Friday, November 28, 2014
Media Bias: An Analogy
Bias in political opinion is the philosophical equivalent of the concept of relative velocity in physics. When one is moving with the same velocity as another object then one does not notice the motion of that object. By the same token if one’s opinions are in agreement with an article or media report we tend not to sense the bias as that would call into question our personal asymmetries (and it is of course human nature to see ourselves as intrinsically fair). Hence Liberals don’t see the obvious bias in the MSM as it gels with their worldview. Conservatives, as well as those of the far left, are removed from this frame of reference and can clearly see the bias. The far left will argue that the MSM is right wing (which in their reference frame it is) and conservatives will claim that it is either liberal or leftist depending on the individual stance of the conservative making the call. The problem with the liberal mindset is that its synchronous walk with the MSM autopilot allows it to shelter in default position that can foster ‘lazy thinking’ and a blinkered vision of the world. A specific case in point is the inability to see that the rhetoric offered by networks such as MSNBC and CBS is just as slanted in its degree of bias as those of Fox.