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Is TV News WH Coverage Biased?

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by Nick, May 6, 2009.

  1. Balestrom

    Balestrom Legend

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    I have read many good points in this post, too many to quote here.

    Is it above the expectation of the American people to "expect" or "assume" the news media is providing unbiased reporting?

    Growing up, I think all of us have been taught or perhaps sold on the belief that media was honest, unbiased.... reporting the truth. As a result, I think our expectations are that the news be unbiased and we naturally get angry when we realize what we have been sold is a marketing gimick. However, I think that we should keep that expectation and demand the highest standards. Viewership, readership will eventually demand higher standards as long as that is what the people expect. It may take time, but the internet and other forms of communication are now in competition. As newspaper sale decline and stations like Fox News begin to dominate ratings, the so called "standard" will need to be re-evalutated.

    Unfortunetly, too many people "assume" unbiased reporting. Although this group is shrinking, I believe this group still represents the majority. The danger is that when the news becomes an advocate of a party or candidate, democracy begins to fail. Communicst nations control media to control people. When free media supports a candidate or a party, the message becomes more powerful then government controled media because it allows for the mistaken assumption that it is unfiltered, it removes the cynicism of goverment control.

    As stated earlier, the best way for the uninformed to get the news is to view many different media outlets. It may not help them understand the truth, but at least it will force them to try and figure out the truth.

    The best way for the informed to get the news is to continue to demand accountability, and like the uninformed, view multiple media outlets.

    Education is also important. Understanding history and government helps in providing perspective.

    The unfortunate thing now, is that this bias (since the 60's) has dripped down into our schools and our text books. Communists referred to this as re-education camps. We refer to it as our public school system.
     
  2. mreposter

    mreposter Hall Of Fame

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    Then again, that clip has been widely held up for ridicule by comedians and commentators. It wasn't Obama's best performance. The video of Obama and Hilary Clinton having a meeting on the picnic bench in the back yard a few weeks ago was much more interesting and humanizing.
     
  3. Supramom2000

    Supramom2000 In Loving Memory of Onyx-2/23/09

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    But the fact that the clip has been held up to ridicule is not the point. Why did the press corp even feel the need to cover it? That is what we were discussing.

    I heard Dick Morris say that when Bill Clinton asked to have an evening press conference that the networks told him "no". He had something like only 3 (not counting State of the Union) in his 8 years. This administration has surpassed that in its first 100 days. I did not hear the facts on the previous administration, but I stronly suspect it is similar to Clinton's.
     
  4. Balestrom

    Balestrom Legend

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    To try and humanize a president is normal, I think. But it requires a balance and a proper perspective. The sad thing is, the media picks and chooses who they want to humanize.

    There are plenty of positive media pictures of the Kennedy's, of Carter, even some of Reagan after he was shot, but not many after that. I remember some of Bill and Hillary, walking along the beach or dancing. The Clinton pictures were obviously staged for the purposes of the press, especially after Monica.

    What is different is that I do not recall any humanizing photos of GWB except in the aftermath of 9/11 where they showed him tearing up. That's it. The press really didn't care to humanize him. It was important, however, to show clips of him stumbling over speech, because that fit the story.

    My point is that the clips the media is willing to provide are determined by rather or not they fit the story line they are wanting to sell.

    As an example, Gerald Ford. At one moment in time he tripped getting off air force one. Saturday Night live showed that clip over and over to great laughs. The media with the help of SNL (Chevy Chase) developed a story line of Ford as a bumbling fool. If he tripped or mispoke or did anything that appeared clumsy it was all over the news and Chevy Chase was there on Saturday night to enhance the story. The truth was much different. Ford was in fact an athlete and very much the oppisite of how the media portrayed him.

    It all depends on the picture that the media wants to paint.

    With Obama, the media is not sure what story line they want to use . I have seen the "Kennedy Camelot" story line as you hear with questions like "enchanted." And then there is the "burger with the veep" story line that puts him as one of us. They have pictures of him arm and arm walking with his wife "the romantic loving husband" story line.

    They are all stumbling to try to create an Obama story... its a love fest. The problem is that in all there excitement they do not know what story to go with.

