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The Washington Post follows an agenda.
August 19, 2002 6:08 AM   Subscribe

The Washington Post follows an agenda. There truly exists a bias in the press and here's an example. Metatalk had a thread on there being so many NYT links, perhaps this helps explain why. Many many more examples of the Post's biases can be found at SpinSanity and other such sites but this one comes from "next door" in Baltimore.
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( P.S. Looking for an example of "liberal bias?" This isn't it.)
posted by nofundy (28 comments total)

 
It was revealed in the articles on the Fast Track that were linked to here last month that every president since Carter has had these powers. Strangely enough Mr. Scott Loughrey neglects to mention this in his article. Bias?
posted by srboisvert at 6:20 AM on August 19, 2002


"The Washington Post and the Road to Dictatorship"

Wait, don't tell me. That was one of those Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour movies, right? Damn, those were great!

The Washington Post has definitely been getting less lefty over the past 25 years. Recently they've even expressed the suspicion that most class-action lawsuits benefit the lawyers more than the 'class', which is not the usual liberal viewpoint. And now they're for free trade? I'm pleasantly shocked.

Oh, and I love the writer saying, "...there is no excuse for that newspaper to disregard the political figures from a broad political spectrum (e.g., from Ralph Nader to Patrick Buchanan)..." That's a broad political spectrum? All the way from one populist demagogue to another populist demagogue?
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:27 AM on August 19, 2002


This is the same paper that was linked to this weekend that had the article by the Canadian who despises America. In that article they mention that the Washington Post refused the letter. That means that the Post uses editorial judgment, as opposed to this little meaningless paper that wants to stir up some trouble. Who the F#$% reads the Baltimore Chronicle? Who the F@#* cares what they think? And what right do they have to challenge the Washington F@#$%^& Post?
posted by wsfinkel at 6:36 AM on August 19, 2002


Yeah, the Washington Post, that's the paper that likes to sweep embarrassing things under the rug to avoid tarnishing the images of our government officials. Those guys.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:56 AM on August 19, 2002


Well, anyone has the right to challenge WaPo -- it's a free country. But they'd better have more than this. WaPo is still consistently center-left, but it's an establishment center-left, and always has been. Not Nader country.

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If ever there were a sentence that deserved the interrobang ...
posted by dhartung at 6:57 AM on August 19, 2002


Until last week, I'd never heard of the Baltimore Chronicle, and I've lived between DC and Baltimore for just over ten years. I'm thinking that the ugly stepchild is just looking for a little attention.

I'm quite amused, though, at a link on their front page: Please Sign this Petition to Stop Bush's 'Wag the Dog' Invasion of Iraq! It's not a link within their site, but at first glance, you'd swear it was. Bias? NAH! *eye roll*
posted by fredosan at 7:03 AM on August 19, 2002


And I just met someone from San Francisco who's straight! Well...guess THAT disproves the gay-city thing.
posted by HTuttle at 7:14 AM on August 19, 2002


Although I love the Washington Post's right and common-sensical ways, could you ever guess who owns it?
Well, it's true.

I almost feel like growing long hair and selling peanut brittle, like my cousin did in 1975.
posted by hama7 at 7:18 AM on August 19, 2002


Um, the Moonies own the Washington Times, not the Post.
posted by mookieproof at 7:21 AM on August 19, 2002


Times, Post, iceberg Goldberg.
posted by hama7 at 7:26 AM on August 19, 2002


The Washington Post exists today, not as a sentinel of Freedom and democracy, but as the self serving steno pool of the Dubya regime. And to think they actually had a fit of integrity at one time back in the '70s. Give me a link to the NYT or at least, if you're gonna direct me to a self serving partisan link make it one that is evident, like rush or drudge or lucianne. Corporate self interest is destroying the vital role of the press in democracy.
posted by nofundy at 7:34 AM on August 19, 2002


Agenda [scroll down the page a bit to 'Agenda']...

You certainly don't have an 'agenda', do you, nofundy?
posted by evanizer at 7:35 AM on August 19, 2002


Expanding on what fredosan said: I, too, live in the Baltimore area. The Baltimore Chronicle is a joke. It's found nowhere. It's read by nobody (Metafilter users exlcuded). It's reputation is nonexistant.

