POLIBLOG

POLLIWOG (Tadpole): the early stage of an animal that will eventually become a frog, hoping to be kissed by a princess, turning into a prince! POLIBLOG (Political Blog): the early stage of a center-right political blog that may eventually become a full blown blog of the center-right. Join in if you find any merit in the comments. If you are on the left and disagree, feel free to straighten me out! Who knows, with effort from all of us this blog may turn into a prince!

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Location: San Diego, California, United States

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bias?

The New York Times shows its bias in subtle ways. A great example today in an editorial - "Students' Right to Free Speech" - that shows a concious effort to support their agenda by distorting their presentation of the facts. Note the two emphasized parts of this paragraph:


"The Bush administration joined the school district in arguing that schools have broad authority to limit talk about drugs because of the importance of keeping drugs away from young people. But if schools can limit speech on any subject deemed to be important, students could soon be punished for talking about the war on terror or the war in Iraq because the government also considers those subjects important." (my emphasis)

The first "importance", which you can't tell is from the Bush Administration or the school district, is speaking about a very predominant view in our society, that keeping drugs away from young people is good.

What does this have to do with "government also considers those subjects important."? Seems to me they should know that the society is split on both subjects they reference, so one would assume - without an agenda - that the government and the school district would take a quite different view limiting speech in this area. Therefore, students would not be "punished" for speaking on these subjects.

The writer knows this. The agenda wins out!

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3 Comments:

Blogger she said...

you think the NYT is bad?!? at least they are subtle. checkout the san diego daily rag for some outrageous liberal agenda. they are not even subtle! a soldier is never portrayed as proud, only sad or in peril, etc... sad.
=) sheri
brian's daughter.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

I'd say that an editorial is exactly where a bias should be expected to be found! The editorial is an opinion piece, whether it's in the NYT or WSJ or wherever. That's where I look to see what positions the paper is taking.

This particular editorial is indeed a little gratuitous in the dropping references to the war on terror and the war on Iraq, but its main opinion is on safeguarding 'free speech'. (Note that I felt that the Last article on global warming and Al Gore was gratuitous in mentioning the folks into 'extraterrestrial' solutions).

So the logic may be a bit muddled, and one could find better examples of potential free speech issues, I think. But I don't find this editorial particularly subtle...

10:03 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Welcome, Sheri! I'm surprised you admit any relationship to Brian after he told me - and I'm sure you - his Saint Patrick's Day joke that ended with the punch line:

Pati O'Furniture!

I agree with you on the San Diego Tribune, another of so many papers with an agenda!

Curt,

Bias should be seen on the opinion page, not the editorial page when the paper says it has no bias - and find me an admission of this from any one at the NYT. The editorial is an expression of the papers opinion, so the NYT should put in their masthead "We are a leftist paper with an agenda!" They don't!

The subtlety is not in the overall editorial, that tone is just the opposite. The subtlety is in the use of language to support their agenda. Let me rewrite the second line I highlighted in a manner I think would have been neutral:

"But if schools can limit speech on any subject deemed to be important, students could possibly be punished for speech against other subjects that the society believes important, and that could be a problem."

What I changed:

"Soon be punished" implies that darned W will get them right away!

"...government also considers those subjects important." is a non sequitur from the beginning of the paragraph.

This is not paranoia, it is an analysis of the english the writer uses and why he uses it. Subtle? It sure is to me, and I think to you if your are fair.

10:49 AM  

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