Friday, June 23, 2006

bias?

Deep in a comment thread on What's Right in Montana, someone cited this Gazette headline as an example of liberal media bias: “GOP-run Senate kills minimum wage increase.”

My question: How? It's accurate, and it gives Republicans credit for killing something they opposed. Where's the bias?

I think the answer lies in the bias of the commenter, not the headline writer. His train of thought must have run something like this: The media are liberal; therefore, the headline writer was liberal; therefore, the headline writer favors an increase in the minimum wage; therefore, the headline writer, being a liberal, assumes that most other people favor an increase in the minimum wage; therefore, the headline writer thought that writing a headline that accurately points out that Republicans killed the bill will help Democrats.

See, once you've persuaded yourself that bias is everywhere, you can find it everywhere. Except in your own biased heart.

2 comments:

Jason said...

I know you know this, but their thoughts about media bias aren't based in reality...

Here is a past example of their insight on media bias:

http://intelligentdiscontent.com/2006/03/21/media-bias-an-insightful-analysis-from-a-new-conservative-montana-blog/

Mark T said...

Bias is not contained in those little decicions on how to word various articles - I don't think that there is a party bias in our press - they're as satisfied by either party when neither serve us, as long as both operate in service of power.

There are many smart and thoughtful people in our press. Yet bias is present in every newspaper - it is even present in your papers motto - that you serve no ideology, when you are openly capitalist. You're actually completely biased that way, yet cannot see it, otherwise you'd change your slogan.

Again, bias is a big picture thing - sublime subservience to advertisers, reliance on official sources, ownership by teh very institutions you are suppoed to report to us about. Then there is coverage of a whole war through the eyes of the Pentagon from the Green Zone. Bias is when news media refers to insurgecy as terrorists, or in ignoring the most blatant of crimes and transgressions by us and our official allies, such as Israel. It is memory resident blind allegience, so blatant as to be omnipresent, yet invisible to even the most honest of reporters.