For future reference, here are some of the reputable print news organizations in Baltimore:

The Baltimore Sun
Baltimore City Paper
Baltimore Business Journal

The Baltimore Sun has a great TV and Radio media critic. And Baltimore City Paper has an excellent media criticism column written by a well-connected reporter.

But the Baltimore Chronicle? You're making me laugh. If you want to hate the Washington Post, that's fine. But at least find a newspaper with real journalists and facts to back up your claims. The Baltimore Chronicle isn't going to cut it.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 7:37 AM on August 19, 2002


nofundy, you desperately need to get your own blog, or run for office, or something.
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:40 AM on August 19, 2002


Just because the paper is crap doesn't mean its criticisms of the Post aren't valid, or on point. In the two media criticism pieces I saw on the site, the writer made some very valid points. Of course, saying the Post is biased towards government and business interests is pretty much a no brainer. Remember Gary Webb, the reporter who wrote about the CIA's connection to crack dealers? The Post sent some of its top reporters out to attack him and ran all these misleading front pagers about how he was wrong. Well, when the CIA's IG released a report essentially saying his stories were true, guess where the Post ran the story (written by the AP, BTW) -- page 2, the dead zone of the paper.
posted by crackerass at 8:02 AM on August 19, 2002


i could tell the baltimore chronicle was suspect. at the bottom, there's an animated gif of an envelope opening and closing. what kind of reputable news organization puts that on their webpage?
posted by moz at 8:09 AM on August 19, 2002


You certainly don't have an 'agenda', do you, nofundy?

Of course I do. Defending democracy, debate and railing against all things fundamentalist. But I do love to hear from all the intelligent folks at MeFi and even the not-so-intelligent ones. I grow from reading the diverse viewpoints posted here. Is that OK?

MrBaliHai,
I have a home here and I love mathowie and his blog.

My apologies to everyone if I pointed to a disreputable paper as I don't know the area and it's publications. I do believe that the point of the WaPo losing it's authority as a senteniel for our style of government is no less relevant due to the dubiousness of the linked publication
posted by nofundy at 8:13 AM on August 19, 2002


Just because the paper is crap doesn't mean its criticisms of the Post aren't valid, or on point.

I think you have a good point, to a degree. Let's assume for a second that Washington Post is a horribly biased publication that protects the Bush administration and brushes over news stories that its readers would greatly care about. Is the Baltimore Chronicle is the only paper in America with the courage, integrity, resources and expertise to uncover this bias?

My point is this: If the Post is truly making decisions that appear grossly biased, then surely another publication with more assets (and believe me, nearly all of them have more assets than the Chronicle) would also have reported it. It would serve nofundy's cause much better to find those other papers and link to them. As it is, the message is being lost on the pathetically weak credibility of his source.

This isn't to say that nofundy hasn't raised a good issue here. But if nofundy's claim of bias is true, surely someone besides the folks at a very small circulation weekly in Baltimore has noticed. Link to those sources and let's get a real debate going.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 8:29 AM on August 19, 2002


I do believe that the point of the WaPo losing it's authority as a senteniel for our style of government is no less relevant due to the dubiousness of the linked publication

unfortunately, nofundy, the theory now has no legs since your only source has been discounted. got anything else? maybe some of the dc people can provide testimonials, or something.
posted by moz at 8:30 AM on August 19, 2002


The chronicle piece sited some interesting facts and I enjoyed reading it, despite the fact that it read more like a letter-to-the-editor than an actual newspaper article.

nofundy, you might have linked to an obscure publication (and made some sweeping generalizations/conclusions in your own headline), but your FPP certainly didn't ruin my day the way it did some others'. No friggy (no friggin' biggy...)

On the other hand, it's sometimes nice to see posters/comment-ers other than the new wave of newbies being jumped on...
posted by Shane at 8:37 AM on August 19, 2002


Defending democracy, debate and railing against all things fundamentalist

Don't you think you have picked up a form of fundamentalism yourself, becoming so rabidly anti-fundamentalist? Talk about labelling yourself.

