Analyzing media bias and the “neutral story line” myth

Ace of Spades–one of the most venerable bloggers on the right–has done a masterful analysis of how media presents a completely biased picture using what is defined as a “neutral story line.”

Logically, there are maxims that can seem in total opposition to one another, yet both be correct.  In Ace’s analysis, the “neutral story line” is neutral in the pure sense–that is, arriving at and presenting the data is done in a “neutral” way.  However, neutrality does not equate to consistency–and here is where the press fools itself.  I can say that “I don’t publish personal information about criminals that’s not essential to the story,” which would indicate a neutral position on published information.  But there exists another “rule” that states that personal information is required to give the reader a sense of who the suspect really is, and this rule could be considered “neutral.”  But while both may be “neutral,” the press picks and chooses which one to apply in specific instances.  For those suspected of a crime who might be from the left side of the political spectrum, the press applies the “Don’t publish personal information that’s not essential to the story (although I’ve seen one recent exception to this–Amy Bishop.  I assume that her mother’s statement that she was “obsessed with Obama” was considered relevant to that particular reporter.  But it was the exception–not the rule).  On the other hand, if the suspect seems to be from the right side of the political spectrum, the “Give the readership a feeling for who the suspect is” rule is applied almost without fail.  Everything from television viewing habits to reading lists are published with great zeal.  So while the press salves itself with this false sense of neutrality, it is pure fiction because the press begins its analysis of news stories from the position that the right is filled with hateful, emotional basket cases who are liable to go off at the drop of a hat after a Glenn Beck Show, while leftists who are suspected of crimes should be given the benefit of the doubt until convicted because there must be some rational reason behind their transgression.

It is an excellent article.  Read it in its entirety:

Ace of Spades HQ

And this is how media bias works 75% of the time. Most of the time, the media is selecting between several possible “rules,” many of which are arguably correct, but which are contradicted by nearly opposite rules, which are also arguably correct. The media never decides which rule is correct in the most cases; instead, they choose whichever “rule” benefits the Democrats this cycle.

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