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Thread: Bias in the Media

  1. #1 Bias in the Media 
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    I am going investigate a "chicken or the egg"question.

    Do people watch a certain newsstation due to prior political beliefs or do viewers gain political beliefsfrom watching that particular news station.

    For example, do conservatives watch FOX News because it is more tailoredto their pre-set beliefs, or do viewers become more conservative because theywatch FOX News?

    I just don't know how to conduct the experiment itself. What methods can I use to measure beliefs andhow to I keep track?

    Any assistance is very much appreciated! Thank you for your time!


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    This is an interesting idea for research. However, the first thing that comes to my mind (admittedly in the absence of any empirical evidence) is that it likely can go both ways: the kind of "thug journalism" and propaganda you find on Fox News both attracts viewers who already share similar (mostly far right) political views, but I'm sure that individuals who can't recognize propaganda when they see it have their views turned in the direction Fox News uses. I would think the latter would be a more worthwhile study, i.e., to see if the reporting style of Fox News can actually change people's perspective. It might be better to do an experiment basically of this type:

    Create a video tape of Fox News on a topic or event (something obviously political), and find another TV News network coverage on the same topic (which acts as your control). Then create a questionnaire of some kind that would reveal the degree of conservatism of a participant in the study. Randomly divide subjects into two groups (Fox News vs. other news report) and then have them answer the questions. You might be able to add a pre-test of some kind to see what degree of conservatism each person had in each group (to get a group average for comparison) before watching the news report (not sure though how to use this).

    I think one of the problems with this is that many participants will be able to tell what you are testing for. Anyway, it's just a few ideas.


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    I really like this idea. I've been mulling over some ideas. I just can't think of a particular topic or event. It should be something that is not deep rooted in people's beliefs and is something that is fairly new/current.
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    I just don't know how to conduct the experiment itself. What methods can I use to measure beliefs andhow to I keep track?
    Track new factual errors. You can tell, often, where they come from - people are unlikely to come up with the same factual errors suddenly in concert without a central source.

    Then compare proportions of audience gullibility between various casters - a core percentage of audience should emerge, and the variations between outlets become visible.

    That will be a bit more difficult for the more reality oriented "news" outlets, but the wealth of material available in the case of Fox and related organizations, or the major TV outlets in general, should provide a sound base of evidence.
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    Bias in media is invariably and not surprisingly in favor of rich guys who want you pissed off at and scared of anybody but them.

    Guess why.
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.- Thucydides
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    A good case study of bias in the media might be Dan Rather's report on George Bush's Air National Guard record. This was the one that got him fired from CBS. It might be interesting to look up the archived posts by the Koolaid drinkers on Democratic Underground when that story broke.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    A good case study of bias in the media might be Dan Rather's report on George Bush's Air National Guard record. This was the one that got him fired from CBS. It might be interesting to look up the archived posts by the Koolaid drinkers on Democratic Underground when that story broke.
    Good old Dan Rather- hey, remember when he was in Afghanistan with the "freedom fighters" battling the Godless Commie invaders, all dressed up native, in mufti like? Good times. And RAMBO was doing the same thing, fictionally and with more testosterone and explosions, of course. Say, could this propaganda thing be bigger than the NEWS BROADCASTS?
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.- Thucydides
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    A good case study of bias in the media might be Dan Rather's report on George Bush's Air National Guard record.
    Excellent choice.

    So we have a factual error involved - that the forgery Rather waved around on camera was also inaccurate in content. And we have variation in newscasts and audiences, in their belief of that error. Solid data - there are few sources of that error other than the news media.

    We also have the fact that Rather was fired, despite the origin of the forgery (which had to have been someone well enough informed to have provided accurate content, and was certainly not him). One could compare his fate with that of news anchors known to have presented actual falsehoods - Brit Hume, say, on the Acorn punk videos - on other news stations.
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    People watch a particular station because they agree with the point of view being supported. It's obvious some people here consider FOX news biased but I didn't see anyone consider the BBC or CNN or MSNBC biased.

    I watch MSNBC in the morning because I like to know what the left leaning New York-centric people think about what just happened. I often shake my head wondering how they came to the conclusion they did. I'm sure, as a Libertarian red neck that I would be much more in line with what was being said on FOX but that doesn't really help me form my own opinion.

    In short. FOX gains ground because more people agree with what's being said on FOX. Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck prosper because people think they make sense. Air America died because people didn't think the personalities there made sense.
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    Fox News is the most entertaining.
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    People watch a particular station because they agree with the point of view being supported. It's obvious some people here consider FOX news biased but I didn't see anyone consider the BBC or CNN or MSNBC biased.
    You didn't? Allow me - - - -

    CNN and MSNBC are both solidly biased to the authoritarian right, with the large majority of their news feed as well as editorial content framed in standard corporate authoritarian terms. BBC is as well, but somewhat less so (respectable libertarian leftwing intellectuals sometimes appear as pundits, for example - I can't think of any examples, but I know I've heard some on the BBC radio.)

    Fox News is the most entertaining.
    The meanness of the bimbo routine palls, and the repetition is mind numbing - especially since they all started talking so slowly, aping LImbaugh's proven formula.
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    Are you kidding?! you think the BBC is right-leaning?
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    "MSNBC are both solidly biased to the authoritarian right,"
    But what matric? I'd hate to see a left leaning channel if that's the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    But what matric? I'd hate to see a left leaning channel if that's the case
    It's simple observation: take an issue, frame it right/left on the grounds of the standard intellectual approaches so labeled, and see which better matches the frame you see.

    CNN pundits routinely describes Obama's health care plan as "socialist" or "left", for example - that's a far right, nearly fringe take on a plan to mandate privately contracted, privately financed, , capitalistic, stockmarket occupying insurance companies paying private, capitalistic, corporate owned and run hospitals and doctors. The frame is not argued - only the benefits of such "leftwing" governmental mandates.

    CNN occasionally reports on corporate interests in Iraq, Libya, etc. Oil prices, etc. You can watch CNN for years without ever hearing anything about the labor policies of the incoming Iraqi government, the fate of union organizations in Libya, their differences in this respect from Iran or Yemen. Bremer banned unions from Iraq - one of the few Saddam policies wholly embraced by the US. After eight years of major media coverage, do you have any idea of Saddam's history with the labor unions, its effect on the industrialization of Iraq?

    Or listen to the coverage of the jobs bill - the frame of "tax cuts create jobs by putting money in employers' hands" is accepted - the only discussion is how many jobs, and for whom. That's a solidly rightwing frame, and all sides of all discussions within it are far right wing. When taxes on the wealthy are defended as "fair" or "just" or the like, rather than mechanically necessary in a nuts and bolts way to put money to work creating jobs, you are in a rightwing frame. Any debate about taxing the rich that pivots on "fair and reasonable and socially desireable" vs "incentives for job creators and realistically effective" is rightwing framed. Both sides are on the right, debating the issue in corporate (and authoritarian) terms.

    We are at a point where bailing out a huge investment bank, or a stock traded automobile company, is routinely discussed as the doings of the "left". The "left" defend it as necessary. The "right" object to the waste of their hard earned tax dollars on socialistic interference with "the market". Hello?

    Thing is: "leftwing" is not a meaningless term. It doesn't mean "not quite as cloud-cuckoo as the Heritage Foundation's rhetoric".
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    Why are you discussing CNN?

