News media bias has been debated for a very long time and much of the debate has centered on whether bias exists in the first place. Of course, the people in the media have either denied it or said that only the amount that can be attributed to individual human frailty existed and in any case was balanced out by the sheer numbers of contributors.
I wouldn't classify the problem as much more than an annoyance for the most part. After all, there are still enough alternate sources for the news that people (if so inclined) can figure things out without too much trouble. The Internet has broken the monopoly the networks had on national news. Even relatively small blogs like this one have an impact because there are so many of them.
Having said that, the most insidious type of bias is the kind that is used to decide what is and what isn't news and then use that tactic to decide for us things we need to decide for ourselves. The news blackouts are the most dangerous bias the "news" media uses to usurp our liberties.
It's not some grand conspiracy, it's the natural result of the wishes of people who really desire to shape events rather than report on them. And why not just ignore people and events that do not fit our narrative? It's human nature. But whatever the reason, and whether or not you excuse the people who practice the deceit as "absent malice", the effect on your rights is the same.
What liberties am I talking about? The one I have in mind is the right to choose our own candidates for office.
Back in the now defunct USSR, elections for office were held on a regular basis. But since there were only approved and selected candidates on the ballot, (often only one) very few bothered to vote. People knew it was a sham. And in this country, the turnout for elections is abysmal for similar if not exact reasons.
People simply don't turn out for elections when they hold candidates of both parties in equal contempt. The candidates are selected in a process that is so convoluted that the most common practice when casting one's ballot is to select the lesser of two evils. Having to choose between Barack Obama and John McCain in the last Presidential election is all the evidence you need to convict the current system.
But even the crazy order of primaries that give out of proportion power to some states at the expense of the rest of us is becoming less of a hazard than the news media blackout of certain non-approved candidates. We are allowing a few networks and pollsters to dictate to us who our choices will be and we do so at our own peril.
If we continue to allow this to happen we might be dumber than those in the "Occupy Wall Street" protests who cannot explain what their beef is or what they want to be done about it. And that number seems huge.
One well credentialed candidate (Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico) is excluded from the polls and then denied access to the Republican debates because he isn't polling high enough. It's a purposeful blackout. Another candidate who wins most of the straw polls and consistently polls in third place (Ron Paul) is systematically ignored in the vast majority of "news" stories that follow such debates. Also a purposeful blackout.
These tactics are designed to deny us the choices which we are entitled to and turn them over to the kingmakers who would be the target of the OWS protests if they were sober. It's all legal of course, and should be. But that doesn't mean we ought to stand for it. It seems as though the left leaning media has reconciled itself to their chosen one, Barack Obama, losing the White House in 2012 and now is turning it's attention to cutting their losses by choosing his replacement.
Empowering ourselves by blacking out the media itself, at least intellectually, may be what we need to do as a first step toward turning the country around and heading back toward the place it used to be. It was never perfect, but it slowly has become dreadful.
It's our country. No matter whom we choose to lead us, let's choose them ourselves.