Mad Cow Disease, Alternatively a Lesson on Media Bias


Madison Tanner, Writer

Unfortunately, this story is not about hamburgers. Disappointing, I know.  It is, however, about media bias.

Biden announced at a climate summit held on the 23rd of April that the United States aims to reduce emissions by 50-52% by 2030. This claim came amongst other ambitious goals set by President Biden at the summit. If you are interested in the climate, I would strongly urge you to read more about his plans for the future. However, it is the aforementioned statement that has since been twisted to fit a narrative.

Sometime around January of last year, a study found that a 90% reduction in beef consumption (combined with a 50% reduction in other assorted meats) could result in a decrease of agricultural-related greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. That is, of course, a hypothetical situation. The coauthors of the study themselves went on to say, “…this is not a specific recommended policy for achieving a 50% reduction in U.S. carbon emissions.”

This study ended up linked with Biden’s plan to cut emissions, despite the two being entirely unrelated. How? The Daily Mail (which is a UK news source) released an article full of claims about how Pres. Biden’s climate plan could affect the daily lives of Americans. Switching over to electric cars, trillions of dollars in taxes, and refitting homes with electric heat pumps were all mentioned, mainly focused on the cost aspect of these changes. This leaves the odd one out: the claim that “Americans may have to cut their red meat consumption by a whopping 90 percent and cut their consumption of other animal-based foods in half.” 

From there it spread like rinderpest, a bovine plague, to Fox News, famously home to the disease known as Tucker Carlson. However, he is not responsible for this round of lies and fear-mongering. Probably still too busy telling his followers that they should call CPS if they see a child wearing a mask. But that is a different bag of cats.

This time, across several Fox News channels, hosts such as Kudlow and Jesse Watters purported this drastic change in the American diet. One Jeanne Pirro went as far as to say, quote, “Do you like red meat? … Not so fast. The left with their Green New Deal wants to make sure you don’t.”

That is not true. That is baseless and unfounded in any sane reality. Big, scary leftists are not coming to your barbecue to raid your kitchen and kill your family while you watch on in horror. 

Suburbanite pearl-clutching aside, this is hardly the first time something like this has happened and not even the first time on Fox News. But more and more, we see a trend with news outlets manufacturing outrage where there is none to be found. I won’t sit here and say this isn’t a bipartisan issue. Even though one side is guilty of it more often than the other, or at least gets caught more often than the other. I mean, Tucker Carlson’s own legal team argued in court that he shouldn’t be taken seriously. That doesn’t exactly inspire faith in the truthfulness of what is being said. 

And most people would agree that there is evidence of political bias in the media, even though who they say is guilty of it depends entirely on their predispositions. In a poll, I asked Bob Jones students if they believe that political bias is evident in the press. Despite their answers varying on which news outlets they believed to be untrue (or “fake news” as the previous president might say), one-hundred percent of them said they agree that there is a degree of bias in the news. 

This is worrying. The fact that it has got to the point where almost nobody has faith that the news can be as unbiased and genuine as possible should bother you. The second the waters between fact and opinion get muddied and one is presented as the other is the second misinformation is allowed to run rampant. 

I won’t say outright that propaganda is what is being fed to the American people, even though some sources would certainly meet the criteria, but that line is being toed. Be careful where you get your news from. Even if you agree with what is being said, try to do your part to not live in willful ignorance.