Truth, Lies, Shenanigans

'Terrorists' or 'Resistance'? (Part 2): Is Media Bias Intentional? [S5E2]

January 23, 2024 Truth, Lies, Shenanigans Season 5 Episode 2
Truth, Lies, Shenanigans
'Terrorists' or 'Resistance'? (Part 2): Is Media Bias Intentional? [S5E2]
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Building on our in-depth exploration of the Israel-Gaza conflict, Part 2 delves into the controversial realm of media bias. Is the coverage of Israel in the global media landscape skewed by an intentional agenda? This episode seeks to unravel the complex web of media narratives surrounding Israel and Gaza. Our hosts Rob, Gianni, and Nio will examine key instances of media coverage, contrasting different news sources and dissecting their underlying tones and perspectives. We aim to understand whether these biases are a product of deliberate choices or inadvertent reflections of broader societal views. Expect a critical analysis of the language, imagery, and framing used in reporting, as well as insights into how these factors might shape public perception. Join us as we dissect the layers of media influence to uncover the truth behind what we see, hear, and read about this enduring conflict.

Disclaimer: This episode examines the media's portrayal of Israel and Gaza. We focus on the policies, actions, and tactics of countries and organizations, not religious groups or individuals. Our aim is to promote understanding and dialogue, not to perpetuate hate or bias against any group.

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S5E2

Nio Nyx: [00:00:00] Truth. Nice

shenanigan.

Tune in T Ls. Yeah. Tune in to tls. It's.

Hey everyone. Welcome back to the Truth, Lies, Shenanigans podcast. So last episode, we got really heavy as we got into the history of the Israel Gaza situation. And this episode, it's part two of the conversation, but we want to talk about media bias and its effect on support for that conflict and wondering whether Western media is biased in being pro Israel.

Today, we've got Gianni storm [00:01:00] and Robbie rock. Hey guys, welcome back before we get started. I want to remind our listeners, check us out on pods network, PODZ network, the podcast network for aspiring podcasts. Curious. Listen. Now, real quick question for you guys. What do you think about the new format so far?

Gianni Storm: I love it. I think that we have a chance to get real deep into our topics. We've always found that we can talk about the same topic for a long time. We have different opinions, different questions. So this, this format for me is awesome. I hope everybody else enjoys it. 

Rob B Rok: Yeah, I'm having fun with that because I definitely thought that we really just grazed the surface on certain topics with the old format.

And this was a much more in depth conversation. I think there's more value in it. It's meaningful dialogue. Yes. Meaningful 

Nio Nyx: dialogue from a previous last season episode. That's from season 4. Check it out. [00:02:00] All right, let's get right into it and the last episode, we talked in depth about the history of Gaza.

And if you haven't listened to part 1, I encourage you to go back, listen to episode 1 from season 5, but let's just jump in. Now, I'm sure you guys have noticed how different news channels can tell the same story. But make it sound completely different, you know, how do the words they choose the pictures they show and even the tone change the way that we see what's happening in Israel and Gaza or with any major incident.

So I'm going to throw the question out there. Is this bias intentional or are they because of deeper, perhaps unconscious influences that 

just 

Rob B Rok: happen? I think it exists for a reason, um, because the people who are in charge of media empires tend to rub shoulders with like minded people, uh, people of influence and power.

What do you 

Nio Nyx: think, Johnny? I can 

Gianni Storm: [00:03:00] agree to that. Um, I think 2, though, against Rob's point is in media. When they're reporting, sometimes they only know what they know. So, if they're reporting a certain side, I don't think it's to throw people off intentionally. I think. That they're just reporting the facts, they don't, they don't know what's going on.

You know, you know what I mean? They know what they see. They're not trying to have, like, play a story. They're not trying to use a narrative and I don't think that for every media outlet. Okay. No, not in general. 

Nio Nyx: So, you think there's 

Rob B Rok: censorship, not so much censorship, but selective reporting. I like 

Nio Nyx: that. So you think it's selective reporting, not censorship.

Rob B Rok: Well, it's it allows them to highlight the events that fit their narrative while ignoring or downplaying others. Okay, 

Gianni Storm: I agree. I think it is selective. And I think that they use certain words. Like, I've read that in other countries, they'll say [00:04:00] they'll call Hamas militant. And in the United States, they'll say.

More aggressive words. I haven't heard them use terrorist, but I've heard certain right winged people call it terrorist. So I was like, they're using words to trigger people. 

