7/31/2009

News Media Bias


In Thursday's edition [article link] of the New York Times, the New York Times/CBS polling numbers were buried back on A-17. The headline on the front page quoted "growing unease" with the healthcare plan. But, the story didn't even include the dropping polling numbers on government-run healthcare. Most newspapers, major and small, include polling numbers on the front page. USA Today is a prime example of this, especially during the eight years of the Bush Administration. To make matters worse, the Times interjects it's own opinion in the news story by stating "... healthcare opponents used $9 million on television ads to sway public opinion." I'm curious how much was spent by advocates of healthcare reform. Unfortunately, the NY Times did not see fit to report that amount for some odd reason.

I've harped and wailed about news media bias since before the Presidential Election last year. It was obvious who MSNBC, CBS, CNN, the Boston Globe and, of course, the NY Times supported. And, it will always be my opinion the news media, intentionally or unintentionally, affected the outcome of Democratic Primaries and the Presidential Election. That is not supposed to take place in a democracy. The New York Times is not supposed to be the Pravda of the United States. Their age old motto is "All the news that is fit to print." But, that is the problem. They are no longer in the business of just reporting the news. Instead, they take a political position and use their influence as the most powerful print media in the USA, if not the world, to further their own political agenda. The news media does try to shape public opinion in the way they present the news. The Dan Rather assassination report on President George W. Bush was just another in a long line of blackeyes for the news media. That man should have been fired on the spot. Regardless of what you think of President Bush, that hit piece was totally uncalled for in this day and time.

The only thing the news media should do is just report the news. People are not interested in their opinion. If you want to give your opinion, make it known from the outset and do not try to portray it as news. It is not surprising that print and electronic media is suffering today. Sure, some of it has to do with a rapidly changing technological world in which we live. But, a great deal of it has to do with trust. The late Walter Cronkite was probably the last news journalist that was respected and trusted. When he turned against the Vietnam War, he made it known it was his opinion on CBS News. Today, we have Katie Couric on CBS News. I think that says it all right there.





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