Monday, October 03, 2005

Anatomy of a Photograph: MSM Bias

Anatomy of a Photograph: "The San Francisco Chronicle featured the original photograph on its front Web page in order to convey a positive message about the rally -- perhaps that even politically aware teenagers were inspired to show up and rally for peace, sporting the message, 'People of Color say 'No to War!'' And that served the Chronicle's agenda.

But this simple analysis reveals the very subtle but insidious type of bias that occurs in the media all the time. The Chronicle did not print an inaccuracy, nor did it doctor a photograph to misrepresent the facts. Instead, the Chronicle committed the sin of omission: it told you the truth, but it didn't tell you the whole truth.

Because the whole truth -- that the girl was part of a group of naive teenagers recruited by Communist activists to wear terrorist-style bandannas and carry Palestinian flags and obscene placards -- is disturbing, and doesn't conform to the narrative that the Chronicle is trying to promote. By presenting the photo out of context, and only showing the one image that suits its purpose, the Chronicle is intentionally manipulating the reader's impression of the rally, and the rally's intent. "

Click the link to see the photographic evidence of bias.

If it makes Bush look bad, it's news. Or should I say: If you can make it make Bush look bad, it's news.

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