Media Bias

Our ten year old pretty much nailed his parents’ newspaper reading habits this morning at breakfast. “Mom reads about politics and Dad, you read about sports.”

As much as I wanted to defend myself and show that I care as much about the real world as I do about the make-believe worlds of college and professional sports, I really had nothing to say. He had me nailed.

(I could add, though, that for some, politics is sports. A very politically active friend once told me that whereas I could rattle off the name of the current MLB home run leader or the pitcher with the best record, or explain the impact of certain averages on the outcome of a game, he, blind to those details, could give me the voting record of senators I’ve never heard of. Some of the more cynical among us might suggest that what goes on in Fenway Park or Wrigley Field or Yankee Stadium might have more impact upon our national quality of life than what goes on in Capitol Hill. Well, okay, maybe not Wrigley…)

All that as the background for my rant about media bias. With the Tampa Bay Rays in a statistical dead heat with the NY Yankees for the AL East lead (but 1/2 game back due to playing one less game) the Orlando Sentinel (no lover of Tampa Bay sports) says this, speaking of an upcoming series between the two teams:

“…a stretch of seven games the American League East rivals will play over an 11-day period. Every game is important for the Rays….”

Emphasis is mine. What this says is true. What it does not say, as often is the case, reveals the bias, here, and in political writing as well.

This is important for the Rays, but not for the Yankees? Come now.

The fact is, the world assumes that the Yankees are the crown jewels of baseball. They are the elephants that no mouse can topple. They will, we are to presume, coast to the AL East championship, unless the Rays win some of their ‘important’ games.