    And yes, I know quite a bit about Sadam's policies, as well as that of the new government, as deeply fractured and uncoordinated as it is--mostly because I like to know the big picture about things when my skin is on the line.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    And yes, I know quite a bit about Sadam's policies, as well as that of the new government,
    You did not learn about Saddam's labor relations from MSNBC. Or Bremer's working class economic policies and their fates. Or the oil game in the runup to the war. Or the Bush Saudi connections, any of Obama's stuff hammered from the left, Clinton's stuff hammered from the left. We had no unbalanced lefty stuff - always "balanced", with David Fucking Brooks or Michael Steele or somebody else from the script. Little or nothing in eight years. What did we hear about Chavez? The Bolivian guy? German and French labor stuff? We got Castro's misrepresented "admission" discussed in a frame essentially identical to Fox's - as an "admission", no context. We're hearing about the Post Office hit now - it happened in 2006.



    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Why are you discussing CNN?
    You prefer to discuss MSNBC? The station of Morning Joe? Chris Mathews creaming all over W's flight suit pose? Broadcaster of the Acorn punk and the Shirley wossname punk and the rest of them? Olbermann continually on the outs and fired for what, exactly? They've got two slightly left analyst types, neither one libertarian much in their little hour of mostly centrist, straight ahead reporting - Schultz and Maddow - in 24 hours, seven days a week.

    Straight ahead reporting of reality is not "left" bias, even if the reality so reported seems to malign the self-described "right". If there were hundreds of thousands of civilians killed in Iraq invasions, reporting that is not lefty bias - even if only the lefties are reporting it. See how that works? Bias lives in the errors, the misrepresentations, the innuendos, the falsehoods, and the consistent omissions.
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    All I can say is you have a different definition of "left" than the rest of us. Even Maddow considers herself and her channel "Leftist," for example when she says "Lets hit him from the left."
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    I guess if you consider the center to be somewhere to the left of Obama, your view of right leaning is going to be skewed. I'll put it to you this way. When Hillary Clinton makes the claim that she couldn't get a fair shot anywhere but FOX news because every other network was in Obama's pocket. that's an indication.

    There are more but something tells me the aura doesn't intend to give this any credence. Aura, could you give us some scale by which we can find your personal "center"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by "driver"
    I guess if you consider the center to be somewhere to the left of Obama, your view of right leaning is going to be skewed.
    That's called "reality based". Obama's policies have been consistently to the right of Dwight Eisenhower's, Richard Nixon's, and other well known Republican rightwingers of the past. Fact. As a candidate - when he was talking farther leftwing than he has governed - Political Compass scored him in the same quadrant it scores almost every other US national politician: upper right, authoritarian right wing.

    What evidence of leftward lean in Obama do you have for us?

    I'll put it to you this way. When Hillary Clinton makes the claim that she couldn't get a fair shot anywhere but FOX news because every other network was in Obama's pocket. that's an indication.
    Indication of what? Clinton's honesty, accuracy, and fairmindedness?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx
    All I can say is you have a different definition of "left" than the rest of us.
    Yep. It's called having a clue. I'm educated, and I can remember things that happened last year, even last decade and before.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Even Maddow considers herself and her channel "Leftist," for example when she says "Lets hit him from the left."
    Of course Maddow is a lefty (very moderate) personally, but

    1) that doesn't mean biased (depends on the reality involved)

    2) If you read your example again, with more attention to the actual wording etc, you may notice that Maddow is not saying even she herself is "leftist" - any decent pundit rightwing or leftwing can hit someone from the left (if they have a clue what that means, and one might argue that hitting from the left and the right ought to be routine on all commentary or pundit shows claiming validity) - let alone her entire channel. MSNBC may be famous (and unique) for having a couple of somewhat lefties running news/talk shows, but it runs a full schedule of programs including straight news with the standard US mainstream journalistic bias right. And the lefties on MSNBC seem to be required to meet much more stringent standards for accuracy, behavior, and ethical appearance - can you imagine Morning Joe losing his job for giving money to a political candidate who was under physical threat?

    and 3) she might be wrong. We should make these evaluations based on better criteria than that.

    There are more but something tells me the aura doesn't intend to give this any credence. Aura, could you give us some scale by which we can find your personal "center"?
    Lessee - Political Compass is shaky in the details, but I'd go along with most of its overall scoring more or less (I score slightly left, solidly libertarian)

    Or the normal checklist could be invoked: corporations on the right, unions on the left. Capital on the right, community on the left. That kind of thing.
    Last edited by iceaura; October 23rd, 2011 at 09:13 PM.
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    Are you kidding?! you think the BBC is right-leaning?
    So right on cue a directly relevant segment of Bottom Line has been playing in the late night rotation on BBC radio.

    Can't find a transcript, but here: BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - The Bottom Line, Producers or Parasites?


    And if you listen to that interview, you will hear a discussion of the value of banking in the wake of the 08 crash etc with a regular BBC moderator interviewing three different types of international banker. And the entire discussion is framed by a crash described - by the bankers with the cooperation of the moderator - basically as a matter of whom to blame, the individuals who borrowed money they could not repay, or the bankers who lent them money they could not repay.

    There were some vague references to necessary "reform", maybe a separation of the casino side from the safeguarding side, but no discussion of the organized frauds, the nature of the derivatives, the history of banking regulation with emphasis on the US deregulation under Reagonomics, the political influence of banks allowed to become wealthy past a certain point, any strategies for getting labor on an equal power footing and more difficult to victimize (non-banking citizens ere held to be separated and disparate individuals not even in communication with each other), and so forth. Capitalists were never once described as having class interests at odds with anyone else, who might form a class themselves.

    The moderator did ask interesting questions, but only about the moral or ethical implications of this or that, blame, etc - the standard rightwing frame of society as a sandpile of individuals, bankers as providing liquidity, etc.

    A solidly rightwing frame, in other words. No lefties in the room.
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    i suppose they make more effort to appear unbiased than some, but the BBC is bloody notorious for having a culture of agressively honking leftist group-think. (it's the group-think part that i find objectionable, BTW, not the leftist part).

    I'll try to answer your points about the bottom line later, but here's a link on the topic of the general culture at the bbc from a widely read political blog.

    http://order-order.com/2010/10/19/pa...wing-bbc-bias/

    here's some tweets from Rachel kennedy, a senior news ediitor

    rachelkennedy.jpg
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    3) she might be wrong. We should make these evaluations based on better criteria than that.
    Obviously using your extremely distorted criteria which is out of calibration with the vast majority of Americans and well as acedemian who study journalism for a living.

    "
    A study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy has found that the media coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign was more likely to be spun in a positive manner toward Democrats than Republicans.The study also found that the press coverage of candidates was in sharp contrast to what the public says it wants from campaign reporting by concentrating on the effects that events have on candidates rather than reporting on how candidates’ stances on issues will affect the electorate. (h/t Bookworm)

    In other words, the media is both slanted to the left and under performing in terms of public expectations on election coverage. The notable exception on left leaning bias is in talk radio; the one media outlet that is under attack by certain Democrats in Congress for emphasis on “fairness”. "


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    iceaura;
    in my last post i essentially argued that 'everybody knows that the bbc is a bunch of lefties', which was a bit rubbish of me. But look; while i can only assert that the culture at the BBC in general is leftist, what i can show is that BBC news can't reasonably be called right-biased. To cherry-pick examples of biased reporting is pretty meaningless, it's an overall bias that is of interest. You claim that there exists a right-bias, i will try to show that BBC news reporting is actually pretty impartial.

