Liberal media bias has been a topic of considerable controversy in the years following the 2016 Presidential election.
Liberal media bias can refer to a range of behaviors, practices, and trends in the media that adversely affect how information is presented and shaped. It’s defined as a phenomenon in which liberal (or left-leaning) perspectives and opinions are favored and emphasized over conservative (or right-leaning) views when it comes to news coverage. This can be either intentional or unintentional, but nonetheless it leaves an impression on both public opinion and political discourse.
What Is Liberal Media Bias?
Liberal media bias has become a popular talking point in today’s political climate. It’s often asserted, mainly by conservatives, that the media is biased towards liberal thought and values. In some ways, this sentiment has been around for decades, but with the rise of digital media and the proliferation of new outlets and sources for news, it’s become a much more visible and discussed issue.
When it comes to the definition of liberal media bias, it can be difficult to pin down an exact definition. Generally, it’s understood to mean bias in favor of liberal causes or viewpoints when reporting or discussing news. This can come in the form of stories or headlines being slanted in favor of liberal candidates or causes, or a lack of attention is paid to stories that would hurt liberal candidates or causes. It can also include subtle biases in language and reporting that favor a liberal viewpoint.
Examples of Liberal Media Bias
One of the most notable examples of liberal media bias cam in 2016 when then-candidate Donald Trump was elected to the presidency. During the election, the mainstream media was widely seen to have favored Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in their coverage, instead of equitably reporting on both candidates. Trump supporters accused the media of being too quick to dismiss Trump’s candidacy, and instead focus primarily on Hillary Clinton’s.
Additionally, liberal media bias can also appear in the form of “mainstream” media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, and The New York Times, all of which are seen to lean towards a liberal agenda. Through their content and coverage selections, these outlets present stories in a manner to favor liberal causes. Perhaps one of the most egregious examples of liberal media bias is the 2016 election coverage on CNN. Though the network was quick to run with multiple stories about Trump’s alleged Russian interference, it simultaneously ignored the news about Hillary Clinton’s involvement in scandals such as her email server and the Clinton Foundation.
The Impact of Liberal Media Bias
The impact of liberal media bias is far reaching. It has a major influence on public opinion, as any bias in news coverage can shape the narrative in one or the other direction. It can have an insidious effect on people’s understanding and opinion of political issues and policies, as well as of candidates.
Some conservatives argue that this kind of liberal media bias can have a profound impact on American politics. They point to the liberal messages that come through in news coverage and whether this could be affecting public opinion. This is especially true during elections, when the media’s coverage of the candidates can be prevalent and hugely influential.
Furthermore, the impact of liberal media bias is not only felt at the political level, but at the personal level as well. On a more individual level, it’s been argued that liberal media bias can lead to an echo chamber, where people only read, watch and listen to news that reinforces their own beliefs and values. This can be troubling as it reinforces any biases a person may have and can limit their engagement with opposing perspectives.
Counter Arguments to Liberal Media Bias
Opponents of liberal media bias argue that the phenomenon does not exist, or is exaggerated. These opponents suggest that the internet and the proliferation of new sources for news has made it easier for people to find information and news outlets that align with their preference, which can therefore lead them to mistakenly perceive bias in the media coverage.
Furthermore, some point out that there is a lack of hard evidence to support the assertion that the media is biased in favor of liberal values or causes. A survey conducted by the Gallup organization backs up this point, as it found that Americans tend to perceive bias in news outlets that align with the values they already hold. They are more likely to be critical of outlets that don’t preach to their particular political bias.
Thoughts on Liberal Media Bias
Liberal media bias is a complex subject. It’s hard to deny that biases exist in news media, however the source and form of that bias is open to debate. It’s clear that the proliferation of digital media and news sources has brought to the forefront this issue and that news outlets will continue to be scrutinized as they heavily influence public opinion and voting behavior. It’s also clear is that media outlets must strive to remain unbiased and strive to present all sides of a story in an equitable manner to ensure that no particular party or point of view is favored.