make it through life.

                  I generalize everyday to get through life. I see someone coming towards me, looking down at the ground as they walk, carrying a bag of groceries and I generalize from past experience that I will most likely pass this person without incident. On the other hand I see someone coming towards me who's staggering and has a bottle of vodka in their hand and a baseball bat in the other and I generalize that I should be a little more careful than usual, this may not be so safe and I try to walk around him getting as far away as possible. At least out of baseball bat range.

                  Same with liberal and conservative. Fact is, the people who don't want to call the terrorists terrorists are considered liberal because liberals, big-name liberals, like those who run what we know to be liberal web sites like dailykos and the like - as well as most Democratic Senators and Congressmen in Washington - like to downplay the threat of terror. And one way they do that is by insinuating that the terrorists actually do have good cause to be attacking us because they are in fact nothing more than freedom fighters.

                  Therefore Reuters is considered liberal because they consider the terrorists to be more freedom fighters - than terrorists. You see, it's really quite simple. No need for all the complications. And please - don't think everything that is said here is directed to you personally. I was certainly not talking about whatever your political leanings might be.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

                    To Vbad;

                    "Do you think the mainstream media is biased - in a liberal direction?" was the question.

                    I (oops, there's that word again) will try harder next time to answer a question about what I think without mentioning me, myself or I.

                    In the mean time I want to thank you for reaffirming how your generalizing sees you through.

                    Best wishes,
                    CD

                    PS Rest assured I always consider the source before I take offense if or when I am being addressed.

                    Sincerely,
                    CD
                    Need computer assistance?
                    See my Classified/Computer maintenance listing or send me a private message.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

                      Originally posted by vbad
                      Therefore Reuters is considered liberal because they consider the terrorists to be more freedom fighters - than terrorists. You see, it's really quite simple. No need for all the complications. And please - don't think everything that is said here is directed to you personally. I was certainly not talking about whatever your political leanings might be.
                      Here's what they have to say.

                      Best Wishes,
                      CD

                      Reuters editorial policy:
                      " Reuters news operations are based on the company's Trust Principles which stipulate that the integrity, independence and freedom from bias of Reuters must be upheld at all times.

                      Reuters has strict policies in place to ensure adherence to these principles. We are committed to accurate and balanced reporting. Errors of fact are always promptly corrected and clearly published.

                      Reuters is the largest international multi-media news agency, reporting extensively from around the world on topics ranging from financial markets to general and political news.

                      Some Reuters coverage, including pictures and video, is of wars or conflicts during which all sides are actively promoting their positions and arguments.

                      We are committed to reporting the facts and in all situations avoid the use of emotive terms. The only exception is when we are quoting someone directly or in indirect speech. We aim to report objectively actions, identity and background and pay particular attention to all our coverage in extremely sensitive regions.

                      We do not take sides and attempt to reflect in our stories, pictures and video the views of all sides. We are not in the business of glorifying one side or another or of disseminating propaganda. Reuters journalists do not offer their own opinions or views.

                      The world relies on Reuters journalists to provide accurate, clearly sourced accounts of events as they occur, wherever they occur, so that individuals, organisations and governments can make their own decisions based on the facts. "
                      Need computer assistance?
                      See my Classified/Computer maintenance listing or send me a private message.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

                        Originally posted by vbad
                        Same with liberal and conservative. Fact is, the people who don't want to call the terrorists terrorists are considered liberal because liberals, big-name liberals, like those who run what we know to be liberal web sites like dailykos and the like - as well as most Democratic Senators and Congressmen in Washington - like to downplay the threat of terror.
                        I don't mean to bicker but you claim the above statement is a fact. Could I impose on you for some substantiation?
                        If not, I understand completely.

                        Regards,
                        CD
                        Need computer assistance?
                        See my Classified/Computer maintenance listing or send me a private message.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

                          The Terrorist dilemma:

                          I used the example of the word terrorist being banned by Reuters when not in the context of a direct quote, in order to show how easily bias can be construed in reporting the news.

                          The Connecticut Law Review Article on Terrorism attempts to define terrorism this way:

                          ?Terrorism refers to a strategy of using violence, or threat of violence, to generate fear, cause disruption, and ultimately, to bring about compliance with specific political, religious, ideological, or personal demands?

                          and:

                          ?Although some members of all aggrieved groups commit terrorist acts, not all members of these groups are terrorists. In fact, only a small minority of an aggrieved group may undertake terrorist activity. This distinction is important because there is a general tendency on the part of some suppressive states to condemn the entire aggrieved group as terrorists. Some supporting states, on the other hand, also do not make this distinction and play applaud the entire group as "freedom fighters."

                          This is from Find Law on CNN:

                          ?Terrorism is bad; it must be fought with every tool at our disposal. But what is terrorism?

                          If the juxtaposition of these two sentences seems absurd, then so too is the international consensus on terrorism. This consensus, to the extent it can be said to exist, has a post-modern cast to it. Having developed into convenient shorthand for all that is reprehensible, the concept of terrorism is proving infinitely malleable. References to terrorism have multiplied since September 11, but governments' views on what terrorism actually is have never been further apart.
                          ?

