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All you ever wanted to know about liberal media bias and why(37 posts)

All you ever wanted to know about liberal media bias and whyLive Steam
Dec 7, 2003 8:45 AM

Since this is chock full of statistics and data, I am sure Dr. Boohoo will love it. I am also sure, since it doesn't coincide with his biased beliefs, he will claim it was assembled by some conservative watch group and thus could not be considered neutral and fair. He will also say they misinterpreted the data. The same logic does not apply however, when he cites some survey or data. His sources are always "fair and balanced" :O)

Actually this discussion started as a result of my observation that all media news stories are slanted with a bias. Particularly TV media. However the liberal gentry of this board tend to deny this only when claimed against their beloved newscasters and news sources. They have no problem stating that, what may be considered conservative news outlets, slant their reports in favor of conservative viewpoints and it's despicable. Hmmm? I did state that all news and media give their reports a biased tinge. I was just sort of amused that some of the lefties here were indignant that conservatives would have the audacity to do it too :O) Now that's a fair and balanced attitude for ya' LOL!!
I think you are...oldbutslow
Dec 7, 2003 9:26 AM
pissing in the wind. People are going to believe whatever they want to believe and they will listen to whatever reinforces that reality. You and I can sit here and point to example after example of the lefty bias.

All I can say, is thank God for alternate news sources. A world based on the perception/spin of the alphabet media is sorry and misinformed world.
I've been doing that my entire life ...Live Steam
Dec 7, 2003 9:41 AM
so I endure the unpleasantness of a wet shoe rather than become a lemming :O)

I agree. Thank goodness for alternate sources of information and for differing opinions. I never have trouble with someone's differing viewpoint. I always have trouble when the deny the idea that someone can have a different opinion than theirs. I resent it when they marginalize my viewpoints. It happens quite often here.
We do seem to be theoldbutslow
Dec 7, 2003 9:56 AM
the minority here. Must be something about bicycling...
We are notNo_sprint
Dec 8, 2003 9:25 AM
This is just a microcosm of the bigger picture. When compared to the lib spewers, conservatives generally take the high road and simply ignore the bull. All the whining, crying and hypocrisy comes from the other side.
Dec 8, 2003 11:39 AM
stop it, i think i'm gonna piss myself! so funny!!!! wahahahaha!!
that makes sensebill105
Dec 8, 2003 12:21 PM
liberals are known to be bedwetters
re: All you ever wanted to know about liberal media bias and whyjrm
Dec 7, 2003 9:35 AM
The news media is a joke. If the story makes the news its a sham. If you want news its best found in alternative sources.
All this talk of bias has gotten me thinking...shawndoggy
Dec 7, 2003 9:38 AM
That in the big scheme of things, the AMERICAN media could probably all be acused of being slanted in the eyes of an al Jazeera viewer, no? In fact, from that perspective, the "bias" between NPR on one hand and Fox News on the other probably seems like splitting hairs, no?

From the perspective of "there's always another way to look at the news" are those millions of viewers wrong? If you concede that any presentation of news is spun (and even Fox proponents must concede that), is there room for the position that only one spin is "right?"

Just pointing out that our own cultural perspective defines what's right and wrong in our eyes and that someone else's culture helps define what's right and wrong in theirs and that those perspectives aren't always going to mesh. Problem is that when cultures clash, both tend to think they are superior and "right," no? Who wins?

So back to the "traditional american news outlets are biased liberal" argument... if I accept that as true, so what? Does that mean that those outlets are wrong or just that one should view them as presenting the news from a particular perspective?
Points takenLive Steam
Dec 7, 2003 9:54 AM
I stated that it would be foolish to not believe in media bias. I also stated that it was amusing to read post here from professed liberals that liberal media bias was not prevalent for most of the last four decades of broadcast journalism. I also stated that now there are alternatives to the liberal media outlets that have a more conservative tone to them.

