Yeah, “fair” is a word we talk about. We talk about “fair” when we talk about “even.” I feel as though “even” can sometimes lead to false equivalents, whereas “fair” is, is this how you’d like to be treated if somebody disagreed with you? We all have bias; we all have a point of view. I think the best you can do is try to be aware of it and try to make sure that the bias doesn’t make you treat someone else unfairly.

Seth Meyers


“Experience is a dear teacher, but fools will learn at no other.”

Poor Richard’s almanac


Ok. I wrote a deeper dive into this topic, the lazy bias argument, but I wanted to revisit the ‘bias’ claim one more time because I just ran into it again.

It seems like in today’s world & in this environment, I could be having a discussion on any topic and make a statement and 99% of the time the other person will say <usually indignantly> “where did you hear that!?!” and I could say “well, Albert Einstein said it” and I can almost guarantee I will get the following question … “when did he say that?” and if I said “well, he said it on <pick your poison … FoxNews, MSNBC, CNN, NYTimes, Washington Post, etc>,” I can almost guarantee I will get a ‘lean-back-in-chair-moment’ combined with a sage “oh, he is biased.”


Albert Einstein.

Biased because he decided to say something smart and factual but, unfortunately, on, well, some venue.

Suffice it to say that, lately, it seems like anyone you disagree with, or anyone who espouses a different view than you, is “biased.”

This is crazy.

And it gets crazier because the same people who are quick to brand some mainstream news venue as biased are the same ones to place blind faith on some random internet website espousing something they agree with. Let’s be clear. Professional journalists may slant their work toward their own ideology, but nonprofessionals, and opinion people, are biased. The vast majority of websites and blogs out there are, for all intents and purposes, biased. I state that because there is a difference.


Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Which leads me to generalize.

I’m gonna generalize a bit to make some points. Of course, there will be some exceptions, but, directionally, I would argue much of what I’m going to say is true. Most journalists and news organizations will, disproportionately, be liberal leaning. That is just simply a reflection of people who pursue that particular career, their mindsets, and their desires to explore stories and the facts that make up those stories. That doesn’t mean that they ignore facts. That doesn’t mean that they don’t tell truth. Simply because someone may personally lean liberal, they have a job to do, for the most part pursue their job at some fairly high standards. Yeah. It simply means that their thinking will lean towards a more progressive view of life. Embedded in that thought is that a progressive mindset, or someone who is constantly in the pursuit of progress, will always inevitably challenge ideas and thinking that ‘conserve.’ Conservatives and conservatism, at its core, seeks to conserve things. That doesn’t mean that they want to conserve everything just that the underpinnings of their ideology is that some things are important to conserve. Therein lies the basis for the conflict between good journalism and everything else. It is also the most basic debate that every business has. Whether you talk about innovations or whether you talk about growth or whether you talk about scale or whether you talk about culture or any type of change, the most basic discussion revolves around ‘what do we conserve?’ and ‘what do we change?’ – toward the objective to optimize progress. I would argue this is exactly the same for individuals, communities, neighborhoods, and almost every system that’s embedded or nested within larger civilization.

Which leads me back to bias.

If your bias is to progress, your words, your writings, your thinking, your ideas, will be more likely to embrace new ideas, change, and new ways of thinking all of which typically puts you into conflict with existing ideas, existing views, and for the most part, existing institutions. This is where I find the bias argument gets extremely lazy. Simply because somebody espouses progress and pushes against the status quo and some entropy, doesn’t mean that their work and reporting is biased in a way that it should be ignored. In fact, this conflict and debate is the most basic engine of civilization. In fact, it is typically how society changes – not by sitting back and claiming that somebody is biased, but rather raucous debate and good faith discussion. Oh. This is where conservative opinion leaders are absolute masters. They don’t really have this debate in good faith. As I outlined in my piece about how to construct narratives using facts, what conservative opinion leaders are particularly good at is deconstructing factual good journalism; not constructing good faith arguments. What they do is they find one fact, or one point in the construction of the argument, bring doubt to it, and then suggest that the entire house should fall. Instead of finding one rotting piece of wood and suggesting it should be replaced, they suggest the entire house should be condemned. And that’s the world that we live in today. Bias is the small match stick used to attempt to burn the entire house down.

Which leads me to the matchstick owners.

News and journalism own the matchsticks. Most people would suggest that any site that only focuses on one side of an issue without giving the same amount of “unbiased” coverage to the other side is biased. The problem with that is ‘bothsidism’ is almost as bad as 100% bias. I would even argue ‘balanced’ is wrong. I’d like to expect journalism to offer proportional attention to the case and the counter case. Honestly, the current journalism world sucks at that particular proportionality issue. But. While I would say most mainstream media choices are intellectually slanted toward a specific view, they still offer factual & truthful journalism. For the most part, if it is not an opinion show, you will receive some facts to sift through. And for the most part journalism, and journalists, are incredibly good, accurate and factual. Almost every credible newspaper, or even broadcast entity, has an extensive editorial vetting process and are incredibly responsible with regard to what they offer the public. That may sound surprising, but let me circle back to what conservative opinion people are good at – using one matchstick to burn down the house. As I have written about before, someone like the New York Times publishes 1500 unique pieces weekly and maybe has to correct 5 of them. That’s it. But an entire media ecosystem focused on amplifying the 5 creates a perception the whole, the entire 1500, are only good for burning.

Which leads me to the real trouble in this bias bullshit.

  • If everything is biased, who offers the truth?
  • If who you view as biased, I view as a purveyor of truth, where is there any place for truth between us?

We cannot afford to be in an information gathering world where we “take what resonates and leave the rest.” We cannot because what resonates isn’t always what is reality or truthful. It is actually more likely to simply fit your belief system.

Uh oh. If it fits, than what doesn’t fit is biased.

Once again. This is crazy.

We live in a wacky world in which we have no experts, we trust no institutions to not have some nefarious intent and truth is in the eyes of the beholder.

We live in a wacky world in which articles by professional journalists, which are fact-based, are confused with op-eds <opinion & editorials> which is … uhm …  an opinion, a column, meaning it does not have to be unbiased, fair, or balanced.

We live in a wacky world in which the internet is like the wild west of information. There are minimal laws, minimal enforcers of laws and a shitload of people who are willing to have a dubious relationship with any law <and truth or proper use of facts>.

We live in a wacky world in which people have more access to an almost unlimited unfettered amount of information and they also have the freedom to contribute to that unfettered amount of information as they see fit.

We live in a wacky world where even the people who are allegedly so concerned with finding the truth circulate a shitload of bullshit.

That being said, it is not wacky enough to simply discard good smart thoughtful factual information <some would call that “Truth”> under some wacky filter we apply to every mouthpiece which makes that mouthpiece conveniently “biased” so we have an excuse to disregard the information. That doesn’t assist in progress. It doesn’t mean they will not slant the information. It doesn’t mean they may conveniently leave a fact or two out. But in this wacky world I cannot afford to discard everything and I, frankly, have no desire to just discard what doesn’t meet my current views. I believe that each of us needs to take responsibility for detaching ourselves from what we want to be true, and get off our lazy asses to find out what actually is true and stop using “biased” as a reason to not consider what was shared.

I will end where I began:

“We all have bias, we all have a point of view. I think the best you can do is try to be aware of it and try to make sure that the bias doesn’t make you treat someone else unfairly.”

Stop using bias as an excuse to not think just a bit harder about things. Ponder.

Written by Bruce