Detecting Bull : How to Identify Bias and Junk Journalism in Print, Broadcast and on the Wild Web




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Detecting Bull: How to Identify Bias and Junk Journalism in Print, Broadcast and on the Wild Web. 272 pages. John H. McManus. Sunnyvale, CA: The Unvarnished Press. Copyright 2009. ISBN: 978-0-9840785-0-9.

Now available in a printed version (ISBN 978-0-9840785-1-6) from for $24.95 plus shipping. Allow 3-5 business days for printing-on-demand before shipping. Purchase directly from, rather than this Web site.

If you are running a version of Windows on your computer, you can now acquire the book immediately by downloading it. Mac users, see below. There are three purchase options:

1. Buy the book: $24.95

2. Rent the book for 20 weeks: $15.95

3. Rent one or more chapters for 20 weeks: $6.95 each. (All chapters include the introduction, complete bibliography and table of contents)

Downloaded copies require the free Haihaisoft Universal Player: Download the Universal Player here:

For a step-by-step explanation of the download process, click here.

If you are using a MacIntosh, you'll need to purchase the physical DVD. (Unfortunately, the Haihaisoft Universal Player needed to read the download doesn't play smoothly with Macs.) If you would like to purchase the DVD, click here.

Options for PC users

Option 1: To purchase the book permanently, using PayPal (which accepts all major credit cards) click here:


Once your payment has been accepted, you can download the book below:

Option 2: To rent the book for 20 weeks using PayPal, click here:

Option 3: To rent one or more chapters for 20 weeks using PayPal, click here:

Click below on the download you've purchased:

  • Chapter rental

  • Ch. 1 A Sea Change in American Journalism
  • Ch. 2 Truth v. Truthiness
  • Ch. 3 The Trouble with Truth
  • Ch. 4 Personal Obstacles to Reporting the World as It Is
  • Ch. 5 Institutional Obstacles to Reporting the World as It Is
  • Ch. 6 If Not Objectivity, to What Standard Should We Hold News Providers?
  • Ch. 7 How to Detect Bias in News and Opinion Articles
  • Ch. 8 How to Map Patterns of Bias Among News Articles
  • Ch. 9 How to Evaluate the Quality of News

All downloads are compressed in zip files in order to speed up the process. To unzip a file in Windows, click on the downloaded zip folder and a dialogue box should open allowing you to extract the files inside. Click the default option to unzip the files with Windows Explorer. In the next dialogue box, choose the "Extract all files" command just above the list of files. After extracting, save the folder to your desktop or other convenient location.

To read the book or any chapter, simply click on the folder to open it. Right click on the second file on the list. It's called "1_start_here_P.swf" and open it using the Haihaisoft Universal Player. The "P" stands for permission.

Known issues with download version:

1) The Haihaisoft player can't open PDF files. The book contains three such files. You can open them with the free Adobe Acrobat reader. To do so, find them in the list of files and open them directly with Acrobat.

2) The latest version of the Haihaisoft player is no longer able to open links to online reference materials.

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To avoid the usual retail mark-up, which effectively doubles the price of the book, Detecting Bull is available only from this Web site. To minimize cost, users are restricted from copying the book to other computers.

If you encounter any problems or have any questions, please contact the author by email.


The Unvarnished Press
297 N. Frances St.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086