NO you shouldn't discount what you read and hear. You should scrutinize it and make your own judgments. Fox says fair and balanced and the liberals here get their panties in a bunch. Well Fox is doing way more toward presenting a fair and balanced picture than any of the other networks ever have. They never even tried. I guess if one is a liberal, one wouldn't think they ever had to because it was already assumed everything they reported was not colored by political bias.
Your opinion on this has no connection to reality.dr hoo
Dec 7, 2003 10:21 AM
"Fox is doing way more toward presenting a fair and balanced picture than any of the other networks ever have. They never even tried. "

I suppose that all those sunday morning news shows that have people from both parties on is not trying?

I suppose interviewing both republicans and democrats on pending legislation is not trying?

I suppose that giving a speaker for a "gay rights" group air time, along with a speaker from a "family values" group air time on network news stories about Vermont or Mass. is not trying?

To say they are biased left I can understand. In fact, I can make a WAY stronger case than you have thus far that liberal bias in the REPORTING exists. I won't, because it isn't my job to help you make your case.

However, to say of other networks that they HAVE NOT TRIED has no connection to reality.
true. Steam, the media should be 'biased' torwbadley
Dec 7, 2003 10:14 AM
counteract all that squawking by the radical right wing conservatives! ;-)

Can you imagine the ramifications if that righty republican drivel were ever taken as serious news fact?
While I agree ...oldbutslow
Dec 7, 2003 10:17 AM
with much of what you said, some of your argument reeks of moral equivalency (NPR vs Al Jezeera?).

And yes, news items can be, and too frequently are, spun to the point being absolutely incorrect. For example, when the media says the pubbies are cutting services/money for "X" groups, when actually and unfortunately, the are only cutting the rate of growth.

What I believe is the worst sort of bias is the lack of coverage of news worthy items. Items that could be devestating to the left and their talking points. Obviously, they can not cover every story that comes across the wire, however, what they (ABC,Seebs, et al) choose to cover can present a factually incorrect picture.
Forgive me, OBS, what do you mean by moral equivalency?shawndoggy
Dec 7, 2003 1:00 PM
My point was that to a rank and file Al Jezeera listener (or to a listener of whatever the "fair and balanced" alternative is to Al Jezeera), even NPR will seem to be skewed to be extremely pro-American, pro-Bush administration, etc., no?

I don't recall getting into the moral rightness or wrongness of what each side of a story is doing (i.e. NPR skewing in US's favor while Al Jezeera skews in favor of Iraqi resistance), only that depending on which side of the fence you sit that one news source or another will be viewed as more or less truthful.

As to whether "we," the consumers of American media, or "they," the consumers of middle eastern media, are morally right or morally wrong, I'm afraid, none of us (or them) will know the answer to until it's time to face our (or their!) maker. I'm sure that while there is certainly debate, most middle easterners would believe that their society is superior to the west's and has the stamp of moral correctness on its side. Same would be true of us. Who is right? Dunno... seems like us from my side of the fence, but I'm sure it must feel like "them" from the other side.

Finally, in the interest of rational and good natured debate, words like "reek" tend to be a bit inflamatory (which is fine, if that's your intent, but reading your other replies below, didn't sound like it is).
Amazing how you are able to read my mind!dr hoo
Dec 7, 2003 10:12 AM
What with your psychic super powers and all, why waste your time here?

"I am also sure, since it doesn't coincide with his biased beliefs, he will claim it was assembled by some conservative watch group and thus could not be considered neutral and fair."

Well, I don't have to CLAIM that. The MRC claims it themselves.

From their page:

On October 1, 1987, a group of young determined conservatives set out to not only prove - through sound scientific research - that liberal bias in the media does exist and undermines traditional American values, but also to neutralize its impact on the American political scene. What they launched that fall is the now acclaimed --- Media Research Center (MRC).

That sounds like an agenda to me. Inherent in the statement is the assumption that LIBERALISM undermines AMERICAN VALUES. They also seek to NEUTRALIZE those effects, so they have a goal in putting forth information that is NOT about objective assesments of reality. How much information AGAINST their political agenda do you think we will be able to find on their website? At a guess, none.

