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Catch Them if you can: Biases in Everyday Media

Episode 24

From celebrating 1K followers on Instagram to introducing a new "Game Time" segment, Miranda and Noelle (yea that's us) are back!  In our last episode, we learned so much about misinformation and disinformation and the way in which in-group and out-group identifications are formed and maintained. 

This week, we're discussing the impact of media on our personal lives and the various types of media bias that infiltrate our information systems-from he news, social media, and even our own self talk.

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Catch Them if You Can: Biases in Everyday Media


[00:01 – 05:47]

Noelle: What uuuuuup!


Miranda: Welcome to the Unpacked Project.


Noelle: We're your hosts, I’m Noelle. 


Miranda: And I’m Miranda. 


Noelle: We're here to explore all things social justice, it's through casual conversations, interviews and storytelling that we hope to inspire others to take action towards a more compassionate and equitable world. 


Miranda: Because honestly, it kind of sucks here sometimes. 


Noelle: For real, we can do better people. 


Miranda: Alright, let's start unpacking. 


Noelle: Hi, everybody. 


Miranda: Hey. So, Noelle and I are here today, kind of back for our season three. We're really moving away from seasons in general but what we want to do is really focus on messaging. So, before we get into that, you'll see…heeeeey! (Miranda and Noelle lifting champagne glasses). We finally hit a thousand followers on Instagram. Right? So, cheers to that. 


Noelle: And I mean… Okay, hold on. Let me drink first.


Miranda: Super important. Super important. 


Noelle: It might not sound like a lot to the 5k, 10k people but for us, it's been a slow crawl, okay?


Miranda: It really has. 


Noelle: And we were really happy when we were stuck at 998 for a couple of… [Inaudible 01:20 – 01:21]


Miranda: Like, a week straight. 


Noelle: I know. But we did finally hit it and I think it is a big deal for us. 


Miranda: Yeah, for sure.


Noelle: Because the content that we talk about, people don't always want to hear. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: And we don't always get great feedback, so… 


Miranda: Well, I think, you know, those 1000 followers are our authentic followers, right? Like, they're… I mean, sure they're our friends and our family but they're also people from across the country, across the globe. 


Noelle: Oh, yeah. Like, I know, like, 10 people. Those thousand people are [Cross talk 01:46 – 01:48] 


Miranda: There was someone I was messing with, the other day, from London and he was talking about, you know, we're talking about, like, the homeless, kind of epidemic and so, I think it's really just nice to know that we have such a supportive community and people that are, you know, responsive to this information and just really wanting to hear it and so thankful for the work that we do. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: On top of our full-time jobs, right? 


Noelle: Right. 


Miranda: So, it feels good. So, celebrating that and really just moving into a new way that our episodes look. So, really trying to get away from how formal some of them can be, some of that will still be tied in of course, you know, as we do interviews with professionals and experts in their field but really just wanting y'all to get to know Noelle and I a little bit better, kind of how we function together as friends… 


Noelle: How we function… 


Miranda: How we function together as friends... 


Noelle: This is kind of what we always envisioned. 


Miranda: True. Yeah. 


Noelle: We always would have these conversations, like, out at dinner or at the bar, right? And so, it was always our idea to kind of bring that together and put it out there. 


Miranda: Yeah.


Noelle: And then when we started the podcast, I mean, we didn't know how to start a podcast, so it just seemed natural to, like, have it scripted and be comfortable with that. 


Miranda: Super formal.


Noelle: Exactly. Well, I think it made us more comfortable. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Right? We knew what we were going to say and we had a kind of a way of doing it and now… 


Miranda: Because this, like, all of this, nerve wrecking. But we're gonna get through it. 


Noelle: Yes. So, I’m really happy that this is just kind of like our natural… 


Miranda: Good job… 


Noelle: Our natural selves here, ready to just talk about stuff, you know. So, yeah. So, what we wanted to start getting into was talking about messaging. We've, in previous episodes, talked a lot about different narratives and how the media can kind of spin things sometimes. We talked way in the beginning, like, season one, episode two, of our own biases and how that all plays into how we receive and understand information. And I think it's been so much more prevalent now. We think about the polarization in our country. Just the role that media is playing and the distrust that I think a lot of people have for it. Actually, on one of the websites that we were doing our research,, and they stated that 72 percent of Americans believe traditional news sources report fake news, falsehoods or content that's purposefully misleading, so we see like, trust in the media declining but yet we're consuming it so much more. 


Miranda: Yeah. Yeah. 


Noelle: So, I think this just applies to so many different things we talk about, and I know that's the reason why we wanted to get into it. 


Miranda: Yeah. One in general I think that a lot of people are media illiterate, unfortunately, you know. Not understanding the questions they should ask or really even what they should be thinking about. You know, a lot of people in general, I don't think, think about their thinking. 


Noelle: Right. Right. 


