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S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.


Friday, October 12, 2007

On the bias

An Internet friend warned me about Politico.com. But I dismissed his warning until I found this at Media Matters for America (9/21/07). To quote the headline and summary:
"Politico uncritically quoted Boehner spokesman's false accusation that DCCC is using 'small price' quote for fundraising"Summary: In an article reporting on a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee email to supporters criticizing House Minority Leader John Boehner for saying the Iraq war's cost in dollars and lives was a "small price," the Politico uncritically quoted Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith falsely accusing the DCCC of using Boehner's comments to raise money. In fact, the DCCC email did not ask for contributions.
My journalistic dilemma - Don't get me wrong. I subscribe to Politico's e-mail notifications, their "digest" and "breaking news" offerings. And I almost always scan them, and sometimes blog from them. So what do I do, now that a bias was spotlighted by Media Matters? I will keep my free subscription to Politico.com's e-mails. But I will look more carefully for bias. And I will try harder to minimize the bias of my own offerings.
Hanging correctly - One of the skills my mom taught me was how to sew. We knew that any skirt cut from material "on the bias" (cut diagonally) needed a bit more care so that it would hang straight. Political journalism needs to take more care sometimes to "hang straight." The Media Matters website is an excellent mirror that points out bias.
A visual moment of irony appears when you visit the link. You will have a little chuckle as you notice that the above headline is combined visually with Politico's paid ad, topping the right column of the Media Matters website. I do not suppose the Politico folks chuckled because there is no such ad on today's MM homepage.
My links to previous posts on similar subjects:
  1. Analysis - positive or negative?
  2. Acting in good faith: thoughts on advocacy
  3. Visiting the sausage factory

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(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today at Making Good Mondays is about Fridays.

3 comments:

betmo said...

you just have to take everything with a grain of salt. you can't believe everything without a wee bit of skepticism.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

I'm of the school that everybody makes a mistake now and then. But when that "mistake" becomes the routine, I'm also of the school "fry them to a crisp!"

Carol Gee said...

I know I am rather "wide-eyed" at times. I was raised in the country where we didn't lock our doors. The world of spooks and spies and intrigue is a very new one to me.

Thanks to both for your wise comments.