Obama vs Fox News; does the US media have a left wing bias?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by saturn5, Oct 25, 2009.

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  1. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Here's where the truth comes out. FID and most liberals, seem to think that their ideas should not be challenged. Just accepted as fact. There are problems with the thoery of evolution. (The details are for another thread) But because you, and too much of the left-leaning media, dismiss the points you think that it's solved. The same is true for "man-made climate change." And abortion. And gay marriage. What the libs believe is to be treated with a heavier weight than what the right believes. And unintentionally, FID just admitted as much.
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I have a problem with lumping gay marriage and abortion into the same category of reasonable disagreement as the theory of evolution and anthropogenic climate change.

    In a representative democracy, it makes sense that the public should have a say, up to a point and within the bounds of the rule of law and the constitution, about whether abortions should be legal or homosexuals should be allowed to marry each other.

    But since when should scientific facts be molded by political ideology? That was what the Soviet Union did. At least publicly, it tailored its view of science in whatever way seemed to support Marxist ideology. Behind the scenes of course, the Soviets understood the difference between fact and BS, and so had no problem building nuclear weapons and advancing surgical practices and researching evolutionary biology and so on. Pat the Soviet High Command on the back for keeping at least a few people behind the curtains who could tell the difference between propaganda and reality and made sure that they trained scientists to do real work.
  3. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Here's where the truth comes out. FID and most liberals, seem to think that their ideas should not be challenged. Just accepted as fact. There are problems with the thoery of evolution. (The details are for another thread) But because you, and too much of the left-leaning media, dismiss the points you think that it's solved. The same is true for "man-made climate change." And abortion. And gay marriage. What the libs believe is to be treated with a heavier weight than what the right believes. And unintentionally, FID just admitted as much.

    I think this is more about the right-wing wanting excuses not to pay attention to media it doesn't like. The first and most significant part of this being: this person in question was not a reporter.

    But let's get to this point about left-wing people having this great "fear" about their notions being challenged: could it be the fear is not from these notions being challenged but HOW they're challenged, and with what argument?

    My comparison here is: take the theory of evolution. This theory has flaws, to be certain. We don't know everything about evolution and it's not perfect.

    If you came and said "Look man, mankind's DNA strand is closer to the Ourangatang than the Chimpanzee! This tree is all wrong!", well I don't think you'd find the sort of 'fear' that's stated.

    The debate is not at that level. This debate is far more, "well, this theory has holes in it and doesn't explain everything -- so it's got just as much weight as THIS unproven theory of intelligent design!"

    The fact that the factual uncertainty of the two "theories" is astronomically different is in no way taken to account. That is, the theories are not handled equally by the right-wing, and this goes for many things the right-wing argues for. Anything supporting their "stuff" is given 5 to six times the creedence than anything supporting the other side. That applies to this just as much as it does to climate change, to media accountability, etc.

    This doesn't mean the left-wing is just oh-so perfect. One of the annoying things about this is when the right-wing DOES come across something of note, the left will react disproportionally towards it. But usually the level of importance of these things is just not that great.

    For instance, in my new home city of Toronto, a right-wing mayor has been elected -- or at least a populist guy vowing to "clean up city hall", etc. etc. Not a guy I voted for or probably would vote for. BUT: recently a report came down that a board that governed student housing has had cost overruns to the tune of several million dollars, and that the overruns were basically due to the boards spending tons of money on themselves -- 50,000 dollars spent on Xmas parties, that sort of thing. The mayor has demanded their resignation, and some on the board are actually trying to fight to keep their jobs and are saying "oh the mayor is being such a bully" or some tripe.

    Now look: that's the sort of thing I can get behind: don't tell me "oh goverment is just like" this or that. Show me where the problem is in a detailed way: who is doing what and costing what, and then we can fix it. I'm still not planning to vote for this mayor per se next time around, but I'll give him credit on being on the right side of this issue: those people spent that money, have given no good reason WHY they spent that money, and are hiding behind casting the mayor as this right-wing extremist to save their own skins.