    I've been trying to find a way to assess media bias statistically, and while i haven't found any actual hard data yet, i have found a promising method; if citations of UK think-tanks by the BBC were compared with citations of think-tanks in parliament it should be possible to show any bias, since it's reasonable to use the parliamentary citations as a definition of the centre.
    Depends on being able to find data of course...
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    [QUOTE=iceaura;289329]
    Quote Originally Posted by "driver"
    Obama's policies have been consistently to the right of Dwight Eisenhower's, Richard Nixon's, and other well known Republican rightwingers of the past. Fact. As a candidate - when he was talking farther leftwing than he has governed - Political Compass scored him in the same quadrant it scores almost every other US national politician: upper right, authoritarian right wing.

    What evidence of leftward lean in Obama do you have for us?
    First, I'm going to need a citation that Obama is to the right of Eisenhower. Second Political Compass is by no means an accurate way of determining a US candidates leanings. The United States has a different world view than most all of Europe and by European standards, yes, Obama would be fiscally conservative.

    What should be noted is that the United States has given Europe the luxury of affording social programs by subsiding their security. Socialised medicine and European labor models are all skewed to the social/ fascistic left.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR
    i suppose they make more effort to appear unbiased than some, but the BBC is bloody notorious for having a culture of agressively honking leftist group-think.
    Well, that "culture" is not visible in their programming - the stuff they put on the air. In their actual programming, and I just tuned in to pick up the latest example, the most common framing of issues on BBC is standard, boilerplate rightwing corporate. They can interview three top bankers on the role of banking in the latest bank crash and recovery, and the issue of legitimate banking's common interests with the criminal and recently deregulated privateering scam banking doesn't even come up. (They spent half their time haggling over whether banking should even be blamed at all, since the crash was caused by people voluntarily borrowing too much to buy houses.)

    (I was pleased to find it so clearly and specifically a matter of "left/right" framing, rather than authoritarian/libertarian ideology or a melange like guns vs abortions)

    (Note that the BBC is not major US media, anyway)

    I found an example for my contention in five minutes, by tuning in my radio between stops on the work truck. Can you post an actual programming example of leftwing framing on the BBC?

    btw:
    skewed to the social/ fascistic left.
    The "social/fascistic left"? This is what happens when propaganda is allowed to destroy language.
    Quote Originally Posted by CMR
    I've been trying to find a way to assess media bias statistically, and while i haven't found any actual hard data yet, i have found a promising method; if citations of UK think-tanks by the BBC were compared with citations of think-tanks in parliament it should be possible to show any bias, since it's reasonable to use the parliamentary citations as a definition of the centre.
    That won't work - citations most likely would be far from any reasonable "centre" of left/right ideology. For starters, citations are frequently used as supposedly bad examples, "persuasive" authority, specific facts, and the like - they do not imply endorsement of framing even, let alone bias. And that just begins the confusion, which ends in self-referential absurdity. You need a way of identifying left and right independently of self claims, campaign language, team or Party identification, etc.

    In the US, according to the most standardized scoring organizations and sources (Political Compass and the like) we have, almost the entire Congress since the 80s and every President since WWII has been solidly authoritarian rightwing in their ideology (note that they find outliers on all four ends of the scale, with a couple of libertarians like Ron Paul and a couple of lefties like Kucinich, so we have some evidence of validity). You can't find a left/right center in a rightwing body.

    btw: I have been repeating a reasonable method of assessing media bias, which corrects for any inherent lean in the realities as well as preventing errors of assessment: score the media sources by the falsehoods their audiences believe, that have few or no other sources.

    First, I'm going to need a citation that Obama is to the right of Eisenhower.
    Just compare their respective policies toward bank deregulation (Bank Holding Company Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), labor unions and strikes (Ruling Imagination: Law and Creativity » Blog Archive » Happy Labor Day! President Eisenhower on Unions. U.S. Department of Labor -- Brief History of DOL - Eisenhower Administration, 1953-1961), health care financing ( Dwight D. Eisenhower: Special Message to the Congress Recommending a Health Program. ), and so forth.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMR
    Second Political Compass is by no means an accurate way of determining a US candidates leanings. The United States has a different world view than most all of Europe and by European standards, yes, Obama would be fiscally conservative.
    The criteria for "left" and "right" ideologies are century old aspects of the Western intellectual tradition, are applicable to any industrial society's politics, and do not vary significantly between countries. You are mistaking "informed" standards for "foreign" standards - a natural mistake given the current standards of political education in the US, but there are informed Americans.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Obviously using your extremely distorted criteria which is out of calibration with the vast majority of Americans and well as acedemian who study journalism for a living.

    "
    A study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy has found that the media coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign was more likely to be spun in a positive manner toward Democrats than Republicans.The study also found that the press coverage of candidates was in sharp contrast to what the public says it wants from campaign reporting by concentrating on the effects that events have on candidates rather than reporting on how candidates’ stances on issues will affect the electorate. (h/t Bookworm)
    For starters, you appear to be laboring under the delusion that Democrats are leftwing - to the point that in your eyes Democratic favoring is interchangeable with leftwing leaning. That's a bizarre notion, originally generated from Republican campaign propaganda as far as I can tell, although it has spread widely. Where did you get that idea?

    But the more serious problem lies deeper: the assumption that the media's distraction into triviality and campaign image irrelevance is unbiased, and not connected with the apparent circumstance that when covering reality and reporting facts they seem to be favorable toward Democrats. The problem the media has here, and that we have in tracing bias, is that the facts and realities - the unbiased aspects of issues - have favored Democrats for a while now. The Republican Party starting with Reagan has been taken over by a whackjob cadre, a confederacy of dunces and wingnuts and sociopathic criminals, and realistic coverage of the issues of governance makes them look bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by source
    In other words, the media is both slanted to the left and under performing in terms of public expectations on election coverage.
    Besides mistaking Democratic for Left, the problem there is obliviousness: the obvious take there is that the media slants Dem (more accurately: away from Rep) when it performs better, and increasingly underperforms because it is being pressured and influenced to stop slanting away from Rep.
    Last edited by iceaura; October 24th, 2011 at 03:11 PM.
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    Wow, There are none so blind as those who will not see. I'm guessing ice is a communist and that's why everything is so hard right from that perspective.

    I just don't have anything else to add.

    Besides mistaking Democratic for Left, the problem there is obliviousness: the obvious take there is that the media slants Dem (more accurately: away from Rep) when it performs better, and increasingly underperforms because it is being pressured and influenced to stop slanting away from Rep.
    No, the obvious take is that the more the media swings left to give the Dems a pass, the more they under perform. Mental gymnastics may make you feel better about what you believe but that doesn't make a trumped up conclusion real or fact based.

    If, as you say the media under performs because it's being pushed to the Reps, why then is FOX out performing MSNBC, CNN and the BBC here in America? Why is every popular talk radio show conservative? Please, name the highest rated liberal, left leaning talk radio program in the United States.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by CMR
    I've been trying to find a way to assess media bias statistically, and while i haven't found any actual hard data yet, i have found a promising method; if citations of UK think-tanks by the BBC were compared with citations of think-tanks in parliament it should be possible to show any bias, since it's reasonable to use the parliamentary citations as a definition of the centre.
    That won't work - citations most likely would be far from any reasonable "centre" of left/right ideology. For starters, citations are frequently used as supposedly bad examples, "persuasive" authority, specific facts, and the like - they do not imply endorsement of framing even, let alone bias. And that just begins the confusion, which ends in self-referential absurdity. You need a way of identifying left and right independently of self claims, campaign language, team or Party identification, etc.

