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Media bias and its effect on public opinion/perception

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 7,941 Senior Member
I've been mulling this over for a while, trying to figure out how best to present this. What I would like to do is start a rational discussion of how media bias has affected public opinion and perception, and how we now view the news we get from various sources.

To start, let me state the following. It is MY perception that the three major news outlets, ABC, CBS and NBC, lean left. I hear the term mainstream media bandied about a lot, so for sake of reference I'll consider these three as the mainstream media. Then there's MSNBC and CNBC, which definitely lean left, followed by CNN, which seems to lean left but not to the extent of the two NBC offshoots.

Talk radio for the most part leans very far right. I don't think I've ever hear Rush say anything good about democrats. Fox News, in my opinion, is somewhat of a counterbalance to the left leaning outlets, as it seems to me to lean to the right. Of course, your mileage may vary.

After watching the CNN and CNBC Republican debates, I think both lost credibility, especially CNBC. CNN did a pretty good job of getting the candidates to go after each other without really addressing many substantive issues. CNBC tried to do that, but the candidates were ready for it, turned the tables on the moderators and made them look like fools. And now, CNN and others are going after Ben Carson on a few minor issues from his distant past. To his credit, Carson has responded well, and, in my opinion, made them look petty, vindictive and biased.

Whether you agree with my assessment or not, my question is this. Have we as a country lost our faith in the media, regardless of the outlet(s), to give us the facts, all the facts and only the facts? If so, is this a good thing or a bad thing? The framers of the constitution recognized freedom of the press as part of the first amendment specifically to keep the government from propagandizing and growing too powerful. It has worked pretty well for a long time. But, if we no longer believe what we see on TV, or read in newspapers, publications or (shudder) the internet, has the press lost its effectiveness as a voice of reason and one that presents all the facts to the American public? Is it as bad as not having a free press at all?

Maybe I'm overthinking this, but it seems to me that the tide is turning away from the so called mainstream and liberal media, and toward the right leaning outlets. I'm not sure that one is any better than the other.

Please share your (adult) views on this.
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Didn't one of the communist ideologues say something to the effect that if a lie is repeated long enough and loud enough, people will start to believe it's true? That's the media's role now- - - -herd the sheep to the slaughter!
    Jerry
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,663 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Didn't one of the communist ideologues say something to the effect that if a lie is repeated long enough and loud enough, people will start to believe it's true? That's the media's role now- - - -herd the sheep to the slaughter!
    Jerry

    That was a certain A. Hitler.

    As for "the media", I'm pretty much with CPJ on this subject. Its also VERY interesting to watch/listen to the BBC. Not only do you get a different perspective, you also hear about things that our media doesn't report! There's a real message there...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,395 Senior Member
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Joseph Goebbels

    It worked around 85 years ago very well. Fast forward to today. As long as things happening don't affect the majority on public assistance, they don't give it any thought. Democrats and Republicans will believe what their party says and call the other side liars. For an example, look at all the clowns marching for the $15 minimum wage. They are clueless as to the ultimate, as opposed to unintended, consequences of raising the minimum wage to $15/hr. It isn't like there aren't MANY glaring examples of what has happened when union wages and benefits went so high that the robotics and automation that replaced them became economically a better choice than human workers. Detroit, anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    That, and robots don't spit on your Whopper before they serve it to you! Food-grade grease looks a LOT like Mayonnaise!
    Jerry
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    The ""Big Lie" has been attributed to Joseph Goebbels who got it from Hitler's book and accused the Jews of using it and Churchill..........also Commies were said to have used it.

    I think Bill Clinton and Pantsuit practiced it to good effect.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Oh, others posted as I was writing my reply.

    It must work because I/we still hear it being used in principle all the time.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    The problem with current media is the limited availability of sources.
    Before radio hundreds of periodicals were in circulation with at least as many editorial authors. Consumers of that time could be exposed to tremendous diversity of opinion if they so choosed.
    World media is diversifying a little as of late but our national media is too consolidated.
    I think the effects on the general public are self evident to anyone concerened enough to examine the subject
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Pretty much every major media outlet is owned by a massive corporation with tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue to protect. All are in the business of protecting the status quo no matter even if they lean "right" or "left" in terms of our established parties that both also serve the status quo. Furthermore as media companies they also make a lot of money from advertising from other top companies that benefit from the status quo by virtue of being top companies. What's true or best for the country to doesn't come close to factoring into anything.

    Here we go again - everybody does it, therefore they are all equally biased - horseshiite. The three major networks and their offshoot entities are so committed to leftist propaganda that anybody who is not looks guilty of doing the same thing for the right, by contrast. Anyone who doesn't accept the left's baseline narratives as the place to begin every discussion is a right-wing nut case.

    The fact that Fox News and talk radio let conservatives start and finish a thought without heckling them is proof of their bias, to hard core lefties. The fact that very few lefties will come on to Fox News speaks volumes. They stick to the channels that use trained Republicans to present a milquetoast opposing view, and always get their asses kicked by clever lefties.
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