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The shape of the news - Steve Brecher
September 3rd, 2011
03:31 pm


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The shape of the news

ABC News story:
A 24-year-old Cincinnati father died from a tooth infection this week because he couldn't afford his medication, offering a sobering reminder of the importance of oral health and the number of people without access to dental or health care.
Summary: dentist recommends extraction, which the guy can't afford; later, emergency room prescribes antibiotics and pain meds; he can't afford both, chooses pain meds, dies of infection. Now, however you look at it, this is a sad story. But the "because" in the story's lede seems more a sociopolitical comment than a statement of fact, as does the "sobering reminder" which follows. I would assume the guy's lack of knowledge of the risk of death that he faced was at least as causal as his lack of funds—that he didn't choose the pain meds to die soon more comfortably.

New York Times story headlined "G.O.P. Stands on Health Mask Records as Governors":
The three current or former governors running for president — Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Jon M. Huntsman Jr. — are firmly united in...
Either the reporter is ignorant of Gov. Gary Johnson's candidacy, or thinks most NYT readers are. I suppose the latter could be correct.

Edit: "The three" became "The three most prominent" after I emailed the reporter about the omission of Johnson. Coincidence? NO! I SHAPE THE NEWS!

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:September 4th, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
I have come to believe that there's less "media bias" than I previously thought. To be sure, there are outliers (aka. Fox & MSNBC) but for the most part, they report stuff in a way that they think is going to make their viewers happy.

On point, it's not fun to read a story called "Cincinnati Dad Gets What He Deserves".
Date:September 4th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC)
Your new nick: 'NEWSSHAPER'!!!
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