• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Why do people mistake bias for an agenda?

Not Bright Bart

New member
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
42
Reaction score
0
Location
Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Why do people mistake bias for an agenda? It's a serious issue that goes to the heart of why so many people have a difficult time grasping what the roles of a journalist, a commentator, and the media are?

FOX News was started with an agenda, which host like Bill O'Reilly later tried to deny, to give an ideological balance - a viewpoint, a perspective on the news.

A bias, is inescapable

"Pulitzer Prize Broder won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1973 and was the recipient of numerous awards and academic honors before and after. In his Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, Broder said: Instead of promising “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, I would like to see us say – over and over, until the point has been made – that the newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours – distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour. If we labeled the product accurately, then we could immediately add: But it’s the best we could do under the circumstances, and we will be back tomorrow with a corrected and updated version."
 

TheParser

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 12, 2018
Messages
7,763
Reaction score
2,950
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
In his Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, Broder said: Instead of promising “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, I would like to see us say – over and over, until the point has been made – that the newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours – distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour.

Absolutely!


That's why some people prefer to skip the daily news and wait for a weekly newspaper or magazine that has time to put things in perspective.


The only problem with that, however, is that there are no weekly newspapers or magazines without an agenda.


It's impossible to know the truth without reading tons of articles from various sources, and nobody has time for that.


So that's why the liberal-biased media can mislead so many people. Believe it or not, many Americans actually believe what they see on ABC, CBS, or NBC newscasts.
 

Hawkeye10

Buttermilk Man
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
45,404
Reaction score
11,744
Location
Olympia Wa
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Why do people mistake bias for an agenda? It's a serious issue that goes to the heart of why so many people have a difficult time grasping what the roles of a journalist, a commentator, and the media are?

FOX News was started with an agenda, which host like Bill O'Reilly later tried to deny, to give an ideological balance - a viewpoint, a perspective on the news.

A bias, is inescapable

"Pulitzer Prize Broder won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1973 and was the recipient of numerous awards and academic honors before and after. In his Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, Broder said: Instead of promising “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, I would like to see us say – over and over, until the point has been made – that the newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours – distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour. If we labeled the product accurately, then we could immediately add: But it’s the best we could do under the circumstances, and we will be back tomorrow with a corrected and updated version."

So-called journalists whom refuse to do what they can to check their bias by definition have an agenda, because if they did not have an agenda they would want to play the news straight and honest.

Very few of that sort exist anymore.

WE USED TO BE BETTER
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Why do people mistake bias for an agenda? It's a serious issue that goes to the heart of why so many people have a difficult time grasping what the roles of a journalist, a commentator, and the media are?

FOX News was started with an agenda, which host like Bill O'Reilly later tried to deny, to give an ideological balance - a viewpoint, a perspective on the news.

A bias, is inescapable...


I get your point, and predominantly agree with it, but I think Fox News (the cable network) is a poor rubric for illustrating it.

Fox Fox News Channel (FNC) delivers two general types of content:
  • News, news analysis and journalistic editorials (NAJ)
    • NAJ content and delivery on FNC, in terms of it's adherence to journalistic reporting and analysis standards, is roughly comparable in to that found on other cable news channels.
  • Non-journalistic entertainment editorials, modeled on talk radio, but with a video format and, obviously, no callers (TRT)
    • TRT content and delivery, like that of The Talk, The View and other panel-focused TV talk shows, adheres to no journalistic standards, mainly because it's meant to be entertainment, not journalism. Thus if they conduct due diligence as journalists must, they do; if they don't, they don't. If the persons appearing on the TRT shows utter falsities, they do and if they don't they don't, but as entertainers rather than journalists, they aren't obliged to acknowledge their misstatements.
What makes FNC a poor model is that on every show airing on that network the word "news" is there, and that makes what's not news seem to have a news label, and thus seem to be journalism (news) of some stripe. Check out some FNC screen shots and what one'll see is that sometimes the third word, "channel," in FNC's name appears and sometimes it doesn't.
To your point about bias, it's important to note that there are multiple kinds of bias. The kind most prevalent in journalism is what I'll call "selection bias." Selection bias results from two sources:
  • Choosing what matters on which to report and what matters on which not to report
  • Choosing what to discuss and not discuss re: a given topic on which an outlet reports.
    • This can be seen in Baier's clip to which I linked. You'll notice that Baier quoted two Trump tweets, and remarked that the second one is factually accurate, but he made no mention of the factual inaccuracy contained in the first tweet (0:52). His failure to note the factual inaccuracy wouldn't be notable (as goes bias) were the ensuing discussion not wholly or in part about the shutdown. Similarly, though not required to because they're there as editorialists, none of his panelists noted the inaccuracy.
While pragmatism makes it impossible to eliminate selection bias of the first type, the second type absolutely can be eliminated; it just takes due diligence and will to do so.

