The Conversation

Media Bias: Media Bias of all kinds.

CNN goes crazy with unverified Ferguson gunshot audio

Aug 27, 2014 7:34 AM PT

Media bias doesn't consist entirely, or even primarily, of outright falsehoods.  It's expressed through the stories our media herd chooses not to tell, because they don't fit easily into preferred narratives... and which stories they lavish saturation coverage upon, because they do.

CNN, which has been comically prone to chasing its own tail by over-reporting its obsessions (the Missing Malaysian Airliner, for example) has been going bonkers over an unverified audio recording which purports to have inadvertently captured ten gunshots fired by Officer Darren Wilson at Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.  Supposedly this recording was made by a man conducting an audio chat session with his girlfriend - a conversation that proceeded without pause while gunshots echoed in the background.

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Get ready for your taxpayer-funded Twitter 'truth database'

Aug 25, 2014 2:19 PM PT

Fortunately all of America's problems appear to be solved, and the government is swimming in cash, because a million federal dollars have been poured into what the Washington Free Beacon describes as "an online database that will track 'misinformation' and hate speech on Twitter."

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

The university has received $919,917 so far for the project.

“The project stands to benefit both the research community and the public significantly,” the grant states. “Our data will be made available via [application programming interfaces] APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features.”

“The open-source platform we develop will be made publicly available and will be extensible to ever more research areas as a greater preponderance of human activities are replicated online,” it continues. “Additionally, we will create a web service open to the public for monitoring trends, bursts, and suspicious memes.”

“This service could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate,” the grant said.

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New York Times Ignores Immigration Issue in Mid-Terms

Aug 25, 2014 1:18 PM PT
The New York Times would like you to believe that immigration is not the significant issue it now clearly is in the mid-term elections and instead wants to focus on an issue that is marginally divisive for Republicans - the Import/Export Bank.

In an election cycle where no single issue is animating voters, the relatively obscure lender, which provides loans and loan guarantees to foreign buyers of American products, has become an unlikely source of prominent campaign friction.

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Harry Reid and the Source of Democrats' Gaffe Immunity

Aug 22, 2014 10:29 AM PT

Sen. Harry Reid made some jokes about Asians in front of an Asian audience on Thursday. The Washington Post covered the incident and suggested Reid made so many gaffes he had built up a "gaffe immunity."

"I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are," Reid said. The audience seemed to respond with laughter. Later when someone was being brought on stage Reid quipped, "One problem I've had today is keeping my Wongs straight."

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Time Magazine's Totally Juvenile Attack on Chris Christie

Aug 20, 2014 12:01 PM PT

Yesterday a woman used the Q&A portion of one of Gov. Christie's town hall events to question his use of Bruce Springsteen's music prior to the event. Time magazine turned that into a story titled "Watch Chris Christie Get Totally Defensive About Being Friends With Bruce Springsteen." Totally, dude.

"I thought I heard that Bruce asked that none of his music was played at your events because he didn't believe in your politics," a woman identified as Sandy Booket suggested. In Time's re-telling, Sandy Booket is a "reporter." Maybe that's the case though she doesn't seem to have written anything available anywhere on the internet. The Asbury Park Press didn't identify Booket as a reporter. She identified herself as Springsteen's "neighbor." When not hectoring Christie, Booket held a sign that read "Indict" with a silhouetted image of handcuffs.

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The Paper of Record helps frantic Democrats distance themselves from Obama

Aug 19, 2014 9:33 AM PT

After relating a highly amusing incident in which a crestfallen Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was brusquely told by President Obama to deal with Republican leader Mitch McConnell on his own (just try to imagine the expression on the Crypt Keeper's face - you'll bust a gut laughing) the New York Times runs the latest Democrat National Committee talking points as if they were a "news" story:

To Democrats in Congress who have worked with Mr. Obama, the indifference conveyed to Mr. Reid, one of the president’s most indispensable supporters, was frustratingly familiar. In one sense, Mr. Obama’s response was a reminder of what made him such an appealing figure in the first place: his almost innate aversion to the partisan squabbles that have left Americans so jaded and disgruntled with their political system. But nearly six years into his term, with his popularity at the lowest of his presidency, Mr. Obama appears remarkably distant from his own party on Capitol Hill, with his long neglect of would-be allies catching up to him.

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Vox Twists Pope's Statement on ISIS and Announces 10th Crusade

Aug 18, 2014 3:07 PM PT

Vox is suggesting Pope Francis' measured statement about ISIS is the equivalent of a new Crusade. They do so without bothering to quote or even link what the Pope actually said.

Pope Francis was asked his opinion of the U.S. airstrikes taking place in northern Iraq against ISIS. The AP reported the exchange as follows:

On Iraq, Francis was asked if he approved of the unilateral U.S. airstrikes on militants of the Islamic State who have captured swaths of northern and western Iraq and northeastern Syria and have forced minority Christians and others to either convert to Islam or flee their homes.

"In these cases, where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor," Francis said. "I underscore the verb 'stop.' I'm not saying 'bomb' or 'make war,' just 'stop.' And the means that can be used to stop them must be evaluated."

But, he said, in history, such "excuses" to stop an unjust aggression have been used by world powers to justify a "war of conquest" in which an entire people have been taken over.

"One nation alone cannot judge how you stop this, how you stop an unjust aggressor," he said, apparently referring to the United States. "After World War II, the idea of the United Nations came about: It's there that you must discuss 'Is there an unjust aggression? It seems so. How should we stop it?' Just this. Nothing more."

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Confirmed: David Gregory Out at 'Meet the Press' and NBC

Aug 14, 2014 1:12 PM PT

After months of denials from NBC News, David Gregory confirmed Thursday via his Twitter feed that he is not only leaving as moderator of "Meet the Press" but NBC, as well. There are rumors Gregory could be moving to a primetime spot at CNN. 

Chuck Todd will replace Gregory as "Meet the Press" moderator as early as this coming Sunday:

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War on Women: Media Target Women in Criticism of Israel

Aug 5, 2014 7:43 AM PT

When the western media’s internal left-wing critics wish to prod their profession to be even more hostile to Israel than it already is, they often use negative images of Israeli women to bait their colleagues. 

Glenn Greenwald, for example, told the Huffington Post this morning that the media are racist against Hamas,: “It takes probably 50 Palestinians being killed to get anywhere near the attention of, say, an elderly Israeli woman being frightened in her home and having some kind of a medical problem because of the trauma.” Greenwald offered no proof of his claim.

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