July 26, 2010 by jamesessj
It’s de rigeur for a conservative to criticize the media, but my problem with them has never been that they’re biased — it’s that they won’t admit they’re biased. No thinking person (although, granted, this disqualifies much of the media) can entirely divorce their political, social, economic, and religious views from anything they do — this is so self-evident a statement it’s absurd I should even have to type it — and yet we are told, repeatedly and insistently, that the media accomplishes this impossible goal on a daily basis.
The very act of choosing what is news and what is not is an act of extreme bias. I can convince you that Obama is incompetent by showing you one series of stories — or convince you he truly is the Messiah with a different series of stories. This is precisely why the “mainstream” media has ignored a number of stories (Jeremiah Wright, ACORN, Van Jones) that Fox News has run — and, conversely, precisely why Fox News chose to run them.
I was watching ABC’s This Week over the weekend and was struck, hardly for the first time, by the panel — consisting of Steve Hayes, who was obviously there solely because of his connection with Fox News, to discuss the Shirley Sherrod flap; Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist who was Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000; Cokie Roberts, who used to be relatively centrist but seems to have swung far left in her declining years; and Sam Donaldson, ex-White House reporter and the single most useless commentator on television. The man has not had an original thought in his life — whatever the current Democratic spin, you may depend on him to parrot it. So we have three liberals, plus Jake Tapper, who is one of the more level-headed reporters in Washington right now, but whose background is undeniably leftist, against one conservative. Who puts these panels together? How is this any different than the panel on Fox’s Special Report featuring, generally speaking, two conservatives versus one liberal? But Special Report is biased and This Week isn’t?
Ridiculous. Of course Fox’s claim to be “Fair and Balanced” is as dopey as any other news organization’s — they lean right, and it shows; and they ought to be more honest about it. But so ought every news organization: when 90% of reporters vote Democratic, there’s no question but that their reportage is going to skew left. Which is perfectly fine — so long as they’re up-front about it. If I know your biases, I will take them into account when I read/watch your reporting. It’s the pretending that’s so infuriating and remarkably condescending. As if a) they’re capable of being unbiased and b) we’re not capable of noticing the bias when they fail to hide it.
They are driving themselves into their graves, and they’ve no one but themselves to blame. Their situation is analogous to the Democrats’ with regard to extending the Bush tax cuts — ideologically, they’re convinced they’re right, and so the end effect doesn’t really matter. Let the news business die — let the recession rage on. We did what we knew was best.