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Thursday, February 12, 2004

Why I Don't Watch the TV to Get The News


The first story here, under the title "News Summary" includes the following revelations:
"Like every other institution, the Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections. They include, but are not limited to, a near-universal shared sense that liberal political positions on social issues like gun control, homosexuality, abortion, and religion are the default, while more conservative positions are 'conservative positions.' "
"They include a belief that government is a mechanism to solve the nation's problems; that more taxes on corporations and the wealthy are good ways to cut the deficit and raise money for social spending and don't have a negative affect on economic growth; and that emotional examples of suffering (provided by unions or consumer groups) are good ways to illustrate economic statistic stories. "
"[The press] does not accept the proposition that the Bush tax cuts helped the economy by stimulating summer spending."

Newspapers and Television broadcasts wonder why they are losing readers/viewer? First, because they are almost exclusively negative. They are looking for (or manufacturing) controversy and anger, because that is what they say sells newspapers or causes people to tune in. Second, their bias is such that a large portion (if not a statistical majority) of Americans find themselves offended or turned off by the reporting.

I wouldn't keep alternative opinions off the air, but I do like to have either a balanced report, or full disclosure of the bias coming in. A news editor's job should be to push the reporter/anchor on to weed out the inherent bias the individual brings to the story. You get the feeling watching the TV news that the editor's job is to do the opposite.

At least I have to hand it to the ABCNews column...they were honest...


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