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|"Mainstream Media": An easily abused term|
If ever you look for a ****ty political discussion on the internet, you’re sure to find someone who will claim that his e-argument opponents have been “brainwashed by the MSM”. Why is this? Well, a lot of people who can’t stand the idea that someone else disagrees with them need an excuse. And the easiest excuse to find is to say that the mainstream media brainwashes other people and that’s why they sees so much dissent when they spout off about their uneducated opinions.
The “MSM card” can originate from both sides. Some crazy liberals might think that the mainstream media has a hand in keeping government conspiracies quiet; some particularly questionable people among them might suggest that the media had a hand in causing 9/11. Conservatives will rant on and on about the “liberal media” and how it slanted people against Republicans and for Democrats. On either side of the spectrum, it seems like the mainstream media is an enemy to everyone.
What do I think? The mainstream media has its faults. But the majority of their faults are caused by the faults of people in general, not the other way around. They dumb things down and sensationalize cases because they know that’s what brings in the ratings. They don’t always tell a detailed story because they have to dedicate time and money to celebrity news and flashy graphics. They don’t present a perfectly balanced political opinion because they have their own political opinions, which is unavoidable. But do they willingly cover up scandals and conspiracies? I doubt it.Bigandtasty edited this message on 02/27/2009 3:02AM
|Posted On: 02/27/2009 3:01AM||View Bigandtasty's Profile | #|
I spent two years as a Journalism major in one of the top Journalism schools in the nation (transferred, didn’t enjoy it), but as a conservative, I can definitely say that most mainstream media has a liberal bias.
However, in my opinion, the problem doesn’t come with HAVING the bias, but from claiming not too.
Fox News and CNN both claim to be unbiased, but listening to them you can’t AVOID seeing the blatant contrast. I think if a news source claims to have a certain bias, then it’s fine. You can approach them and have a lens in place through which to view their versions of the stories.
But when you claim to be totally unbiased, it ruins the whole thing.
|Posted On: 02/27/2009 3:06AM||View Shii's Profile | #|
Well yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone except Fox wanted Obama to win (and I say that as an Obama supporter).
But the point is dumb people will believe absolutely everything from the media, dumber people will deny and dispute absolutely everything from the media, and smart people will take what they hear from the media with a grain of salt.
We all see the “Fair and Balanced” or whatever label but hopefully we’re perceptive enough to know that’s not always true.Bigandtasty edited this message on 02/27/2009 3:30AM
|Posted On: 02/27/2009 3:29AM||View Bigandtasty's Profile | #|
Historically, an independent media has been vital to keeping governments honest. Over the past 10 or so years, however, the media has more complicit in any action the government takes whether it be an arguably unnecessary war or bankrupting the treasury for several generations.
The government doesn’t have to control the media when the media voluntarily does what the government wants.
|Posted On: 03/12/2009 8:22PM||View Vageena Davis's Profile | #|
Fox is waaaaaay more biased then CNN.
No fricking question. Fox doesnt even TRY.
|Posted On: 03/12/2009 8:24PM||View Sapper's Profile | #|
The Mainstream Media in the United States would be most easily described as ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, Clear Channel Communications, Reuters, The bumociated Press, The New York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. All above the above, save for the Wall Street Journal are media outlets that have shown in the last election that they give large amounts of face time to Democrats and which portray Democrats or “Liberals” in a positive light, while demonizing and barely showing Republican or “Conservative” figures.
The Wall Street Journal is primarily a Republican publication as it mostly caters to rich white land owners.
There are exceptions on each channel, some of the talk show news hosts are pretty damn conservative, however the primary delivery of news is done from the standpoint liberal bias.
When saying that an individual has been brainwashed by the mainstream media. We are saying that they have made the mainstream media their primary source of information and that they are closed off to the concepts we are trying to tell them because it directly contradicts what we are trying to tell them. We are aware of and recognize the disconfirmation bias that comes with the individuals who believe everything they hear on TV.
Disconfirmation Bias is when an individual is confronted with information new to them that directly contradicts their world view, and then they turn right around and tell themselves the other person is inherently wrong because they have heard otherwise. It is pretty common in religious conversations.
