Cato,  Media

Boaz on PBS

From a good article by Cato’s David Boaz

Sometimes the bias is not quite so obvious. Rather than imbalance within each report, the bias is reflected in the choice of topics. A careful listener to NPR would notice a preponderance of reports on racism, sexism, and environmental destruction, but very few reports on the burden of taxes and regulation, or the unconstitutionality of most federal programs, or the way that state and federal governments increasingly abuse the rule of law in going after unpopular defendants such as tobacco companies and Wall Street executives.

Anyone who got all his news from NPR would never know that Americans of all races live longer, healthier, and in more comfort than ever before in history, or that the environment has been getting steadily cleaner.

In the past few weeks, as this issue has been debated, I’ve noted other examples. Take the long and glowing reviews of two leftist agitprop plays, one written by Robert Reich and performed on Cape Cod and another written by David Hare and performed in Los Angeles. And then there was the effusive report on Pete Seeger, the folksinger who was a member of the Communist Party, complete with a two-hour online concert, to launch the Fourth of July weekend.

The real problem is not liberal bias but the inevitability of bias. Any reporter or editor has to choose what’s important. It’s impossible to make such decisions without a framework, a perspective, a view of how the world works.

Something else to bean in mind is that by subsiding an “independent media” the government can ensure that while having representation of the left or right in the media, they can make sure that the people they actually fund are lightweights who pose no threat.

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