    But right-wing "arguments" are rarely, if ever, so precise or backed up by figures. Instead the argument is that left-wing arguments are not as supported by facts as much as the left claims. In the US, the Tea Party complains about government spending, but they don't have figures from someone like the Auditor General above to point to something that justifies their outraged behavior. Even if they don't agree with how government spends money as a policy, they act as if that's the same as corruption (as in the TO example), which it isn't. And they act as if it's just a proven fact that their policy ideas are be
  4. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    There are problems with the thoery of evolution. (The details are for another thread)

    Actually, I'd say this is as good as any to mention them. Because otherwise, you're going to be like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who starts off saying "Why should Palestinians suffer for what Germans did?" (Preach it!) But then Ahmadinejad adds "if the Germans actually did anything to the Jews in the 1940s", discrediting his original point.

    Creationists, in my experience, are quite a gullible sort, often resorting to cryptozoology. Many say all mutations lead to cancer. Others engage in the ad hominem, calling Darwin a racist (He was actually an abolitionist and was skeptical of the notion of races being ranked as species, a popular idea in 19th-century circles. And of course, Louis Agassiz refused to accept evolution because of his racial beliefs.) and saying evolution was responsible for the Holocaust, the expulsion of the Cherokee (???), and so on. And much of their focus on the idea of equal opportunity...Um, there are so many creation myths, that would be quite difficult.

    The biggest debate in biology is about evolutionary mechanisms.

    But because you, and too much of the left-leaning media, dismiss the points you think that it's solved. The same is true for "man-made climate change."

    You mean where Exxon was caught funneling money to the global warming deniers?

    Of course, outright denial is no different from Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's view that AIDS can be cured by eating your vegetables. Just because one person says ~X doesn't make X true.

    And abortion.

    Philosophical argument rendered moot when you consider all the women who went for illegal, and dangerous, abortions when abortions were illegal. And now any medicine that can be tangentially associated with abortion, even if that's not its primary use, or one that someone somewhere has said is an abortifacient, even though that's never occurred, can be denied by your pharmacist because of "moral objections". Thanks a lot, George!

    BTW, you want to prevent abortions? Make contraception more readily accessible.

    And gay marriage.

    Because family values were just fine before gays started marrying. No divorce, no domestic violence, no cheating, no women who didn't know who their child's father was...Nope, the minute a man married another man, some women decided to suddenly become prostitutes, some men decided to suddenly beat their wives and sleep with their secretaries. All because one man put a ring on another man's finger!

    And of course, gay marriage is completely unprecedented. All marriage ever has been between one man and one woman. Regardless of what those annoying anthropologists say.

    As for the media, what I find amazing is all the people who complain about the liberal media. Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, everybody on Fox News...
  5. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I think there's a lot of truth in what Gonk is saying.

    I came across two This Modern World cartoons from the early 1990's which seem to speak to this very issue. It's frightening how we're essentially reliving the 1990's.

    1992: [image=http://www.thismodernworld.org/arc/1992/92media-critics.gif]

    1995: [image=http://www.thismodernworld.org/arc/1995/95-03-22-opinions.gif]
  6. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    But the individual topics aren't germain to mu point. (Did I spell that right?) News media assumes gasy marriage is a right just as they assume man-made climate change is settled. And they cover both topics as if there are no decenting voices outside of backwards rednecks and lobbies.

    And that's not true.

    Just as they cover the Tea Party as racist. At least more racist than the NAACP. None of that is true. Yet you wouldn't know it by watching CNN or MSNBC or NPR.
  7. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Do we really have to go back over this ground? CNN is centrist, MSNBC is leftist. If you've been receiving a steady diet of FoxNews, both appear to be leftist, just like if you've been receiving a steady diet of MSNBC, both CNN and FoxNews appear to be rightist. Beck, Rivera, and Dobbs all started on CNN, and they were courting Ann Coulter and Limbaugh to boost their ratings, so let's not fall into pigeonholing all the networks that don't tell you exactly what you want to hear.

