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Alexandre P.
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From time to time I read RSP, I watch segment of Fox News or MSNBC programs or I listen to French radio programs about the USA and ... it looks/sounds as if the common opinion is that if you watch a news channel you have political propaganda and choosing the channel makes you choose for who the propaganda is made.

Is it a false impression ? Is it true only for a few channels (Fox, MSNBC, CNN ...) or are the American media considering that you can't give "news" without saying "it's [this party/candidate/politician] who is right" ?
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Leo Zappa
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Impartial news reporting on television has been dead in the United States since the Vietnam War, Nixon, and Watergate. Television journalism is considered entertainment programming by the networks over here.
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Drew
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Thanks for the rent-free space in your head. Would have been nice if you'd cleaned it up a bit before you rented it out, though.
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It's hard to find a news story that doesn't include a bit of the writer's editorializing, even if it's just in the choice of words.

Here's a short piece demonstrating how easily bias creeps in. And how easy it is to fix it. If writers cared to.



Quote:
The story, which passed muster at the Associated Press and no doubt made its way into hundreds of newspapers and probably thousands of websites, was a report on a Trump rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Oct. 13.

It was so astoundingly biased that I had to extensively edit the story to remove the reporter’s personal opinions before running it on the following day’s front page.

The story was headlined, “Trump challenges legitimacy of election.” That was one of the few accurate statements in the report. It was all downhill from there.

I’ll provide a few examples to demonstrate how the reporter inserted personal opinions into a news story, and how easy it was for me as editor to correct them.

The lead of the story was as follows:

“A beleaguered Donald Trump sought to undermine the legitimacy of the U.S. presidential election on Saturday, pressing unsubstantiated claims the contest is rigged against him, vowing anew to jail Hillary Clinton if he’s elected and throwing in a baseless insinuation his rival was on drugs in the last debate.”

There are three major examples of bias in this one sentence, which would have been fine if the reporter was supposed to be writing an opinion piece, not a news article. I’m sure I don’t have to explain this to my readers, but apparently the trained journalist who wrote the story (and her editors) were completely oblivious to the difference between a fact and an opinion.

BIAS 1: Trump “sought to undermine the legitimacy of the U.S. presidential election.”

Wait a minute! Does the “reporter” really think that Trump’s speech was intended to sabotage the election? That would be quite evil, wouldn’t it? But that’s what “undermining” implies. In fact, Trump was saying that he does not trust the legitimacy of the election process. In my edited version, I wrote that Trump “questioned” the legitimacy of the election.

That was accurate, and substantiated as accurate by the Trump quote that followed: “The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect [Clinton] president.”

BIAS 2: Trump was “pressing unsubstantiated claims the contest is rigged against him.” Hold on! How did the reporter determine that the claims were “unsubstantiated”? Calls to the Democratic National Committee? A Ouija board?

I easily corrected this example of bias by simply removing the conclusory word “unsubstantiated.” If you are a reporter covering an election, you are supposed to write down what candidates say, not tell your readers whether you agree with the candidate or not.

BIAS 3: Trump threw in “a baseless insinuation his rival was on drugs in the last debate.” There is no doubt that Trump, whether jokingly or seriously, insinuated that Hillary Clinton was pepped up on drugs during the second debate. How the reporter determined that the allegation was baseless is less certain. Did Hillary consent to a pee test for the Associated Press?

Solution: Take out the opinionated word “baseless.”

Here was the result as published in the Daily Inter Lake: “A beleaguered Donald Trump questioned the legitimacy of the U.S. presidential election on Saturday, pressing claims the contest is rigged against him, vowing anew to jail Hillary Clinton if he’s elected and throwing in an insinuation that his rival was on drugs in the last debate.”

So when it was all over, I had a lead paragraph that was just as full of information, just as provocative, but didn’t tell readers what to think about the information. It’s called the difference between reporting and analysis. Or more to the point, the difference between honest reporting and dishonest reporting.

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Chengkai Yang
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I've found that you get a bet better from international sources, Al Jezera, DW TV, and BBC, although I also tune into the local ABC station weekly. I used to watch the PBS segments but the hours stopped working out so I can't comment on where they are in the spectrum. As others have stated, unbiased news, and reporting for the skae thereof has largely disappeared. News as entertainment has been the prevailing paradigm these days. Some days though it does feel like we're just reading the Onion.
 
