The media’s political bias breeds ignorance instead of clarity

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Technological advances have allowed monumental improvements in the way people obtain information. People are able to constantly receive live news updates on the happenings of our world simply by checking Twitter. However, with so much information from so many sources, the integrity and credibility of many journalistic establishments have been muddled.

Many people in our society have a tendency to buy into whatever a news station says, often taking biased speculation or unconfirmed “news” as fact. This journalistic sloppiness goes both ways and has swayed the perceived credibility of opposing political news sources. Many conservatives only trust networks such as Fox News for political information, while many liberals trust everything but these sources. While this room for bias and error in political analysis should force viewers to draw their own conclusions on issues, based on both sides, in reality too many viewers blindly believe whatever network is in line with their political affiliations.

The network Fox News has such a biased reputation that it is often compared to a mountain of bull excrement by liberal talk show host Jon Stewart. This network is notorious among liberals for its complete distortion of facts and for reporting “news” before it has been confirmed. This has happened time and time again.

For instance, while the nation waited for the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare), Fox News rambunctiously reported that the law had been shot down. This, however, was the exact opposite of what had happened. Fox News failed to get the necessary confirmation on the story, but ran it anyway in order to be the first network with the scoop.  However, it wasn’t just Fox that jumped the gun, as CNN promptly reported the same false new, based on Fox’s reporting. This supports the common complaint that news stations value promptness over correctness.

On top of this, networks have a reputation for swaying facts in their party’s favor. Fox News has certainly practiced this bias, as seen with the government shutdown. Here’s some background: the Republican Party made a power play to cut funding for Obamacare, which resulted in a 16-day shutdown of the federal government, suspending the pay of government employees and many federal services. However, Fox News made a point to blame President Obama for the entirety of the incident and to refer to the shutdown as “The Liberal Government Shutdown” for its duration, clearly swaying the facts in favor of the GOP (Republican Party). Simply by saying that the shutdown was the liberals’ fault, Fox News successfully convinced conservatives nationwide that it was, without giving any tangible evidence to support their claim.

On the other hand, CNN, a relatively liberal news network, also displays bias. CNN is consistently accused of omitting important facts from stories and favoring liberal candidates during elections. There have also been instances, such as the firing of Rick Sanchez, in which CNN was accused of firing employees who have displayed anti-liberal sentiment. This shows that the network is dedicated to providing the public with accurate political analysis … as long as that analysis is pro-liberal. These stations are willing to sway their reporting in order to promote their own political agenda, a behavior that is completely unacceptable.

It isn’t realistic to demand perfection from a news network. However, the cause for concern is not that these news networks are occasionally unreliable, but that no one is particularly concerned by their spurts of cumbersome and biased indiscretion. Despite numerous testimonials against their credibility, the reports of Fox News and CNN are still taken as gospel by many in the public, who don’t even consider consulting the other side.

Why do we allow words like “liberal” and “conservative” to divide our society’s media? Why can we not trust any network to report factual information without political bias? People either need to adapt to biased media and draw their own conclusions, or address the problem of media bias and attempt to fix it. It is unacceptable that society believes everything it sees on TV and reads on the Internet.