Monitor Media Bias - "Labeling" An Excerpt

“I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Monitor Media Bias
(Excerpt from “Citizen Soldier Handbook: Fighting Big Government”)

Bias by Labeling
This powerful bias has numerous techniques for manipulating information. We utilize labels as shorthand in our verbal and written communications.    It is a very powerful way to apply a broad brush stroke to an individual or group and elicit an immediate visceral reaction.       Classifications of people, groups or movements direct our thinking toward specific, emotional attributes and reflect our own internal method of viewing the world.    While labeling allows us to put things in order, its simplicity belies its manipulative effect on our thinking and viewpoint when used by the media.
(a)    Attaching a label to an individual or institution, e.g.,   “…the very conservative senator from…”,  “the conservative think tank…”
(b)    Not attaching a label to a liberal individual or institution, e.g.,  “…the very liberal Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts…”  or “the liberal ACLU…”
(c)    Apply labels to referenced sources, e.g., Special interest group vs. Public Health Advocates
(d)    Using extreme labeling to attach a strong emotion, such as fear, hate, loathing
(e)    Identifying a liberal/conservative  speaker or group as an “expert” or nonpartisan speaker.
(f)    Use of the phrase “so-called” to diminish the importance of phrasing.
(g)    Use quotations to deride phrasing.

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