Friday, January 6, 2012

Closing Thoughts on Left Turn

Look in the mirror
And see how you've been taken
You won't surrender
But now you heart is breakin'
--John Waite

Groseclose's Left Turn (2011) closes with some ideas on how to approach a more biased media. Because mainstream media is overwhelmingly biased toward the Left, the 'obvious' solution is to inject more conservatively minded journalists. The problem, of course, is that this commodity is in short supply.

Beyond that, Groseclose suggests that liberal journalists would be more objective if they expanded their network to include more independents and conservatives. This would provide better perspective from which to approach reporting.

I would not be optimistic about this idea, as confirmation bias suggests likes hang with likes. It's psychologically easier to do that.

Finally, Groseclose suggests that media outlets could provide more information to viewers as to the biases of their staff. Reported might report how they voted in past elections. Groseclose mentions that he's piloting a database of media political quotients (PQs) that journalists would voluntarily participate in. Outlets could also collect and report detailed descriptions of the political views of all its journalists.

Historically, when journalists have been asked to disclose their political biases, they are reluctant to do so. "I only report the news as it is." They say. "My political opinions do not influence how I report it."

As Groseclose has demonstrated, however, nothing could be further from the truth.

Imagine that when asked about their stances on gun control or deficit spending, Barack Obama, John Boehner, or Harry Reid replied, "I'm not going to tell you about my position. If I did, it would impair my ability as an objective lawmaker."

Such a response would incite ridicule from voters, most of which would question whether such politicians were worthy of office.

Why should similar standards not apply to the media, asks Groseclose? Good question to ponder...

1 comment:

dgeorge12358 said...

Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.
~William F Buckley Jr.