Acknowledging Bias in News Outlets: Calling for open and honest discourse across the political aisle.

On August 29, the US ordered a drone strike on a suspected ISIS-K target, in Afghanistan. This is about a month after Biden pulled America out of Afghanistan in a chaotic and messy operation. In the aftermath of the strike, the target turned out not to be an ISIS-K target, but a vehicle containing 10 civilians, seven of whom were children. All of these civilians were from the same extended family. This event caused outrage among conservatives while it only garnered minimal reporting attention from liberals. I counted three articles on MSNBC related to the Kabul drone strike, compared to nine on Fox News. 

In an article, MSNBC did not connect the botched strike to the Biden administration until the second to last paragraph and then very vaguely, while most Fox News articles mentioned Biden and his administration in the first or second paragraph. I was interested in finding out what the reporting would look like on botched military activities under a republican president. 

After a little research I found that the first military raid under Donald Trump had resulted in the death of thirty civilians. I found scathing articles from MSNBC and The Independent, which both connected the incident to Trump in the first paragraph. On the other hand, I was unable to find reporting of this event on some of the main conservative websites, meaning it must have either been reported sparsely, or perhaps not at all. 

This brings up a point that bugs me about politics, they are too political. Over and over, it is the same story. When my opponent’s party is in the White House, I get outraged when civilians are killed. When my own party’s president is in the White House, I don’t mind civilians getting killed, after all, it’s just another part of war. We see this in most reporting in the general mainstream media among both conservative and liberal outlets. Even the most prestigious news agencies on both sides of the aisle fall into this trap. Worst of all, the outlets that claim to be neutral, (CNN), are blatantly biased. Both Media Bias Fact Check and Allsides.com have categorized CNN as having left leaning bias.   

It is interesting that many people trust one news source and believe anything their one particular source says. The people who watch Fox News and believe what their favorite anchor says, and vice versa with MSNBC. Even worse, people only believe what CNN says because they are “neutral”. Biases are natural, and so there is no news organization that is free from it. This is why it’s important to read a variety of views on an issue. There is no one consistent source of truth when it comes to news. 

If you’re a conservative, you might want to remember that President Biden is not the one flying the drone, or probably authorizing the strike. If you’re liberal, you might want to report on the fact that this is happening under the Biden presidency and perhaps even because of policy he has put in place. The killing of innocent civilians, especially children, is always a terrible event. But let us remember to feel pity for these civilians whenever this happens, not just when the opposing party is in power. We must also remember that this is warfare, and there are terrible situations where civilians will inevitably become casualties. 

Truth is at great risk in our society. Lies are everywhere. Both sides of the political aisle accuse the other of lying. Let us attempt to rise above politics and put truth first. I don’t mean abandon principle, but I do mean search out the truth, and be willing to admit that we are wrong. Admitting we are wrong when we are, is the only road to finding out what is true. We must do this because who wants to believe a lie?   

Sources: Allsides.com, CNN, Fox News, Media Bias Fact Check, MSNBC, and The Independent.