Media Bias: A Litmus Test

The almost-here “fiscal cliff” (where the heck did that uniformly used label originate I wonder) provides a wonderful litmus test for your perusal the press and other commentary sources.

The expiration that looms involves the addition of a set of tax increases and spending cuts. Both occur. If the source talks about the “cliff” as about tax increases and not about looming cuts in spending, that’s a Democrat biased source. If the source talks not about taxes but about spending cuts which will occur that’s a GOP biased one.

The only possibly non-biased sources are the ones that talk about both. That they talk about both doesn’t mean they are unbiased.

3 responses to “Media Bias: A Litmus Test

  1. The expiration that looms involves the addition of a set of tax increases and spending cuts. Both occur. If the source talks about the “cliff” as about tax increases and not about looming cuts in spending, that’s a Democrat biased source. If the source talks not about taxes but about spending cuts which will occur that’s a GOP biased one.

    Why?

  2. Boonton,
    Because a “powerful” indicator of Democrat vs GOP is whether they think increased taxes vs reduced spending is the solution to the deficit.

  3. How about a supply sider saying something like “this is horrible, look at all these higher taxes”? Or a liberal saying “on balance it’s not too bad as there’s more taxes than spending cuts”? The issue has too many possible angles to establish a simplistic litmus test for media bias, unless media bias is an arbitrary and meaningless concept.

    The issue gets even more muddy when you consider people who take this sort of thing seriously do not just divide things into black and white ‘taxes.v.spending cuts’. Fiscal hawsk consider entitlement spending to be a major problem but discretionary spending to be irrelevant (even starved), yet the cliff leaves entitlements almost untouched. Republican tax partisans tend to view taxes on wages to be less important than taxes on investment income….so the payroll tax increases matter less to them than tax increases on dividend income.

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