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Saturday, April 10, 2010

A hint to Andrew Golis and Chris Lehman of "Yahoo News" -- there is this useful site called

You won't make total fools of yourselves if you use it.

Via Matt Yglesias I note that Andrew Golis and Chris Lehman to kick off their new Yahoo News venture with lame efforts at even-handedness kind of annoyed me:

Media Matters for America and Think Progress are dedicated to calling out bias in the media on popular websites with devoted followings. [...] And the paradox, of course, is that these new referees who once cried “bias!” are often far more biased than those they critiqued. All of which makes it next to impossible to figure out when their critique of the mainstream media is actually right.

Yglesias works for ThinProgress and handled that one. He also notes that MediaMatters does not cry "bias" much.

In fact almost all mediamatters posts make specific documented claims. Basically they not a contradiction between two assertions in the media. It is always clear that the author considers the older assertion to be the truth, but this is rarely stated -- rather it is the natural inference because the older claim is specific and mentions sources.

I have noticed the pattern that the newer claim is invariably something conservatives and Republicans would like us to believe. I infer that people who work there want to convince people that claims which might lead them to vote for Republicans are false. However this is an inference not an assertion that the media are biased if favor of Republicans. Off the top of my head, I did not recall any assertion that any news source is biased. Indeed I don't recall the posts asserting that the old claim proves that the new claim is false. It's just that the older statement is always detailed and well sourced so anyone who thinks that any facts can ever be determined via any medium is convinved that it is true.

Only from which of the reported statements is clearly true can one deduce that MediaMatters is left of center. Yet Golis and Lehman assert that mediamatters clearly asserts that the media are biased right and the truth of their claims is almost impossible to assess. They have it exactly backwards.

Since I am neither Andrew Golis nor Chris Lehman, but rather aim to be a serious amateur blogger, "off the top of my head" isn't good enough for me so I googled the word bias at

You will note that, like Golis and Lehman, many people who write at object to claims about bias. Four of the first 10 hits generally criticize claims that the media is biased (that is are just like Golis and Lehman's statement except that, as far as I checked, they criticize the claim when it is actually made and not when they guessed that it was made without checking). One more has "bias" in scare quotes, one is the title of the CNN program under discussion "no Bias, no Bull" one discusses "anit-gay bias" two quote others alleging media bias (one is a Republican senator accusing Fox of bias and one is a journalist accusing journalists of anti-Clinton bias).


OK so the top of my head was *not* good enough. The link leads to a pdf with the logos of Move on and the Center for American Progress. Still it seems to me that mediamatters endorsed the claim.

OK so they slipped up. However, no one who googled would claim that they mainly assert bias. They mainly make specific claims of fact based on solid sources.

Dear yahoo news Use the google.

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