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Al Gore on Media Bias
November 27, 2002 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Return of the vast right-wing conspiracy? Al Gore is quoted in the New York Observer: "Fox News Network, The Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh—there’s a bunch of them, and some of them are financed by wealthy ultra-conservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administrations and the rest of the media …. Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks—that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as a whole." Has Al Gore lost his mind?
posted by Durwood (114 comments total)

 
It's known to most of us as reality. And I love it!
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:25 AM on November 27, 2002


Doesn't directly address the Gore issue, but I have a question: Is it just me, or does it seem that traditionally "liberal" media outlets (television news, newspapers, etc.) tend to be based more on sound bites and quick summaries, while the growing conservative media presence tends to occupy media formats that typically provide somewhat more in-depth discussion and scrutiny (talk radio, weblogs, etc.).

Or do liberal talk shows just fail because they have no sense of humor? :-)
posted by oissubke at 9:28 AM on November 27, 2002


Al who?
posted by a3matrix at 9:30 AM on November 27, 2002


Has Al Gore lost his mind?

So, how much did wealthy ultra-conservative billionaires pay you to say that?
posted by BigPicnic at 9:32 AM on November 27, 2002


Has Al Gore lost his mind?

I just want to be sure this was a joke, right? Injecting that talking point into your post?

Is it just me, or does it seem that traditionally "liberal" media outlets (television news, newspapers, etc.) tend to be based more on sound bites and quick summaries, while the growing conservative media presence tends to occupy media formats that typically provide somewhat more in-depth discussion and scrutiny

No, no, absolutely.

NPR = short, shallow coverage with tons of sound effects and graphics that fly at you.
FOX News = in depth, objective analysis. They reportses, I decideses!
posted by Hildago at 9:35 AM on November 27, 2002


Is it just me

It's just you.
posted by nofundy at 9:36 AM on November 27, 2002


traditionally "liberal" media outlets . . . tend to be based more on sound bites and quick summaries, while the growing conservative media presence tends to . . . provide somewhat more in-depth discussion and scrutiny[?]

It has always seemed to me that the so-called "liberal" media were providing facts, reporting on events that didn't require as much discussion or scrutiny, whereas "conservative" media are making claims (the poor deserve to be poor, gambling is a sin, taxes are stealing) that require supporting evidence as they run contrary to common sense.

And for the record, the news coverage provided by the most "liberal" media, Public Radio and Television, is almost entirely based on discussion and scrutiny.
posted by mikrophon at 9:38 AM on November 27, 2002


Do you really think the right-wing ever disappeared?
posted by Kovax at 9:39 AM on November 27, 2002


Or do liberal talk shows just fail because

talk shows are infotainment. Immoral, because under the guise and million dollar salaries of entertainment the injure and affect policy.

News must be found elsewhere.
posted by four panels at 9:41 AM on November 27, 2002


I am so sick of sound bites-no matter whose-I could puke.

But Al Gore is not the same man I had respect for 10 or so years ago, and I find that sad.
posted by konolia at 9:43 AM on November 27, 2002


Since when did anyone look to blogs or talk radio for "in-depth discussion and scrutiny"? The right has succeded in these mediums precisely because things are reduced to a snap-shut summary judgement and without the (BORING) careful introspect and attempts at "understanding" that characterizes much left media (NPR, The Nation, etc.). Until the left learns that lesson, they're going to be left behind.
posted by owillis at 9:45 AM on November 27, 2002


Also for the record, if the media outlet in question airs commercials or displays ads, they are part of the entertainment industry, not a source of trustable information and not worth subjecting to political analysis. Whether they happen to be left or right this month just depends on which way the demographic wind is currently blowing.
posted by badstone at 9:45 AM on November 27, 2002


I won't comment because I have a bias- I still wear my "Gore: It will happen" pin when I go to the store. GORE 2004!
posted by crazy finger at 9:46 AM on November 27, 2002


I don’t think Al has lost his mind one bit. I think the administration has succeeded in employing an underlying message to the general public “If one is not republican, one is not a “Patriotic American”. In general most people tend to follow a crowd instead of thinking for themselves. This is why I think the Democrats lost so badly in the elections and why I think Al is having a tough time. The media outlets don’t want to be associated with anti-american anything, it isn’t profitable.
posted by redhead at 9:47 AM on November 27, 2002


He's more Cowardly Lion than Scarecrow, methinks. If he can't think of a way to take on "ultra-conservative billionaires" in a way the people can get behind, then he's lamer than I thought.

