Alpine Summit

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Another Bias Example By the Media.

Yet another example of absolute, unequivocal, bias in a new article about the Alito confirmation. The opening paragraph of the article is FILLED with biased remarks!

Samuel Alito was sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court justice on Tuesday after a divided Senate confirmed the second conservative selected by President George W. Bush in his effort to move the high court to the right.

A "divided" senate, the second "conservative," and "Bush's effort to move the high court to the right." If even one person dissents, the Senate is, by definition, "divided." The author makes sure to include that word though. Also, since when has Bush outlined or even stated a plan (i.e. "effort") to move the court to the right? Making these ideological distinctions, and policy assumptions, requires a bias on the part of the author. For example, if this author were a Neo-Nazi (far-right), the story would read "...second moderate," and "...effort to move the high court to the center." By using these terms, the author reveals their own position on the political spectrum... which IS NOT journalism.

Just hours earlier, the sharply divided Senate confirmed Alito, 55, a federal appeals judge since 1990, to the nation's highest court on a largely party line vote of 58-42.

We read this further down. What does "sharply divided" even mean? "Divided," okay; but "sharply divided?" Does that mean it was close and the margin of victory was razor thin? Or does it refer to how the votes went down along party lines? Or is it that he was confirmed so soundly, that it was really discisive? I'm not sure; but given the bias of this reporter, I'm guessing they're trying to say it was close. As a matter of fact, that's confirmed from this paragraph a bit below the "sharply divided" paragraph.

Successful Supreme Court nominees have traditionally received broad bipartisan support, but Alito ended up with one of the lowest votes for confirmation in the past 100 years, and the fewest since conservative Clarence Thomas was confirmed 52-48 in 1991 after accusations he sexually harassed a former aide.

I imagine the purpose is to cast doubt on the viability of Alito as a Supreme Court Justice. "Alito didn't get broad bipartisan support, so he must therefore be some partisan hack or 'yes-man.'"

Anyway, feel free to read the rest, but don't expect objective writing. Shamalama has more on this and makes 3 good points about the opening paragraph and goes further.