Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I'm not Biased, YOU are!

As an outraged centrist, I am long weary of hearing about how liberal/not liberal enough most of the media is. It is an un-ending conversation. I am not going to propose an end to it unfortunately. I am going to point out however that this conversation is inevitable, and fruitless.

The Hostile Media Phenomenon-Opposite groups, such as at football matches, will both perceive balanced and neutral views as hostile to their side.

This phenomenon has been documented in several experiments using both political ideologies as well as sports coverage.

Controlling for the same news clips, subjects differed along partisan lines on simple, objective criteria such as the number of references to a given subject. As such, the hostile media effect is not just a difference of opinion but a difference of perception.

So this argument is inevitable. Even if the media were completely unbiased we would still percieve it as being biased against our side, whichever side that may be.

Now obviously the media is not unbiased. But I think they are biased in their own special way. They have a ratings bias. They write and publish things that get them traffic or ratings. They don't cover things that are only interesting to small pockets of the population, and they find stories that while not all that important are entertaining. (Runaway Brides, fingers in chili, that sort of thing.)

All I'm saying is next time you get mad about something you think it is biased, remember maybe it isn't the story that's biased, maybe it is you.

(This came up because of the comments in this post over at Kav's blog, and I decided to post about it because I got tired of copying and pasting data.)

No comments: