I know this might not be news for some, but based upon recent events, you cannot draw any other rational conclusion. Without question, the media is biased mostly left of center politically. You must realize this when investing, and vet media sources for your information.
Don’t blindly accept their stated “facts” without doing your own research. For example, it’s very easy for the media to spin unemployment is getting better, but not mention the participation rate is as low as the early 1980’s. It’s all about the narrative, so make sure you realize this.
We Are All Biased, Including the Media
We all have some bias. No one can be completely neutral. I do try to draw rational/logical conclusions based from all evidence. When get information from the media I draw my own conclusions to get “the truth” — whatever that maybe.
We just witnessed media bias on a massive scale with the George Zimmerman trial. It’s was so painfully obvious, that in fact I was saddened by the events. The mainstream media has failed us once again, and has continued to fail us for many years.
The trial became politicized, and the media tried to make it into issues that were objectively not there. It was taken to trial by mob rule. The case wasn’t about race, nor about an unarmed black “child”. Nor is the case about stand your ground, since the defense did not use that as an argument, nor could Zimmerman retreat.
Never mind the facts that Trayvon Martin was taller than Zimmerman, much older than in the pictures the media displayed, and at the time of the shooting was on top of Zimmerman beating him MMA style.
The trial was simply about self-defense, and reasonable doubt. Nothing more or less. Instead the media tried to make it into something it wasn’t, just to fit their narrative. So much in some cases the media modified evidence to tell a completely different story.
Focus on The Facts
The fact remains — the police were initially correct in their decision. The police didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute, and if you watched any part of the trial, that became painfully obvious. In fact, many of the prosecution witnesses helped the defense’s case.
Instead, we had media outrage and some individuals make statements about how this was a racial hate crime, and Zimmerman should be punished. Justice should be served! This is the only reason why the case went to trial. Never mind the fact that Zimmerman wasn’t white, as the lame-stream media initially reported.
The real issue was never discussed in the black community, which is the amount of largely disproportionate black-on-black crimes that occur annually. Statistically this is a real larger issue that society faces. Politicians and the media never address this big problem.
Now before anyone hates me or calls me a racist for my statements (which they are not and based upon facts), let me say this was an unfortunate terrible event. I am sorry for Trayvon’s family and their loss. There were no winners in this trial.
Both families will never be the same again. None of this changes the fact that Trayvon, for whatever reason, used force against Zimmerman, and Zimmerman defended himself. The outcome unfortunately was tragic.
Fortunately rationality prevailed in this case, and based upon the evidence is the correct conclusion. Not what some emotional talking head states in the media.
The Media Sways Public Opinion
The other sad part of this case, is how much public opinion was swayed by the media as well. Reading through the comments on news sites about the juror’s decision, it’s sad and obvious how much they don’t understand law, and base their conclusions on what was stated in the media.
After reading the comments, I wondered “Did we watch the same trial?”.
Keep in mind many are the same individuals who invest — and vote for that matter. There’s a reason why the low information voters voted President Obama in for a second term. Unlike myself, who voted for Obama for the first time, I learned my lesson and didn’t vote for him again.
How the Biased Media Affects Investing
Now what does all of this have with investing? Plenty! My point isn’t to discuss the politics of this event. Though that’s important too.
You must realize in many cases the media will tell a story with a specific narrative (ie. A unarmed child was gunned down by a white Hispanic for no reason). Why? Because it sells! When one media outlet creates the narrative group think, it seems the others run with it and do the same.
A great historical example of this is CNBC during the dotcom days. I remember watching CNBC during this period. Every few hours, CNBC would bring up some analyst touting a recently IPOed stock, who typically stated the old metrics no longer applied. It’s all about eyeballs or some other dumbass metric that didn’t determine the value of the stock.
Many friends and family during this period would ask me about XYZ stock and should they invest in it. Knowing nothing about the stock other what someone mentioned on a TV news program. Not only can the media sway opinion, but individuals will blindly accept what is stated as true. In fact, based upon this, it helps sometimes to be a contrarian investor.
Similar issues with the media were seen during the housing bubble as well. The media would go on to state it’s a great time to own a house, that housing prices never go down, and it’s okay to use your home equity like an ATM machine.
We all know how that worked out. Realize that the media isn’t your friend — especially when it comes to investing advice!
Their goal is to sell advertising — to sell a narrative. Make sure you listen to counterpoints to get the full picture, no matter how outlandish and stupid you think the opposing viewpoint is.
Get research from various sources, and then draw your own conclusion. It’s especially important with investing to have critical thinking skills, otherwise you’ll be easily blinded by what’s stated in the media.