The Liberal Mass Media’s Agenda
Wednesday - January 04, 2006
In their comprehensive study “A Measure of Media Bias” (December 2004), Tim Groseclose of UCLA’s political science department and Jeff Milyo of the University of Missouri’s economics department, confirmed that during the election of 2004, only 8 percent of Washington’s news correspondents thought George Bush would make a better president than John Kerry, while 51 percent of Americans thought so. Among the nation’s journalists, for every one that voted for Bush, 93 voted for Kerry.
It has been statistically confirmed by polling, voting testimony, political and charitable donations, and party affiliation that over 80 percent of professors of journalism in America’s most prominent schools of journalism are liberal. True, I’m using labels that have been foisted upon us by the mass media, but I’m using the generally accepted definitions of “conservative” and “liberal”: traditional values vs. nontraditional values. Labels such as conservative/liberal, pro life/pro choice, small govern-ment/big government, etc. - as much as we may dislike them - facilitate our dialogue, as long as we realize they are not necessarily absolutes.
Liberal bias in our schools of journalism is like a pebble in the pond with waves radiating out through the profession in both broadcast and print journalism. This is manifested in many ways, and the most liberal mainstream newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times (and, yes, Honolulu Advertiser), as well as the liberal TV darling, CNN, are the clearest examples. We see it in the subjects and advocacies of the editorials, in the columns selected for the opinion pages, in the choice of political cartoons, in the choices of what news to print, in the size and wording of headlines, and in the placement of articles, i.e., front page or page 9. And on TV, the bias is in what news leads and what news is left out, the time devoted to one opinion or the other, emphasis in reporting and film clips. The actual substance could in fact be nearly balanced, but when a reader or viewer is aware of the manipulation of the form, the bias becomes obvious.
Consider why corporate America pays billions of dollars a year for print and broadcast advertising - it affects how people think! That’s why it is so hypocritical of some TV and film executives and personalities to pooh-pooh the suggestion that violent programming has no relation to violence in our society.
If, for the above reasons, one accepts the premise that America’s mainstream media is basically more liberal than conservative, a valuable insight is revealed.
President George W. Bush, is clearly a conservative (traditional values) but still, like most of us, not on everything. Recall his proposals for a generous “guest worker” program, the “No Child Left Behind” mandate, and his AIDS aid package for Africa - the most generous in our history.
Generally speaking, liberals tend to be Democrats and, of course, in the 2004 election America’s mainstream media favored Al Gore. When the election was decided by one Supreme Court vote in favor of Bush, the nation instantly became even more politically polarized, worse even than during the Clinton years. That was the beginning of the media’s vilification of George Bush: the “swaggering, shoot from the hip, inarticulate Texas cowboy with the floppy ears and the silver spoon in his mouth,” the man who had “stolen” the election from the Democrats. The horrors of 9-11 brought a brief respite essentially lasting through the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the “shock and awe” taking of Baghdad. But when the going got tougher in Iraq, admittedly due in part to some short-sighted and mistaken policies, the piling on recommenced, and “Bush’s war” became the target. In reporting the war, the media minimizes the positive and maximizes the negative. At home they sniff around for the slightest hint of scandal, equating unfounded rumors with a “new Watergate,” trying to undermine our confidence in the commander in chief. The coals of hatred of the president are fanned by scathing editorials and contemptible political cartoons to the point where, in some liberal bastions - Hollywood for one - it seems defeat in Iraq, regardless of the devastating consequences, would be preferable to a “victory for Bush” (and the American people).
An understanding of the liberal mass media’s agenda and its potentially devastating effect upon our resolve to defeat global terrorism is essential for our success.
My primary New Year’s resolution for 2006 is to not get sucked in by this agenda. I invite you to make it yours, too.
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