The "DATA" link on the page you provide, from the Pew study, is about people's PERCEPTIONS of bias, not an analysis of the news bias itself. Perceptions are not reality.

The ASNE survey linked provides no information on the response rates. If this study is like EVERY OTHER ONE I have seen, the response rate is about 30%, and even lower on key questions about politics. That is crap.

But let's assume it is a good study, for sake of argument. It still does NOTHING to show bias in news coverage. Merely that the people studied are more likely to identify as liberal. Now the claim that liberals will bias liberal and conservatives conservative is sensible, as in it makes sense. BUT, just because something SOUNDS true does not make it true. Show that it is IN FACT true. That is your task.

Again, since I have explicitly said there are at least two biases operating in the media (a bias for the party that holds the white house, and a corporate bias) I don't know how you can honestly claim that I am saying there is no bias in the news. You are either a baldfaced liar or incapable of simple reading comprehension. Which is it? Or is it both?

Oh, and I don't discount ALL information from conservative sources. Some have SOME good information on them. As an example:

They cherry pick the findings to report, but the sources and information are very solid. Peer reviewed studies all.
At least they..oldbutslow
Dec 7, 2003 10:22 AM
are honest in their biases. Same thing can not be said about the FAIR Group.
I think it CAN be said for FAIR.dr hoo
Dec 7, 2003 10:39 AM
First, look at FAIR's mission statement from the "What's FAIR" link on their page:

FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, we expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled. As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information.

That seems pretty up front to me. And no calling conservatives unamerican!

Second, at least FAIR goes after "liberal" targets like NPR, PBS, and the NY TIMES.

Tell me, how much criticism of FOX can you find on MRC's website? I'll wait.
One word says..oldbutslow
Dec 7, 2003 11:11 AM
it all: progressive. Anyway, a mission statement don't mean jack. I could write one up for MRC that would be just as flowery.

Quite frankly, I have not read enough of their site to critique their "attacks" on the liberal giants. Maybe one of these days when I have a strong stomach, or too many beers, I'll attempt it.

I have, however, frequently seen their representives on TV and found them to be far left in the political spectrum. Maybe that was their made for TV role? We'll never know. My point is, why can't they, or any other left wing group, admit to what they are? They all have advertise these rightous goals and have these apolitical names. Are they ashamed of being a liberal? What are they hiding?
so, you complain that they DON'T say what they are...dr hoo
Dec 7, 2003 11:27 AM
...about, and now you complain that they DO. I guess you won't be happy no matter what.

I have only seen one of their representatives on TV, Jeff Cohen (who is no longer with them). He was on Fox for a while, providing the "left-left" view (as opposed to left-center) on Fox News Watch, their media criticism program. He then went on to be on Donahue a few times on MSNBC. I don't recall seeing anyone else from them, and no one any time recently.

Their attacks on the liberal media tend to be focused on how corporate ties bias the news. But at least the look at EVERYONE, not only those on the "other" side. I give them credit for that.
How did I...oldbutslow
Dec 7, 2003 11:43 AM
complain that they DO say what they are? By putting "progressive" in their mission statment? I don't understand?

I guess I'll have to muster up the fortitude to review their site at greater length. It would be interesting to see how they critique the Gray Lady and her corporate ties.

Have to go now, my keyboard is dying. Don't ever buy a wireless keyboard unless you have lots of spare batteries:)

BTW, I am happy, no matter what!
I'll lay it out explicitly, in outline form:dr hoo
Dec 7, 2003 12:05 PM
All right, you didn't complain. But aren't we supposed to put inflamatory statements in the topics, regardless of the truth of the matter? I thought that was how things worked here.

If you would rather just discuss issues in a calm and reasonable manner, odd as that is, I can go with it :-)
Ah, new batteries!!oldbutslow
Dec 7, 2003 12:28 PM
I try hard not be inflammatory. Sometimes, I am probably not successful. My ability to type emotion, or lack thereof, via this stupid keyboard is limited.

