Media Bias 101

From:,  by Erick Erickson,  on Apr 8, 2017

After the November election last year, a friend of mine asked how many reporters know people with a pick up truck. It seemed a reasonable question. The pick up truck makes up the top three most popular vehicles in the United States. How many truck owners do political reporters know? You would have thought he had accused the American political press of prostitution. Members of the American political press were livid he would dare ask the question.

The American political press is one of the most insular institutions in America and hate being exposed for their insularity. They are mostly coastal, secular, if not flat out atheist, overwhelmingly liberal, and have nothing in common with nor want to have anything in common with the average American.

This past week has been a case study in that media bias starting with Susan Rice, President Obama’s National Security Advisor. I have fond affection for CNN, having gotten my start in television there. Yes, I have seen firsthand liberal bias in their newsroom. But I think it often comes more from worldview and being inside a bubble than it does from aggressive partisanship. I think most of the anchors at CNN, particularly the further in the day one watches, do their absolute best to be objective, fair and cover all sides. If the network would abandon the Democrat Governor of New York’s more dimwitted brother for their morning show, the network as a whole would be improved. The people at CNN are some of the best and most professional in the news business.

But CNN did a real disservice this past week. Two weeks ago, Susan Rice denied unmasking any Trump transition team members. Her denial came as Republicans found more evidence that Obama Administration officials did seek the names of Trump transition team officials talking to foreign governments.

But just this past week, she reversed course but claimed it was not illegal and said she was not the leaker. Rice, however, has a sordid history with truth. She is the one who blamed the Benghazi terrorist attack on a YouTube video, which we all know was not true.

This brings me back to CNN. The network’s national security reporter is Jim Sciutto. After reports circulated Rice was behind the unmasking, Sciutto claimed sources close to Rice told him, “The idea that Ambassador Rice improperly sought the identities of Americans is false.” He was personally dismissive of the allegations. Remember, though, Susan Rice subsequently admitted she had names unmasked.

Jim Sciutto used to be an Obama Administration official who left the Administration for a job at ABC News working with Susan Rice’s husband. Sciutto is one of many Obama appointees who went back into the media with the veneer of objectivity. Sciutto should have been conflicted out of coverage on this story, but he was not.

The Rice story comes as Republicans in Washington blow up the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. On this story, CNN has been intellectually honest and one of the few to be honest. Read most any major newspaper or any news network other than CNN and Fox and you would never know Democrats actually scrapped the filibuster for Barack Obama’s nominees. All the GOP is doing is finishing the Democrats’ job.

Reporters who, when Democrats scuttled the filibuster for nominees, said it was no big deal, now argue that the Republicans are fundamentally destroying what makes the Senate unique. Of course, it is not just them. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who campaigned on destroying the filibuster to advance her liberal agenda, now claims destroying the filibuster is a national travesty. The intellectual dishonesty is amazing. That the media is as intellectually dishonest on this issue as partisan Democrats is not surprising, but should be disturbing.

If the American media wants to restore its reputation, perhaps it could both relate better to the American people and stop giving partisan political appointees the veneer of objectivity. The American people need a media they can trust and instead have a political press that not only does not relate to them, but holds the people in contempt.


I’ve been saying for a long time now (and I know that I’m not alone), that our worst political enemy is not the democrats, it’s the media, and primarily the “mainstream” media. The alphabet networks and a majority of the print media are clearly liberal. They’ve been in the tank for democrats for decades and it’s only getting worse. They no longer report the news objectively, they report their version of the news, massaged and slanted to influence the public to see things according to the agenda of the reporting entity.

We sometimes refer to the media as the “fourth estate.” This goes back to 1841 when Thomas Carlyle, speaking in the English Parliament, called the reporter’s gallery the “fourth estate” and noted that they were more important than the other three estates (which correspond to our executive, legislative, and judicial branches). And when our Constitution specifically refers to freedom of the press, the Constitution is guaranteeing that the press shall have the ability to disseminate information to the population without interference from the government. 

It’s plain that our founders expected the “fourth estate” to honor their responsibility to report the truth to the citizens without being tainted by government interference. Obviously, they didn’t anticipate that the press itself would become an interfering party.

I would be content with seeing our conservative views and agenda being honestly compared to that of the liberal democrats, but that isn’t happening. The media is aligned with democrats and their agenda and they report accordingly. They’ll ignore news that may be damaging to the democrats while at the same time, they shout from the rooftops anything that might be negative towards conservatives and Republicans, and they’ll “adjust” the details of the news to paint a picture that reflects positively on whatever aspects of the news will benefit the media’s agenda.

Plainly, the “fourth estate” is not living up to the trust that our founders placed in them. Fortunately, a growing portion of our population has recognized that, in too many cases, we’re simply not being told the truth and we’re beginning to see a rebellion against biased reporting. In a recent poll, less than a third of those polled said that they trusted the media; those are the smart ones dumbasses who believe what the media says.