Miranda: We're such, like, unconscious consumers of what we see around us, you know, and so… so that's concerning of course, right? When we're trying to differentiate between what's fact and what's fiction and really just understanding the most important pieces of the information that we're being given, so… 


Noelle: Right. 


Miranda: So, yeah… 


Noelle: And then we seek out information that's going to confirm what we already believe. 


Miranda: Exactly. Right. 


Noelle: So, it's like… 


Miranda: Go to a confirmation bias. 


Noelle: Exactly. So, it's like when we were doing the research physics, oh we've talked about so much of this, it applies to so many things that we've already discussed, but yet it's so important right now, you know, for us to kind of unpack all these different things and try to educate, I mean ourselves and then our listeners in terms of what we can look out for. You know, I know, like for me, it's the media in general, like Instagram, Facebook, social media because I don't really like watch the news, I don't know watch the news. My parents still like sit down and watch the news. Sometimes probably a little too much with like COVID and retirement, when you think about like the amount of time maybe some people at different ages are spending in front of different types of media. But, for me, like there's sometimes where I’m like we've talked about it, I’m like I want to get off social media, if it wasn't for this podcast like… 


[05:48 – 10:21]

Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: I’m done with Instagram, I’m done whether it's because of COVID vaccines, inundating me and making me afraid to go outside or the election or whatever it is. It's just, it be starts feeling like too much, like the people that step away. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: I totally get it, like for my mental health to step away, like sometimes I wish we could and, you know, I mean there's definitely been like friendships that I’ve lost because I see what some people have posted, who I’ve known for forever. And I’m like, well, I kind of knew you, you were like that but like now I’m like, oh my god, like I literally can't talk to you. I mean it sounds terrible because you don't want that to be the case because everyone's entitled to believe what they want to believe but some things, I’m like this is just an issue of like morality at this point. 


Miranda: Yeah. Well, you know, and I think, we think about how do the media affect us, right? And so, you know, you're talking about mental health essentially, right? I mean I had read something, you know, I don't know how factual it is but I know from my own personal experience, I feel it to be true that if you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is get on social media and you digest something that's negative information, it really is… 


Noelle: I said that… 


Miranda: Dude, I was like someone, I was talking to someone about this… 


Noelle: It was a training that I was in; it was that positive psychology training. 


Miranda: Oh my god! I don’t know if you actually told about this, it is interesting. 


Noelle: So, I sent you this quote, so it was like a, well this might not be what you're talking about but it like apply. So, during this study participants were asked to watch either three minutes of negative… watch either three minutes of negative news before 10 a.m. or three minutes of positive solutions focus news. When you're exposed to just three minutes of negative news, first thing in the morning, you have a 27 percent higher likelihood of reporting that you had a bad day, six to eight hours later. So, we expected, it says we expected people would report being unhappier for the next few minutes after watching the negative news but that the researchers in no way expected it to have such a long lasting effect six to eight hours later. 


Miranda: Well, I mean on the flip side of that right, again from a mental health perspective we talk about like gratitude journals and, you know, it's like kind of clearing your mental head space just for nothingness, right? So meditation and things like that. So, if we're consuming such negativity in the very beginning of the day, I mean it seems, like it makes sense to me, you know. So, yeah, so there's that aspect, the mental health aspect. But then just the messages that we receive about ourselves, you know, I think about, we had done that activity where you kind of rated yourself in different categories. I forget exactly what it was but like one of the things I think about when I think of messaging is what messages am I receiving about myself as a woman, as a black woman, you know, just different things like that. And that all really kind of informs our beliefs about ourselves and about other people, you know. I mean, it's all bias and messaging and framing and kind of all of… 


Noelle: Yeah, whether it's images or words or whatever. I’ve definitely un-followed plenty of people because I start feeling crappy about it. So, yeah and it's like, because of one how inundating, it is like how often you, you know, the algorithms or whatever, right? They know what you're looking at; they know what to blow up your feed with. So, just that but then also like how things are framed, how things are being worded, you know how one story or one situation can be reported five or six different ways. 


Miranda: Very true, yeah. 


Noelle: So, I know that was one of the things that we wanted to get into today and kind of start talking about. So, one when we were doing research for this episode, the page center was one of the resources that I came across. And I liked they kind of presented as like the difference between framing, and then agenda setting. So, you know, like obviously news outlets, journalists, different sources have an agenda, right? We talk about right-wing media, left-wing media, center, you know, all this. And then depending on the source, they're choosing what they want to put out there, right? But then there's also even within the agenda setting how they're going to frame it. So, one of the things that they mention, you know, on the website is framing, it's more about like the words, the symbols, the overall content… 


Miranda: Tone. 


Noelle: And the tone, yeah, that they're using to frame it. So, while agenda setting tells us what issues to think about, what topics to think about. It also, like, starts becoming suggestive as which topics are more and less important to talk about, the framing of it takes it like a step further, and is more about how those devices can kind of shape, how we understand the topic itself. And how then that feeds into our biases, right? Because if we already, like, think a certain way about something and then this language that we're receiving is framing it or these images or framing it in a certain way, what's our reality. 