The term Mainstream Media is not easily abused. The term is USUALLY brushed off by individuals who are subject to the kind of deluded denial found in Disconfirmation Bias.
|Posted On: 03/13/2009 6:56AM||View Xylon's Profile | #|
I’ve always been a staunch defender of what they call “the MSM.” Like Shii, I went to school for journalism and I’ve always been a news junkie. Of course — like everything else — you have to read the news with a critical eye and be aware of possible (probable) bias. But my experience with MSM “criticism” is that it tends to originate from the absolute lowest patch of dirt encircling the ivory tower that is the media, and that is — wait for it — angry, anonymous posters on conservative blogs.
These are often people who have willfully removed themselves from the “mainstream,” inasmuch as they’ve removed themselves from all logic and reason. The MSM doesn’t conform to their ultraconservative views of the world, so they worship Rush Limbaugh, home-school their kids, reference Conservapedia and put the Bible above the Constitution.
Of course, I’m stereotyping here. I’m not really trying to fuel a long and boring ideological war. But I’ll tell you this much: I agree with conservatives that the mainstream media has a liberal bias. My response to that is because it is necessarily so. The implication is, if you’ve devoted yourself to truth, objective reality and a deeper understanding of today’s issues, you won’t be able to help but adopt a more liberal viewpoint.
I’m not saying there are no smart, educated conservatives (hell, I’m considered conservative on a number of issues), but the stats indicate they’re the exception to the rule.
Personally, I’m happy to see how Obama’s popularity has dragged even the right-wing media outlets (and blogs) closer to the middle. And ironically, as the MSM starts to crumble due to economic difficulties, the criticism will start to dry up as people realize they miss fact-checking, proper grammar and actual reportage.
|Posted On: 03/13/2009 11:43AM||View Jalapeno Bootyho...'s Profile | #|
Jalapeno Bootyhole Posted:
I would vehemently disagree with you on the point that “liberal bias” is the standard for more truthful newstelling.
Liberal vs. conservatism doesn’t have anything to do with “truth.” It’s your stance on different policies. The only reason you think that “liberal media” is the benchmark for truthiness (to steal the word from Colbert) is because the only decently accurate new sources we have are all liberal.
I’ll be the first to say that Fox does a pretty lousy job, but not because their political stance makes them more likely to be subject to opinion and anger and whatnot. They do a lousy job because they’ve hired opinionated, stereotypical people as their news anchors. This is partially because since media is so liberally biased most new, fresh news anchors are going to lean that way.
Disagreeing with economic stimuli and free health care doesn’t mean I’m less truthful or more opinionated. It just means that I disagree with those policies.
|Posted On: 03/13/2009 3:43PM||View Shii's Profile | #|
I’m not saying you need a liberal bias to report the news. I’m saying liberal individuals are not only more likely to pursue this career, but they’re also likely to become more liberal as a result of pursuing it. “Truth has a liberal bias,” as the saying goes. It sounds arrogant, but then a lot of liberals are openly pretty open about their arrogance.
As far as policy issues like the stimulus package and single-payer healthcare, I haven’t seen the media take a single definitive stand either way. But maybe that’s “disconfirmation bias” on my part.
|Posted On: 03/13/2009 4:47PM||View Jalapeno Bootyho...'s Profile | #|
Jalapeno Bootyhole Posted:
I just think it’s funny that any side claims to have a legitimate handle on truth.
It’s, ya know, kind of a subjective quality. I’m leery of anything on this world that claims to represent what “truth” is supposed to be, as far as the media is concerned. That just feels a little too Orwellian for my taste. How about they report the facts and let the viewers determine what’s true?
Saying what occurred requires no bias.
|Posted On: 03/13/2009 4:51PM||View Shii's Profile | #|
Neither the Conservative nor the Liberal side reports the objective truth. The news media has been more about ratings and readers in recent years than anything else. I resent the remark that those of us who reject the mainstream media was anonymous conservative bloggers. The truth is that either side sees the evil of the other in the Mainstream Media. This is not about Conservative and Liberal those are both words that have lost meaning in American politics. This is about the fair, just, and unbiased reporting of the news without agenda and done in an object matter. None of the stations which I have mention have remotely done such in the last decade.
