View Full Version : Media Bias?

12-22-2007, 03:39 PM

I have read this story three times now and I really don't see a reason why it was tied to a "haunted house" owner. It seems this guy does a number of different things and the theft in question did not appear to involve his haunt at all. It makes me wonder if the writer has some sort of bias against haunted attractions.

I read another story a few months ago about a Florida haunt that a charity had decided not to work with this season. They then could not find another location and did not put on their fundraiser. The headline of the story was something like "Haunted House takes money from charity" or something to that effect. I actually wrote to the TV station that did the piece asking why it implied this guy had done something wrong. Of course I received no response.

Anybody else seeing a negative media bias out there?

12-22-2007, 04:06 PM
Personally, I believe it's just a way to draw attention to this news story by means of making the situation sound a tad worse than it really is. I hate to think the news does this only for the attention, but somehow I think that's how it is. A man pockets money ment for a chairity. Most people would say "meh" to that. But throw in haunted houses, known for having sinister design and evil nature, and it gives the story a little eye catching appeal. Sorta how people read about homicides in the news. These happen all the time (sadly). But what if the murder was a worshiper of Satan? The journalist, or whoever, would add that crum of info in the headline with no second thought. If there's any, and I mean any, thing that's considered morally questionable in this person's profile (he hangs out with skateboarders, he likes to play violent video games, he owns a gunshop, etc.) you can bet it'll be part of the story.

Frighteners Entertainment
12-22-2007, 05:54 PM
I agree with you Smiley. I've stopped believing most things I've heard on the news and have read in papers. I think of it like this (based on a true story...lol) Hype sells.

12-22-2007, 07:44 PM
That's just great... you know I saw that come through a couple days ago but didn't really read the article. Now that I read the article, I wonder why they had to mention he worked for a haunted house, when what he's accused of doing has nothing to do with Halloween or a haunted house.

Yeah that is a bunch of crap!


12-22-2007, 10:23 PM
The local media around doesn't like me when it comes to the haunted house, but they all sure want to do stories about the ghosts in it.

Since the building really was a mental health facility and I do an asylum theme they all say I'm not very PC! I just grim and tell them that I'll let the family of the former patients that work in the haunt know what they think. We just laugh!

12-22-2007, 11:47 PM
Y'all just now finding out about media bias. At least when I watch FOX I know what I am getting, CNN the Clinton News Network is the worst. As for bias against haunted houses, they only want you on Halloween day or the day before. They wont cover you a month before when you open and need the coverage.


Jim Warfield
12-23-2007, 12:49 AM
As I read this news story I see it as mostly describing what this man's accomplishments were and the haunt was just one of them, maybe the biggest, well known one, and maybe the most profitable of all the things he had his name connected with.
Of course maybe the writer was also trying to get authoritys to question the haunt's finances too since the head man found his own pocket held other people's money pretty well?
Maybe there would not have even been a problem if he had been a more important person in the community?
It is exceedinly difficult to track down certain "wonderfull" people because their feces has no odor..just ask them, they will confirm this biological anomoly.

Mephisto the Great
12-23-2007, 05:35 PM
I think everybody's right here, if that seems possible. I do think the haunt was mentioned as it was probably the association's biggest event, but it was also mentioned to grab interest and create a larger story than was there.

I do agree that there is a sense that the haunted attraction industry is yet to really be seen nationwide as a real "industry." News reports always seem so shocked every time they encounter a haunt with decent special effects and a real sense of quality. I think there are FAR more "fly by night" charity haunts that come and go, often with little history, that the media will latch on to one with any kind of illegality to somehow say 'Look, now these haunted houses are bilking you of your money."

It's like the stories that try to prove that your favorite foods are now full of trans fats and lead and crap. Often news reporters are looking for a twist or lead-in or other means to grab your attention, and that means trying to "debunk" something that has normally been seen as a common, and relatively harmless, part of our shared Halloween culture.

A perfect example was when I lived in Utah and a station's TV news kept broadcasting a preview for one of those "hard-hitting investigative reports" about mice swarming that season infested with the flesh-eating bacteria. "Are vermin swarming our crops this season?" it said, "And will your children be at risk from flesh-eating bacteria?"

The news report came and the reporter said, and I quote: "Are mice swarming our fields this farming season, mice carrying the flesh-eating bacteria? Scientists say that no, not now, but they COULD, if certain conditions continue to..."

In other words, bait and switch. Classic. The haunt industry can be vulnerable to such manipulative behavior...

Jim Warfield
12-24-2007, 08:24 AM
News articles that seem to have a bias against the haunted house industry are pandering to many people's perceptions of we as a group in general of offering questionable entertainment for their dollars spent.
Add to this financial feeling the feeling many one-time visitors lump on the rest of us from a bad, maybe scary, maybe extremely personally upsetting experience in a haunted venue and there you have the agreeably nodding audience that some biased reporters are writing for.
What we might see as a more normal halloween performance is seen as rude and unnecesarrily aggressive or suspect in basic moral outlooks because society tells us we are not suposed to be saying those things, doing those things, displaying human body parts, promising abuse and torture...giving people nightmares to contend with.
Most adults negative about haunts that may not fall into this aforementioned group do not wish to enter a haunted house because they have control issues.
They cannot or will not trust strangers to entertain them in the darkened settings because they have just spent the last 30 or 40 years striving to set up their lives so everything is predictable , relationships, job, income, future expectations all neatly mapped out......
All of these ideas I just put here are from the 20 years I have spent talking to people looking at my house , many of whom would not come in until they had more time to really listen what I was telling them, describing what would and would not be encountered inside the house on their tour.