The Subtle Bias
Whenever we talk about "Media Bias," some people think we mean "Air America" or NPR type garbage where they constantly scream at the top of their lungs that Bush is to blame for this and that and Republicans are evil, etc. But the bias is insidious in numerous other ways, many times unrecognizable. And it tries to shape your views and the views of others in indirect ways. Take this statement from a recent Fran Spielman article titled "Mayor Takes Another Shot at Gun-Control":
- But Daley thinks that at the very least, there's a good chance that a statewide ban on assault weapons will pass this spring. Since the federal ban on assault weapons expired in 2004, Chicago Police officers have seized 519 assault weapons.
The entire article is a fluff piece on the mayor's crusade against guns for the past 17 years and how he thinks the tide is turning against the NRA. And a typical civilian will think, "Wow, what a great mayor. He hates guns because guns cause so much pain. And look at all those assault weapons the police have taken off the streets. We're safer because of the mayor. Let's build him a statue." We won't even go into the skipped studies that PROVE gun ownership reduces crime. Did you notice the last sentence?
- Since the federal ban on assault weapons expired in 2004, Chicago Police officers have seized 519 assault weapons.
519 might seem like a lot of guns. In 2004, we took 10,000+ off the streets. In 2003, we took 10,000+ off the streets. In fact, if you get a hold of the numbers, we'll bet we regularly took 10,000+ a year off the streets. How many were "assault weapons?" As the definition of "assault weapon" is so vague as to be meaningless, we'd still bet each year we took 519 at a minimum. See what we mean? Fran has no context to her statement comparing assault weapons to any other type of confiscated weapons. Her bias is the mayor's bias against ALL weapons and no one calls them on it. This is typical slipshod reporting and typical media bias. And almost no one ever catches them at it or recognizes it for what it is. But we do.