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Saturday, March 11, 2006 

Media Shenanigans

If you see a headline like "Court backs student's 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' banner'", what would you think without reading the article?

You'd think, "those damn activist judges; they're pro-bong hits!"

You'd be wrong. It's an issue that ties together free speech, the Constitution, students' rights, government overreach. It's something that most of us would consider a great ruling, because we think that everybody has rights, even students. But when it's presented like a former bong-hitting hippie activist judge's ruling of a lifetime, it becomes that in people's minds.

My point is that media bias doesn't have to start with a reporter (or editor, in this case - I have no idea who writes the headlines for CNN.com) thinking "how can I make people think _________?" It's often far more subtle, even unintentional., and even when it doesn't precisely follow a left-wing/right-wing split, it still rarely ends up well.

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