From Breitbart News to the Huffington Post, Fox News and CNN, media bias is inescapable. Fair and balanced is an illusion. As much as we want to be impartial, we cannot remove self-interest from our lives. Look at how we fight about our Supreme Court justices. If the law is infallible and judges are impartial, why does it matter who serves? A judge based on her own personal and professional experience and deeply held values may interpret the law differently. No judge can remove his own bias from decision. The best she can do is recognize it.
From the journalist, to the editor, to the owner, every single person has a bias. This is not to say that bias is necessarily bad, but it is important to recognize and disclose that bias if we want to be honest with our audience. If we don’t want to be honest then by all means we should declare our truths the only ones that matter and fight anyone who says different.
Bias forms the basis on which we make friends, choose a partner, a career, the kind of car we drive, where we live and so on. Removing bias is akin to a lobotomy. So forget unbiased. It does not exist I tell you!
If we want a better informed citizenry, Snopes is about as good as I’ve found for analyzing media and separating fact from fiction, but even they show a percentage scale of mostly true or mostly false and it is questionable where their bias lies or how well they analyze the stories they try and debunk.
Get your news from different sources if you want to be well rounded. Compare, contrast, and use your critical thinking skills to examine the information available to you. It is amazing with the proliferation of information on the internet that our views still remain so narrow. Known as confirmation bias, we tend to gravitate toward the news and views that confirm what we want to believe.
Right and wrong, fact and fiction, truth and lies are rarely black and white. We desperately want clear lines and infallible truths, but the reality is that the human eye can detect more than 500 shades of gray between black and white. This is a fact that I highly recommend you use your critical thinking and a google search to verify my claim. I could just as easily say 50,000 shades and who would dispute me except someone who studies color and vision.