The News Media, Shameless Bias Informative - News Media's Shameless Bias

Review by Cstiggins on 2004-10-31
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 The days of reporting the news now long gone have been replaced by powerful, elitist media monopolies who turn to dirty tricks as a means to an end.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.
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2005-04-12
Posted by OIC on 2004-10-31:
People still read the newspaper??? I picked up a newspaper sometime last month and it seemed like everything I read, I already read online and the newspaper was as old as yesterday. Same goes for the evening news.
Posted by Loretta Jamison/author on 2004-10-31:
As an author I am compelled to read and I say that all of the media is biased and they forgot what they are suppose to be doing. The news and the truth are not necessaryily the same. Take Dan Rather for example please take him. But my own paper endorsed Bush. I tried to write editorials but every other wackos wrote in. That is their loss that they did not print mine. But still I find a lot of other interesting items other than politics.
Posted by 1hung2lo on 2004-10-31:
newspapers have been "endorsing" one candidate or another since their inception. They only carry "weight" with their subscribership, which has dramatically "shrank" over the years. Their demos are skewing older now, as younger generations prefer to get thier "news" from instant sources like TV and the internet. Therefore, keep in mind that said papers are really "preaching to the choir," the same older demo who've been reading them out of habit for years, and who therefore aren't likely swayed by the size of photographs.
Posted by N. on 2004-10-31:
You really have no right to complain considering the fact that FOX News does the same exact thing, but they favor right-wing scumbags.
Posted by CAMedWmn on 2005-04-12:
And yet, Bush still won despite "the left wing media conspiracy." Give me a break. The media is biased towards one thing only, cold hard cash. The Bush campaign had it, Kerry didn't. Hence why false claims about Kerry's military record were published with no real oppositional views, while one piece by Dan Rather over Bush's military record warranted a Congressional investigation.

Is the media slanted towards a particular political ideology? You bet! It's towards whichever one will make them the most money with the least effort. It is General Electric, Disney, Viacom, Clear Channel, and News Corporation that control the broadcast media, while Hurst and Ridder control the print media.

We have over 130,000 troops in harm's way, but Michael Jackson is the lead story. An obviously fictitious photo alleging Kerry and Hanoi Jane stood side by side at an antiwar rally is sold to us as the real thing (retractions were issued, but that story was hidden) while our government continues to protect the real supporters of terrorism responsible for 9-11 (Saudi Arabia and Yemen).

Oh yeah, the media is biased, but not the way you are pretending it is.

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