How Biased is The Media?

Recently, WikiLeaks released emails that scathed Hilary Clinton and forced the FBI to reopen its investigation of Clinton’s management of a private server while she was Secretary of State. The Clinton Foundation is also under federal investigation, and accusations of pay-to-play have been levied against Clinton. However, the liberal media, including major news outlets like CNN and NBC, have barely covered these scandals. As if this was not enough, both investigations have been belittled and in some cases dismissed by these media, which insist that these investigations lack foundation and have absolutely no impact on the election.

Associate researchers at the American Institute for Behavioral Research (AIBRT) recently set out to investigate claims that Google’s search algorithm was biased against Donald Trump and deliberately favored Hillary Clinton when it came to search results and search suggestions. The research found that Google deliberately suppressed negative search suggestions, while it did not do the same for the GOP nominee. Dr. Robert Epstein commented, “It is somewhat difficult to get the Google search bar to suggest negatives searches related to Mrs. Clinton or to make any Clinton-related suggestions when one types of negative search term”. Search algorithms for Google are based on an internet user’s browsing history and popularity of search terms. To prove his theory, Dr. Epstein used proxy servers or encrypted a network so the identity of the user remained hidden. Dr. Epstein then typed “Hillary Clinton is” into Google search and the first two suggested searches were “Hillary Clinton is winning” and “Hillary Clinton is awesome”. To provide a contrast, Dr. Epstein performed this same action for Yahoo and Bing’s search engine. Some of the top suggestions included “Hillary Clinton is a liar” and “Hillary Clinton is a criminal” among others. This quite clearly shows that Google has adopted a pro-Clinton position and is trying to influence voters’ search suggestions.

The perception of the role of the media in influencing the election has grown among the public. According to a Quinnipiac University poll, as many as 55% of likely American voters agree that the media is openly biased against the GOP candidate. This bias includes journalists giving solely negative coverage, passing off opinion or agenda as news, or dismissing positive facts regarding Mr. Trump. Whether this is true or not, the perception is very real and should be taken seriously because it impacts voter choices. The same polls found that among likely voters who think the media is biased against Trump, 88% are Republicans, 61% are Independents, and 20% are Democrats. These figures clearly show there is bias against the GOP presidential nominee, and these complaints should be taken seriously.

With that being said, it is the responsibility of the media to report the news objectively and allow the people to form their own opinions based on the facts presented. Not doing so go against the ideals of a democracy and what our founding fathers put in place for us to be a successful nation. As the late Thomas Jefferson once stated “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers”.

 

Follow Brosnan C. Hoban on Twitter @BrosnanHoban

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