Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Press Bias Dissected

What follows in this link is a slow, steady, peace-by-peace (get the pun?) disassembly of a picture, run in the San Francisco Chronicle, of an "aware" teenager who participated in the last weekend's anti-Bush, anti-war rally in San Francisco. That's what the Chron reported, but it turns out, it's not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. As someone who was there said,

But this simple analysis reveals the very subtle but insidious type of bias that occurs in the media all the time. The Chronicle did not print an inaccuracy, nor did it doctor a photograph to misrepresent the facts. Instead, the Chronicle committed the sin of omission: it told you the truth, but it didn't tell you the whole truth.

Because the whole truth -- that the girl was part of a group of naive teenagers recruited by Communist activists [emphasis added--Darren] to wear terrorist-style bandannas and carry Palestinian flags and obscene placards....

He was there. He took almost the same picture. And he shows you more than the Chron did. And his pictures tell an entirely different story than what was reported.

When those of us on the center-right complain about press bias, this is the poster child of what we're talking about.


catastrophile said...

"He took almost the same picture."

Nope. Zombietime took an entirely different picture of the same person.

Darren said...

Had Zombietime cropped his picture in the same way, they would have been almost the same picture.

Perhaps I should have clarified that. Then again, we don't know that the press didn't crop *its* picture :-)

catastrophile said...

The press did crop its picture, and zombietime did crop in the same way, and the only thing that's even similar about the two is the subject. There was no resemblance between the backgrounds of the two images, and even the subject was wearing something in the zombietime pic which she wasn't wearing in the Chron pic.

In other words, zombietime's assertion that the two pictures were taken within moments of one another, and the article which is based on that assertion, are false.

But yeah, in the exact same sense as dishonest is almost the same word as honest, they were almost the same picture.