Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bias in the media

The Iowa caucuses are tomorrow, and the candidates’ narratives about themselves and their ideals have already been mostly established. On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone and Paul Waldman, Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, talk about how those narratives are made, why some stick and others don’t, and which ones really matter.
This segment from the Leonard Lopate Show (multiple audio options) is primarily about American, Presidential, electoral politics, but it deals with how there are always multiple, systemic biases in media. And how they're not always what people think. Though I have plenty of interest in American, Presidential, electoral politics, it's also worth relating this to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The idea that the media as a whole (or the majority of individual mainstream sources) are biased in a consistent direction is simplistic. It's not helpful to the debate to say that The New York Times, for example, is biased for or against Israel or the Palestinians. Used that way, the claim of bias becomes an excuse to ignore our own biases and to ignore too many facts.

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