Does the Media have a Liberal Bias

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2/25/2010 | 2:25 AM

   `The media’s objectivity ethic – that is, its stated
     commitment to avoid partisan or political bias –
       applies only to hard news reporting, not to
         commentaries or editorials.’ (page 345)

                 So, where’s the `hard news reporting’?

It’s easy for me to understand why `the most
politically attentive individuals … tend to have the
strongest political predispositions … and are least
likely to be persuaded’ by the media. It’s gotten to
the point where mainstream mass media has become
predictable. For some reason, reporting Tiger Wood’s
infidelity is more important than trying to figure out
why a so-called `liberal’ president would advocate:
            war
            offshore drilling
            coal mining
            nuclear power
            and famine-causing ethanol.
What kind of agenda-setting is that? I would suppose
these things to be anathema to a liberal and expect a
loud chorus of protest. Yet the media just harps away
about celebrity sex while the Wallstreet Journal can’t
drill fast enough. It’s even more bizarre that the
liberal media did not fail to report how the audience
clapped for the current commander-in-chief every time
he mentioned what Van Jones deplores. There is nothing
`clean’ or `liberal’ about any of those technologies.
It’s the stuff `dirty greens’ are made of. Maybe the
audience had a case of selective retention and forgot
that liberals hate a toxic environment; or maybe the
White House white-washed the audience and brought in a
bunch of conservatives to sit in for a photo-op.

In any case, Tiger and his women set the agenda instead
of Wallstreet -- who’s refused to touch nuclear power
for decades -- insisting the U.S. taxpayer should foot
the nuclear power bill:

`six of Wall Street’s largest investment bankers informed the
Energy Department that they are unwilling to accept any
financial risk for nuclear power loans. “We believe these risks,
combined with the higher capital costs and longer construction
schedules of nuclear plants as compared to other generation
facilities, will make lenders unwilling at present to extend
longterm credit.”
[ . . . ]

At the behest of the nuclear industry, the energy bill now
before Congress shifts financial risk from Wall Street to

And I am willing to bet the `medium’ majority of media
demographics have no idea Bechtel held a panel in 2008
on how to finance it. Meanwhile, the dead of the Congo
Holocaust would spit:

`When the AFDL-CZ and their Rwandan allies reached Kinshasa in
1996, it was largely due to the help of the United States. One
reason why Kabila's men advanced into the city so quickly was
the technical assistance provided by the DIA and other
intelligence agencies. According to informed sources in Paris,
U.S. Special Forces actually accompanied ADFL-CZ forces into
Kinshasa. The Americans also reportedly provided Kabila's rebels
and Rwandan troops with high definition spy satellite
photographs that permitted them to order their troops to plot
courses into Kinshasa that avoided encounters with Mobutu's
forces.[20] During the rebel advance toward Kinshasa, Bechtel
provided Kabila, at no cost, high technology
intelligence, including National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) satellite data.[21]’

But never mind all that. So long as Maurice Tempelsman
stands behind Obama and the Clintons, and the media
continues to feign ignorance and refuses to put things
in context, the sheep will just keep getting taxed to
pay for their coffin and the national government’s
missile defense, effectively rendering the U.S. nuclear
deterrent and all this talk about reducing nuclear
weapons irrelevant.

As for whether the American media has a `liberal bias,’
I have no idea. Perhaps there’s been a gross change in
what it means to be liberal or maybe the media has
stopped doing its job. Either way, it’s what the
mainstream mass media won’t admit that has more impact.
But just to play `by the book Betty,’ I can say
`certain aspects of the American media are …
unapologetically partisan.’ This may or may not
`elevate the salience’ of their median audience but I
believe these characters play on political
predispositions that pad their corporations’ bottom
line more than anything else.   After all, Glen Beck is
a $50 million dollar employee… not a politician.
In closing, I wanted to share a transcript .

Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International, shows
how US news media is showing less of the world than
ever before.


ALICE MILLER: How does the news shape the way we see
the world? Here’s the world – based on the way it looks
– based on land mass:
And here’s how news shapes what Americans see:

This map shows the number of seconds that American
network and cable news organizations dedicated to news
stories by country in February of 2007 [. . .]

Now this was a month when North Korea agreed to
dismantle its nuclear facilities. There was massive
flooding in Indonesia.   And in Paris, the IPCC released
it study confirming man’s impact on global warming.
The US accounted for 79% percent of total news
coverage. And when we take out the U.S. and look at the
remaining 21% percent, we see a lot of Iraq – that’s
that big green thing there – and little else.
The combined coverage of Russia, China and India -- for
example -- reached just 1% percent. When we analyzed
all the news stories and removed just one just story,
here’s how the world looked:
What was that story? The death of Anna Nicole Smith!
This story eclipsed every country except Iraq and
received ten times the coverage of the IPCC report. And
this cycle continues as we all know Britney has loomed
pretty large lately. So why don’t we hear more about
the world?

One reason is that news networks have reduced the
number of their foreign bureaus by half.   Aside from
one person -- ABC mini-bureaus in Nairobi, New Delhi
and Mumbai -- there are no network news bureaus in all
of Africa, India or South America: places that are home
to more than 2 billion people. The reality is: is that
covering Britney is cheaper.   And this lack of global
coverage is all the more disturbing when we see where
we people go for news.

Local TV looms large and, unfortunately, only dedicates
12% of its coverage to international news. And what
about the web?   The most popular news sites don’t do
much better.

Last year Pew and the Columbia Jays School analyzed the
14,000 stories that appeared on Google News’ front
page.   And they, in fact, covered the same twenty-four
(24) news events.   Similarly, a study in E-Content
showed that much of global news from U.S. news creators
is recycled stories from the AP wire services and
Reuters; and don’t put things into a context that
people can understand their connection to it. So, if
you put it all together, this could help explain why
today’s college graduates, as well as less educated
Americans, know less about the world than their
counterparts did twenty years ago. And if you think
it’s simply because we are not interested, you would be
wrong. In recent years, Americans who say they closely
follow global news most of the time grew to over 50%.
The real question: is this distorted world view what we
want for Americans in our increasingly interconnected
world?   I know we can do better. And can we afford not
to? Thank-you.