I prefer discussion in a rationale and unspectactular fashion and it appears that you do also. That's all good:)

Now that the keyboard in operational again, the old lady wants the machine. Peace out!
Doc, you're on a roll today...moneyman
Dec 7, 2003 11:59 AM
Why are you here wasting time on the internet when you should be in Church?

My excuse - I am working and going to Church this afternoon.

BTW - My nephew is finishing his first semester at UWEC. He hasn't said anything about a Marxist soc prof, so I assume he hasn't had you for class. Yet.

Reasoned debate is never a waste of time.dr hoo
Dec 7, 2003 12:20 PM
Which still leaves the question of why I am posting HERE!

I am trying to finish up the final edit of my book, and a paper revision, so that I can start doing some data analysis on a project, so that I can start to grade papers that come in on monday (approximately 1200 pages of papers) so that I can grade final exams, so that I can FINALLY relax for a few days.

So, in the way of break time, I look for some relaxation. That's this. Besides, I'm working at home and the Packer game is on in the background. Multitasking, my man!

Send your nephew my way. He'll have to work, but I promise it won't be a boring "write all the power point slides down" class. And I'm only a Marxist for 1/3 of the semester.
Steam, get help. I'm serious. Reality's WAY over there....Cory
Dec 8, 2003 9:47 AM
No question that stories have a bias. I've been in the business 30 years, and I see it every day. Where you drift off is in claiming it's a LIBERAL bias.
You're talking about some of the largest, most profitable companies in the world, with a huge investment in the status quo. What interest do they have in tearing down the institutions that made them rich? Just for one example, a recent survey of news networks' reporting on the Iraq war found that it was presented in a favorable light a minimum of 60 percent of the time. Leading panderer was CBS, at 74 percent. That's also the network that pulled the Reagan story under pressure from a few whining neocons. Where's the liberal influence there?
"liberal" mediaFredrico
Dec 8, 2003 11:05 AM
So reporters play to the camera and the event, to highlight the dramatic content and get the audience ratings. Weather events are always newsworthy.

The public used to have so much faith in the factual accuracy of Walter Cronkite, he was referred to as "Uncle Walter." Many newsmen, Dan Rather and Ted Koppel come to mind, believe that the news business is the "fourth estate," the fourth arm of government checking and restraining the power of the other three, congressional, judicial, and executive. So it is quite natural that reporters are seen as against the power structure, the perennial naysayers to officialdom, and stern doubters of anything the powerful do. In a democracy, that's healthy, for the people to continually be informed by an independent media, wary of propaganda, hip to "spin" and other manipulative techniques people in power use to their own ends--or to cover their tracks.

It is also not surprising that liberalism is most pure, or virulent according to your political persuasion--in the universities. Professors are always looking for a fresh way, a new idea, a new paper, a new book! They jump onto issues like global warming and pre-emptive military strikes, simply because these have not been much debated in the past.

Since no news reporter is free of his own biases, one must choose who one trusts and be wary of others. For example, I prefer Dan Rather's point of view rather than Rush Limbaugh's. So I believe Rather but not Limbaugh. There's so much writing going on now that any political persuasion, any idea, however outrageous, like the one about Saddam helping Al Qaida or vice versa, will be believed, even if flat out false.

All truths are relevant to the beholder and his prejudices. Ten people will see an event ten different ways and then draw ten different conclusions from it.

Conservative Republican administrations have all taken a paranoid attitude towards the press. Why? Because Republicans think they've got it all figured out, are impressed by wealth so have all the money and want to maintain the status quo so they can keep it, so new ideas are usually suspect.

Liberals like new ideas, change, are willing to take a chance. Conservatives are smug, status conscious, balled in wax, judging from the faces on Fox, and they all wistfully look backward to the Fifties as the best time ever for American Society. No purer example of this is Donald Rumsfeld. A Hollywood screenwriter couldn't have named him better. He talks like a 50's standup comedian.

