Election lays bare extent of US media bias

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/10/17 0:28:39

During this year's presidential campaign, the US mainstream media has overwhelmingly seen an outpouring of support for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton while disparaging her Republican rival Donald Trump. The gap is rare in the history of US elections. According to statistics from the US, of the top 100 daily newspapers in the country, 30 support Clinton and none support Trump. But in the previous two elections in 2012 and 2008, support for the Democratic and Republican nominees was 41:35 and 65:25 respectively.

Media outlets in the West have strong political orientations, which the Chinese public knows. But the ugly unity of the American media in this campaign has left a deep impression. The so-called objectivity and fairness have been totally discarded.

Some argue that media can have a clear stance and that American media is objective in reporting facts. However, mainstream US media has heavily hyped up Trump's insulting comments against women, while only scratching the surface of Clinton's e-mail scandals. This selectively reporting breached the principles of objectivity.

Trump and his supporters feel outraged about US media unfairness. "The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her [Clinton] president," Trump charged the US media. But he is furious about the immoral media outlets for jeopardizing his interests.

If US media truly reflects public opinion, there would be no suspense that Clinton would beat Trump to win the crowning victory in US election history. However, experts believe that a certain large gap exists between the US media and reality, and the former tends to represent the US elites.

Closely intertwined with interest groups behind them, the US media has failed to be objective in their coverage of this year's election.

In fact, subjectivity has long dominated US media, but this is laid bare by this year's election.

The Western media is selective in international reporting as well. In reporting China, they always pick up negative news. For instance, they elaborated dissidents' stories while neglecting China's progress in human rights conditions.

In the past few centuries, the West and the US have led the world in development, an advantage that also helps cover their flaws. The West has not only deeply affected the global way of thinking, but also developed political correctness and moral standards to serve their interests. For example, the American media that are hardly objective have misled the world by self-claimed "objectivity."

Even with their advantages, media outlets in the US and the West shouldn't be followed blindly. They can by no means function as judge when there is a conflict of national interests. It's time to de-deify them.

Posted in: Editorial

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