Monday, October 27, 2008

The Biased Media

I hesitate to address this topic since some people might confuse the complaint I have with the media as a gripe against a political party. Let me start by saying I have friends with a variety of political beliefs and I try to be respectful of them all. I definitely have my opinions and values as I'm sure everyone else does. I believe it is healthy to have debate and dialogue as long as it's respectful and civil. I 've been sickened by how rude many people's comments and posts are on the internet. I think it brings out the worst in people when they don't speak face to face and have unknown identities. Anyway this topic is not about politics or candidates or who is right or wrong. It is about media bias.

I think every reporter is entitled to their opinion and political preferences. I have no problem with them expressing their views but it drives me crazy when they do so under the guise of an impartial reporter of the news. Recently my brother in law forwarded me an article written by an experienced journalist Michael Malone who was admittedly embarrassed by the media's one sided favoritism and bias towards certain candidates and issues. This was not a surprise to me. I have noticed this occurrence for years. When I was a teenager growing up I watched a lot of TV and had more liberal leanings than I do today. I'm not sure if my views were the result of my heavy media diet, but back then I gave 100% credibility to everything the media said.

The first time I started noticing this bias was in the mid 90's. I remember when Clinton was running against Dole in the 1996 Presidential race. It was obvious that Clinton was loved by the media and they seemed to forgive anything he did. If Dole would have eaten at McDonalds and not put his tray away afterwards you could expect to see an exposee on 60 Minutes the following week entitled "Blatant disregard for order, is this sort of anarchy we can expect if he is elected?" Ok, maybe it wasn't that bad but you get my point.

AOL used to be my ISP provider, but every time I logged into the home page I was welcomed with heavily biased propaganda. I don't have a problem with news updates but it always had such a heavy political spin to it that it was insulting. I noticed that every picture of Condaleeza Rice or Bush or any other conservative showed them with a furrowed brows or eyes half shut while liberal politicians had glamour shots posted alongside the stories about them. I would also see polls following news stories with leading questions such as "Is George Bush a bad president because of: 1) his incompetence or 2) his dishonesty? I got so tired of the one sided slant that I finally changed providers. Getting rid of AOL was no easy task but that's a story for a different topic someday.

It used to make me mad when I'd see such one sided reporting but now I'm just entertained by it. The fact that some people refer to themselves a journalist rather than an editorialist is amazing. Today I give the media as much credibility as I do the "referee" in a WWE match who gets distracted by a tag team partner and doesn't notice someone jump in the ring with a chair and hit the other guy over the head . They are however quick to turn around after the damage is done and apply a quick 3 count. The media is talented at looking the other way when it benefits their agenda. If my all star wrestling analogy was too low class for you to relate to then let me try another. The Truman Show.

The actors and extras in Truman's life are constantly trying to steer and manipulate Truman where they want him to go and when a camera falls from the sky they are quick to cover it up and distract him. My favorite scene in the movie is when his wife is panicking in the kitchen as he is catching on that something is wrong and she launches into a commercial to cover up. Sometimes I feel that the same thing is happening to me. You have to admit there are some similarities. When I feel manipulated by the media I can relate to Jim Carey trying to drive out of town despite all the overwhelming opposition.

I admit there is corruption and incompetence with both parties but the major media outlets choose to ignore certain facts or occurrences for one candidate while pouncing all over the other. I also acknowledge that some news sources are biased in the other direction but they are the minority. You have to tune into Fox or AM radio to find them. I'm afraid that by calling out the media I have probably jeopardized my blogging contracts with CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS, and have been blacklisted from all the major motion picture studios. Now I kind of know how Martin Luther must have felt after posting his 95 theses on the doors of the Church.

I hope you take notice the next time you see a supposed impartial journalist report on a topic with the same professional neutrality as an infomercial host. I always find it refreshing when someone in the media or a certain party calls BS on one of their own or asks questions that may be unpopular. It seldom happens but when it does it shows that there still may be a glimmer of hope that some people in the industry still have integrity. This seems kind of weird but I think I just wished for Glasnost here in the USA.

3 comments:

RR said...

HAIL, COMRADE!

Big D said...

You really think their bias on purpose? KIDDING- I had to quit watching Jay Leno, I typically like his monolog but it was so one-sided I couldn't take it anymore. Same with SNL and most anything on TV. I would prefer to listen to someone completely neutral like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck. OK so maybe they lean a little the other way - but at least they make me laugh instead of grimmace.

MikkSolo said...

Wasn't Grimmace a McDonalds Character? The purple one I think.

S