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Drew
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Thanks for the rent-free space in your head. Would have been nice if you'd cleaned it up a bit before you rented it out, though.
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I read a news story this morning on the Washington Free Beacon site, which everyone should know is very upfront about its bias.

However, I was struck by how completely straightforward the reporting was in the article I read. It was blessedly free of opinion and those "editorial" adjectives and adverbs that the editor above points out.

So yeah, it can be done. But not enough writers do it.

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Mac Mcleod
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Xahendir wrote:
From time to time I read RSP, I watch segment of Fox News or MSNBC programs or I listen to French radio programs about the USA and ... it looks/sounds as if the common opinion is that if you watch a news channel you have political propaganda and choosing the channel makes you choose for who the propaganda is made.

Is it a false impression ? Is it true only for a few channels (Fox, MSNBC, CNN ...) or are the American media considering that you can't give "news" without saying "it's [this party/candidate/politician] who is right" ?


Everything has bias, the question is how much.

Fox opinion is ridiculously biased and comprises many hours a day of their programming. Fox news varies from mildly biased to strongly biased. For example: Obama, Clinton or Michelle gives a speech, they report it but don't go live to it. Trump makes a speech, they go live to the speech. Also, Fox is slanted as well as biased. Megyn Kelly is the least biased anchor on the network and she's rational too. I'd call her a conservative independent.

Over on CNN, it's more of a tendency than a rule to do the reverse (they sometimes cover trump, they sometimes skip Clinton).

And on MSNBC, it's more the reverse. They'll always go live to Obama, Michelle, or Clinton but skip going live to Trump often. However, MSNBC slips in a lot of pro-wealthy bias ( we can't raise taxes on the wealthy because that will definitely destroy jobs!! ). MSNBC manages bias with a mixture of conservative and liberal shows.

I rarely watch ABC, CBS, or NBC any more.

Potus 124 on Sirius has strongly biased programming for all sides. It even had pro Bernie and Johnson programming.

Talk radio is almost exclusively ridiculously biased towards the right wing candidates (Jeff Bush is a RINO to them even tho he's been written up as one of our most conservative governors). NPR would be the liberal exception.

---

Does the news have to be biased or slanted?

Well, yes.

There are only 24 hours a day. 1440 minutes a day. There is more news than can be displayed so you must select what to show. Just by choosing what to show, you are going to bias the news. Do you run the story on candidate X's foibles or candidate Y's policy speech or the downsides of party Z's policies or the upsides of party K's policies? In what percentage? By trying to be balanced, you are favoring which ever side actually has a smaller following giving the illusion of false equivalency.

Then on top of that, running stories that are pro and anti a given candidate is probably going to piss off your customers so they won't want to tune in. Sending a consistent message means they'll be in a bubble unaware of bad news. So that's tricky.

You don't have to be strongly biased and you don't have to be outright slanted. I'm separating selection bias vs slanting the stories. Sometimes slanting is just agreeing with your agendda (abortion is good/bad so the candidate opposed to your view is evil)- sometimes it's purposely slanted (candidate lowers budget deficit!/candidate cuts funding for children's education). Fox has some real howlers when it comes to slanting.

--

The only thing you can do as a person is to vary your news sources. I listen to Fox, MSNBC, POTUS, talk radio. I don't often listen to NPR (inconvenient times), or the major network news shows (too many stories that don't matter like reporting a generic murder in another state- how is that relevant to me other than to give me a false impression the world is more dangerous than it is?). I read the wall street journal, IBD, slashdot, rsp, and consume various random videos from Youtube.
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Lee Fisher
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Xahendir wrote:
From time to time I read RSP, I watch segment of Fox News or MSNBC programs or I listen to French radio programs about the USA and ... it looks/sounds as if the common opinion is that if you watch a news channel you have political propaganda and choosing the channel makes you choose for who the propaganda is made.

Is it a false impression ? Is it true only for a few channels (Fox, MSNBC, CNN ...) or are the American media considering that you can't give "news" without saying "it's [this party/candidate/politician] who is right" ?


Most news is local news and that's what people care about. Most Americans don't consider any political bias there.
 
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J.D. Hall
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I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until I get banned:

You twits keep sucking that shit up, that's what the media is going to pour down your throats. Hmmm...that's a bit more homo-erotic than I anticipated, but you get the drift.
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Alexandre P.
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remorseless1 wrote:
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until I get banned:

You twits keep sucking that shit up, that's what the media is going to pour down your throats. Hmmm...that's a bit more homo-erotic than I anticipated, but you get the drift.


