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Media Bias in the Media

Updated on September 4, 2012

Yes, there is media bias

Everyone brings some bias to their work. For most of us it doesn't matter if we favor one political candidate over another. We draw a paycheck, we do our jobs, and we go home. We could be virulent Libertarians or hidebound socialists, but no one cares. My mailman might be a member of the Young Communists: I don't care and it doesn't affect how my mail gets delivered. Perhaps that's why the letters always lean to the left when she stacks them in the box.

On the other hand, (left or right hand, it doesn't matter), some professions obligate an even-handed approach. We all know that media bias exists. Here are some incontrovertible cases exemplified incontrovertibly in the mainstream media by sources that we should be able to trust. Every day we absorb our news from many sources: learn to think critically so you can filter out the media bias inherent in everyday human life.

Examine this example for media bias...

Obvious examples of media bias.
Obvious examples of media bias. | Source

A seemingly innocuous example brimming with media bias

Our example focuses laser-like on a photograph published recently depicting Republican Presidential Nominee Willard Mitt Romney. Mr Romney appears behind a podium at an unidentified venue. Obviously, as any reasonably astute political observer would agree, the media outlet would have access to any of thousands of Romney photographs. The decision to publish this particular image calls to mind an extreme case of media bias that simply cannot be ignored.

A brief perusal of Mr. Romney's photograph reveals the following obvious examples:

  • His name, on the banner behind him, is partially obscured, evidently in an attempt to obfuscate his identity and confuse voters who look for his name on their ballot. This could cause voter suppression in many precincts across America.
  • He is dressed casually. He appears to have stepped away from a board meeting where he presided over corporate raiding and health care stopping. He doesn't even have a tie on. Note that his opponent in the opposing photo is wearing a well-fitting political suit, including a strategically chosen lapel pin.
  • His shoulders are stooped, giving the impression of weakness.
  • His mouth is open and he appears to be searching for his next word, or gazing off into the distance with nothing to say.
  • His hand gesture is a drooping uninspired finger at podium level, as if to say "never mind, I give up."

The Other Guy

Now let us carefully critique the photographic selection depicting Barack Hussein Obama II, Democratic Candidate for President of the United States. Whomever chose this particular image evidently intended to portray this candidate in a completely different light. It's quite simple to point out the quite obvious differences when compared to Mr. Romney's photograph:

  • He is standing in front of an American Flag, making him appear patriotically sincere.
  • He leans forward, sincerely, and uses his sincere right hand to emphasize a sincere point. His gesture is assertive yet comforting: not quite a threatening fist but still sufficiently aggressive to let everyone know that more jobs are on the way.
  • His visage is locked in a sincerely focused point-making face. No one could possibly doubt his sincerity, given that face. He confidently stares down the threat of imminent fiscal crisis.
  • A slight patina of presidential sweat glistens from his forehead, assuring his audience that he is working hard for the American People. Compare this image with that of Mr. (R)omney, who is so pale as to almost be clear.


Whoop, there it is.

It's blazingly easy to identify media bias in the media. Everyone means well, but obviously we all come from circumstances and experiences that impact the photographs we select when we publish articles. Be constantly on the lookout for examples.


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    • Niteriter profile image

      Niteriter 5 years ago from Canada

      Nicomp, I will never, ever sit on a chair on which I know you have placed a cushion. Your knack for hiding those sharp, pointy pins where they will inflict the most damage is insidious. Your devious instinct for insidious pranks gives me countless moments of pleasure.

      Great work as usual!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, nicomp, for stripping away my media-bias innocence. I shall be forever in your debt.

      This was funnnneeeee.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 5 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Without discussing politics, the media does this with all stories...they take quotes and pictures that "proves" the point they are trying to make. Even advertisers do the same things with their commercials. It can be frustrating to those that want the honest truth...but in their eyes, the truth is in the "eyes of the beholder"

      Well Done!!! Voted Interesting and Useful!! Thanks for sharing!!!