Media Bias

June 4, 2006

Here’s a classic example of media bias. As you likely know, yesterday a story with implications for fighting terrorism around the globe broke out of Canada. Meanwhile, a potentially tragic incident involving the US military in Haditha may have taken place in November and is now under invesitgation. Which is the larger story with the potential for greater impact on the world?

Assuming Google News is a relatively objective indexer of what news is being covered by the MSM – take a look.

Stories on line

Terrorist Ring busted all 858 related »

Haditha all 1,493 related » 

And the terror bust is now below the fold. I guess it isn’t that important after all.

Update: And here’s all 331 related » just on Haditha based upon the NYTimes editorial.

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  1. Screw the Truth, get Bush!

    God… I love reading a good Fisking in the morning. And the one of the NY Times by Don Suber, this morning, is a classic that deserves the widest audience possible. What happened in Haditha is undeniably horribly tragic, whatever

  2. Thanks for sharing! ;-D
    As people consider those numbers something else that should be remembered is this:
    Before the Internet Age the people of the world would have had no clue of the enormity, and complexity, of contrasts in coverage, and opinion, such as this.
    Knowing things linke this, and knowing what others are thinking, and writing, in the timely manner Home Computers allow makes all the difference in having an informed citizenry.

  3. Paul says:

    Actually, it’s worse. Try Google News for “Canadian Terrorist ring,” you get 62 hits. Try “Haditha,” you get >10,000.
    Good thing we get “All the news that fits our print.”

  4. Alternative Search Engines for the Adirondacks

    Suspicious of Google Search results? Heres a great list of alternatives to the teetering behemoth known as Google. Ive had some good results with and – theyre not perfect, but it sure feels good to have an alte…

  5. James says:

    Is that media bias or media consensus? Perhaps I’m the weird one, but when it comes to “big stories” I think civilian massacres are always going to get more play than thwarted criminal conspiracies. Perhaps the bias is yours and yours alone.

  6. More Adventures In Stupidity

    Glenn Reynolds, furthering the agenda of the hard-right yet again, takes pleasure in linking to this bit of detective work by Dan Riehl. According to Reynolds and Riehl, media coverage of possible bad acts by the American military is not …

  7. Dan says:

    Is that media bias or media consensus?
    But that supposes that the media determines what’s important, as opposed to what they should be doing – reporting news of interest to the people. I think it’s a safe bet that, given the timing, people are more interested in the terror bust this minute than Haditha – which is an on going investigation. So, instead of giving people what they want, the media is pushing an agenda. Your concept of “media concensus” only serves to prove the point.

  8. TJM says:

    I don’t know about bias.Haditha has been in the news fairly often starting last Aug.when in the course of the operations in al-Anbar province 6 Marine snipers were killed and on the 5th I believe,14 Marines and their interpreter were killed by an IED. Those Marines,mostly from Cleveland area,received extensive coverage. So your evidence of an agenda may not be what you make it out to be.Then,again,you take what you want out of a google hit list,especially when you’re predisposed to look for “bias”.

  9. James says:

    I’ll grant you that in the “breaking news” cycle, the Toronto plot is the hotter story. But there is one thing the Canada story lacks that Haditha has in spades: Historical resonance.
    To put it another way, this Haditha story has legs. The Toronto terror plot does not. I can’t fault the media for recognizing that.

  10. Moneyrunner says:

    James said:
    I’ll grant you that in the “breaking news” cycle, the Toronto plot is the hotter story. But there is one thing the Canada story lacks that Haditha has in spades: Historical resonance.
    What James means by “historical resonance” is that the MSM has been trying to replay Viet Nam in Iraq. They have been slavering over every similarity. That is why you will find virtually no stories of heroism from Iraq; just futility and death. Elections in Iraq? Report them for a day, denigrate their importance, and go on to pictures of the next IED victim. That’s “historical resonance” when you wipe the lipstick off that pig.

  11. James says:

    I don’t recall mentioning Vietnam, but it’s interesting that you did upon hearing the phrase “historical resonance.” Was I speaking in some kind of code or did I touch a nerve?
    As for the tales of heroism in Iraq, bah…there are COUNTLESS tales of heroism, some even reported by the MSM. Google USMC Sgt. Brad Kasal and read his story. Watch Baghdad ER or Gunner Palace, read Generation Kill. The claim that there are “virtually no stories of heroism from Iraq” is patently absurd.

  12. catnip says:

    What, exactly, is that Google news search supposed to prove?
    1. The word ‘busted’ is a slang term, probably not used widely around the world to describe arrests.
    2. ‘Ring’? Which officials have described this group of people arrested as a ‘ring’? That limits your search results.
    3. The Haditha story has been in the news susbstantially longer. Of course, you’d expect more results.
    4. I Googled ‘Haditha’ a few minutes ago. Here’s what I got: ‘all 172 related’. That would seem to prove your so-called thesis here wrong when the actual problem is what you based it on in the first place.
    I don’t need to go on. You should get the point from that and if you don’t, there’s nothing else I can do to show you how off base this so-called analysis is.

  13. Blaming Bush For Haditha

    So let me get this straight. Bush is to blame because he went into Iraq in the first place? So any criminal acts committed by any troops during a war is the fault of the President from Washington on down because he went to war in the first pla…

  14. david says:

    Catnip prefers to see the trees for the forest. If one who spends ANY time reading news via the blogosphere doesn’t understand MSM bias, then they’ve been drinking the cool-aid. What concerns me most is the ability of the MSM to slowly, inexerabally dictate the agenda. I, for one, will not quit supporting the troops, challenging the insanity of the left, and beleiving confidently in our ultimate success. I guess if Catnip had the three tons of explosives go off in his home town he’d still see it as a “criminal investigation”??

  15. Catnip is a loon and cannot be taken seriously. She either has a mental illness or has fallen victim to a drug addiction (she used to be an addiction counsellor – gee, I wonder what happened?).
    The bias is loud and clear and in our faces. Good article.

  16. rwilymz says:

    1] Haditha has been brewing for quite a while, and so much more would be written about it and available
    2] the Canuckians just entered TWAT and less is available
    “Catnip” may be a whackjob, but I’m not sure what a websearch results comparison is supposed to show

  17. anymouse says:

    how about iran protests?

  18. jamie says:

    Is it possible to have even ONE day without these tiresome, repetitve, silly stories about “media bias?” It is the media’s JOB to be adverdarial to the government. And YES they were just as vigilant about Clinton. You people are stupid to believe otherwise.

  19. rwilymz says:

    “It is the media’s JOB to be adverdarial to the government.”
    Incorrect. But that’s the standard rationalization when the media applies the principle of Rationalized Dichotomy.
    The job of a free press in a free nation is to be ***skeptical*** of the government, not adversarial.
    for the record, “rationalized dichotomy” is the false principle that every statement [position, policy, program, etc] is either right or wrong, good or bad, and so therefore the likelihood is 50-50 either way, no matter what the statement is [or policy, position, program, etc]. So if Bush says “2+2=4” he’s as likely to be wrong as he is to be right. But if someone criticising Bush says “2+2=7.5” he is also as likely to be right as he is to be wrong. Couple that with the standard policy of the media to confuse “adversarial” with “skeptical” and you see the media frequently siding with our enemies and other lunatics “out of principle”.

  20. Steve Harris` says:

    I guess you can blame Bush all you want, but always remember that he got put in power by us, the American people, are we to be considered responsible?