You are the Domionist guy, right ? Or the anti-, or the pro, or ... ?

So, what's up weirdo ?
 
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Drew
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Thanks for the rent-free space in your head. Would have been nice if you'd cleaned it up a bit before you rented it out, though.
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remorseless1 wrote:
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until I get banned:

You twits keep sucking that shit up, that's what the media is going to pour down your throats.


You're blaming readership for why journalists suck?

Well, the fact is that the "twits" really aren't "sucking that shit up."

Newspapers are bleeding readership, and they can't figure out why.

Fun exchange:



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J.D. Hall
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Xahendir wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until I get banned:

You twits keep sucking that shit up, that's what the media is going to pour down your throats. Hmmm...that's a bit more homo-erotic than I anticipated, but you get the drift.


You are the Domionist guy, right ? Or the anti-, or the pro, or ... ?

So, what's up weirdo ?

Uhm, no, I'm not the Dominionist guy. That's Steve. But I am proud to be a weirdo.

I was a newspaper journalist for 26 years. Never at a big metro, but still, ran a couple of them, was a managing editor at two others. You?
 
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'I easily corrected this example of bias by simply removing the conclusory word “unsubstantiated.” '

no by removing the unsubstantiated you ligitimised the claims - he made allegations to which he supplied no proof.

Your bias is showing.
 
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Shawn Fox
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remorseless1 wrote:
Xahendir wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until I get banned:

You twits keep sucking that shit up, that's what the media is going to pour down your throats. Hmmm...that's a bit more homo-erotic than I anticipated, but you get the drift.


You are the Domionist guy, right ? Or the anti-, or the pro, or ... ?

So, what's up weirdo ?

Uhm, no, I'm not the Dominionist guy. That's Steve. But I am proud to be a weirdo.

I was a newspaper journalist for 26 years. Never at a big metro, but still, ran a couple of them, was a managing editor at two others. You?

How biased were you?
 
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J.D. Hall
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sfox wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
Xahendir wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until I get banned:

You twits keep sucking that shit up, that's what the media is going to pour down your throats. Hmmm...that's a bit more homo-erotic than I anticipated, but you get the drift.


You are the Domionist guy, right ? Or the anti-, or the pro, or ... ?

So, what's up weirdo ?

Uhm, no, I'm not the Dominionist guy. That's Steve. But I am proud to be a weirdo.

I was a newspaper journalist for 26 years. Never at a big metro, but still, ran a couple of them, was a managing editor at two others. You?

How biased were you?


Good question: I'm a centrist on most things, fiscally conservative, social liberal. But I wrote a number of stories about the lack of Republican representation in the State Legislature in the 1980s, covered the Falwellites' takeover of local GOP precincts. I got a big Democrat who was a city manager tossed out of office and I went after a Texas Democrat going for the State Senate there for making false accusations against his Republican candidate. Almost forgot -- had a OK State Speaker of the House on my ass because I printed unflattering comments made by a local Republican House member ("if you're not under his skin, you're under his thumb") and did enough follow-up the guy lost the next election. I know I have a bias, I worked hard not to let it show.

Now, my editorials were opinionated, but once I did a survey of readers when I ran a county weekly. Interestingly enough, one guy said I should go back to San Francisco with my homo liberal friends. Another one asked if I was Hitler's love child and called me a fascist. I invited both of them to coffee at a local drug store and we had a great time.

Edit: I should have added that I would estimate 70-80 percent of what I covered was not political. Speed lab busts, murder trials, school board meetings, a little old lady who bought an old house and found two grave markers in an overgrown garden, snake hunts, grade school science fairs -- those were all things I also covered.

As for what Drew said -- I was in the business. I saw what happened. I stand by my assertion.
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Robert Wesley
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There is a local Regional CBS-station affiliate of whom "trend-tends" in having employed varying ethnics/gender BIAS of/with their Newscasters, based on our Governor/whatever.
 
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Drew
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Thanks for the rent-free space in your head. Would have been nice if you'd cleaned it up a bit before you rented it out, though.
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growlley wrote:
'I easily corrected this example of bias by simply removing the conclusory word “unsubstantiated.” '

no by removing the unsubstantiated you ligitimised the claims - he made allegations to which he supplied no proof.

Your bias is showing.


It's not a news reporter's job to opine on the legitimacy of the claim. And that's the problem with today's so-called "journalists."

Put the hay down where the cows can get it, but let the cows do the ruminating.
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G Rowls
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He still made the claims and did not supply any proof , therefore the use of the word was valid.

