A Good Indicator of Media Bias – How the Media Defines Bias

It seems that the Gannon Story is gaining some traction in the MSM. Just to recap. Eason Jordan, the head of CNN news makes public statements that US troops are murdering journalists (just the latest in a series of similar statements). The other big recent media “story” is that of Jeff Gannon, who it seems, operates under a fictitious name and runs a small conservative blog, got access to White House Press briefings. That the media would be completely silent on the Jordan Story, and give any play to the Gannon story speaks volumes about the prism through which the MSM views the world.

What was the wrong that Gannon committed? A wrong that the media evidently thinks is more deserving of coverage than public proclamations by one of Media’s most powerful individuals that US troops are intentionally killing journalists? Well it’s difficult to say but it appears to stem from softball questions Gannon asked at a White House press briefing and worse yet, that Gannon had “conservative leanings”, even, God forbid, conservative ties. The media likes to use the term “balanced” about their reporting. It implies even handedness, looking at both sides of an issue, letting both sides be heard. The Gannon story provides a great opportunity to see how the term “balanced” is practically applied by the MSM.

I’ve seem my fair share of Bush’s press briefings. The vast majority of questions are premised on assumptions that are critical of the administration. In some cases, the questions are premised on an accusation or allegation that is unfounded or untrue. In many instances these accusations come directly from the Democrats and not from any independent reporting done by the news organization itself.

In the world of “balanced” coverage wouldn’t one expect some questions from the press that weren’t critical? Of course. But how is “balance” put into practice by the MSM? In the context of a steady stream of negative news about Bush, where he is repeatedly asked tough, even unfair questions from the press at the briefings, it happened. The question that rang out around the world. A question not premised on criticism of the administration, but on criticism of the, dare I say it, Democrats. Not only was the question not expected, or even accepted by the liberal media, this poor Gannon guy faced a literal inquisition, first from liberal blogs, and now in the mainstream.

It appears that “balance” means balancing scathing coverage of Bush, with really, really scathing coverage. Look no further than the branding of Fox News as a conservative mouthpiece. Real analysis of media coverage leading up to the election (conducted by analyzing the number of positive and negative stories about the Bush administration) actually showed that Fox had more “negative” stories about Bush than positive, but had more positive coverage as compared to the other major news sources. Not only is the MSM not balanced, they’re downright intolerant.

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