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The Spin On American News Media

Updated on December 11, 2014

The American news media outlets, primarily, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, NPR, and NBC, are the main sources for broadcast news on TV or Internet. There are others, like, Al-Jazeera, BBC America, Russia Today and Deutsche World.

The recent killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others, have shown viewers that no one outlet reports news events without some political spin, some "slight" comment that colors objectivity of "just the facts, ma'am". Then, there are important stories that are glossed over or not even given the light of day because of ratings. It still is about ratings and they do guide how TV news is presented.

CNN America and CNN International are different broadcasts. CNN America often tries to stay in the middle of political spin and commentary but it almost always veers to the left. It is more willing to be against police and military events and spin it so. CNN International is actually more centered because its viewers are all over the world. It is NOT a Voice of America by any means, both use extensive video clips showing the BAD that happens in America at times, giving viewers a skewed view of America as a whole. Both, beat a news story to death, over and over, until you are sick of it, especially the recent racial issues. The amount of spin on a story often depends on the announcer. Some are less biased than others on issues of race, political or military.

MSNBC is way to left on just about any topic political or otherwise. What that means is that they will spin it against the facts to persuade you, lite propaganda. If its about the military, police action, Republicans, they are against it. If its about Obama, Democrats, Clinton, racial conflict, they are supporters no matter what the facts are and will spin it. To do so, they will omit facts, that other less left broadcasts include. All of their announcers are to the left of other news outlets. NBC, is more centered, ironically.

FOX news is on the other side, they are more to the right. That is, they support police action, Republicans, Bush, military events, and against Obama and Democrats. They put their own spin on events also, but I have found them to be more thorough in facts. For instance, in the Brown case, while CNN and MSNBC would present the shooting as "an unarmed black teen shot dead", FOX would say this but then provide other pertinent facts, "MB had robbed a store before this encounter with police". This is a very relevant fact. Many times, Bill O'Reilly, recites the facts omitted and provides a full panoramic of a situation. You may not agree with it, but at least the information is given. Megan Kelly does a similar thing.

NPR, BBC America, DW, ABC tend to be mostly in the middle. They provide most of the facts and omit a story spin. Al-Jeerza and RT love to present America in a less than good light to the world. RT, Russia Today, is Putin's propaganda machine for English countries. It is amazing how they give a story, manipulate the facts against America or issues in America to make Russia look wonderful. One ends up laughing. RT is effective in countries across the globe. Al-Jeerza is more subtle in their coverage on America, while they are based in the USA, there is a tendency to spin a story to the left like MSNBC. It gives a skewed view of the USA from abroad.

So, smart viewers will not just believe one news media outlet. They will go to FOX, CNN, MSNBC. By viewing all three will the real truth be heard. If you cannot go to all three, try BBC America.


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    • JPac1 profile image

      James Packard 

      4 years ago from Columbia, Missouri

      Agreed. Variety in exposure is so important. Al Jazeera's decision to not use the word "Islamist", "Jihad", "Militant" and some other terms has piqued my interest. I've perceived that decision as an attempt to protect the sacrament of the Musliam "Jihad", a term often missed, same applies to "Islamist", something used to describe someone attempting to integrate Islam into a given society. That term has often been used interchangeably with "terrorist" and "extremist" on several outlets. That can paint Muslims in a very bad light. The proper terminology would be something along the lines of "Islamist extremist". I understand Al Jazeera's decision. But, you're absolutely right: variety is important.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      Thanks and yes, of course. But just recently al-Jazeera America began to tell its news people to not use certain words like that might put Islam and Muslims in bad light with regards to terrorist attacks. News organizations do have their own personalities and pick and choose their stories and spin it to a degree. That is why one should be exposed to a variety of agencies reporting the same story for the truth.

    • JPac1 profile image

      James Packard 

      4 years ago from Columbia, Missouri

      The idea that each network news agency has 'its' own political ideology is interesting. In any newsroom (especially at the big three), you'll have a diverse group of people with varying political views, social, mental and emotional differences, and people who will often disagree with each other. There is certainly a history of agenda-setting at some news outlets, and MSNBC, Fox and CNN aside, one shouldn't succumb to the idea that each network outlet has its own mandated or universal, and unchanging, ideology. Most outlets try to present things in a way that will attract the largest crowd, which often means appealing to whatever mass will consume their product. Slight adjustments to appeal to that audience over time can often be misconstrued as an 'agenda', and that precedent can be scary and dangerous.


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