The Real Media Bias is Against Choice
On the right it is considered an axiom that the “mainstream media” is incredibly biased towards the left. Now, this is not a charge without merit - I think it’s hard to deny that most media comes from major cities that tend to lean liberal. But whether or not the media favors the left or the right, both sides know one thing for certain — their candidates will be covered extensively. Every word from Romney or Obama will make the news in some format.
But for anyone outside the two major parties, it is rare to even be mentioned, except in passing as a potential “spoiler” for one candidate or the other in a swing state. To the average voter, then, there are only two people running. One cannot be surprised then that the vast majority of Americans have never heard of third party candidates. They are presented a world where there are only two choices, as if the vast spectrum of political thought can only come in two colors, red and blue.
Take this quiz on USA Today for a perfect example. Immediately upon opening the quiz, you are shown a graphic that is half Obama and half Romney. Every option moves the bar one way or the other. For me, the first couple questions were about the economy and moved it to Romney. But then came questions about gay marriage, the War in Afghanistan, and cutting military spending, which knocked it to the blue side. In the end, my score came out 55%. Were the world truly consigned to two poles, then, I would have to vote Democrat.
But of course it’s really not. Were the test fairly designed, a voter like myself would likely be pointed towards another candidate. Instead of having to settle for someone who I agree with just slightly more than the other guy, I would be able to pick someone I matched with much better. The problem is, if all you watch is the mainstream media, you’d never even know that other choices exist.
The true media bias is not towards left or right but towards the two major parties. And this is crippling our country as, every four years, we have to choose between one evil or the other. We see debates that are no more than glorified political ads pretending that the two major candidates are much farther apart than they actually are. We’re impossibly polarized because we are told there are only two camps, and the other camp wants to eat our children. Until this paradigm changes, we will be stuck arguing at the edges over petty issues. This is the media bias that needs to be confronted and defeated.