Letter to the editor: Media should admit their biases

August 20, 2018

Mark Cohen’s editorial on fake news versus real news (“Newspapers and watchdog journalism,” June 30, TribLIVE) has good points on how news consumers can spot fake stories, but he glosses over biased reporting. I believe the main reason people seek out alternative news sites is because they don’t trust the media to be honest about their biases.

Most news outlets are overwhelmingly liberal -- even to what’s not reported. Something as seemingly innocuous as the preinstalled homepage on computers is often biased and wouldn’t display a favorable story on Republicans if the company’s survival depended on it. They would never admit that they’re biased. For them, like most news outlets, this is information the consumer just doesn’t need to know.

The Trib recently reprinted a Sun Sentinel article on how AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson insists Trump’s tariffs will raise the price of automobiles by $5,800. The Sentinel never bothered to mention that Jackson left the Republican party because of his hatred for President Trump. The Trib also runs Associated Press stories. I could be wrong, but aren’t they the ones who invented biased reporting?

I’d be OK with media bias if news organizations were honest about it. A simple note under a paper’s masthead or at the beginning of each newscast would be sufficient. “Proudly Promoting Progressive Ideals” or “Full Disclosure: 89 Percent of our Staff are Democrats” or “The Conservative Choice.” Even “We’re in Denial” would be enough. The alternative to this of course is honest reporting, but apparently that’s a really hard thing to do.

Thomas Wagner


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