Thursday, November 10, 2005


Media bias here et ici

From Bruce Thornton here:

The media's techniques for smuggling opinion into what are supposed to be news stories are so pervasive that often we don't even notice when they are at work. Here's an example from the Friday, November 4 New York Times, in a story about the Muslim riots in Paris:

"The continuing unrest appears to be fueled less by perceived police brutality than by the frustration of young men who have no work and see little hope for the future."

Appears to whom? The Times writer, a French politician, an academic, an imam, or the rioters? The way this opinion is phrased obscures the fact that it is a mere opinion, an interpretation of the events described, not a fact. As such, the source of the opinion should be identified so we can evaluate its usefulness and integrity. But to say it "appears,” unconnected to a person with a point of view, is an evasion of responsibility.
In the case of the Paris rioters, there are other explanations for their behavior.
But don't expect the Times to explore these alternative interpretations. The Times endorses the opinion consistent with the liberal-left world-view of the paper's editorial board, a vision of human nature in which notions like free will and unmotivated evil are superstitions that have been unmasked by science.

And from The Anchoress ici:

Mr Dassier said his own channel, which is owned by the private broadcaster TF1, recently decided not to show footage of burning cars. "Politics in France is heading to the right and I don’t want rightwing politicians back in second, or even first place because we showed burning cars on television,”
Emphasis mine. Seems to me Mr Dassier is biased, no?

However the following thoughts appear to be responsible given the situation but I wonder if the same questions would be asked if they were covering riots or, say the disorder following Katrina, in the U.S.
… Journalism is not simply a matter of switching on the cameras and letting them roll. You have to think about what you’re broadcasting,” he said.

“Do we send teams of journalists because cars are burning, or are the cars burning because we sent teams of journalists?” asked Patrick Lecocq, editor-in-chief of France 2


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