Press Bias? Some examples seem beyond belief!

Romney China Bain Headline
this is a great example of an example of an insidious, incipient, and irresponsible biased news article

Overall, the constant refrain of bias in the “Main Stream Media,” has become time-worn, tiresome, and unfortunately almost universally acknowledged,  when hearing this invective many persons next continuous thought may be, “Yea, so what else is new!”  Years ago you would hear the contra-posing argument that the charge of bias was not true.  Next, there was a period where the story line was that it was really the other side that was promoting its own bias—often listed as Fox News and conservative talk radio.  Today in articles we sometimes see headlines that are so one-sided, the argument over whether bias exists seems like this should be forever moot.

Latent Bias becomes Blatant Bias

Still, there are occasions where the latent bias in reporting crosses the line to blatant, literally defying logic!  The above article is just such an egregious example.  Yes, there are often examples on both sides of the political aisle but almost any study of bias in the media reports an overwhelming amount of the leaning of the MSM is on the left side of the fence.  The largest, by numbers if not circulation, of reporting entities favor a left leaning slant. To be clear, I have no problem with latent bias from reporters.  I have thought it is a bit of a myth to expect that it did not exist in the first place.  It is blatant, purposeful and manipulative bias that I object to.  While this is a liberal leaning example, you can find the same in conservative channels as well.  Sadly it is becoming so pervasive that people are becoming numb to it and are expecting it everywhere.  As such, they are becoming more rote and less cognitive as they consume the supposed news.

When all else fails say the other guy is a liar

The article above is a great example of the expression of bias while maintaining the cursory argument of balance and fairness.  The headline of this article is crafted to impute that Mitt Romney as a deceitful politician.  This is directly in support of the current narrative from the president’s campaign that Mitt Romney is a liar; that he lies about his record, he lies about his plans and he really wants to gut the poor, destroy the middle class and enrich the top 1%.  While many ignore this, some will believe it if they see it enough in print. It is to this rote, non-cognitive reader, that articles like this are directed. Since the debate, this narrative has begun to be the only arrow left in the quiver and it is being shot into the ether more and more as the president’s poll numbers sag.
The body of the article covers about twelve column inches.  Not a particularly long article but, if like most, you do not read the entire article, you would find that it is in the tip of the tale of this dog that provides the argument for its balance and fairness.  The first eleven inches of the article once again try to remind us that Mitt  Romney is really still evil Bain Capital incarnate.  It continues the narrative that Bain is one of the worst of the “evil capitalists” who are destroying jobs and America’s middle class by deals like this one. In this example Bain invested in a company, a Chinese Company no less, who purchased an auto parts manufacturer in the U.S. 9 years ago, and after owning it for 4 years, shut down the U.S. plants that were losing money and uncompetitive in lieu of cheaper manufacturing in a new factory they build in China that could build the same components competitively for the world market.  The assumption being if they had not moved to China the plants would still be in business and not bankrupt from declining sales.
The article continues the “evil” narrative by invoking the China manipulation storyline by pointing out that the Chinese government provided subsidies to the company to build the factory.  In effect the reporters try to subtly tie the “evil Chinese currency manipulators as somehow in cahoots with Romney and Bain to defraud America, steal our jobs and bankrupt our people.  They  also remind us once again that Mitt Romney, remember he really is still Bain according to the narrative, is blasting China for this manipulation, on the one hand, while deceitfully reaping the benefits on the other.  In effect, they are not so subtly trying to advance the story that Mitt lies and he is somehow not what he seems to be.

Balance is always in the last column inch

Obama Sub Article
the nod to fairness and balance

As stated, the article covers twelve column inches.  If one read as much as eleven of the twelve inches they would walk away with the firm opinion that something is just not right with Mitt Romney.  Since most people “skim” newspaper stories this will be the dominant outcome.  It is the last single inch of this article where the reporters tip their hat to balance and fairness, and their hand showing that with bias and malice they are promoting a hidden narrative coming from the President’s campaign.  In this last inch they report that at least one other candidate owns interest in the same company. That person being the current President of the United States, Barack Obama. And there, in that last inch, they conveniently point out specifically that it is through a state retirement plan—so I guess that means its not the President’s fault. Yet, Romney owns his interests through a blind trust—so somehow it is his fault.  Only with eleven inches of writing against one inch of “balance and fairness” could someone make such a preposterous argument!

No Agenda?

