[…] Were pro-Israeli and
pro-Arab viewers who were especially knowledgeable about the conflict
immune from such distortions? Amazingly, it turned out to be exactly
the opposite, Stanford psychologist Lee D. Ross said. The best-informed
partisans were the most likely to see bias against their side.
thinks this is because partisans often feel the news lacks context.
Instead of just showing a missile killing civilians, in other words,
partisans on both sides want the news to explain the history of events
that prompted — and could have justified — the missile. The more
knowledgeable people are, the more context they find missing.
more curious, the hostile media effect seems to apply only to news
sources that strive for balance. News reports from obviously biased
sources usually draw fewer charges of bias. Partisans, it turns out,
find it easier to countenance obvious propaganda than news accounts
that explore both sides.
"If I think the world is black, and you think the world is white, and
someone comes along and says it is gray, we will both think that person
is biased," Ross said.
Shankar Vedantam, Washington Post, "Two Views of the Same News Find Opposite Biases"