    And J-Rod, the issues you mentioned are not homogenous - some of them have controversies remaining, while others are settled. Evolution, for instance, is one of these settled topics - the "controversy" that exists is an internal debate about whether evolution occurs via punctuated equilibria or via a continuous model. The controversy is not whether it happens or whether intelligent design is a competing theory - it isn't, both for scientific reasons (since ID isn't a scientific theory at all as it cannot be tested, falsified, or generate predictive hypotheses while evolution can (since it is an explanatory paradigm that draws from empirical fields like population genetics, molecular phylogenetics, etc.)). Similarly, the debate about man-made climate change enjoys a much broader scientific consensus than FoxNEWS admits, which goes beyond journalistic bias and into the realm of absolute disinformation. The debate about gay marriage *is* more controversial precisely because there isn't a single, broad spectrum legal agreement (e.g., states having different laws governing same-sex marriage), but the moral/ethical/political arguments against it tend to be specious.

    Having different opinions does not equate to the existence of legitimate controversy - opinions can be wrong, in that they can be based on poor understanding of the subject at hand, poor argumentation, unjustified assumptions, etc. It would be irresponsible (journalistically and ethically) to treat unequal opinions as if they were equal. My job has gotten more difficult in the past few years precisely because I have to spend time debunking the crap perpetrated by mainstream media sources like the commentators on FoxNEWS. I have 15 weeks to teach my students about the ethical conflicts they are going to encounter as practicing clinicians and scientists, and time that I could be spending going into greater detail on these issues is instead spent correcting the "information" they've received from Beck, Hannity, and the others who capitalize on my students' ignorance. I don't mean "ignorance" in a perjorative sense, but in the fact that they do not have the resources to explore the validity of the claims made by Beck et al, nor the time to do so, since they are balancing jobs, families, and school. An organization capitalizing on this lack is evil, plain and simple.
  8. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    CNN is not centrist. I'd liken it more to TMZ these days.
  9. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Thank you for that detailed analysis, FIDo.
  10. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I was posting from a phone. Sorry I didn't have a 10,000 word dissertation.
  11. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I don't know who thta is in the 1992 comic on the right but that is exactly what Newt sounded like in a recent interview throwing atheist/socialist/muslim/extremist forces on on side, and of course everything thing he lies about agreeing with on the other.
  12. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Newt is a lot like Nixon, but without the positive qualities.
  13. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    Or that awesome, instantly recognizable voice.

    Also I see the Senate Floor's right wing hasn't abandoned it's delightful "The mainstream media is totally biased against me because the largest news network in the country says it is, and said largest news network is totally not mainstream, you guys" argument.
  14. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Actually, the mainstream media is biased against right-wingers. What's missing from this picture is that they are correct to be biased in this way because right-wingers cite all these disingenuous arguments and perverse revisionist history to make the case for what they believe in. If American conservatives were more like British conservatives or German conservatives and actually argued in good faith, I would not have a problem with them.
  15. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Actually, the mainstream media is biased against right-wingers. What's missing from this picture is that they are correct to be biased in this way because right-wingers cite all these disingenuous arguments and perverse revisionist history to make the case for what they believe in. If American conservatives were more like British conservatives or German conservatives and actually argued in good faith, I would not have a problem with them.

    I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

    But then if you convinced FoxNews to somehow do a story on you and your claim an oil pipline was being built beneath the Pacific Ocean without much in the way of proof to back it up, they'd probably be biased against you, too. And probably more so than CNN would be.

    Remember that a lot of mainstream news Pedigree comes from 60 minutes, Edward R Murrow, and traditions since circa 1940. FoxNews's pedigree comes from the 80s tabloid show "A Current Affair".
  16. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
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    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    And don't forget that the U.S. right has shown a tendency to just flat-out make [face_shhh] up to support their narrative:

    -Fox News "mistakenly" noting elected officials behaving badly as being Democrats.
    -Death panels.
    -Palm trees in Wisconsin in February.

