Case Studies in Media Bias (posted 5/3/19)

Barr’s testimony on Tuesday showed the Rorschach test nature of congressional hearings.  MSM commentators and various room-temp-IQ celebrities who watched the proceedings were so horrified by what they saw that they got their gender-binary garments over their heads and tweeted up an obscene storm, the gist of which was: Barr must be impeached, following by Trump’s execution!

I watched the same thing, and shared CO’s take: Barr looked like a responsible adult in the middle of a disgraceful middle school mean girls performance by a parade of dim-bulb leftist hacks.  Lowlights: a pathetic, slanderous performance by nasty piece of work Crazy Mazie Hirono (the voters of Hawaii should be ashamed of themselves for electing her), and less bad but still miserable performances by Richard “everyone secretly calls him Dick” Blumenthal and Dick “no one calls him Richard” Durbin.

They were obnoxious, and spent their time bloviating and posing the most transparently bad-faith rhetorical questions.  Questions like, “Do you think we should be grateful that the president gutted the constitution and pooped on all that we hold sacred?”  and “Wouldn’t you agree that it’s terrible what a partisan Trump supporter you are, when an AG is supposed to be non-partisan?”

I remember when Eric “Steadman” Holder (put his picture up against that of Oprah’s longtime eunuch-y boyfriend and see if you can tell them apart) called himself Obama’s “wingman,” and called Obama “my boy,” and proudly stated that “I’ve got his back.”

Do you remember the outraged howl that arose from the MSM when Steadman proudly proclaimed his bias like that?  Me neither.

For an even better example of transparent media bias, I give you a story from only last weekend:  a potential terrorist bombing of a right-wing political gathering was avoided with the arrest of the perpetrator, which I’ll bet you haven’t heard much about.  You can Google it to get the whole story, but the outline is familiar: FBI hears about violent nut job running his mouth about wanting to build a bomb, they get an agent posing as a fellow terrorist close to him, then record his rantings, deliver him a fake bomb, and arrest him.

The fact that you haven’t heard much about it is the first bias red flag, and that tells you that this guy was not a right-wing Trump supporter, or else he’d be the most famous man in America right now.

But look at the way that the story was covered (when it was covered at all):

The article in the LA Times has this headline: “L.A. terror suspect was ousted from U.S. Army for violent offenses, source says.”  The first paragraph begins, “The U.S. Army veteran charged with planning a terrorist attack in Southern California was kicked out of the service several years ago….” In the second paragraph, we find out that the suspect lives in Reseda, CA, and that his name is Mark Stephen Domingo.

In the next two paragraphs, we learn more about his dishonorable discharge.  At the end of paragraph 5, we get a reference to the fact that his motive for murder involved “…retribution for the killings of Muslims in other parts of the world.”

Hmmm.  Curious.  I looked back up at his name: Mark Stephen Domingo.  Not so Muslim-y.  “Mark” (white guy) “Stephen” (white guy) “Domingo” (Hispanic)

Then I considered the ambiguity of the preposition “of.”  “The killings of Muslims” might refer to Muslims being killed, or to killings carried out by Muslims.  Since the latter would seem to be a lot more frequent than the former, I thought that maybe this guy has a bias against Muslims.

Until I started on paragraph 6:  “Prosecutors said Domingo, a recent convert to Islam…”

“Aha!” I said to Cassie the Wonder Dog, who watched me with her adorable one brown eye and one blue eye.  “The game is afoot!  I think we have stumbled upon a clue.”  I assume that my brilliant deduction had bowled her over, because she walked in a circle and lay down with a deep sigh of appreciation.

Let me recap: In the headline, White-Guy Hispanic is identified as a former solider.  The first five paragraphs expound on how he, as an Army veteran, had a falling out with the army, but had done a military tour in Afghanistan, and then got a dishonorable discharge.  From the army.

Also, he was a military guy.

Then, in paragraph 6 (when most of the lefty audience of the LA Times had given up reading because their lips got tired), the writer mentions the probably irrelevant detail that he recently converted to the Religion of Peace™  Oddly enough, he soon thereafter became a member of the pressure-cooker-bomb-enthusiast community.