Wow, between this obstacle and the dreaded Green 5%, it's *so hard* to reach the brainwashed masses. Loser.
posted by hackly_fracture at 9:52 AM on November 27, 2002


This is why I think the Democrats lost so badly in the elections

Maybe if the Democrats had worn the Made In America flag lapel pins that were made in China. . .
posted by four panels at 9:53 AM on November 27, 2002


"The introduction of cable-television news and Internet news made news a commodity, available from an unlimited number of sellers at a steadily decreasing cost, so the established news organizations became the high-cost producers of a low-cost commodity," said Mr. Gore. "They’re selling a hybrid product now that’s news plus news-helper; whether it’s entertainment or attitude or news that’s marbled with opinion, it’s different. Now, especially in the cable-TV market, it has become good economics once again to go back to a party-oriented approach to attract a hard-core following that appreciates the predictability of a right-wing point of view, but then to make aggressive and constant efforts to deny that’s what they’re doing in order to avoid offending the broader audience that mass advertisers want. Thus the Fox slogan ‘We Report, You Decide,’ or whatever the current version of their ritual denial is."

I actually think this is a pretty original analysis. In my opinion, it also rings true.
posted by dglynn at 9:54 AM on November 27, 2002


I think Al is actually raising some pretty subtle points here, beyond the scope of liberal/right-wing bias in media. Things that are valid no matter what ideological blinders you wear.
posted by Fabulon7 at 9:56 AM on November 27, 2002


Who the hell ever called Rush Limbaugh 'objective'? He's a conservative pundit, as Molly Ivins is a liberal pundit. Yes, the Washington Times has a modest conservative bias in its news reporting (and a strongly conservative editorial tone), as the New York Times has a modest liberal bias in its news reporting (and a strongly liberal bias in its editorial tone). When I hear Gore complain about liberal bias in the NYT, I'll take seriously his complaints about the Washington Times.
For now, Mr. Gore can only attempt to explain what motivates the ceaseless lampooning he continues to face from America’s columnists and commentators. "That’s postmodernism," he offered. "It’s the combination of narcissism and nihilism that really defines postmodernism..."
Damn. He's been reading Metafilter. C'mon, Al, 'fess up, we know you're here!
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:56 AM on November 27, 2002


In this case, I think Gore does have a point that he draws unfairly negative coverage from the press. But it's not an anti-liberal bias so much as it is an anti-Gore bias. Journalists don't tend to like him because how closed off and controlling he is when dealing with the media. The Frank Rich column mentioned in the article was downright nasty toward him and quite unfair, IMO. Part of it is his own fault, I suppose, but I can't help feeling kind of bad for the guy--he just can't get a break.

As for the right-wing "journalism" of Rush Limbaugh and his clones, it is most certainly effective in keeping the republican base energized, although I'm not sure that it's particurly effective at drawing in new converts.
posted by boltman at 10:00 AM on November 27, 2002


Or do liberal talk shows just fail because they have no sense of humor? :-)

Limbaugh = laff riot
posted by boost ventilator at 10:03 AM on November 27, 2002


I don't care for the right wing or the left wing. I like the tender white meat of the breast.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:03 AM on November 27, 2002


