Half the Story: A Biased Media

Climate Change: What does the Media say about it? (photo from pixabay.com)

Climate Change: What does the Media say about it? (photo from pixabay.com)

Jim Inhofe's snowball has disproven Climate Change once and for all, Breaking News: Jim Inhofe is an Idiot: two seemingly different stories that are about the exact same incident. And this is all too common within the media. The media covers the same issues, but due to biases the two sides are telling opposite stories. It seems as if there are different facts being presented, but it is simply spinning the issue- something that both factions are guilty of. According to Moeller psychology teacher, Mr. Shaffer, "Both approaches distort the truth and turn the issue into an argument rather than a reasoned search for evidence and change. [Media] change[s] it into a matter of opinion, rather than a matter of facts.” Because of this whether you watch right-winged news such as Fox News or left-winged news such as MSNBC you are sure to only see half of the story on Climate Change. That is all that they are willing to give you.

The Conservative Perspective

Screenshot from Google.com that shows a biased view of climate change from Fox News

Screenshot from Google.com that shows a biased view of climate change from Fox News

Mr. Eble, an english teacher at Moeller High School, summarized the right-winged view on Climate Change as “business is dying because…the left is made up of anti-logic, pro big government tree huggers who can’t acknowledge the natural flow of weather.” Conservative media sources such as Fox News and Breitbart News tend to totally deny or at least discount Climate Change as a whole. It is seen through four types of media bias: selection, omission, label, and spin. One great example of this is the fact that, when you type in "Fox News Climate Change" on Google, the next word that comes up as a suggestion is "hoax". This really shows that news outlets such as Fox truly do go to the very extreme.

Moeller Junior Carlos Garcia (photo by Cam Carlin)

Moeller Junior Carlos Garcia (photo by Cam Carlin)

Carlos Garcia, a junior at Moeller, thinks that “the media really does exaggerate [facts]…[they] only focus on the extremes of a situation”.  And this doesn’t help to give facts and help people become informed; it only pushes an agenda. This is seen in articles such as Trump's Climate Plans Just Made the Media's Heads Explode, which was published by Breitbart News, an extremely conservative source. The article discussed Trump’s plans in relation to Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, and within the article it described left-winged opposition as “enviro-loons”. This is label bias that is meant to discredit anything that these “enviro-loons” say. There is spin bias present as well, such as discussion on “hatred and malcontent” that the liberal journalists had at the remarks made by the EPA director and also the imagery of the "audible gasps of disgust." This emotion evoking propaganda tries to create feelings (and override logic) about the Trump administration’s plans on Climate Change. In reality news like this isn’t meant to provide facts and information, it is meant to impose one viewpoint upon others—or even just to entertain

 

The Liberal Perspective

Moeller teacher Mr. Eble (photo by Cam Carlin)

Moeller teacher Mr. Eble (photo by Cam Carlin)

I looked to Mr. Eble again to summarize his view of the Left's perspective on Climate Change as “polar bears are dying because…the right is composed of anti-science, pro-business idiots who can’t acknowledge scientific consensus.” Again this is mostly true. If you can think of the conservative extremes on Climate Change, the liberal viewpoint is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. The left-winged media sources such as CNN, MSNBC, and Buzzfeed, tend to exaggerate the effects of Climate Change and try to put down anything or anyone that has any opposition to it, valid or not.  This is seen through articles such as The Trump Administration’s Climate Denial Could be Catastrophic for Tribes; this article takes something such as the Trump administration’s plan to deal with the environment and how it “threatens to add to all the struggles faced by the indigenous peoples.” Climate Change denial will add difficulties to life for many of these tribes, but it won’t “undermine entire ways of life” such as the article infers. Label and spin bias are used here to elicit emotions and thoughts contrary to the Trump administration’s. All it does is add to the confusion created by spin from both sides.

Media puts out stories such as Climate Change Activists are a Cult and The Deadly Risks of Climate Change that sensationalize and polarize issues. News has turned from reporting facts and providing information to trying to disseminate a certain view; this makes it very hard for the average news consumer to get facts on pressing issues such as Climate Change. Whenever you read something in the media, it is very likely that you are only getting one perspective. So do a little research. Get more than half the story.

Mr. Shaffer does his part to help combat climate change (photos by Cam Carlin)

Mr. Shaffer does his part to help combat climate change (photos by Cam Carlin)

Cam Carlin '17