[10:22 – 15:31]

Miranda: Yeah. Yeah. 


Noelle: You know, like what our reality becomes which I think is important when we think about society around us. 


Miranda: Yeah, one a note that I had taken, right? Because there's so much to look at when evaluating how something is framed, it's important that we take a systematic approach to one's analysis, right? So, yes, we're thinking about our thinking but like what steps specifically are we taking in that thinking process, you know. 


Noelle: Yeah. Yeah, like the analyzing of it because like you mentioned in the beginning like we're all, probably most of us. I mean even us, I’m not going to sit here and pretend like this doesn't apply to me, right? Like just unconsciously kind of consuming things… 


Miranda: Oh, yeah. 


Noelle: And are you really like paying attention to the wording and paying attention to how they're, you know, stating something. 


Miranda: Well or even checking your sources. I mean I will quickly be like, okay, I love this Instagram page, I follow them, I feel like everything they say is true for whatever reason, you know. 


Noelle: Right. 


Miranda: And I’m quick to repost something and it's like we need to always be checking our sources, you know. 


Noelle: Well and you only know what you know based on what you see. 


Miranda: Exactly. 


Noelle: So, if I’m choosing to only look at sources because it confirms my biases or confirms my belief or if I’m on social media and they're purposefully with their algorithms, only giving me certain things or I only follow certain pages. I considered one, so I was like, you know, what I should do. I should make a different Instagram name. 


Miranda: Oh. 


Noelle: And follow the opposite of everyone that I do. And do like an analysis. 


Miranda: You should do that, does that, yeah. 


Noelle: Yeah, what is the difference in my feed when I’m on Nicole's Instagram page since I got called out my whole life? Oh my god! When I’m on the republican, right? 


Miranda: Exactly. Yeah. 


Noelle: And then my normal fee, like what is that difference in reality, like and shifting between them, just being like damn. 


Miranda: Yeah. I mean, it’s bad enough, it's like for the impact project, I’m following people on kind of on the other side, just across the political spectrum in general. And I look at things and I’m like, you know, and I start to wonder, am I just brainwashed? Isn't necessarily the right word? But like am I consuming so much of one type of information or one type of news source that I’m just conditioned to this type of thinking. I mean in general I’m from California, pretty common person in general, you know, but then I see things, you know, from kind of the right side and I’m so taken about… I mean, honestly I almost feel like I’m gas lit sometimes, where I’m like the language, it just doesn't, I can't even compute this in my mind. 


Noelle: But then like do we take it further, right? So, we're going to play a game at the end, the left and the right game. I’m, when I was putting the different headlines together and stuff, and I was reading, now having to read right? You know, right wing, kind of articles whatever. And there were some topics, I was like wait, this is like not what I thought it was. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: You know, like when I was reading stuff about defunding the police and different statistics that were out there and I’m like… and they were they were sourced, like, you know, they were credible sources. And I’m like you know what, okay, like I need to remember these things when I’m exploring what we talk about on here because there's a difference when we talk about… and we're going to get into it, like the different types of media bias and stuff. With certain ones things are just false, right? They're opinions or they're not backed up or they're false claims or whatever but some of them when we start talking about like spin and just different ways of saying things. It's not that an article is not factual; it's just that I’m taking the facts and I’m twisting it for you to feed, you know, you to consume that in a way that I want you to consume that. 


Miranda: Yeah. We're only sharing certain facts or spin on those facts. I mean there's various ways to go about it. 


Noelle: Yeah. So, I mean some things it's like okay, well, this is true, like if I just kind of pick apart the vocabulary using to not make me feel emotionally a certain way, the facts in this article are still true. And some of the things when I was researching, I was like I would have known that if we weren't doing this. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: You know, because what I’m reading isn't trying to show this. So, I just thought it was interesting, like that experience of it, when we were kind of going through planning… 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: For this episode. 


Miranda: So why don't we get into some of those things that they use within media? 


Noelle: Yeah. So, I think when we've already started talking about one like spin, right? So, I really like the website, there's so much information on there, you know, for our listeners, if you have never heard of it or you've never gone to it, I do suggest doing so because it's really interesting just how they kind of try to show all sides. But, we started talking about spin, I like that they give examples of spin words and phrases. And even page center did as well. So, when we think about using death tax versus estate tax. And that was like a personal thing that we saw happen in the media, undocumented worker versus illegal alien, pro-choice versus pro-abortion, right? 

[15:32 – 20:01]

Noelle: Like to the people obviously right-wing, right? You're going to see pro-abortion, going to try to instill fear, we're gonna try to have the target of the word something that you are… 


Miranda: Yeah, killing babies. That's what you're doing, you're killing babies, you don't care about human life and rather than it's like no it's a woman's right to choose, we our body shouldn't be police, so it's a very different spin. 


Noelle: And it's the same topic, it's the same thing. 


Miranda: It's a different language. 


