Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘media bias’

New poll shows Native Americans are NOT offended by “Washington Redskins”

Posted by sanityinjection on May 20, 2016

Remember the big pressure campaign a couple of years ago to force the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their allegedly “offensive” name? President Obama and 50 Democratic Senators proclaimed their support for this “civil rights movement”. And then, as with so many armchair liberal cause celebres, it just seemed to disappear; the professional protesters moved on to “Black Lives Matter” and suddenly the supposed legions of mortally offended Native Americans didn’t seem like such a compelling issue.

Now comes a clue as to why the pressure campaign hasn’t been revived. A new Washington post poll of 500 Native Americans across the country indicates that 9 out of 10 are not offended by the name “Washington Redskins”. 7 out of 10 said the word “redskin” was not offensive in general, and 8 of 10 said they would not be offended if a non-Native American called them by that term. These results mirror the findings of a previous poll in 2004. Naturally, Native American “leaders” continue to reject these poll findings, as will the mostly rich, white, left-wing politicians who were the prime movers behind the whole issue. (Never mind that these same politicans spend virtually no time advocating for the things that Native Americans say they need, like decent schools.)

The whole thing would actually be comical if it weren’t for the giddy participation of the mainstream media in whipping up hysteria to aid in this phony campaign. (In this regard, kudos to the Washington Post, which remains a faint glimmer of some journalistic integrity amongst the sad detritus of formerly respectable left-wing newspapers, for publishing this poll. See also a thoughtful WashPost op-ed on the issue here.) It should be of concern that the sources from which most Americans still get their news are demonstrably more interested in pushing an ideological political agenda than in any kind of factual reporting. You need look no further than the recent New York Times attack piece against Donald Trump, which went to a great deal of effort to characterize Trump as a misogynist based on his pattern of hitting on women as a rich single man. Keep in mind this is the same publication that consistently defended Bill Clinton for sexually harrassing and having sex with women as a rich married man. See Camille Paglia’s excellent destruction of this pathetic propaganda here.

Meanwhile, if sports teams’ use of cliches offensive to Native Americans is the issue, how come there hasn’t been any fuss at all about the Cleveland Indians’ continued use of the “Chief Wahoo” logo? Why hasn’t their trademark been revoked? Answer: Because the Cleveland Indians kissed the ring: Whenever anybody complains, they hide Chief Wahoo for a while, using alternate logos and uniforms, until the subject dies down. This appeases the professional Left, because what they really want is not actual civil rights change so much as acknowledgement of their power and righteousness. Kiss their asses and they’ll let you off with a slap on the wrist; dare to suggest that the emeperor has no clothes, as Redskins owner Dan Snyder has done, and you reap the whirlwind of attacks from their subservient media allies.

The point is not that the Washington Redskins or their owner, a wealthy successful man and organization, are some kind of sob story. The point is the one made so famously by pastor Martin Niemoller. With apologies to him: “First they came for the Washington Redskins, and I said nothing, because I was not a Redskins fan.” One day it’s a sports team. The next day it’s climate change “deniers”. The target changes with the wind, but the tactics are the same. Always ask yourselves: Cui bono? (Who benefits?)

Advertisements

Posted in Domestic News, Politics, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why can Hillary Clinton make up fake statistics and no one in the media challenges them?

Posted by sanityinjection on December 3, 2015

Following up on my previous post, here is another example of how the media does not give the same scrutiny to the statements of someone they like, such as Hillary Clinton, as they do to someone they dislike, such as Donald Trump.

I first noticed this statement by Ms. Clinton during one of the recent Democratic presidential debates, and according to this from Politico.com, apparently she is now repeating the claim in one of her TV commercials: Clinton states that between 88-92 people are killed every day by guns.

Now, that would seem like an easy thing to fact-check wouldn’t it? After all, the FBI reports crime statistics on an annual basis. In 2014, the *total* number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters in the US was 13, 472. Ms. Clinton’s lowest figure of 88 per day, multiplied by 365 days, would give a total for gun murders alone of 32, 120.

Clearly, this is not a slight exaggeration. Nor is it an isolated mis-statement, since Ms. Clinton has repeated the claim multiple times. It is quite a simply a deliberate and blatant falsehood designed to trick people into thinking that gun violence is a much larger problem in this country than it actually is (the recent terrorist attack in San Bernadino notwithstanding) in order to win support for further eroding that pesky Second Amendment to the Constitution. (In fact, the 2014 homicide rate of 4.5 per 100,000 people is the lowest since 1963.)

