Trump, the media and liberalism: bias in the news

Daniel Pollock, Managing Editor

President Donald J. Trump is right. When he uses adjectives such as ‘“failing” and “biased” for the mainstream media, he’s right. When he, in one of his myriad tweets, described the media election polls as “fake news,” he was, in a way, right. Trump, through his constant battle with the media, has revealed a deep truth: the mainstream American news system, thanks to its location primarily in Democrat-voting areas, flaunts a liberal (and, thus, anti-Trump) bias.

Politico, a left-leaning news organization, even stooped to admit the media are biased, leaving the blame on what they call the “media bubble.”

“The ‘media bubble’ trope might feel overused by critics of journalism who want to sneer at reporters who live in Brooklyn or California and don’t get the ‘real America’ of southern Ohio or rural Kansas,” the article states. “But (Politico’s findings) suggest it’s no exaggeration: not only is the bubble real, but it’s more extreme than you might realize. And it’s driven by deep industry trends.”
The article says that the fault lies on the geographical and political location of the media giants. According to Politico’s research, most of the major news organizations are on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and are also situated in metropolises, such as Los Angeles and New York City. But, what does location have to do with political affiliation? Politico answers this by saying: “The people who report, edit, produce and publish news can’t help being affected—deeply affected—by the environment around them.”

The New York Times and Los Angeles Times both reflect and represent the political opinions of their local readers, just as a paper such as the Burleson Star reflects and represents the political opinions of its local readers in Burleson, Texas.

Many Americans forget that The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, in essence, are local newspapers, written for a specific, local audience by members of that local—and, in this case, equally liberal—audience. Americans seem to forget that these publications aren’t produced for the entire nation.

The Politico article also explained how the media failed to forecast Trump’s election night victory. They also blamed this on the media bubble.

News agencies were polling metropolitan business people wearing Tom Ford, not Midwestern farmers wearing “Make America Great Again.” So, Trump was, in his own way, correct when he called those polls “fake news.”

If Twitter-users chose to exercise their scrolling-thumb on the President’s feed, they would find the quote, “The FAKE NEWS media…is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”
This is a little too far, the media most-likely doesn’t have villainous intentions as this tweet may imply, but Trump has a point. The media shows only one side of a two-sided story. (As a side note, it must be remembered that bias doesn’t only come from liberal publications; left and right are equally guilty.)

This ignorance in articles is damaging to the minds of American voters.

Now it must be asked: is there any solution to the bias? In a way, there’s no solution, for reporters are people and people have opinions. Bias, thus, is inevitable. But if news consumers truly care to know the whole truth, they should turn to more than one publication to find the whole truth.

News readers should fact check articles, even those from reputable sources, before believing all that is written. Liberals shouldn’t be afraid to turn to conservative publications, and conservatives shouldn’t be afraid to turn to liberal.

Reading and consuming media shouldn’t be a simple, quick process. It should take much time and thought, and include re-reading the same story from different sources and, thus, viewpoints.
Bias, though inevitable, has dangerous side effects. America, with its (mostly) liberal media and (mostly) liberal education system (a topic which deserves its own article) could be on a path towards group think. This will only be stopped through careful and critical thinking from every individual. Readers must be diligent to seek the other half of every story. Fake news (an already worn-out phrase) is everywhere, even in reputable journalism.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

Daniel Pollock

Daniel Pollock

Online Reporter at The Puyallup Post
I like writing. I’ve scribbled several short stories, a partial novel and one and a half screenplays. I started writing for fun when I was nine; I was frustrated with the silly mystery books aimed at my age group, so I wrote my own. The story was poorly worded and cliche’ with a rushed ending, but it was my first piece and I’ll never forget the thrill I felt after writing the final sentence. My writing was born from reading. At age 11 I read Dickens and at 13, Fitzgerald and Lee. When I’m not typing words onto a screen, or turning the tan pages of a novel, I cook. Before I was tall enough to ride a roller coaster, I cooked. Everyone I knew thought I would go on to culinary school. But for me cooking is a pastime, not a paycheck. Another hobby of mine is music. I play the piano, and (though, I’ve never actually played one) dream about owning an organ. This is my first job on a newspaper; I doubt it will be the last.
Daniel Pollock

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Daniel Pollock

I like writing. I’ve scribbled several short stories, a partial novel and one and a half screenplays. I started writing for fun when I was nine; I was frustrated with the silly mystery books aimed at my age group, so I wrote my own. The story was poorly worded and cliche’ with a rushed ending, but it was my first piece and I’ll never forget the thrill I felt after writing the final sentence. My writing was born from reading. At age 11 I read Dickens and at 13, Fitzgerald and Lee. When I’m not typing words onto a screen, or turning the tan pages of a novel, I cook. Before I was tall enough to ride a roller coaster, I cooked. Everyone I knew thought I would go on to culinary school. But for me cooking is a pastime, not a paycheck. Another hobby of mine is music. I play the piano, and (though, I’ve never actually played one) dream about owning an organ. This is my first job on a newspaper; I doubt it will be the last.

Trump, the media and liberalism: bias in the news

by Daniel Pollock time to read: 3 min
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