Different views, different news: Two polarizations

Four years ago the national consensus was that the economy had gone to hell, with handbasket potential for further destruction and damage. 

In the politer words of Pew Research:

"Amid the nation’s financial crisis four years ago, there were virtually no differences in how Republicans, Democrats and independents viewed economic news. About eight-in-ten in each group said the news they were hearing was mostly bad.

Differences in perceptions of economic news emerged after Barack Obama took office. But they never have been as great as they are today. Four times as many Republicans as Democrats say the news they have been hearing about the economy is mostly bad (60% vs. 15%).

As in recent months, the views of independents are roughly equidistant from those of Republicans and Democrats. In the current survey, 36% of independents say they hearing mostly bad economic news, little changed from a month ago (40%)."

Or in other words, the views we hold tend to dictate the news we hear. To be fair, not always. Maybe not during national crises. Last election season, we could at least all agree we were watching the economy coming to a crashing halt. But often: This election season we don't agree even on its status.   

'Course, all news people must admit that the media can outright mislead, sometimes blatantly. Most recently we have an flat-out lie on Fox, in a graphic which brazenly substituted oranges for applesc.

A HuffPo story explains here, carefully

"The show's mistake was to compare the official unemployment figure in 2009 with the so-called "real" unemployment figure in 2012. That figure takes into account data which is not included in the official number, such as people who have stopped looking for work. Thus, it is always higher than the official figure. (Official unemployment is actually .3 percentage points higher than in 2009, while "real" unemployment is .7 percentage points lower.

Fox News told Mediaite that a correction will air on tomorrow's "Fox & Friends."


But it's not just the media that's biased. It's us, too. 

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

3 thoughts on “Different views, different news: Two polarizations

  1. Debt, unemployment, poverty there are so many perceived problems that are really nothing more than symptoms manifested through the continued use of an antiquated economic model. Politicians will never adequately address any of these issues because they do not understand the cause. Without pin pointing the root cause of these symptoms they will continue almost completely unhindered.
    Abstracting labour for purchasing power must stop.


  2. It’s true, Fox News has been shown in many analyses to mislead a substantial portion of the public, as the post implies. But it’s also true that Fox News is one of many news outlets in this country, and a substantial portion of the public chooses and wants to be mislead. (For instance, it was the only “news station” that Dick Cheney would watch; to cite another example, a popular bumper sticker in these parts that reads: I Don’t Believe the Liberal Media.) To look at it more numerically, Fox News channels have done extremely well in the ratings pedaling an overtly biased coverage as has MSNBC, while channels that strive for balance, such as CNN, have struggled to maintain popularity

    This makes the media bias charge a chicken and egg problem. And so when famous media stars on the right (such as Rush Limbaugh) and the left (such as Jon Stewart) blame the media for bias, it’s self-satisfied and self-serving, and it just drives me crazy.

    For more on Romney’s latest charge of media bias, see Jonathan Cohn today: http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/107285/four-good-reasons-romney%E2%80%99s-bad-press

    If you can stand the liberal media…


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