Media Lens: ‘Disgustingly Biased’ – The Corporate Media On The Gaza Massacre

24 July 2014 — Media Lens

Soon after Malaysian Airlines MH17 crashed near Donetsk, Ukraine on July 18, killing 298 people, the BBC website quickly, and rightly, set up a ‘LIVE’ feed with rolling reports and commentary on the disaster. This was clearly an important and dramatic event involving horrific loss of life with serious political implications. The public would, of course, be searching for the latest news.

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UK SEP National Secretary interviewed on BBC Daily Politics

4 June 2014 — WSWS

On Monday Chris Marsden, the National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in the UK, was interviewed on the BBC 2’s Daily Politics show.

The interview, with journalist Jo Coburn, was in response to the SEP’s official complaint that a previous May 21 interview with Marsden on the show ended with interviewer Giles Dilnot, “suggesting that the SEP is a violent organisation that would kill journalists.” (See, “SEP European election candidate Chris Marsden interviewed on BBC 2’s Daily Politics”)

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Media Lean Left, Say Journalists Who Don't Really Say That By Peter Hart

20 December 2013 — FAIR Blog

politicoThe end of a  story in Politico (12/18/13), about a Politico media roundtable featuring CNN’s Jake Tapper, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell, and Peter Baker and Mark Leibovich of the New York Times, caught my eye: 

All four journalists were in agreement that the media in general leans left. Tapper said it’s simplistic to call out conservative or liberal, but it is a question of experiences and lifestyle. Most reporters and editors in New York or Washington have never worked a minimum wage job, experienced poverty or are Evangelical Christians, Tapper said.

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FT journalist accuses press warmongers

8 April 2011 — Morning Star

A leading Financial Times journalist accused the British media today of ‘buttering up’ the population to support the war on Libya.

At a Stop the War Coalition fringe event at the NUJ conference the paper’s assistant news editor David Crouch accused the Times and the Evening Standard of running a campaign to bring about Western intervention.

He said of the anti-Gadaffi rebels: ‘We are told that the opposition is defenceless – they are not.

‘They have liberated arms depots. They have tanks and had fighter planes, at least until they shot two of their own down.’

Mr Crouch labelled Colonel Gadaffi ‘a brutal dictator’ but questioned several stories which have accused forces loyal to the Libyan leader of carrying out ‘massacres.’

‘Reporters have been to the areas where it is alleged they took place and are not finding any evidence,’ he said.

He added that he regretted his paper’s backing for Nato action in north Africa but added: ‘The first causality of war is the truth.

‘The war is about the West reasserting their control over their former colonial back yard.’

Truth, Propaganda and Media Manipulation By Global Research

24 March 2011 — Global Research

Never before has it been so important to have independent, honest voices and sources of information. We are – as a society – inundated and overwhelmed with a flood of information from a wide array of sources, but these sources of information, by and large, serve the powerful interests and individuals that own them. The main sources of information, for both public and official consumption, include the mainstream media, alternative media, academia and think tanks. Continue reading

Truth, Propaganda and Media Manipulation By Global Research

24 March 2011 — Global Research

Never before has it been so important to have independent, honest voices and sources of information. We are – as a society – inundated and overwhelmed with a flood of information from a wide array of sources, but these sources of information, by and large, serve the powerful interests and individuals that own them. The main sources of information, for both public and official consumption, include the mainstream media, alternative media, academia and think tanks.

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Michael Arrington: journalists have a right to express their opinions

9 July, 2010 — Editors WeblogTechCrunch

nyt.jpgIn a recent article, Michael Arrington, writing for TechCrunch, argues that journalists should openly express their opinions and biases, despite the longstanding idea that journalists should hide their political biases. This argument by Arrington comes on the heels of CNN’s firing of Octavia Nasr because of a controversial tweet and the forced resignation of Helen Thomas because of her statements about Israel. ‘I think journalists have the right to express their opinions on the topics they cover,’ he writes. ‘More importantly, I think readers have a right to know what those opinions are.’

Arrington points to a particular conversation he had with one journalist who refused to state his political party outright. While this journalist felt that hiding his bias would allow him to maintain public credibility, Arrington argues that it is ‘necessary for people to know his political biases in order to understand his content in context.’

Moreover, Arrington points out that so-called unbiased articles are really just opinion pieces masquerading as objective reporting. He writes: ‘an added adjective here, an added paragraph there, just the right quote from a source and voilà, you’ve got yourself an opinion piece masked as a straight up unbiased piece of reporting.’