Noelle: It's different how you say it, right? So, are we trying to also like imply bad behavior, so somebody refusing to say something or something surfacing, right? Like it was [Cross talk 16:07 - 16:12], And then just like dramatic sensationalized words, like you just take the word said, how many different ways you could say it; mocked, rage, lashed out, scoffed, you know, those kinds of ways, really all we're trying to do is say somebody said something. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: But what kind of spin them, you know, they boasted about it, they gloated about it. How differently can you say it in just… really the situations that someone said something? 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Right. So, I thought that one was really interesting. And the other thing is when we talk about all these different types of media bias, there were like 11 of them. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Right. Like we went through and we're like which are the big ones. So, these are the ones like for us that we feel like we come into contact with the most. The other one for me like unsubstantiated claims, like people that just say something, this statement just like appears to be a fact, it's just a lot of times, and someone could just confidently say something. That was at work all the time. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Like we'll be in a meeting and someone will say something, and I’m like that sounds true. 


Miranda: But really it's just because of the tone the person used, like, I’m like, I need to go Google that because the way you said it, I believe you. I don't know what I’m saying is but like it doesn't matter what you actually know as long as you walk into a room confidently, people will believe you. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: That's true. That's very true. 


Noelle: How many times do people, I’ve had people say that to me, like, bosses that I have or they're like, oh, just go in there and act confident, like that's so messed up. 


Miranda: But acting confident isn't like actually confident and that doesn't mean that we're telling the… 


Noelle: Truth but absolutely that's completely not true. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: You know, like Miranda, your toilets clogged. 


Miranda: Is it really… 


Noelle: Like it was seriously, you know, I was like. 


Miranda: Really, I don’t know, I just used the bathroom, I just came out of the back, it's clogged, like it wasn't, wait, I’m sorry. 


Noelle: You just, like believe it to be true, like the most benign stupid thing because I’m just like seriously saying it, you know. 


Miranda: Exactly and also why would you I trust in you, right? So, this is a media source, I trust in you, so why would you lie to me as well, so there's also that. 


Noelle: Yeah. Well and I mean and if you're not gonna go a step further and check every single thing, right? Every, if they don't state their sources, if an article is just saying something and there's not, like a source, you've got to then go and try to find this, and see if it is substantiated, and it is true. And, you know, I think who's really doing that on a daily basis. You know, it's not where do numbers come from, where do these statistics come from. Like so many articles I don't even when we do our research for like the episodes, you want to just, sometimes I'll just write it down and I’m like this, just like says this here, let me look at the footnote, let me see where it came from. 


Miranda: I mean even what you just said earlier, 27 of Americans but essentially believe that media is feeding them false and position, right? 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: Well, twenty-seven percent. 


Noelle: I think they're seventy two. 


Miranda: Seventy, just seventy two, you know my dyslexia. 


Noelle: But I believe. I mean that sounds true, right? 


Miranda: 72 percent, right? Regardless it's like 72 percent of the entire population, Americans of the world of… 


Noelle: Grow environment. 


Miranda: How large was, exactly. 


Noelle: How old were they? 


Miranda: Yeah, you know, like, oh, okay, you know, so yeah but we hear 72 percent, that's a large number and that's what we focus on, so… 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: And the other thing is a little bit of confirmation bias because like I read that and I’m like yeah I don't trust the media, you kind of said 100… 


Miranda: Must be right. 


Noelle: 98 percent and I’m like no one trust me. 


Miranda: Did you know and now there is a dispute in this information, right? 


Noelle: Did you know 72 percent like, to be fair, I actually didn't look up that. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: It was on this this website that I found is credible, right? They have a lot of sources, they do a lot of analyses but it was at the beginning of this bias packet, like that when we were going through. And I did not check that statistic. Well we're going to check that. 


Miranda: Yeah we're going to check it. 


Noelle: I mean I didn't. Right. 


[20:02 – 25:08]

Miranda: Well, you know, and speaking of, right? So, sensationalism and emotionalism, so similarly a large number. You hear these words and it's like, oh my goodness, I can't, that must be true. So, just like, I believe it was Lisa was talking about, in season two, the most liked posts on Instagram, typically are ones that evoke emotion, make you feel angry in some way, shape or form, just yeah pull up the heartstrings. So, something that they say here about sensationalism and emotionalism is that… in recent years some media outlets have been criticized for overusing the term breaking or breaking news, which historically was reserved for stories of deep impact or wide scale importance, right? And so that makes me think, again Lisa talking about the fairness doctrine and, you know, what rules are journalists folks that are working within news, what rules are they actually sticking to report true factual information to us. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: And that just isn't happening, you're really, not everywhere but in a lot of places it's not happening. Media outlets care about ratings, you know, and so these networks are, you know, just using different kind of language to get us to buy into this. So, again sensationalism and emotionalism, so when you're seeing kind of articles with these words that evoke these emotions, it's something that we should think about, like when you're feeling that emotion stop and think, you know, like wait a second, like this seems, you know, it's just, it's too much, you know. 


