A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
Liberal Bias in Media is a Myth
February 4, 2002
Originally published in the Baton Rouge Advocate, 1/11/02
It seems the "Liberal Bias" myth is rearing its ugly head again. The Advocate has just printed at least two columns on the subject, by Thomas Sowell and William Rusher. While there is plenty that is wrong with media coverage in this country, charges of media bias are misleading oversimplifications.
Ten multinational corporations own virtually all broadcast, internet, or print media in this country—General Electric, Viacom, AOL/Time Warner, Disney, AT&T, News Corp, Liberty, Sony, Bertelsmann, and Vivendi. Who really thinks Jack Welch or Rupert Murdoch is going to appoint radical left-wingers to run their businesses? These companies depend on other big corporations for their advertising revenue—big corporations who don’t want news that equates to bad PR. They also have huge vested interests in parts of the conservative agenda, such as deregulation, that will further increase their already vast influence and profits.
Let me make something clear—when the media gives saturation coverage to Chandra Levy and her relationship to Gary Condit, D-CA, but shows no interest in a dead woman (Lori Klausutis) found in the office of Joe Scarborough, R-FL, that’s not liberal bias.
When George Bush’s DUI became public knowledge, the story became "Did Al Gore leak the story as a dirty trick," and not, "George W. Bush committed a crime, and successfully covered it up for over 24 years." That’s not liberal bias.
When Lexis-Nexis lists almost 14,000 stories about Bill Clinton’s having been a draft dodger, but less than 50 stories about George W. Bush’s having been AWOL from the National Guard, that’s not liberal bias.
When the new Administration took office, they demonstrated their intent to 'change the tone' in DC by smearing the outgoing administration with charges of vandalizing the White House and Air Force One. Rather than insisting on proof, even a single photograph, the media trumpeted these stories 24/7. When this slander was finally debunked by a government investigation, the media quietly retracted the allegations. That’s not liberal bias.
When William Rusher has to use 20-year old statistics to support his claim of liberal bias in today's media, it might be because there's no current data that supports his claims.
A pair of quotes:
First, William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and former Chief of Staff for VP Dan Quayle—"I admit it: the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures."
Second, Pat Buchanan, who I’m sure needs no introduction to your readers: "I've gotten balanced coverage and broad coverage -- all we could have asked . . . For heaven sakes, we kid about the liberal media, but every Republican on earth does that."
Both quotes from Norman Solomon's "Politics: What is Disinformation?" San Francisco Bay Guardian, August 8, 1996.
Reprinted with permission
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