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June 13, 2003
Get Your Bias Here!

Okay, how about the newspapers?

The LATimes features "U.S. Counterattack After Iraqi Ambush Kills 27" which makes it appear that Iraqis ambushed U.S. troops and killed 27 U.S. soldiers. That isn't true, so they lose a point.

Catholic infighting on the sex-abuse scandal, the disappearing SARS threat, and the "State Budget Chasm" occupy the rest of the most prominent column on this page. Neutral.

Under a picture of presumably happy worshipers at a Baghdad mosque, we get a smaller headline, "Israel Kills Hamas Militant" with a sentence about a "war of words" that accompanies "escalating violence." You have to click the link to discover that six other people also died, including the man's wife and infant daughter. Minus a point.

I'd say that today's LATimes has just failed an impartiality test, wouldn't you?

Over at the NYTimes, they get head Iraqi ambush headline correct.

Still, story #2 on the page has this headline" Israel Said to Escalate Fight Against Hamas with no mention of the deaths that have already taken place. You have to go to the story and read down to paragraph 15 to find 'news' of deaths that happened yesterday Minus a point.

The third headline, U.S. Will Tighten Rules on Holding Terror Suspects, makes it appear that they're cracking down on suspects, cut they're actually cracking down on law enforcement officials. Minus a point. Maybe two.

If there's an impartiality sweepstakes, the NYTimes just dropped out of the running.

Okey dokey, then. The Washington Post.

They get the Iraqi ambush/counterattack headline right.

They're the only one with a "hunt for WMD" story in the lead, so they get a point for that.

They "humanize" deaths of soldiers in Iraq by offering a story about one soldier. I say that's worth a point. Whether you're 'pro' or 'con' I think it's important to remember the human cost of war.

There's a reference to Israeli leader Sharon seeing, "no contradiction in fighting militants and pursuing peace" (I'm surprised he and Bush don't get along better, you know?) and no reference to deaths yesterday. Hmmm. Well, maybe minus a point for that. Or, is it plus a point for not offering a sensational headline around people dying?

And they give the "full Senate" credit for the Medicare compromise, which is worth a point and an, attaboy.

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm on a "media bias" kick right now. Not liberal versus conservative. "Responsible and accurate" versus "biased and sensationalistic."

More later. (Or, not, if a sudden and uncontrollable work ethic overtakes me.)

Posted by AnneZook at 11:13 AM