Before each presentation I’ve delivered in recent months focusing on media bias and the election I always begin with a simple question. The question is preceded by a call for a show of hands. “How many of you would agree, despite whether your politics lean to the left or the right, voters need and have a right to expect accurate information from the media in order to help them make well-educated decisions at the polls?”
Every time the question is proposed almost every hand in the room goes up and usually without one bit of hesitation.
Most folks agree, again regardless of their political persuasions, that the media should be reporting the news; not twisting it in order to promote their own favorite politician running for office, along with their agendas. But based on many of the emails and Facebook comments I’m receiving, it’s apparent a lot of otherwise very smart people, despite agreeing on the need for unbiased reporting, don’t realize how much they’ve actually been influenced by the very biased news and information that is flooding our media outlets today. They have bought into caricatures of particular parties and candidates, and those comments are filled with only feelings. They’re also void of any facts. It’s all about feelings and emotions, and those are causing them, in some cases, to go so far as to give up on the voting process altogether.
Citizens, including Catholic and other Christian voters, are making decisions and walking away from an important opportunity to make a difference because they believe what the press is telling them.
In an effort to continue to offer resources before we head to the polls in two weeks, I’ve decided to highlight some examples of blatant media bias. There is a long list of jaw dropping examples over the last few months, not to mention years, including studies, investigations, as well as individual stories that show how low the media will stoop to influence elections. For the sake of brevity, I will provide two recent examples that come from secular sources with no religious or conservative dog in the fight. One example looks at how many news people have left behind any shred of integrity and decided that donating to campaigns is now perfectly fine; something that used to be taboo in the journalism industry because of the possible appearance of a conflict of interest. The other report is based on an independent investigation done by a seasoned journalist, Sharyl Attkisson, who walked away from a prominent news position because of her concern over media bias.
Both the Center for Public Integrity analysis and the Newsgate 2016 report will hopefully help you see the importance of seeking out sources other than the secular news media when it comes to making decisions including decisions at the polls. For Catholics, we also must think and act with the mind of the Church, so we hope you will take these sobering reports to heart and to prayer, and visit some of the additional resources that we’ve posted on my home page at www.teresatomeo.com.
As St. Pope John Paul the Second said “truth does not pass or go away, truth does not change.” It’s about time we realized that we are no longer getting the truth or any resemblance of it from the majority of the secular press.
Photo courtesy Flickr: Yan Arief Purwanto