09.13.2012 08:19 AM

Sun News: I’m outnumbered!

…but I (and you) knew that already. Which is beside the point: the Sun folks, whose opinions I vehemently disagree with 99 per cent of the time, are open about all this. They don’t pretend to be free of bias, like too many other media organizations do. They’re proud of their bias.

The Sixth Estate folks missed a couple things, too: Bonokoski sought a Canadian Alliance nomination, and Worthington was a Progressive Conservative aspirant. There may be others, I can’t recall.

Point remains, however: nobody – with the exception of media fantasists – believe the media is without an agenda. My take: if you’ve got a view, be honest about it.

My view, meanwhile, is the only right one!


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    Philippe says:

    I’ve always wondered Warren and am curious of your opinion: why have progressives not launched similarly effective media outlets? Is it because we’re so disorganized, or generally would be less entertaining due to our penchant not to twist facts to the same degree they do? I find the Cons effective at influencing (i.e. brainwashing) public opinion via their media mouthpieces. To win, I feel we need to step up to the plate and fight fire with fire.

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      Dan says:

      When you finance the Conservative movement, you’re guaranteed a return on investment in the form of tax cuts and tax credits.

      What would be the point of financing a progressive media outlet?

      You think newspapers make money?

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    james curran says:

    Charles Adler’s unaffiliated??? Please. That’s like saying the Pope is unaffilliated.

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      Kaplan says:

      Same with Worthington. So there’s two more names you can slide over the conservative list.

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    Dan says:

    Agreed. Journalists aren’t neutral, and newspapers are even less so.

    I trust someone who has an open bias more. Hidden biases are much more insidious.

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    Sixth Estate says:

    Actually the point really wasn’t that the Sun is unusual in this regard. Like you, I agree that people should be quite up front about any political agenda or biases they may have.

    However, there is a widespread myth that the Canadian media is mostly liberal or even left-wing. This was part of an ongoing series of posts demonstrating that for the most part that really isn’t the case.

    The Star’s post will be next in the series, and I imagine the bias will swing in a slightly direction in that one… 🙂

    James — Under the rules I put down for the Media Bias posts, yes, he would count as unaffiliated. Unless he’s worked for a political party or some other politically active organization with an identifiable ideological perspective. None of which I was aware of, in his case, about when I wrote the post in question.

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      Sixth Estate says:

      Hmmm… that should have been “slightly DIFFERENT direction”…

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      Warren says:

      I’ve written about that, too. The notion that the Canadian media is any other than overwhelmingly conservative is a joke: http://warrenkinsella.com/2011/07/right-wing-media/

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        Dan says:

        Endorsing a political party at an election doesn’t necessarily indicat a “right wing bias” (nor would it indicate a left-wing bias if the opposite were true).

        Take the last results -where the article you link to states that 92% of the papers supported/endorsed the CP when they only got roughly 1/3 of the total vote.

        Editorial boards are made up of more than one person. So it would be perfectly reasonable to assume that an editorial board of 5 people, the majority would endorse the conservatives over the others.

        I am not saying their is a bias one way or the other though both the progressives claim a right wing bias and the right wing claim a left wing bias (see http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/jul02/winn.pdf)

        and like you, I much prefer a media organization just to flat out state their bias -it makes for better reading.

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          Sixth Estate says:

          I’ve asked your question on my page before, and my work is intended to address that very question:

          How WOULD you determine that a newspaper is biased?

          Surely the endorsements given at election-time are one indication. Another indication might be the slant of the columnists that paper employs. Another might be the slant of the guest op-ed writers whose work it publishes.

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            Dan says:

            Yes, I agree that several variables need to be used to explain, or partially explain a bias in the newspaper. Also I would point out that the bias in one paper may not be stagnant – take the Globe who has endorsed both the Liberals and Conservatives in recent elections -the “shift” in bias could also be worth exploring.

            A writer such as Andrew Coyne is an interesting dilemna. He writes for the NP, is generally considered right wing (though his views tend to depnd on the issue) and endorsed the Liberals in the last election. So would one category trump the other for his bias, or indicate he doesn’t have a bias?

            I will have to look at your website more closely -I am generally very interested in the topic and look forward to your results.

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        thor says:

        You could say the same about universities/colleges…they talk a great “progressive” game, but when you get down to brass tacks, tremendously conservative. But, then, I’m sure that’s been discussed by various organizational theorists who study institutions and how they change over time. And Warren, while I do disagree with you on a number of issues, I agree wholeheartedly of your assessment of SUN and their recognition of their own bias. Wish more were similarly less inclined to deny.

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    Mulletaur says:

    Christina Blizzard listed as ‘unaffiliated’ ? That’s the funniest shit ever.

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    Sixth Estate says:

    Judging from your comments section, it seems that the main accusation against me is that I implied there was less bias at the Sun than there really is. 🙂

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    Conservative Socialist says:

    Consider the case of the killing of an American ambassador in Tripoli which caused a lot of reaction.

    Mitt Romney, behind in the polls and looking to score political points, attacked Obama for appearing to be apologetic to enraged Muslims vis-a-vis that bad fake movie that disparaged Mohammed.

    The liberal blogosphere attacks Romney for being so carelessly partisan and throwing a monkey wrench into a very delicate and diplomatic situation.

    The conservative bloggers praise him for pointing out a double standard in regards to their perception that the left treats violent Islamists with kid gloves.

    Where is the truth? My take is that Romney committed a gaffe before all of the facts were known, and he shouldn’t have. In his zeal to try to win an election he made a blunder, like all politicians do when they’re desperate. And he’ll pay in the loss of support, of course. Or maybe not.

    That doesn’t mean that Romney is the Devil Incarnate. He just has bad political instincts, at least so far.

    But after following politics for 25 years, I’ve seen all sorts of ridiculous manufactured outrage committed by those of all political stripes. It basically boils down to team mentality. The Broadstreet Bullies may have denigrated the sport of hockey, but if you lived in Philly, they were a wonderful bunch of hilarious rapscallions with a joie de vivre.

    So it is impossible to be unbiased. I read political opinions that span from the ends of left to right and determine what is my own opinion. I can even be moved to change some of my opinions from a well-written piece by a liberal or conservative columnist who makes me ponder something from a different of view.

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