Media Bias- It is a Thing.
Updated: Jul 27, 2021
So evidently Maxine Waters said something that got the Republicans all hot and bothered, or as I like to say- politics happened. But some of the coverage I have seen surrounding this illustrates a point that at times is very difficult to make given how the topic normally comes up at family get together's where you don't have the receipts to show your point. What's more, The Guardian gave me two receipts for the price of one, so on that, I should thank them.
Now, originally I was going to do my best to not poison the well regarding this piece. In fact, in the original intro to this piece I was attempting to throw some shade their way. I can't do this now. The article in question is from The Guardian, and its by Martin Pengelly. I'd suggest you watch my video here before continuing to see the entire article in it's original form before you read the article as it is now. Then, the context of what you're about to read will make more sense.
I'm going to do this in a style similar to a rebuttal, except rather than rebut the claims, I'm going to illustrate where I see bias and why this is article is proof positive that we're looking at a reinventing of "truth." The original will be in BOLD, the updated version will be in BOLD ITALICS and my analysis will be in regular.
"Republicans demand action against Maxine Waters after Minneapolis remarks "
By Martin Pengelly.
This was the original title of the piece.
"The Republican leader in the House of Representatives and an extremist congresswoman who champions “Anglo-Saxon political traditions” have demanded action against the Democratic representative Maxine Waters, after she expressed support for protesters against police brutality."
This is the original opening paragraph to the piece that I linked. You can see as much in the video I did going over this piece here. That being said, here is the new opening paragraph to the piece.
"The judge overseeing the trial of Derek Chauvin has expressed frustrations with recent comments by the Democratic US representative Maxine Waters, in which she expressed support for protesters against police brutality, saying the remarks could lead to a verdict being appealed and overturned."
This seems like an odd flex in language, and a little on the awkward side. "the Democratic US Representative Mazine Waters?" AS in, she's the only one? Honestly, he coudl have gotten away with "representative Maxine Waters (D) California," but I guess when you're working hard to work damage control, you just throw whatever you can into the mix, am I right? I mean, the important piece is still there- that Maxin Waters (D) California is still supporting protestors against police brutality- but you figure a guy who gets paid to do this stuff could at least keep the phrasing de-clunkified.
Or, are we looking at an "excuse" of sorts for when the trial doesn't go their way? If Maxine Waters (D) California can be thrown under the bus as having affected the outcome of the trial, then they can believe- even if the jury says "not guilty"- that Chauvin really is guilty. Then, the coming riots (I mean, "peaceful protests") will be warranted and justified. I mean, I hate to put the idea that The Guardian is putting some thought into this so they can, you know, manipulate the narrative, but given how the first iteration of this article went- and how it was subsequently altered- I'm not going to hold my breath.
In any case, this alteration of the opening paragraph completely alters the thrust of the piece. No longer is the thrust that the House Minority leader and and "extremist representative from Georgia" are working against the inestimable Maxine Waters (D) California, but that now the Judge thinks what Waters (D) California has said could result in the trial being overturned.
To me this is a telling flex. Before, they could have said that Chauvin being acquitted was proof of white supremacy (a little lack luster in my mind, but we'll roll with the idea) but now Maxine Waters (D) California has thrown a rather sizeable wrench in that plan. You see, with her speaking on the matter as she did, this really throw doubt into whatever comes out of that courtroom. Sure, the Jurors were told to forgo watching the news, but in this day and age, unless you take away their phones and connection to the outside world, it's very likely that they will have seen the news. Couple this with the events of last year, and it could be said that some of them may be kinda flighty.
This attitude by Maxine Waters (D) California isn't conducive to a fair trial based on the merits of the evidence. And any decision- even and especially one favorable to the BLM supporters- is going to be called into question. That simple fact is huge right now, and could be what starts a second string of mayhem in the streets throughout the nation.
Moving along, "The California congresswoman spoke before final arguments on Monday in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer who knelt on the neck of George Floyd for more than nine minutes last May, resulting in the Black man’s death and global protests" is still present in the same location in the piece, but the context is now shifted with the new opening paragraph.
This paragraph assumes the conclusion of a currently ongoing trial. At the time I wrote this piece- the closing arguments were either under way or had yet to be started. The verdict wasn't out, and the author is linking the two ideas in the orignal paragraphs. The Author had linked "extremist congresswoman," "Anglo-Saxon political traditions," Chauvin killing Floyd, and "Black" together to create the links in the mind he wanted you to have.
Now, in the re-write, those links have been altered to "mistrial," "Chauvin killed Floyd," "Judge against Maxine Waters (D) California being against police brutality." What's worse, anyone who read the original article, closed it, and then read this re-write will likely assume (as I did when I first stumbled across this) that they are reading two different articles with similar content. The link in some people's minds will be that first, The Republicans led by Greene with their "Anglo-Saxon political traditions" are trying to shut down Maxine Waters (D) California for standing against police brutality, and that now the Judge (likely with the same "Anglo-Saxon political traditions") is standing against Maxine Waters (D) California.
This will obviously point to a biased and racialized system built to oppress "Black" people. And this is just from four paragraphs in two versions of the same article (and two of those paragraphs are the same!).
But how could this be the case? How could people make this kind of mistake? Well, when you read an article, do you read the URL and memorize it, or do you note what publication the article came from, and then click out never to think of it again?
More than likely, you have the "information" in your head to reference but not the source material. I mean, we all do this to a degree with just about everything. Do you carry around a math textbook with you to reference the order of operations? How about a reference for the driving laws? No, you don't, and likely you don't know where to look for many of the things you just "know" each day. So after you read something online, you close it and forget the reference, only holding onto the "information" or sometimes just the main thrust. Given that I will sometimes read only parts of a piece- namely the beginning and end if I'm in a hurry to get the major ideas- I can only assume that others will do the same thing.
Extend this idea to this piece in both it's forms, and you now have, in the minds of most people, TWO articles talking about two distinct yet linked ideas. The memory of one reinforces the other, and the location of certain pieces of information reinforces the ideas taken from the first. It's circular, yet to the average person who isn't paying to close attention, it appears entirely linear.
This is the dangers of bias like this, and the altering of news pieces without letting the reader know- and the re-write doesn't mention ANY alterations to the piece.
This is propaganda. Pure, unadulterated, "1984" level propaganda. The Guardian "minitruthed" this piece to alter the meaning without letting anyone know. The original is in peoples heads, unable to be referenced and therefore refuted, and for the most part GONE from existence.
Except I have it on video (coming 042121) so you can see for yourself that this is the case. Likely, they'll get all the loose ends tied up and then the original will be well and truly GONE. But, the internet is more or less forever. And part of what I want to do is hold people and organizations to account.
Never trust "news" at face value- know they want you to think in a certain way, and they'll do whatever they can to make that a reality. It's insidious and wrong, and they won't stop until they've won, or been run under. So, let's not let them win. Support alternative media, and hold the big corporations (and everyone else) accountable.
This is Battle Specter, signing off.