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Bias on Bias

Roger L. Simon talks about the biased press:

I agree with Jay Rosen this morning (PressThink) that journalism is saturated with bias and that is a good thing. In fact, I would go further — it’s completely irrelevant whether it is good or bad anyway because it is bred in the bone. Journalism is created by biased creatures — humans. One of the advances in knowledge these days is that most of us finally realize institutions like The New York Times are not ex cathedra authorities, but just somebody’s idea of the truth — ultimately the publisher’s. (In a sense, Jayson Blair did us all a favor by putting the final nail in that coffin.) It always makes me laugh when I see on the front page of the NYT an article specifically identified as “News Opinion.” It’s all opinion.

There’s more to the post, including some interesting bits of “news.” Between the unabashed, in-your-face left-wing bias in most media outlets like the Gray Lady, and liberal reporters who incorrectly (and disingenuously) refer to themselves as not only objective, but also moderate, I wonder if it’s at all possible to find out just what the heck’s going on anywhere, at any time.

I suppose one could consider it a good thing, to have to pick through the chaff to get to the few kernels of wheat; it keeps us all on our toes. Question everything, and all that. Me, I’d just appreciate it if the slant were more out in the open; it insults my intelligence when I hear about the much-vaunted objectivity of the press. Guess what, folks: it’s entertainment. Reporters are no more worthy of special consideration when getting “the story” than, say, the people who do the voices on The Simpsons. Perhaps we can’t handle the truth. Perhaps we, the “people,” aren’t ready for a straight intel dump when it comes to what’s happening in Fallujah (not much) or how many abuses of the Patriot Act have been reported (none). But I’d like to have the option, if it’s possible.

3 comments to Bias on Bias

  • Joshua

    While bias permeates the American (and world) news, I don’t think news reporting is purely “entertainment.” I think news media outlets try to entertain us with news, but not all news is to be taken with a grain of salt. Of course, news is best understood and is most reliable a few years after the fact, when the initial hubub dies down and we are aware of the event and its aftermath. But current news, “as it is happening” news, is biased, but journalists at national papers (like the Wall Street Journal, NYTimes, etc.) have to check their facts. Let’s not be too simple and say that because some stories were made up by Stephen Glass or Jayson Blair or there is a liberal or conservative bias, that none of the news is worth reading. Let’s be skeptics. But to abandon all news to the realm of pure entertainment is to call into question the entire discipline of journalism, and I’m not ready to call all journalism “fiction” because it’s difficult to sort out the bias of the NYTimes and FOX News.

  • I didn’t call all news reporting a fiction. I simply stated that its slant is more and more evident, and as such, has altered how we all view events that we haven’t had the opportunity to independently corroborate.

    Some news agencies won’t refer to Hamas as a terrorist organization. Is that not a bias? The very nature of the news concept “If it bleeds, it leads” tells us that bad news sells. News reporters wouldn’t work for free. Newspapers have to sell more newspapers, and networks need more viewers in order to stay on the air. That’s not a business? That’s not a racket? Tell me about a business that doesn’t exist to keep itself in business.

  • Mike

    Sad, but true.