Rob B Rok: Even terrorist or militant. I mean, that's, it's a militarized radical power. It's, it's still in the same vein. Yeah. So use use of terminology is significant in how we do it because a lot of people get their newsfeed via clickbait.

So, what's in that headline? Those words are critical. 

Nio Nyx: Yeah, I totally agree with that. I totally agree with the choice of words being critical and important. And I don't know that it's totally intentional, personally. I think there is some level of. Hey, this is just the way we report things or this is just society.

This is the way we refer to these type of people, terrorists, terrorists, terrorists, militant. And these are just the terms we use. I said, some of it knows [00:05:00] outlets like Fox News. I agree that they are intentionally choosing their wording so that they can put these type of groups into a negative light so that they can drum up support for the groups that they support.

That's been the way Fox News works in general. Uh, other organizations, ABC, CBS, the major organizations. I'm not sure it's intentional all the time. Sometimes it is, sometimes it's not. I'm glad you brought it up, Gianni, because one of the things I was going to kind of bring up is why terrorism is so frequently applied to violent acts by Arab groups or by groups in the Middle East, right?

Stereotyped. Right. And why similar acts by Western countries often caught. Like casualties of war or collateral damage, you know, it kind of downplays the significance because if you really look at the [00:06:00] terrorist attack in Gaza was 1200 people, horrible, horrible. Yeah, the collateral damage 20, 000. People 8, 000 of them children or more disgusted used interchangeably.

They're both casualties of war because this is a war. The terrorist attack was part of this long standing conflict. Right that we talked about in episode 1 in part 1 of this. Right so we understand that this is a ongoing war. And the attack was. And attack by conflict. Right. Yeah. But again, terminology very different for the two different groups.

So I'm just curious, like, you know, where do you think that comes from? You know, why is it that generally Muslim groups or Arab groups? I don't even know if Arab is politically correct anymore, but I know those groups. I'm wondering why do we [00:07:00] think there is this dichotomy? Thank you. That's 

Rob B Rok: by design, because if you look at how the media has framed things, what's the prevailing religion of the middle of East Muslim.

Exactly, and it's a religion that has been demonized in North America. The populace can then sit back and allow atrocities to happen by their government because they're fighting against a terrorist or militant group. And that's how you get complacency. So it's absolutely done on purpose because of the interest that North America and European countries have in that region of the world, specifically being adjacent to all of the oil rich nations, I think that it's important to recognize how stories are framed as well, because you'll hear things like it, the Israeli defensive action or a Palestinian uprising.

Well, isn't it a defensive action on both sides of the fence? Good point. Right. And the omission of context is what's so, so important and what creates this [00:08:00] seeming bias because the lack of historical and contextual information is critical in just presenting a bias to presenting a narrative. If you don't understand the roots of the conflict, and it's, then you can't really understand its ongoing complexities.

So, again, please listen to part one of this podcast because there's some critical information to understanding what's going on. Yeah, I think that we also have to recognize Neil, how sensationalism sells in the media and that really resonated with you is a very good example of how sensationalism lands.

You heard a story that broke your heart 12 year old girl who lost her leg. who lost her family and then lost her life, which made you feel compassion for the other side. That's exactly what that piece was designed to do. And it is absolutely a form of sensationalism. And that's what sells. Unfortunately, in the media, it needs to be [00:09:00] extreme.

It needs to be. Tragic for people evoking emotion bite into it, 

Nio Nyx: right? I think we're seeing like an oversimplified victim aggressor portrayal, right? But if you listen in the media, who do you think is the victim? And who do you think is the aggressor? Of course, you think Israel, when you listen to the media, you think Israel is the victim and you think that Hamas is the aggressor just by the wording alone.

And that's what media is trying to portray. And it's obvious. It's 

Gianni Storm: interesting because I think that there's. I don't know who touched on it earlier, but it's like, social media is its own news outlet. And then we have the actual news outlets. So, the actual news outlets I'm seeing in articles and, and, you know, Fox News, Washington Post, all of these bigger news outlets.

You are seeing and some are making Israel the hero or the. Good guy. And then on social media where you're seeing, like, people's accounts, people who are in Hamas, especially tick tock, you see a lot [00:10:00] and you're seeing a different, different narrative, a different victim. So, I think that it's interesting, though, like, if I'm somebody on social media that watches a lot of democratic.

