It’s not just what they say, it’s also with what they don’t say.
So in the cable news game, it’s Fox News on the right, and CNN and MSNBC on the left. Got it, and the differing biases of these cable channels are openly reflected in their “reporting” of the news.
I’m sure you know what I mean about Fox – disgracefully one-sided – but maybe, just maybe, you haven’t felt the same watching CNN or MSNBC. Well, think about their coverage of the sexual adventures of Congressman Matt Gaetz. Sure, the accusations are scandalous, and sure, he’s a repulsive type, but don’t you sense a little of the schadenfreude, the feeding frenzy going on there? If not, stop reading now; I can’t help you.
The thing to remember is, it’s not just what they’re saying, but what they’re leaving out, and that’s true for all three channels, Fox, CNN and MSNBC.
Just one example: The Republican Chief Operations Officer of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office was interviewed on CNN about the Georgia laws recently passed to limit voting. He referred to the provision that makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to give food or drink to a person waiting in line to vote.
Now this one has been portrayed on CNN and MSNBC as an especially cruel prohibition – can’t even bring Grandma a drink of water while she waits there in the hot sun to cast her vote. What a travesty!
True enough, and pro-democracy folks are right to tear into it, but the Georgia Republican official said something I hadn’t heard before. He said the provision is there to prevent electioneering, the practice of campaigning near the polls, and I guess you could indeed give Grandma a few voting tips along with the Poland Spring.
Hey, even the Ur-Progressive State of New York prohibits electioneering within 100 feet of the polls, so I won’t question the basic idea. Maybe this part of the Georgia law is justified and maybe it’s not.
But that’s not the point. The point is, I’m a news junkie who has CNN or MSNBC on all the time, and this story had been around for about two weeks then, and I hadn’t heard Word One about the anti-electioneering aspect.
Why? I think it’s very possible that CNN and MSNBC intentionally ignored it.
I bet if I’d been watching Fox for that two weeks (Ugh!) I’d know all about the thing. I bet they were beating that drum, making the no-drink provision sound perfectly reasonable, and the rest of the package along with it.
CNN and MSNBC should have told me that, so I’d know both sides and not be surprised by this GOP argument.
We know we’re getting a biased view from cable news by what they say – that’s pretty obvious – but it’s not so obvious what they’re leaving out, and we need to know that, too.