Well, I said to myself, “I wonder if I need to go to my closet and pull out my wizard hat, to anticipate how other MSM outlets might have covered the story?”  And Cassie shook her head at me, snorfling in derision.

So I sat at the computer, bare-headed, and looked up a few other trusty news sources.

Here’s ABC News’ (sic) headline — “US Officials: Army veteran’s plan to bomb California Nazi rally stopped.”  At least they got to the Islam connection quickly:  “An Army veteran who converted to Islam…”  But I might still make a humble editing suggestion: if you wanted to lead with the most pertinent factor in his decision to become a bomb-maker, you might try starting with “Recent Islamic convert who was kicked out of the Army years ago…”

How did CNN cover the story? you are not asking since you already know, even though your wizard hat is in the wash.  Headline: “Army veteran charged with plotting terror attacks in LA area.”  Opening sentence: “A 26-year-old former US Army soldier who served in Afghanistan has been charged…”

Not until the 7th paragraph does the story mention that he recently converted to Islam.

Although to be fair to CNN, all of their paragraphs are one sentence long, so that delay is not as bad as it sounds. I’m not making that up: The story is 13 paragraphs long, and 12 of those paragraphs have one sentence.  The remaining one has two.  Which tells you all you need to know about CNN’s perception of their readers’ literacy rates.  The phrase “not at grade level” comes to mind.

By the way, the story’s byline is by Kate Sullivan and Josh Campbell.  Which means that it took two writers to come up with those 14 sentences.  By comparison, I write roughly a column per week all by myself in my spare time.  And they are chock full of paragraphs, most of which contain many sentences.

Except this one.

And those columns are read by CO Nation (average IQ: four quintiles higher than that of CNN’s audience).

The only editorial assistance I receive comes when I run potential jokes past my wife and daughters, and they rate them on the following descending scale:  All Hail Martacus/ hilariousgenius-level/ semi-hilarious-semi-genius level/ and CNN-worthy.

I’ve never gotten a “CNN worthy” rating yet.  Which you should know, because if I ever did, I’d immediately kill myself by impaling my aorta on the point of my wizard hat, or die trying.

Where was I?  Oh yeah: MSM coverage of the Muslim would-be LA bomber.  After a quick trip around the net, the only sources I found that led with Domingo’s Islamic conversion were partisan conservative sites.

I finally ended up at the New York Times, and their take was as predictable as the sunrise.  Assuming that your sunrise is usually accompanied by blood-curdling cries of “Allahu Akbar!” followed by gaping shrapnel wounds.

Their headline alluded to a generic “Terror Attack Thwarted.”  The slug line under their opening picture began, “Federal officials on Monday accused a military veteran of planning terror attacks…”

The opening line in the story proper: “Federal authorities said on Monday that they had thwarted a domestic terror plot by an American military veteran…”

Hey, people who are simultaneously pretentious enough and stupid enough to still be reading the New York freaking Times, did we mention that this guy is an Army man?

To give credit to the NYT, they feature mostly multi-sentence paragraphs.  To immediately remove that credit, it took them 8 paragraphs before they could bring themselves to mention that Domingo had been supportive of “violent jihad.”  (Which I would have thought the NYT editors would have identified as an oxymoron, since everyone knows that “jihad” is Arabic for “contemplative, pacifistic search for self-actualization, and definitely not beheading the infidels.”) It took them three more paragraphs before they could grit their teeth and use the word “Islam.”

Way to go, NYT!  You get a Pulitzer for burying the lede.  (Just like recent Islamic convert White-Guy Hispanic tried to bury all the non-Muslims he could get his creepy hands on.)

Moral of the story, from “Centurion Obvious” Martacus: we should never believe anything we read in the MSM.

Also, Grandma Squanto wants to forgive the student debt of all of the Social Justice Puppetry majors of the world – if by “forgiving the debt” you mean “sticking taxpayers with the debt.”   So #wemustneverstopmockingher

Sure, that last paragraph may have seemed a little forced.  But I wasn’t about to write another column without a “never stop mocking her” reference.  (You’re welcome, Don!)

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