Media bias: not just against Conservatives anymore?
Posted by Liberty on December 18, 2008
I heard David Boze discussing this on his radio show yesterday afternoon and thought it was interesting. This story is linked on his blog. He was describing how he was reading this report on his lunch hour and was laughing out loud [in some un-named public place] at how ridiculous it is. It literally is a laugh a minute, if you can get over the fact that a public university is wasting money researching the media’s portrayal of homelessness. Do not interpret my mirth over this report to mean that I think homelessness is funny, because it’s not. The homeless being used as a political football–that’s what I think is funny.
A gaggle of English professors [among others] at the University of Washington conducted a study of how homelessness is portrayed in the media. They focused specifically on media coverage of the City of Seattle’s clean-ups of homeless encampments and have concluded that the camps are unfairly portrayed as dirty, drug-laden and dangerous.
Well, not everyone can exist in the cushy, tenured subjectivity of a university liberal arts department. Words have concrete definitions and certain situations warrant that specific words be used. I’m guessing that the journalists who have written about these squatters’ camps are correct to describe the camps as garbage-strewn, unsanitary and a threat to public safety.
Perhaps the UW team could have rounded up some creative writing professors to formulate a list of more colorful language so that the words “dirty” and “dangerous” wouldn’t be so over used. Instead of “dirty” and “dangerous,” the journalists could use: vile, sordid, tainted, toxic, insalubrious, obscene, perilous, unlawful, obnoxious, objectionable, repugnant or intolerable.