Media Bias is Easy to See… and Not So Easy to See
When it comes to media bias, most people think they know what it entails. Turn on the television, check out CNN or MSNBC and get the news. Then change the channel to Fox News. Boom! Media Bias. With practically every story shown on the respective networks, you are going to get one anchor from one show presenting a case with a completely different perspective from the anchor on the other show. It does not matter what the story is about. It could be about firefighters saving a kitten up a tree, and yet media bias will almost always come into play. That is the obvious form of media bias.
However, there is a much more dangerous form of media bias and one that most people do not recognize because of its subtlety; how media bias weighs on what is actually getting reported. It is practically impossible to discern or discover media bias of this variety because it involves stumbling on the story through another medium. If the story is so bad, or so out to left-field, it requires independent journalists to merely discover this. This form of media bias is a blight on media journalists and will lead to a much more dangerous scenario where only they are to blame.
Journalists not doing their jobs because of their inherent biases causes people to fall in love with conspiracy theorists. It is why (idiotic) people tune into shows like Alex Jones’. They feel like the mainstream media is refusing to cover the “real” stories so they get their “real” stories somewhere else. Most of the time they are filling their minds with garbage, but sometimes there is gold in that garbage.
Media Bias Coin A Side: How to Report
There is one good thing about the Donald Trump era if you believe in journalism ethics; it has completely exposed the farcical notion that anchors are impartial. Of course, they are not impartial! They are people, just like you and me. They have their biases. This is not a knock against them, at all. It is just a statement of fact. We all have our biases, plain and simple. A real ethical reporter would disclose their biases and go on with their lives and work. There is no way to be a free-thinking human being with actual thoughts and not have a preference for a place, person, or story.
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States (ha!–still funny), turned supposed unbiased journalists into partisan hacks. Most people knew they were before he was president, but Trump and his (idiotic) tweets put people on and over the edge where they disregard basic notions of journalism. This era of American politics is actually quite refreshing. It is also the thing people did not comprehend regarding the dominance of stations like Fox News.
At Fox News, you know what you are going to get. Right-wing sources, anchors, and pundits peddling right-of-center stories. Actually knowing the anchors are biased makes it easier to digest the information. “Ok, this is this guy’s (or gal’s) take on the subject–it is right-wing and I need to take it with a grain of salt.” This perspective is part of the reason Fox News is absolutely crushing its opponents in the ratings.
It is also why somebody like Rachel Maddow is the only person with a non-Fox News show in the top five of the nightly ratings. She will cry over the Mueller Report. But she can do that because she does not claim (at least any longer) to be an impartial journalist. Turn the channel over to CNN–a station that claims to be impartial with impartial anchors–and you get a completely different story. Guys like Brian Stelter and Anderson Cooper are about as impartial as your grandmother when rating her grandchildren against a friend’s.
Media Bias Coin Side B: What to Report
Even though the “how to report” side of the media bias coin leads to problems, it is nowhere near as dangerous as the “how to report” side of the coin. The danger of the “how to report” side of the media bias coin lies in two areas (1) it sends people to loone-bag conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and (2) it genuinely compels media to miss actual, serious stories.
This infusion of bias in what to report means that in the current media climate you are getting two completely dichotomous news cycles. At Fox News and “right-wing” newspapers and media outlets, you are getting people like Tucker Carlson (a right-wing populist, not conservative) diving head first into the Google Scandal as exposed by Project Veritas. At the same time, nobody left-of-center is touching the story.
The not-so-revelatory story goes like this; Google Executives were caught on tape by undercover cameras, discussing ways to implement algorithms so as to steer viewers away from right-wing and conservative voices. I.E. The largest tech company in the world is trying to compel their political ideology on others. Or if you prefer it in their own words, they feel they are tasked with trying to prevent another “Trump situation” in 2020. That is rather galling and reeks of Big Brother; Google feels it is their duty to sway voters for the upcoming election.
The problem though does not stop there; side A and side B are still a part of the same media bias coin. So the people with the obvious (though unconfessed) bias refuse to report on the matter specifically because it does not comport to their political ideology. This is Brian Stelter’s response. He of the “Reliable Sources” newsletter that should win the internet’s Irony Award every year until it shutters.
