To the left, to the left; everything you know in a box to the left… Bias in the media?

You may also like...

7 Responses

  1. nathanjurgenson says:

    1-msnbc used the video to make the point that those bringing the weapons have been predominantly white, and the race of the specific individual on screen matters little. it means more to journalistic ethics than the epistemic concerns you raise here. msnbc did not even attempt to verify the overall racial makeup of gun-toters, and thus cannot really be accused of doctoring evidence.

    2-interesting that you used a graph from a conservative think tank to illustrate why the media is liberal. doesnt your post predict this bias? i’d imagine liberals have reasons to predict the opposite….

  2. enteringthewhirlpool says:

    1- In all other versions of the video I have seen the race of the chap with the gun is obvious. It certainly looks as if MSNBC has specifically edited it for the purpose of hiding this fact.
    [In the interests of being ‘fair and balanced’ 🙂 I had another example of media bias which was Fox’s use of inaccurately dated healthcare stats relating to the NHS in the UK. However, I fact-checked this one and it turned out that they did give accurate dates on the information after all. I didn’t have time to look for a second example.]

    2a – I would never suggest that the US media is liberal (as this would confuse any readers in the UK or continental Europe).

    2b – Murray’s graph, which I think is from a forthcoming book of his, shows that what he classifies as “intellectual upper” – people with grad degrees and high incomes have become more left-wing (liberal in the US sense) as other groups have become more conservative. As large numbers of people in media will be drawn from this group you might therefore anticipate that the media will have a leftwards bias compared to the overall population.

    nb. The graph in question refers only to non-Latino whites ages 30–49 and thus is highly imperfect for the use I make of it. However, I recall reading other sources that suggest that people with more formal education in the US tend to be more left-wing in their opinions.

  3. enteringthewhirlpool says:


    This seems to be an interesting piece of data crunching. It isn’t liberal-conservative, but rather Democrat-Republican & it shows a movement over the last three decades of intelligent people away from the Republicans and towards the Democrats:

  4. nathanjurgenson says:

    yes, true, you are in good standing regarding those assertions. there is a whole literature in history, psychology and sociology (and probably more, but these i know a bit more) regarding intellectualism/openness to ideas and experience/etc being correlated with being on the left. i should admit, my master’s thesis was on anti-intellectualism and political orientation. haha ~nathan

  5. enteringthewhirlpool says:

    Sounds like a fun thesis topic. Anecdotally I’d say that most of the smart people I’ve met have been left wing. I’d also say that most of the very smart people I’ve met have been right wing (conservative or libertarian). As an epicurean I certainly find the arguments on the right more satisfying (I suspect that numerical dominance in the academy has not done the left any favours).

  6. kiyallsmith says:

    It seems important to me that this is a discussion of viewer’s opinions about media bias. That is not–in itself–evidence of actual media bias. What assumptions does this focus on opinions imply about media accuracy, which might be another side of the coin?


  7. nathanjurgenson says:

    enteringthewhirlpool : though, i’d like to distinguish between “smart” and intellectual. computers are very smart. hofstadter, in his book on anti-intellectualism in american life, distinguished this as intelligence (“smart”) versus intellectualism. ~nathan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *