Blogging? Heck, let's just make TV....

Gordon Howie keeps spinning out video from our conversation at the Liberty Today studio in beautiful east side Rapid City. Today we have Howie's effort to box me into endorsing his Independent Senate candidacy by persuading me that liberal media bias is a bigger problem for democracy than the influence of big money in elections.

Please note that when you see me nodding at Gordon, that's not agreement. That's my normal conversational reaction of yes, I understand what you're saying, please tell me more so I can learn, figure out if anything you're saying has merit, and formulate a proper rebuttal to that which doesn't.

Speaking of media bias, UCLA's Tim Groeling says it can be really hard to produce an objective measure of bias in news coverage, since we never really know all of the stories that an organization could have covered but either rejected or never looked for (if news happens in Peever, but no one is there to report it, did anything really happen?). As he reviews the literature, Groeling also notes that in 2008, "contrary to expectations, there was more interest in publishing pro-McCain letters than in publishing pro-Obama letters, and newspapers preferred to print letters supporting candidates they had not endorsed."

In response to a Rolling Stone question about Fox News back in 2010, President Barack Obama reminded us that the whole notion of objective, non-partisan journalism was a relatively recent and brief development, very different from the partisan media of the 19th century.

But you tell me: what bias drives CNN to cover the disappearance of one airplane rather than discussions of health policy and military funding? What bias dedicates a third of our local TV news to car crashes and sports? What bias puts Hollywood entertainment news on the pages of the Madison Daily Leader? Do those journalistic choices come from any sort of ideological agenda? Or they come come from the desire to draw more eyeballs and thus more dollars?

Tell me again, Gordon, which has more influence on what we see and hear and read: the ideological preferences of those writing stories, or the profit motive of those running the presses?