Glad to see this discussion rolling in here... the success of branding conservatism and unquestioning patriotism as the only options for the true blue American is such savvy marketing. I was wondering why we (those that are opposed to the chilling of civil liberties in the wake of a formulated war) don't name our legislation as smartly as calling something the USA PATRIOT Act. Why can't the left push the buttons and get the ratings as effectively as the right? Maybe there is a media conspiracy... maybe not... but why can't questioning authority and celebrating civil freedoms be marketed as the pro-American... even essentially American? There is a clear and demonstrated demographic that wants news-tainment with a conservative slant - and I'm sure there's the slashdot-mefi-plastic-k5 contingent that could delivered to advertisers just as easily... is it possible to have honesty and integrity and stilll have your message broadcast to a mass audience?
posted by ao4047 at 10:07 AM on November 27, 2002


The Chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, was a senior Republican strategist before he took his current job. He was a major player in the Republican establishment. He helped George the 1st get elected, and he's still in the business of providing counsel to Republican politicians. And while it's true that there are many former political hacks working the airwaves these days, I believe Ailes and the Republicans are the only ones who have control of an entire cable news network.

So yes, I agree with Gore's analysis 100%.
posted by alms at 10:12 AM on November 27, 2002


Glad to see this discussion rolling in here...

Yes, because we've never had a chance to really get our teeth into liberal/conservative Bush/Gore-bashing and media bias before here on MetaFilter! Now if only someone would post a link about the Mideast, because I'll bet we've all got a lot to say on the subject...
posted by languagehat at 10:19 AM on November 27, 2002


Yes, the Washington Times has a modest conservative bias in its news reporting

uh, I would go a little further than modest. Outside of major breaking news, they only report stories that either celebrate conservative causes, celebrate conservative leaders, cast liberals in a bad light, or highlight the evils of big government. The journalism in the NYTimes is simply not comparible in terms of blatant political bias.
posted by boltman at 10:20 AM on November 27, 2002


"NPR = short, shallow coverage with tons of sound effects and graphics that fly at you."

You must have a much more advanced radio than I do.
posted by muppetboy at 10:24 AM on November 27, 2002


Gore's not crazy, he's positioning himself to run for office in 2004, and he's decided that the class warefare message that the Democrat leadership (i.e. Republican Lite) was unwilling to embrace is the way go win in 2004.
posted by jonnyp at 10:32 AM on November 27, 2002


Forget, if you can, who it was that made these comments. Now, what about the comments isn't true? It's was great seeing this discussed on Fox News today. Conservatives are sooo thin-skinned.

It's all true and it's been going on for quite a while now.

Has Al Gore lost his mind?

No, Al Gore is speaking his mind. Now, he wants to fight back. A little late, Al. If the Democrats are smart, though, they will take this issue and do something with it.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 10:41 AM on November 27, 2002


Alms summed it up. Gore has a valid argument.

With the exception of the conservative outlets Fox and WP, most media are run by and for the benefit of corporations. As a result, the media bias reflects the corporate owners that are overwhelmingly conservative. It's not liberal media - it's corporate media.
posted by humbe at 10:45 AM on November 27, 2002


Journalists don't tend to like him because how closed off and controlling he is when dealing with the media.

That's odd because they seem to have no problem with Bush- who will close off access journalists have if they provide coverage he is not happy with.

Gore's biggest problem is that people have developed an opinion in there mind of him, and now that people have the impression that he's "boring" and "robotic"- they are unable to change that impression. Everything he does seems to be done then, because he is wooden or robotic or calculating, when, we really don't know Gore.

For example, he's going on Saturday Night Live, maybe he has a good sense of humor. After all, Gore strikes me as the type of person who is telling jokes all the time, but everyone thinks he's so serious that they miss all of them.