As for the agenda element:
  • Fox News Group (FNG) has an agenda: generate maximum possible profits for its shareholders.
  • FNC programs, which fall organizationally under FNG, each have that agenda along with one or more additional, lower-level agendas.
 

Rickeroo

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
2,576
Reaction score
655
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Why do people mistake bias for an agenda? It's a serious issue that goes to the heart of why so many people have a difficult time grasping what the roles of a journalist, a commentator, and the media are?

FOX News was started with an agenda, which host like Bill O'Reilly later tried to deny, to give an ideological balance - a viewpoint, a perspective on the news.

A bias, is inescapable

"Pulitzer Prize Broder won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1973 and was the recipient of numerous awards and academic honors before and after. In his Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, Broder said: Instead of promising “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, I would like to see us say – over and over, until the point has been made – that the newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours – distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour. If we labeled the product accurately, then we could immediately add: But it’s the best we could do under the circumstances, and we will be back tomorrow with a corrected and updated version."

I'd go a bit further and say that most news outlets are actively trying to promote a particular political party, which would qualify them as propaganda outlets.
 

jonny5

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
22,213
Reaction score
3,239
Location
Republic of Florida
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Why do people mistake bias for an agenda? It's a serious issue that goes to the heart of why so many people have a difficult time grasping what the roles of a journalist, a commentator, and the media are?

FOX News was started with an agenda, which host like Bill O'Reilly later tried to deny, to give an ideological balance - a viewpoint, a perspective on the news.

A bias, is inescapable

"Pulitzer Prize Broder won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1973 and was the recipient of numerous awards and academic honors before and after. In his Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, Broder said: Instead of promising “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, I would like to see us say – over and over, until the point has been made – that the newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours – distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour. If we labeled the product accurately, then we could immediately add: But it’s the best we could do under the circumstances, and we will be back tomorrow with a corrected and updated version."

I think youre mistaking news for infotainment. FNC is a business. They sell advertising space by giving out information in an entertaining way, and they target a specific customer who was underserved.
 

ttwtt78640

Sometimes wrong
DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
70,611
Reaction score
40,214
Location
Uhland, Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
1) Why do people mistake bias for an agenda? 2) It's a serious issue that goes to the heart of why so many people have a difficult time grasping what the roles of a journalist, a commentator, and the media are?

FOX News was started with an agenda, which host like Bill O'Reilly later tried to deny, to give an ideological balance - a viewpoint, a perspective on the news.

A bias, is inescapable

"Pulitzer Prize Broder won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1973 and was the recipient of numerous awards and academic honors before and after. In his Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, Broder said: Instead of promising “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, I would like to see us say – over and over, until the point has been made – that the newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours – distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour. If we labeled the product accurately, then we could immediately add: But it’s the best we could do under the circumstances, and we will be back tomorrow with a corrected and updated version."

1) The difference between a expressing bias and having an agenda (if any) is subjective. Most media bias is simply by omission - thus examples of events that run counter to the agenda are not reported and any found to support that agenda are reported.

2) There is little confusion about the roles of a journalist (reporting facts), commentator (describing reported facts as good/bad) and (news?) media (employing both journalists and commentators).

Where most bias (agenda?) occurs is in the editting process - as noted in #1 yet not addressed in #2. Your example of the NYT slogan explains this (all important?) selection process perfectly - who, exactly, decides whether the reporting of (or commentary on) a given event (news?) is "fit" to include?
 

Mycroft

Genius is where you find it.
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
74,914
Reaction score
29,976
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Most "news" that I consume is second hand. I get it from just a few sources: Mediaite (for their left filter), Gateway Pundit (for their right filter), Drudge (for their balanced filter) and right here at DP (because that's what people here are talking about). All those sources, except for Drudge, give their own biased commentary. I tend to ignore that commentary, though some of it is interesting.

