News Bias #1   3 comments

This is a series. Check out the links at the bottom

I stated in a Blog Hop recently that CNN has a clear liberal bias. I was promptly confronted by a fellow blogger who disagrees.

That’s fine. As I told her, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However … it might be worth a survey to see what I mean. While I’m at it, I’m going to probably survey Fox too, just to be fair and balanced.

To be clear, I don’t have cable television. What I know of CNN broadcast these days is what I catch at friends’ houses. I read it online and, if I have time, I watch the video clips. I think it might be easier to see the bias when you’re reading it. But it’s somewhat plain in the broadcast version too. We still had cable during the 2008 Presidential election and we cared because the governor of Alaska was a Vice Presidential nominee. At the start of the election season, I considered CNN to be the balanced choice among the three main cable networks. By election night, I no longer trusted them to give us actual facts.

It’s a fact that how ignorant you are often is a function of where you live. I know Alaska because this is home. So when CNN started reporting things about Sarah Palin, particularly her actions as governor, I was skeptical and did some research. Part of this was prompted by my left-leaning East Coast sister-in-law who would call with “gotcha” items she’d seen on CNN. It might have been beyond the skills of the average office-worker (though I doubt that), but I trained as a journalist and worked as a reporter and the State of Alaska has a lot of information online where CNN reporters could have checked their facts … and clearly did not.

“She slashed the education budget ….” Well, no, the Legislature, drunk on the rising price of oil and commensurate rising revenue, proposed a 30% increase in the state education budget. Alaska’s governor has line-item veto and Palin held the education budget at a modest 3% increase over the year before because, she reasoned that the price of oil was going to go down eventually and Alaska would be in a better position to absorb that drop if our state budget wasn’t bloated. She put the unspent revenue in savings and that is actually what Alaska is using to fund the Parnell-bloated government in these days of low low oil prices.

“She charged victims for rape kits ….” I checked with a friend who worked in the Mat-Su Health Center and then with another friend who works in the local hospital. It is standard operating procedure for hospitals to charge rape kits to the patient’s insurance and then the 20% deductible is picked up by a state fund. Apparently this doesn’t just happen in Alaska. It’s SOP across the country. It may seem uncaring, but those kits cost about $400 and someone has to pay the bill.

“She increased taxes ….” Well, actually, she lowered taxes and fees on ordinary Alaskans while giving the oil tax system a long overdue overhaul that the people of the state had been demanding all through the prior Murkowski administration. As it was, we were still collecting lower taxes on the oil industry that Norway and only slightly above California.

From the start of my investigation until Election night 2008, I investigated 87 separate items of “What the heck are they talking about?” having to do with Alaska. In six instances, the allegation turned out to be almost completely right. That left 81 instances where the facts were discoverable online and CNN got the facts wrong or distorted the facts to make it seem that Palin, and by extension Alaska, was out of control and just plain crazy.

I gave CNN a pass at the time and said that they were unaware of their liberal bias and probably were just filtering the facts through their distorted lens of conservatives. I’ve since admitted they have a decidedly liberal bent that is obvious to anyone who isn’t themselves a liberal.

When I trained as a journalist, I was taught to balance a story and to fight my bias. I didn’t have much bias back then (a test I took in Political Science class said I was a moderate), but I always hit pause and said “Are my facts balanced? Do I use any emotion words that have no place in a news story? Am I being manipulative or just reporting the facts?” Reporting balanced news is not an easy task and it’s become increasingly rare for reporters to do it.

Next post will be a run-down of recent stories that show CNN’s ongoing bias. Yes, it is the view from the libertarian end of the political spectrum, but here’s something for the liberals to understand —

You are not moderates and when you completely agree with a news article or a news network, that is a sign that the network is not balanced and that the reportage you’re viewing is probably not accurate. I recognize that, which is why I read a variety of news sites — even sites that I almost always completely disagree with, like PBS, because I feel capable of filtering what they are saying through my common sense and deciding for myself what seems true and what does not. I’m therefore not bothered by being confronted with contrarian news. If you’re bothered by it, you might want to consider that your presuppositions need to be challenged.

Other articles in this series

News Bias (this article)

CNN’s Liberal Bias

Fox News is Honestly Biased

Trump Media

Posted February 25, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Media, Uncategorized

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3 responses to “News Bias #1

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  1. Pingback: Trump Media | aurorawatcherak

  2. Pingback: Fox News is Biased | aurorawatcherak

  3. Pingback: CNN’s Liberal Bias | aurorawatcherak

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