Proof of Media Bias, and Why Newspapers Are Getting Everything They Deserve

Two headlines this morning provided the absolute perfect opportunity to point out media bias in full force.

The front page of this morning’s New York Times and the front page of this morning’s Wall Street Journal each contained a story about how a very large outside organization was trying to influence the election.  Both papers used financial contribution statistics to report to their readers on the gigantic financial impact this was having on the election.

Here’s the punchline.  Despite having the same access to the same financial contribution database, the left-leaning New York Times targeted its ire on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, while the right-leaning Wall Street Journal focused its attention on the government employees union.

From The New York Times:

Top Corporations Aid U.S. Chamber of Commerce Campaign

From The Wall Street Journal:

Campaign’s Big Spender: Public-Employees Union Now Leads All Groups in Independent Election Outlays

Presumably both sets of reporters, fact checkers and editors have access to the same data.  But one paper chose to write about the influence that large corporations are having, while the other chose to write about the influence that large unions are having.

Besides proving that two people can look at the same database and come to two completely different conclusions, it proves that the highly credentialed writers in the mainstream media are susceptible to the concept of confirmation bias.  That is, they ignore information that is contrary to what they already believe, focusing only on what supports their preconceived ideas.

What they really need is some diversity of opinion in the newsroom.

Oh wait, if you think differently, that will get you fired!

— uo

Published in: on October 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

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