Americans love a good bias.
I say that because there’s been all this ranting about a liberally biased media. Naturally, I heard that on Fox News, because when I want to be afraid of the boogeyman again (which is apparently Barack HUSSEIN Obama), that’s where I head.
But after hearing so much about the liberal bias in media, I couldn’t help to investigate the matter for myself. It sounded like a lot of fun…which is dreadful proof that I need to get out more.
For starters, the first thing anybody needs to know about bad journalism of any kind is that it’s anything but a new concept. The worst came out in 1835, when the New York Sun began publishing what came to be called the “Great Moon Hoax”. Essentially, it was a series of articles saying that— with the help of the most sophisticated telescope of the time—astronomers had peered at the surface of the moon and found trees, oceans and wildlife. Wait, it gets much better: there were bat-winged humanoids, bison and even unicorns because why not. I’m not making that up, but somebody clearly was.
And as for politically biased media, that dates back even further. Imagine a newspaper coming out and saying that the election of some presidential hopeful would cause the “teaching of MURDER, ROBBERY, RAPE, ADULTERY AND INCEST.” Well, that actually happened, and to one of our Founding Fathers nonetheless. That quote came from a Federalist newspaper and it was geared against Thomas Jefferson. (Surprisingly, the Washington Federalist said that the presidential candidate was the father of one of his slave’s children…so I guess there was a microscopic portion of truth printed in newspapers back in those days.)
But let’s jump back into the present. In my opinion, the whole argument of a liberal biased media is an extremely poor one at most. Why? Because every good argument is represented by better than average logic backed with some almighty, conversation-ending research. And since the liberal bias opinion is little more than an eardrum bursting rant, it doesn’t hold any water.
And unlike the Fox News people, I have the research to back it. (And I’ve got charts! Ain’t Wikipedia swell!)
First there was a 1999 study conducted by Mark D. Watts on the media bias during the more recent presidential elections. The results speak for themselves:
Then, there’s the analysis of the 2000 presidential election by the PEW Research Center. Again, the results speak for themselves, but take complete notice of how much negative media attention Al Gore received. After that, please tell me where the liberal bias is because I can’t seem to spot it.
And finally, there’s Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). Since their foundation in 1986, FAIR has been a watchdog for media bias and… well, basically fairness and accuracy in reporting. To be fair (no pun intended much), FAIR did find that more journalists were more liberal than conservative (30% to 9%); however, most journalists considered themselves centrists. Other than that, here’s what FAIR has found over the years regarding bias in media (it’s my last chart, I promise):
But enough with the graphs, let’s talk a little shop. It all goes back to my lede, Americans love a good bias. Moreover, they love a bias that agrees with their own ideologies. People don’t want the news to be just a rundown of the most important facts, they just want to hear from the strongest debaters who side with them. Like it or not, liberals will always tune in to MSNBC and conservatives will always get their overdose of fear from Fox. And like I said, that’s certainly not new to news.
And the people who complain about their being some type of shadow government, smoke and mirrors bias out there are the worst culprits of them all. As I said, Fox News is where I first heard (and always will hear) that there was a liberally biased media teaching our youth not to pray in school. And take a honest look at them. Fox dishes out hefty paychecks to Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Karl Rove. Are they any better? That’s like a wolf who cried wolf!
The truth of the matter is that it’s almost unavoidable to receive news that’s unbiased and pure as the driven snow. If you read anything with an opinion in it, guess what? Bias!
That’s a bad thing, sure, because any bias is out to brainwash and corrupt the mind, but there’s always going to be corruption of some kind in just about everything. Don’t believe me? See for yourself: try and name something that hasn’t received some well-deserved flak at some point. That’s okay, I can’t name anything either.
Does that mean that I and this article are biased? Of course, because Dick Cheney consumes the souls of shivering orphans for lifeblood. For once, I think that’s something we can all agree on.