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Author Topic: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style  (Read 720 times)

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Offline TaintedAndDelishTopic starter

Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« on: December 08, 2015, 04:54:15 AM »

I thought it would be interesting to have a thread to discuss various media outlets and their biases and reporting styles. Sometimes it takes a while to figure this out and not knowing which way a particular outlet or speaker is slanted can make it harder to discern which parts of a news report or speaker's dialog are  more likely to be truthful, and which parts are more likely to be unreliable or biased.

I don't want to just post a list of opinions and premature conclusions on various outlets, but perhaps simply discuss the qualities and characteristics of each speaker and or news source. It think it's much easier to debate these characteristics than it is to debate conclusions and opinions. For example, it's better to say that a given news source tends to present their opinions as facts or inject false narratives than to say they are "full of shit", or are "unreliable". With the former, we have something to debate. With the latter, we have nothing but a vague conclusion. I was thinking that It might also be interesting to discuss the process we use for determining what sort of bias or inaccuracies we have found.

I'll start with a few just to break the ice. Please feel free to add more to the discussion, push back, ask questions, counter what has been said, etc.



CNN: Seems to express fairly liberal views and tends report in somewhat sensational style. The amount of sensationalism seems to vary by reporter. Some reports such as Wolf Blitzer tend to be more inflammatory in style while others like Cooper, Cuomo and Camerota tend to be more analytical and balanced. Though liberal, they seem to favor the Republican party given the huge disparity in coverage for Republican candidates vs. Democrats.

David Icke: - From the few videos I've seen, he seems to say a lot of things that are more in the realm of opinion than fact. The style of reporting seems to be more artful and fantastic than informative.

Depak Chopra : Uses overly complicated phrases in his dialogues - enough to discourage critical thought. Misuses technical phrases - applying terminology from quantum physics to the macroscopic world. ( ie. assuming that big things just appear and disappear like quantum particles ) , uses loaded language ( Giving ordinary words additional counter-intuitive meanings ). As for his style, he seems to make big, fantastic claims that are backed by complicated language.

The Young Turks - Youtube based news commentary that focuses on current events. While entertaining, I've found that it tends to be very one sided. The host's opinion on a news topic is expressed in such a way as to suggest that anyone who disagrees with them is foolish.  I've watched quite a few of these episodes and have yet to see a balanced debate in which the audience is not persuaded to accept their view.

The Guardian (US Edition) - News articles tend to be well written without republican or democratic bias. There seems to be a bit of anti-government sentiment as seen in their extensive coverage on the Snowden disclosures and other stories. When it comes to blowing the lid on government wrongdoing, they do not hold back. Being that mainstream US news outlets are under pressure by the US government to be careful about what they say ( with regards to sensitive information ). I find it useful to read their take on sensitive subjects and compare what they write to what the major US news outlets write.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2015, 06:42:16 AM »
While it doesn't directly indicate biases, Politifact has been a reasonable indicator of the truthfulness of major media outlets and personalities.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2015, 01:41:44 PM »
...Can David Icke be, by any sane or reasonable definition, be considered a 'media outlet/speaker'? Or is he on the list just as an extreme-outlier example?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2015, 02:00:05 PM »
If you've got people listening to them and potentially citing them, I think it's worth knowing about them.  I'd only ever seen Chopra's name associated with 'New Age' philosophical stuff, but in that arena, it is a name that you see often.  (Of course, I apply Sturgeon's Law liberally in that arena.  Tying Quantum Mechanics to Eastern Mysticism is all well and good on the micro-level, and shows some interesting parallels - I think Feynmann would have even agreed with that - but bowling balls are not quantum particles.)

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2015, 02:03:53 PM »
I've only ever heard Icke mentioned as a punchline. Even other conspiracy theorists don't seem to take him seriously.

Offline TaintedAndDelishTopic starter

Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2015, 02:40:35 PM »

Yeah I would say anyone that people might use as a source of information would count. No, Icke is not the news media, but he seems to have a voice and some following. Speaking for myself, I have an easier time detecting and identifying the slant or bias of some sources than others. Some I see as blatantly this or that, others might irk me a little for reasons that I cannot quite put my finger on.