    I do know the story that they don't want to go with is Air Force One flying over NY City. Amazing how that just sort of slipped from the front page, sort of like an "oops... our bad."
     
  5. Supramom2000

    Supramom2000 In Loving Memory of Onyx-2/23/09

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    Nor do they cover the teleprompter dependancy or the stumbles when the teleprompter makes a mistake. But as mentioned above, bumbles from all other presidents are prominently played and discussed - over and over again.
     
  6. tsmacro

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    I think what really gets missed by a lot of people these days is that the news has become just another "infotainment vehicle" meant to sell commercial time, whether it's a local channel selling their commercial time to the local car dealers or if it's CNN or Fox News selling time to ShamWow or whatever. It's funny how many people think there's a deliberate political leaning one way or the other on the various news outlets and they actually think it's for politics sake, usually more accurately they believe it's done on purpose to p!$$ off people like themselves who count themselves "on the other side of the political spectrum". All I have to say about that is don't flatter yourselves people, any political bias in any of the news services you can guarantee is only there for one reason, making $$$. Trust me if it didn't make them money they'd change their coverage in a heartbeat.
     
  7. Supramom2000

    Supramom2000 In Loving Memory of Onyx-2/23/09

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    I agree with that for the most part. But if ratings are any indication, which they should be in order to get the advertising dollars, then one particular network that seems to traffic in more mean-spirited, inflammatory and personally directed type of programming should be off the air. And yet...
     
  8. Balestrom

    Balestrom Legend

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    Your premise is false -To make money- used to be correct. However, look at the ratings of the cable networks, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News.

    The latest ratings show that Fox News doubled both CNN and MSNBC (the other two major cable news outlets) in all evening programming, beat both substantially in 24 hour viewing and weekend viewing. It is clear that both MSNBC and CNN represent the left side of the spectrum, while FOX News (if not neutral) represents the right side of the spectrum. With that assumption in place it would make sense that those two networks would hire more conservative anchors in order to balance out their programming and compete with Fox News. But, they don't. At the complete cost of viewership, they maintain their political ideology, firing left leaners and replacing them with other left leaners in the mistaken assumption that it's the person, not the coverage. Meanwhile; ABC, NBC and CBS cannot figure out why their ratings are taking a nose dive.

    Look at the newspapers... while the Wall Street Journal continues to grow in readership, left leaners like the New York Times is going bankrupt. There is a direct correlation with ratings and providing the news and providing an editorial of the news. Meanwhile places like Drudge are booming... why... because regardless if its left or right... if its news it posts it.

    To be honest, I'd be comfortable if it were about the money. Why? Because, if it were, they'd be worring about tapping into all viewers from every spectrum. In order to keep those viewers, they'd need to provide honest and fair reporting across the spectrum, while providing for balance political analysis.
     
  9. tsmacro

    tsmacro Hall Of Fame

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    Nah, while I understand it's makes a lot of people feel better to believe it really is about the politics and especially if they can use some numbers to "prove" that it really is and on top of that "their side" is "winning", I still say it's all about the $$$. I gotta give Fox News props for creating lots of buzz and hype about themselves and therefore getting the ratings, but do I believe for a second that it's because they have better or more fair and balanced coverage, um no. I realize it's because they're better at sensationalizing the news and marketing themselves and hey it's working for them so more power to them. I do agree that CNN and MSNBC haven't figured out how to effectively compete against them at this point. The part of all this that is a bit unfortunate is that there are a lot of people out there who have a hard time seeing past all the bluster and figuring out what's actually being reported. But someone just reporting the facts just isn't enough, you have to say it loudly with spin and lots of pretty flashing lights or else people don't pay attention in big enough numbers to make a big enough profit. The people have spoken, they don't really want to be informed, they want to be entertained.
     
  10. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    From everything I read, News Corp's Rupert Murdoch has certain value criteria he uses to judge those running his news outlets, listed in order of importance:
    1. Did you make a lot of money yesterday?
    2. Did you make more money today?
    3. Do you have plans for making even more money tomorrow?
    4. Are you advancing the international corporate agenda in a way that doesn't interfere with making more money?
    MSNBC decided to turn left because Fox News occupies the right, not because GE is run by commies but because GE want's to make money. But MSNBC has to draw viewers from the left. That's a problem as the the core leftys listen to NPR and watch PBS, the Sundance Channel, the Comedy Channel, and HBO.

