These two men have either had the greatest political impact on Americans in the last decade or they are ruining what is supposed to be the political news structure in this country. Jon Stewart entered our homes in 1999 with the Daily Show and Stephen Colbert in 1997 on the Daily Show, but with his own show in 2005. There satirical news shows have garnered extreme amounts of attention and viewers. Their shows have become so popular because honestly, they are weaving through the bullshit and giving you their funny opinions on the political news of the day.
In the link above Colbert gives his comments on Wikipedia. He talks about the news of the day and puts his spin on it. Same for Stewart. Now does this count as political news? Some will tell you yes and others will tell you no. It is indeed political news because that is always the topic of discussion. Yes they are comedians and yes they make jokes, but who said political news had to be serious? Who said political news had to be stiff old white guys in front of cameras either stating their opinion or reading from a prompter without any opinion? Who said that political news has to be traditional? If this formula works then why don’t MORE people fucking CAPITALIZE on this?
The image above does indeed say America’s anchors, but that should be changed. They should be considered America’s pundits. They are not anchors even though millions of people would love them to be. It just isn’t so. They are pundits who do have a bias. Any interview Jon Stewart does he is battling right wing talking heads. Colbert ran for President last election as… (drum roll please) A DEMOCRAT.
Are they biased of course they are but that does not take away from anything that the do. Many people consider the Glenn Beck, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Bill O’Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh all to be “news” and forget that they are pundits. These men have helped INCREASE political participation in ways that we cannot even imagine. Without their popularity I honestly don’t think voting would be where it is at currently I don’t think many YOUNG viewers and voters would turnout. The voters of tomorrow love these men whether previous generations like it or not. Not everything they do is wonderful, but they have done much more great than they have harm. To be honest if the Conservatives or whoever does not like them or what they do, then man the fuck up and find out how to get them off the air or create a better product and quit whining about it. You are grown ass men and women. Act like it.
I don’t frequent political blogs, as most of them offer pointed, one sided opinions on issues about which I care little. However, there is one vlog that I follow on YouTube that has political leanings, though it isn’t strictly about politics. That vlog is Penn Point.
The vlog is self produced by illusionist and self-proclaimed libertarian Penn Jillette. I follow this vlog for three primary reasons. First, Jillette is funny, and since journalists have taken to covering the news poorly and primarily with emotion (as we discussed in the previous blog), if I’m going to be gathering information from an industry that is widely regarded as a joke in the first place, it might as well be from a guy who gets paid to be funny.
Second, Jillette often states that he is clueless about the nuances of the political topics he covers and that he is speaking from a biased viewpoint, that being a libertarian viewpoint. He urges viewers to look up more information from sources who are more aptly equipped to explain politics, which is, ironically journalists most of the time. I appreciate a man who can admit he doesn’t know it all and urges people to research on their own.
Finally, because I enjoy Jillette’s Showtime smash Bullshit! I find that having him explain things of a political nature automatically sparks skepticism in me concerning what his opinions are and, if I believe what he is saying is off the wall or too libertarian, I will go off and research an issue myself from a different viewpoint. So, Penn Point makes me more active in a subject I have little interest in in the first place, which I think is good.
In addition to this, Jillette offers a libertarian viewpoint on some issues. Though I do not identify as a libertarian, some of his points are interesting and resonate with me and serve as an alternative to the typical “left vs. right” viewpoint on nearly everything. Jillette’s vlog also makes me question some of my own beliefs that don’t allign with this libertarian viewpoint, which is something I welcome and enjoy. Jillette also takes shots at both right wing conservatives and left wing “hippies,” the latter of which is a joy to watch for me. Because most of the political blogs I StumbleUpon are typically written with a self-righteous, left wing slant and most right wing blogs are written by ultra-conservative religious people, having a different viewpoint on politics is refreshing, but most importantly, funny. Jillette’s vlog tends to challenge the status quo in a way that isn’t so much “down with the man” (as I find most liberal leaning blogs are) but in a way that questions (albeit bluntly and often obscenely) the more popular opinions on things like health care and gun control, for instance.
Perhaps most importantly, though, is that Jillette doesn’t take himself too seriously on the whole. Most blogs I StumbleUpon write on issues as though they are making some sort of difference in terms of solving the issue when they’re doing little more than pontificating on a pet cause. While there are situations where Jillette does speak seriously (for example, on free speech or the shooting in Arizona [note, this link is a two parter and has profanity]) which, if I’m intrigued, leads me to research further on the issue at hand, most of the time, Jillette is just a funny guy who spouts off on things that bother him in libertarian terms. And since he states that he’s got a libertarian bias and that people should never take his word for granted, I find him to be more honest than most bloggers out there, which leaves a soft spot in my heart for his vlog.
I would not consider myself a blogger. Besides blogging for this class I do not blog on my own nor do I read the blogs of others. It is not because I do not find them interesting rather I prefer to look else where for political information. When perusing through numerous blogs for this assignment I tried to find some that struck me as entertaining or particularly interesting but had a hard time doing so. I then decided to look at the blogs in terms of what would be merited as “good blog” in the world of blogging. This meant that the blogger used links and tagged multiple topics to it… and this is what I found.
