Monday, March 9, 2015

Broadcast Media Is Bias – But is it Poisonous?

Most people would agree that the major television networks of ABC, NBC and CBS are bias.  But do they know what the bias is and do they consider it poisonous to informed political debate?  Some would respond the bias as liberal and others that there is bias but could not place a political label. In our book, Vigilance The Price of Liberty, we discuss media bias and refer to Bernard Goldberg, a former CBS newsman, who wrote the book, Bias, which describes the broadcast news media as generally tilted toward Democratic candidates and a liberal agenda. As we cover in Vigilance, “Goldberg raised the specter that when political bias filters into journalism, the public is not being fairly served. For example, his book describes that during the term of Republican President George H. W. Bush homelessness was widely covered, but with the election of Democratic challenger Bill Clinton, the coverage of homelessness essentially stopped. As Goldberg says, homelessness was “cured” upon the inauguration of Clinton.”

But even if the major TV networks are bias, is their coverage damaging to political discussion?  No, for those that are vigilant.  But the vigilant are few and for the rest the story becomes the propaganda of political partisans.  All media outlets control their agenda as to what they will cover and how they cover it.  But far too many people assume the coverage is fair and complete – and it is not. 

Our conclusion is that, for the vigilant the media is bias but not poisonous, and for those that are not vigilant the major TV networks are both bias and poisonous to political debate.

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