Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Natural Bias

When a consumer of News considers a News piece written or broadcast by a producer of News to be biased, either the producer of the News IS biased or the consumer of the News IS biased, or most likely, the consumer of the News and the producer of the News ARE both biased.

I’m not really sure why so many mainstream media organizations deny their bias or why so many otherwise intelligent people deny the bias in the mainstream media and defend the objectivity of the mainstream media. To me, the defense of the mainstream media seems to be based more on emotion than an honest appraisal of the reporting.

It is impossible for any writer, any editor, or any producer to completely remove bias from the stories that are chosen to get reported and the way the stories are reported. Some of the bias in the media seems very calculated, but most of the bias in the media is quite innocent and quite natural. For example, I can’t help but tell better stories and use better words when I am reporting on my delightful, accomplished, and well behaved daughters. Have I ever mentioned how beautiful both of them are? However, the stories I tell and the words I use when reporting on the devious little monsters being raised by other parents will be quite different.

Reporters, editors, and producers, who were educated in elite Universities, who are lifelong Democrats, who think President Bush stole the 2000 election, who are opposed to the war in Iraq, who don’t have any moral problems with the right to choose abortion, who believe it is the responsibility of government to help the poor, are surely going to choose different stories and report the chosen stories using different words than someone who has a different background and different beliefs.

An honest appraisal of the stories and the words used in reporting will confirm the bias of the mainstream media and and the bias of every other writer, reporter, journalist, columnist alive. The sooner consumers of News learn to accept, understand, and then filter the bias in reporting, the better the chance the consumer of News will learn and know the truth.

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