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 Media bias is in the eye of the beholder 
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Post Media bias is in the eye of the beholder
Media bias is in the eye of the beholder

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Ross and Perloff both found that what partisans worry about the most is the impact of the news on neutral observers. But the data suggest such worry is misplaced. Neutral observers are better than partisans at seeing flaws and virtues on both sides. Partisans, it turns out, are particularly susceptible to the general human belief that other people are susceptible to propaganda.

The tendency to see bias in the news ? now the raison d'etre of much of the blogosphere ? is such a reliable indicator of partisan thinking that researchers coined a term, "hostile media effect," to describe the sincere belief among partisans that news reports are painting them in the worst possible light.

Ross thinks this is because partisans often feel the news lacks context. Instead of just showing a missile killing civilians, in other words, partisans on both sides want the news to explain the history of events that prompted ? and could have justified ? the missile. The more knowledgeable people are, the more context they find missing.

Even more curious, the hostile-media effect seems to apply only to news sources that strive for balance. News reports from obviously biased sources usually draw fewer charges of bias. Partisans, it turns out, find it easier to countenance obvious propaganda than news accounts that explore both sides.


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/n ... dia26.html

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July 26th, 2006, 10:19 am
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This explains why the Lions still have fans, I mean hope? :lol:

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July 26th, 2006, 12:52 pm
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:lol:

Sorry I Posted this in the wrong forum.... hopefully one of the mods will move it.

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July 26th, 2006, 1:06 pm
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Thanks for posting. It was an interesting read, although I am not sure its analysis measures up to what you perhaps thought it did.

First, clearly we are talking about a study and a report on that study. We need to be mindful that the report on the study is a briefer summary. Potentially, it may not have interpretd the study's results perfectly and it may have added points of emphasis not intended by the original authors.

Here is my criticism and comments.

As to the polarized view of the Palestinian question, it is well known, and not unlike the controversy surrounding Bush or OJ. It is certainly a subject worthy of study and scrutiny.


"Amazingly, it turned out to be exactly the opposite, Stanford psychologist Lee D. Ross said. The best-informed partisans were the most likely to see bias against their side."

Is this amazing or not? It sounds sensational on the surface, but is this not akin to saying, a university trained doctor discerned more quackery in the infomercial concerning fish oil supplements? It would stand to reason, that somebody who understood human biochemistry would be less prone to the advertising pitch of purported elixir.

"A matter of context

Ross thinks this is because partisans often feel the news lacks context. Instead of just showing a missile killing civilians, in other words, partisans on both sides want the news to explain the history of events that prompted ? and could have justified ? the missile. The more knowledgeable people are, the more context they find missing."

The epistemic problem with this conclusion is the journalist's failure to problemitize knowledge properly. This is not an either/or question. Let me restate the problem technically. People do not reach a different opinion because they are more knowledgeable in an absolute sense, they reach the conclusion of bias because they are more embedded in the master narrative of the issue: evil terrorists or zionists pigs. But these prejudices act as filters that pollute and focus their interpretation, more so than say an agnostic sheepherder in Cambodia with nothing at stake. But in both cases, the observer is not MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE at all, but is in fact in possession of far more facts wedded more tightly to foundational assumption. In other words bias and knowledge are not mutually exclusive.

Let's do the above experiment again in a different way. Let's take 20 Arabs and 20 Jews of different communities and show them the same footage. The results above would hold. Now, you would commence the second stage of the experiment. You would hold a trial or inquest into the actual event. All the details would be filled in forensically. What would the jury decide? My guess, is that although the foundational values would still be there, the jury would come to a surprisingly middle road conclusion. This is because the court system with its more elaborate fact finding procedures would replace omited facts for assumptions. The problem then is not that Knowledge with a capital K causes bias, but rather than partial and imperfect knowledge creates bias, which one would expect.




"Even more curious, the hostile-media effect seems to apply only to news sources that strive for balance. News reports from obviously biased sources usually draw fewer charges of bias. Partisans, it turns out, find it easier to countenance obvious propaganda than news accounts that explore both sides."

This is easy to explain sociologically. People are not going to argue about Coulter or Franken, because the people that listen to them never meet in any middle ground, occupied by places such as NBC and the Houston Chronicle.


"If I think the world is black, and you think the world is white, and someone comes along and says it is gray, we will both think that person is biased," Ross said.

That follows quite logically from the above.


"The experiment, of course, did not address whether news reports were in fact biased ? who would decide?"

That is a pretty big qualifier right there and it is pretty significant. We are not talking about bias in a history book, but rather in the mainstream media that by definition simplifies the story into sound bytes. The conclusion that should not have been overlooked by the journalist here is that the real problem is that the media coverage is insufficient. If it provided more depth, there would be less disagreement because ---here is the kicker--- people given access to the same facts reach a much more similiar opinion. The reason this consensus is not reached is because the MEDIA FAILS to strip the observer of their bias. And why? Well, it is very simple. The MEDIA makes money by pleasing, not deconstructing you. They are in the business of playing to your prejudices. When I say Fox is part of the Matrix I am partially talking about money, information, and people shuttling back and forth between the GOP and the network, but at the end of the day, viewers of Fox are complicit in the news they receive. They have the remote and they chose to watch it for its "fair and balanced" coverage, not maybe because they necessarily believe it is fair and balanced, but because this makes them feel good about themselves and the world they live in. The same would apply to the blogosphere, but that matrix is quite different because obviously there is no corporate money behind it.

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July 26th, 2006, 2:07 pm
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I dont think it is necassarily a statement of fact or the truth. I just thought it insteresting.

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July 26th, 2006, 2:14 pm
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Yorick wrote:
The MEDIA makes money by pleasing, not deconstructing you.


I have to take small exception to this. The media is not out to please us at all. They are out to capture our attention by whatever means necessary even if that mean to outrage us. To this end none of the news makers abide by the news. Rather they believe you should never let the facts get in the way of the story THEY want to tell.


July 26th, 2006, 7:04 pm
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If it leads, it bleeds . . . but maybe outrage is what people in dull suburban bungalows need. . . subconsciously?

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July 26th, 2006, 10:39 pm
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