Media bias is when a particular company or news producer uses a prejudice or partial opinion in mass media. There are a few different ways this could be done. A popular type is bias of omission, when part of a situation or story is left untold. If one part of the story is not given then the reader or listener will not be able to form their own opinion and will be left to trust what they have been told. This is very common with political news because certain newspapers or companies are linked with political parties and will try to portray the opposing party in a negative way. Another way media bias is used is when a reporter only uses sources that share a similar view instead of giving both the supporting and opposing point of view.
CNN (Cable News Network) is considered a left news organization with media bias towards liberal causes through story selection and political affiliation. CNN is known for using emotional words and sensational headlines to influence their viewers. Time Warner Cable owns CNN and was a major contributor to the Hilary Clinton presidential campaign. Frequent commentators on CNN are Anderson Cooper, Van Jones, and Chris Cuomo. Although CNN usually sources its news through credible reporters/ journalists several of their guests on their talk shows have failed fact checks from Politifact.
Fox News is considered a right news organization with media bias towards conservative causes. Founded in 1996, its founding CEO was Roger Ailes a former Republican political consultant. Fox News looks at issues from a conservative perspective and has several television personalities that are supporters of President Trump, such as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Tomi Lahren. Fox is known to publish right-wing conspiracy theories and has been deemed the least accurate according to Politifact.
Section 2: bias Opinion Polls and bias questions
The way questions are worded and the structure of a survey can lead to survey response bias. A lot of the time questions are asked in a way that suggests the person being asked, should answer in a certain way. A common problem with polls is when yes/no questions are used and the interviewer asks something that hints to a grey area. A question that uses words that are negative or that put the responder on the defensive are designed for a specific response. One example: Should concerned parents vaccinate their children with the flu shot? This question makes parents who don’t vaccinate on the defensive and reflects on them that they are not concerned for their children. Loaded questions make the responder answer questions a particular way instead of answering it in their own way. An example is: Where do you like to party? A better question is what do you like to do in the evenings? Polls can be considered just another form of media propaganda. People commission polls and then interpret the results. Polling companies never report the raw data; they adjust it.
Rassmussen Reports uses research techniques that favor Republicans in its polls. Rasmussen adjusts its results by party identification, but it is considered contentious in polling because partisan identity can change. Gallup is one of the most well-known polling firms but it has had three poor election results in a row, and has some of the worst reporting results.
Section 3: Political Parties and their platforms.
– Raise incomes and restore economic security for the middle class
– Create good-paying jobs
– Fight for economic fairness and against inequality
– Bring Americans together and remove barriers to opportunities
– Protect voting rights, fix campaign finance system and restore democracy
– Combat climate change, build clean energy economy, secure environmental justice
– Provide quality and affordable education
– Ensure health and safety of all Americans
– Principled leadership
– Support troops and veterans
– Confront global threats
– Protect vales
– Be a leader in the world
The ideology of the Democratic Party seeks a balance between individual liberty, social justice and the common good. One of the strongest beliefs is that of equality on all fronts, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and also in equal educational opportunity for all.
Republican Party Platform
– Rebuild the Economy and create jobs
– Fair and simple taxes for growth
– Create responsible home ownership and rental opportunities
– Reduce federal debt
– Rebirth of constitutional government- religious liberty, protected speech, right to keep and bear arms, privacy, protecting human life and private property
– Advancing term limits
– Balance the budget
– Save Social Security
– Make government work for the people
The core beliefs are centered on the idea that each person is responsible for their own place in society. They believe in limiting government intervention, free enterprise, and fiscal responsibility.
Libertarian Party Platform
The Libertarian core mission is to reduce the size, influence and expenditures of all levels of government. It supports minimally regulated markets, strong civil liberties, drug liberalization, separation of church and state, open immigration, non-interventionism and neutrality in diplomatic relations. It also supports free trade and free movement to all foreign countries.
Green Party Platform
The Green Party emphasizes environmentalism, participatory democracy, and social justice with respect for diversity, peace, and non-violence. It is considered a left-wing ideology. It is anti-war, anti-racism, pro LGBT rights and gender equality.
