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Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A Must-Read for all Journalists

I had to read this book for a college class. Goldberg does a superb job exposing what most Americans suspected all along. Easy-read and he definitly opened my eyes to how bias the media can be. I take comfort in the fact that there are people out there who still believ...
I had to read this book for a college class. Goldberg does a superb job exposing what most Americans suspected all along. Easy-read and he definitly opened my eyes to how bias the media can be. I take comfort in the fact that there are people out there who still believe in reporting the facts and allowing the general public to form their own opinions. Kudos to Goldberg for not being afraid to tell the truth, he¿s earned my respect.

posted by Anonymous on October 8, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Thought provoking but poorly done

You would think that a book exposing media bias would rely on journalistic objectivity to make its case. In the case of Bernie Goldberg's book, you would, however be wrong.

Bernie has an axe to grind with Dan Rather and CBS for responding poorly to behavior most ...

You would think that a book exposing media bias would rely on journalistic objectivity to make its case. In the case of Bernie Goldberg's book, you would, however be wrong.

Bernie has an axe to grind with Dan Rather and CBS for responding poorly to behavior most corporate management would find objectionable (I think you can skip the first 50 pages of the book which focuses primarily on the feud and mentions ONE example of bias).

The book makes a better case for arguing that what we call news is driven by market share than it does for liberal bias. This book itself demonstrates strong bias.

Think about it - if you were in high school and needed to do a report on bias in the news, you'd start by defining bias and you'd find some way of measuring that bias on news programs. Your analysis of content based on your proposed measure would allow you to determine first whether the news was biased and second in which direction it was slanted. The book does not do this. It lists a handful of questionable examples that are hardly representative of broadcast or cable news in its entirety.

If you submitted this book as your paper on media bias, you'd be lucky to get a C+. Far from a persuasive argument on the subject, the author sounds like a whiny little boy focusing on a scant handful of examples. The leap from these to his conclusion is hardly logical in that his justification seems to be, 'We all know it's true.'

Personally, I think the media is biased. I think they do pieces that are liberally biased but I believe there are also conservatively biased pieces. In today's news, I think the conservative bias is having a much bigger negative impact on our society. But more than bias, I think broadcast and cable news are pretending to provide journalistic coverage of issues while selecting (and presenting) only those topics which they guess lead to higher viewership. Gone is the notion of educating the public. It's been replaced by entertaining the public.

'What Liberal Bias?' by Eric Alterman is a better read on the subject and it refutes some of the claims made by Bernie Goldberg. I recommend the Alterman book over this one.

If you read this book I encourage you to read it objectively and with an open mind. How should a bias argument be formed and what would be a persuasive analysis of that argument?

posted by Anonymous on February 10, 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2006

    Propaganda

    The very sad thing about this book is that it is extremely biased - against fact and against liberalism, a double-whammy on the truth. I suppose with a title like this, it was an automatic best-seller - neocons love to breathe their own self-generated air (doesn't that have a high CO2 content, resulting in brain damage?). But what is NOT mentioned here is more disturbing than what IS mentioned: that the term 'balanced' suggests that there are two equal sides to every story, and disregards the media's primary responsibility is not to 'balance the story', but to TELL THE TRUTH. The examples that he gives repeatedly are situations where the media (owned by corporations and therefore pre-disposed to favor corporatist positions in their coverage to begin with)seems to be struggling with trying to deliver what is true in the face of pressure to 'balance' negative portrayals of Republican, so-called conservative, and, especially, neo-conservative points of view. In other words, he looks upon it as a BAD thing when the media (or some - far too few - in it) attempts to do its job: inform the public of NEWS they have no other way of knowing, rather than projecting a completely false and propagandistic world view that says every story must be 'balanced.' As such, he perpetrates a deception in this book ... pretending to be a journalist, but in effect acting as a shill for the powerful in politics.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2005

    A Must-Read for all Journalists

    I had to read this book for a college class. Goldberg does a superb job exposing what most Americans suspected all along. Easy-read and he definitly opened my eyes to how bias the media can be. I take comfort in the fact that there are people out there who still believe in reporting the facts and allowing the general public to form their own opinions. Kudos to Goldberg for not being afraid to tell the truth, he¿s earned my respect.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2005

    Rewquired Reading

    Bernard Goldberg has written a book that should be required reading for all journalism students. He lays it on the line that the media are making suckers of us!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2004

    Informative Read!