Also, after the advent of the Internet, many journals were left asking themselves if they should go in a more opinionated direction to satisfy readers’ inclination toward more overtly opinionated articles.

Rather than striving toward honest journalism, Arrington argues that journalists twist the words of their sources to fit their argument. He writes: ‘Pretending that you’re writing one story when you’re really writing another, and then twisting what your sources tell you to fit whatever it is that your editor told you to write isn’t ethical journalism.’

While journalists may try to minimize their political bias, completely eradicating opinions from their writings is practically impossible. Journalists’ writings are inextricably attached to their opinions, whether or not they realize or acknowledge it. And Arrington in right: advertising articles that are inherently biased as completely objective journalism is unethical. In subscribing to the idea that journalists aren’t biased, readers are only getting half of the story.

If given a context, (i.e. political opinion) readers would be better equipped to differentiate between fact and opinion. Media (writing, photographs, even tweets) is an imperfect medium: given that it is created and perpetuated by humans, it will always be biased. Yet, the recent firings of Thomas and Nasr signify that the media industry clearly has no interest in the personal opinions of journalists. Yet pretending that omnipresent journalistic bias doesn’t exist is not only dangerous, it is also hardly the way to go about striving toward ethical journalism.

As Arrington concludes, for the future of journalism, ‘here’s hoping we’ll start to get those deep, dark opinions out in the open for everyone to see.’

Sources: TechCrunch

PRC Action Alert: Direct Bias showed on BBC on Flotilla crime

2 June, 2010 — Palestinian Return Centre

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) expressed its deep apprehension and anger over the BBC coverage regarding freedom Flotilla.

The Freedom Flotilla which is a mere humanitarian mission has been covered by a wide range of western media outlets in the last few days. The BBC started to speak about the Boats of the flotilla only in the last 2 days.

In most of its coverage BBC depended on Israeli sources whilst the Palestinian side has been ignored. PRC suggests that such coverage harm the image of BBC and could classify it as an alternative for some Israeli media outlets.

PRC and part of its day-to-day monitoring for BBC observed the following:

On one of its today’s article BBC gave a space for the Israeli side while it has ignored the Palestinian side. The official account of Israel though, Danny Ayalon, Israeli deputy foreign minister was presented, which stated that organizers’ intent was violent. The article mentioned that ‘Guns and knives’ were used by the civilian passengers.

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Does Biased News Have a ‘Time Bomb’ Effect? By Melinda Burns

9 November, 2009 – Miller-McCune Online Magazine

A European study shows that, over time, even the most sophisticated readers can be manipulated.

Even the most hardened Europeans may succumb to media manipulation and change their political views if they are bombarded long enough with biased news.

There’s nobody more cynical about the media than your average European.

Only 12 percent of Europeans claim to trust the media, compared to 15 percent of North Americans, 29 percent of Pacific Asians and 48 percent of Africans, the BBC has found.

Yet new research out of the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that even the most hardened Europeans may succumb to media manipulation and change their political views if they are bombarded long enough with biased news.

Michael Bruter, a senior lecturer in European politics at the school, fed a steady diet of slanted newsletters about Europe and the European Union — either all good news or all bad — to 1,200 citizens of six countries over two years.

Over time, Bruter found, and without exception, the readers subconsciously adopted the bias to varying degrees and changed their view of the EU and of themselves as Europeans, a few of them in the extreme. Surprisingly, they didn’t register any change right after the newsletters stopped — not until full six months later, when they had obviously let down their guard.

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Recent Pictures From BAGnewsNotes

[Another interesting site is BAGnewsNotes and well worth checking out. The Ed.]

BAGnewsNotes offers a daily analysis of news images from a progressive point of view. The BAG calls out media bias, breaks down right wing visual propaganda, and helps turn its readers into sharper “visual consumers.”  The photos are always carefully chosen, and the analysis brings new understanding to media politics and political psychology.



As the end approaches, “W” is regressing more-and-more into a familiar cocoon, seeking out the military — both masses of young conscripts paid to pay respect, as well as those either dumbstruck or simply struck — for hearty cheer and farewell.

The pictures from Tuesday’s jaunt to West Point are startlingly, if unsurprisingly revealing when you separate the non-posed, non-thoroughly staged photo-ops (1, 2) from those in which the former Yale cheerleader enters the picture (more the source of freakish attraction himself, really) and, acting more their age (and sticking closest to the females), commands some cheap giggles.