You don’t believe there is an agenda?  Then explain why the headline did not shout, “Obama and Romney blast China while both reap profits?”That would have been fair and balanced!

Tom Loker
Author: Tom Loker

Businessman, Author, Artist, Entrepreneur, Mentor, Advisor, Consultant

8 Responses

  1. mr obama didn’t run a company that closed a plant and moved it to china. if i were rich enough to have ANY investments, i’m not smart enough to check the TRUE honesty of those investments, so anyone can be made to look disloyal by their porfolio through no true fault of their own. we do know that through bain mr romney did this sort of bussiness. mean while you are right about numbers and fact being thrown around as truth. we almost CAN’T really check a lot of this stuff beyond principle and this doubt of all fact is leading us all down a well of soul sucking depression. you know i’m a liberal so this example won’t suprise you and infact may validate your point. in the book “angler” about dick channey, it was presented that he hired scientist not to disprove but only create doubt. once there was doubt, there was enough wiggle room to do what you want. this is modern america, there is no global warming, we are owned by the oil companies.

  2. Dear Mr. Yowaiski,
    I am calling you mister just to prove I can still spell your last name after all these years! You are exactly on point. You are proving the point. This article is not about the evil dems, libs, repubs, or conservatives… It is about the inherent dishonesty of some in the press. I do not have anything against latent, you could say inbred, bias. But the blatant form expressed in this article is the case in point. Sorry Willy, once again this is an article illustrating this abuse to facilitate the Presidents example. Send me one or more showing the other side with your narrative and I will publish it here.
    Another friend told me he did not think there was a conscious effort to trend the story told here in a direction, that it was just chance. While that maybe, I have been involved in sales and marketing for a long time, and understand the value of multiple message points to seat concepts and opinions. Nothing in these campaigns is accidental. Perhaps the reporters were really believe they were being fair and balanced. If so the the editor of the local paper who wrote the headline abused their trust. And yes for the most part the headline in your local paper is often different from the other syndicated story.
    Overall this keeps with my theme that you can believe little of what you read at face value and nothing of what you hear unless you take the time to do your own research.

  3. Dear Mr. Yowaiski,
    I am calling you mister just to prove I can still spell your last name after all these years! You are exactly on point. You are proving the point. This article is not about the evil dems, libs, repubs, or conservatives… It is about the inherent dishonesty of some in the press. I do not have anything against latent, you could say inbred, bias. But the blatant form expressed in this article is the case in point. Sorry Willy, once again this is an article illustrating this abuse to facilitate the Presidents example. Send me one or more showing the other side with your narrative and I will publish it here.
    Another friend told me he did not think there was a conscious effort to trend the story told here in a direction, that it was just chance. While that maybe, I have been involved in sales and marketing for a long time, and understand the value of multiple message points to seat concepts and opinions. Nothing in these campaigns is accidental. Perhaps the reporters were really believe they were being fair and balanced. If so the the editor of the local paper who wrote the headline abused their trust. And yes for the most part the headline in your local paper is often different from the other syndicated story.
    Overall this keeps with my theme that you can believe little of what you read at face value and nothing of what you hear unless you take the time to do your own research.

  4. mr obama didn’t run a company that closed a plant and moved it to china. if i were rich enough to have ANY investments, i’m not smart enough to check the TRUE honesty of those investments, so anyone can be made to look disloyal by their porfolio through no true fault of their own. we do know that through bain mr romney did this sort of bussiness. mean while you are right about numbers and fact being thrown around as truth. we almost CAN’T really check a lot of this stuff beyond principle and this doubt of all fact is leading us all down a well of soul sucking depression. you know i’m a liberal so this example won’t suprise you and infact may validate your point. in the book “angler” about dick channey, it was presented that he hired scientist not to disprove but only create doubt. once there was doubt, there was enough wiggle room to do what you want. this is modern america, there is no global warming, we are owned by the oil companies.

  5. well it has always been true that you always grade what is being said against who is saying it, but just because i (though it may be mean) am happy to report that mitt was in the business of closing plants in america and opening them in countries where unions haven’t fought for workers rights, doesn’t make it not true. my delight in reporting a story doesn’t negate the facts unearthed.

  6. well it has always been true that you always grade what is being said against who is saying it, but just because i (though it may be mean) am happy to report that mitt was in the business of closing plants in america and opening them in countries where unions haven’t fought for workers rights, doesn’t make it not true. my delight in reporting a story doesn’t negate the facts unearthed.

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