    A very conservative friend of mine read this book and started trying to argue the points with me. Having not read the book at the time, I chose not to argue but to postpone the argument until I had read the book. All I have to say is that after reading it, there was no argument. What Bernard Shaw had to say was absolutely true. As much as I wish it weren't. I had never thought of the news in that perspective but when he makes his points.....there is really no disputing them. Conservatives really are branded, while liberals are not. For instance, in one of his many varied examples... Rush Limbaugh is continuosly identified as a 'conservative radio talk show host', while Rosie O'Donnell ( who is as far to the Left as Limbaugh is to the Right and is also is as outspoken as Limbaugh on issues ) is never introduced as the liberal talk show host. While I am not on the side of the conservatives, I have to admit, Bernard Shaw ( a liberal ) is right. There is a bias in the media and instead of denying it they should create a network ( as Fox News did ) embracing it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2004

    Thought provoking but poorly done

    You would think that a book exposing media bias would rely on journalistic objectivity to make its case. In the case of Bernie Goldberg's book, you would, however be wrong. <p> Bernie has an axe to grind with Dan Rather and CBS for responding poorly to behavior most corporate management would find objectionable (I think you can skip the first 50 pages of the book which focuses primarily on the feud and mentions ONE example of bias). <p> The book makes a better case for arguing that what we call news is driven by market share than it does for liberal bias. This book itself demonstrates strong bias. <p> Think about it - if you were in high school and needed to do a report on bias in the news, you'd start by defining bias and you'd find some way of measuring that bias on news programs. Your analysis of content based on your proposed measure would allow you to determine first whether the news was biased and second in which direction it was slanted. The book does not do this. It lists a handful of questionable examples that are hardly representative of broadcast or cable news in its entirety. <p> If you submitted this book as your paper on media bias, you'd be lucky to get a C+. Far from a persuasive argument on the subject, the author sounds like a whiny little boy focusing on a scant handful of examples. The leap from these to his conclusion is hardly logical in that his justification seems to be, 'We all know it's true.' <p> Personally, I think the media is biased. I think they do pieces that are liberally biased but I believe there are also conservatively biased pieces. In today's news, I think the conservative bias is having a much bigger negative impact on our society. But more than bias, I think broadcast and cable news are pretending to provide journalistic coverage of issues while selecting (and presenting) only those topics which they guess lead to higher viewership. Gone is the notion of educating the public. It's been replaced by entertaining the public. <p> 'What Liberal Bias?' by Eric Alterman is a better read on the subject and it refutes some of the claims made by Bernie Goldberg. I recommend the Alterman book over this one. <p> If you read this book I encourage you to read it objectively and with an open mind. How should a bias argument be formed and what would be a persuasive analysis of that argument?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2009

    Really Bad Book

    Don't buy this book! I bought it and couldn't put it down. Pretty much the entire world could have been destroyed and I would have kept reading it. Unbelievably absorbing.

    Finally all of the mystery of why the media is so biased makes sense.

    What I never realized is just how clever and pervasive they were at pushing their hidden agendas.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Media is in the Tank for the left.

    While this book is a few years old, it is still a seminal work documenting the insidious and institutional bias in the media. Bernard Goldberg describes what happens to anyone who dares point out that the media bias is real and is hurting the media. His point is demonstrated even more by current events and who and what the media covers (or ignores).

    For anyone who wonders how this country got into the mess it is in, Bias illustrates the media's roll in helping to cause it.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Read this book

    This should be required reading for all high school students and again for all college students majoring in jouralism. What you will learn is that the media is out for their own agenda and somehow we as people have have allowed our information highway to be covered by left leaning liberals. Jouralism has become the black ice of our society.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2004

    Just a Post Script to an old Argument

    The really important point that so many people have overlooked about Bernard Goldberg¿s ¿Bias,¿ the interesting factoid that never seems to come under anyone¿s microscope is that when he wrote this book, Goldberg still considered himself a Liberal. In fact, even in the later book, ¿Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite,¿ after all the abuse he received at the hands of his powerful liberal ex-friends, Goldberg still considers traditional American Liberalism one of the great driving forces of 20th century politics. The book is more believable because it comes from a traditional Liberal. What Goldberg was giving us with this book is not one more rant on the evils of the Left by a conservative, but a Liberal¿s letter to his own camp on how they must shape up or vanish. The real message of this book is that the Left has ceased to attempt persuade anyone except those who are already converted, and Goldberg got a lesson about the truth of that message the day this book was published. What is more informative than anything in this book is the sad reality that instead of reading Goldberg¿s book and at least considering his criticisms, the Left first turned on Goldberg en masse and savaged him publicly, and then tried to ignore him in the hope he would go away. That he did not go away is a tribute to Goldberg¿s moral fiber. The Left's argument that Goldberg is merely a disgruntled ex-employee does not stand because of the resonance this book found in the American mainstream. If those of us here in ¿red state¿ country had not already felt and understood what Goldberg was talking about, we would not have bought the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2004

    Liberal Bias in the Media?

