Friday, February 17, 2012

Media Bias

I was reading this article on measuring media bias. It's a good read, but I think people usually focus on the wrong issue here. Our main concern with the media should be that they are biased towards truth, not whether they are perfectly balanced between left and right.

Of course, there are some political differences that are a matter of values and philosophy, where one side can't be demonstrated to be more or less true through evidence, and in those cases all sides should be presented with equal weight. But that's not all cases.

Example: there was a moment in a debate a few months ago where Perry accused Romney of saying in his book that the Massachusetts health care reform would be a good model for the whole country, and then removed that from later editions. Romney of course said that wasn't true. But all the viewers got to see was 2 people disagreeing on the facts and not knowing who to believe. It should be the job of the news for one of the moderators, right then and there, to tell us exactly what the truth was. In that case, Rick Perry was right. If they had done that, people may say it wasn't unbiased between the candidates. But sometimes truth has a bias, and it's the truth that matters.

We should judge our news sources on how well they push aside the BS and show us the facts. Just getting an equal amount of BS from both sides doesn't help you become a more informed citizen. And if focusing on truth instead of "balance" leads to an overall impression of bias towards one side, that's fine.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Contradiction Du Jour

Mitt Romney:

This week, President Obama will release a budget that won’t take any meaningful steps toward solving our entitlement crisis. The president has failed to offer a single serious idea to save Social Security and is the only president in modern history to cut Medicare benefits for seniors.

Does this:

A) show how dumb Romney is
- OR -
B) show how dumb Romney thinks voters are