    In the US, according to the most standardized scoring organizations and sources (Political Compass and the like) we have, almost the entire Congress since the 80s and every President since WWII has been solidly authoritarian rightwing in their ideology (note that they find outliers on all four ends of the scale, with a couple of libertarians like Ron Paul and a couple of lefties like Kucinich, so we have some evidence of validity). You can't find a left/right center in a rightwing body.

    btw: I have been repeating a reasonable method of assessing media bias, which corrects for any inherent lean in the realities as well as preventing errors of assessment: score the media sources by the falsehoods their audiences believe, that have few or no other sources.

    thing is, when a news outlet considers what it means to be impartial, how can they be expected to look beyond the representatives that have been elected to government? if governments tend to be more authoritarian in office than when the same party was in opposition, that's beyond the scope of this discussion. Impartiality of news media depends on the manner in which they present the dialogue between the elected representatives involved in the politcal process.

    So you are confusing your issues; a possible imperfect representation in the political process should not fall within the scope of a news outlets decisions about impariality. The ideal of impartiality against which bias should be measured is the centre that exists in the political process, not in the population at large.
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    Quote Originally Posted by truck driver
    No, the obvious take is that the more the media swings left to give the Dems a pass, the more they under perform.


    If, as you say the media under performs because it's being pushed to the Reps, why then is FOX out performing MSNBC, CNN and the BBC here in America?
    If the media had been swinging left any time since 1980, the Dems would hardly have been getting a pass on their sharp rightward skew.

    Meanwhile, I have no idea what you could possibly mean by "perform". Make money? Draw big audiences? I think Barnum and Bailey did as well, in their day, as Fox does now ("There's a sucker born every minute" P.T Barnum). By any metric relevant to news presentation, Fox has been underperforming the taking of naps - it's audience would be better informed on left/right issues by a couple of hours of sleep. The toxic mess on rightwing talk radio is even worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606
    thing is, when a news outlet considers what it means to be impartial, how can they be expected to look beyond the representatives that have been elected to government?
    Uh. Gee. The world can still surprise a guy - I suppose that's good news.

    I hope I do not appear to be making untoward demands on my news media when I say I do expect them to look a little beyond politicians and such for their context of "impartiality", their reporting on political events, and their consideration of the issues of the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMR8606
    Impartiality of news media depends on the manner in which they present the dialogue between the elected representatives involved in the politcal process.
    Are you advocating for a news media that presents nonsense, lies, and bs, with the same deference and respect it accords reality and the reporting of events?
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    You seem to have been very strongly influenced in your opinion by political compass. I think it's worth quoting from their FAQ


    23. Most governments and political figures are plotted on the right. Doesn't that mean that your centre is misplaced ?

    The Political Compass chart represents the whole spectrum of political opinion, not simply the range within a particular nation or region. The timeless universal centre should not be confused with merely the present national average. The former is far more meaningful and informative. Where, for example, would the centre be within the political confines of Hitler's Germany, apartheid South Africa or the Soviet Union ? By showing the whole spectrum of political thought, we can indicate the width or narrowness of prevailing mainstream politics within any particular country. It also enables us to chart the drifts one way or another of various parties, governments and individuals.

    Twenty-five years ago, social democracy was riding high in western Europe. A chart at that time would have shown a number of EU governments to the left of the centre. In our globalised age, however, the shift has been rightward, which accounts for the altogether different cluster that the contemporary chart depicts. In other words most democracies, either reluctantly or enthusiastically, have embraced neoliberalism (ie a right leaning economy) to a greater or lesser extent.

    Curbs on civil liberties, rationalised by issues such as illegal immigration and terrorist threats, accounts for the concurrent drift upwards on the social scale.
    Note bolded.

    You are arguing that media bias should be defined on a centre that gives the same weight to regional and historical data as it does to current local trends in politics. The fallacy of this is so obvious it's barely worth pointing out, but anyway; it's the current local trends in politics that provides the framework within which politicians are making their decisions. If a news outlet bases it's definition of the centre in politics on a wider framework then it's no longer simply reporting current affairs it's involved in directing them, i.e. it is no longer impartial.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Are you advocating for a news media that presents nonsense, lies, and bs, with the same deference and respect it accords reality and the reporting of events?
    I suspect you are not even actually aware of your own frequent misrepresentations of other posters, so it's not altogether surprising that you are struggling with this discussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR
    You are arguing that media bias should be defined on a centre that gives the same weight to regional and historical data as it does to current local trends in politics. The fallacy of this is so obvious it's barely worth pointing out, but anyway; it's the current local trends in politics that provides the framework within which politicians are making their decisions.
    No fallacy visible. If you call rightist stuff leftist, you are wrong - currently, yesterday, last century.

    Of course current local trends in politics frame current political decisions, but the descriptions of these trends are in English words which have, or should have, meaning. The media will just have to find accurate and meaningful terms to describe the positions of the politicians. If all the politicians are rightwingers, as frequently happens these days, than other distinguishing features will have to be found. If you allow your terms to be destroyed, emptied of meaning, made hollow syllables, you will find them filled anew by each month's professional propaganda - and you will have lost your ability to make sense over time, or ground your reasoning in context, or make use of history and tradition and information from others. When actual lefties show up, down the line, what are you going to call them?

    And I have been arguing against defining media bias on any particular centre - I've been saying it should be defined on error. Bias is warp, slant, a take that is not true in the carpenter's sense. As long as the media reportage is accurate and complete, it is not biased - no matter where the current centre of this year's campaign rhetoric may be.
    Quote Originally Posted by CMR
    I suspect you are not even actually aware of your own frequent misrepresentations of other posters, so it's not altogether surprising that you are struggling with this discussion.
    The only difficulty I am having is with courtesy - you were attempting to define impartiality without reference to accuracy and alignment with facts, as if the political debates were a kind of fictional game setup or agreed arena of otherwise meaningless combat.

    We saw, for example, in 2008, a row of Republican presidential candidates raise their hands on TV and declare their agreement with the ascription of serious doubts to Darwinian evolution, and the acceptance of creationism as a valid scientific theory to be taught in the schools. Accurate and impartial reporting on that issue then favored Democrats - how could it not? That doesn't make it leftist.