This brings up another issue, though. A lot of media insist on including THEIR commentary with their news stories and then other news sites make that commentary the news story. Add in the echo chamber (non-news sites) and you get a smelly, gelatinous mass of opinion and rhetoric with a kernel of actual news buried somewhere inside. And then, when that kernel of news turns out to be unsubstantiated rumor (unnamed sources), spin, speculation, innuendo and hyperbole, what the consumer ends up with is propagandized bias and agenda.

But what bothers me the most about the mainstream news organizations...Fox is included...is that they all pick and choose what news to present to their consumers...based on their bias and their agenda.

For example, has CNN paid much attention to the news story about Hillary being required, by court order, to answer more questions about her server? Has CNN also reported what that judge actually said in the court order about the appearance of actions of Hillary, the Obama State Department and the Obama administration, in general? Has CNN kept us up to date on Hillary's response? Heck, has Fox or any other mainstream media presented this story?

That's only one example of a serious news story that is ignored or suppressed by the mainstream media. There is much more. That suppression, based on bias and agenda, bugs the **** out of me.
 

bubbabgone

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Messages
31,192
Reaction score
15,946
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Why do people mistake bias for an agenda? It's a serious issue that goes to the heart of why so many people have a difficult time grasping what the roles of a journalist, a commentator, and the media are?

FOX News was started with an agenda, which host like Bill O'Reilly later tried to deny, to give an ideological balance - a viewpoint, a perspective on the news.

A bias, is inescapable

"Pulitzer Prize Broder won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1973 and was the recipient of numerous awards and academic honors before and after. In his Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, Broder said: Instead of promising “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, I would like to see us say – over and over, until the point has been made – that the newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours – distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour. If we labeled the product accurately, then we could immediately add: But it’s the best we could do under the circumstances, and we will be back tomorrow with a corrected and updated version."

I assume you're referring to David Broder?
Would it be okay to note that his commentary showed a liberal bias?
Or does that not matter?
 

Captain Adverse

Classical Liberal Sage
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Messages
16,422
Reaction score
21,598
Location
Mid-West USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other


I get your point, and predominantly agree with it, but I think Fox News (the cable network) is a poor rubric for illustrating it.

Fox Fox News Channel (FNC) delivers two general types of content:
  • News, news analysis and journalistic editorials (NAJ)
    • NAJ content and delivery on FNC, in terms of it's adherence to journalistic reporting and analysis standards, is roughly comparable in to that found on other cable news channels.
  • Non-journalistic entertainment editorials, modeled on talk radio, but with a video format and, obviously, no callers (TRT)
    • TRT content and delivery, like that of The Talk, The View and other panel-focused TV talk shows, adheres to no journalistic standards, mainly because it's meant to be entertainment, not journalism. Thus if they conduct due diligence as journalists must, they do; if they don't, they don't. If the persons appearing on the TRT shows utter falsities, they do and if they don't they don't, but as entertainers rather than journalists, they aren't obliged to acknowledge their misstatements.
What makes FNC a poor model is that on every show airing on that network the word "news" is there, and that makes what's not news seem to have a news label, and thus seem to be journalism (news) of some stripe. Check out some FNC screen shots and what one'll see is that sometimes the third word, "channel," in FNC's name appears and sometimes it doesn't.
To your point about bias, it's important to note that there are multiple kinds of bias. The kind most prevalent in journalism is what I'll call "selection bias." Selection bias results from two sources:
  • Choosing what matters on which to report and what matters on which not to report
  • Choosing what to discuss and not discuss re: a given topic on which an outlet reports.
    • This can be seen in Baier's clip to which I linked. You'll notice that Baier quoted two Trump tweets, and remarked that the second one is factually accurate, but he made no mention of the factual inaccuracy contained in the first tweet (0:52). His failure to note the factual inaccuracy wouldn't be notable (as goes bias) were the ensuing discussion not wholly or in part about the shutdown. Similarly, though not required to because they're there as editorialists, none of his panelists noted the inaccuracy.
While pragmatism makes it impossible to eliminate selection bias of the first type, the second type absolutely can be eliminated; it just takes due diligence and will to do so.