Noelle: That's how I feel with code like that, when I read that, code, it makes me think of all the code reporting. And again right, like I’m, a lot of what we're reading is factual, like we're talking about the delta variant, alright? And how it's hitting younger people, people that are, our hospitalization rates are going up and all this stuff, right? Fact that is happening. Emotionalism, every day, three to four articles about the person on their deathbed saying, I should have gotten vaccinated and not a political thing about who's getting vaccinated, who's not. Like that's a whole other topic of conversation, many other episodes we could do but that's the emotionalism, right? I read that and I’m like, oh my god, it's one of the reasons why I went out and got vaccinated. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: How am I going to be the person that gets sick goes to the hospital, and it's on my hospital bed, like I should have gotten vaccinated. 


Miranda: Yeah, you already have COVID like no, no way. 


Noelle: That hits on my emotions. Like I’m like, oh my god, I cannot have that happen to me, like literally. And it works. 


Miranda: Yeah, it did. I know. 


Noelle: Yeah, so many things with COVID, like they're using fear, we think about the emotion of fear, we've talked in previous episodes about how powerful fear is instilling fear in people. And again, not that it's not really silly COVID is an epidemic, right? But when you still just look at the power of it and how… there's some people on my feed that I’m just like friends with right, or family members and they're people that I just find interesting what they post. And then on their feeds, I’m seeing all the conspiracy theories about COVID and the conspiracies about the vaccine. So, in literally the five minutes, I’m getting, I’m on my deathbed wishing I got vaccinated and I’m dying. I’m on a ventilator and I’m 23. I’m going to get a microchip. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Like literally just only five minutes and I don't know how what to feel. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Like by the end of that, I’m like overwhelmed, just emotionally in general, where then I’m like I need to get off social media. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: This is just like terrifying. 


Miranda: One I think speaking of kind of emotionalism, it also reminds because you say fear but also tying into kind of immorality, I'd say, right? So, like religion, we're talking, you know, you had said pro-choice versus pro-abortion, right? And so, it's a moral issue now, right? Like you're not righteous, right? He's just wrong in the eyes of god, god is right, you know, so that type of thing as well, I think when people have are rooted to certain values that go and then something goes against that… 


Noelle: They paint it, like, it’s like makes you like a crappy person. 


Miranda: Yeah, worse than crappy. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: You're going to hell. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: Hell! 


Noelle: First thing crappy. 


Miranda: Crappy! 


Noelle: You're going… 


Miranda: You're gonna burn for all of eternity. Okay. 


Noelle: Basically you are going in a hell. 


Miranda: Oh my god! And so the other one that we kind of talked about was opinion statements presented as facts, right? And this is another big one, similar to what you just said, walk in there and just act confident. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: You know, so what is your opinion, it's kind of stated as fact, people don't question that because you may be some type of an authority figure, a news outlet. And so, really a subjective statement is one that's based on personal opinions, assumptions, beliefs, taste, preference or interpretations. So, you know, even when we're reading in our news, reports on, reports with opinion-based articles as well. 


Noelle: But I think I talked about that. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: The difference between actual journalists back in the day and people that are commentating. And commentating and reporting news are too completely different. 


[25:09 – 30:15]

Miranda: Yeah, true. However, you have commentators and reporters that both work for news outlets. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: And I’m just like how are you putting opinion pieces in news coverage. I don't understand this but it happens. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: All the time. 


Noelle: So because that's become news. 


Miranda: Yeah, exactly. 


Noelle: Like my dad talks about us all the time, about… 


Miranda: Hey, dad. He’s is not my dad but, you know, my best friend and I. 


Noelle: And I think there's two ways you can kind of think about it, right? But he talks about how like when he was a kid, there were only certain, only like two or three news outlets; you could really listen to, right? Which part of me is like, well, that sounded like really great. 


Miranda: It wasn't either. 


Noelle: It’s not good but at the same time like they were credible, like people trusted them, they were actually journalists that like researched things and were giving you actual facts. And I think because we've seen such an increase in all the sources and all the outlets and the internet. You can have Joe Schmooze from down the block, you know, come or even like you see like certain news like fox keeps certain people because there's… 


Miranda: Tucker Carlson, that's who, she… 


Noelle: Exactly, Tucker, Bill O'Reilly, any of these people, right? Who just stir the pot, they say these crazy things, and people eat it up and not that that doesn't exist on the left side either because… 


Miranda: It does… 


Noelle: Liberal and it does and that's the thing like bias is two-sided, it's not like we're not sitting here being like it's only a right-wing thing, right? Or this only exists, like republicans and anti-vaccine, whatever. It's not. Like it happens on both sides, it's meant to manipulate. And, I mean news sources are businesses, they're trying to make money, and the way that they do it is by putting stories out there. 