Vast Right-Wing conspiracy? Yes, in a way there definitely is. Thanks to talk radio, the word liberal is becoming the new communism, to the point that politicians are afraid to be called liberals, and the discussion gets pushed closer to the right.
posted by drezdn at 10:50 AM on November 27, 2002


and he's decided that the class warefare message that the Democrat leadership

we should also remember that, usually, the class warfare fighting comes from the (mostly tax-evading) mega-corporations and their buddies in Congress.
As, for example, Kevin Phillips explains pretty well in his book


dredzn

liberal = terrorist
if you care about the Bill of Rights, the environment, affordable health care, if you're appalled by corporate scandals and corporate welfare and massive corporate tax evasion, you're aiding the terrorists
posted by matteo at 11:03 AM on November 27, 2002


"NPR = short, shallow coverage with tons of sound effects and graphics that fly at you."

You must have a much more advanced radio than I do.


And you must have a much less advanced capacity for recognizing sarcasm than I do.
posted by glenwood at 11:03 AM on November 27, 2002


Or do liberal talk shows just fail because they have no sense of humor? :-)

A sense of which you seem unfamiliar except in theory. ;)
posted by y2karl at 11:09 AM on November 27, 2002


I think the key phrase here is conspiracy. Let's restate it, is there a concerted effort carried out by a limited number of organizations and individuals to make the media more conservative? I think the clear answer has to be "yes." If you examine the funding sources for a variety of conservative/right-wing media outlets, they all chase back to the same people. For instance, Radio America, a conservative talk radio and news network, which host Ollie North among others, is part of the American Studies Center, a group which supplies the network with most of its money. This informative list of the American Studies Center funding base shows several large players, all with the same ideological bent. Chief among these are the Scaife foundations, funded by oil billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. The same man who funded much of the original anti-Clinton attacks as well as then young journalists like Andrew Sullivan, Laura Ingraham, and David Brock.

Whether or not you feel that media outlets like CNN and NYTimes are too liberal, there is no counterveiling behind the scenes funding of "liberal" media outlets.
posted by pjgulliver at 11:23 AM on November 27, 2002


Gore seems to be trying to regain the ground he lost when the Supreme Court decided they wanted Bush to be President. He had an opportunity at that moment to be the voice of the millions who felt cheated, tricked, and betrayed by the system, and he chose to sit on his front porch and whittle (or whatever). I tend to agree with his analysis of the media, but I agree with barneyfifesbullet that it's too little too late.

The Democrats moved toward the center, and in doing so lost their identity (of course, gorging at the trough of crony capitalism shoulder-to-shoulder with their Republican counterparts didn't help, either).

Now they are attempting to regain it, but I just don't see it happening in time to avoid a Republican landslide in 2004.

Not that it really matters, since no matter who you vote for the multinationals win. Exxon-Mobil uber alles.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:25 AM on November 27, 2002


Not a lot to say except to praise Al Gore and the great points he makes along with a number of great points made by other posters here. He is right, and the fact that so few outlets are willing to pound the royal pundit family is truly sad. Thank God for Bob Somerby.
posted by McBain at 11:37 AM on November 27, 2002


Conservative radio... I've been listening to it lately, in large part because I can't find any liberal radio that's interesting. Two things have stuck out. 1) Constant villification of "liberals," mostly in the form of ridiculous strawmen. I've heard Hannity (I think) tell someone that if they said something that wasn't "politically correct" they would be arrested. Also, of course liberals "hate America" and "care more about murderers and rapists" than law-abiding Americans. 2) Constant assurances to the audience that they extremely educated BECAUSE THEY LISTEN TO THE SHOW.

Fairly simple, actually. Flattery and demonization of outsiders, thereby creating a cohesive in-group. Why doesn't it work for liberals, then? Why can't we demonize the Enrons and Ashcrofts and Bushes? Maybe the conservative talk show hosts are right about one thing. Maybe we're scared of offending anybody.
posted by callmejay at 11:40 AM on November 27, 2002


oissubke: the growing conservative media presence tends to occupy media formats that typically provide somewhat more in-depth discussion and scrutiny (talk radio. . .

uh...you're kidding, right? When was the last time you heard in-depth discussion and scrutiny on talk radio (aside from NPR?) Limbaugh and that crowd don't scrutinize, they advocate. (which is fine....)

