Saturday, January 29, 2005


Media Bias

So, MK posted below inquiring of all of us if we thought her level of "persnickity-ness" was warranted in regards to an article which stated that "...Boxer sneered in an e-mail appeal sent out Tuesday by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee." I think her concern is understandable: "Sneer", in this context, is certainly pejorative.

I have a quick question, though. Almost all you will find on the right side of the blogosphere today is people decrying the Liberal Media for being pessimistic about the Iraqi elections today at best, and wishing for them to fail at worst. My question is this: If both the Right and the Left spend as much time as we seem to do lately decrying the bias of the media, isn't that indicative that the bias isn't slanted in one direction anymore?

I'm not pretending that there is no media bias, but that there are enough biased members of the media on both sides that it sort of ends up in a wash.

If this is the case, shouldn't we find some other stock complaint by which to discredit things we don't like from the media?

There's nothing close to a wash when it comes to our biased media. And your example is flawed because media pessimism about the Iraqi election is fact-based.

In my opinion, when liberals complain about media bias, there's usually some evidence of media bias.

On the other hand, the right routinely claims that factual reporting of Bush administration failures reflects media bias.

Fear of such claims from the right is largely responsible for the relatively free ride Bush got from the press during his first term.
The right has been working the refs for 40 years with the myth of the "Liberal Media." Barry Goldwater was an extremist and when the media reported what he said it made him look bad. The media was accused of a liberal bias. Much like the Daily Show's joke about how the facts hate George Bush.

When the South fought racial equality the police brutality unleashed on peaceful demonstrators made the racists look bad. While this oppression was never secret, seeing it on TV screens drove it home like never before. This, of course, was attributed to liberal media bias.

Throw in that a brave reporter's CBS newscast brought the end to the McCarthy witchhunts and newspaper investigations brought down the second most corrupt adminstration of modern times helped cement the perception that the media was liberal.

I think if Edward R. Murrow was to do his broadcast today CBS would fire him.
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