<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Yeah that would be the ideal thing to just get the straight facts, uncensored and unbiased. Unfortunately our news is anything but that.<p><hr></blockquote><p>I would go a step further than that, Mike, and argue that this really touches on a dirty little secret: that biased news coverage, from the left or the right, actually sells. It puts bums in seats. It provides audiences for commercials, the revenue generators of the media machine. Bias sells because it's so entirely human. It's reassuringly tribal. That's how I see it, anyway.<br><br>Interesting point about Larry King however. I don't watch him much, but I'll keep in mind the positive remarks made in this thread. I too hate leading questions that are immediately followed by pseudo-answers from the supposed interviewer. I've been seeing this a lot lately on CNN and it annoys me to no end. I'd like to be able to tune into a FOX newscast, just for comparison purposes - I'll have to see if it airs up here. Do they have a total news channel like CNN? We get FOX shows but I don't recall ever seeing a news program during my moments of channel-surfing.<br><br>max
Well, let's look at the current state of news reporting this way:<br><br>Which sells better? <br><br>1) Encyclopedias and 'fact' books, with nothing more than the events as they happened in history?<br><br>2) 'Historical account' books, where the events of the past are put into the form of an anecdote as told by one person or set of persons- and all the facts may or may not be true?<br><br><br>[color:red]Hold on, it's time for a </font color=red> <br>
I remember that in Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land there were a group of official witnesses called Truth Tellers who reported only facts as they knew them. In one scene of the novel, to demonstrate what the Truth Teller's function was, one of the characters (Jubal Harshaw was the name, I think) asks a Truth Teller to say what color a house is. Her response is, "Red on this side, Jubal."<br><br>I bring this up because it seems to me that the idea of an entirely factual report is much more difficult to achieve than we're allowing for. We make assumptions, I guess more like inferences, all the time--about what color a house is on the side we can't see, for instance. But it goes beyond that. It seems to me that more often than not the questions I ask, the things I actually notice enough to see or hear, say more about my interests and habits than about what's objectively out there.<br><br>As an example, in which I wansn't involved, but which gets to the point, a group of folks from my schol spent three weeks in January travelling through the Caribbean (I wan't in it, alas!) in order to prepare themselves to revv up and expand our Latin American Studies program. I talked to one of the people, an economist, and she told me that it was particularly useful to her to go with people in other disciplines because what she saw was nothing at all like what the person from the Art Dept. saw.<br><br>I think that kind of difference happens much more often than we imagine. I guess reporters could be trained as Truth Tellers--but then maybe we wouldn't have much in the way of news <br><br><br><br>Great wits are sure to madness near allied.--John Dryden, "Absalom and Achitophel"
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