“The biases the media has are much bigger than conservative or liberal. They’re about getting ratings, about making money, about doing stories that are easy to cover.” – Al Franken
I hear the phrase “liberal bias” used in a sentence on a regular basis. I am not much of a quick thinker so I generally suck my opinion deep within myself and hide it underneath that place in your stomach that gets queasy when you hear people say things you disagree with. I believe that the idea of a liberal bias in the media is a myth… and here’s why.
There is no liberal bias in the media for the same reason that there is no conservative bias. The bias is money. The bias is ratings. The bias is vanity. Sure, MSNBC reports their news with the opposite slant that FOX News does. But focusing on which side they are biased to is playing right into their hand- you are playing their game.
MSNBC knows that its creates news programming that appeals to liberals. That’s because there are angry liberals that want to hear Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow talk. Likewise, there are angry conservatives that want to listen to Sean Hannity or Glen Beck. They know what makes you angry. They know what makes you scared. They are capitalizing on your insecurities and your fears.
All news stations and companies alter their news coverage based on who signs checks. It takes a lot to convince a news director to run a negative story about an advertiser. I’ve been there. I’ve been in a news room and heard discussion about an affiliated company being accused of something unethical. I’ve watched the news director shoot the idea down.
This is why car accidents and house fires find their way onto the local news so regularly. These are dramatic events that have no potential to offend an advertiser. They are easy stories. It doesn’t matter that a house fire on the other side of town doesn’t have any impact on you. What matters is that the story is dramatic; what matters is that you get GREAT footage of a family crying as they watch their possessions go up in flames.
It’s ok to hurt the feelings of a regular citizen… the worst thing that they can do is stop watching.