Friday, August 8, 2008

The Latest Examples of Egregious Liberal Media Bias

The mainstream media, for months, has had fairly dispositive evidence of liberal Democrat John Edwards' affair yet chose not to report on it while he was a presidential contender. It only did so when Edwards himself has admitted it, and the coverage stopped within a couple of days.

Compare that with, for example, how the media treated Larry Craig, a Republican. In that case, all agreed that no sex took place and that all he did was kick (inadvertently or not) the person in the bathroom stall next to him. Yet the mainstream media, on its front pages, ridiculed him for weeks, forcing him to retire.

Look too how the media covered Obama's statement that people won't vote for him because "I don't look like the faces on money." Clearly, he was playing the race card, yet the media gave him a nearly complete pass on it, instead blaming McCain for playing the race card for objecting to Obama's statement.

I really don't understand why the media is willing to forgo its almost sacred responsibility to fairly present the news and let the citizenry come to its conclusions. If C-Span's journalists can be fair and balanced, why cannot others?


Anonymous said...

Don't forget how McCain's supposed affair was front page news in the NY Times when they didn't even have evidence.

The Edwards story was buried as the #3 story on liberal outlets like the SF Chronicle, LA Times, and It was the lead story on Fox News and

Marty, the media is no longer in the business of practicing the art of journalism. It's ideology, period. Journalism died several years ago. I stopped watching KTVU after so many incredibly biased stories. The only network I watch now is Fox News.

john said...

McCain's affair wasn't "supposed" at all. There was substantial evidence for it. In the case of Larry Craig, he admitted to making advances on the officer, though he said it was only to prevent the arrest from being leaked to the media.

There is also a measure of hypocrisy in what Craig did--his legislation against homosexual rights, his strong statements on the Bill Clinton scandal. Moreover, Craig wasn't such a public figure that any news outlet would have suffered much if the allegations had turned out to be untrue. In the case of Edwards, who is substantially more powerful and is substantially more well known, a false allegation from a major media source would have been very bad. And news outlets sure as hell weren't depending on the National Enquirer for real allegations...there is a difference in the credibility of a police report and the National Enquirer.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that I need to start turning to the National Enquirer for my news? A supermarket tabloid leaked a big story that turns out to be true. Who knew?

And why not? The Enquirer has a lot less to lose than the mainstream media. But the media is still so powerful that the public will still faithfully look to it for the truth.

Am I the only one that thinks that the longer an institution exists, no matter how good its intentions are at the start, the more corrupt and irrelevant it is likely to end up?

I think that because of the media bias, this act of infidelity will have little to no impact on the Obama juggernaut. The most it might do is end Edwards' chances for a vice presidency, but likely not his career.

The public has forgiven politicians for a lot more. Look no further than the re-elections of Ray Nagin and Marion Barry after massive screw-ups that even the media couldn't hide. And for all his faults and lack of support from the media, George W. Bush got a second term, too.

Marty Nemko said...

I do agree that there was reasonable evidence on McCain, but far less than for Edwards.

I find John's attempt to justify the different treatment of Craig vs Edwards unconvincing. Edwards was every bit as high-handed in his calling everyone less ethical than he: the Republicans, the other Dem. candidates, even the American public. And the National Enquirer's evidence was more solid than that against Craig when the media started dismembering him. Craig made his admission long after the media destroyed him.

john said...

All self-righteousness isn't the same. Craig's self-righteousness was more narrow...he said that it was wrong for people to have homosexual relationships, and that it was wrong for people to have extramarital affairs (legislation restricting gay relationships, and outspoken comments on Bill Clinton's affair).

Had Edwards embezzled money or directly stolen from the poor, the media would certainly have focused on the story. It went in direct opposition to the specific ethics that Edwards supported. Many liberals pushed to release the records of Larry Craig because of the specific hypocrisy in his situation.

There is still a question of sources...the National Enquirer versus the police report. I don't know enough about the evidence to comment on it, so perhaps you have a good case that there was more evidence against Edwards than against Craig. From a layperson's perspective, this doesn't seem true to me.

In any case, I agree with many of your points in general (esp. about the deterioration of Men's Rights) and I don't want this discussion to drag on. I would say that, if we want to show that there is a liberal bent in "all journalism," or in one form of journalism, then we should conduct a study on the issue with measurements that members of both parties can agree upon. That hasn't been done very rigorously, and there haven't been any consistent results. Instead of complaining about it, I think this could very well be moved into an academic sphere.

Marty Nemko said...

There's abundant research documenting liberal bias. Here's one aggregation of it:

Charles said...

Why list only one conservative source if the research is so abundant?

Anonymous said...

I agree that the media in general clamped a tight lid on the Edwards story, but I have to wonder whether they did so to spare a fellow liberal or to spare the feelings of Edwards' terminally ill wife.

Marty Nemko said...

Charles, of course, most of the research documenting the media's liberal bias isn't going to come from liberal organizations--they, like all nonprofits, have limited funds, and the last thing they'd want to invest their funds in is proving liberal bias.

That said, even some liberal organizations are reporting research that proves liberal media bias. For example, universities are generally liberal and UCLA is among the most liberal, yet it produced this research:

Charles said...

Thanks for replying and the link to the article about the UCLA study.

It would be interesting if they conduct that study again in the middle of an unpopular Democratic president's time in office and compare the results.

Anonymous said...

Liberal media bias is nothing new. Members of my family (Southern
Republicans) have
decried its bias since the 1950s (well before my time) and do so
today. The media has and remains out of touch with the American
general public. However, given the public's penchant for believing in
angels, inability to locate Iraq on a map, and lack of grasp of
personal finance, I don't think being out of touch is necessarily a
bad thing.

What is more egregious and deserves far more treatment is the media's
ineptitude. Remember the role economics and the market plays in what
to print or broacast. Given our sorry state of education in this country for the
population that actually completes college let alone for those who do not,
it is not surprising the media focuses on politicians' affairs or any
topic that generates sensation and thus generates sales.
International, scientific, or economic news is relegated to the back
pages of the papers if even reported at all. This is a far greater problem than liberal bias.

Anonymous said...

You know if you ask a die-hard liberal, they'll say the media's biased in favor of conservatives.

To answer your question, Mr. Nemko, about why the media can't be fair and balanced: in my opinion, it's that they WON'T. The media is now powerful enough to do whatever it wants. If the majority of outlets wanted to be totally impartial, as its original intent, it could.

But now the media has an enormous amount of power over the public, and it has an agenda. While the media itself is supposed to be impartial, the people running the show are not impartial. They all have their own views of the world and nation, and how they'd like those to look. The outlets they control are the most powerful ways to make their views real.

The last anonymous commenter make a good point. The American population does not care much about real news as much as they do about sensational news. I wonder where this started: with the public, or with the media outlets? Would a higher quality of news me more widely available if the people demanded it? Or would the media continue to push what they want to push, ignoring the public?

Marty Nemko said...

I believe that that the writers, editors and producers--the people who make decisions as to what gets published--don't care what the public wants. They entered journalism to make a difference--in the liberal direction. (Many conservatives want to make a difference too, but the media nor higher ed wants them, except as an occasional token so they appear fair. )

The suits would, privately, prefer the people on the editorial side of the house to be less lefty, but there generally is a pretty solid firewall between the business side and the editorial side of media outlets. So, the lefty-dominated folks dominate what gets printed and broadcast.