Media bias

The opening question my professor at UC Berkeley asked was, “Where do you get your news?”  At the time, I thought it was an absurd question.  I couldn’t imagine what difference it could possibly make.  It was obvious to me that it made no difference at all.  The news was the news and it made no matter which source reported it.  The news was impartial.  Somewhere, somehow, someone whose job it was, determined, of all events that had happened on earth recently, which were important for me to know and which were irrelevant, and reported the former with clarity and objectivity.  Wasn’t that what someone, somewhere paid them to do?  I wish I could say that I was younger than I was when I stopped believing all of this.

With the above little story in mind, I would like to present this website (that I just found out about here).  It calls itself “Media Bias/Fact Check.”  Would you like to know where your favorite news sources are on the left-right continuum?  Have a look!  Would you like to know which sources are relatively unbiased?  Got that for ya right here.  Wondering if your favorite website is hawking conspiracy theories?  Have a look.  How do they make these evaluations?  They seem to have a pretty good methodology.  How does it work?  Well, suppose you just found out in Business Insider that the prime minister of Canada just got a standing ovation from an energy industry convention in Houston by promising to release all of the green house gas emissions available in his country (emphasis mine), but you wonder how well this source comports with your worldview.  Just look them up!  Turns out that the Business Insider is slightly left of center.  So, if you’re right of center, this slightly bad news is probably slightly good news.  And, everybody loves good news.

Which is why I’m going to leave you with this good news about South Korea.  Enjoy.  (Because it’s certainly better than the bad news about Fukushima, as brought to you by a conspiratorial website.)

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