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Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2015, 04:16:45 PM »
I prefer watching and reading multiple news sources and trying to discern the truth from all the BS and biases that they have.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2015, 05:35:22 PM »
I prefer watching and reading multiple news sources and trying to discern the truth from all the BS and biases that they have.

That is a very well-considered method.  Knowing that there are some sources that aren't worth trying to get factual information from (such as the Weekly World News - home of Bat Boy!) does cut down on the amount of reading, though.

Speaking of such,

The Daily Mail - I'm not sure what their political slant is, precisely, but they tend to frame articles in a very sensationalized manner.  If you see something sourced to the Daily Mail, it's worth your time to confirm it elsewhere and cite from that source instead.

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Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 07:15:18 PM »
I hear a lot of people talk about balance in the media.  The focus should not be balance, but truth.  For example, when discussing climate change on a program like Meet The Press, having a spokesperson for it, and one against it, is balance.  But if 95+% of the experts are for it, then balance is actually untruthful, because it portrays the subject as in doubt or unsettled, when in fact it is thoroughly settled.
I want facts and truth.  If you disagree with the facts, you shouldn't seek balance-you should examine your own biases against the truth.

Offline TaintedAndDelishTopic starter

Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2015, 03:45:48 AM »

And it seems that truth is not any news show's highest priority. :)


NPR:  Their writing seems to be focused more on fact than on the writer's opinion. While I have not noticed any bias, an article that I found on Wikipedia had this to say about them. Overall, I think it's a pretty solid news source.

Allegations of ideological bias

NPR has been accused of displaying both liberal bias, as alleged in work such as a UCLA and University of Missouri study of Morning Edition, and conservative bias, including criticism of alleged reliance on conservative think-tanks.[57] NPR has also been accused of bias related to specific topics, including support of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and coverage of Israel. The NPR ombudsman has described how NPR's coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict has been simultaneously criticized as biased by both sides.[58] University of Texas journalism professor and author Robert Jensen has criticized NPR as taking a pro-war stance during coverage of Iraq war protests.[59]

Surveys and follow-up focus groups conducted by the Tarrance Group and Lake Snell Perry & Associates have indicated that, "The majority of the U.S. adult population does not believe that the news and information programming on public broadcasting is biased. The plurality of Americans indicate that there is no apparent bias one way or the other, while approximately two-in-ten detect a liberal bias and approximately one-in-ten detect a conservative bias."[60]


Offline TaintedAndDelishTopic starter

Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2015, 08:50:06 AM »
Nancy Grace / HLN News ( owned by CNN ):  Highly opinionated coverage of criminal cases featuring blatant straw man attacks, appeal to authority, etc.  Basically, Grace sets up panels of less dominant people to argue with, then completely destroys their argument by drowing them out with her voice - and completely ignoring their points when they are right.  The show appeals to the audiences emotions and eschews logic and reason whenever convenient.  Just my opinion, but this woman seems to have a mental disorder or something. My guess is Borderline Personality Disorder or possibly Narcissism. As for a source of information, I give it a zero as everything is slanted to suit Grace's point of view.

FOX News  - Views are heavily aligned with far right wing republicans . News reports often contain blatant propaganda both verbal and visual and heavy sensationalism. Views that typically fall to the far right are preached . ie. creationism, climate change denial, democrat bashing, anti-lgbt, etc.  This is classic Yellow Journalism.  Their news is entertaining and the female reporters have really nice legs and makeup, but if you double check the information that they provide, they seem to favor giving more sensational information than accurate information. Also, they have been known to give inaccurate information and then correct it later on in order to be the first one's to update a heavily covered story. This might be a good source for republicans who want information about republicans, or for those who just want to laugh at democrats like Obama. One thing that I've noticed is that they sometimes say one thing verbally that is somewhat truthful while showing repetitious video clips in the background of something that is taken out of context. Keep an eye on what they say versus what they show you.


Offline MasterMischief

Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2015, 06:30:04 PM »
Huffington Post - Liberal

Mother Jones - Liberal

Politico - Liberal

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Media Outlets and Speakers by Bias and Reporting Style
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2015, 11:05:52 AM »
One America News (OAN) - A less sensationalized relaunch of Fox News