The News Media, Shameless Bias Informative - News Media's Shameless Bias
If a picture’s worth a thousand words then Newspapers who openly support one Presidential candidate over another, easily manipulate voter perception by printing photos of candidates which best represents the editorial’s view. As Presidential election eve nears and both Kerry and Bush are in an all out slugfest vying for the highest office, the media blitz with a no holds barred barrage uses a manipulative media campaign to push readers a preconceived notion of which way readers should vote. The days of reporting the news now long gone have been replaced by powerful, elitist media monopolies who turn to dirty tricks as a means to an end.
The Orlando Sentinel, Central Florida’s largest newspaper recently endorsed Sen. Kerry for President and has openly used front page side by side photos of Bush and Kerry to show two distinct personalities, creating the paper’s selective editorial view of each. On 30 October’s edition Kerry’s photo, two times the size of Bush’s, shows him standing victoriously in front of what appears thousands of eager supporters. He’s holding his arms upward to the sky as he stands smiling proudly atop a stage sized, “Fresh Start for America,” political message placard. The much smaller Bush snapshot shows a crowd blocked off as the semi-scowls President reaches for the hand of a supporter. Standing behind him is an omnipresent secret service agent ready to pounce at any moment. Two different photos, two different men and one persuasive editorial adaptation of who they deem more Presidential and which they want the reader to observe likewise.
Sunday’s front page gave equal light to the two, although the photos gave two distinct representations. Kerry’s seen down amongst the crowd, shaking hands and smiling as he makes contact with supporters at a rally. He appears comfortable, he smiling, mingling and reassuring. Bush, less animated reaches down past a barrier in an attempt to shake hands, but never making contact. The intent of the editors is transparent in both days photos.
A clear editorial view of a President who they deem, as they’ve editorialized over the last few weeks and months, as inaccessible, out of touch and distant. Kerry’s perception is one of easy to reach, accessible and among the voters. Kerry’s confident smile indicates sincerity and confidence. While Bush’s less indulging scowl is one of indignation and concern. A picture with Kerry in front of the people shows someone who can lead, when Bush stands behind, it shows someone who does things his own way. So, what’s in a picture? Opinion and selective photo opportunism for editorial elitist who want to influence the outcome of the election by creating their view of who should be President.
Part of the Journalist Creed, “I believe that clear thinking and clear statement, accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism,” subjectively puts limits on what a creditable journalistic outlet is. The media’s attempt to manipulate and advantageously take for granted a trusting publics desire for the news maligns the fundamental doctrine of “Fairness.” When a paper uses it’s readership to garner support for their own views, it loses creditability as a reputable source of information. The same holds true for all news media outlets. Although, the interpretation of what one is from the publics viewpoint seems more difficult to comprehend.
The media needs to stick to what it does best and provide non-biased news and allow the general public to interpret, understand or otherwise form opinion from the facts. By imposing ideological, philosophical or personal positions on a trusting public, the media negates the need for debate and healthy discussion. Instead, as has been the case during this election, the polarization and alienation of one group over another through manipulative tactics incites anger and distrust. Readers of newspapers, like the majority of the general public need not be treated as ignorant, politically inept Cretans. The medias approach is nothing short of condescending and sends a signal of misrepresentation to the readership. There is no doubt a picture is worth a thousand words, and thanks to papers like the Orlando Sentinel, we’ve finally gotten the true colors of the picture you’ve been trying to paint. Let’s get back to the news.