|Regarding an email posted on the
Jerry Pournelle site, viz Mail 301 of March 15-21 2004
Dear Dr. Pournelle:
Contributors to your salon often cite British newspaper reports, sometimes for
what seems to be outrageously biased
reporting. I'd like to make note about a difference between US newspapers and
British newspapers for readers who may
not be aware.
British newspapers make no attempt at unbiased reporting. The reporting by these
papers is based on the newspaper's
political stance. The liberal papers can read like union newsletters while the
conservative papers report the news like US
right-wing talk radio. There are also a few middle-of-the-road papers that are
closer to the kind of reporting we see
published in the US. Your readers should consider the source before allowing
their blood pressure to spike. It would be
like a Londoner outraged at reporting on the UK by the NY Post.
Their bias can be shocking to those of us in the US who are used to papers where
the bias is more subtle. I advise folks
in the Chaos Manor forum to keep this in mind before becoming too outraged at
how British papers report on US actions.
Based on personal anecdotal evidence from my experience as a reporter/writer on
several newspapers, magazines, and
professional journalism associations, if you're not way left of center, you're
usually considered to be a jackbooted thug
willing to pillage the world for mega-corporations. Mention that you favor
nuclear power and you're thought of as
someone who would feed plutonium to under-privileged infants.
Whence my comments:
Inane letter to Jerry Pournelle's email pages,
of which statements I offer these points.
What? Unbiased reporting? Of course not, it's impossible. Each and every
newspaper on earth has a viewpoint, which is
why one reads them.
Not only that, but how on earth could editorials be written if there was pure
neutrality. It's not as though the complete facts
are ever really known in any case.
Historically, amongst a pile of other periodicals, I have read the Guardian,
Times (of London), Telegraph, Spectator,
Economist, New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post, Le Monde, Frankfurter
Allgemeine, Christian Science Monitor,
and local papers wherever I was living.
That did not make me unknowingly critical of certain Americans: their actions
did. The same way that the actions of my own
nation disgust me, even though I know there are many that are innocent and law
abiding everywhere. (Northern Ireland, if you
Obvious bias opposed to subtle bias? So, it is better to be misled because the
bias is not obvious? What is worse, pray?
The final Nofel paragraph is silliness in print.