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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I've liked Spinsanity [spinsanity.org], which while not exactly doing media watchdog stuff, does cover that territory fairly regularly.

    On the topic of bias in the media, I always find those debates rather silly. Conservatives argue that the media has a "liberal" bias, which depending on your definition of liberal may well be true. Yes, it does seem that many people working in the news industry (reporters, editors) are supportive of the Democratic party. Does that make them left of center? Maybe, but only just barely, and only in the context of the incredibly narrow scope of acceptable debate and reporting in this country.

    But once you realize that the scope of possible debate is much larger, the media looks awfully conservative. For example, they give very little coverage to third parties in the US, both those on the "right" (Libertarian) and "left" (Green). If the media was truly left, you'd expect to see the Green party candidate in the debates, wouldn't you?

    What's really interesting is all the things the media doesn't say, the things that are not considered news. A good book on this is Manufacturing Consent by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky. When it comes to deciding what is or isn't news, the media is rather conservative.

    I think mary.poppins summarized this pretty well in the other thread. The media doesn't "rock the boat". The boat may lean a little to port, but that's all.
    • From a European point of view, both factions of the Republocrat party are rightist, with the Republican faction being far right, the Democrat faction being approximately equivalent to - say - the British Conservative party as it was in its waning years under John Major.

      But what I really object to in all these stupid arguments is the misuse of the word "liberal". If you mean "socialist", then bloody well say "socialist". But don't say "liberal". Winston Churchill, right wing old bastard that he was, was