    You can decide to call hummingbirds "ostriches" if you want to, but if you start talking about the hovering flight of the ostrich you will just confuse everyone. Or as Lincoln observed, even if you call a tail a leg a dog still has only four legs. The tail does not support weight while the dog is walking, see - it's not a leg. A corporate, private, for profit, investor owned bank is a corporate, rightwing interest. A government bailout of such a qunitessentially rightwing organization, straight charity not even accounted for, is not a leftist thing to do. At all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Of course current local trends in politics frame current political decisions, but the descriptions of these trends are in English words which have, or should have, meaning. The media will just have to find accurate and meaningful terms to describe the positions of the politicians. If all the politicians are rightwingers, as frequently happens these days, than other distinguishing features will have to be found. If you allow your terms to be destroyed, emptied of meaning, made hollow syllables, you will find them filled anew by each month's professional propaganda - and you will have lost your ability to make sense over time, or ground your reasoning in context, or make use of history and tradition and information from others. When actual lefties show up, down the line, what are you going to call them?
    Well all right, but surely the directional terminology was adopted in the first place because it indicated where you want to go relative to where things are. If the terminology has come to be used to identify particular ideological dogmas rather than aspirational directions, then we've lost meaning right there. Or rather we've acquired ambiguity.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post

    And I have been arguing against defining media bias on any particular centre - I've been saying it should be defined on error. Bias is warp, slant, a take that is not true in the carpenter's sense. As long as the media reportage is accurate and complete, it is not biased - no matter where the current centre of this year's campaign rhetoric may be.

    We saw, for example, in 2008, a row of Republican presidential candidates raise their hands on TV and declare their agreement with the ascription of serious doubts to Darwinian evolution, and the acceptance of creationism as a valid scientific theory to be taught in the schools. Accurate and impartial reporting on that issue then favored Democrats - how could it not? That doesn't make it leftist.
    Your anecdote isn't remotely typical of political debate though, is it? It's a misrepresentation. If it was typical, then yes we could define bias on the basis of error,
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    As long as the media reportage is accurate and complete,
    Media reporting is almost never "Complete." Time and print requirements require omission, categorization, summarizing as well as the stories they even decide to report. There's are huge differences in the stories and reporting between the left, right and center news outlets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR
    Well all right, but surely the directional terminology was adopted in the first place because it indicated where you want to go relative to where things are.
    Nope. It was adopted as a term for ideological position, no motion implied, and its meaning has been standardized in informed intellectual discussion for decades now.
    Quote Originally Posted by CMR
    If the terminology has come to be used to identify particular ideological dogmas rather than aspirational directions, then we've lost meaning right there. Or rather we've acquired ambiguity.
    It's the other way around. If we define our stances only by their relationship to a constantly changing and propaganda - addled series of randomly associated and temporary "centers", we lose all continuity as well as content in our terms. If " extreme left" means "wants guns banned, abortions available" and "extreme right" means the opposite, you have no coherent scale - no direction or distance between the two supposed polar ends. You cannot place any libertarian on your scale, for example. You're simply confused, and set up for a propaganda initiative or other power play.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Media reporting is almost never "Complete." Time and print requirements require omission, categorization, summarizing as well as the stories they even decide to report. There's are huge differences in the stories and reporting between the left, right and center news outlets.
    The difference are not in category of ideological position, however. They all frame the stories the same basic way, none of them "left". There are no left news outlets.

    The differences between the various outlets do not automatically put some on one side of some imaginary teeter totter, and some on the other. That's an a priori assumption, and the evidence denies it.
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    (shrugs) Your definition of "left" is whacked.

    The difference are not in category of ideological position,
    Absolutely they are. On any given night watch FOX and MSNBC report on pretty much anything inside the Beltway and it's obvious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx
    (shrugs) Your definition of "left" is whacked.
    It exists, and allows me to read political analysis written even ten or fifteen years ago with the comprehension available to those with a common vocabulary. It allows me to describe political movements and factions and forces all over the world as "left", "right", or neither, and thereby impart information about them to almost any other literates in English.

    You have no definition of "left" - whatever Limbaugh and Fox have sold to the dumbass this week is your "meaning" of the term, and it will change month by month as the propaganda needs of the corporate media efforts require.

    Is fascism a leftist ideology? By your argument here, it is. Is that what you think? Can you imagine an informative discussion of the current Republican Party's economic agenda in the US starting with fascism as leftist ideology, and no rightwing ideologues even potentially fascist?

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The difference are not in category of ideological position, Absolutely they are. On any given night watch FOX and MSNBC report on pretty much anything inside the Beltway and it's obvious.
    They have consistent differences. But not so much in framing, actually - the assumed context and categories of reality. It's not obvious that MSNBC is "Leftist" overall.

    What, in your opinion, are the features of Brian Williams's ideology that label it "Leftist"? Feel free to use examples of Leftist framing of issues, focus of interest, description of events. Clear differences between him and Brit Hume, in these matters (not "position", but frame and category and assumption etc) should be easy to draw.
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    An experiment was done to evaluate the impact of newsmedia on people's decisionmaking. It was determined that people who watch the news consistently over estimate the danger they are in. They over estimate how dangerous all situations are. So for your own peace of mind don't watch the news.
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    "didn't see anyone consider the BBC or CNN or MSNBC biased."
    BBC or CNN or MSNBC are Propaganda. FOX is a circus side show for clowns.

    The BBC did look like clowns when they announced the collapse of the WTC7 before it had collapsed, but usually they provide quality Propaganda.

    What they dont cover is often quite telling (the dog that didnt bark).
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    to author of this topic: your question is really interesting - is the Media the result of our chois or it makes our choice, likes and dislikes the thing which they are?
    I can advice you an interesting book from the free scientific library?

    ResLib.com: Psychology of Entertainment Media: Blurring the Lines between Entertainment and Persuasion
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    Quote Originally Posted by une etudiante View Post
    to author of this topic: your question is really interesting - is the Media the result of our chois or it makes our choice, likes and dislikes the thing which they are?
    I can advice you an interesting book from the free scientific library?

    ResLib.com: Psychology of Entertainment Media: Blurring the Lines between Entertainment and Persuasion
    I think there's a misperception that Fox News in particular is changing peoples minds and somehow making people more conservative. Most likely what happened is in the age of FM TV and early cable most of the media became rather liberal because most of their audience was in the urban centers where people tended to be more liberal. Later, as cable penetrated the rural areas even into places that were hard to reach with line-of-sight FM TV broadcast, for the first time they could reach those conservative areas who naturally would choose more conservative offerings. That choice was Fox News. If anything Fox News is rather liberal compared to many of their audiences views, but like any network they try to strike a balance between still offering their truly conservative viewers their best alternative without disenfranchising their moderate/libertarian viewers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    I think there's a misperception that Fox News in particular is changing peoples minds and somehow making people more conservative.
    That would indeed be a misperception, in a technical or analytical sense, as Fox expresses no consistent ideology that would be described as "conservative" in any traditional or meaningful use of the term.

    But we have the remaining wreckage of the term, its now dominating propaganda employment as brought to us by Fox among others (Fox and the Limbaugh crowd dominating for the past couple of decades, and the influence of their corporate base having warped the dominant media framing of essentially all issues).

    And Fox is directly responsible for "making people more "conservative" in that sense, quite obviously: there is a direct correlation between demonstrably erroneous concepts, labels, and assumptions now propaganda labeled "conservative" - those unsupported by any possible experience of reality or local community and therefore without source other than media repetition - and the person's degree of exposure to Fox News in particular, the rightwing radio ranters lumped with Limbaugh next, and in correlation the similarly but lesser right-warped major media by degree.

    Examples: the US found WMDs in Iraq, justifying the invasion - T/F. The US liberated the Iraqi women, so that they can now vote and travel without chadors and so forth unlike under Saddam - T/F. Most of the prisoners at Gitmo were captured by American soldiers, usually during attacks on American forces - T/F. Palestinian rockets and suicide bombers have killed more Israeli children than Israel soldiers have killed Palestinian children - T/F.

