web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The Inevitability Of Media Bias


So powerful are the media that they have been referred to as the fourth branch of government. Indeed, they can make or break reputations.

Example: when former vice president Dan Quayle misspelled “potato” by adding an “e,” the press magnified and harped on the incident so much that it cemented the perception that Quayle was a lightweight – a perception the media had already done so much to foster.

By contrast, when Barack Obama stated earlier this year that he had visited 57 states, the media glossed over the gaffe, sparing Obama the Quayle treatment.

Double standard, anyone?

At times the media’s power goes to their collective head. When Sarah Palin was picked by John McCain as his vice-presidential running mate, several of the most prominent commentators in the Washington-New York media elite pouted and were superciliously dismissive toward Palin. How dare McCain pick someone who had never been on “Meet the Press”?

One famous female commentator was so upset that she called the choice of Palin “insulting to women.” The onslaught of nasty comments about Sarah Palin had  just begun.

One of the most flagrant abuses of media power was their coverage of the Vietnam War. The media convinced many Americans (including me) that the United States was defeated militarily. Only after the war did I learn that the famous North Vietnamese Tet offensive of 1968 was a major defeat for the North — yet U.S. journalists made it seem like a U.S. loss.

Years later, North Vietnamese General Giap explained in his memoirs how his side’s eventual victory was won in the American media, not on the battlefield.

There is a danger today of the U.S. media committing a similar atrocity. After years of barraging the American public with depressing stories of every American life lost in Iraq, with criticism of our military strategy, and with the monotonous insistence that we couldn’t prevail, victory is now within sight.

On Sept. 1, our troops formally transferred security control of Anbar province to the democratic government of Iraq. This is huge. Anbar was the center of the Sunni insurgency and the base of al Qaeda in Iraq.

As recently as a year ago, gloomy prognosticators claimed that it could never be pacified. Now that it has been, have you seen it reported on the news?

Granted, it was a busy week for news, due to Hurricane Gustav and the Republican convention, but isn’t good news in a long and painful war newsworthy? Why did the media never hesitate to publicize our setbacks, yet now are reluctant to publicize American success?

I’d like to ask reporters and editors: Aren’t you glad we’re winning? Or are you afraid that by reporting our success you would have to give credit to John McCain, who was instrumental in convincing President Bush to install new military leadership with a better strategy, while his opponent took the defeatist and mistaken position that the U.S. could not prevail?

Another example of Big Media misshaping public opinion is their long-time role in bashing Big Oil. I can still remember the oil crunch of 1979-80, when the network anchors reported a major oil company’s quarterly profits as having risen 100 percent.

That sounds like a large number to the mathematically unsophisticated, but in reality it often meant that profit margins had risen (temporarily) from 5 percent to 10 percent. Interestingly, at the very same time the networks’ own profits had increased by a larger percentage — a fact they didn’t bother to include on their nightly news shows.

Seeing journalists up close can be disillusioning. Once, while visiting Washington, I was given press credentials by a newspaper I had written for to attend a press conference with leaders of the Nicaraguan Contras. Sitting among the Washington press corps before the Contras arrived, I felt like I was witnessing a gang plot, an ambush.

The pre-conference chatter was dominated by reporters enamored of Sandinista ruler Daniel Ortega, the young Marxist with the cool mustache and designer eyeglasses. They were planning how they would trash the U.S.-backed Contras and bash President Reagan for supporting the Contras’ efforts to liberate their country from the Marxist Sandinistas.

The reporters had an agenda, and objectivity and truth-telling were not part of it.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Inevitability Of Media Bias”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

More Articles from Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson

Politics in America is a contact sport. Passions flare and the rhetoric can get heated and nasty. Political parties stoke these fires, playing on people’s fears as a key fund-raising tactic.

So powerful are the media that they have been referred to as the fourth branch of government. Indeed, they can make or break reputations.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-inevitability-of-media-bias/2008/09/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: