Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Briefly. . . .

We've talked a few times about the problem of media bias in recent days. Ace commenter Brian raised an important point over at Gino's place, in what became a somewhat heated discussion between himself and your truly:

If you can convince a substantial portion of your supporters that the press is simply not to be trusted, that they are in the bag for the other team, then you are effectively never going to be held accountable for anything that you say or do
Emphasis in the original. While Brian and I don't see eye to eye on this issue for a variety of reasons, he's absolutely correct that accountability matters.

I'd like to think that we all hold ourselves, and the candidates we support, accountable. In practice, there's an all-too-human tendency to let things slide.

Most people don't follow politics as closely as Brian does, or I do. That's not going to change. It's also why having a press you can trust is so important. In some respects I prefer the British model, where you have a variety of newspapers and it's easy to know where they stand. The Telegraph is right-wing, the Guardian is left-wing, the Times of London tries to straddle things (tending to be center/right)  and the Daily Mail and the Sun tend to be prurient. Since everyone knows the biases of each publication, you can read a bunch of them to get a wider perspective, or you can cast your lot with your ideological favorite. Let's poll the question:

Would having a press that's upfront about its biases help public discourse? free polls 


Brian said...

I think the wonkiness of my iPad interface and my impatience conspired to have me vote three times in rapid succession.

Just thought I'd let you know. Wouldn't want to commit voter fraud or anything.

Mr. D said...

Wouldn't want to commit voter fraud or anything.


CousinDan 54915 said...

It is fall, so the ACORN is not too far from falling. Vote like an Illini.

Bike Bubba said...

Brian, Chicago voter. Somehow I knew it! (thankfully just the "vote early and often" type and not the graveyard vote!)

Seriously, my take on the question is NOT that I'll be watching Jersey Shore (I'm sure Brian guessed that of me, it's OK, Brian!), but rather that any good news source remembers what I believe Thomas Sowell likes to note. We're all entitled to our own opinion, but none of us are entitled to our own facts.

In my view, the issue of bias in the media has crossed a line where too many think they are entitled to their own facts. For example, Mitch does a great job of pointing out that, ironically and sadly, "Politifact" is not even being plausibly factual in many cases.

If I'm right, it would indicate that honesty about bias won't suffice to clear the air. Bias is supposed to lie in the interpretation of facts, with the underlying facts being reported by both sides.

Night Writer said...

Or, vote like an Egyptian.