I don’t know if I made up a new term in the title here or not but I think targeted journalism is doing some degree of harm to the U.S. By targeted journalism I mean those news agencies who have a given bias in reporting the news. Of course the most obvious of these is Fox News. Although they say they are balanced their actual output makes it abundantly clear that they have a far right political bias. Just listen to the hate mongering of their favorites Rush Limburg and people like Glen Beck and Donald Trump. But Fox is not the only one out there to slant their news. The left-wing has MSNBC as their poster child. Being a Democrat I must admit that I watch them from time to time.
I know the Republicans have a steady mantra of the “left wing liberal press” but I seem to see more bias to the right than ever to the left. There is the Wall Street Journal who after a takeover of a new owner became very Republican. Of course it is calming to see the news where it agrees with my views most of the time. Therein lies the basic problem. If the only information we read/watch/listen to always agrees with our current views then the likelihood of realizing that we might not be correct in some things we currently believe becomes almost impossible. That being the case our animosity towards those who think differently grows and grows.
I am old enough to vividly remember when news agencies went to great efforts to provide a very balanced reporting. In those days it was very difficult to see if they had any political bias. When David Brinkley who on his live Sunday morning broadcast “This Week” thought the mics were off and made a less than flattering remark about President Clinton it caused shock waves throughout the industry! And then there was Walter Cronkite; he was the patriarch of news reporters. I still don’t know if he had a personal political preference. And that is the way it should have been.
When we get all our news from sources that are politically aligned with our current philosophy it can prevent us from broadening our horizons. Some might say it prevents us from growing. It can drive us into a narrow sectarian viewpoint. If we are never told that some of the things we might believe are harmful to us as a society how can we prevent ourselves from going down that path. It is widely acknowledged that our freedom of the press is one of the reasons our form of government has survived where others have failed. I am just fearful that in recent years we are severely weakening this institution with all the political bias that appears in it.
But what do I know.