Last week, a copy of a free independent newspaper called “Druthers” found its way into the office building where the Times is headquartered. I realize that “independent news” is not necessarily meant to imply unbiased news, but a prominent banner on the Druthers website gives the supposed reason for its existence – “because mainstream media sucks”. Seeing as the Times is also free and independent, I feel that some critiquing about the way Druthers operates is necessary in order to ensure that all independent newspapers are not painted with the same brush.
Does mainstream media suck? Yeah, sometimes. For one, it is filled with bias. It is no secret that news agencies like CBC and CTV tend to have liberal bias in terms of what they cover and how they cover it. This is what inspires the familiar term “liberal media”. Other news agencies tend to have a more conservative bias. The Sun would be an example, and to a lesser extent, the National Post. South of the border, Fox News is often so conservative in its news coverage that its bias is parodied in television shows that feature comedy and satire.
There really is no such thing as unbiased media. Most often, the bias is implicit, and is acted out in the form of deciding which stories are newsworthy, and which aren’t. However, leaning in favour of one ideology or another does not automatically make a news agency untrustworthy. Take the CBC for example. Despite the agency’s core values and management tending to have liberal views, and the inevitability that these views will sometimes leak into news coverage, it is not hard to locate an abundance of news stories wherein the CBC reports on Liberal Party antics unfavourably. If Justin Trudeau is accused of something, or there is some sort of scandal, we can be fairly certain that the CBC will report on it since it is objectively newsworthy. A likewise scenario is true for mainstream media agencies that have a more conservative bias.
One reason that removing bias from reporting is impossible is because certain values get intertwined with the way a story is told. For example, if a news story has a transgender person as its subject, the standard forward-thinking and liberal approach is to use the person’s preferred pronouns. An extreme right wing media source might instead be inclined to insist on using pronouns based on sex at birth, or even choose not to run the story at all. Regardless of one’s feelings, there is no way to be “neutral” in this particular example. Most mainstream media choose the liberal approach because it is considered more progressive, and is almost certain not to draw any lawsuits or harsh criticism.
Media sources like Druthers tend to be the poster child of bias in media, under the ruse of trying to fight bias in media. Headline stories in some past issues have included things like “Ready for forced medical interventions?”, “Our children are being destroyed”, and “80 Canadian MDs vaxxed and dead”. The last one in particular had me raising an eyebrow, so naturally I did some research. Not only is there a total lack of evidence that the vaccine is linked to these 80 deaths, but in many cases there is ample evidence that the deaths were caused by something totally explainable, such as an automobile accident.
The only honest way to describe Druthers is “fake news”. To publish such an overtly dishonest article as a front page story, dragging innocent deceased doctors’ names and faces through a campaign of dishonesty with no regard for grieving families is inexcusable. The mainstream media may suck sometimes, but “newspapers” like Druthers are just plain immoral.