Miranda: Putting spins on things and slants and using sensationalism, all of these 11 tactics. So, definitely encourage everyone to go check out all sides, they have left center and right news and it's just really interesting to see how each side reports different things. And also really to get a wide differentiation of the news that you consume as well, you know. 


Noelle: They'll also like tag certain articles as this is an opinion article, on all sides this is an opinion, this is an analysis and this was stated as a fact and it is not supported. Like they're, you know, and so. I feel like, it's just a really cool website; I actually got it through school, like my high school… 


Miranda: Oh, really. 


Noelle: Use it. 


Miranda: Yeah. Well, definitely a website I want to start utilizing more. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: Right.


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: When we kind of talk about doing this, not kind of, when we talk about doing this work. And I think, you know, our, I don't say obligation but like our duty, if we're giving this, yeah giving this information out to people, it's our duty to do our best to ensure that we're giving appropriate and accurate information. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: So… 


Noelle: I mean we could just say whatever the hell we want to say. 


Miranda: Yeah, my toe is clogged. I don't believe it. So I’m gonna go get that shit. 


Noelle: Shit, okay. 


Miranda: Alright. So are we ready for our game? 


Noelle: I think we should wait. 


Miranda: So, Noelle I really want you to start putting in likes audio clips and I don't know if you're gonna do that. So, let's just, we're gonna, its game time, game time, game time, game time. We're doing today is playing a drinking game because we're alcoholic. No, but actually left center right, taken from left center right. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: One of Noelle's great ideas. So you want to explain the game? 


Noelle: I love that game. Yeah, so we're just, I mean using the term left center right, which if no one's played that before you should check it out. 


Miranda: I’ve never played it in my life. 


Noelle: But we went through, we collected different headlines from left articles, right articles, center articles. And what we're going to do is just read it. We can go kind of back and forth. And you are going to guess if it was an article from the left, an article from the right or an article from the center. 


Miranda: Alright. 


Noelle: So just based on the headline. 


Miranda: Okay. So, you are going to play along at home or in your car or work, if you're not working and you're listening to us instead wherever you're at. Okay. 


Noelle: Alright, are you ready? Do I need to go first? 


Miranda: I’m ready. 


Noelle: Okay. 


Miranda: For the record, you said that your husband got all of this wrong, right? Because then I’m not gonna feel bad if I get, I’m gonna fill this because you're gonna need to definitely feel it all the way up because I’m gonna have to drink so much. [Inaudible 29:50 – 30:02] So, Noelle was an alcoholic or not alcoholic. 


Noelle: Oh, stop it. 


Miranda: Do you all know that Noelle is a doctor? I’m going to call her Dr. Daley because she feels so uncomfortable but then gets pissed when people don't call her doctor. 


[30:16 – 35:05]

Noelle: No, I don’t get it… 


Miranda: Men, white men. 


Noelle: Yeah, I don't get pissed if you don't call me it; if I don't hear you call anybody else it. 


Miranda: Fear. 


Noelle: But if you don't call me it and when I walk down the hall and I hear you say it to your buddy… 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: Yeah as you should. Okay. So go ahead. 


Noelle: We talked about that. 


Miranda: We did. Yeah. 


Noelle: Okay. Ready? Quote, I’m just pissed at this point, Texas democrats upset Biden hasn't met with them on voting rights. 


Miranda: Texas wait say. 


Noelle: I’m just pissed at this point Texas democrats upset that Biden hasn't met with them on voting rights. 


Miranda: Texas democrats, so the democrats are upset, right wing. Fuck! 


Noelle: Nope. 


Miranda: Dang it. 


Noelle: Was USA that today. 


Miranda: That's left. 


Noelle: Yep. 


Miranda: Okay.


Noelle: Well, yeah, and so like interesting right because I mean just even reading it, I’m like… 


Miranda: Yeah I’m like, I’m like, and it sounds like something the right would say. 


Noelle: Yeah. But I mean, I think it's trying to call attention to the fact that maybe Biden isn't still saying that Texas democrats are upset. So, democrats are still upset about this issue on voting rights. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Right. Which is like everything that’s happening that’s right, but, yeah, the Biden being, Biden not going but that’s a fact? 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: That's, yes, happened. Okay. 


Miranda: Alright, Biden admin walks back ties to group pushing critical race theory in schools. 


Noelle: Sorry, one more time. 


Miranda: Biden Admin walks back ties to group pushing critical race theory in schools. 


Noelle: Walks back ties. Oh, you didn't drink by the way unless I got it wrong. 


Miranda: Don't you drink the whole thing. 


Noelle: No, it just said. Biden Admin walks back times… center? 


Miranda: Fox news from the right. 


Noelle: Okay. Oh, my gosh! 


Miranda: It’s not gonna make a difference. 


Noelle: Make a difference, okay. Maybe have a strategy. Okay, Virginia transgender student wins as Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal. Virginia transgender student wins a Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal. 


Miranda: Rebuffs? 


Noelle: That's the important word. 


