The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

15 August 2004

We've been framed

To create bias in a news article, it's not necessary to misstate the facts; it is necessary only to establish a specific point of view as the default. Susanna Cornett calls this "framing," and she's written extensively on the subject.

This WaPo piece by Dan Balz drew the attention of Patterico:

It would be possible to tell the exact same story that is told in the Post news analysis, but put a completely different spin on the facts, by simply changing the tone, the facts that are highlighted, and the point of view that is emphasized.

The same facts, yet an entirely different analysis. Is this possible? As an experiment, Patterico rewrites the story, completely inverting its political predilections in the process, and the only surprise comes from how easy he makes it look. Bias lurks in even the smallest throwaway phrases; no wonder there's so much of it.

Posted at 11:23 AM to Political Science Fiction