    And that's just a few off the top of my head.
  17. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Is that the news service itself, or the pundits?

    I see it like this: Fox knows they need to stay out of the headlines for factually false reporting. So the actual news people in the field and even some of the anchor people read that like it is with maybe not a whole lot more difference than someone from CNN or MSNBC.

    But the moment they move to "analysis" beyond that bare bones of reporting, they've got a lot more right-wing pundits who have more extreme opinions than their equivalents on other networks. CNN used to employ many of them, and many were not right-wing in the same way.

    There are right-wing pundits out there who are a lot more dependable than those on Fox, where Bill O'Reilly, to the right as he is, is practically the voice of reason (and only in such an environment populated with Beck, Hannity and Gibson could be viewed as MODERATE since the rest of them are worse -- Beck because I actually think he has a form of mental illness, and the others because they're as corrupt as it gets for media figures -- O'Reilly himself is pretty close to Archie Bunker).

    People like David Brooks, Tucker Carlson, and even to a CERTAIN extent, Lou Dobbs (although Dobbs has maybe an even bigger ego than O'Reilly) are more reliable and dare I say, 'fair' right-wing sources. Brooks being the most reputable of them.
  18. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    In my field, I've noticed that the media will report a breakthrough, but it will be huge, honking errors in the methodology, such as stopping the study whenever you want to (rather than after a definite period of time). Information is irrelevant these days. Another example of this is population-based studies that don't take into account genes or any particular behavior other than that being studied.
  19. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    This is a larger issue in media and research which I cover in both my medical ethics and scientific ethics courses. The media tends to report splashy, sexy research that is controversial or provocative, but not the meta-analyses that put it into context (part of the confusion about whether coffee and eggs are good for you, for instance; without contextualization and understanding the research trends, the public gets whiplash from the healthy/unhealthy conclusions).
  20. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    Yeah, it's sort of a way to promote "healthy" behaviors, whatever those are, which more helps the cottage industry than anything.

    But the most damning evidence against "liberal bias" is the Bush administration. Channeling Chekhov: If the Attorney General says the Geneva Convention's provisions against torture are "quaint", there will be torture. And it won't just be "a few bad apples". And if these higher-ups are reading The Arab Mind, there will be attempts to use the (false) information in that book to torture Muslims. And if the government is illegally wiretapping Americans, the New York Times needs to learn that the whole reason we have them is to make sure such operations fail, rather than wait over a year (during which time we have a presidential election) to reveal it, and only after the reporter who broke the story is going to put it in his new memoir.

    "Liberal media bias" indeed.
  21. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    FOX News: Makin' [face_shhh] Up. Again. And in this case, it really wasn't necessary! the Libyan government did invite journalists to an area that had just been hit. The government officials themselves were boasting that they were using human shields.
  22. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Merk, I'd love to see where FoxNews reported about the death panels.I've heard pundants argue about whether the health bill has them. But I've yet to hear Fox announce their existance.

    That aside, while Abu Gharib was news under Bush, it seems MSM has chosen to ignore soldiers acually killing civillans under Obama.
  23. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    FOX News = MSM. Let us never forget that.
  24. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    You're welcome

    What's next? Foxnews didn't get a court decision so they could lie? Psh...this is elementary school stuff. There's a reason why people call it 'faux news'. And it's not because they're conservative propaganda.
  25. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Part of the confusion over "death panels" comes from the fact that they are talking about two different things.

    1) Allowing Medicare to pay for end-of-life planning, including the preparation of advance medical directives to refuse lifesaving treatment (at the request of the patient).
    2) Government-run review panels that determine what treatments are eligible to receive coverage under approved insurance plans. (Essentially, this would refuse people potentially lifesaving treatment if it would be deemed too expensive to cover.)

    As far as I have seen, nothing in the HCR plan specifically would implement version 2, but people have argued that such review panels would be the end result of government dictating what constitutes an acceptable health care plan. HCR did initially include version 1, but it was removed. That is what was later implemented by regulation instead, starting January 1.

    Kimball Kinnison
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