    Are the major broadcast media fair and balanced in presenting the news and issues of the day as they claim to be? Or, does liberal bias really exist in the American media? The book entitled Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, by Bernard Goldberg, reports how CBS and the news industry habitually forget its main mission: objective and disinterested reporting. Goldberg, at the cost of his job as a news reporter at CBS for nearly thirty years, expresses the notion that liberal bias really exists and that the media distort the news, as the title of his book suggests. Again and again he saw that the media slanted the news to the left. For years, Goldberg appealed to reporters, producers, and network executives for more balanced reporting, but no one listened. The liberal bias continued. Now, in Bias, he attempts to expose what the news business is really like, showing how and why the media slant their coverage while persisting that they're just reporting the facts. The way that Goldberg sees it, on issues ranging from homelessness to AIDS to child day care, reporters have simply reiterated the propaganda of pressure groups they favor, never minding the honest reporting. Chapter five of his book, ¿How Bill Clinton Cured Homelessness?describes how the reporters exaggerated the number of homeless to millions when in fact that number was only in thousands (page 72). Also, journalists ¿prettified?reality by showing ¿a very atypical, blond-haired and blue-eyed homeless family?(page 70) to establish a stronger identification with the audience and gain their support and sympathy (money) all under the control of the homeless lobby. He also stated that journalism omits inconvenient facts that might undermine the political agenda being promoted such as not mentioning the fact that 90 percent of the homeless are alcoholics, drug-addicts or are mentally ill. He wrote, ¿Meanwhile, the homeless lobby was putting the number of homeless in the millions¿Pump up the number of victims and we stand a better chance of getting more sympathy and support ?more money ?for our cause is what they correctly think,?(page 72) ¿And reporters are more than willing to go along and be yanked around by the homeless lobby.?(page 74) Later, in chapter six, ¿Epidemic of Fear? Goldberg makes the same argument again. The AIDS activists and gay lobby used the media to make AIDS seem like it was ¿everyone¿s disease?for sympathy ?and we know what sympathy really means ?from America. He stated, ¿But to do this (exaggerate the reality of AIDS in America), the activists needed their compassionate friends in the media. No Problem! It was the homeless story all over again. Tell the American people there were AIDS victims just like themselves ?if not right now, soon ?then maybe they would care enough to do something about the problem.?(pages 82-83) Not only the homeless lobbies and AIDS activists, but NOW (National Organization for Women) also has influenced how the news get reported. In chapter eleven, ¿The Most Important Story You Never Saw on TV? he expressed that the reporters don¿t report the real big story ?the absence of mothers from American homes is having dire consequences because the latchkey children don¿t know how to take care of themselves. Also, he points out that there are many policies being made that would make it easier for working moms to continue working and spend less time with their children, ¿The feminist response to any `controversial?news about day care is to call for more federal laws and subsidies to improve the quality of day care,?Goldberg (page 180). Goldberg offers another reason why the media distort the news: to look compassionate. When dealing with the homeless issue, the media sided with the homeless lobby and helped out the needy. When dealing with the AIDS issue, the media sided with the victims of the disease. Another example that Bias presents is the Alabama chain gang story. The state of

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2004

    Big Fat Editorial?

    I believe that Bernard Goldberg did a decent job on exposing the liberal bias that the media has. However, I do resent the length of the book. He repeats himself too much and dedicates about five pages of chapter 4 explaining how he is an 'old fashioned liberal.' It is unnecessary, especially since it follows a conversation he had w/ Rather (refer to pg. 34). In addition, he seems to be more than happy to take a few stabs at Rather and use up a couple more pages. I believe that he does make a point, but it becomes bogged down w/ all the unnecessary baggage.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2003

    A very important, UNBIASED, look at bias in the media

    There is bias in the news media, but unlike what some right-wingers propose, it has nothing to do with deliberate slanting. As Mr. Goldberg shows, the truth is far worse ... it's all unintentional. The news media is so left-winged that they consider liberal groups so 'mainstream' that they routinely use them and reference them as 'informed, learned sources.' On the rare occasions that right-of-liberal groups are referenced they are labeled as 'conservative', 'right-wing', or worse. Mr. Goldberg presents tons of evidence from numerous descriptions from transcripts to frequency of certain stories or types of stories in the media. I think the book runs a little long and the last half to a third basically continues the first half to two-thirds, just adding more concrete details. The audio edition also came with an interview with the author that added some fresh material, particularly dealing with feedback about this book. The only significant downside to the book is the way Mr. Goldberg several times mentions the fact that the TV news media takes its cues from the newspaper news (NY Times, Washington Post, etc) but then no suggestion is made about how to address that problem.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2003

    A little cheese with that whine?

