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Media bias – New York Times gets Chile wrong

The New York Times published a piece this past weekend on the Chilean Presidential election which referred to “the demise of the Christian Democrats”. Demise is defined as “the end or failure of an enterprise or an institution.” That is strange and inaccurate word to use for a party that holds the balance of power between right and left blocs in both the Chilean Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. And it is an especially strong word to use when the results of the Presidential election, in which the rightist candidate, Sebastian Pinera, won by a larger than expected nine percent margin, indicate that he attracted the vast majority of Christian Democratic voters.

This is an example of the sort of subtle media bias I mentioned in my last blog post. Surely the error the Times committed was taking left-wing statements at face value which caused them to overlook the real story unfolding right before their noses. The real story is that the Christian Democrats, who have been aligned with the left since the restoration of democracy in 1989, are now the balance of power between left and right, and that when forced to choose their voters prefer the right to the left. The story of why the party made this choice and why their voters have these opinions is truly an unheard story – and one you will never hear from the New York Times so long as they allow their unexamined assumptions to rule their reporting.