All Subjects are Subject to Bias

by Mila NY on February 5, 2017 - 5:56pm

All Subjects are Subject to Bias


Trump, Breitbart, and the rejection of multicultural democracy


By Daniel Kreiss


Published on January 30th, 2017 on Vox


This article discusses about the negative aspects of journalism, such as it adopts a biased outlook on the topic it discusses. This, in turn, has a huge impact on its readers, as the choice of words  and paraphrase can greatly influence a person’s mind and shape their set of beliefs. The author of the article used Breitbart as an example to explain the cons of journalism. Breitbart is a news outlet that only reveals information deemed suitable. In fact, it is mentioned that Breitbart is a right wing nationalist site; therefore, all articles provided by their site support nationalism. According to statistics, Breitbart is ranked 44th in popularity when it comes to internet searches. Moreover, it has an audience of 2.3 million followers on Facebook. If we think of how this news outlet is biased, and yet it is still there to provide biased information, we can say that journalism has become a dangerous weapon. We already know that journalism was initially created to provide facts for the public, but when a news outlet like Breitbart are there to modify facts in order to make others believe in what they believe, it would then become a manipulative tool. However, the audience must also be aware of where the information is being provided. As the author talks about the number of visitors on Breitbart’s website, he is trying to explain that many individuals choose what they want to hear and tend to be in denial of the truth. Furthermore, Breitbart’s use of words are attractive in that they have very strong meaning. For example, most of their articles had the following words: “taking back our country”. These words are very suggestive and will consequently affect the readers’ view on the topic. Hence, instead of gathering the real facts, readers are introduced to the journalist’s personal view. With regard to the “taking back our country”, the readers, typically White Americans, started to believe that immigrants came into their country and destroyed American values, leading to the belief that multiculturalism is dangerous. Breitbart contributors were primarily responsible for creating the belief that Muslims can never conform to the American society, because all teachings of Islam were against democracy, freedom of speech, and America’s system of laws and rights. Breitbart also wrote articles against cosmopolitanism and globalism, for they were considered to be ideologies that contradict nationalism. To influence their readers. they explained that globalisation and multiculturalism were the root of America’s demise, such as they were the causes for the lack of social and governmental support for the white working-class. Breitbart journalists provide very little essential information because they want to keep their readers between two narrow walls.




I think you raise a good point about the dangers surrounding polarised media outlets, such as Breitbart, but I feel that the article you summarised, and you yourself didn't go far enough. It seems to me that Breitbart functions more like a propaganda machine than a Journalistic news source, though I admit the line between the two is rather opaque.
As someone who falls far left on the political system and someone who pointedly disagrees with just about every issue Breitbart has meddled themselves into, I realise my bias, which as you said is something constantly and consistently in play, has definitely become part of the conversation. That being said, I believe I must still address the elephant in the room, but I’ll get to that a bit later on.
I am an avid reader, particularly of anything related to the organisation of societies and civilisations, I consider my self a history bluff, in that there is still so much more for me to glean from the mistakes of our ancestors, and from what I’ve manager to learn, for thousands of years the world operated on a few simple rules:
1. Might makes Right
2. Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
This is solely my cynical perspective, but if you humour me for a second and consider that in that last few hundred years, Might has shifted from solely Military Strength to other areas like Information and Money, you’ll notice something very interesting.
Now I shall get to my point. Forgetting any political-ideological aspect, Breitbart is a For-Profit news source, meaning the bottom line is to make more money, and this presents an issue for the integrity of its “news.” To make more money, Breitbart would need to gain more readers, and by extension get more people talking specifically about Breitbart. Essentially the goal is to become a monopoly, but as you might recall, Absolute power corrupts absolutely, hence you could say that Breitbart was founded on an ill intentions. Note Breitbart is not alone in this crime, merely the loudest of the lot. Going further, if you liken Breitbart to a virus that uses news and articles simply to grow larger, it becomes easy to see it as a propaganda machine that operates on a self-serving objective. On the other hand, I would liken the ideal media source to be like a plant seed, instead subsisting off the readers, it would require effort from the readers to “cultivate” it in a sense.

For those who made it this far, I must thank you for reading. I Really encourage you to send my way your own opinions to further the conversation.

About the author

An art-enthusiast who is diagnosed with the incurable disease of wanderlust and traveled throughout the continent of North and South America, Europe, and Asia.