“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
~ Marcus Aurelius
On April 24, 2015, Hillary Clinton gave her first speech as a presidential candidate for the 2016 election. She made it clear that, if elected president of the United States, she will push for legislation providing unlimited access to abortion. Her remarks were made at the sixth annual Women in the World Summit, a feminist group that shoulders the pro-abortion agenda.
While her progressive viewpoints were not surprising, during the course of her speech she made a statement that caused me to sit up and take notice.
As she continued to rally the crowd, Ms. Clinton said, “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed for the sake of giving ‘access’ to women for ‘reproductive health care.’” The comment was a shot across the bow at pro-life advocates and countries with pro-life laws.1
Keep in mind, the stated goal of the socialist/progressive movement is to fundamentally transform America. In order to do that, according to Ms. Clinton, “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” So what was she really saying? In order to reshape America, certain “old fashioned” views and other long held beliefs and traditions must be removed.
The real question is this: Is mainstream media a sympathetic “co-conspirator” in promoting and propagating the progressive agenda? To answer that question, you have to ask a second question: Is mainstream media biased against those who hold a strong conservative belief system? Is America receiving a subtle, subversive push toward a progressive agenda at the hand of media reports on the issues of the day?
“Since citizens cannot cast informed votes or make knowledgeable decisions on matters of public policy if the information on which they depend is distorted, it is vital to American democracy that television news and other media be fair and unbiased.
In a recent Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans said they believe that the mass media slant reports in favor of the liberal position on current issues.
[The bias] is not the result of a vast left-wing conspiracy – [there is] an unconscious “groupthink” mentality that taints news coverage and allows only one side of a debate to receive a fair hearing. When that happens, the truth suffers.”2
According to the Society of Professional Journalist code of ethics published on the spj.org website, “Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair.” Journalists are charged in the ethical code to “avoid stereotyping. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting.”3 Presenting the facts without injecting opinion, philosophy or ideology should be the goal. As you read, listen or watch the news, how is it possible to know if the reporting is biased? I have discovered biased reporting falls into one of the following categories:
• Bias by omission – leaving one side out of an article, or a series of articles over a period of time; bias by omission can occur either within a story, or over the long term as a particular news outlet reports one set of events, but not another.
• Bias by selection of sources – including more sources that support one view over another. This bias can also be seen when a reporter uses such phrases as “experts believe,” “observers say,” or “most people believe.”
• Bias by story selection – a pattern of highlighting news stories that coincide with the agenda of either the Left or the Right, while ignoring stories that coincide with the opposing view.
• Bias by placement – story placement is a measure of how important the editor considers the story. Studies have shown that, in the case of the average newspaper reader and the average news story, most people read only the headline.
• Bias by labeling – bias by labeling comes in two forms: The first is the tagging of conservative politicians and groups with extreme labels while leaving liberal politicians and groups unlabeled or with more mild labels, or vice versa. The second kind of bias by labeling occurs when a reporter not only fails to identify a liberal as a liberal or a conservative as a conservative, but describes the person or group with positive labels, such as “an expert” or “independent consumer group.”
• Bias by spin – bias by spin occurs when the story has only one interpretation of an event or policy, to the exclusion of the other; spin involves tone – it’s a reporter’s subjective comments about objective facts; makes one side’s ideological perspective look better than another.4
Adapted from my most recent book,
The Unraveling of America
by Dr. Ron M. Phillips
with Dr. J. Tod Zeiger
© 2016 Abba’s House Media