Is the media biased? The simple answer I believe is yes. Whether or not it is purely from the liberal media or conservative, a bias exists on both sides, but in this essay, the liberal media bias will be discussed. I believe that all forms of the media have a tendency to lean towards the promotion of things that match their ideals, and a tendency to defame things that do not coincide with their own. The best example one can provide is that of political leanings.
Various television networks such as CNN do have a Liberal leaning, and it is not uncommon to see them taking shots at candidates with conservative leanings. On the other hand, a television station such as Fox News have conservative leanings, and they tend to defame those with liberal mindsets. While such actions on both sides can be deemed as downright immature, this is the nature of the media.
The claims by conservatives that a liberal media bias exists is no new concept.
Conservatives hardly trust the media, as it is often soaked with an anti-conservative sentiment. This is also a double-edged sword as the majority of Americans still get the news they hear largely from television as opposed to traditional forms of communication such as radio and newspaper. Even print media seems to be of a liberal disposition. Media giants such as the New York Times, Huffington Post and the Guardian all have liberal positions. According to author Aaron Blake, “About half of the 32 outlets have an audience that pretty clearly leans to the left, while seven have audiences that lean conservative.
The rest (including all the broadcast networks) is somewhere near the middle.” (Blake 1). The outlets Blake referenced were the major news outlets watched and read by Americans, with a good majority of them favoring the left side of the political spectrum. In an article by the Wall Street Journal, the chaos that unfolded at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago resulted in police battling against angry protestors. While most would just be happy for the debacle to be over, according to author, David Greenberg, “The media blamed Chicago’s autocratic Mayor Richard J. Daley and his police force for the violence that shook the city, while many ordinary Americans, more sympathetic to the police, felt that the press had let their sympathy for the antiwar activists warp their coverage.” (Greenberg 1).
The liberal news does have a track record for blowing many happenings out of proportion, and the recent school shootings, while extremely heartbreaking, have in fact been blown out of proportion as well. While it is fine that students who survived the shootings decided to march to protest the loss of their classmates and friends, in fact, it is even admirable, it is not the news ’s place to broadcast and glamourize such a tragic event. As it is known gun control is a hot topic that continues to divide Americans, the liberal media has jumped on it even more in recent years. As stated, the PArkland shooting was, without doubt, horrific and traumatizing to those who lived through it, but the liberal media has taken the opportunity to make a political statement about the banning of all semi-automatic weapons instead of covering the recoveries of those who were injured in the attack. An article by Investors Business Daily says about the liberal media, “Liberal journalists have openly discussed how these teenage advocates could be a crucial factor in defeating the gun-rights lobby. (Bozell 1.) It appears that the liberal media had any interest in the recuperation and treatment for those affected in the shooting, rather they saw an opportunity to further their own agenda.
Another more recent example of liberal media bias is the controversy surrounding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It seemed that almost immediately after President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a woman by the name of Christine Ford told the media that Mr. Kavanaugh has sexually assaulted her in high school. The claim generated a firestorm of other claims of abuse on his part and ultimately ended in a hearing to determine Mr. Kavanaugh’s innocence of these allegations. One who made such an allegation was Julie Swetnick, who claimed that Mr. Kavanaugh had attacked her and sexually violated her at a party in 1982.
Upon further investigation, it was revealed her story was not credible, and Kavanaugh did not even know who she was. After the investigation and while being questioned about her claim, Mrs. Swetnick was said to reply, ‘I cannot specifically say that he was one of the ones who assaulted me,’ (Snow 1). While it is a tragedy for anyone to be attacked and violated in such a way, what is strange is that Mrs. Swetnick made no such claim until after Christine Ford had already come forward. In response to claims made by Mrs. Swetnick, Kavanaugh stated, ‘I don’t know who this is and this never happened,’ (Mangan 1). The fact that Mrs. Swetnick’s claims fell apart upon further investigation demonstrates that the liberal media will do whatever they have to in order to cause opponents to either fall in line or give up entirely.
The liberal media also knows how to at least attempt to sway events in their own favor. A great example of this is during the 2016 presidential election. Before the debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, CNN was advised by Democrats on which questions to ask Mr. Trump during the debate. Were there Republicans trying to coerce CNN to ask Mrs. Clinton certain questions? No.
I don’t believe the liberal media sees themselves as biased. In fact, they most likely believe just the opposite, that they are simply exercising their rights the best way that they feel is appropriate. The media can be biased in many ways including using hyperbole, exaggerating news in order to better tell a story and make it appeal more to readers. Such an example would be a news outlet reporting on a robbery that occurred in town. In order to make the story more interesting, certain details of the occurrence would be reimagined, added to, or outright obliterated in order to make for a far more interesting story rather than the simple truth. Another such example of media bias deals with politics. For example, two men could be running for governor and one media outlet supports and endorses one of the candidates.
His opponent would no doubt be seen as opposition by the media outlet as well, and the media outlet may simply fail to report any news that is positive about the opponent, or may also attack him and his character, as is the case with the current Georgia election. One other example could be the practice of giving one politician better press than the other. If the media outlet supports one candidate, it is no surprise that the amount of coverage will be higher for the one who is supported. The one who is not supported, however, will receive no favorable press and will be contradicted, attacked, and misunderstood by the media outlet who he finds himself in opposition against. While it is not seen as biased by the media outlet who produces the material, and rightly so as they believe themselves to be in the right and that the freedom of the press is protected, it is evident that the media is biased about a great many things.