Miranda: Fuck. What do rebuffs mean? Shit. I’m like buffering, Re… Randy you smart. Left…


Noelle: Buffering… 


Miranda: Buffering… 


Noelle: Like something buffering. Is it buffering? 


Miranda: Like a referee. 


Noelle: Buffering. Okay, no, we're drinking, it was foxy.


Miranda: Fuck. 


Noelle: Everybody's like a negative connotation. 


Miranda: Oh, see. I was like dang it that's the word, I need to know and I don't know… 


Noelle: Buffering. Okay. 


Miranda: The great outdoors has a diversity problem, can it be fixed? 


Noelle: Left? 


Miranda: Center. The center ones are challenging. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: And I’m also like, oh, I see why people are moderate because yeah, it's like, well, so Noelle's husband is a moderate, yeah, you'd say he's a moderate. I feel like he's a moderator. 


Noelle: I guess it depends on the topic. 


Miranda: It does depend on the topic. I mean ultimately I think people are all across the spectrum on different things, right? But I think Adonis tends to be someone that is kind of even keel, listen to both sides of the story, type, deal, we're like no fuck you, these are my beliefs, I’m not going to listen to anything, and you’re faced every month… 


Noelle: It’s buffering me, shit. 


Miranda: So, when I’m listening and reading these things from the center, I’m like, oh, I see why because it's so, you know, it's kind of like, yeah. 


Noelle: Yeah but that's what like I thought it was interesting when we had to go through and do this, aside from it was like midnight, that night, and my eyes were like crossing when I was looking at the thing. But I was like this is really interesting because I wouldn't have ever read these headlines, you know. So, and then the article then you click on it, right? And you're like wait a second… 


Miranda: Oh my god! I was getting lost. Yeah, I was waiting for my laundry to dry after that stupid palmetto bug. 


Noelle: Candy! Supreme Court won't revive school's transgender bathroom ban. 


Miranda: Supreme Court won't revive Tran’s school bathroom… 


Noelle: Schools transgender bathroom band. 


Miranda: Right. 


Noelle: Center. Associated press. 


Miranda: Okay. 


Noelle: So, won't revive, right? So, I just felt like that like language of like won't bring back to life the ban because the ban is like bad. 


[35:06 – 40:19]

Miranda: Yeah. Well that's why I thought… 


Noelle: In my opinion. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: It's bad. 


Miranda: That's not an opinion. 


Noelle: Right. 


Miranda: It's fact. 


Noelle: But it is fact. But I feel like if that was a right article instead of saying like that they wouldn't revive. The one that I already… 


Miranda: Like they refused to. 


Noelle: They rebuffed… 


Miranda: Yeah rebuffed. 


Noelle: That was the right one. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Transgender student wins because it was the same, it's the same topic. So, these two articles were the same topic, it went all the way to the supreme court, a student won ultimately, it went through all appeals courts saying like I can use the bathroom and alliance with my gender identity, went all the way up to the supreme court. Supreme Court wouldn't even hear it. And so, the right wing is saying like the Supreme Court rebuffed the bathroom appeal. And the center is saying they won't revive the ban. So, not reviving the ban and not rebuffing the appeal are to completely different things, ways of saying the same exact story. 


Miranda: And then we also have to take into account ones already like, your beliefs already, yeah, you know, what I mean and then how you take that and run with it. 


Noelle: Right. Because when you read one, it's putting your attention on the ban, which my belief is we shouldn't have the ban, right? And we won't revive it. Great! And the other one is putting focus on the appeal and not and rebuffing the appeal. Someone looking at that is like, oh, you're not even gonna look at the appeal because I don't believe in the ban. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Or I believe in the ban. 


Miranda: Ban, yeah. 


Noelle: You know, yeah so I thought those were interesting. 


Miranda: Let's see. 


Noelle: I’m gonna drink. 


Miranda: Okay. 


Noelle: In a drink that they wouldn't revive the ban. 


Miranda: Over 5000 signed pledge to continue teaching critical race theory even if outlawed. 


Noelle: Left. Fuck, no. 


Miranda: Right. 


Noelle: Oh my god! Let me say it again. 


Miranda: So, here, yeah over 5000 sign pledge to continue, so people are signing a pledge to continue teaching this critical race theory even if it's outlawed. So, they're going against the law. 


Noelle: Okay. Right. Now like I am good. 


Miranda: Exactly. Right. I’m reading these things and I’m like so confused. 


Noelle: What are they calling attention? 


Miranda: Yeah. Yeah, so over five thousand signing pledge… 


Noelle: Even if it's outlawed like those outlaws. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: Teaching critical race theory. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: I was immediately like left. Yeah, good, screw you guys. 


Miranda: Yeah, right, like you're taking, so I just thought I read pledge, like you're pledging to do this which is… 


Noelle: Even fair. 


Miranda: Yeah, exactly. So that's yeah. 


Noelle: And they're like arrest these people. 


Miranda: Exactly. 


Noelle: Yeah. Okay. 