Section 4: Interest Groups
Move On members pride themselves on being a resistance effort to president Trump. Move On uses the Internet to organize and mobilize activists. Their vision is to make America more inclusive and progressive. Media Matters are a progressive organization that works to correct conservative information in the US media. Tides Foundation is a foundation that envisions the world working together for social justice founded on equality and human rights. They invest to maximize impact in equality and human rights, economic development, healthy individuals and communities, and sustainable environments. Weather Underground is a radical left-wing militant organization. They committed bombings on government buildings protesting the Vietnam War. Center for American Progress is an organization for progressives. Its key goals are to protect the planet, promote peace, and share global prosperity. Organizing for America is a community-organizing project of the Democratic National Committee. Originally formed to help promote President Obama’s health care reform legislation. Media Research Center’s main goal is to expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media. They work for the conservative movement to educate Americans about left-wing media bias. Freedom Works is a grassroots service cause to help activist’s fight for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom. Heritage Foundation works to formulate and promote conservative public policies. Center for Self Governance is an educational organization that works to create a stable civil society, balance human government and educate the populace. Human Events is a conservative organization that looks at events that favor limited constitutional government, local self-government, private enterprise, and individual freedom. National Review is a leading conservative magazine and website that covers news, politics, current events, and culture with detailed analysis and commentary. It is a magazine of conservative opinion.
Section 5: political issues
Voter fraud has taken place in the United States since the first election. There is documentation of it happening as early as the 19th century. Voter fraud in California is a huge topic of interest right now because in 2016 president Donald Trump claimed that many Californians committed voter fraud by voting more than once. There are a few ways voter fraud can be committed. One of the most common forms of fraud is impersonation at the polls. Taking another voters name who remain registered, but might of lost their right to vote because of a crime they committed or even taking the names of voters that have died. False registration is the second common form of fraud because it isn’t hard to do. The criminal would only have to give a fake name and a fake address of someplace they do not live at. There are many other forms of voter fraud like duplicate voting, fraudulent use of absentee ballots, buying votes, illegal “assistance” at the polls, ineligible voting, altering the vote count, and ballot petition fraud. It is often questioned whether voter fraud can actually affect elections. However, in 2015 an election in New Jersey for city council was determined by 10 votes. It was found later that at least 13 illegal voter ballots had been used and a new election was ordered.
There have been many different forms of birthright citizenship allowed in the United States. One of the first laws has been around since 1790,and it stated any “free white persons” had the possibility to gain citizenship after they had lived in the U.S. for 2 years and if they had good character. The actual definition of birthright citizenship changes many times as the US goes through the Civil War and abolishes slavery. It wasn’t until the 14th amendment was created that birthright citizenship included everyone “born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. All of that might now change with Donald Trump as President. He stated that he was in the process of writing an executive order that would get rid of the constitutional right in the 14th amendment. However, it is almost impossible for President Trump to nullify the 14th amendment because it would be an abuse of presidential power and the only way amendments to the constitution can be made is if majorities in congress or the states have a two-thirds vote in both houses of congress or through a constitutional convention. According to New York Times it seems as though Trump is going to try and take it to the Supreme Court. Fox News shows its viewers that Trump seems very serious about cracking down on Americas immigration policies because not only did he discuss birthright citizenship with them, but he also told host Laura Ingraham that he does not plan on letting out anyone who comes to the US in the caravans. He states that they are “wasting their time”.
Many people have very different feelings on President Trump, but what they can all agree on is that he is getting a lot accomplished. Washington Times gives a very detailed list of everything he has done. A few of the many accomplishments include appointing more than 75 “constitutionally sound” federal judges, tightened up illegal immigration, making a tax cut that save money for 80 percent of America, and withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Agreement. According to Washington Times lot of what his critics have to say about him has to do with his character, rather than his politics. Washington Post however says that although he might of made lots of changes in the US, it doesn’t mean that he can take full credit for the “economic turnaround of historic proportions”. Although unemployment is the best it has been in a decade it is hard to determine what factors played a part in its decline.
I have learned about how important it is to become educated about our government and the politics around it. I can say that I will be very cautious of media bias now that it is more obvious to me how much it is used everyday. Americans are passionate about their political beliefs and at times it can become very contentious, but all things that are important are worth arguing over. There will always be accusations of voter fraud or polling bias, it is just a problem that America will always have. Everyone has their own favorite political party or political organization, but the best part about the American government is that our system still works and goals can still get accomplished.
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