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May 17, 2012 12:01 am

Media Bias: Why Don’t They Just Admit It?

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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The New York Times building in New York, NY. Photo: Haxorjoe.

Most media outlets claim not bear any bias at all. As the owner of a Public Relations Agency, I know from first-hand experience that this is  simply not the case. Does one love their own kids more than their neighbors’ ? Do we have preferences when it comes to food? Well that’s bias. My outlook is simple: I admit that I am not objective and believe that for most people this is the case as well.

In the world of Jewish media, there are often allegations of bias – left-wing publications like The Forward have been attacked for promoting the J Street agenda, and various right-wing sites have also been singled out. The same applies as well for mainstream media outlets. I recently read a front-page news item alleging some mischief which Mitt Romney may – or may not – have committed when in high school some 50-odd years ago. One wonders if this is not a product of an anti-conservative bias.

I know which stories have legs, and I would think that President Barack Obama’s admission (in his autobiography) to having used cocaine and marijuana makes a far more compelling story. Is Mitt Romney’s childhood really newsworthy? (And if it is, media professionals surely have to admit that his behavior was better than that of Obama?)

Even if one would insist on reporting on Mitt Romney’s life as an adolescent, surely there should be more as well about Joe Biden’s role as a parent? Biden’s son worked as a consultant to credit card company MBNA, a firm which had previously dealt with Senator Joe Biden in matters concerning regulation of consumer credit practices. After the company paid a hefty sum to Mr. Biden’s son, the Senator voted in favor of legislation that would help MBNA. That same son, Hunter, was also sued for allegedly defrauding a partner – and a confidential settlement was signed (which usually means that money was paid in exchange for a pledge of silence). I didn’t see this story on the front page of mainstream news outlets this week.

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So much for responsible journalism – It seems that many media outlets don’t always abide by their claims.  They should at least come out and say: I admit that I am not objective.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading N.Y. PR Agency

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