Raspberry’s Blind Spot: Liberal Bias In The Media

Even though liberal media personalities continually deny the obvious, that the mainstream press is biased to the left, William Raspberry’s hyperventilation about Fox in his latest column was so willfully oblivious to reality that it bordered on being bizarre. Here’s Raspberry:

“Fox News Channel — though the people who run the operation are at great pains to insist otherwise — is deliberately partisan. It is as though right-wing talk radio has metastasized into cable and assumed a new virulence.

The main difference is that radio’s Rush Limbaugh, for instance, doesn’t pretend even-handedness. As he has said, he doesn’t seek to be balanced but to balance the rest of the media, which he sees as generally dominated by left-of-center attitudes.

Part of the FNC approach, on the other hand, is to promote itself as “fair and balanced.” I suppose it does so with a wink and a nod to its far-right audience, who must know it isn’t balanced. Certainly those near the center of the political spectrum know it.”

One of the strange things about liberals like Raspberry is that they insist that Fox leans to the right — which it does — but then turn right around and adamantly refuse to admit that the reason Fox stands out is because ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, & MSNBC are all networks dominated by the left.

Furthermore, is Fox “fair and balanced?” I’d say that they’re certainly as “fair and balanced” as CNN, CBS, and all the rest of the liberal networks — if not moreso. When you consider that Fox’s prime time line-up consists of a social conservative/populist (Bill O’Reilly), a conservative (Sean Hannity), and two liberals (Alan Colmes and Greta Van Susteren), they do seem to have a “fair and balanced” ideological split during the time when they have the most viewers.

Here’s more from Raspberry:

“So why would I consider Fox such a generalized threat? Because I think the plan is not so much to convince the public that its particular view is correct but rather to sell the notion that what FNC presents is just another set of biases, no worse (and for some, a good deal better) than the biases that routinely drive the presentation of the news on ABC, CBS or NBC — and, by extension, the major newspapers.

For the Foxidation process to work, it isn’t necessary to convince Americans that the verbal ruffians who give FNC its crackle have a corner on the truth — only that all of us in the news business are grinding our partisan axes all the time and that none of us deserves to be taken seriously as seekers of truth.

This is huge. As a friend remarked recently, time was when if you found it in the New York Times, that settled the bar bet and the other guy paid off. But if the Times and The Post or any other mainstream news outlet — including the major networks — come to be seen as the left-of-center counterparts of Fox News Channel, why would anyone accept them as authoritative sources of truth?”

But they ARE “left-of-center counterparts of Fox News Channel!” That’s why conservative talk radio took off, it’s what right-of-center bloggers complain about constantly; heck, it’s why I got into blogging in the first place!

How any rational, intellectually honest person can look at newspapers where liberals outnumber conservatives usually by a 2-1 or 3-1 margin and then claim that those papers play it right down the middle is beyond me — especially given that those very same people will immediately turn around and accuse the Washington Times or the New York Post of being biased because they have a much larger percentage of conservatives on staff than the average paper. Perhaps we’re dealing with some sort of liberal blind spot here, but this seems to be a skull-splittingly obvious point.

Raspberry continues:

“What worries me is that journalism could become a battlefield of warring biases: I’ll sock it to your guy, your party or your position on a public issue, and you’ll sock it to mine. And we’ll both believe we’ve done a good day’s work. Come to think of it, a review of the stories on Social Security suggests that it is already happening to some extent. And one result is that you are less sure than you ought to be as to what the truth about Social Security really is.”

Journalism is a “battlefield of warring biases” and has been for a long time. The only difference between today and let’s say a couple of decades ago is that we actually do have “warring biases” now instead of a “battlefield” completely and utterly dominated by liberals.

Besides, there is no such thing as “unbiased” journalism (although admittedly some sources do a better job of it than others). There are so many ways to ideologically taint the picture your readers get of the world and they’re standard operating procedure in most of the mainstream media. For example, common tactics include: stacking the editorial page with liberal columnists, burying stories that hurt Democrats while trumpeting damaging news to Republicans, tossing softballs to liberals and tough questions to conservatives during interviews, simply ignoring harmful stories to Democrats, running thinly sourced, shaky stories about Republican politicians or causes, misleading headlines, putting crucial information in the middle of stories, doing “man-on-the-street” interviews with people who support a liberal point-of-view and presenting them as the norm, doing warped push polls, on and on and on.

Raspberry is worried about the effect Fox is going to have on the mainstream media? Pshaw, Fox is nothing but a correction to the leftward tilting media in this country. In fact, had the MSM actually “played it right down the middle,” I doubt if Fox would even exist today…

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