Miranda: Okay. 


Noelle: Alright, okay, let's do something. First US capital rioter convicted of a felony, gets eight months in prison after department of justice says stiffer sentence could stop future attacks. I’m sorry it's very long. 


Miranda: Center. 


Noelle: Left. 


Miranda: Oh shit. I don't think I could say center two and I was like no that sounds pretty neutral. Illinois becomes the first state to require teaching of Asian American history in public schools. 


Noelle: Left. 


Miranda: Center. 


Noelle: God. [Cross talks 38:08 – 38:13] 


Miranda: I love you. You're like didn't your husband get them all wrong, like we haven't got one but I was only saying he got them all wrong, so then I didn't have to feel bad when I got them all wrong because I was peeking through different ones, and I’m like fuck, I can't figure out what's what, which is like when then, you know, to look through these articles, and think that, I’m like wow! So, I’m ingesting all this information, if I can't tell what's what. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: Then really how is this information affecting me when I’m reading it on social media or the news outlets or whatever, so, yeah. Alright, two more left each. 


Noelle: Federal prosecutors are branding non-violent, January 6 defendants as quote terrorists to pursue harsher sentences. 


Miranda: Say them again. I believe in you that you can do this one. Let's say it again. 


Noelle: Federal prosecutors are branding non-violent, January 6th defendants as quote terrorists to pursue harsher sentences. 


Miranda: They're branding them as terrorists, right? 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: Okay that has to be right, and I’ m like you are a fucking terrorist even if you're not violent, fuck you. Okay? Okay. Also what's violating what you did, I mean. 


Noelle: Yeah are we calling them non-violent. 


Miranda: Yeah. Okay. So do you have the drink because I got it right? 


Noelle: Yes, great. Yeah because I’m gonna get this wrong. Oh, maybe I'll get it right then you have to drink and then you're good. 


Miranda: Stay with us. The moral panic over critical race theory is coming for a North Carolina teacher of the year. 


Noelle: Oh, left. 


Miranda: Good job at the same time. Wait, oh shit, why don't I come up with that rule? 


Noelle: Okay. Tell me when you're ready. Okay. I hope I’m saying this word right. Biden decry… decries… decrees… 


Miranda: I think so, decrees, okay well there's a decree, they're decreed… 


Noelle: It's not decree, like d-e-c-r-i-e-s…


Miranda: Decries… 


Noelle: Biden decries… the buffering. We're so smart I swear we're smart, listen you can't know every word. 


[40:20 – 43:20]

Miranda: No, you can't. 


Noelle: Biden decries trump's quote big lie but offers no new path on voting rights. 


Miranda: I’m going to go, fuck, it center or right, oh it’s center… [Cross talk 40:34 – 40:44], women are having fewer babies because they have more choices. 


Noelle: Right. Center. Give me a nod. Wait, say it again. I’m not choosing. 


Miranda: Women are having fewer babies because they have more choices. 


Noelle: Fewer babies’ people think it's bad on the right. 


Miranda: Now what else. 


Noelle: But they have more choices. Center, oh you're sniffling. 


Miranda: Left, you kept saying center or right. I’m like Mitch neither. A choice, I think it's the left is the choices, so yeah. 


Noelle: And we don't, you know. 


Miranda: Cheers! Well, I will say that takes us to the end of our episode. 


Noelle: It does. 


Miranda: Yes. 


Noelle: Well, thanks for joining us today. We're gonna continue to do episodes like this together as opposed to you being here and I’m in my apartment and we just figured, it's more fun this way. 


Miranda: It really is. Drinking is important. 


Noelle: So, thanks for joining us today. We will be back next week where we're going to start discussing like how to now take this information of different bias, maybe a bias that we see and how can we become more media literate. 


Miranda: Yeah. 


Noelle: What are some just simple takeaway strategies of a few different things that you can start doing in your life? To maybe start being able to read into this a little bit more for sure. 


Miranda: Yeah. And just becoming really more cognizant, right? It's a muscle that you have to train just like anything else and when you're trying to do that it takes time, you have to be aware of it. 


Noelle: Yeah. 


Miranda: You're not that great at it at first, you know, but it takes time, you know, and when I say time, couple weeks, couple months, you know, it's a practice that you don't stop practicing. So, we really encourage everybody to do that to follow along, let us know what you've liked, what you'd like to see more of on Instagram, we're at the underscore unpacked project, I’m on Instagram, so check us out there. And yeah, just keep doing this work, that's all that really matters. 


Noelle: Alright, bye everyone, thank you. 


Miranda: Bye. 


Noelle: Show the unpack project some love and be sure to like, subscribe and review our podcast, you can also check us out on Instagram at the underscore unpack project. 


Miranda: And if you enjoyed today's episode, visit our website at where you can make a donation that supports the research production and operating costs of this work. 


Noelle: Shout out to all of our listeners who unpacked with us today. 


Miranda: See you next week. 


Noelle: Peace. 

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