Yet, far more grotesque (and stolen, in fact), is Dubya’s embrace of the severely injured Iraq war veteran. (If you follow “The BAG,” you’d remember this.)

Highlighting the self-appointed comforter-in-Chief‘s propensity for the kiss, the man famous for never reflecting and never looking back perpetrates this bitter act of false intimacy on two discernibly-transformed, all-too-young Iraq veterans at the White House just after helicoptering in from the Military Academy.

It was always my feeling this mission would end in disgrace, but now I see I’m wrong. Exceeding that, George Bush is fully landing in perversity.

(images: Larry Downing/Reuters. caption: U.S. President George W. Bush (C) visits with two U.S. Marines wounded during a suicide bomber attack in Iraq after arriving back at the White House in Washington, December 9, 2008. From left are Patrick Paul Pittman Sr., his son, Lance Corporal Patrick Paul Pittman, Jr. of Savannah, Georgia, Bush, Lance Corporal Marc Olson of Coal City, Illinois, and his mother, Pinky Kloski.)

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Jeff Cohen: Big Election Winner: Independent Media

While conservative and establishment pundits still dominate TV and radio, progressive dominance of the Internet has made it easier for media critics and bloggers to instantly rebut the kind of hoaxes and smears that so damaged Gore and Kerry.

Of all the factors contributing to Obama’s victory – luck, economic crisis, Bush, Palin – a major factor is now so second-nature to us that we may overlook its transformative impact since just four years ago: the Internet and the progressive online boom.

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FAIR Action Alert Fox News Nailbiter! Conservative channel pushed notion of a tightening election

One of the most glaring peculiarities about the Fox News Channel’s campaign coverage in the run-up to the November 4 election was the channel’s frequent insistence, in the waning days of the campaign, that the election was remarkably close, with Republican John McCain surging.

In reality, few polls suggested this was happening (see, but Fox chose to give a handful of outlying, unrepresentative surveys considerable attention. It was as if the channel were less interested in accurately reporting the state of the campaign than in presenting an alternate reality that would be pleasing to partisan viewers.
Here’s a sampling of that coverage, day by day:

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3 November, 2008

Media Silent On Evidence Of Israeli Targeting Of Youngsters

<strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

On the afternoon of Thursday 28 February, 2008, a group of <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Palestinian boys were playing football on some open ground near their homes in the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Gaza Strip. At around 3.20pm, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at the boys, killing four of them instantly and seriously injuring another three. The four dead boys were Omar Hussein Dardouna, aged 14, Dardouna Deib Dardouna, aged 12, Mohammed Na’im Hammouda, aged 9, and Ali Munir Dardouna who was just 8.

<strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Palestinian human rights fieldworkers investigated the circumstances of this attack by Israeli forces. They concluded there was no <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Palestinian resistance in the area at the time and that the boys “must have been clearly visible to the [Israeli] aircraft that fired the missile.”

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FAIR Media Advisory: Top Troubling Tropes of Campaign ’08 20 October, 2008

Corporate media coverage of election 2008 has fallen into the well-documented pattern (Extra!, 5-6/08) of reporting on the election as if it were a horse-race rather than a democratic process in which real issues were at stake. Not only do journalists organize the election story around the question–not terribly helpful to voters–of who’s up and who’s down, they largely base their evaluation of the race on shallow image-based narratives that the media construct themselves: Barack Obama is an “elitist” who might not “get the way we live” (Extra!, 7-8/08), while John McCain is a straight-talking “maverick” (Extra!, 5-6/08). Though these tropes are treated by establishment news outlets as self-evident, they usually fail to stand up to any kind of scrutiny.

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Media Lens: INTELLECTUAL CLEANSING: PART 3 — Comment Is Closed

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

October 15, 2008

In Part 1 of this alert, we noted how journalists who threaten their employers’ interests – and the interests of their key political and corporate allies – tend to be unceremoniously dumped. We also described how the force of the law can be deployed to silence dissidents seeking to expose chronic media bias.

In Part 2, we hosted journalist Jonathan Cook’s splendid analysis in response. Cook’s main point was that media managers rarely have to take such extreme measures because few journalists “make it to senior positions unless they have already learnt how to toe the line.”

An interesting question arises, then, in the age of the internet: To what extent will these same ultra-sensitive media companies tolerate public criticism? For example, will they allow visitors to their websites to post material that is critical of their journalism, and perhaps even damaging to their interests? Last month, we tested the limits of dissent on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free (CiF) website.

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