Monday, April 07, 2008


A person with whom I was having a conversation told me I needed to get a book titled "Bias" and read it. She said it had "really opened her eyes".

"To what?" I asked.

"To how the liberals always slant things their way." (Note: I have not heard of nor seen this book, this was her review.)

"Ah, did it show you how to recognize your own bias also?"

Blank stare.

"Everyone has bias," I told her, "it is on both sides. Liberals slant things their way, conservatives tilt them their way. The aim is to win people in the middle to one side or another. But you need to be able to see the bias on both sides to make an informed choice."

Glaring stare.

And perhaps it was the glare in the stare that pissed me off, because I was trying to have a reasonable discussion, not a "my side/your side" bashing contest. And I had also ignored her not-so-subtle dig that I (as a liberal) should get some book to show me the error of my ways. So I lost my composure a bit and said, "For instance, I have a bias against anyone who thinks that Bill O'Reilly is an honest and good man. I think people who get their news only from Faux News are stupid for not recognizing the blatant manipulation of news stories presented by that station."

I then went on to inform this person who thought that the sun shone out of Bill O'Reilly's ass in the morning about his comments that an 11 year old boy who had been kidnapped and sodomized for four years must have "liked it" according to her hero Billy, because the boy got to (paraphrasing) "stay home and play Nintendo".

She said she'd never heard anything about that.

I'm sure she didn't. Fox News is sort of biased about keeping it's hate-mongering audience numbers up. Those remarks were a little over the line even for Fox lovers.

But that's just my bias.

And in the interest of fairness, I recognize that MSNBC is trailing a close second to Fox in the whole news tilting business. I used to like Keith Olberman, but find him to be nearly as intolerant as Bill O'Reilly. And over on CNN, Lou Dobbs is beginning to think he is the voice of God on earth.

If you want a good, honest, balanced and fair look at issues, as insane as it sounds, try to catch some of MTV News' various hour long reports on issues. Best reporting of facts on both (or all) sides of an issue, no telling the audience what it means or what to think, but letting the facts stand.

The mainstream biggies should learn a lesson, but let's not forget, all the news biggies have become entertainment channels.

Thor sez: Today on CATV, we look at the myth of dog as man's best friend.


Anonymous said...

Tom Brockaw - the last real journalist!

JanetLee said...

Yes! I miss Walter Cronkite.