The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – Part 3/5

July 11, 2012

A UCLA Political Scientist studied the media and discovered it was biased. “While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper’s news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.” Source: Media Bias is Real Finds UCLA Political Scientist

Then there is Murdock’s News Corp. Its television operations capture more viewers, more desirable demographics… than perhaps any other television group in the world and it is the world’s leading publisher of English-language newspapers, with operations in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the US. The Company publishes more than 175 different newspapers, employing approximately 15,000 people worldwide and printing more than 40 million papers a week.

Fox News, which is part of News Corp, has been accused of having a bias favoring the political right and the Republican Party. Fox News has publicly denied such charges, stating that the reporters in the newsroom provide separate, neutral reporting.

However, it’s well known that Fox News executives exert a degree of editorial control over the content of daily reporting. In the case of Fox News, some control comes from daily memos. For example: In December 2010, Media Matters for America released a leaked October 2009 e-mail between Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon and the network’s senior producers, which seemed to issue directives slanting Fox News’ coverage of President Obama’s health care reform efforts.

While it may be true that most Western media reporters are not pressured to slant the news they write, the reporters do not control the final content that appears in newspapers, or on radio and television. Editors and publishers may edit, add, cut and revise. In addition, the wording of a headline may be written to mislead and most headlines are written by an editor—not a reporter.

In fact, once, when I was a reporter, 90% of one story I wrote was cut to make room for an advertisement that came in at the last moment, which reveals that profit is more important than news.  Unknown to me, the cutting and revising was done by an editor under deadline pressure, and the balance in the piece vanished as facts were cut and/or moved around to fill the remaining space.

Breaking news or the death of someone rich and famous may also shorten other news stories or cause them to vanish so the public may never see them. The media beast is voracious and unpredictable. Its hunger for news runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and it never rests. In this rush to report the news, mistakes happen but there is more to the news than that as you shall discover.

Continued on July 12, 2012 in The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The Politics of Fear – Part 3/5

September 16, 2011

As long as there is no law to insure balance and honesty in the media, Americans are ripe to fear almost anything and China is a tempting target to induce fear and loathing by manipulating public opinion.

Since the history of Sinophobia in the United States starts with the California Gold Rush (1848 – 1855) leading to the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), which formalized this prejudice into a law that would not be removed from the books until 1965 (eighty-three years later) during the Civil Rights era, China is a perfect target since the demonizing was started in the 19th century.

Due to this early demonizing, during the later 19th and early 20th century, many Chinese were relentlessly beaten just because of their race, and in 1884, the Chinese Exclusion Act was amended in Washington D.C., so it would apply to all ethnic Chinese regardless of their country of origin.

As the years went by, other amendments were added to the Chinese Exclusion Act making the law more restrictive for the Chinese.

Political Scientist Corey Robin wrote Fear: the History of a Political Idea in 2004, published by Oxford University Press, which may also help explain why there is so much antagonism toward China in the United States.

On August 17, 2011, KPFA’s Against the Grain, a radio program about politics, society and ideas talked with Robin about how “fear dominates our society. Fear of crime, fear of the poor, fear of foreign terrorists, to which we might add fear of our government and fear of our bosses.”


Watch the Young Turks reveal Glenn Beck‘s lies.

Newsday said, “Robin argues that whereas Hobbes and Arendt appreciated the political dimensions of fear, Montesquieu and Tocqueville relegated the idea to the realm of the psychological—a view of fear that has endured, blinding us to the self-serving ways elites deploy fear for political ends.”

Steven Lukes, Professor of Sociology at New York University, said, “Corey Robin provides an acute and sustained analysis of the very idea of fear, of the role of fear as an instrument of political rule and of its unacknowledged prevalence within our liberal democratic institutions.”

The National Post said, “Brilliant…. What he does in Fear is show us, by carefully plotting the progress of modern fear politics from the Enlightenment to present day, that we are as dependent on fear as a political vehicle, if not more so, as we are the charades of left/right/middle factionalism.”

Robin mentions that fear is a method used by political groups and individuals to advance themselves and/or their political and religious agendas.

One example is Glenn Beck, who often incites violence and fear with lies and fear mongering (for more about Glenn Beck, watch the embedded video with this post).

In addition, according to former Fox News producer Charlie Reina… Fox News’s editorial policy is set from the top down in the form of a daily memo: “frequently, Reina says, it also contains hints, suggestions and directives on how to slant the day’s news – invariably, he says, in a way that’s consistent with the politics and desires of the Bush administration.”

Moreover, the December 17, 2010 issue of The Atlantic said, “One alleged news network fed its audience a diet of lies, while contributing financially to the party that benefited from those lies. Those who work for Fox News are not working for a journalistic enterprise. They are working for the communications department of a political party.”

Without an honest, trustworthy media reporting honest and balanced news, how can a democracy that depends on a literate and informed public survive?

In fact, how will China rid itself of being seen as a demon by many in America?

Continued September 17, 2011 in  The Politics of Fear – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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