How to explain to children why the media is biased against Donald Trump

Question: How do I explain to my kids why the media is so biased against Donald Trump?

Answered May 1st, 2017 by Gary Puckering on Quora:  works at Prep Your Data Software

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I’d start by explaining that appearances can be deceiving. Is there a lot of negative news coverage about Donald Trump. Yes. Is it because the media is biased against him? Well, that’s one possibility. But there are others. For example, the media may be biased in favor of things which make Donald Trump a frequent subject of their reporting. Thinks like:

  • Policy statements (actual or implied) that could have a significant impact on people’s lives — such as threats to cancel NAFTA.
  • Falsehoods
  • Contradictions
  • Flip-flopping on issues
  • Retractions
  • Incomprehensible statements

The media is biased towards reporting any politician who exhibits traits like these, just as they are biased towards reporting things like:

  • Fires
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Large economic swings
  • Celebrity problems

When you are biased towards something, it can make you biased against something else. For example, my diet is intentionally biased towards protein and high quality fats. As a result, it’s biased against carbohydrates. It has to be, given my other two biases.

So, by all means explain to your children that the media seems to be biased against Donald Trump. But you should also explain that this is because they are biased towards things which are of interest to the American people. And every time Donald Trump opens his mouth and is found to be lying, contradicting himself, flip flopping or bullying it is un-presidential behavior that the majority of American people — those not sticking their head in the sand — want to know about.

Or try it this way. Ask them this: if your brother lies, contradicts himself, or says something stupid, what do you think his parents or teachers or friends should do about it? Ignore him? Won’t that just encourage him to keep doing it? Or should they call him out on it so he doesn’t get away with it? And if they call him out, does that make them “biased” against him? Or biased against his behaviors?

Not all biases are bad.

 

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