The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

What Media Bias Looks Like

Posted on | October 10, 2018 | No Comments

 

Rush Limbaugh has remarked that if all he wanted to talk about was media bias, he could spend all day, every day talking about it. As someone who’s been in the conservative journalism business for more than 20 years of my 32-year career, I know exactly what Rush means. Our job, as communicators on the Right, is to attempt to counteract the tsunami of left-wing propaganda from the major media establishment. When I was working the national desk at The Washington Times, my job often involved editing wire copy to remove liberal bias. For example, take the latest item from the Associated Press and remove those phrases and clauses that represented an intrusion — subtle or explicit — of political prejudice. I became very adept at such work, and also was a master of what you might call the compiled summary. A mass shooting happens, for example, and you assemble a 500-word story with bits and pieces from multiple sources (AP, Reuters, local newspaper coverage, etc.) to present the event in a neutral way, rather than as a rallying cry for new gun-control laws (which is how the Washington Post would report it).

Most journalists live inside an echo-chamber of liberalism, and therefore have no concept of what’s wrong with their worldview. Limbaugh has pointed out that many liberals go into the journalism business because they “want to make a difference.” They consider themselves missionaries of enlightenment, battling the forces of ignorance, and the only way they ever look at a Republican is down. The type of people who work at CNN or the New York Times view GOP voters as so far beneath them — morally and intellectually inferior — that they don’t even deserve to be noticed, except insofar as they deserve to be hated. It is impossible to exaggerate the contempt with which Jim Acosta or Carol Costello regard the 63 million people who voted for Donald Trump. And what the soi-disant “elite” media cannot be bothered to contemplate is that their prejudice is a result of their own ignorance. It would be interesting, if you just happened to encounter Mika Brzezinski at a cocktail party, to say, “Have you ever read Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed?” Or: “Have you ever read The Long March by Roger Kimball?

Those are just a couple of titles on the list of Books Liberals Never Read, and the fact that they became “educated” (usually at very expensive private universities) without ever being exposed to any well-argued criticism of their beliefs is your first clue as to the source not only of their own political prejudice, but the general decline of intellectual standards in elite academia. Why is it that I’ve read so much Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky — picture me, circa 1995, with The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte as my bedtime reading — and yet none of the liberals who get paid to talk on cable-TV news programs can be bothered to read any of the books that well-informed conservatives have generally read? Do the anchors at CNN suppose that, for example, Heather Mac Donald is just a bigoted dimwit? Do they think Charles Murray is a clown?

Hillary Clinton basically endorsed terrorism against Republicans the other day, and nobody at CNN thought to call it what it was. How can we explain this tone-deafness except as evidence that the mainstream media has succumbed to a cult mentality? But I digress . . .

Sometimes media bias is so pervasive that we wouldn’t notice it — fish don’t notice water — if no one bothered to measure it analytically:

Between June 1 and September 30, mainstream media TV networks obsessed over negative stories about President Donald Trump and his administration, while almost entirely ignoring the good news about the booming Trump economy.
Coverage of Trump from ABC, CBS, and NBC was 92 percent negative, according to a Media Research Center (MRC) analysis. Even worse, the booming Trump economy received less than one percent of air time on these three networks.
The networks dedicated 342 minutes to the Russia “collusion” investigation, with coverage that was 97 percent negative on Trump. They spent 308 minutes discussing immigration policies, with 94 percent of that coverage negative. They spend 291 minutes on the Supreme Court battle over Brett Kavanaugh, 82 percent negative. The networks gave 179 minutes to the diplomacy with North Korea, 90 percent negative. They spent 151 minutes discussing Trump’s relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, 99 percent negative.
“Amid this sea of coverage, the networks spent almost no airtime — a mere 14 minutes, or 0.7 percent — on the administration’s economic achievements, including the positive effects of the tax cuts and deregulation, plus historic job growth,” MRC’s Rich Noyes reported.

(Hat-tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.) 



 

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