Chip Somodevilla / Staff

Scoot: Bias gone wild on MSNBC

May 01, 2019 - 5:25 am

When MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski declared that she was “done” with the controversy over complaints that former VP Joe Biden was too touchy feely with some women through the course of his political career, she proved something we all know – “Morning Joe” on MSNBC is blatantly biased.  But so is “Fox & Friends” on The Fox News Channel.

By saying she was no longer interested in talking about and giving any credibility to the allegations that Biden was inappropriate with women, Mika Brzezinski stepped out of the journalist spotlight and onto the stage of political talk show hosts who openly flaunt their personal views for the purpose of entertaining their audience.

Americans who condemn the media for not being objective fail to consider the innate human tendencies that make it nearly impossible for any human to be truthfully objective.  This is a topic that is often discussed on my radio talk show and should attract more discussion on a national level.  Two people can take the same set of facts and attempt to present those facts objectively, but facts are reported by humans with a bias driven by their life experiences and their personal ideology.

Legendary CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite is often mentioned as the standard bearer of delivering objective news.  But after Cronkite had gone to Vietnam during the war it was obvious that his view of the war was no longer objective.  Cronkite’s deliver – his speech and his body language – signaled that he opposed the war in Vietnam.

Subtle hints of bias are everywhere.  The decision to use a certain picture of President Trump with a particular facial expression reveals bias.

The public loves to blame the media and President Trump has found a path of least resistance when it comes to his declaration that the “news media is the enemy of the people.”  Surveys show that the general public’s opinion of the news media is as low, or in some cases, even lower than its opinion of Congress.  And that’s low!

Rather than respond to the human tendency to blame something or someone else for our shortcomings, the American public should look in the mirror and realize that some degree of bias is human, and it is far easier to recognize that reality and accept bias as part of delivering and discussing the news than it is to force humans to do something that is humanly impossible.  The degree of bias fluctuates from person to person, but bias is part of the human equation.

Mika Brzezinski’s bold declaration that she is “done” with the allegations that Biden was inappropriate with women clearly establishes that bias can be overtly expressed through the perception of a news anchor.

As consumers of mass media, it is the responsibility of the audience to distinguish the difference between informing and entertaining.

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