Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Proof of Media Bias

Conservatives, including yours truly, have complained about how the American media slant their news to favor the Left. After studying them in depth for over 10 years, I can say that the media are biased, but it's not just against Republicans or conservatives. That bias knows no boundaries.

I watched a CNN report of the Israeli rocket attacks against Hamas, and had there not been signs that it was from CNN, you could have sworn the report was written by al Jazeera. The reporter's tone of voice talking about how Israel's attacks were striking civilian areas, combined with little turns of a phrase that would be imperceptable to someone not prepared for it, set a stage where Israel was made to be the aggressor, one that had no regard for civillian casualties.

However, there are elements that were not even mentioned that would have put Israel's actions into a new, and much more honest, perspective. The report mentioned that there had been a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, which there was. However, it was Hamas who had been firing rockets into Israel prior to Israel's retaliation. And CNN? They mentioned it late in the report and only in passing. To me, the way CNN handled it was not accidental.

Then, there were the visuals. Pictures of people digging out of the rubble. People bleeding from the attacks. Mass destruction. Combine that with the aforementioned semantic elements, and you're given a certain package of information that, surprise surprise, is out of phase with reality. When they referenced Hamas's rocket attacks, they showed a single Israeli building with a hole in the side of it. Yet, what the report failed to mention is that the Hamas attacks were intentionally fired into residential areas. Furthermore, the counterattacks against Hamas had been fired into residential areas, but only because Hamas intentionally puts their outposts in residential areas so that the possibility of civilian casualties would be increased.

Granted, I am a supporter of Israel, so naturally a slanted report like that CNN produced would upset me. Having said that, you don't need to be a supporter of Israel to sense the reporting wasn't exactly balanced. Expecting the media to be balanced is a pipe dream these days, but that doesn't mean we should accept it as a fait accompli. Instead, we should educate as many people about the Israel/Hamas situation, making sure we do so in an honest, balanced manner. If we don't, we're no better than CNN.

Also, we should let any media outlet who shows a slanted report on this and any other news story know that we won't stand for it. We need to demand honest and fair reporting, and if they won't comply, then we will take our business elsewhere. Just like millions of others who have stopped watching TV and reading print media, oddly enough in part for the same reason, we have choices that will impact the media outlets' bottom lines. When you impact their source of income, you will get their attention, and changes will have to be made. It won't guarantee the media will get the hint (the New York Times readership issues and increased Leftist slant proves that), but if they do, journalism will be better for it.

This is one situation where we can't sit on the sidelines and expect change to happen. At the risk of sounding like Barack Obama, we need to be the agents of change. Then, we can get to a point where a report like the one CNN did about the Israel/Hamas conflict would not even be produced.

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