EDIT: This is Xylon and for some reason the site screwed up and posted this with an alt.Anonymousy edited this message on 03/13/2009 9:34PM
|Posted On: 03/13/2009 9:33PM||View Anonymousy's Profile | #|
Obama is, get this: a smoker.
|Posted On: 03/30/2009 10:32AM||View Ronald Ernest Pa...'s Profile | #|
I say this is an interesting thread, also considering the fact that I am a Communications graduate, so there’s some ‘bias’ on my part. lolz
Since the Philippines copy American media practices, our situations concerning mainstream media here and there are very much similar. Slanted, editorialized, sensationalized, whatever you want to call it.
And by taking up my degree in college did I found out how ‘big brother’ (could pertain to either mainstream media or the government) could wag the dog.
It also taught me to not take all information as is but also read between the lines, while at the same time inculcating in me the values of impartiality and objectivity. This I find oxymoronic because you have academicians teach to you the proper concepts but the industry applies a completely opposite dogma.
Which now leads me to opening up my avenues on where I get information, such as the internet and long tail media. Another ironic thing here is that before long tail information (ie memes, since YouTube is the bastion of long tail and memes somehow end up there one way or another, I consider them products of the long tail) gets recognized, it needs to have the blessing and exposure of big media first.
And at least on that aspect we differ due to infrastructure (as of my last count, internet penetration in our country is only up 10-12% of the population, approx 9-10m, still a snall demographic). That’s why the dancing prisoners, noynoypalaboy, Charisse Pempengco, and what other web inanity we upload needs to be reported in the evening news before it reaches the mbumes.
So, yeah, what limits us is logistics and yes, big media controls a large piece of the influence pie. Whereas, in your setting there, you could turn off O’Reilly or King anytime you want and just stay in your internet cocoon (which I prefer because I have the means and technology to do so. If this were not the case, I might be like the rest of the population, a zombie to every big media’s whim).
I know I digressed in some ways but I do hope that my contribution to this discussion helped in the facilitation of information. Log in to see images!
|Posted On: 04/02/2009 8:50PM||View nashcash's Profile | #|
Journalism majors represent. Especially since we’re all ready outdated. I’m still in school and even worse I’m a print journalism major.
Anyway, I only skimmed this thread because I hear too much about the media every day.
There are a LOT of problems with the main stream media, especially in its dieing days. The lack of money means it’s only going to get worse. There’s going to be less and less staff which means less reporters covering more stories without time to fact check or dig deeper. It also means they’re more likely to copy-and-paste from press releases. They’ll also accept press conferences staged by the government. Even more, the competitive aspects of the industry stress urgency which also leads to a lot of misinformation.
The thing you have to remember about the media is that it doesn’t exist for you.
Television, newspapers, magazines, etc all exist to deliver advertisements to us. Sometimes the line between news and business is easy to see, sometimes it gets blurred. The LA Times has a bad track record of this.
I attended a lecture by Kevin Klose who spent 10 years as the president of NPR. He said NPR has the best news coverage because all their money goes back into supporting their news team. Everyone else has to pay investors and stockholders and find new ways to advertise.
The MSM is not bad because of bias, but because it’s not fulfilling it’s purpose of existing to inform people. It’s priorities aren’t straight.
|Posted On: 04/02/2009 9:09PM||View PhineasPoe's Profile | #|
I don’t mind a little bias in the media I intake, just as long as it doesn’t compromise the source.
Just the other day, I was listening to NPR reporting on the Ted Stevens scandal. NPR does have some liberal bias, but they stuck to the facts and reported what was important – He was up for conviction for receiving illegal funds, but that conviction is being dropped to to prosecutors acting outside of the law. They went on to brow beat Ted and the prosecutors, but they didn’t misconstrue the facts.
