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Mainstream Media Bias

Updated on April 21, 2015

If You Thought Your Local News Station Was Accurate

I have been tracking the reporting of two eerily similar stories in the Dallas-area mainstream media (also known as MSM): both stories involve a man who has had repeated inappropriate contact with a minor. These incidents occurred within weeks of each other, in towns very close to one another. The only difference in these stories, essentially, was the setting. However, because of the inherent bias in the media and in the public at large, these two stories are being reported very differently.

Detroit News Staff
Detroit News Staff | Source

Example the First

The first story involves a local chiropractor who was hired by a dance studio to work with their students. The chiropractor had inappropriate contact with a number of young girls, and used the excuse of medical treatment in order to have this inappropriate contact. In this story, the dance studio is not under investigation, and a mere statement from the dance studio that they did not approve or know of this contact was enough to distance themselves from the man's behavior.

Example the Second

The second case involves a man who was a sex offender and had failed to register with local authorities, and had previously had inappropriate contact with a minor. This man showed up as a volunteer at a volunteer event, and had inappropriate contact with a minor (the minor did not protest the contact in any way, and in fact, intentionally misled everyone into believing she had reached the age of majority). In this case, the organizers and participants of the volunteer activity were all presumed to have had foreknowledge and approval of this man's activities, despite their repeated denials.

In subsequent reports on this volunteer group's activities, the offense was repeatedly referred to, as an example of the kind of behavior that goes on and is tolerated, or worse, encouraged, at this volunteer group. In all reports subsequent to this incident on this group, the majority of the reporting featured a mention of this isolated incident.

The Difference Between the Two Events

The only difference between the two cases was that the second occurred at Occupy Dallas. Unfortunately, the media bias in the coverage of the two cases is painfully evident, except, evidently, to the news outlets themselves. The fair way to report the news would be to treat the owners and operators of the dance studio, and the participants at Occupy Dallas in the same exact light, yet one group is allowed to distance themselves from the behavior of someone they sought out, and the other group is not allowed to distance themselves from the behavior of someone who just showed up.

In other words, the story about the chiropractor who had inappropriate contact with minors is about the person who committed the offense. The story about the sex offender who failed to register who had inappropriate contact with a minor is about the group where it happened. The difference between these two events is that one happened at Occupy Dallas, which probably won't advertise on local stations, whereas a dance studio might.

So if you are thinking there is a liberal bias to the mainstream media, I encourage you to examine your assumptions again, as this is clearly not the case in this incident. If it were so, both incidents would receive exactly the same kind of coverage. If the incidents were treated equally, a report on someone winning a dance competition from this studio would receive mention of the chiropractor and this alleged offense the majority of the time the dance studio received news coverage.

Therefore, there is absolutely no mainstream media we can trust to be "fair and balanced," or even remotely accurate. The biases in reporting are evident everywhere.

Racism and Interactions with Police

The media coverage of Trayvon Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, and other persons of color has similarly been biased. It suffices to look at the description of Brown in the New York Times vs. the Times' descriptions of people like Ted Bundy and the Unabomber to see the discrepancy. Such bias is, in fact, tantamount to brainwashing, in that lone wolf terrorists are described in a positive light, whereas persons of color simply walking down the street or minding their own business who have been shot or killed by police or others are described negatively. These attempts to influence public opinion are beyond the scope of mainstream media, whose job it is to report the facts without bias. Leave the editorializing for the editorial pages, and return to the former practice of simply reporting the facts. Our media must allow us to draw our own conclusions about such incidents, because such editorializing corrupts and perverts the judicial process, and ensures that those involved will never receive a fair trial. In addition, the bias contributes to the "divide and conquer" tactics typically used by those in power to maintain their control.

Morning News Building, Dallas, Texas
Morning News Building, Dallas, Texas | Source

What Can I Do?

Keep track for yourself of similar incidents in the media and note the differences in reporting. Then do what you do best:

  • Contact the media and point out the differences in their reporting and show them that we are aware of their inherent bias.
  • Make side-by-side comparisons of the reporting and share them with everyone you know
  • Show the side-by-side reporting on YouTube or other social media platforms and add commentary to point out the differences. Social media is beginning to have a profound influence on the media, government, and corporations.
  • Use your creativity to make up something new!

Never forget that the mainstream media is owned by large corporations. It will take a lot of continued public pressure on the media to keep them reporting the facts, and keep them from biasing the news reporting, especially with protest movements like Occupy, Black Lives Matter, the Fight for 15, and others which the corporations and governments at all levels would like to see suppressed.

Have You Noticed Media Bias in Your Local Media's Reporting?

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