    Being somewhat liberal myself, this book helped me to realize the extent of the liberal bias in the media. I always knew it was there, but never realized the extent to which this bias occurs until reading this book, and kudos to Goldberg for bringing it to light. That being said, I have some major issues with this work. First of all, his tone is whiny and sniveling. He goes out of his way to say that he may be perceived as a disgruntled ex-employee for writing this, then does nothing to prove otherwise (except a weak argument that he wouldn't have gone through the pain of writing a book if that were true. Huh?) That is EXACTLY how he SHOULD be perceived, especially based on his personal attacks on Dan Rather and other prominent members of the media. Secondly, most of the 'facts' he uses to support his thesis are merely quotes from his own or other people's opinions! Most come from op-ed pieces and hearsay. There are no hard statistics to support his argument. Either they don't exist at all, or he was too lazy to research them. Either way, he should be ashamed. Thirdly is the fact that Goldberg is a true literary lightweight (although I guess he can't be faulted for this since he really can't help it). His writing style, often pleading with the reader to see his point, is annoying, and he repeats himself frequently. Overall this book is nothing more than a desperate grab at a few bucks to support Bernard Goldberg's retirement. I became sure of this when I got to the end of the book and read through the appendix where his original op-ed pieces are printed. When I read them I realized that this book is nothing more than THOSE op-ed pieces spread thinly across 200 pages of pleadings, hearsay, opinions, and lame 'observations'. The only reason I gave the book 2 stars instead of 1 is that he does have a point and it made somewhat of an impression on me. It's too bad, however, that I wasted my time reading the whole book to come to this conclusion when I could have acquired the same information from reading his WSJ op-ed pieces in 5 minutes. Here's a piece of advice: If you're interested in this book, go to the bookstore, read the appendix to get all the info you'll need, then move on to something actually worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2003

    If you think you know.........

    This may or may not make you angry!IF you consider yourself educated, well read and informed, when read this book you will KNOW you are NOT!Do yourself a favor,read this!If you are a journalist,make a promise to yourself..Tell the TRUTH! If you lose your job, tell everyone why! Become independent and don't follow the 'rules'Question Everything!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2003

    Absolute MUST READ!

    BIAS tells truths and exposes facts that many have suspected but never confirmed. Now we know - the mainstream media is hopelessly liberal and clueless about its left-wing thinking. Goldberg makes his case with style and wit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2003

    EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS!

    A very reveling disclosure of the twisted way in which liberals think in the heart of liberalism, New York City. Bernard does a wonderful job explaining his own experiences dealing with the liberal press and what the ¿true¿ Dan Rather is really like¿...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2003

    An Easy Read

    I just finished reading, Bias, and wanted to express my thanks to Mr. Goldberg for writing such an excellent expose of the extent of liberal bias in network news reporting. It is truly a shame that the leadership of CBS News did not take advantage of Mr. Goldberg's insight and use it to take them from the bottom back to the top. Their loss is Fox New's gain. Those of us who dropped away from Dan, Peter, and Tom have found refuge with the quality reporting of Brit Hume.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2003

    excellent

    What a great read. Confirms everything I've always know. I've seen Bernie on quite a few talk shows recently, and was afraid he had told all the stories on TV. Not so, plenty of good stuff in the book. Reads very fast.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2003

    People aren't smart enough...

    If people are smart enough to think and assess information by themselves, we don't need this kind of book to teach us whether the media has conservative or liberal bias.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2003

    Well, of course right-wingers will LOVE this book...

    ...but it is utter nonsense. As an eighteen year veteran of broadcast journalism now in academia (another "liberal" threat to those who love this book), I have nearly as many stories as Goldberg but, interestingly, they suggest different things to me. Yes, we distorted the news--shockingly, we even hid it sometimes--but decisions were uniformly made on the basis of maintaining a materialist, consumerist status quo. Yes, the media ARE liberal, but in the classic Adam Smithian, laissez faire sense of "liberal economics." It will be a cold day in hell when TV journalists try to subvert THIS cash cow. But the right-wingers love their conspiracies, especially the liberal conspiracies, and I'm afraid Bernard Goldberg knew just which buttons to push to sell a lot of copies of this truly embarrassing book.

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