Anyway, of course newspapers are biased. So what. Back in the day, most newpapers were openly for or against a party. At least then what they reported could be weighed against who they publicly supported. Reporters supposedly try to act unbiased, but this is impossible, they are just as human as the rest of us.
posted by insomnyuk at 8:43 AM on August 19, 2002


I have a home here and I love mathowie and his blog

(metatalk would be a better place for any of this talk, but I don't feel like starting a whole new thread for this)

nofundy, with all due respect your ax-grinding is getting tiresome. People are asking you to get your own blog because you're posting too much, and every post is personalized and colored by your viewpoint. These types of posts are more at home on a personal blog (remember Steven Den Beste, the guy everyone had to shout at to get his own blog and stop using the shared MetaFilter space as his personal soapbox?). You're quickly becoming a one-trick pony, taking on the persona of the rabid left wing guy (much like the other cast of ever changing characters that occupy every community space: the libertarian guy, the right wing guy, the religious guy, the feminist guy, etc). When someone achieves such a status, people start ignoring them as they become a caricature of their pet issue.

There's a simple solution however: ease up on the ax grinding on the front page and people will mellow out on you.
posted by mathowie at 9:05 AM on August 19, 2002


Think the Post is biased? So do these guys. Here's their "proof." Or, check out the Post's bias rating here.
posted by runthegamut at 10:24 AM on August 19, 2002


Just to present a minority viewpoint here, I like nofundy's posts and am not tired of them.
posted by norm29 at 10:54 AM on August 19, 2002


Anyway, of course newspapers are biased. So what. Back in the day, most newpapers were openly for or against a party. At least then what they reported could be weighed against who they publicly supported. Reporters supposedly try to act unbiased, but this is impossible, they are just as human as the rest of us.

As a former reporter and a current editor, I find this attitude deeply troubling.

In school, and later in the workplace, I was never taught that it was okay if your piece or your page went to press with any error or noticeable bias. Sure, sometimes it happens anyway; sure, you learn quickly to put the last issue out of your mind so you can focus on this one.

After all, as you say, we are only human; but as I see it, to be human does not involve complacency, but the unceasing effort to come ever closer to perfection. (Or maybe that's just what it means to be an editor.)

So what? It's not my job to be biased. And it's not the Post's job to be biased either: they would certainly assert as much.

And that's why posts like nofundy's are a good thing.

See, it isn't that easy to find bias in your own work, because bias is an insidious thing: it potentially affects not only the words you choose to use, but the structure of your story. Your lead. Where the story goes on the page. Whether that story runs at all today, or whether it gets bumped for something else.

And people tend to be oblivious to this, thinking that they organized their story this way because this is how it makes sense: when, in fact, a response from the opposing viewpoint has been buried in the bottom of the article.

The WaPo is a solid paper, without a significant bias problem--and the best way for it to remain such is for people like nofundy to pounce on any problems they see.
posted by kjh at 12:22 PM on August 19, 2002


Bias, shmias. Big time papers like the Wash Post and NY times exist mainly to support the status quo and elucidate the conventional wisdom. The few times when they challenge the powers that be, the stories have either been handed to them on a platter (e.g. Pentagon Papers) or are the result of near-freelancing by aggressive journalists (e.g. Watergate, during which Woodstein were consistently poo-pooed by higher ups until the case broke open). I wouldn't call that left or right bias, just safe business practice.

It's been my experience that newspapers generally tell people what they want to hear; they reflect consensus more than create it.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:47 PM on August 19, 2002


I'd just like to add that I also enjoy nofundy's posts and was puzzled at the lack of coverage of Judicial Watch's suit in my favorite source of political news, the Post.
posted by Phatty Lumpkin at 1:38 PM on August 19, 2002


I'd just like to add that I also enjoy nofundy's posts and was puzzled at the lack of coverage of Judicial Watch's suit in my favorite source of political news, the Post.
posted by Phatty Lumpkin


Ditto. I too was especially confused by the non-coverage of a federal crime committed openly by the current administration.
posted by dejah420 at 8:44 PM on August 19, 2002


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