Arts: Film & Tv Studies: Broadcast Media What Media Bias? The Awful Truth For Both Parties

1284 words - 5 pages

Many books in the past decade have been published about the ethereal notion known as media bias. While the majority of the books have been about the so-called "liberal bias" that the media has, such as Bernard Goldberg's aptly name Bias and Ann Coulter's hate-filled rant Slander, there have also been a few about a supposed conservative bias, such as Eric Alterman's recent What Liberal Media?. The truth, that neither end of the political spectrum is willing to admit, is that both are right, and both are wrong. For all intensive purposes, there is no bias. While, no matter where one looks, there will be seemingly biased accounts, they come from both sides. You can pretty much find whatever viewpoint you want to hear from. In the next few pages, we will examine the different mediums used for news and look at reported biases in each of them.TV is one of the more pervasive mediums used for news. With the advent of digital cable and satellite television, it is now possible to receive up to 600 or more television channels, an increasing portion of which is devoted to news and news channels. CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, and others are all news 24/7, and now irrelevant is the evening broadcast on the three big networks, CBS, NBC, and ABC. These are where many of the "liberal bias" complaints are directed. Goldberg's Bias focuses on his experiences on CBS and how there is an inordinate number of liberal and Democrat journalists and reporters. Unfortunately, he fails to back up these claims with any hard data or statistics. Relying mostly on tidbits from Dan Rather, such as "It's one of the great political myths, about press bias. Most reporters don't know whether they're Republican or Democrat, and vote every which way." And, "[the liberal bias myth] is basically a canard used by politicians, and I understand why...because they want to blame somebody, anybody but themselves, for people's anger and frustration." Now, while someone could possibly take these as evidence of a pervasive liberal bias in the news, it requires quite a stretch of the imagination. And, assuming CBS is liberal, not all the other networks are required to follow the same trail. Take FOX News, for example. One of the news media's finest examples of "fair and balanced" reporting, the Rupert Murdoch network is responsible for such gems as Bill O'Reilly. The pundit once stated: "...I'm calling for all Americans to say, Hey, Pepsi, I'm not drinking your stuff. You want to hang around with Ludacris, you do that, I'm not hanging around you." Five months later, he said "I simply wasn't going to drink Pepsi while that guy was on their payroll...No boycott was ever mentioned by me." O'Reilly, along with Sean Hannity of Hannity and Colmes, and Brit Hume, all form a rogue's gallery of some of the most influential conservatives in America. Now, if one wants to extrapolate this to the entire media of television, then wow, there is a huge conservative bias! But the truth is, there are liberal channels...

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