Saturday, January 6, 2007

News hounds... or possums

Is there a liberal bias?

I don’t really know, though it would appear that there is, given that any liberal position is presented as gospel and any conservative position just short of demonic rites. You would think that fair reporting would include all sides of a given issue, facts taken from diverse sources, and a presentation that would allow the recipient to form an opinion. I have to say I haven’t seen much of that lately. Quite a lot of what I hear tells me an opinion, and then tries to prop it up. I can’t think of a single case of “on the other hand” discussion. Reporting, to me, is a rendition of facts. What we often see is selected facts combined with innuendo, suggestion, and rhetoric, painting a picture all to easy to see.
I suggest a simple exercise for the evening news, turn the sound all the way down, and watch the anchor’s face. How much acting do you see? Are the facial expressions telling you anything about the opinions of the speaker? A good example of the leaning of an organization might be any supportive comments they might make about an organization. The assumption would be: positive comments for an agenda the source upholds. The converse is also true, with the caveat that an organization with a conflicting agenda would get no positive comments, or no air time at all. Any group that has no redeeming qualities, no positive influence, no moral imperative, would be unlikely to survive long. If we tally the pros and cons of these groups we could soon form an opinion regarding the stance of the reporting agency. Another interesting omission is good news, I know that somewhere, someone did something that would bring a smile to the face of even the most hardened news dog. I haven’t seen that lately either. I know that the media is intended to make money, and I know sensational disasters make great headlines. I feel as though the world is in a constant slide to some terrible end. A little feel good news would help relieve the depression. If, perhaps, yesterdays bad guys were today’s heroes there would be more hope. Constant reporting, spinning, slanting, and presenting only one side of an issue, or group, will tend to make them always good or bad. No one is always just bad, no matter what the issue.
The media should not be activist. They should encourage activism, and supply information to act on. I don’t feel the media should drive the activist. If you feel the media is an elite group entitled to dictate to the great unwashed, this is of no interest to you. If you are offended by the assumption that you should have your opinion fed to you like a baby bird, that is predigested and stuffed down your throat, a little observation and feedback to those outlets may be in order.

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