By Christopher B. Daly
Today’s NYTimes provides a clear-cut example of how conservatives often mis-read or mis-hear the news and jump to the wrong conclusion. Most of the time, conservatives are sure they are seeing a political bias when, in fact, what they are seeing are professional values.
Here’s the story:
The Times ran a story under the headline: ‘No One Believes Anything’: Voters Worn Out by a Fog of Political News. The implication was that there is too much news about impeachment.
As the story unfolds, the Times reporters quote a computer programmer in Idaho named Russell Memory.
But he said he sees bias among liberal news outlets and that drives him crazy too. He was annoyed, for example, that stories of Mr. Trump being booed at the Washington Nationals baseball game were given top billing, but when Mr. Trump was cheered in Alabama a few days later, he could find almost nothing about it.
“I don’t think things are fake, they’re just one-sided,” said Mr. Memory, 37. “Both things happened. He got booed and he got cheered. But one of them will be a much bigger story. That’s what bothers me.”
This is a classic example of confusion.
The fact that a sitting president got booed while attending a World Series game in the District of Columbia was unusual. That is, it was statistically rare. Therefore, it was news. Any journalist would agree.
As for Alabama, the fact that a Republican president went to a bright-red state for a football game and was cheered is entirely to be expected. It is not unusual. Therefore, it is not news. Any journalist would agree.
Of course, ideologues on talk shows could be expected to jump on either case as ammunition for their side. That’s not news either.