Saturday, August 05, 2006

Great moments in fair-and-balanced journalism

From the University of Louisiana Vermilion:

For such a loaded question, they sure relied heavily on the smug-white-Louisianian demographic. You'd think they'd find at least one Lebanese student or something. At least then, the editor-in-chief would have to find more creative ways to inject himself into the paper's coverage.

15 comments:

Cajun Tiger said...

Don't get upset just b/c you are in a VERY small minority on this issue.

Ian McGibboney said...

This isn't about what I think. It's about a school with a significantly diverse population (even in the summer semester) being represented by five identical (and not all that informed) views. When I was a journalism student, I was told to redo stories where all of the sources expressed the same view.

Anyway, if everyone's in lock-step support of this issue, then why even ask the question?

It's coverage such as this--on a higher level, of course--that leads people into thinking that everyone thinks alike. Groupthink is a force that should not be overlooked.

Robert Taylor said...

You're absolutely right Ian. Anyone with a brain knows that it's not who controls the answers but who controls the questions that can affect people's thinkingr.

Hillary For President said...

Ian is rite. look, it simpel, 99.9999999% of reasonable smart, patriot American's know how rong rong rong Israel is. I don't know why it so harde what find someone with the rite point off view. I meen, if you get desperate just find a Mislam (be very polite, remember to pay you're tribute) and ask. You will get turth.

Cajun Tiger said...

Well, if they are forced to only express one view, then that is just plain wrong and I'd support your outrage. Welcome to my world having to put up with only CNN and the NY Times until we finally got other options.

Not saying those organizations forced only one view, but their groupthink assumed everyone thought as they did and thus only expressed that view.

Jester said...

Too true, Tiger. It's about time the Left swallows some of its own medicine.

Ian McGibboney said...

CT, the media is supposed to be unbiased. I would respect Fox News and the Washington Times a lot more if they'd said, "The media is too leftist. Let's do it the correct way, with unbiased reporting." But they didn't. They decided to overcompensate with right-wing bias, and by catering to the editorial whims of the Republican Party. That doesn't solve the problem; it just reaffirms its existence in a self-fulfilling way.

FWIW, though, I suspect that most non-Murdoch/Moonie media outlets aren't so much left-biased as their viewers are right-biased. In other words, if the GOP does something foolish and the media reports on it, that's supposedly evidence of Democratic bias. But really, that says more about the administration and their followers than it says about the coverage. Hell, I see slams against Democrats and liberals all the time on EVERY channel, whereas Bush can do no wrong on some channels.

News coverage is supposed to be about the whole story, not grabbing for ratings and demographics and giving differing beliefs "a taste of their own medicine." How petty and vindictive is that? Grow up.

Jester said...

You're right; the news IS supposed to be the whole story. Sadly, though, you and your pals in the left wing mainstream media haven't been keeping up with that idealism outside of paying it lip service. Grow up? Pointing out justice is immature to you? Get used to it.

Ian McGibboney said...

What justice? All I see is vindictiveness. Fox News, the Washington Times and their equally warped brethren exist not to fix the perceived wrongs in the media, but to do the same thing to better suit their point of view. And boy, have they raised the bar!

I'm sorry if you feel like your beloved leaders have been beaten upon by the mainstream media. Maybe it's because they deserve the same degree of grilling that they gave to Clinton and everyone before him.

Cajun Tiger said...

Let's play a game called count the "bias". Name the number of liberals that are anchors/hosts/panelist on Fox and then name the number of conservatives that are the same on CNN and MSNBC combined. It isn't even close. You can deny it all you want, but Fox is way more balanced in giving both sides of the story than the others hands down.

The reason MSNBC hired me was b/c they recogized their groupthink was way to one sided and proceded to work on being more balanced. When I worked there I was one of less than 10-15 conservative of over 500 people. CNN's problem is they don't think they have a problem just like the rest of the MSM.

Jester said...

Exactly, Tiger. The ratio of left-wing bias to right-wing bias is about 1000:1, yet whiny liberals like Ian still can't stand it when someone else's point of view gets out. I guess the 1st Amendment is only supposed to apply to the Left.

Ian McGibboney said...

Yeah, jester, I hate free speech. Good point, and well-made on this blog where I don't tolerate the flood of right-wing argument I've been getting for the past week. Chubby Checker has nothing on you when it comes to twisting things.

Just because you disagree with most mainstream media doesn't mean it has a liberal agenda. You're just so far to the right that you can't see straight. And frankly, I find it sad that either one of you thinks that Fox News and the like are good ideas because they're more friendly to the conservative point of view. News isn't supposed to be friendly to anyone; it's supposed to report. If you want to talk about editorials, that's different; but editorialism is harder and harder to set apart from legit news, and that's what misleads people.

Going back to the original point of this post: do you agree that a newspaper, representing a diverse college population, should ask a question of loaded world significance to five people of the same background, and be satisfied when the answers are identical? Would you support that if all five people had been international students telling Isreal to bug off? Or would that be wrong because it doesn't fit your bias? I'm arguing for balance and fairer coverage.

Jester said...

Ok, ok. I'll settle down. By the way, I'm partial to Chubby Checker, so thank you for that.

Ahem. I disagree with the mainstream media precisely BECAUSE it has a liberal agenda. Secondly, just because Foxnews features conservative commentators in their op/ed section doesn't mean they're right-wing. The fact of the matter is that they, like all other big news agencies, get their info feeds directly from the left-wing AP group.

And NO, I don't think it's right to run loaded polls on a college population or on any other. HOWEVER, your leftist media has been doing so for years without a peep from you or any other liberal. Two wrongs don't make a right, but enough is enough.

Right-wing bias is the only defense conservatives have against the daily overwhelming onslaught of the leftist B.S. we're force-fed every day by the MSM. At least we admit our bias instead of hiding behind a facade of "balance".

Ian McGibboney said...

Jester, I've worked in the so-called "mainstream media," for a variety of newspaper in different markets over several years. I assure you, the only agenda newspapers have is a corporate one. Six corporations own almost all of the national media, and virtually all newspapers are owned by large chains. Not offending the advertisers is the number-one priority (which I know from firsthand experience). What about any of that screams, "liberal agenda"? And no, citing articles that rightfully criticize Republicans does not count.

Loaded polls deserve no space in a paper, period. Just because you disagree with polls in the past doesn't mean that flawed research YOU like should be printed as compensation.

I take it from the rest of your comment that you concede that Fox News, et al. are right-leaning outfits. If that is the case, then tell me exactly how they are working to equalize bias in the media. And why I shouldn't condemn that bias any more than you condemn the "bias" of the mainstream media.

Abz said...

Wow. That's not exactly what I would call a representative choice or a relevant question. This so-called journalist sure has got a sense of debate that I don't understand. Unfortunately, I cannot really pretend that medias here (in France) are doing much better -they would just probably interview a Lebanese student, a pacifist Muslim, and a guy from the French and Jewish Union For Peace.