Brent H. Baker, Vice President of the student-led Media Research Center in Edmond, Oklahoma, defines bias-by-spin as “a reporter’s subjective comments about objective facts to make one side’s ideological perspective look better than another.”
Other types of bias Baker has identified include:
Bias by omission, defined as “Leaving one side out of an article, or a series of articles over a period of time; ignoring facts that tend to disprove liberal or conservative claims, or that support liberal or conservative beliefs,” and bias by selection of sources (“cherry-picking sources”).
In November of 2014, major news organizations reported that the IRS’s Lois Lerner had colluded with officials from the Justice Department’s Elections Fraud division to target citizen groups critical of Obama for criminal prosecution. When President Richard Nixon vindictively used the taxman to target NPR’s Dan Schorr and Washington Post’s Mary McGrory for their critical comments of him, it led to impeachment proceedings being initiated.
The Washington Post never reported the IRS/Justice dept. bombshell in its hard copy edition.
Gone forever are the days when journalists followed a story “regardless where it leads.” Les Moonves, CBS’s legendary Chairman, was quoted in a 2012 interview with the Los Angeles Times as saying, “Ultimately journalism has changed….Partisanship is very much a part of journalism now.”
The Washington Post story on Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal organs is a perfect example of “spin” bias. On one of the tapes, a Planned Parenthood official chortles over a glass of chardonnay how the sale of in-tact fetal organs will finance a Lamborghini lease.
The July 14 Post story referred to the antiabortion group’s undercover video as a “sting” within the headline – a term district residents are all-too-familiar with. The term implies, to many, a confidence game or “set up” planned and executed with great care.
The Post routinely uses information provided by the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Institute. Far from being an unbiased source, the institute is a Political Action Committee, the goal of which is across-the-board legalization of cannabis nationwide. The Post doesn’t consult pro-life groups for information concerning reproductive-rights issues.
Last year, the Huffington Post cited a study touting marijuana as a proven treatment for brain cancer. Since the Efficacy Against Brain Cancer study, unlike other studies, was conducted by a an independent research group, the results are encouraging. What one won’t read in the Huffington Post story is that participants in the study were treated with cannabidol which has none of the psychoactive properties of marijuana, and that the treatment was effective only in combination with ionizing radiation.
What the Huffington Post story doesn’t mention is also the single greatest ‘sin’ of omission – the reason the cannabidol seems effective in reducing the size of tumors. Smoked marijuana has been demonstrated to cause changes in the brains of regular users.
In the July 2015 edition of Oregonian Live, Betsy Hammond reported that High School Juniors in the state “smashed all expectations” with the Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced Assessments test. State officials estimated only 35% would meet proficiency levels in English/Language/Arts on the first try. According to the State Dept. of Education, 55% met proficiency levels. Does that mean that Common Core standards are “working?” To Ms. Hammond, who is a Common Core supporter, it might. Probably not to the 77% of students who failed the math part of the tests. By any objective measure, Oregon students performed miserably. Anything else is “spin.”
The liberal media has been silent about the death-by-staged-car accident of Serena Shim, a US citizen and journalist for an Iranian news agency who exposed the Turkish government’s sponsorship of ISIS.
Recognizing types of bias in the predominantly liberal media is the first step to seeing things as they are, not as others would have you see them.
Edward C. Davenport,
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