Political stuff, then I think that's when I'll start seeing more. Oh, Hamas is under attack. Hamas is a victim. But if I was somebody who was maybe right winged in my interest in searches online, they'll be showing me pro Israel or more narrow 

Nio Nyx: the 

Rob B Rok: algorithms do feed you what you're looking for. You're you're absolutely right.

So, if you have a bias, it's definitely easy to disappear down 1 of those rabbit holes. Yeah. Yes. I think it's very important to note that. There are victims on both sides of this conflict. There are many, many, many victims on both sides of this conflict. There are many casualties on both sides of the conflict.

And I think that 1 of the problems we have in this generation is that we're always trying to find, you know, who's the most depressed, who's [00:11:00] the biggest victim who's winning the oppression Olympics. 

Nio Nyx: Well, yeah, I 

Rob B Rok: don't think that either side is winning the oppression. Both sides are hurting. Both sides need healing.

Both sides need a lot of international help. Aid, not interference, aid, not interference to uplift everyone in the region, but you have to have a unifying view to make that happen. And to get that unifying view at the root level is going to be a very difficult task. I don't know who can help facilitate that.

Yeah, 

Gianni Storm: they'd have to do it. You can't add any more. I think like Rob said, if you add aid though, I like that idea, but it seems like if you add aid, they still are going to, Oh, you, you guys are supporting Israel more. You're supporting the Palestinians more. So it's a people problem within that culture.

That's why I said, it's really a religious or a spiritual war, because I think that even when you hear [00:12:00] accounts, you hear Israel is Israelis. Help me guys. You hear Israelis thinking that the West is more supportive of Hamas and then Hamas vice versa when really we're all just confused and trying to not die.

So it's hard. I don't think that outside help is helping. I don't even if you do provide 

Rob B Rok: aid, I don't, I'm saying humanitarian aid because there are people hurting on all sides. And if you want to help end the crisis and end the animosity, then help everyone who's hurting regardless of the border, regardless of the belief, help the people who are hurting.

Nio Nyx: I want to quickly, I want to go back to the role of social media, um, because Johnny made a good point about how, you know, we're seeing a different narrative between media. And social media and what's the true narrative is what's coming out of media, the true narrative or what's coming out of social media, the true narrative, because of [00:13:00] course, even though we're seeing these very heartfelt stories on social media about the victims and, and these innocent people, we're not really getting the story about Hamas, what are their intentions?

What are they trying to accomplish? We don't even, right. We're not getting all of that information. And. Silence. On the other side, we talked briefly about censorship. There is actually some level of censorship going on because the Israeli military censors can restrict reporting on sensitive topics. So, if they are in Israel reporting on things, Israeli military can filter out.

Some of the information going out on these views that raises questions. So I'm just curious. Why do you think we're getting such a, a different view from kind of both sides and which view you think is probably more accurate. The social media view that we're getting or more media

Rob B Rok: [00:14:00] curious, Johnny, because when you brought up the social media aspect of it, um, is there a platform in particular that you are referring to? So which yes, tick tock. Okay, and I find that very interesting because tick tock has been under fire by European and North North American political agencies because it is a foreign owned entity that has been guilty of foreign interference on more than one occasion.

So now if you're getting your news source from a foreign entity that has been known to historically have altered the facts to so disharmony and malcontent within a population. Then how worthy is that source? It's not 

Gianni Storm: valuable, right? 

Nio Nyx: Well, there could 

Rob B Rok: be a little bit. I'm not saying that it's all garbage.

I'm saying that there's definitely some of it. That is relevant. That is very real. But some of it You run the risk of it being manufactured. People on both sides of the camp can then also recognize that [00:15:00] manufactured news can also happen at the highest level, too. So, whether it's 

Nio Nyx: disinformation being distributed.

Propaganda being part of wars for, since wars existed. 

Rob B Rok: Exactly. One of my agencies that I follow is the CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, but they are subsidized by my tax dollars, which are then funneled to them by the federal government. Well, so then the argument can be made that it's a nationally owned news agency, so there's going to be a bias towards my country's government.

Right. Exactly. Yeah. So, I, I like the CBC offers a centrist view that it offers a little bit of both so that we can really make up our mind on it. But, yeah, it's you have to be very careful of the source. I'm glad that you identified it as tech talk. Because that's where I get a little bit wary about that information in that camp.

Nio Nyx: Tick tock is a good point. Tick tock is a big problem for the Biden administration because tick tock is well, the thing is, all these [00:16:00] kids are on tick tock, right? And I'm talking like, uh, these gin, gin, zears are big on tick tock and we're seeing all of these reports from,the Gaza strip about all of the things going on, all of the atrocities that are happening.