Now, does anyone doubt that if Donald Trump had uttered a massive falsehood like that even once, every major media outlet would be holding it up and trumpeting it as an example of his unfitness for office?

Which is worse: when the mainstream media tells you what they want you to know? Or when they deliberately don’t tell you what they don’t want you to know? At this point, Ms. Clinton could simply declare – as O’Brien famously did in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four – that 2 + 2 = 5, and you would hear nary a peep from the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, and their assorted imitators.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Dissecting media bias: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the anatomy of propaganda as news reporting

Posted by sanityinjection on December 3, 2015

I call your attention to this superb piece by Emmy-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson. In it, she uses the recent controversy over Donald Trump’s remarks about Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on 9/11 to illustrate the fundamental double standard the mainstream media applies to politicians they don’t want the American people to vote for.

It’s hardly a secret that many mainstream media reporters, editors, and talking heads abhor Mr. Trump and are appalled by the possibility of him becoming President. (I happen to agree with them.) Ms. Attkisson uses a technique she calls “the Substitution Game”, giving specific examples of how the media’s behavior would be very different if the person in question were someone they approve of such as President Obama or Hillary Clinton. She also points out how convenient it is for Ms. Clinton’s campaign to have the national media painting her potential election opponent as dishonest even as polls suggest that perecptions of her own dishonesty are one of her biggest problems with voters. Attkisson isn’t necessarily suggesting a well-orchestrated media conspiracy, but rather a culture of bias that permeates the major television news networks and newspapers.

If this bias were to be stated in its most naked form, it would be something like this: Dishonesty, in the form of intentional misrepresentation of facts or outright lying, is OK as long as it is in service of good liberal causes, but it’s abhorrent whenever it’s done by someone we don’t like or someone who disagrees with us. This fits in with a more general theme that the end justifies the means: that it is OK for the “good guys” (which in the view of so many influential media members means the liberals) are justified in lying, cheating, stealing, or doing whatever is necessary to advance their noble aims, but the “bad guys” – Second Amendments rights advocates, climate change skeptics, etc. –  are abhorrent if they use the same methods, because they have the wrong aims.

Attkisson is not saying that the media should not challenge counterfactual claims by public figures. Rather, she is questioning why they only seem to beat the drum about such claims when those figures are on one side of the political spectrum. When a huge segment of the broadcast and print media spends a lot of time making a huge deal out of controversial statements by Mr. Trump while deliberately downplaying and even ignoring those made by Obama and Clinton, even a relatively savvy news consumer who is not paying close attention can, over time, absorb that implication of what is important. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how propaganda works.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Inaugural hypocrisy

Posted by sanityinjection on January 14, 2009

Matt Drudge reminds us that before both George W. Bush’s inaugurals, there was much criticism and discussion in the media about the cost of the celebrations and whether it was appropriate, even though mostly privately funded.

Where, he asks, are these same critics today as Barack Obama’s inaugural shapes up to be the most expensive in history in the midst of a severe economic crisis? Strangely silent.

In 2005, the Washington Post commissioned a poll which showed that 66 percent of Americans thought the inaugural should be a smaller affair. Has any such poll been commissioned this year? I’m betting the answer is no, because the media is no longer interested in asking the question. (And if a poll is taken, and the answer turns out to be the same, they’ll try to make sure you don’t hear about it.)

I am not troubled by Obama’s inaugural plans, but then again I took the same view with Bush. For our friends in the liberal media, however, the rules of the game are apparently different depending on who the contestant is.

Rich Noyes has the embarrassing details here:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rich-noyes/2009/01/14/ap-slammed-bush-s-extravagant-inaugural-05-now-it-s-spend-baby-spend

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Is God dead? The media seems to think so.

Posted by sanityinjection on December 23, 2008

The WSJ’s Vincent Carroll explores the many ways in which mainstream media reporters ignore or trivialize religion and faith:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123000033860729321.html

Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The truth about the Bush Administration

Posted by sanityinjection on December 22, 2008

Even the most ardent Bush-haters out there should admit that most of the information we get about the Bush Administration and its policies comes to us filtered through a defiantly biased lens.  In response to this, Ed Gillespie debunks a number of widely-believed accusations against the Administration that are not so well supported by the facts:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/12/myths_and_facts_about_the_real.html

Of course, Gillespie is as biased a source as they come, just in the other direction. So one must put his information together with what we already know in order to get an accurate picture.

