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Bias in the Media

Bias seems quite apparent within the media. You see a liberal NY Times and a conservative Wall Street Journal. There has been argument over the past decade that the media is far more lenient towards Democrats than Republicans. Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt recently pointed us to some academic research that studies bias in the media. This has had me paying more attention to the words and images used by various news organizations to describe situations, and I found an interesting one today. Here is a quote from an article about a US House election in Florida (emphasis mine):

She came to national attention six years ago when, as Florida’s secretary of state, she presided over the 2000 presidential election recount that gave George W. Bush the presidency.

I use this example because the wording could be taken to mean that the Presidency was given to Bush, rather than meaning he was elected President. Remember that there were 49 other states voting in that election. Other examples I’ve heard a lot lately include talking about money being “distributed” to individuals rather than “earned by” them. Wealth is only distributed in the same sense that grades are… they can be quantified statistically, but that doesn’t mean the individual at the higher end of the scale didn’t earn it.
So keep your eyes peeled when reading or listening to the news. Try to separate the facts from the spin that is put on them. Decide for yourself how you think about issues rather than lettnig someone else dictate your feelings to you.
Read Full Story -> Dean seeks new election in Fla. race – Yahoo! News

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