Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Liberal" New Media Bias

It's funny how so-called (social) conservatives condemn more-or-less unfiltered media as having a "liberal" bias. Take Wikipedia, for instance. It's big, often contradictory, at times inaccurate, yet it theoretically has a system of users keeping each other in check. It is basically free market knowledge (and misknowledge). The encyclopedia site Conservapedia has an obvious socially conservative bias, as it was built in reaction to the supposed liberal bias of Wikipedia. Now, the Conservapedia has every right to express their view, spin knowledge, and portray them as facts. However, it is a tricky situation to accuse a sprawling website that covers economic theory, social theory, and all sorts of trivia - of having a unified political bias. Does Google's search algorithm have a political bias?

Does FactCheck.org have to have an equal amount of anti-McCain and anti-Obama critiques to be "fair"? Sites like FactCheck.org, critiquing both (if not "all") sides will probably have more accusations of liberal bias than conservative bias. That's just how the cookie crumbles, I guess. Social liberals and moderates live an entire spectrum of lifestyles, from the traditional to the unorthodox. For the most part, they, like me, are unwilling to legislate a particular way of life for everyone to follow. Social conservatives, on the other hand, are normally willing to use "big government" to institutionalize one way of life, regardless of geography, biology, or culture. So much for liberty...

Fiscal politics is another issue, albeit still tied to social policy, but I've left it out of this particular discussion.

Anyhow, comedy and satire sites obviously wear their bias as a badge of honor. The Liberapedia was obviously formed in mockery of the Conservapedia. Virtually every point of view has their own brand of satire, using some sort of offbeat humor to tear down other ideologies. These days, however, I have yet to find "socially conservative" satire that's more funny than mean-spirited, or even makes sense. (To be fair, I've been guilty of publishing in-jokes, too.)

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