SUBTLE BIAS IN THE PRESS

This example is from Bloomberg Financial and linked to by Yahoo Finance. Click the blue link if you want to read the entire article.

Representative Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democrat and co-sponsor of legislation letting companies seek duties on Chinese imports, said China is violating trade laws and the bill would give the U.S. tools to combat undervalued currencies.

“It’s now time for our country to have the guts to stand up and take a strong stand against China’s currency manipulation,” Ryan said today in testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee. Representative Dave Camp, top Republican on the panel, said he opposes the legislation.

This will be taken by most readers as straight unbiased news. But what does it really convey? It says China is breaking the law and manipulating the currency markets. A Democrat is trying to help farmers and corporations disadvantaged by this illegal activity. A Republican opposes helping farmers and business men for no given reason.

Bias is definitely evident, but it is subtle enough to go unseen by most readers. Such subtle bias is not unusual, it is the norm. It is as common as dirt. In fact it is dirt.

The facts: The Republican cited, Dave Camp, used the entire time allotted to him by the Carl Levin’s Ways and Means Committee urging the committee to take strong measures to combat China’s trade practices. Read his statement here.

The bill was broadly opposed by Republicans because it was loaded with earmarks. Earmarks are bribes  politicians give to their constituencies in return for their votes. That is a valid reason for opposing the bill. A better one is given in Random Thots article equating tariffs on China to the Smoot-Hawley bill passed in 1930 that precipitated the Great Stock Market Crash and launched the depression.


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