Of all the right-wing myths and fantasies, the one I find endlessly fascinating is the absolute and unflagging belief in the "liberal" bias of the media. When the topic turns to the media, I truly feel that we live on different planets. I listen to the radio and I wonder what kind of "liberal" media would not only simply parrot the lies and obfuscations of the Bush administration, but amplify them? I turn on the TV and I wonder what "liberal" media would meekly turn every story into a partisan "he said/she said" shouting match without searching for some objective truth behind the spin? Just listen to the news show this morning and count how many times Ted Kennedy is attacked vs. President Bush's SC pick.
In defense of the myth of the liberal media we have blogers who, like a bunch of trained circus dogs, yap on cue about "study after study" allegedly proving that journalists are overwhelmingly sympathetic to the Democrats. As if some lowly journalists registering as "democrats" could infect a multi-billion dollar industry with some kind of "liberal cooties".
The facts seem plain to me. We do not have a legitimate "fourth estate" in American politics. All Gore summed the situation up well in a recent speech. "The (network) news divisions - which used to be seen as serving a public interest and were subsidized by the rest of the network - are now seen as profit centers designed to generate revenue and, more importantly, to advance the larger agenda of the corporation of which they are a small part. They have fewer reporters, fewer stories, smaller budgets, less travel, fewer bureaus, less independent judgment, more vulnerability to influence by management, and more dependence on government sources and canned public relations hand-outs."