Adoption Beat

May 30, 2008

What is bias?

Filed under: Improving media coverage of adoption — adoptionbeat @ 3:40 am

The following “story” is a joke. I don’t know who wrote it, only that one of my Tennessee cousins sent it to me. This explains how some Americans view media coverage of political issues. And it might help to give the reader an idea of how many triad members feel that the media often covers adoption issues. It is only a joke — so lighten up and laugh!

A biker is riding by the zoo when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion’s cage.

Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents.

The biker jumps off his bike, runs to the cage, and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.

A newspaper reporter has seen the whole scene and, addressing the biker, says, “Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I ever saw a man do in my whole life.”

“Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt right.”

“Well, I’ll make sure this won’t go unnoticed. I’m a journalist, you know, and tomorrow’s paper will have this on the first page. What motorcycle do you ride and what political affiliation do you have?”

“A Harley Davidson and I am a Republican.”

The journalist leaves.

The following morning the biker buys the newspaper to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads on the first page:


Obviously the journalist in this joke asked for information that had no bearing on the action that took place. And, from the headline, we have to conclude that he included it in his article. This satirical example of journalistic bias is not subtle so it is easy to spot. The bias that creeps into articles about adoption or triad members is not so blatant. The average reader might miss it. Triad members probably do not. When you find stories in the media that register on your sensitivity meter, please share them with me at


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