Media Buyass

Why do both sides of the political spectrum think the media is biased? Maybe its because Evil Right Wing FatCats are manipulating the minds of the populace to force us to vote for Bush again. Or maybe a bunch of leftist commie gay hollywood types are trying to spread lies about our govt, defeat bush and advance thier agenda to destroy the morality of America. Or maybe its less about conspiracy and more about simply selling product.
In our consumer econonmy news is just another product we consume. Like Hummers, Hamburgers, or Birkenstocks. We choose it out of Style, taste, or fashion. And we pick what makes us feel good. People don’t watch FOXNNews because they are stupid. They watch it because it tells them that what they want to believe is true. For example, even in today’s cynical world many people want to feel like thier country basically does the right thing. So if we are going to invade another country it better be for a good reason. So they want to watch FOX which displays thier “WAR ON TERROR” banner on the screen whenever they are showing the news from Iraq. I mean what can be wrong with a WAR ON TERROR?
But the other side isn’t very different. If you Hate bush you are probably going to spend more time listening to NPR than the O’Reilly Factor.
Why can’t we just have news that presents the information and let us decide?
A big reason is that makes things more interesting. The real truth is hard to get at and can involve alot of drudgery. Watch C-Span Lately? Instead, the line between news and entertainment gets harder and harder too see. Cable news is flooded with glitzy graphics and style. People read books by comedians to get thier political history. (perhaps the real truth is just too depressing).
But the most important reason is because its not possible to for people to not be biased. Its how we are made. We constantly are sifting reality and picking out the chunks which stick best to our world view. It is however possible for people to try and hide thier bias. These people scare me. At least if I listen to Rush Limbaugh, or Noam Chomsky I know what I am getting.
Stop worrying about Bias. Start worrying about the people who say they aren’t.

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