Former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell on media bias

I don’t normally devote a blog post to a single video, but I guess there is no ~political~ issue that bothers me as much as media bias. Because how can you possibly have a functioning republic if the citizens are being kept ignorant of important facts by the press? Hence the following video by Pat Caddell at Accuracy in Media.

To summarize, he says, first, that before about 1980 politicians of both political parties despised the press corps – and that was a good thing. It was because they were actually doing their job as professional investigators and watchdogs of government. Since then, for myriad reasons (not all malevolent) they have gradually abandoned that role, and now spend much of their time working to protect and elect (usually) Democratic officials.

Secondly, and much worse I think, the way their bias is usually expressed is by simply ignoring or refusing to do further investigation into stories that would make their preferred candidates look bad. I hate this because it means that if you’re getting all your news from traditional media sources, they might actually look objective to you. Because you’re literally not going to know, what you don’t know. There are a huge number of examples of this, and Caddell will go through many in his speech.

The good news, I suppose, is that trust in media is now at an all-time low, so people are catching on. And traditional media sources have more competitors than they’ve ever had before.

This, by the way, is why I cannot understand why Romney/Ryan have agreed to four debates moderated by traditional media outlets. In 2012, there are many other possibilities, we don’t need to do what has always been done. Obviously the moderators cannot control the answers, but they can control the questions, which is very much like deciding what stories they’re going to report in the first place. We’ll see what happens tonight.

Less political post later this week, I promise!

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