You do however have a point that the use of claims would have been enough.
 
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non sequitur
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remorseless1 wrote:
Xahendir wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until I get banned:

You twits keep sucking that shit up, that's what the media is going to pour down your throats. Hmmm...that's a bit more homo-erotic than I anticipated, but you get the drift.


You are the Domionist guy, right ? Or the anti-, or the pro, or ... ?

So, what's up weirdo ?

Uhm, no, I'm not the Dominionist guy. That's Steve. But I am proud to be a weirdo.

I was a newspaper journalist for 26 years. Never at a big metro, but still, ran a couple of them, was a managing editor at two others. You?


Psst, we're all allowed to admit we're Dominionists now.
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J.D. Hall
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Terwox wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
Xahendir wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until I get banned:

You twits keep sucking that shit up, that's what the media is going to pour down your throats. Hmmm...that's a bit more homo-erotic than I anticipated, but you get the drift.


You are the Domionist guy, right ? Or the anti-, or the pro, or ... ?

So, what's up weirdo ?

Uhm, no, I'm not the Dominionist guy. That's Steve. But I am proud to be a weirdo.

I was a newspaper journalist for 26 years. Never at a big metro, but still, ran a couple of them, was a managing editor at two others. You?


Psst, we're all allowed to admit we're Dominionists now.

Really? Thank God, keeping it a secret has been painful!!!
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Drew
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Thanks for the rent-free space in your head. Would have been nice if you'd cleaned it up a bit before you rented it out, though.
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The political class is quite often literally in bed with members of the media.

No matter who wins the election, the press has, perhaps irreversibly, damaged its reputation, possibly irreversibly. I'm not sure how they gain legitimacy again unless there are purges across the board.

 
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J.D. Hall
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Drew1365 wrote:
The political class is quite often literally in bed with members of the media.

No matter who wins the election, the press has, perhaps irreversibly, damaged its reputation, possibly irreversibly. I'm not sure how they gain legitimacy again unless there are purges across the board.


Dude, the "press" died at least a decade ago, maybe even longer. It got replaced with what we have now -- on a national level, it's talks shows, politics all the time, everyone's got a position and they get to scream it from their platform. On a local level, it's fluff and boring. Most of the younger set get their "news" from Facebook or Snapchat or some such nonsense that is mainly irrelevant and unimportant. It's all entertainment designed to maximize profit. There are a few real journalists out there, but they're dying out and won't be replaced. Corporate takeovers have wiped out the bed rock of journalist -- mid- and small-market dailies that did the grunt work.

Sure, the "press" panicked when web sites first popped up, and tried to make their print/broadcast product more like web sites. That was the fatal error. People will respect (and purchase) reliable, solid journalism. But corporate accountants work off the next quarter, and stock holders demand profits NOW. Compounding it was the explosion of platforms, broadcast evolved into satellite and cable, then social media applied the coup de'grace. Sadly, the vast majority of Americans like media that reinforces their world view, not a "press" that can challenge that world view. So the people like it, the stock holders make money, and the "press" dies.

By the way, the political class (mainly in Washington DC) is totally in bed with the National "press" based in DC, along with the lobbyists and donors. That's pretty much the way it always is in a national capitol. It's a big orgy where only the rest of us get fucked.

It's nice to blame "them" and "the powerful", but in reality, this is America. If the people don't want knowledge, don't want to vote, then they will get screwed in the end by their own incompetence.
 
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Drew
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Thanks for the rent-free space in your head. Would have been nice if you'd cleaned it up a bit before you rented it out, though.
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remorseless1 wrote:
By the way, the political class (mainly in Washington DC) is totally in bed with the National "press" based in DC, along with the lobbyists and donors. That's pretty much the way it always is in a national capitol. It's a big orgy where only the rest of us get fucked.


Yes, that's what I said. Except I meant it literally. As in, "politicians marry news figures, and vice versa." It's one big crime family.

Quote:
It's nice to blame "them" and "the powerful", but in reality, this is America. If the people don't want knowledge, don't want to vote, then they will get screwed in the end by their own incompetence.


But if your only choice is "news" that's really just "propaganda for the Democrats" how do you advocate for its value?

Pravda or no Pravda. That is the question. There are no other options.
 
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J.D. Hall
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Don't buy it. Write to advertisers and demand better quality. Start your own web site.

Don't accept what The Man is shoving up your ass.
 
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