When I was a kid, I remember seeing bumper stickers that said “Rather Biased” with the CBS “Eye” logo on it. I wondered what that was all about and my dad explained how many people felt that CBS news was biased towards the left. This was my first encounter with the “liberal media”.
The myth of the liberal media is more pervasive than the myth of Santa Claus — at least people stop believing in Santa when confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Yet, we still hear about the pervasive liberal bias in the media, even though we can show that not only does it not exist, the exact opposite seems to be present.
CBS has bounced back from its “Rather Biased” days with a vengeance. They recently announced that they will not show MoveOn’s Child’s Pay ad during the Superbowl because it does not meet their standards. CBS claims the ad is “too controversial” and besides, they don’t do “advocacy advertising” during the Superbowl — that is, advertising that advocates something other than drinking a certain beer or a certain soda. This is why they also nixed a Peta ad. And yet…they ran the “drugs = terrorism” ad last year and plan to do another one this year. By what I’m sure is sheer coincidence, CBS’ parent company, Viacom, is currently trying to get the White House to pass an FCC bill that would allow it to grow even larger than it already is.
(Oh hey, looks like CBS still has a ways to go.)
Meanwhile, over at ABC, during a Democratic candidate debate, Peter Jennings says that the charge of George W. Bush as a deserter is “a reckless charge not supported by the facts”. Really, Peter? Because the facts speak pretty clearly. George W. Bush, while supposedly in the National Guard, disappeared from active duty for a year. That’s desertion. He’s never accounted for that disappearance, and in fact has never been asked to by the supposedly liberal media. If you or I did that, we’d be court-martialed and probably jailed. The Daily Howler looks at the facts that supposedly don’t support this and finds them to be pretty damn crystal clear.
That’s just a few examples of a media that can’t kowtow to the administration fast enough. As the Daily Howler points out, in the latter case, Jennings is not only stating an outright lie, he’s trying to get Clark to accept the lie and repeat it in order to disgrace another liberal. This is anti-conservative bias?
The thing about bias is, Republicans seem to be just fine with it when it’s in their favor. Their little campus snoop groups seldom seem to report when a professor is biased in their favor, just when he’s biased the other way. At the same time, their definition of “bias” has expanded to “anything that doesn’t expressly agree with the right wing philosophy.” That is, even if the media is simply stating the facts, if it fails to do them in a way that favors the right, they’re still biased. This is wholly consistent with George “I’m a uniter, not a divider” Bush’s policy that if you’re not with him, you’re against him.
In other political news, looks like the party of ethics and morality got their hands caught in the cookie jar again. Not learning any lessons from Watergate, it turns out that GOP Senate Judiciary staffers exploited a glitch in a server that allowed them to read secret Democratic memos and messages. Always eager to share, they handed some of these missives over to conservative columnist Robert Novak, who apparently didn’t find it odd that Republicans were giving him secret Democrat memos, and didn’t suspect anything unscrupulous had happened. Then again, Novak’s the same guy who printed Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent, info that was leaked to him by an unknown administration insider – an act that is a felony, yet no one seems to have suffered about it.
The GOP’s defense of this act is that the Democrats were warned about the hole in their system over a year ago (which the Democrats deny) and they failed to fix it. So keep that in mind: as the Democratic Underground points out, according to the Republicans, if you tell your neighbor his door is unlocked and he doesn’t lock it, you’re free to go in his house and steal stuff. Hey, you warned him! Make sure you give some of it to Bob Novak, though.
The sad thing is, despite missing WMDs, proven lies, illegal shenanigans, and so forth, it’s still assumed that the 2004 election is going to be a conservative blowout, largely because the media seems intent on presenting it as such. The liberal media. Right.