    Those are older examples. Newer ones: Social Security has no money left because the "government" took it out of the account - T/F. Obama was born in Kenya - T/F. Obama's real father was Muhammed Ali, Stokely Carmichael, or some other famously "Black Power" associated figure - T/F. Obama bailed out the banks with TARP - T/F. Obama's bank bailout was a socialist program - T/F. Obama's borrowing has been much greater than W's, and the modern increase in the government debt is primarily under Obama's budgets - T/F. Obama's budgets have included no significant tax cuts - T/F.

    The list can be extended almost indefinitely. And that's just the crudest of falsehoods, useful because easy to check and source.

    Here's a slightly more subtle example of the Fox influence, from yesterday's New York Times:

    Front page article, continued over a couple inside, big time with color graphics and maps and the whole shebang, on the OWS catchterm "the 99%".

    For starters, the front page headline is straight from the "sober and level headed" category in the Fox phrasebook - part of the now familiar attempt to spin the term more favorably to the corporate right: "1%, Many Variations" subhead "From Rich to Superrich, a Nuanced Portrait".

    Inside, major bold headings: "Among the Wealthiest One Percent, Many Variations" ; "The Jobs With the Most 1 Percenters"; "The 1% Next Door"; and so forth.

    And then the bulk of the article, including the large graphics - and I am not joking here, this is a news article and you can read it for yourself - is devoted to the notion that the top 1% of the local economies in various places is not that rich compared to the top 1% of communities of rich people. They are just kind of ordinary folks with jobs, not even paid all that much, in Laredo, Texas, say.

    The article supports its thesis, about nuance and stuff, with side comments and quotes about the variety of politics to be found among the one percenters ( a variety illustrated with only decent sounding, NYT liberal friendly political opinions), a description of an entrepreneur (CEO of Talon Air) who seems like a decent, NYT liberal friendly guy, some apparently unintentional hilarity in quotes and so forth - it's long, and well worth reading for some trivia (capital gain is 22% of the income of the 1%, 2% of the income of the rest of us. The average income of the top tenth of the 1%, otherwise essentially ignored here, is 6.8 million @ year), but I'll throw this in for the flavor: "Residents say they like the area's diversity. {a local town supervisor said} 'As a politician, I go to black Baptist churches, Orthodox synagogues, Catholic churches, - - - - - - - Some people live in 10 million dollar houses and some people live in half million dollar houses, and their kids are playing basketball together'. "

    Warms your heart, no?

    And after whatever promise there was in the headline, crippled as the start was there was yet the possibility - in the end, almost nothing comparing the "superrich" we were promised "nuance" about. No followup on that hint that maybe there are some serious issues between the kids from the half million houses and the kids from the ten million ones. Must have been an oversight.

    (Do I have to actually point to the Foxframe in all this? OK: the OWS/liberals/Democrats are complaining because some people are rich, and rich people are bad. That's the issue - whether it's OK to be rich, and whether rich people are bad. We are going to spend all our time talking about whether rich people earn their money, whether it's OK for some people to have a lot of money, whether rich people are good people, etc, and using for examples people with jobs and no inherited wealth).
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    And Fox is directly responsible for "making people more "conservative" in that sense, quite obviously: there is a direct correlation between demonstrably erroneous concepts, labels, and assumptions now propaganda labeled "conservative" - those unsupported by any possible experience of reality or local community and therefore without source other than media repetition - and the person's degree of exposure to Fox News in particular, the rightwing radio ranters lumped with Limbaugh next, and in correlation the similarly but lesser right-warped major media by degree.
    You'd actually have to show they were better grounded in reality before. I think you'd find quite the opposite. But no matter, so long as you use your own unique definitions for the words conservative and liberal, or right and left these discussions tend to go no where. There's simply no common frame of reference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    You'd actually have to show they were better grounded in reality before.
    Not at all - regardless of the reality before, the adoption of a whole slew of factual falsehoods that have no other source than a national media, correlated with Fox News exposure, nails the influence.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    so long as you use your own unique definitions for the words conservative and liberal, or right and left these discussions tend to go no where. There's simply no common frame of reference.
    Which is why I use the standard, traditional, dictionary based and widely established definitions, rather than adopt the ever-changing and essentially meaningless propaganda or Orwellian usages recently found on Fox et al.

    There's nothing conservative or liberal, in any meaningful sense of those words, about believing Obama was born in Kenya and his father was Stokely Carmichael and he's a secret Muslim, for example. There's nothing conservative or liberal about assessing the likely impact of rising CO2 levels on the climate. But in the Foxframe, these are "conservative" or "liberal" beliefs - the people who hold them are "conservative" or "liberal" in consequence of holding them. Likewise (and in consequence) My local rightyrant radio routinely refers to the 'leftwing" belief in global warming. Corporate Right pundits publish books claiming fascism is extreme socialism and government action is liberalism

    Adopting such incoherent bs as a "common frame of reference" destroys analysis, prevents comprehension. It throws away the entire Western heritage of political thought, and replaces it with essentially meaningless syllables - or rather, words whose meaning is completely dependent on dispensation from corporate marketing and propaganda campaigns, changing with their needs as often as need be.
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    Not at all - regardless of the reality before, the adoption of a whole slew of factual falsehoods that have no other source than a national media, correlated with Fox News exposure, nails the influence.
    What are you talking about? None of those issues have the media as the only source. The most you could conclude it Fox viewers are factually wrong about more issues than perhaps other viewers. My contention is that might have always been the case. Given it's rural base which often tends to get its information from root beliefs, friends, family, other church member, trusted politicians who represent them (almost everyone loves their own and hate the rest) and often very similar minded people that all reinforce those world views it's no surprise at all and would be the case even without Fox News. The President, a man I trust and voted for twice, said we were going to Iraq to find WMDs....AND so they DID find WMDs. Of course they were remains of 155 shells we helped them build to fight Iran...but no matter, that flimsy evidence was enough to make it so in the minds of many rural conservatives. What you consider strong evidence of Fox New influence has actually a mindset that's existed for centuries--yet you prattle on about this issue constantly. How do I know this? Because I came from a town of 1200 without a single registered democrat 30 years before Fox News was created. The views are substantially no different now than they were back then. I still think a lot like that as well....though from traveling all over the damn place...are much broader now. I don't routinely watch Fox News--I hardly watch TV at all.

    ""Among the Wealthiest One Percent, Many Variations" I read that a few days ago and thought it was a great article.

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    It will be interesting to see how this plays out during this election.
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    Completely agree!!! the problem is not in the general ideology, but in the perception of facts. we had analysed at our university classes some foreign press about foreign politics - ant the American and Russian version of the same journal for young people (maybe cosmo?). the facts painted in the different ways make the different pictures of the world - which is made by this media
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    What are you talking about? None of those issues have the media as the only source.
    Uh, yeah, pretty much the only source. That's the benefit of concentrating on factual errors, especially strange or unique ones - there is no other source for them in most people's lives.