                          With the number of times we hear this word used daily there is no internationally agreed definition of the word.

                          The UN has avoided this issue for decades. Imagine if all member states were to be held accountable for ?using violence, or threat of violence, to generate fear, Cause disruption and ultimately, to bring about compliance?.? There would be no one to cast the first stone.

                          Here?s the Bomb: In my opinion all governments, in one way or another, employ terrorist actions, like those described above.

                          I do not argue against government. I am not an anarchist. I believe in the rule of law.

                          I just want to make the point that one should be very careful when calling the kettle black. The irony here is that the UN building is made of glass.

                          As for Reuters:

                          ?Throughout this difficult time we have strictly adhered to our 150-year-old tradition of factual, unbiased reporting and upheld our long-standing policy against the use of emotive terms, including the words 'terrorist' or 'freedom fighter'. We do not characterise the subjects of news stories but instead report their actions, identity or background. As a global news organisation, the world relies on our journalists to provide accurate accounts of events as they occur, wherever they occur, so that individuals, organisations and governments can make their own decisions based on the facts?


                          They have taken a truly idealistic stance and heard much criticism for this decision but it shows that there are those in the world of the international press who are acutely aware of how important their role is and emphasizes that trying to hold the middle ground is the most difficult position of all.

                          It seems that nowadays when someone doesn?t like what they read or see in the press they yell ?bias? when all it really is is a different point of view.

                          CD
                          Need computer assistance?
                          See my Classified/Computer maintenance listing or send me a private message.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

                            Sorry, I don't see any middle ground in not calling a terrorist what he factually is - a terrorist. When you can't call a terrorist a terrorist, that's not middle ground that's left-wing bias. Even most of my liberal friends don't have a problem calling them what they are. So that makes Reuters - not liberal - but actually quite leftist.

                            One of the things that defines the Left is the belief that there are no bad people, just bad policies. So to Reuters the terrorists aren't doing what they're doing because they themselves are bad people, they're doing it because the system is bad. They live in a world where they have been aggrieved (who doesn't!?), they live in a world that's unfair, they live in a world where they haven't gotten everything they wanted (like the rest of us), so to Reuters they're simply good and decent people just like you and me who are fighting injustice in a very rational way. Hence Reuters does not want to evoke any emotion whatsoever against something that's totally evil. Well, I think we all should have some emotion here. We should all be angry that they're allowed to get away with their murdering of innocents. Wouldn't a rational news organization want to evoke some emotion there!?

                            It's quite obvious that what Reuters is trying to put the best face on with their fancy explanations, is that they in fact do not believe the terrorists are evil, they believe they're simply reacting rationally to an evil world.

                            And that's what makes Reuters leftist. They think the terrorists are just like you and me, good and decent people reacting rationally to evil in the world. They don't see that that we are in fact quite the same in the world evils we're both subjected to, but we're quite different in how we react to it. WE - who aren't terrorists - react peaefully. The terrorists react with brutal murders of innocent people all over the world. Yet somehow Reuters can remain completely un-emotional about that! Well, of course they can because in their worldview the terrorists aren't in fact bad people. They're actually fairly decent people who've just had a bad shake in life.

                            Sorry, but I don't agree with that. And neither do most people. Fact is, Reuters is very leftist no matter what fancy explanation you want to put on it to cover up the truth.

                            The thing that's infuriating is they actually call themselves UNBIASED! Which is exaclty the problem I have with these news organizations. They may think they're unbiased because they sincerely believe every right thinking person shares their views. They don't even realize how out of the mainstream (in America anyway) their views are, so they think they're unbiased. But the truth is they're just as biased as I am. The difference is, I'm willing to admit upfront that I'm conservative and on the right of most issues.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Is there Liberal Bias in the Media?

                              Here's another great example of liberal bias in the media. And to get off of terrorism since that's a topic all its own.

                              On August 10th, 2002 the New York Times ran this hilarious out-of-touch headline:

                              Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction
                              !!!

                              How friggin' funny is that!? I guess they never got the connection between crime going down and the incarceration of more criminals! Go figure!

                              This same headline written by a conservative newspaper (as if there were any!) would have read something like this:

                              Crime Drops as Number in Prison Grows

                              The reason this shows liberal bias is because liberals (as is evidenced by Democratic party leaders and liberal activist groups) consistently say that prison is not the answer to the crime problem. They have a thousand reasons why prisons aren't good and would in fact increase crime. In fact, they sound a lot like you seedy, in their tortured reasoning of reality!

                              They'll twist logic into a pretzel. They'll say that prison will actually produce more criminals because when the people who are locked up get out they'll turn to a life of crime because that's what they learned in prison - they'll suggest maybe non-violent types should be sent to vocational school instead of the joint. Anyway, they have all kinds of cockamamie reasons why what seems plain to everybody else just won't work.

                              Hence the surprise of the NY Times when increasing incarceration actually reduced crime! Only a liberal mindset could have been surprised and confused by that.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X