Day 70 – Seeking Truth Within Political Trash

I’m relieved that the elections are finally over! Whomever would eventually triumph as victor, my hope and prayer was simply that the political wrangling would finally be over, peace would return to our streets and a solid path would be established for victory over the Covid nightmare.

Fake news or facts?  Liberal socialist agenda or conspiracy theories? Fox News or CNN?  Where can one find an unbiased source of news? Journalism used to be about discovering and reporting the truth. Now, the “news” is simply a litany of political and economic agendas for the owners of the respective media consortium.

Wiki: In 1956, 66% of Americans thought newspapers were fair, including 78% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats. A 1964 poll asked a similar question about network news, and 71% thought network news was fair. That has changed.

Gallup Polls since 1997 have shown that most Americans do not have confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. By 2004 polls found that only 10% of Americans had ‘a great deal’ of confidence in the ‘national news media. In 2013, a 59% majority reported a perception of media bias. The perception of bias was highest among conservatives; 78% of conservatives think the mass media is biased, as compared with 44% of liberals and 50% of moderates.

AllSides.com has rated 800 news sites using a spectrum of very liberal to very conservative utilizing their own “scientific” methodology along with community feedback. Other sources that rank news venues include:

Pew Research evaluated How Pew Research Center evaluated Americans’ trust in 30 news sources. They found that CNN is trusted by 70% of self-described liberal Democrats, but only 16% of conservative Republicans – a gap of 54 percentage points. Conversely, Fox News is trusted by 75% of conservative Republicans but only 12% of liberal Democrats – a 63-point gap.

The problem is that we are most likely to seek out news, not for it’s unbiased reporting, but rather to confirm our existing viewpoints. We want confirmation for our current views and opinions far more than we seek truth. We desire to be right and feel comfortable about our beliefs. Confirmation Bias.

I think Isaiah 59:14 accurately reflects the current situation: “So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.

Forbes: Published an interesting article in 2017: 10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts. Where do we most often find real truth, real facts in a new era of Internet hoaxes, fake news stories and new political administrations that tout their own “alternative facts”? 

Pew Research Center gets my vote. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. We do not take policy positions. Donate here.