We’d all do well to view anything/everything reported by the news media with a truckload of salt.





Categories: Political


10 replies

  1. Think about how often we hear the term ‘news analysis’. We’ve morphed from hearing a brief recap of news stories at 5:00 to this agenda that now runs 24/7 because every tidbit of news has to be analyzed by some ‘expert’. They give their take on it and slant it whichever direction they lean.

    Next add in all the internet news sites that repost stories with their slant on it and each repost gets more slanted than the last one. It’s no wonder everybody believes something different.

    I disagree with Erickson’s assessment of the folks at CNN. IMO, they are one of the very worst at bias, right up there with MSNBC. We saw evidence of that in the way they framed the debate questions for Trump and Hillary. Plus all you have to do is read similar stories at Fox and CNN to see they’re presented completely different. I thought some of that would turn around after the lib media saw how badly they blew it in picking Hillary as the clear winner, but they haven’t changed one bit. In fact, it may be worse.


    • I also wondered about Erickson’s soft spot for CNN, they’re THE WORST in my opinion. It must go back to him having a relationship with some of the CNN people. They refused to run any stories about the Susan Rice involvement in unmasking the names of people with Trump “accidentally” captured during surveillance. If someone wants the closest thing to accurate news, Fox is the only choice, and they ain’t lily white either.


  2. Well, I couldn’t agree more. While doing my morning news gathering, here’s what I saw on the front page of the LA Times:

    “Editorial Series

    “Why We Took a Stand

    “After Donald Trump’s threats on the campaign trail, Californians immediately understood that our state would be disproportionately affected — and disproportionately harmed — by the reckless policies he was hoping to enact.

    “Part I: Our Dishonest President | Part II: Why Trump Lies | Part III: Trump’s Authoritarian Vision | Part IV: Trump’s War on Journalism | Part V: Conspiracy Theorist in Chief | Part VI: California Takes On Trump”

    Well, at least they’re honest enough to admit their bias. Loom at their rationalizations: “Dishonest… Trump lies… Authoritarian (particularly ironic after Emperor Obozo)…”.

    This is the same newspaper that’s now put in place a dictum that they won’t publish any opinion columns, editorials, or reader letters that deny that “climate change” is man-made.

    The very epitome of “objectivity”, right?


    • “Look at their rationalizations”, not “Loom”.


      • Perhaps the LAT should just publish a journal timeline of Trump’s decisions and actions spanning his entire first term. They’ve obviously got a crystal ball or a bevy of prognosticators who KNOW exactly what he’s going to do and what the outcomes will be. Why waste time merely reacting to his actions (especially when they KNOW how they’ll turn out)? It must be nice to be all-knowing.

        That one position, denying exposure to anyone who doesn’t believe in climate change, is telling.

        After taking that position, I can’t see how/why anyone would bother reading that rag, it’s obvious that you’ll never get both sides of any issue – only their perspective.


  3. Comment on my facebook post of this article

    “The art of leadership… consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention.” Mein Kampf, volume 1, ch. 10—1925 Adolph Hitler (1889–1945) German Dictator
    “The great mass of people… will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.” Mein Kampf, volume 1, chapter. 3—1925 Adolph Hitler (1889–1945) German Dictator
    “Liberty-loving American people will sacrifice their freedom and their democratic principles if their security and their very lives are threatened.” Out of These Roots: Journey Through Chaos—1944 Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970) Socialist Author
    “Thousands of trained killers are plotting to attack us, and this terrible knowledge requires us to act differently.” Televised speech to the Nation, announcing the formation of the Department of Homeland Security—June 6, 2002 George W. Bush (b. 1946) 43rd President of the U.S.
    “Americans soon may have to choose between civil liberties and more intrusive means of protection.” Army Times—October 27, 1998 William S. Cohen (b. 1940) U.S. Secretary of Defense (CFR)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. >>“The American people need a media they can trust”

    I can never remember a time when we had such a thing.

    America’s founders, when they put in the constitutional protections for the free press, assumed the American public would be the ultimate police of that profession, because in a normal world where common sense still rules people place great value on the truth. You can’t make decisions for your own self-benefit without the truth, and yet liberalism has brought us to a place where people don’t appreciate the necessity of knowing the truth. Too many would rather have their own precious prejudices reinforced. As long as that’s the case the media won’t have to worry so much about its reputation.


    • Maybe it’s that I’m so much older than you or maybe it’s that I was being taken in, I don’t know, but I do know that I have watched the media get more and more blatant about their political slanting of the news through the years. I do believe that there was a time when the news media did report things as they were rather than attempt to influence the public’s perception.

      There are still a large number of us who recognize that the old computer maxim of “garbage in, garbage out” holds true in everyday decisions as well. Unless we have true and accurate reporting, we can’t really form useful ideas about the issues and bad outcomes will result.


  5. next to last paragraph, you say that the less than a third who believe the media are the smart ones?????

    Shouldn’t it be that the 2/3 who DON’T trust the media be the smart ones?


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