As for the agenda element:
  • Fox News Group (FNG) has an agenda: generate maximum possible profits for its shareholders.
  • FNC programs, which fall organizationally under FNG, each have that agenda along with one or more additional, lower-level agendas.

Everything you point to with Fox can as easily be applied to CNN, in spades.

Back in the days when cable networks like Fox and CNN came to be we used to call CNN the "Communist News Network" for their clearly biased left-lean in reporting, and FOX News the "Fascist news network" for it's right-lean reporting.

I see no difference today for every Fox talking head there is an equal and opposite at CNN (Don Lemon, Jim Acosta, Wolf Blitzer, etc.).
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Everything you point to with Fox can as easily be applied to CNN, in spades.

Back in the days when cable networks like Fox and CNN came to be we used to call CNN the "Communist News Network" for their clearly biased left-lean in reporting, and FOX News the "Fascist news network" for it's right-lean reporting.

I see no difference today for every Fox talking head there is an equal and opposite at CNN (Don Lemon, Jim Acosta, Wolf Blitzer, etc.).

Red:
I believe you.
 

mpg

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
7,795
Reaction score
1,784
Location
Milford, CT
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
I’m not the thought police. A news outlet’s political agenda is usually obvious, but bias is the real issue. The finished product is what counts, rather than the motivation behind it.
 

Mr Person

A Little Bitter
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Messages
49,706
Reaction score
33,685
Location
Massachusetts
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Why do people mistake bias for an agenda? It's a serious issue that goes to the heart of why so many people have a difficult time grasping what the roles of a journalist, a commentator, and the media are?

FOX News was started with an agenda, which host like Bill O'Reilly later tried to deny, to give an ideological balance - a viewpoint, a perspective on the news.

A bias, is inescapable

"Pulitzer Prize Broder won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1973 and was the recipient of numerous awards and academic honors before and after. In his Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, Broder said: Instead of promising “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, I would like to see us say – over and over, until the point has been made – that the newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours – distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour. If we labeled the product accurately, then we could immediately add: But it’s the best we could do under the circumstances, and we will be back tomorrow with a corrected and updated version."

Absolutely!

That's why some people prefer to skip the daily news and wait for a weekly newspaper or magazine that has time to put things in perspective.

The only problem with that, however, is that there are no weekly newspapers or magazines without an agenda.

It's impossible to know the truth without reading tons of articles from various sources, and nobody has time for that.

So that's why the liberal-biased media can mislead so many people. Believe it or not, many Americans actually believe what they see on ABC, CBS, or NBC newscasts.



Or they could, y'know, give more credence to those papers or other media sources that do regularly produce corrections, denunciations, etc., and look more askance at those that do not. They could also consider that they themselves are biased, for we all are, but also consider that one very good measure of an entity that fights its own bias is one that says "we were wrong" once they learn that they were wrong.

Yet around here on DP, a source announcing that it was wrong is usually used to attack that source, and is so used by people who pretend to care about bias.

General food for thought...



Also: "there's no time" is not an excuse for someone who wants to comment on politics. If someone doesn't spend the time to triangulate their position, to determine whether an account is trustworthy, they should avoid saying anything about it. But that's not human; hence tribalistic knee-jerk response.



So-called journalists whom refuse to do what they can to check their bias by definition have an agenda, because if they did not have an agenda they would want to play the news straight and honest.

Very few of that sort exist anymore.

WE USED TO BE BETTER

OUTSTANDING RASPY ROAR DOLL




PS: It's also on you to check your own bias, and to therefore also read a mix of news sources; say, NYT,WaPo, Foxnews.com, WSJ, Economist, FT.

And if as "Parser" says, people do not choose to spend the time to do that, they should probably go sit in a corner and listen to people who do.
 
Last edited:

Mr Person

A Little Bitter
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Messages
49,706
Reaction score
33,685
Location
Massachusetts
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Why do people mistake bias for an agenda?

To follow up on my longer post: they aren't mistaking bias for agenda.

They are alleging agenda because they are biased, and either do not recognize it or do not care. Certitude that one is correct is the best guarantee that one will err.



Or, in the words of an angry young man:

And every time you think you know just what you're doin'
That's when your troubles exceed


(G n' R).
 
Top Bottom