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Thoughts on Media Bias

Amongst our left-wing friends, charges of "liberal media bias" scarcely elicit anything but chuckles. As far as our lefty pals are considered, the very words "liberal media bias" are deeply humorous. Those who utter such a phrase without the requisite dollop of irony are seen as nothing but know-nothing hayseeds.

But you needn't take our word for it. Here's an experiment: Walk up to a few liberal acquaintances and inform them that CNN routinely tilts its coverage to the Left. We have a hunch that they'll react to that line of argument as they would to news that you sleep with your first cousin. To their minds, only those with heavy Southern twangs and scarcely few front teeth blather on about the "liberal media."

And we, the crack young staff of "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," find this odd, insofar as charges of "right-wing media bias" are, as Paris Hilton might say, hot. Eric Alterman, the ineluctably enraged media critic for The Nation, has even banged out a decent career on the blatantly ridiculous proposition that media bias has a strictly rightward trajectory.

In our world, at least, nary a day passes without our overhearing someone complain about the right-wing bias of Fox News. Apparently, the very folks who never fail to notice examples of conservative media bias simply can't discern any liberal media bias at all.

This, we think, is rather curious--for the following reasons. If you ask us, Fox News has a discernable conservative bias. Never mind its opinion shows, most of which clearly cater more to the Right than to the Left. Take, instead, the political panels found on "Special Report with Brit Hume."

Unlike, say, "The O'Reilly Factor," "Special Report" is clearly pitched as a hard news program. It's "political grapevine" segment, however, tends to rehash stories found on the Drudge Report or conservative "weblogs" that reflect a right-wing worldview. And the show's panels, moderated by the conservative Mr. Hume, most often feature a few conservative pundits (Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, the more moderate Mort Kondracke) and one liberal NPR ringer.

We don't mention this, dear reader, to build any case against Fox News. As far as we're concerned, Fox News plays a crucial role in contemporary American journalism: It has a sufficient number of viewers to publicize stories that other media outlets would otherwise ignore. Corruption at the UN; unhinged academic radicalism; environmentalist hypocrisy--these and other stories gain traction in liberal journalistic circles thanks to the efforts of Fox News.

But back to the topic of those "Special Report" panels. It should be obvious to any fair-minded observer that they merely amount to the conservative corollary of non-Fox News news programs.

Take, for instance, "This Week" with George Stephonopoulos. The show features a liberal host interviewing a panel of liberals and one conservative (George Will). Or how about Chris Matthews' feculent Sunday talk show? It allows a liberal host to interview a cavalcade of liberal media elites and pundits, and routinely features one or no conservative voice.

The same could be repeated about numerous other shows and networks. Why can't our liberal pals--ever sensitive to the purported wiles of Roger Ailes--recognize this?

(Note: The crack young staff normally "weblog" over at "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," where they're wondering if driving a Prius amounts to a sufficient "carbon offset" for marijuana possession.)


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Comments (16)

Are you kidding?Li... (Below threshold)

Are you kidding?

Liberal nonsense is perceived by liberals as 'truth'. Therefore, Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather were merely telling us about objective reality, in the eyes of a leftist.

When Stephanopolous and Matthews repeat what they get off their DNC faxes, liberals agree with it, therefore it must be true.

Of course they don't perceive it as the twisted propaganda that it is.

The difference is not in th... (Below threshold)

The difference is not in the claims of neutrality or "fair and balanced" by the media outlets, but in what the left and right will admit to.

We, on the right are more than willing to say that Fox News Channel slants to the right. We freely admit and like it for that reason.

Those on the left deny the liberal bias in their preferred media outlets, much as they often deny their viewpoints are liberal.

By denying the liberal bias, they can claim they are centrist, or even progressive, thus not eligible for claims of bias.

This is a nonsense argument... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

This is a nonsense argument. Everytime I hear that liberals only see bias at Fox News, I know they are either intellectually dishonest, or plain stupid. I have noticed it for two decades. I remember Dan Rathers report in the 90's, whenever action was taken by congress he started the segment with "the republican lead congress today...", it was so obvioud and blatant. I for one am glad I have talk radio, Fox News and the internet. I do not need to depend on the lame stream media or papers. ww

When lies are repeated ofte... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

When lies are repeated often enough, they become truth. "Everybody" knows that:

Al Gore won the 2000 election.

Bush is drunk, stupid and consorts with the devil.

Bush blew up the NOLA levees.

Bush blew up the twin towers.

Bush tricked us into Iraq.

We can't win in Iraq.

Fox News is biased; CNN is straight news.

Democrats should be running the country.

We can tax our way to economic health.

We support our troops.

Global warming is the biggest problem we face.

Uncontrolled illegal immigration is a myth.

The second amendment isn't really valid any more.

Lucy Ramirez (tm) actually exists.

Cindy Whatsername is actually important.

The American people will fall for anything.

Congress is really doing a great job.

