I grew up reading my city's (one big) daily newspaper and listening to NPR. Wrapped up in my personal life, I just sort of took the news I got for granted. One day I was channel surfing on the radio and came across a Fox News broadcast. Intruiged by their "fair and balanced" promise, I listnened for a little while. "Wow," I thought to myself, "Fox News is really biased!" "Bullshit," some skeptical impulse in me replied, "that's an unsubstantiated knee-jerk reaction." "Alright, motherfucker," I thought, "I'll prove it!" So I listened to several reports, and picked out the patterns I though showed bias. It's all about emphasis. Broadly, which stories are reported, the time given them, how often their basic refrains are repeated, which stories they reference in other stories. In a report, the order in which the facts are presented, which related background data are given, the adjetives chosen. They did not explicitly editorialize in the report but it was clear how they meant you to feel about it. I smiled smugly to myself as the inner skeptic sullenly retreated, defeated. I had proven, to my own satisfaction, that Fox News is indeed biased. The next morning, I unfurled my staid and trusty 'paper, and read the main article on the front page. My jaw dropped. Every single pattern of bias I had noted in Fox News was there in the article. I read several more. The conclusion was inescapable: my newspaper is a biased outlet. While driving that afternoon, I switched over to NPR. Not three minutes later I switched out of it again. I found it so incredibly biased that I actually blushed in the privacy of my car to think that I had taken it so dead-pan seriously for so many years, even contributing to it occasionally. To this day I cannot listen to it for long; the fact that I was duped by its thinly-veiled pretentiousness embarrasses me. I do not often listen to or particulalry like Fox News, but I give it this: it burned away some of my innocence in exchange for insight that prompted more critical thinking. I know I should have been paying better attention to begin with, but I can't help but feel a little grateful to the surly gadfly that spurred me into pulling my head a little further out of my ass.