Liberal bias in the media

The Sept. 16th cover of the RN&R portrayed President George W. Bush as a demon, complete with horns and a forked tongue. Liberals loved it; conservatives, not so much. Fielding complaints in a subsequent editorial, the paper called the image “…an ironic political statement about this election. It was intended to express the way many people feel toward this administration.” Fair enough. Not a large surprise about what the “Anybody but Bush” crowd thinks.

I’d have preferred a depiction of Bill Clinton with a certain intern or Jean Francois Kerry with the real forked tongue, but that isn’t my call. Since I subscribe to the premise of the entire First Amendment—and not only when it’s convenient for my own opinions—I support the paper’s decision to run it, despite my annoyance with the image itself.

The RN&R is read by a relatively equal number of Democrats, Republicans and independents, my lone conservative column notwithstanding. Of course, conservatives have known for a long time that much of the media has a liberal bias. Most news agencies piously hide that fact. Say what you want about Fox News, but at least they’re honest about their conservative agenda.

You can imagine my absolute giddiness over left winger Dan Rather’s recent implosion.

After insisting on the factual accuracy of his recent 60 Minutes II broadcast, in which he fraudulently impugned President George W. Bush’s National Guard service using forged documents, he and CBS, the network that aired the program, finally issued a pair of “rather” embarrassing apologies.

Afterwards, the CBS spin machine backed away from the story using a sycophantic, double-pronged defense designed to assure the public of its faux journalistic integrity. First, the fake-but-true tactic. Rather contended he may have been duped into using the fake documents, but that the allegations contained in them hadn’t been disputed. It was up to Bush’s staff to figure out if the memos were frauds, 60 Minutes Executive Producer Josh Howard said to the Los Angeles Times. How’s that for a “fair and balanced” journalistic argument?

The second tactic was that the “error” was a result of CBS’s overzealous pursuit of the “story” (which in English translates to “ratings and revenues"). CBS claimed that it may have been the rush to break the story that was essentially to blame. Journalism professor Phillip Meyer, writing in USA Today, asserted: “Dan Rather was not out to get George W. Bush. He was out to get a good story.”

This liberal spin notwithstanding, the truth has a way of making an appearance. It turns out Mary Mapes, the CBS producer whose career is in a tailspin and will no doubt be the scapegoat who takes the fall for Rather, had been working on the story for five years. That’s not a rush to break a story, ladies and gentlemen, that’s a marathon for anti-Bush ratings.

Meanwhile, the Media Research Center has documented Dan Rather’s history of claiming Vietnam is irrelevant—when such issues are damaging to Democrats. While Democratic presidential hopeful Kerry was getting raked over the proverbial coals by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Rather said: “In the end, what difference does it make what one candidate or the other did or didn’t do during the Vietnam War?”

That was in August.

The 60 Minutes piece aired Sept. 8.

Bernard Goldberg, an ex-CBS veteran with 28 years at the network who wrote a book detailing liberal bias in the media, called the affair “a product of liberal group think and a predisposition to believe the worst in Republicans.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.