January 31, 2005

MSM Effects

A lot of blogs decrying the bias of the MSM against anything American. Right wing bloggers especially delight in pointing the bias out; left wing bloggers say that, for the most part, ONLY Fox News is biased, and thats in an "anti-progressive" way, hence it's the bias we should be concerned about. They also point out that the European press is "much better".

The left side of the aisle is fond of accusing President Bush of "going it alone" and "alienating our EU allies". Now we have this report via Davids Mediankritik that has a survey that shows the German media is more critical of US policy than Al Jazira. In fact, they have an anti-US stance about 80% of the time. The survey shows similar albeit lower results in the French, Italian,British,and Spanish press.

So is it any wonder that public opinion in the EU has turned against the US?

When Arab Media is more "fair and balanced" than the EU MSM, there is definately something to be concerned about.

All too many people form their personal opinions from what they read and hear in the MSM, if that media is biased, it can become a situation of Orwellian Newspeak that is far removed from reality. In a nuclear age, this is extremely dangerous. Polititians respond to constituant pressures (at least in an election year), if the public is misinformed and not based in reality, those pressurres can lead to poor decision making, making the world a more dangerous place than it already is.

Posted by Delftsman3 at January 31, 2005 07:58 PM

Are you implying that the critical attitude of the German media is biased? I don't read German but I wouldn't be surprised to find that the German media was also highly critical of German politicians and German policies. Much can be said about U.S. media and how some outlets tend to run negative stories (most exciting events such as killings and such are by their very nature negative and alarmist). Even so, I find virtually no major U.S. news outlets providing media access to people who really challenge the status quo. Such people (Zinn and Chomsky come to mind) are kept under close wraps. I don't know why. For all the chatter about Ralph Nader being a wacko, he did get 5% of the Californian vote a few years back but you probably can't find a single station anywhere in California that gave him 5% of the air -time of the major candidates. Why not? He isn't a ranting kook. Whether you agree with his ideas or not, they are IDEAS put forth in a well-reasoned way and they are different. I guess what I'm saying is that the U.S. could use some alternative view points. Nothing could be better for U.S. democracy than a well-translated foreign news show broadcast on a major U.S. station watched by the average American. Why aren't we all watching Arab and German news every night?

Posted by: Karlo at January 31, 2005 09:21 PM

The Point was, Karlo, that the majority of the major media in the EU mostly airs only the POV of our opposition; to a greater extent than even the normal media outlets FOR the opposition. You see no irony there? And you wonder WHY public opinion in the EU is so against us?

Citing CHOMSKY as a commentator?!? Puhleeez! Even the leftist segments of our media know that he's an idiot, and they don't wish to have him embarrass their joint cause.

Posted by: delftsman3 at January 31, 2005 10:07 PM

Whether or not you agree with Chomsky, he provides arguments with points and evidence. (His documentary Manufacturing Consent and his book on the Israeli conflict are good examples of this). There's some meat there to chew on. I have no problem with him at all. For that matter, if a conservative wants to appear in the media and actually discuss an issue in an educated manner, I'm all for it. (You'll notice on my blog that I gave a fairly good review to Goldberg's book Bias and can say that I actually read the whole thing). However, I don't see this happening. The U.S. news media is little more than a spoken form of Pro Wrestling.

Posted by: Karlo at January 31, 2005 11:42 PM

It is corporate funded . . . hence non-biased???

Posted by: Karlo at February 1, 2005 07:41 PM

Chomsy doesn't use evidence, he uses whatever conspiracy theory that matches his topic as "proof" "Everybody KNOWS" as if it were proven fact. His points are only valid if looked at from a Communist state view.

"It is corporate funded . . . hence non-biased???"

Nope, our media is DEFINITLY biased. The only wonder to me is that it's so heavily biased towards a big government Nanny state mentality.
You'd think that that would work against the corporations best interests... On the other hand there are plenty of NON-corporate media outlets to at least provide some alternate views.

Posted by: delftsman3 at February 1, 2005 08:38 PM

"Chomsy doesn't use evidence."

You clearly haven't read anything by Chomsky. Probably more than any author who writes for the public at large, he uses extensive footnotes. His sources are generally very solid. When writing about Israel, for example, instead of relying on Palestinian sources, he uses many major Israeli media sources and statistics by well-known organizations. His work on bias in the media contains very convincing statistical data and sound reasoning and makes the Goldberg book on bias look like tabloid reporting (full of anecodotes and examples) in comparision.

Posted by: Karlo at February 2, 2005 02:08 PM

In other words, if you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, snow them with an excess of BS.

I have read Chomsky. I find his arguments pedantic,circular and self-fulling.

Note the second part of your Goldberg statement:
(full of)examples. That is real world; Chumpsky cites his theory and then cherry picks to support the theory and not the facts.

Posted by: delftsman3 at February 5, 2005 05:34 PM

In the academic world where arguments are held to a higher standard of proof, examples are only accepted if they're backed up by some other more objective data. A person can find examples for anything. Chomsky, on the hand, actually took a particular set of news events and reporting in the elite media (the New York Times) and did some numerical analysis that proved media bias. There's some empirical evidence offered that we can either accept or challenge. The Goldberg book, on the other hand, is full of personal anecdotes (a little bit like Fox news, Goldberg's favorite news outlet.)

Posted by: Karlo at February 7, 2005 02:19 PM
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