    CNN theoretically is supposed to be somewhere in between, but that isn't very entertaining. In fact, real news isn't very entertaining. So fewer and fewer will watch it.
     
  11. Cable Lover

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    Don't forget #5: Hire women with great legs in short skirts.
     
  12. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    :lol:
     
  13. Cable Lover

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    As long as they don't put O'Reilley or Hannity in a short skirt, I'll KEEP watching! :eek:
     
  14. Balestrom

    Balestrom Legend

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    Perhaps we are talking in circles on this one. I will give it one more shot and move on. This may be one of those issues where we just agree to disagree.

    Media has been agenda driven since before our founding. Even our founders recognized this. What is different today then in the past, is that agenda has moved from single issues to party politics.

    Look at Vietnam as an example. Regardless of the administration (Johnson or Nixon), the media made their business to present that war in a derogatory light. This wasn't about money, this was about an agenda.

    Today the agenda has moved into arena of party politics. You can try to attach this to a money driven agenda all you want, but ratings from both newspapers and television news are on the decrease. A majority of americans who are polled believe the news media is biased and as a result are turning to other sources of news.

    With this information, you'd expect money driven media outlets to change the format in which they provide the news. They do not change the format.

    Fox News is probably the exception to the rule. When Fox News launched, Murdoch stated that he wanted to provide a news station with a slightly conservative tilt as their currently wasn't this type of representation. He figured this was an untapped market. I am sure he wasn't doing this because he thought it would fail, but thought it would succeed and bring in some serious profits. He relied on the fact that a very large audience was sick of a liberal slant in other news outlets, and therefore they'd tune into Fox. He was proved correct, and ratings show it. Right wing and independent viewers flocked to Fox News.

    In business, where one succeeds others always follow until the market is saturated. This is a case, however, in which that logic does not apply. There are no followers. MSNBC went further left, CNN hasn't budged a bit and both their ratings show it. NBC and CBS brought in two well known left wing anchors for the evening news and their ratings show it. If it was about money, they would have taken in the lessons learned from Air America, but they did not.

    Finally, when the members of the media are polled an unbelievably massive majority of them state they vote democrat. This is everyone from producers down to reporters. To assume that this doesn not have any reflection on the type of coverage and the type of stories, I think ignores human side of media.

    When NBC/MSNBC provided media passes to Code Pink during the Republican Convention, do you suppose they were thinking "Wow, this decision which shows our complete lack of professionalism and balance will a) bring us increased respect as a news organization and thus provide us increased viewership, or b) potentially disrupt the convention and make McCain look bad?

    Finally, I willl agree with you about profits when politics is removed from the equation. News Coverage of hurricanes, tornados, car chases and the like are about the money. What fascinates the viewers, generally determines the coverage.
     
  15. Supramom2000

    Supramom2000 In Loving Memory of Onyx-2/23/09

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    I could not agree with you more, Balestrom. I remember a few years ago, O'Reilly interviewed Andrea Mitchell of NBC news. He tried to get her to admit that everyone over there was liberally inclined and she would not do it. She kept stating that they had reporters and commentators and journalists from all sides. He asked her to name one conservative reporter. She stumbled and hemmed and hawed and came up with zilch. If memory serves, the same thing occurred with Barbara Walters when she came on O'Reilly.
     
  16. Marlin Guy

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    The only unbiased way to get news is to witness an event for yourself, live and in person.
    Even then, your own predjudices and biased views will manipulate how you react and interpet what you see.

    Human beings cannot be 100% objective. Since writers, reporters, editors, photographers, owners, etc. are all human, the influence will always be there.

    One thing's for sure, the one that blatantly claims to be "fair and balanced" is hardly either.
     
  17. Henry

    Henry Retired Member

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    You mean the one that said they would tilt conservative on day one?

    Better yet, can you name one that is?
     

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