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Sunday, May 22, 2022
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

The problem with conservative media

The toxic words, unfaltering arrogance and total partisanship of today’s right-leaning news hosts

“These children.”

“They’re obviously misguided and they’re idiots.”

“The woke mob.”

These words all flowed from the bombastic mouths of Fox News hosts in response to the Allen West protests on Thursday, April 7.  

Such baseless accusations and ignorant stereotyping have become the lynchpin of mainstream “unbiased” right-leaning media.

It’s disturbing and unethical. 

As our screens become increasingly littered with the spit and sarcasm of these overly-manicured oracles, modern-day reporting is beginning to truly destroy the values of news outlets.

Maintaining a high standard of objectivity is the first thing I learned when I stepped foot into my college journalism classes and The Spectrum’s newsroom.

Yet some of the most established names in conservative American media — from Fox News to One America News Network to Newsmax — seem to have no concept of this.

Scathing remarks laced with (primarily) right-leaning agendas leave viewers with few facts and a predisposition to interpret said facts in the way the news host wants them to.

From loaded and leading questions to sensationalized takes on everyday happenings, partisan media on the right is making a farce of journalism. 

It’s shameful.

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And the arrogance and self-entitlement behind these news hosts’ biased takes and cutting words only adds insult to injury.

No media outlet should be able to affiliate with any bias or political stance. 

Republican or Democrat. Left or right. Pro-this or anti-that — any bias should be left unspoken.

News anchors are supposed to report the story; they shouldn’t be the story. 

But when they are, it falls foul of every principle at the core of journalism.

Opinionated news personalities like Harris Faulkner and Todd Piro are genuinely scary. 

With opinions bigger than the newsrooms they sit in, their judgements are harmful and inspire ignorant narratives filled with half-truths and venom.

Every profession that can influence public opinion has a responsibility to remain impartial on current affairs and politics.

Your job is to report the news, not be the news.

The classroom demands it, so why doesn’t the newsroom? 

This expectation certainly doesn’t mean reporters should forfeit their First Amendment rights or be unwillingly silenced, it just guarantees that the public can forge their own beliefs before someone beats them to it.

Of course, there is a time and place for opinion-based media, — I’m not disputing that in any way — but it must be just that: a time and a place. 

Programs delving into political commentary exist on both sides of the aisle — from the left leaning “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” to the right’s “The Sean Hannity Show” — but these shows are just that: commentary.

Commentary and opinion should never merge with hard news reporting or daily coverage, and certainly shouldn’t be the pillar of any news station or paper.

The news is supposed to be something for the public to interpret and bring meaning to themselves. Journalists, reporters and hosts are simply tasked with communicating that information.

No more than that.  

These professionals have a responsibility to inform, not to push their personal agendas onto viewers.

So it’s about time right-leaning media outlets give viewers the objective information they’re owed. 

Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at sophie.mcnally@ubspectrum.com


SOPHIE MCNALLY
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Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. She is a history major studying abroad for a year from Newcastle University in the UK. In her spare time, she can be found blasting The 1975 or Taylor Swift and rowing on a random river at 5 a.m.  

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