Wannabe Pundits

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on September 12, 2007

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Example of Media Bias:

Questions

“A pundit is a person who gives opinions in an authoritative manner usually through the mass media” (from m-w.com).
In James Taranto’s Best of the Web found at OpinionJournal.com, he posts a new category called “Wannabe Pundits.”

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Match the excerpts below, taken from various news articles, with the source and topic that describes the blurb (listed below the excerpts).  (Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.)
2.  Do you think non-political items in the news should contain political opinions?  Explain your answer.

 

EXCERPTS (from “Best of the Web” found at OpinionJournal.com):
Go to OpinionJournal.com for the original postings posted Sept. 4, 5, 6 and 10.

1. _______ “The manufacturer’s suggested retail price, for those trying to keep up with the Joneses–or the Rollses and Royces, in this case–is now more than eight times Americans’ annual median household income. Are you still waiting for Reaganomics to trickle down to your level? Me too.”

2. _______ “If the [Arizona] Cardinals were an automobile, they’d be a Pinto; if they were a tree, they’d be a weeping willow; if they were a planet, they’d be Earth after gross human negligence destroyed the ozone and left our global landscape scorched, barren and uninhabitable.”

3. _______ “A year and a half ago, Tom Cruise was rumored to be interested in playing the outlaw, which would have given the film more false vibes than a Tony Snow press conference.”

4. _______ “Don’t believe me? OK, Larry Craig is not gay. We’re winning in Iraq. Global warming is a hoax. Housing prices are headed up.”

5. _______ If today’s world is even more strife-torn than the world of 1969, when the Vietnam War was raging, one reason may be that the same technology that produced Apollo 11 has since come under a cloud.  The good vibes are gone. The tone of international political discourse has toughened, and the United States is increasingly viewed as an arrogant, dangerous superpower. The concept of a cooperative multinational “we,” working together for world peace, with America leading the way, is almost as quaint as the cozy concept of “the global village.” The planet that looked so pretty to Mr. Collins from 240,000 miles away is more fragile than we realized.

Match the letter of each source/topic below with the correct statement above:
a) a sports column, by Norman Chad in the Washington Post
b) a car review, of the latest Rolls-Royce, in the New York Times
c) a movie review of “In the Shadow of the Moon,” by Stephen Holden in the New York Times
d) from Dana Blankenhorn and Paula Rooney’s Open Source blog on ZDNet–a technical site. The topic is the effort “to make Microsoft’s OOXML, or Open XML, an international standard.”
e) a movie review of “3:10 to Yuma,” by Allen Barra in the New York Sun, Sept. 5


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1. b) a car review, of the latest Rolls-Royce, in the New York Times
2. a) a sports column, by Norman Chad in the Washington Post
3. e) a movie review of “3:10 to Yuma,” by Allen Barra in the New York Sun, Sept. 5
4. d) from Dana Blankenhorn and Paula Rooney’s Open Source blog on ZDNet–a technical site. The topic is the effort “to make Microsoft’s OOXML, or Open XML, an international standard.”
5. c) a movie review of “In the Shadow of the Moon,” by Stephen Holden in the New York Times