Media bias corrupting our political views
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 17:10
With 2012 being an election year, people across the nation are voicing their opinions from all corners of the nation. Diehard political junkies are speaking up and following the opinions of others.
Undecided voters and independents are trying to solidify their decisions by following the news.
As hard as media outlets try to remain independent, there will likely always be at least a little bias.
Now, as a major election is rapidly approaching and with excessive media bias being drilled into our heads, where can we turn to find actual news instead of “expert” opinions?
According to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, journalists should “distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.” Examining the aftermath of the Oct. 16 presidential debate proves, though, that journalists do not always do this. A wonderful aspect of debates is that we have the opportunity to hear each of the candidates’ ideas directly from their mouths. While this seems pretty straightforward, the media never hesitates to add their two cents.
MSNBC, known as a left-wing news station, praised President Obama for proving that he is eager to take on another four years at the second presidential debate. The top news story on their website the next morning was headlined, “As Romney Stumbles, Obama Rumbles.” Even before the fact checkers were able to speak their mind, the station anchors covering the debate were quick to identify their winner: President Obama.
There are always two sides to every story. Fox News is known as a right-wing news station and decided to cover the debate from just that angle. The Fox News website chose to headline their debate story, “Obama uses power of nope in bid to check Romney’s debate momentum.” Just as MSNBC was able to point out Romney’s flaws, Fox News honed in on the president’s combative performance, spinning it in a negative light.
Before the second debate, MSNBC news reporter Chris Matthews broadcasted live from Hofstra University and warned, “We will either see a spirited defense by Barack Obama of his four year record or we won’t. If we see it, this election campaign will take a strong new life. If we don’t, something historic will begin to die.” He later spelled out Obama’s accomplishments as president and encouraged the president to take note of them if he was watching MSNBC.
Before the debate, Fox News reporter Sean Hannity responded to a caller on his national radio show who pointed out that jobs were saved due to the automotive bailout.
“Every single person would have kept working if they had gone bankrupt. Every single solitary person,” Hannity argued. “You act as though Mitt Romney was going to go in there and shut down all of the plants and the cars would no longer be produced. That’s not what bankruptcy does.”
Fact checkers later proved this point to be false.
Obviously MSNBC and Fox News are not the only news sources available to the public, but this is a sample of what goes on in the media. Stations are labeled based on their political agendas, and undecided and independent voters should not base their opinions on biased reporting.
What is something else that voters should not be basing their decisions on? The answer is sports.
“Today” show host Matt Lauer interviewed vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan the morning after the second presidential debate. Lauer concluded the interview with, “On Nov. 17, Wisconsin will play Ohio State in a football game. I would like you to tell the people of Ohio who’s going to win that game.”
In case you missed the irony, Lauer is yet another reporter with transparent political beliefs and Ryan’s hometown is Janesville, Wis.
Ohio is, of course, a battleground state and neither Romney nor Ryan can afford to develop negative relationships with the people of Ohio so close to the Nov. 6 election.
“It really depends on who has the better record is going to lose, because that’s what happens,” Ryan ironically answered.
Reporters need to know their respective roles in the media. For every strongly opinionated person in this country, there is someone who is not. It is time for these “reporters” to stop abusing their platforms to instill their personal opinions and start giving us the facts.