DROP THE BIAS.
The New York Times public editor Liz Spayd’s op-ed contains a lot of harsh truths and realities for those who write for one of the world’s most famous newspapers: drop the bias. Her office has received “five times the normal level” of complaints “and the pace has only just recently tapered off.”
Spayd does not flat out say that, but she portrays it in her eloquent article:
But I hope any chest thumping about the impressive subscriber bump won’t obscure a hard-eyed look at coverage. Because from my conversations with readers, and from the emails that have come into my office, I can tell you there is a searing level of dissatisfaction out there with many aspects of the coverage.
Spayd has spent a lot of time on the phone with subscribers around the country, hearing their complaints of the obvious bias towards Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders and President-elect Donald Trump.
Cindy Capwell wrote to Spayd that The Times coverage tainted Trump supporters as racists, sexists, and homophobes by concentrating “on Trump’s most extreme supporters.”
It really is no wonder why polls had Hillary winning. The Times and other media outlets that should remain non-biased often portrayed all Trump supporters this way so many of them never spoke up about their support of Trump.
The best part? Liberals have complained to Spayd about the coverage:
Few could deny that if Trump’s more moderate supporters are feeling bruised right now, the blame lies partly with their candidate and his penchant for inflammatory rhetoric. But the media is at fault too, for turning his remarks into a grim caricature that it applied to those who backed him. What struck me is how many liberal voters I spoke with felt so, too. They were Clinton backers, but, they want a news source that fairly covers people across the spectrum.
WHAT struck me most as I spoke with readers is how much, to a person, they had something to say that was smart and reasonable. They weren’t randomly selected — I chose them from an inbox of complaints — but they had reactions that were well worth hearing. I found myself wishing someone from the newsroom was on the line with me, especially to hear how many of the more liberal voters wanted more balanced coverage. Not an echo chamber of liberal intellectualism, but an honest reflection of reality.
Reader Judy Barlas, a Sanders supporter, told Spayd that she noticed during the primary The Times would push for Hillary. The coverage would take a Sanders victory and managed to twist “it in terms of what it meant for Clinton.”
Look at The Times the day after.
Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin and Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough ripped apart The Times:
MARK HALPERIN: Look at the headline of this story. [Featured Image] Look at the headline of this story. This is the day after a surprising underdog sweeping victory and their headline is not “disaffected Americans have a champion going to the White House” or “the country votes for fundamental change.” The headline is about how disappointed the friends of the people who run the New York Times are about what’s happened. It’s amazing. It’s amazing to me that this is the headline of the New York Times.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Look at this. Look at this. This is staggering. It really is, Mark. I’m glad you brought this up.
HALPERIN: It’s The Onion.
JOE: This shows that the editors of the New York Times–I have the greatest respect for. They don’t get it.
But will other outlets follow Spayd’s footsteps? Like I said, other outlets have committed the same crimes and they are still doing it.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.
This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’d be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.
The Los Angeles Times took advantage of the rage against fake news sites by slipping in REAL AND RELIABLE conservative news sites in its list of fake sites. The paper included Independent Journal Review, RedState, and Breitbart.
7 in 10 (69%) voters do not believe the news media are honest and truthful.
8 in 10 (78%) of voters believe the news coverage of the presidential campaign was biased, with nearly a 3-to-1 majority believing the media were for Clinton (59%) vs. for Trump (21%).
Even 1/3 (32%) of Clinton voters believe the media were “pro-Clinton.”
8% of Trump voters said they would have voted for Clinton if they had believed what the media were saying about Trump.
97% of voters said they did not let the media’s bias influence their vote.
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