Sunday, April 08, 2012

Media Bias:They can't help themselves

Media bias is a tired, old story. It's only news when it's about Fox News. How dare they have a conservative bent, I know, right, it's unconscionable. They are kind to Mitt Romney, how crazy is that? Let's put aside Fox News for a moment and try to be honest about the rest of the regular mainstream media. It's pretty clear they have so much at stake with President Obama that they can't even see how unbelievably biased every ounce of their reporting is. Remember, I asked you to be honest.

Every single economic report good or bad is wrapped in the cocoon of Obama's re-election chances. These reports are conveyed without any regard to the real stake holders - the unemployed and those actually hurt by these horrendous economic circumstances. But those people are mere statistics, unimportant really, all that really matters is how it will affect the polls. To a certain extent that is what is "news" since we all know that the economy stinks and that millions are out of work and millions more have given up even trying to find a job.

I guess it really got to me listening to NPR the other day when the March employment numbers came out. By every measure is was a terrible report. After seeing 200,000+ jobs created in Jan. and Feb. the experts had been expecting something similar or even better for March. When the numbers came in at 120,000, or half what was expected, the news that the (official) unemployment rate was reduced to 8.2% from 8.3% fell flat. The truth that a million plus people were removed from the labor force was the reason the overall rate went down. On top of that the day before the number of new unemployment claims climbed 6,000 to 380,000. In addition several major employers announced future layoffs and store closings. There was no good news all week.

NPR had adequately reported all these key points and statistics citing the expected new jobs and comparing it to the actual number, even reporting the bittersweet news of the why the unemployment number "inched" down to 8.2%. For a moment I thought 'jeez even NPR is sobered by this bad news'. Alas, I spoke too soon. In her very next breath the reporter said despite the "upbeat" economic news the President told an audience at - blah blah blah - that there was "still a long way to go, we can't stop now"...

What aspect of March's job picture was UPBEAT??? She was not going to lead into a story about Obama without painting a positive picture. It was truly unbelievable. I turned the radio back to some nauseating right-wing rant. At least there I found honesty.


(disclaimer:  yes, I occasionally listen to NPR. Yes, occasionally they present informative content. What I really appreciate is not being assaulted by commercials every five minutes - seriously must commercial radio assault my senses and my intelligence with endless terribly produced commercials?)