03 October 2011

UPDATED: Media Bias, Part I lost count

Can we all stop calling the New York Times "liberal" now?

I remember in Sociology 100 having an assignment in which we were to take an article from any news source that was considered mainstream and dissect it for loaded language, bias, slant, logical fallacies, etc. It was a very eye-opening assignment. I chose Macleans, thinking it was pretty balanced. Hey, I was 18! I was clueless. I was stunned to see the bias, the loaded language, the choice of pictures... the list goes on. I think it was the most useful thing I did in University! I learned to read for intent as well as content. (My stupid degrees certainly haven't been useful. Honestly, wtf was I thinking? I'll go live on reserves and save languages, write dictionaries and curricula! And I'll make a living wage, because reserves have so much money to pay pretty white linguists with more ideals than sense!)

It's become quite clear to me in recent years that there is no left-wing mainstream media. The CBC certainly isn't. The right loves to crow about it, but that's only because the right is so used to having the news handed to them, already twisted into right-wing ideology that they're jarred by anything resembling unbiased fact. And the CBC really only does resemble lack of bias, because objectivity is more or less impossible. Someday when I have some ambition, I'll take apart a cbc.ca article.

The Times, as referenced above, is what we call Limosine Liberal. It's got a socially liberal agenda, but a fairly conservative economic agenda. Now, I don't mean it's a rag of the NYPost's calibre, or that it has a raging right-wing agenda. Just that it is healthily right of centre. Of course, those that live on the right fringe see that as raving left-wing, but those people are hardly in any position to be correct about anything. :) And the further you slide to one side of the spectrum, the further away the centre looks. 

I kind of like Political Compass for sanity checks. Like when I'm screaming that Obama is a right-wing bastard who caters to Big Business, and someone else hollers back at me that he's a socialist prick, we go look at politicalcompass.org. They use their own questions, and the answers that pols have provided on public record. It's not perfect, but it's good.

Here's Canada, as of the 2011 election:

And here's the US, 2008 election. I'm hoping for an updated one soon. 

Not surprising, I'm on the left edge, well, one line in. And slightly lower than halfway between libertarian and centre.

Obama? Right of centre. Truly. It's just that mainstream in N.America has become so far left, that he seems pretty moderate. And if you think I'm wrong, remember this: Ronald Reagan, the demi-god of the conservative movement, wanted to close crazy tax loopholes that let millionaires out of paying taxes, and gave amnesty to about 4 million illegal immigrants. He'd be eviscerated by the tea party assholes and most of the rest of the Rethuglicans too.

When you're screaming SOCIALIST! at someone who is proposing Ronald Fucking Reagan's proposals, you need a reality check. And perhaps a high five. To the throat.