Developing an awareness of the political bias from media outlets you regularly consume, prevents manipulation and distortion in perceiving reported news and how it is communicated.
Before the 24-hour switch of news sources, I had always considered myself to have a centre media bias that was understanding and accepting of all viewpoints that exist in society. I made sure to examine all facets of a story before constructing judgement, as well, I surrounded myself with individuals that offer their different perceptions of politics, values, and beliefs; however, through the past 24 hours, for the first time, I realized my political media bias was actually left-leaning instead of having no influence.
Without knowing, I had unconsciously limited myself to a specific side of media coverage due to many of these mainstream journalists and publications also being leftward ideological biased. Buzzfeed, the New York Times, and Washington Post were few of the news sources that I frequently subscribed to on Youtube as well as social media are all left-leaning and credible. These sources cater to my liberal political point of view and cover a variety of topics that include entertainment, lifestyle, business, politics, and international news. They mention issues that I place importance on in the way that I agree with, such as equal rights, income equality, environmental protection, expansion of educational opportunities, and the availability of social nets in our society.
To explore the media opposite of my political bias — the rightwing
- I decided to strictly narrow my media channels and platforms to only viewing Infowars, WorldNetDaily, and Steven Crowder’s Youtube. I created new Facebook and Youtube accounts, as a part of the experiment, to follow as well as subscribe to their email updates in order to fully immerse myself in the experience of taking in right bias content.
My Facebook News Feed was quickly flooded with pro-Trump articles and opinions, backlash against Black Lives Matter, and dismissive coverage on the coronavirus.
Steven Crowder’s activity on both platforms particularly stood out. The articles and information that he shares impose extreme conservative values, especially his beliefs in sexuality, racism, and equality. What was more shockingly outrageous was his uploaded past video segments, “Change My Mind”, regarding topics ‘male privilege’ and ‘rape culture’. Commentators who view his content also provide ridiculous support and agreement to his opinions.
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WorldNetDaily (WND) also reveals ridiculous right-wing conspiracy theories, for example, their article “Is the Chinese Communist Party funnelling money to rioters?” alleges that the hectic protests that are occurring in America are a result of the monetary donations provided by ‘spies’ from the pro-People’s Republic of China organization (Ellis, 2020). The facts they are claiming are false and baseless where there is no solid evidence to prove its truth, but does seemingly work to fuel vengeance for those with alt-right beliefs. Although the article to me is unbelievable, numerous commentators, on the other hand, had expressed their concerns with the influence of China and genuinely agree with the writer.
In another article published by WND, titled “School fires worker who alerted friends to LGBT agenda in classrooms”, which was an update published on Facebook, I was able to witness the editorial’s apparent rightist beliefs supporting conventional relationships and their nonacceptance of the LGBT
community. The article covers a small story that highlights a teacher who was punished for sharing her Christian concerns about Relationships and Sex
Education (WND Staff, 2020). Again, in the comments, I was intrigued by the number of people bluntly opposing LGBT, because most of the news sources I was used to fully supported the community’s equality and rights.
Likewise, I noticed Infowars shares even more radical right publications that disseminate conspiracies and false claims. Their article “The Satanic Left Wants Our President to Die” is a greatly exaggerated way to discredit liberals and leftists without any hint of factual truth. The writer viciously refers to leftists as “lowest forms of humanity” and associates their actions with evil which I find simply perplexing since the whole writing piece itself asserts more aggression than the “imagery” they refer to as being “satanic” (Bowne, 2020). As well, I noticed many of their publications on the subject of COVID-19, spreads disinformation and derides actual risks by claiming that “the harms caused by the lockdowns far outweigh the harms posed by the COVID-19 virus”, rather a majority of the scientific articles, supported with research, emphasizes the dangers of the virus and the need for lockdowns (Deist, 2020). While I don’t understand how this way of thought can exist, most of the updates I read about on the coronavirus impose reasoning and logic through the facts and information in the article. The overall tone in the message of these articles express their concerns about the virus’ impact and ways to reduce the spread, but I am truly astonished to see how right-wing media can turn preventions that brings us more good than harm into something that is, instead, detrimental.
Personally, I perceive all these right-leaning, rightists, or radically-right media sources as fake news to which I see as real attempts to brainwash and continuously fuel misinformation. From the 24-hours of experiencing the right-wing political bias, I learnt that no matter what political bias we choose to believe, the filter bubbles we choose to surround ourselves with can harmfully distort the reality and our perceptions of the world around us. It limits our ability to recognize issues and reach solutions by creating informational barriers around individuals. Media in our digital age has such a strong role in influencing society’s views and public opinion, but if we are mindful of our political bias and recognize opposing views, it can certainly help us establish well-rounded beliefs.
Bowne, J. (2020, October 03). The Satanic Left Wants Our President To Die. Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://archives.infowars.com/the-satanic-left-wants-our-president-to-die/
Daniels, K. (2020, October 02). The Absurdity of COVID “Cases”. Retrieved. October 06, 2020, from https://www.infowars.com/posts/the-absurdity-of-covid-cases/
Ellis, C. (2020, October 03). Is the Chinese Communist Party funnelling money to rioters? Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://www.wnd.com/2020/10/chinese-communist-partyfunneling-
WND Staff. (2020, September 24). School fires worker who alerted friends to the LGBT agenda in classrooms. Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://www.wnd.com/2020/09/school-fires-workeralerted-friends-lgbt-agenda-classrooms/