We're hearing stories about how the Israeli military are assaulting women, uh, sexually assaulting women. We're hearing how they are, um, you know, killing people just outright. Shoot, they killed their own daggone hostages at one point, right? You know. Disgusting. Right. So. We're hearing all these stories through TikTok, social media, because the people on the ground in Palestine are actually going on, posting it, showing us what's happening, showing us the stories, and showing us the, so we're seeing that aspect.

And the reason Biden has a problem is because All of the younger people are now all on tick tock, andnot actually going to the news [00:17:00] sources and hearing the other side, right? Because there are two sides to every story. They're not hearing the other sides.

So now, none of them are supporting Biden because he supports Israel. So there's a huge dynamic going on because it's a huge political dynamic here in the U S and across internationally and social media is going to play a huge role in that. What do you think, Gianni? 

Gianni Storm: I think that is so interesting. You said that because.

Even though people and Gen Z and I'm different. I'm a millennial, but still from that take, I think they were pro Biden for a long time. And now it's like, that's turned because they see Biden as you're on the evil side, basically, but I don't know. I think that this information age is so interesting because we're able to see, like Nio said, the ground level things.

And then if you have. If you have the ability to see, like you said, the other sides of things, you can see that this information age is really just information. And you kind of [00:18:00] have to filter and get your own opinion based on what you're hearing. I think that my generation and after us still. Is going to have an issue with trying to filter that information out.

Um, I don't know. I, I don't know where I was going with this because I just think that it's so it's not complicated. It's just more like people are going to start realizing. Oh, wait. Social media. Is playing a role and so is media. So who is right now? We got to start seeing like, what we're doing, seeing all of the facts and then start gaining our own real opinion because there is no right and wrong.

I think that the West is making it seem like Israel is innocent, but I do think that innocent people dying is wrong. I'm on the side of innocence. I don't. I think anybody would be, but it's just hard. I don't think we should pick a side. I think like Rob said, we should actually just help them. Honestly. I think we should put our hands up to it.

Because why is it our problem? Just saying because 

Rob B Rok: we created it, [00:19:00] Johnny, because that's why we have a hand in it. That's why we have a burden of responsibility and why can't the United 

Gianni Storm: Nations? 

Rob B Rok: Well, that's what I'm saying. When I say we, I'm talking about the Western world, the United Nations, because it was created by the United Nations, the precursor of the UN.

So it is. It is our responsibility. Johnny, we can't absolve ourselves going. Okay. Well, you know what they've been at it for 75 years. Yeah, we're done. No, he said, created this conflict. This is a generational conflict. There is no simple resolution with what was done and how it's perpetuated throughout the Middle East with these vast migrations of populations.

Now, it's an issue that can no longer be undone, but we have a responsibility to help them find some stability. In that region of the world, because we place ourselves because we created the fight, we pit [00:20:00] them against 1 another by creating the displacement. By creating a state and displacing everyone, it's.

It's so complicated at this point. There's no do over on that. It's it's done, 

Nio Nyx: right? So the final question I just want to ask you guys, how do you think that the media in general, social media, media, and this bias that we're talking about, how do you think it's affecting the Israeli people?

How do you think it's affecting the Palestinian people? Do you think it has an impact? So when we're. denigrating, as you said, Robby, using the words terrorism, militant, you know, how does this impact the people there? 

Rob B Rok: I don't think that there's any demographic that wants to be represented in a demonic or demonized light.

 I don't think anyone wants to self identify as a terrorist or a militant group. Unless you would want to identify as a freedom fighter if you are a [00:21:00] member of the oppressed. So I think that it does play a part in it. And I, I think that it's very important to note. That there are military and political powers at play, and there are civilians at play.

So, if I'm a civilian, and I am branded a terrorist, simply because of where I live, whether or not I have anything to do with the conflict actively. That has to have a negative impact because you then know that there. Are powers out there that are actively working at vilifying. To ensure that you can continue to be oppressed while other people are okay with it.

So, I, it's great that we've got some of the coverage now at the ground level. Um, so smartphones and. Social media do provide that very important piece of context. Because it should generate outrage. We should want it to end. Yeah, 

Nio Nyx: I agree. Yeah, I think [00:22:00] naming people terrorist militants makes it a whole lot easier to bomb random people all willy nilly.