He is calling into question Project Veritas’ work because he cannot find any corroborating evidence, or any “reliable” network reporting on it (Side A meet Side B). That is a baffling display of journalistic malpractice.
The videos have since been pulled by Google–although they are still available on Bitchute. And Project Veritas is slowly leaking other documents to prove Google’s blatant biases, like a member of Google’s “Transparency-and-Ethics” group calling Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro “Nazis.” It would take a solid journalist maybe a couple of hours to substantiate Project Veritas’ claims, but Stelter would rather let his biases lie and try to manipulate his followers into thinking this story is a nothing-burger.
When Media Bias Side A and Side B Meet
But is this really dangerous? Yes.
When stories go uncovered, for whatever reason, you get people flocking to Alex Jones and we as a community slide deeper into stupidity (it is how you get Americans loving Socialism). Doubt the veracity of this claim? Let us delve into a conspiracy theory that sounds way too outrageous to be true:
A sitting United States Congresswoman legally married her brother so as to subvert the immigration process.
Bogus. Unbelievable. No veracity to this at all… or is there?
This past week the Star Tribune published a story calling into question the marriage history and legality of Ilhan Omar. This is the first mainstream publication to put their stamp on this story. Yet, I came across this story sometime last year. At the time, I put the likelihood of the story at somewhere between 2-5%. The reason was simple; a sitting Congresswoman committing immigration fraud by marrying her brother was too astounding to be true. Plus, no mainstream media outlets reported on it! If a sitting Congresswoman committed verifiable immigration fraud, mainstream media would be all over the case in question.
*Quick aside: The other driving force behind doubting the reports; I knew I had confirmation bias–hating Omar because she is an overt antiSemite (and dumber than a melted popsicle). The vilest member of Congress facing expulsion was too juicy and improbable–like a first-pitch belt-high fastball with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th of a tied game.*
The Star Tribune is a left-leaning newspaper. And they only published the story because they were getting stonewalled by Omar and her representatives. To make matters worse, the Star Tribune plagiarized most of their findings (or at best, did not correctly attribute their sources, which is the same thing in real journalism).
This is a substantiated story, with more and more evidence coming to light with every new day. First, it was the fringe-outlets and independent journalists that covered the story. They were ridiculed for their work. A major area newspaper even declined to run the story because they supported the candidate (shades of The Guardian and the Texas Senate race). Now the candidate is a laughing stock so the story finally gets pushed by a mainstream source–one that is almost exclusively on the same side of the aisle as the candidate. But this story is months, if not years old, and only got published by one mainstream source because they were pushed to the breaking point.
The True Danger of Media Bias
Speaking of which, you will still not find any reports on the matter from the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, Los Angelos Times, or any other left-of-center media. You will discover published articles from National Review, The Daily Wire, and the Free Beacon, among others. The closest left-wing report you will get is a Snopes fact check from February that calls the case, “unproven” (a fairly accurate synopsis from Snopes).
Here is where Side A and Side B of the media bias coin meet and reveal the true danger of media bias.
This story is a practical bombshell. There is evidence a sitting Congresswoman can–and should–face expulsion. Yet, only one side of the aisle–with one exception–is reporting on it. Even the exception was pushed to the point by the subject’s communications and personal relations team. If Americans and audiences worldwide are denied the opportunity to come across a ground-breaking story, and can only find it on fringe websites, where do you think they are going to go? To the derpity derps like Alex Jones.
Google pulls a video because it portrays them in a bad light. One that exposes their biases at the highest levels. Newspapers refuse to publish a story because they do not like the subject matter. Media bias plays a role in every story you see and every story you do not see. Remember that the next time you come across a story. Sometimes the story is the one you are reading, sometimes the story is the one you are not reading. Media is entering a danger zone where their lack of journalistic ethics is pushing people to the boundaries. Once audiences reach that point of total polarization, there is no center. And that is truly dangerous and by that point, we will only have the media and media bias to blame.