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SCOT BELLAVIA: Watch for the Subtleties

In recent months, I’ve made an effort to listen to both sides of the aisle when getting the news. While at times I tire of listening to upwards of two hours of nothing but news in a morning, it’s helped me put a face on the names of the “other side.” I’ve also begun to notice slight differences in the way stories are reported, drawing my attention to the unavoidable bias from each news outlet.

Biblical apostles warn readers of false teachers and antichrists. After sincere study in these passages and viewing the world as the Bible describes it, it becomes clear the authors are not only referring to obvious mis-leaders like Jim Jones or money-driven televangelists. More often than not, false teachers are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

They operate with half-truths, twisting what’s true to gain followers or because they are convinced of their developed interpretation. This is why we must consider what we hear in terms of what we know. That becomes a difficult process when weeding through the news.

No person is omniscient regarding a specific event, so listening to multiple reports will provide the most comprehensive idea of what truly happened. The reports themselves amount to little more than hearsay, having traveled through many lips to arrive at our ears. It’s up to us to notice the story that is told.

When the news makes an effort to report just facts (instead of filling air time with “expert” commentary), the bias is subtle. It can only be seen in listening to opposing outlets consecutively.

For instance, I noticed that FOX spent more time covering the anticipated actions of Biden’s first days in office while NPR put forward more news and testimony on the attack on the Capitol Building. Additionally, the January 6 attack was repeatedly referenced as an “insurrection” by the left, while outlets on the right used vaguer, less incendiary synonyms for attack.

We have long known that the media controls what we know. So much behind closed doors in D.C. or around the world remains unknown because the media decides what’s newsworthy. Sex and violence get top billing. Tax law is going to get fewer people’s attention – until it affects unemployment. But what is made public is further prioritized based on which audience wants to hear what.

News outlets are only trying to stay in business by keeping people watching. Their methods aren’t typically as nefarious as a cult leader’s, but those who aren’t willing to think for themselves will fall prey to both.

And, in case you are wondering, I’ve found the following podcasts (in no specific order) to be brief but thorough and focused on news reporting, not commentary.

  • NPR’s Up First
  • The Daily by the New York Times
  • The FOX News Rundown
  • The World and Everything In It

– Scot Bellavia

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