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Poor Mickey Mouse Even Feels the Effects of Bias

Updated on December 8, 2019
Disney's Iconic Hollywood Studios Sorcerer's Hat
Disney's Iconic Hollywood Studios Sorcerer's Hat | Source

Whats Happening?

“Today’s broadcasting of informative news is often diluted with media bias” writes Jack Lule, a professor of marketing at the University of Chicago. Media bias is a form of manipulation commonly used to pollute informative news. Even some of the most interesting and harmless topics fall weak to media bias. In fact even the emblematic Mickey Mouse has felt the chilling hand of media bias. Disney’s theme park, Hollywood Studios, has made the recent decision to remove the park’s centerpiece; the Sorcerer’s Hat for unknown reasons. Media has shown bias in favor of Disney’s Hollywood Studios recent decision to remove the iconic Sorcerer’s Hat.

How Bias is Manipulating You

There are many examples of bias in favor of the removal of Disney’s Sorcerer’s Hat. “If you’re a fan of Walt Disney World, then you have probably been wishing for the removal of the Sorcerer’s Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios since it was erected,” begins Tom Corless in his report of the structures withdrawal. Corless is a Disney employee who oversees the journalism of the website titled Walt Disney World News Today, and being so, he may have sided with Disney in favor of all their major decisions regarding the theme parks. Being a news network, Walt Disney World News Today is supposed to report news and inform from a journalistic viewpoint, not persuade in any manner. Corless is trying to get his audience to concur with him in his affection of the removal of such a structure by manipulating them into believing they “wish” it was gone. Furthermore, in a podcast with Jim Hill, he explains that the hat was merely an obstruction to the Disney community and that removing such an obstacle will prove for a more open and successful theme park. He continues, having it removed would make the world to the theme-park community and create more income and excitement for Hollywood Studios in future years to come. Now after listening to such a podcast one might think his interview was a persuasive argument, and it was, although news sources specifically quoted him in their report of the recent news. The Orlando Sentinel, in it’s report, quotes Hill: “to have it removed, to have Hollywood Boulevard return to its old golden days of Hollywood, that means a lot to the theme-park community,” (qtd. in Bevil and Pedicini). News sources are supposed to be informative and although they used Hill’s podcast as a source, they did not use any other source refuting his argument to maintain such an informative nature, this created a very biased report. Also, Andrew Sims, co-founder and editor in chief of Hypable.com, writes how phenomenal it is that the hat is being removed. He explains that each Disney park has an “iconic structure;” Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, Spaceship Earth at Epcot and the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He continues, the Sorcerer’s Hat, merely erected in 2001, was never truly the icon of Hollywood Studios. He instead argues that the Chinese Theater located directly behind the hat, was always the iconic structure for Hollywood Studios. In Sims report he notifies his reader of the removal of the Sorcerer’s Hat, yet he too supports Disney’s decisions and manipulates his audience into believing that ridding the park of the hat is a positive resolution. Websites and newspapers should not be using any form of persuasive technique in their informative reports of recent news.

Is this Bias Positively Represented?

On the other hand, some cases of media bias are intended to create positive responses while others are negative forms of manipulation. As earlier discussed, Tom Corless is a Disney employee overseeing the journalism in regards to the company. Corless used corporate bias in his report of the hat. Corporate bias is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just in place to support the company he works for. He is helping to maintain the order and respect the decision of his employers but by doing so he is attempting to acquire the public’s support of Disney’s resolution and undetectably stop disagreements and arguments before they happen. What his audience sees as just a report is actually a persuasive article and he is actually just creating a settlement to a problem that has not yet arose. This is easily a positive form of media bias because he is intending to stop a disagreement. In addition, another article regarding the hat titled “Tear Down That Sorcerer’s Hat,” depicts the hat as “mish-mash” and that it is “thematically inappropriate” (Bricker). The article describes in depth that the structure is a taint to the park yet provides no evidence as to why it is an obstruction. The article continues, “I told you it would get torn down! I couldn’t be any more pleased,” it seems all the author wants to do is persuade his audience to praise him for “being right.” All of what the article states seems extremely appropriate for a persuasive editorial yet for some reason it is subtitled “Breaking News!” Behavior such as this is no more than a manipulative scam in hopes of convincing an audience to support the removal of the structure. The way the article is worded is not anywhere near an informative report and the bias used is extremely detectable including little use of evidence. This is a negative use of media bias and has no purpose other than to manipulate an audience to worship the author in his judgement.

Make Your Own Decision

Media bias is a predictable concept that can be used in so many different ways including manipulating reactions to the news of the removal of Disney’s Sorcerer’s Hat. Media bias is poisoning the news one can see everyday and hides itself in the most unlikely of reports. Bias can have positive influences, however, most want to hear news without being influenced on how to react. The real question that lies is, even though there is so much controversy surrounding the removal of the Sorcerer’s Hat, is it really a positive thing to remove it?


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    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      5 years ago from Taos, NM

      I had not heard about this and it saddens me that Disney is removing the Sorcerer's hat. It is a great monument to Disney's "Fantasia" considered the best animated film of all times by Disney Studios. Journalism and broadcasts are no longer objective anywhere. Because of the 24 hour news cycle and so many news programs on cable etc., all the broadcasts inject opinion and bias in their reports. The Disney Channel's objective is to convince its audience to see its Disney characters and films and to persuade visitors to come to its various theme parks around the world. Nothing about Disney is objective. That is the nature of the beast. It is sad they are instigating this controversy and I for one will miss the Sorcerer's hat. It is fantasy not witchcraft of Satan worship. Too bad we carry political correctness so far.

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