An accurate description?

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on August 28, 2013

Jump to...

Print

Directions

-Read the excerpt below from the "Best of the Web" post by OpinionJournal.com's editor James Taranto.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

From a post by OpinionJournal.com’s editor James Taranto (original post date 7/1/13):
“The parents of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl recovering after a double lung transplant say she is taking some breaths on her own,” the Associated Press reports from Philadelphia:

The suburban Philadelphia girl suffers from severe cystic fibrosis. She underwent the operation amid a national debate over the organ allocation process.

A “national debate,” eh? And who was on which side in the debate? The AP doesn’t tell us, but as we noted last month, the most prominent public advocate of denying the transplant to the girl, Sarah Murnaghan, was Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Do you think the AP would have settled for an oblique reference to “a national debate” if a Republican official had taken the position that a child should be denied potentially life-saving surgery?

Questions

1.  Do you think Mr. Taranto makes a fair assertion by implying that the Associate Press would not have described the 10-year-old’s fight to receive the lung transplant as “a national debate” if a Republican official had taken the position that a child should be denied potentially life-saving surgery? Explain your answer.

2.  Do you think Mr. Taranto successfully illustrates bias by spin in his excerpt?  Explain your answer.