One area Gillespie doesn’t even touch on is the Administration’s great efforts toward the eradication of AIDS in Africa and elsewhere. Anyone involved in AIDS relief activities – no matter how left-wing they may be – will tell you that the Bush Administration has been by far the best in this area. It’s not something the mainstream media wants you to be reminded of, though.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

The latest from Camille Paglia

Posted by sanityinjection on November 11, 2008

By now, regular readers here will need no introduction to Ms. Paglia. Her column this month is shorter than usual, so even less excuse than usual not to read it. While celebrating Barack Obama’s victory, she continues to defend Sarah Palin against all comers and supports the charges that I and others have made of media bias in the campaign:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2008/11/12/palin/print.html

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Mainstream media, it is time for thy reckoning

Posted by sanityinjection on November 5, 2008

The election is over. America, both red and blue, will move on in reasonably good fellowship. But there is one lingering item from the election that needs to be addressed and must not be swept under the rug. That is the disgraceful, shameful, and nakedly partisan “reporting” by the mainstream media during the campaign, to the point that even Democrats and liberals felt compelled to denounce it.

Of course, the editorial boards would prefer to sweep it under the rug. “Hey, the election’s over, that’s all in the past, fuhgeddaboudit, we promise we’ll be extra fair from now on!” That must not be allowed to happen.

Let me be very clear what I am talking about. I am not saying that the media stole the election for Obama. Biased media coverage was only one among many factors aiding Obama’s candidacy, and he probably would have won without it. Nor am I suggesting that the media was too hard on McCain (with the exception of a few rags like the New York Times that have lost all journalistic credibility with their shameless tabloidism) – McCain was subject to about the same level of scrutiny as any recent Presidential candidate. Rather, I am simply arguing that time after time after time, the mainstream media either deliberately or passively failed to apply the same standards of reporting to both campaigns.

To give a couple of brief examples: How many times did newspapers and TV networks characterize McCain’s economic plans as “vague and lacking in specifics”, while failing to hold Obama accountable when he repeatedly evaded the question of which of his many new domestic programs would have to be delayed because of the economic crisis? Or how about this lament from the London Telegraph:

“After thousands of hours of oratory and interviews, we know more about Sarah Palin’s dress bills than Barack Obama’s foreign policy.”

I don’t recall ever hearing any reporters questioning who paid for Joe Biden’s suits or how much they cost – do you?

Each of these incidents, in and of itself, is small potatoes and you could make a case for overlooking it. But when you add up, over the course of months and months of columns, interviews, and live TV coverage, all those little incidents become a mountain of bias. And it does have an effect.

In the new Age of Obama, it is time for the American news media to grow up and accept responsibility for its actions. They wield great power, and with power must always come responsibility. Since in our free society we view the regulation of the press by the government as anathema (rightly), it is time for the media associations to get serious about holding accountable those members of their profession who shame and embarrass their colleagues by violating all the accepted standards of objective and reliable news reporting.

Unfortunately, I very much fear that, like the overgrown children whose behavior they mimic, they will decline to impose any limitations on themselves unless forced to do so. The only saving grace is that the growth of the Internet, with its endless diversity of news sources and blogs, continues to be a counterweight to any and all attempts to manipulate public opinion by controlling Americans’ access to information.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , | 31 Comments »

Media bias a paper tiger?

Posted by sanityinjection on October 30, 2008

Steven Stark over at the ultraliberal Boston Phoenix admits that the mainstream media is ridiculously biased, but argues convincingly that its power is not great enough to deliver an election:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/10/maverick_in_a_mess.html

Incidentally, I’ve read a few of Stark’s columns over the course of the campaign. Somewhat remarkably, he consistently eschews partisan nastiness in favor of thoughtful analysis. Certain more “reputable” liberal publications in New York and Boston could learn a lot from his example.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Even journalists now admit the media is hopelessly biased on the election

Posted by sanityinjection on October 27, 2008

Today’s must-read column is from Michael Malone over at ABC News. Malone, a career journalist, laments that the media’s coverage of this election has become so biased that even Dan Rather thinks it’s gone too far:

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=6099188

Malone gives specific examples of how the mainstream media has treated one candidate very differently than the other – not so much by aggressive reporting of one candidate’s foibles, but by a lack of aggressive reporting of the other’s.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »