The Patriot Post® · Bias Blindness Afflicts the Media
If one blatantly dismisses all accusation of bias as patently false when data would suggest otherwise, one will find little sympathy to accept one’s accusation of another as guilty of the same sin. Or to put it in more common parlance, it’s the pot calling the kettle black.
Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, in the run-up to the presidential election, ran an experiment to determine just how biased toward leftist politics were the nation’s leading social media giants. As Frank Foer, a writer for The Atlantic, describes, “The social media companies are the gatekeepers. Whatever choices these companies make to elevate or bury information is very powerful and will have a big impact on what people read.” Epstein found that Google searches returned twice as many pro-Hillary Clinton news articles as did Yahoo. Even more disturbing was Google’s targeting tactic. Men in blue states saw more than double the pro-Clinton articles than did women in red states. Epstein charges that Google’s search algorithm ranked pro-Hillary articles ahead of any positive articles on Donald Trump.
Another study conducted by Nicholas Diakopoulos, a professor at Northwestern University, found that in December 2015 Google search results of presidential candidates showed seven out of every 10 articles were positive toward Democrats, whereas less than six out of 10 were positive for Republican candidates. We’re surprised it was that high. On election night, only 1% of 113 featured Google election-related searches produced articles from conservative news sources.
Meanwhile, in spite of the mainstream media’s overwhelmingly negative coverage of Donald Trump, he won the election, which prompted the MSM to immediately lob charges of a dubious Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy as well as the “major” problem of “fake news.” Facebook later announced that it would be looking to develop programs to limit fake news, especially from the Russians. But conservative media outlets began to see more of their content limited on leading social media sites, such as Prager University witnessing much of its content on Google-owned YouTube being labeled as restricted for no apparent reason other than the fact that it promotes conservative ideology.
So, is it really the Russians that the MSM and the social media giants are seeking to stop? If it is, they don’t seem to be doing a very good job. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Russian state-run news network RT is thriving on YouTube and Facebook. RT’s English language YouTube channel has garnered more than 2.1 billion views and has 2.2 million subscribers, putting it on par with CNN’s YouTube channel. Add another 3.3 billion views from 20 other RT-related YouTube channels and one can clearly see that the Russians are having little trouble getting their message into American media.
The Journal reports, “Unlike other government-funded news outlets, such as the U.K.‘s BBC or the U.S.’s Radio Free Europe, researchers say RT is more overtly political, with a goal of undermining Western institutions and democracies. … Researchers and former RT employees say the outlet highlights conflict in the West, questions prevailing narratives in Western media and promotes conspiracy theories.”
Humorously, CNN has just launched an ad campaign entitled “Facts First” designed to sell its brand as genuinely real news from a trusted source as opposed to fake news. The ad features an apple with a voice over telling viewers not to believe those who would say it is a banana. CNN, dost thou protest too much?