    Where else would the notion of Obama being a secret Muslim come from? Fifty million people simultaneously thought it up on their own? The people who believe that shit don't even know what a Muslim is.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Given it's rural base which often tends to get its information from root beliefs, friends, family, other church member, trusted politicians who represent them (almost everyone loves their own and hate the rest) and often very similar minded people that all reinforce those world views it's no surprise at all and would be the case even without Fox News. The President, a man I trust and voted for twice, said we were going to Iraq to find WMDs....AND so they DID find WMDs. Of course they were remains of 155 shells we helped them build to fight Iran.
    I don't think that without Fox any of those people would have ever heard of those shells, let alone connected them with WMDs. I don't think that's the kind of info they pick up at the local bar, among their roots, as part of their supposedly rural community, etc. That's the benefit of focusing on new and suddenly widespread factual error like that - there's just no way to run into that stuff on the local street. The media - in the this case Fox and rightyrant radio - is the only source.
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    I don't think that without Fox any of those people would have ever heard of those shells, let alone connected them with WMDs. I don't think that's the kind of info they pick up at the local bar, among their roots, as part of their supposedly rural community, etc. That's the benefit of focusing on new and suddenly widespread factual error like that - there's just no way to run into that stuff on the local street. The media - in the this case Fox and rightyrant radio - is the only source.
    You're being rediculous.
    That there were shells, was presumed anyhow, just because the one they voted for said there were WMD anyhow.
    The million soldiers who passed through Iraq, many of them from the same kinds of towns I'm talking about and returned, all knew about the shells--many of them are town leadership implicitely trusted by those town folk--all telling the stories of their discovery even if tenth hand information. And then there's the print media and talk radio whech are still an active means to get news.

    And theres' the same story on MSNBC. It was probably reported on AP, RT, and just about every other news agency. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4997808/
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    You're being rediculous.
    That there were shells, was presumed anyhow, just because the one they voted for said there were WMD anyhow.
    The million soldiers who passed through Iraq, many of them from the same kinds of towns I'm talking about and returned, all knew about the shells--many of them are town leadership implicitely trusted by those town folk--all telling the stories of their discovery even if tenth hand information. And then there's the print media and talk radio whech are still an active means to get news.

    And theres' the same story on MSNBC. It was probably reported on AP, RT, and just about every other news agency. Sarin-loaded bomb explodes in Iraq - World news - Mideast/N. Africa - Conflict in Iraq - msnbc.com
    And they also knew about rusted out cars, oil wells with missing parts, swimming pools in Saddam's palaces, missing explosives from munition caches, etc. They did not take these for evidence of W's WMDs. Their local Republican politician did not pick up any talking points from the Fox complex and its feeder think tanks, about rusted cars and emp[ty swimming pools being evidence of WMD manufacture.

    Of course Fox framing has had great influence - that is one of my most frequently repeated observations, with examples like this one front and center. You may as forswear quit calling it ridiculous, until after you have argued against it - or at least quit exemplifying it.
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    It was framed that way before it happened Ice, just because that's why we went to war before Fox even got the story.
    It was framed that way through skype, facebook, email, every FOB R&R facility in Iraq before Fox even got the story.
    But you can continue to think that somehow Fox made conservatives (as America defines it...not as your unique definition), instead of simply tapping and providing news in accordance with beliefs that have existed since the start of the nation---if you really want to. It doesn't change the facts though--no matter how deeply you continue to misunderstanding rural American culture and its brand of conservatism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    It was framed that way before it happened Ice, just because that's why we went to war before Fox even got the story.
    Not "it was framed". This isn't the weather, where "it rains". Somebody framed it.
    It was framed that way through skype, facebook, email, every FOB R&R facility in Iraq before Fox even got the story.
    And they all thought up that frame, in advance, on their own - then picked those shells as the basis, picked the right mistakes and omissions to make, used the same wording even, with no connection at all to the Fox TV feed that was the universal programming in every FOB R&R facility the US army contracted.

    Meanwhile, stateside, there was a common body of specific and widespread self generated biases and consequent factual errors about Iraq among millions of people who had never heard of the country, couldn't find it on a map, had no idea what its religion was or who was in charge of it, until the Kuwait war at the earliest? Please.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    But you can continue to think that somehow Fox made conservatives (as America defines it...not as your unique definition), instead of simply tapping and providing news in accordance with beliefs that have existed since the start of the nation---if you really want to.
    It's an observation, not a belief - I've watched it happen, in real time. Just for one: The switchover of "most liberal Congressman" from Hilary Clinton to Barack Obama happened within a single month, IIRC, when Obama won a key primary.

    And "news" has nothing to do with it. Delusion and error are not news, fiction is not news, disinformation and propaganda are not news. Things that change on a week's whim according to the needs of Newt Gingrich's political faction are not beliefs that have existed since the start of the nation.

    There is no "accordance" of actual conservatism with factual error and ornate, specific, ridiculous delusions - you don't get 50 million people suddenly and simultaneously dreaming up the notion that Obama was born in Kenya because they are "conservative", neither is that bullshit "news". You don't have 50 million people agreeing that Obama bailed out the banks with TARP because they are "conservative". You don't have 50 million people deciding that Planned Parenthood gets most of its money from abortions because they are "conservative". These are not beliefs that have existed since the start of the nation - the notion that the Party of Lincoln's War represents small, unintrusive government to southerners dates to 1960 at the very earliest, the notion that Reagan's tax cuts boosted the economy and would have balanced the budget except for Congress dates to about 1990, 92.

    And the conversion from Saddam's fresh nukes and gigantic research programs to some empty and rusted out Iranian War gas shells happened in about a week.

    Conservatism, actual conservatism, is not intrinsically vulnerable to mass delusions of such comical and transparent nature - "conservative" does not mean "gullible" and "stupid" and "bigoted" and "batshit", nor are millions of conservatives any more prone than the rest of us to reading each others dreams and agreeing on the details of common lunatic fantasies. They have to be in communication with a common source. Conservatism was not going to start a land war in Asia, or even in Asia Minor, in 2003. When the Bandar-log get together and say "we all say so so it must be true", they didn't each and every make the sayso up for themselves.

    And there is no other source for the mass hysteria about WMDs in Iraq than the US media.
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    50 million people suddenly and simultaneously dreaming up the notion that Obama was born in Kenya because they are "conservative", neither is that bullshit "news".
    You are right about that. Since it actually came from the Hillery for President campaign.

    But you can rest. I'm not going to continue here, teaching American culture or Shakespearian morals about distinguishing between the messenger and the news he brings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    You are right about that. Since it actually came from the Hillery for President campaign.
    So the Fox frame says. That's not where you heard it from, though, and that's not where the 50 million strong Republican base heard it - and who else believes it?

    Both of those items - that Obama was born in Kenya, and that the accusation came from the Hilary campaign - were brought to you by the same media source.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    I'm not going to continue here, teaching American culture or Shakespearian morals about distinguishing between the messenger and the news he brings.
    We aren't talking about news. We're talking about propaganda, bullshit, lies, slander, and so forth.

    If someone - from Hilary's campaign, from Israeli disinformation services, from Karl Rove's campaign support team, from the third stool over in a Macao bar - says Obama was born in Kenya, or is a secret Muslim, or drinks the blood of babies by the light of the full moon with his vampire wife, this is not automatically a mass media broadcast topic. It is not news. Which bar stool it came from is not news either.