So next time you watch the news, or heaven forbid, read a newspaper, be willing to think for yourself about the issues, not rely on an authority figure to tell you what to think, whether it's a news commentator or a political leader.
MRC = Fighting smoke with fire.czardonic
Dec 8, 2003 11:29 AM
That is, fighting their perception of immense bias with intentionally immense bias.

And I thought you were one of the savvy ones, Steam.
You're blowin' smoke up my .....Live Steam
Dec 8, 2003 12:42 PM
That was just the point. Everything is biased. I just get a kick out of you guys when you get all bunched up because of Fox News. I stated that for many years the bias favored the liberal bent. That is how this topic started (thought it's kind of spread throught a few threads) in the first place. I just think the indignant posture regarding Fox News is funny. Jees, there are many more news sources with a "liberal minded" propensity than there are "conservative", yet yall feel threatened for some reason. I guess they're doing a good job. Chris Mathews even advertises his show on Fox :O)
As if you would get the point.czardonic
Dec 8, 2003 1:06 PM
As I said, I thought you were among the savvy ones. But it appears that you are one of the rubes who thinks that phony organizations like the MRC serve to "balance" out the pervasive liberal bias. How embarassing for you.

Us bleeding hearts aren't indignant because Fox News sells their phony nonesense as "fair and balanced". We are indignant because they take advantage of people who don't know any better.
billions and billions servedbill105
Dec 8, 2003 1:16 PM
because they are beating the pants off the big three. there was obviously a demand for their news.
What an embarassing assertion you have made!czardonic
Dec 8, 2003 1:29 PM
I guess in your mind, the most popular source of information must be the most accurate.

Of course, you have been prattling along with this asinine argument that damn near the whole rest of the media universe is liberal. So even by your humiliatingly misguided notion of worth, Fox must is getting its pants beaten off until it claims more ratings than every piece of liberal media combined. Get how that works? Probably not.
responding to you..bill105
Dec 8, 2003 1:38 PM
is actually the embarassing part. you use that word alot. youre transfixed by it it seems. you need to get a new one.

if there werent people who agreed with fox, they wouldnt still be on the air. and apparently, its alot. its funny when liberals talk about tolerance and inclusion then have another point introduced and go off the deep end. we can even hear your tiny heads explode. you get so insane that people actually laugh at you. youre a fine example of everything thats wrong with a true leftist, but please dont ever change.
You aren't helping. . .czardonic
Dec 8, 2003 1:56 PM
. . .other than bleeding my liberal heart all the more dry with your embarassing estimation of the way the media works. ("Embarassing" does appear a lot in my responses to your cohort. I wonder if there is a reason?)

Who said people didn't agree with Fox? Nobody. Probably because nobody cares. At least nobody who knows better than to confuse news that is pleasing to one's sensibilities for news that is accurate and objective.

Again with the "tolerance and inclusion". I have no tolerance for the dastards who exploit the insecure losers out there who are desperate for news that backs up their world view.
You aren't helping. . .bill105
Dec 8, 2003 2:02 PM
hey, did you all hear that popping sound?
Where's your other personality? Too tired to double today? nmNo_sprint
Dec 8, 2003 2:06 PM
Now that was funnyLive Steam
Dec 8, 2003 1:38 PM
"indignant because they take advantage of people who don't know any better." Hahahaha!!!! How sublime :O) You are concerned for "the little people" who are being perverted by conservatism. Hahaha! Maybe you should run for office.

Where is the spurious indignation for the liberal bias the unwashed masses have endured to for the past four decades? LOL!!

Oh you need a new line. How embarrassing for you! LOL!!!
Are you saying that you are one of the savvy ones. . .czardonic
Dec 8, 2003 2:06 PM
. . .who relishes in rattling the cages of rubes who don't know that Fox News is a ruse?

Your "I know you are but what am I" caliber response suggests otherwise.