On the other hand, when I walked in on Fox News today, they were completely off the handle. I can’t remember what anchor was on, but they were basically saying something like “SEE EVERYBODY, OUR SAVIOR TED STEVENS IS INNOCENT! IMMA NOMINATING HIM FOR GOVENOR OF ALASKA WHEN SARAH PALIN IS PRESIDENT! Log in to see images!”.
Biased news sources do have their place in the media. As I’ve become fairly liberal over the past couple years, I know that I’m more likely to find the news I’m more interested in on CNN, and I’m more likely to hear it in a way that makes sense to me. But I both understand that CNN is a reputable news source, and I fact-check what I hear through it with more center-leaning sources.
I don’t think having biased news sources is the problem – I think a large part of the equation is our expectation that ALL news must be unbiased, and most people’s general unwillingness to admit that the news they choose to view is biased. CNN viewers claim that Fox is biased while CNN is not, Fox viewers claim that CNN is biased while Fox is not…simple answer, they both have bias. Like I said, I do prefer leftist media, but I understand that it’s leftist, and I keep myself in check with centrist news.
Also, you guys are all focusing on the news, and only talking about news channels, forgetting that music, films, television, video games, etc., are all part of the mainstream media.Bill_Murray_Fan_7383 edited this message on 04/02/2009 9:29PM
|Posted On: 04/02/2009 9:26PM||View Bill_Murray_Fan_...'s Profile | #|
I think the reason why the thread tackled news coverage tendencies of mainstream media more is because the first post focused on that and discussion just rolled on from there.
Xylon mentioned the disconfirmation bias theory. I know I encountered a similar theory in clbum but with a different name. It has something to do with dissonance.
Which now leads me to another communication theory about ‘selective information’ wherein you just choose which information you want to believe and discard the rest. This also is prone to dissonance especially if the other side has a very valid argument. Then again, you could just dismiss and deny it as easily if you’re mind is really set with your current stand.
Right now, I am practicing that theory because I pick my spots. And I am quite discriminating. As much as possible I detest the primetime newscasts. All fluff and nothing else. Although I give them the chance if there’s nothing else more interesting to watch. And that is rare. A much easier option is to just turn off the boob tube.
Just want to put that out because I forgot to add it in my first post.
Anyway, I did touch a little bit of other types of media in my first post when I talked about the long tail because you’ve got to admit, the primary reason we go to YouTube is to be entertained. Rarely do we go there to actually gather serious information.
I could also talk about the lighter side of media and whatnot. Just do not take my opinion because it would be reeking of chronological bias because I believe 80s and 90s music was way much better than today since it broke barriers (although the same could be argued from the older generation and I challenge the kids of today if they could say the same thing with today’s music).
Come to think of it, I just said my piece with regards to present day music.
|Posted On: 04/04/2009 2:48PM||View nashcash's Profile | #|
I think sometimes people will say “popular show x said situation Y so everyone thinks that’s how it happens 100% of the time” but the majority of talk about “media brainwashing” points at the news, since its purpose is to report facts.
Anyway, I brought this topic back up because I thought of something: how would you make the news better? To remove all spin and bias from a story, would you have a robot staff without opinions? To get every side of the story, would you read the mind of anyone and everyone who was involved, even if they were dead? To prepare opinions from each side of the argument, would you carefully pick the analysts so as to be evenly matched?
Obviously all of those are improvements that are impossible. There definitely are some things that can be reasonably done to improve a network. They could improve those damn news tickers better or eliminate them, because they just leave me asking for details (“Obama discusses Holder’s “racism” remark”? Really?) anyway. They could get rid of the celebrity news – people have E!, TMZ, and whatever other channels are dedicated to celebrity stuff. They could tone down the more ridiculous personalities, and at least throw in a disclaimer that what these people say is not to be taken as fact.
But my point is that the things people are asking of news networks are often impossible. Some people will always disagree with the way a given story is presented because it’s not what they want to hear, whether it’s true or not. I agree that bias runs rampant among some of the more shameless pundits in the industry and perhaps the suits know that they are good for ratings. But to expect perfection is to expect too much out of a world where everything – especially people – is fundamentally flawed.
|Posted On: 04/17/2009 12:32PM||View Bigandtasty's Profile | #|