While the blog is clearly one sided, I thought this was an interesting one to look into. With the media swaying mostly to the left, I thought it was interesting to see the response of a more Conservative blogger. The mood was almost angry and I thought it was neat how the blogger , Erick Erickson, back to his life in Atlanta. I liked his use of links when he was referring to events that I was not caught up on or that happened ten years back that I needed a refresher on. As previously mentioned the tags added blogger credibility too. The two things that stuck out to me the most was the use of the quote and how it added to the point he was trying to make. The second thing that stuck out to me was his witty and sassy conclusion. I definitely enjoyed hearing the voice of the author.
Are the media biased? How do you know? Well, to answer your first question, yes and as for the second, BECAUSE I SEE IT (don’t always disagree with it – but I do see it). But trust me I’m not the only one.
There are a few motivators I have found that influence bias – money, benefit, and allegiance. The funny thing about these influences is that they are all simultaneously used in an everyday life that we categorize and accept and this category is exactly where the information industry (television, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc.) fits – as a business. Often times the information we view as news does indeed “pay the bills” or provide some advancement to the brand when reaching the public. Much of this stem from a relationship, whether it be political, personal, or professional, between the subject and the source.
To think that the media is not biased would be ludicrous. For the purposes of Political Communication 4473 (#mc4473 for the Twitter audience) such a thought – simply put – would just be ignorant. Mediated communication is the way we get our political news these days. The reason for this lies in the first word of the previous sentence – mediated. There is and will always be something, or someone, in between the information the public receives. More times than none, when this information is received from sources like FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC or whatever your preference for receiving news might be, one, if not all, of the previously mentioned motivators play a significant part.
Bias Media coverage is one of those things that you know is there and sometimes have accepted for so long that one does not know what to do about it. It has even been around so long that there are those who pick out the smallest of details to make an argument that would otherwise go no where
ALL MEDIA HAS SOME BIAS. Not some, but all have some bias. Some presentations of information all have bias as well. In fact, there is some bias in this entry. Unbiased reporting or gathering is currently a fantasy, especially in the political realm. WE live in America – a country where competition is every day life. If all political reporting was unbiased, when election time comes it might actually force the American people to vote for what is right. Imagine that. Until that time…
I hope this does not ruin my reputation in this class, but I would call myself a Conservative. Therefore I would definitely have to say that the media is definitely biased. Everyone would have to agree with me on that topic though, I think, whether you are Democrat or Republican. I personally think that the media is biased more towards the left side of the political spectrum. I feel like it is painfully obvious that media like MSNBC, CNN, and many newspapers are biased. Therefore, when Conservatives like myself are sick of hearing about “how great Obama is”, “where are the Obama girls going to attend school?” or “what kind of dog is the Obama family getting?” we turn to conservative news outlets like Fox news. It really drives me nuts when people make fun of the legitimacy of Fox news, and laugh just when it is mentioned, most likely just because it is a Conservative news channel.
I also, unlike many people, like and respect Sarah Palin. Though I do not want her to run for President, but that is a whole other topic. I really do think the media has made her out to be an idiot. Sure, she has said some dumb things, but who hasn’t? Nobody can be perfect all the time. The media also seems to focus on every little thing her family does, just to say something bad about them. Recently, the media was trying to say her daughter Willow was racist against gay people, and wrote gay slurs on Facebook. She is a teenage girl, using Facebook. Someones status was saying something mean about her sister, Bristol, so Willow called him a “faggot”. Whereas this is definitely not politically correct, what teenage person has never ever used the word faggot? Willow Palin is most certainly NOT the only teenager who has called someone a “faggot”. But yet, the media made the whole situation out to be a way bigger deal than it was, and focused on this issue. Personally, I think that if President Obama’s daughters said something like that, you would never hear about it.But, since it was Sarah Palin’s daughter, she is just a horrible person. There are many reasons that I believe the media is biased, these are just a few of them. Again, I hope this does not ruin my reputation in the class!
Partisanship exists in the media. I consider that a matter of fact. People seek out and take in news they feel comfortable with. They listen to people that they agree with, why wouldn’t they? Most conservatives will say liberals dominate MSNBC and most liberals will say conservatives dominate Fox News.
Neither side admits to such accusations however the connection obviously exists. Partisan ship plays just as much of a role in newspapers as in television.
Is partisanship directing viewership good or bad? I say bad, because partisanship in media sure isn’t good. Unfortunately that’s the way it is and how it’s always been. People are inevitably bias. Their bias affects everything they do, especially their work. Viewers and readers respond to those bias because they share them. A small gray is present in the media where you can find objective journalism. Objectivity in journalism is the main goal. CNN, USA Today, and many international news organizations have neutral characteristics. People that read enough news seek out objective journalism. The rest watch and read what feels right. You can’t fully develop and understand your views unless you see both sides. The more sources you have the better.
People need objectivity in their information to ensure accuracy. Most journalists strive for objectivity in their work but as I said personal bias still exist. It matters because journalism works for the people. Journalists report and pre-digest information in order for people to take it in. Bias and partisanship will play a role in the media as long as people act like humans.