    And if 50 million people all of a sudden, all together, all across the country, come up with the single identical notion that Obama's wife is a vampire, and if you don't like hearing that then the slander came from the third barstool to the right in Mitch's Tavern and that's who to blame,

    the matter of interest isn't who was sitting on the third barstool to the right in Mitch's Tavern.
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    They've all got their rotten apples (Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, etc.).
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    Quote Originally Posted by idontknowanything View Post
    They've all got their rotten apples (Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, etc.).
    Fortunately they are not the only source and becoming less important in time as folks read blogs, get emails skype and share with others over social media. Unlike 30 years ago, where there was a truly myopic and controlled media with fewer alternatives. Things are MUCH better now.
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    Things are MUCH better now.
    But only for those who look. The internet makes it much easier for people to ignore and avoid information and opinion they might find uncomfortable or distasteful and to isolate themselves in a private universe where they only ever see stuff that reinforces whatever view they've come up with.

    Discussion here "The alternate, self-contained right-wing media universe" - America's Debate
    Clip here Rachel Maddow Explores Right Wing Lying Echo Chamber - YouTube
    Transcript here in case the clip doesn't work Thursday, Nov. 4th - msnbc tv - Rachel Maddow show - msnbc.com

    There are equally crazy items from other perspectives, but this is the most entertaining example I've so far seen.
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    I won't disagree. But given a choice between the 3 big TV new outlets of 30 years ago which were all rather boring with a distinct liberal bias and little difference between them, and todays vast opportunities to get the types of news and views you want to get, or better yet hear different perspective--I think we're better off today. Also surveys show that most people get their news from more than one source today or even one form of media. And given the vast variety of sources available today, notions that the our sources are being strongly monopolized (I don't think you think this) are naive and ignore where we came from. That not all people take advantage of those vast choices is problem, but hardly a new problem.
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    our sources are being strongly monopolized (I don't think you think this)
    Remember I'm Australian. ~70% of our city and suburban newspapers are News Corp owned. And the current media review committee is proposing to "loosen up" the cross-media ownership rules. Which means we could go back to the bad old days when News may have owned a smaller % of the newspaper market - but it had a stranglehold on a major country-wide TV network as well as a lot of the rural and regional stations.
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    That would suck. Any restrictions on the internet?
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    No. But this current review is making a lot of people nervous. Petitions, submissions and letters flying around like confetti at a wedding.

    We'll see.
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    Fortunately they are not the only source and becoming less important in time as folks read blogs, get emails skype and share with others over social media. Unlike 30 years ago, where there was a truly myopic and controlled media with fewer alternatives. Things are MUCH better now.
    The actual sources of info behind all those blogs, emails, and whatnot, have narrowed - and the ownership of that narrow base has consolidated. It is more myopic, and more obviously controlled, now.

    People are not going to take over the job of one journalist, even, let alone editor of fifty - it's too much time and work, and it requires too much skill. So their news base is shrinking, in fact, and their primary sources of information are less and less informative as time goes by.

    No way in hell the major media of forty years ago devotes so much time for weeks to the issue of Obama's birth certificate, for example. Now, they have to.

    The major media forty years ago - even though it was already in noticeable decline, btw - regarded followup questions as routine parts of an interview. Without them, as now, one does not acquire information from interviews.

    And so forth.

    The Minneapolis Star Tribune, a famously "liberal" newspaper, last Sunday ran an essay on the political role of academia with the headline title "Higher ed leans left. But why? And so what?"

    The "lean left" ascription is based on self-reports by professors of current self-identification as "conservative" vs "liberal" in surveys.

    There is no source of of information capable of countering such bullshit available to most people, as a matter of realistic fact. There used to be. Political journalists used know what "liberal" and "left" and "conservative" meant, how self-identification surveys should be handled in journalistic essays, and wrote accordingly (they still may, for all we know, wherever they've gone); and if they didn't their editors did (there used to be editors). No reputable news source would put stupidity like that in a headline, where it would confuse the maximum number of people.

    Now, we're stuck with the consequences of a misled public and a ruined vocabulary - and that is from a problem with the media not describable as "bias" so much as "malfunction". It is of coursed strongly biased in favor of the corporate authoritarian right, but that's not from ideological slant so much as the fact that malfunction favors them, confusion favors them, incompetence favors them, political ignorance and incapability favors them.

    And that framing, that exact inculcation of ignorance and incapability in that particular specific frame, dominates all of that wonderful world of blogs and emails and skypes and whatnot - because the actual information base of that wonderful world is very small and narrowly owned and controlled by just a couple of corporate powers.
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    In regards to the OP. There are likely relivant studies out there. I would start by looking for those to see if those help you build your study on, maybe you can find a lot of what you want to answer has already been done, or at least, there may be methods and statistics that are relivant, that you can use in your study.

    In general though, the golden rule for studies are be specific, and be able to quantify every definition of what you want to study. YOu need to be able to measure "media bias"(MB) and "personal belief"(PB) and then be able to measure "personal belief over time" as it's influenced by a static "media bias," to see if there is any correlation.

    I would start with a preliminary study to help you define both MB and PB. Since those are largely subjective as they are commonly used, you would need to define them in a meaningful but quantifiable way.

    PB, would have to be limited to a few particular beliefs, or catagories of beliefs, such as you use in your example: conservativism or liberalism. You could also find studies that have various ways of defining and measuring those sets of beliefs.

    MB, also would have to be defined, relative to the PBs that you choose to measure. A conservative MB for example, compared to a conservative PB, and then comparing PB as it changes, if it changes, over time, when presented with MB.

    Hope that helps!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelanthony
    In general though, the golden rule for studies are be specific, and be able to quantify every definition of what you want to study. YOu need to be able to measure "media bias"(MB) and "personal belief"(PB) and then be able to measure "personal belief over time" as it's influenced by a static "media bias," to see if there is any correlation.
    The key is to separate bias from fidelity to physical fact - you can't presume that reality does not favor one political faction over another, for example, and clearly simple accuracy and reliability should not be counted as "bias". So one obvious matter to quantify would be agreed factual errors, the simpler the better, and their beneficiaries or victims if any. Media sources that promulgated fewer factual errors, or evenly distributed their errors on your scale, would be scored as less biased on that measure. People who believed fewer factual falsehoods, or distributed their false beliefs evenly along your scale, would be scored as less biased.

    Start with the errors, find the bias. Don't use matters in which you can't determine the existence of error.

    That will allow you to measure the influence of MB on PB - because specific errors, unlike matters of judgment or fact or even cultural prejudice, are unlikely to be coordinated by coincidence among millions of people living thousands of miles apart. They are indications of common medium - media - influence.

    Another obvious and easily quantified matter is bandwidth, but there's a factor often overlooked: you have to define your sides or terms in advance, rather than from the patterns of phenomena you are using as evidence. If you want to measure media bias and personal bias on a "left" vs "right" scale, for example, you have to establish the scale in advance, independently of the media your are measuring and the phenomena they present. You have to be able to define and recognize "left" and "right" positions without reference to the actual positions you intend to classify.

    And if you do that, you will not be able to discuss your observations with the posters on this forum. I started a thread on this forum doing just exactly that - it's not that difficult. The thread was closed by the moderators, who advised me to "start a blog". So I wouldn't recommend that approach for discussion here.
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    Just for clarity michaelanthony, the tread Ice mentioned was closed for lack of discussion. Discussion looks like this....
    You post
    someone else post
    you post, perhaps adding new material
    someone else post.....
    (obviously there's some give and take--the principle being there's two or more trading ideas about something on a regular basis)

    Not
    You post
    You post
    You post
    You post etc.
    That's more like a blog with closed comments or not one caring enough to converse. It's discouraged here.
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