...ad nauseum...

The reason for the disparit... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

The reason for the disparity in the majority of non-Fox panels is clear.

It takes multiple lefties to match the intelligence of a single conservative.

Ask a liberal how Fox News ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Ask a liberal how Fox News is biased and they'll offer up O'Reilly and Hannity. Ask them for an example of bias on Special Report and they give you the panel.

Everything but the news. As you note, the panel is the balance to Sissy Matthews and the rest. Only Fox News tries to provide a real balance of views.

And it's always amusing when Rush Limbaugh is asserted to be part of Fox News.

Liberals ARE more monolithi... (Below threshold)

Liberals ARE more monolithic compared to conservatives as proved by the fact that none of their demographics even approach the one mindedness of the, say, black population for obvious,er,instance (half my family's black,trust me). And now, to use the technique of that last little bit of anecdotal myopia, consider with me if you will the following: Liberals commonly state that there can be no "liberal media bias" due to the fact that ABC,NBC,CNN,Time,Newsweek,The NY Times,USA Today et al are all owned by large corporations -as if it is self evident that these corps.,by virtue of their big profit making,inherent evilness,MUST be conservative- so "obviously", could not possibly allow for ANY kind of liberal content to exist on their pro-Bush,propogandistic airwaves,news pages etc.

My 'proof' of the effectiveness of this common liberal mantra? My liberal 'friend', Doug, parrots this same point when any of the above posts' salient points are rudely driven home by me and other insensitive,meatheaded conservatives. Can I get a witness from the kneejerk portion of the congregation?(Sometimes, stereotypes ARE true you know.That's why we laugh at them.)

(sorry about the SHOUTING, haven't mastered the old "tags" thingy yet)

It's also hilarious how Mat... (Below threshold)
Richard Romano:

It's also hilarious how Matthews sometimes has Pat Buchanan as their Republican conservative -- a man who left the party years ago.

Pathetic!

Has Keith Olbermann EVER ha... (Below threshold)
Dirk:

Has Keith Olbermann EVER had someone on his show who disagreed with him from a right wing point of view? At least O'Reilly has people on to argue with. Yes he treats them smugly, but he does that to everyone, even Republicans, so that means nothing.

The media packs the panels ... (Below threshold)
KB:

The media packs the panels with liberals like themselves because if they were to invite a conservative they then would end up looking like babbling fools. Just ask Keith.

Lets see if anyone here has... (Below threshold)
mixti:

Lets see if anyone here has the guts to answer this question.


which news channel is run by a former political consultant for either the GOP or the democrats

a) MSNBC
b) Fox News
c) ABC
d) CNN
e) CBS

Mixti, which of those news ... (Below threshold)

Mixti, which of those news channels has more than 90% democrats?

Which of those news channels has programs hosted by actual Democrat presidential aides?

Which of those news channels promoted forged documents to attempt to influence a Presidential election in favor of Democrats?j

Which of those networks have hosts that have publically supported conspirancy nut theories about the Bush administration deliberately destroying WTC buildings?

So basically everyone is af... (Below threshold)
mixti:

So basically everyone is afraid to answer the question?

Robin asked a series of questions in response. Thereis a difference of course. As I can actually prove that one network is run by a former political consultant. She pulled 90%from somewhere, and has no proof tha the number is 90% or 80% or 70% or 60%.

Your point is irrelevant, M... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Your point is irrelevant, Mixti.

So what if Dubya himself sits on the board of ONE news channel? Can't the... what... five or so other channels (well, six if you count MSNBC and their three viewers) who you tacitly admit are run by lefties "balance" that ONE conservative channel?

You are so afraid of having your lefty excesses exposed that you have FDS as well as BDS. And it shows.

Okay mixti, I'll answer you... (Below threshold)

Okay mixti, I'll answer your silly question. It's FOX News, run by Roger Ailes, a consultant for Republicans, including Ronald Reagan and G.H.W. Bush. What else do you want to know?

The fact that Ailes was in the media business before he did that work, is obviously irrelevant.

However, what we do have on the other networks is a former aide to Bill Clinton and Dick Gephardt.

We have another who worked for Daniel Moynihan and Mario Cuomo.

And yet another who worked for four democrat politicians including as a speechwriter for Jimmuh Carter.

All of them pose as neutral political commentators and pundits. None of them work for FOX News.

As I pointed out earlier in this thread, the difference between those of us who iike FOX News is we acknowledge that they lean to the right, and that's why we like it. Unlike the other side of this argument who will deny that the other media outlets slant to the left.

Mixti, the numbers of news ... (Below threshold)

Mixti, the numbers of news media that have donated to Democratic campaigns have been made public, go educate yourself.

Meanwhile, the fact remains that CBS actually promoted forged documents to attempt to influence a Presidential election. When Fox News does something so brazenly criminal, then I'll pay attention to you. Pigs will also fly and the Devil will be ordering woolen blankets.




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