Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An Unlikely Headline Leads to Unlikely Bias

Newsday reporter can't hide bias against Lindsay's Dad

A local businessman with a heart of gold is jumping into the ring with Michael Lohan, the bad boy father of Lindsay Lohan, to see if he can take him out.

"LI businessman to fight Lindsay Lohan's dad" The title says it all.

At first glance one may think this article is about a legal battle between a CEO and a child star's parent. Look a little closer (i.e. two paragraphs down) and one may be surprised to find this article is describing a literal boxing match!

Now it may just be my reporters bias toward a good old metaphor, but I was floored when I came upon the portion of the article where the actual boxing match is revealed. There are literally six paragraphs that lead into the actual facts of this story. Aside from which, the fodder and fluff is "dissing" Lindsay Lohan's father!

This article is biased for many other reasons. "Venero, 40, says he's not nervous, despite knowing about Lohan's stint in jail. The man, who built a $100 million company.."
While I realize this article is a feature piece, the primary focus is Michael Lohan's time spent in jail. To promote this charity should be the first reason for the article, Lindasy Lohan's father should be the second.

Having read Newsday for many years now, I have come to realize that the reporters sentiment toward the Long Island actress is a negative one. While her father is participating in a charitable event, the focus is on his daughter and his criminal record.

The original article was written by Tania Padgett on October 14, 2008 and printed in Newsday.

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