Cover image for Press bias and politics : how the media frame controversial issues
Press bias and politics : how the media frame controversial issues
Kuypers, Jim A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 302 pages ; 24 cm.
Understanding media manipulation of controversial issues -- Charles Davidson : the Confederate flag, a symbol of racism? -- William J. Clinton : Initiative on race -- Louis Farrakhan : remarks at the Million Man March -- Reggie White : speech before the Wisconsin legislature -- Trent Lott : Armstrong Williams Show interview comments -- William J. Clinton : remarks by the president at Human Rights Campaign dinner -- Press bias, politics, and the media manipulation of controversial issues.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents

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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN4888.O25 K89 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Kuypers charts the potential effects the printed presses and broadcast media have upon the messages of political and social leaders when they discuss controversial issues. Examining over 800 press reports on race and homosexuality from 116 different newspapers, Kuypers meticulously documents a liberal political bias in mainstream news. This book asserts that such a bias hurts the democratic process by ignoring non-mainstream left positions and vilifying many moderate and most right-leaning positions, leaving only a narrow brand of liberal thought supported by the mainstream press.

This book argues that the mainstream press in America is an anti-democratic institution. By comparatively analyzing press reports, as well as the events that occasioned the coverage, Kuypers paints a detailed picture of the politics of the American press. He advances four distinct reportorial practices that inject bias into reporting, offering perspectives of particular interest to scholars, students, and others involved with mass communication, journalism, and politics in the United States.

Author Notes

Jim A. Kuypers is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Office of Speech at Dartmouth College.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In this study in rhetorical criticism, Kuypers (Dartmouth College) presents and analyzes the press coverage of six separate speeches (two by President Clinton and one each by Trent Lott, Louis Farrakhan, Charles Davidson, and Reggie White), arguing that in four of the six the press incorrectly framed the issues presented. Although Kuypers claims that these examples demonstrate deliberate bias and misrepresentation, the case could also be made that the coverage demonstrates herd mentality and lazy and careless reporting. Kuypers observes that reporters and the writers of editorials and other opinion pieces often have not even read the entire speech about which they write. Since three of the four "misframings" could also be attributed to inept speech making, the repeated use of the word "bias," with its negative connotations, seems inappropriate. The two speeches where Kuypers says the press got it right were delivered by Clinton, suggesting a press deference to that office. Kuypers's claim of conscious distortion aside, this study's analysis of these six speeches makes for informative and interesting reading. The work is well documented with separate bibliographies for each chapter and a name and subject index. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Large collections supporting study at the upper-division undergraduate level and above. P. E. Kane emeritus, SUNY College at Brockport

Table of Contents

Robert E. Denton, Jr.
Series Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1. Understanding Media Manipulation of Controversial Issuesp. 1
2. Charles Davidson: "The Confederate Battle Flag: A Symbol of Racism?"p. 27
3. William J. Clinton: "Initiative on Race"p. 53
4. Louis Farrakhan: "Remarks at the Million Man March"p. 89
5. Reggie White: "Speech before the Wisconsin Legislature"p. 119
6. Trent Lott: "Armstrong Williams Show Interview Remarks"p. 147
7. William J. Clinton: "Remarks by the President at Human Rights Campaign Dinner"p. 169
8. Press Bias, Politics, and the Media Manipulation of Controversial Issuesp. 197
Bibliographyp. 263
Indexp. 299