No, that paper is not likely biased against your team

Library of Congress
20 Comments

Nearly every fan has thought, at one time or another, that a reporter or a newspaper or a website is biased against his or her team. What they tend to forget is that their own baseline isn’t “fairness” but “bias in favor of the team I like.” If you love your guys, someone treating them objectively (i.e. criticizing them sometimes) is, to your un-objective mind, bias. It’s why people who watch Fox News think that channel is “fair and balanced.” Indeed, if you lean a certain way and the whole world leans with you, everything does look balanced indeed.

Not even the smartest or most insightful on this topic are above it. Not even someone who, for professional purposes, is supposed to know how the media works. Like, say, a journalism professor. A journalism professor who wrote in to the New York Times to complain about how they cover the Yankees WAY too much and don’t give enough ink to the Mets.

Since a journalism professor’s claim of media bias understandably carries more weight than other people, the Times researched the claim. The results?

. . . we dug in a bit, taking a look at coverage over the past five days since Mr. Robins wrote and Mr. Stallman responded. The results are a fairly close call, but the Mets squeak it out with nine articles over seven for the Yankees.

I think most bias claims would be resolved this way. With very few exceptions, the media doesn’t care about your team and isn’t out to get them. They print what’s newsworthy, what people are generally talking about and, of course, what sells papers. Their dislike of your team doesn’t even rate. Mostly because you’re imagining it.