Right? Oh, they're terrorists. They're all terrorists. Let's just like roaches. Let's just destroy them. You know, let's kill whoever. Right? And so you kind of. When you say demonize them, you see them as nothing more than insects to be destroyed. So, 

Gianni Storm: and I, I wanted to mention too, I thought it was interesting when since.

Western media has such a pro Israel outlook. When did Western people start having sort of sympathy for Palestine? And I think it was because just to bring up like tick tock in those social media, because we were able to see the ground level and be like, Oh, they actually are maybe the victims. And so we see it from that point.

But the conflict has been cruel and it's tragic to everyone. I think that Western media is often just crisis Oriented, and it just covers the war as, like. Play by play, as opposed to presenting, maybe the bigger scope of things, how we're doing, just like [00:23:00] the broader picture and the actual impact of this conflict.

So 

Rob B Rok: support that further Johnny. I think that it's important to recognize that in North America. Over the last 50 years, we have seen a huge growth in the Muslim population. so issues that affect the Muslim world in Arab nations absolutely have an impact here in North America because it's a growing demographic of our country, of our social fabric.

Nio Nyx: And Gianni, I 100 percent agree with you on the effect that social media has had simply because in the past, and I think back to the eighties, the nineties, the two thousands, when we've seen these conflicts. All we've heard is terrorist this, terrorist that, you know, Israel's bombing, Israel's doing this, and in my mind, Israel was the victim, in my mind.

Yeah. We hear the terrorist bombings, the cars exploding, you know, we've heard all of that, [00:24:00] but never before. Yeah. In those times, had we heard about the effects of all of those attacks, those never ending bombings and attacks that are going on on the Palestinians. Now, we're actually seeing some of that.

And if we hadn't seen that, I don't know that we would have the same compassion for the Palestinians that we have. All of the people that have been protesting in the past, they seem more relevant to me now. Right? These protests. Yeah, you understand. It's like, I get it now. I get why they're protesting. I agree with that protest because now I've seen it when I couldn't, when I had never seen it before.

So I, I agree with you 100 percent Gianni. 

Gianni Storm: Then after George Floyd and all these protests, you know, people are more willing to hop on the bandwagon of the victim. So it's it's just interesting. 

Nio Nyx: This has been a fantastic conversation. So, unfortunately, we are out of time for this episode. We have had 2 part episode talking about the [00:25:00] Gaza.

Israel conflict has been going on for centuries. Fantastic conversation. Make sure you check part one, part two, it's time for our final question. I just really want to know, do you think that the media bias is intentional or not intentional? Is this an intentional thing that's happening by Western media to kind of create a narrative and.

Is this truth, lies, shenanigans, keep in mind truth means you believe the statement is true, lies means it's a lie, shenanigans means you believe there's some level of truth to it, but there's a little shenanigans going on, so basically you're on the fence, is it truth, lies, shenanigans, that media is intentionally biased?

Gianni Storm: Um, I'm going to say shenanigans, yeah. 

Nio Nyx: Okay, shenanigans, you're on the fence. Sorry, Bobby. 

Rob B Rok: I'm going to [00:26:00] say truth, um, again, because the oligarchs that own the media outlets have friends that have absolute stakes in this conflict. To remain ongoing, they have friends in the military industrial complexes.

They have friends in petroleum, uh, manufactured. So, yes, the bias is there. It is manufactured. Intentional 

Nio Nyx: I'm leaning more truth than shenanigans simply because. I think at this point in the world and times. Media outlets have a responsibility and they know their responsibility and they know when things are truth and lies and When things are shenanigans, and they need to be supporting more responsibly Make sure we're always getting always getting both sides of the story And I don't know that from any including CNN and [00:27:00] ABC and MSNBC They were getting both sides of the stories fully.

So, um, yeah, I'm gonna go with truth Media is intentionally biased. Alright, be sure to catch our podcast episodes on Tuesday on pods, EODZ network.com, apple Podcast, or anywhere you listen to podcasts. And if you haven't listened to part one, I encourage you to go back, listen to episode one. You can also watch our video clips on our YouTube channel.

Let's go to T L S show. com. All right. Thank you. Gianni Robby, another fantastic episode in the book. It was very deep, very engaging. I want to thank you for your candor and your thoughtfulness in this discussion. But most importantly, need to thank our listeners. Thank you for listening to our shenanigans each and every week.

See you next time.[00:28:00] 

Opening
Is Media Bias Intentional?
Is this Truth Lies Shenanigans?
Closing

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