I think Limbaugh runs a very entertaining show (even though I don't agree with much that he says.) I'm sure that's why he does so well...there just aren't too many liberal talk radio shows that are interesting.
posted by Vidiot at 11:41 AM on November 27, 2002


ha ha ha ha.........
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:54 AM on November 27, 2002


Why doesn't it work for liberals, then?

Blind devotion to one idea has never been the Democrats' strong suit. Don't feel bad, it's a sign of intellegence.

Take 10 liberals, you'll get 11 opinions. Thus, the splintering of the left.
posted by jragon at 11:54 AM on November 27, 2002


Or do liberal talk shows just fail because they have no sense of humor? :-)

Hey, this is a little off point, but have you ever seen the Daily Show, with Jon Stewart? Yes, yes, it's ostensibly "late-night comedy", but what it really is hilarious scathing political satire, from a completely liberal position. And Stewart has actual conversations with genuine conservatives that are usually quite civilized, at worst. He's just *tons* funnier than that old blow-hard Rush, and he's way cuter, too.

And doesn't anyone out there think Al Gore would totally win if he took off his shirt? I mean, W's fit and all, but Gore's tall, dark and handsome.
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:55 AM on November 27, 2002


Gore is speaking his mind, which I applaud. He seems to be the only Democrat with balls enough to do that. I'll take it any day of the week, since the rest of them are falling down on the job completely.
posted by psmealey at 11:57 AM on November 27, 2002


On the issue of liberal talk-shows: I've always felt like liberals tend to talk more about issues than characterizations of their 'opponents.' Meanwhile Limbaugh is willing to spew lies and slander without a second thought. Ann Coultier can advocate terrorist bombings against the New York Times but a liberal is branded a terrorist just for questioning the Bush line. There is a deep effort to push the people and the American government as far right as possible. Al Gore finally got somebody to clone him a backbone.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:58 AM on November 27, 2002


Oh here's the link about coulter's little "joke."
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:02 PM on November 27, 2002


steve,

glad to see you back in political threads -- we missed your wisdom.

also glad to see you're not trolling -- you never do, anyway
posted by matteo at 12:08 PM on November 27, 2002


Wow, first single-payer health care, and now this! Go, Al. I too think that the whole "we report, you decide" sloganeering of Fox News is absolutely a pre-emptive smokescreen.

An excellent profile of Paul Krugman in the most recent Washington Monthly had an analysis of the political media's relative toothiness that I, as a former J-school student, found pretty right on:
Similarly, among pundits of the broad center-left, it's considered gauche to criticize the right too persistently, no matter the merits of one's argument. The only worse sin is to defend a politician too persistently; then you become not a bore, but a disgrace to the profession and its independence--even if you're correct. Thus, in Washington circles, liberal Times columnist Bob Herbert is written off as a predictable hack, while The New York Observer's Joe Conason, who vigorously defended the Clintons during the now-defunct Whitewater affair, is derided as shrill and embarrassing. Obviously, conservative columnists and pundits aren't quite as averse to being persistent or shrill. But center-left journalists do not, to put it mildly, take their cues about what's acceptable practice from conservative pundits.

That's because liberal journalists and conservative journalists have different value systems. Most liberal pundits--E.J. Dionne, Ronald Brownstein, or Maureen Dowd--came up through the newsroom ranks, a culture that demands shows of intellectual independence from politicians, especially Democrats. Many conservative pundits, on the other hand--Safire, Tony Blankley, or Peggy Noonan--come straight from political careers, a culture that encourages intellectual fealty and indulges one-sidedness.
Not to mention flat-out lying ...
posted by maura at 12:14 PM on November 27, 2002


The most intriguing part of the quote in the front page post is the matter of Republican talking points. I believe Gore is right -- a group of White House and Congressional Republicans, along with media titans such as Roger Ailes and party officials such as the president of the party, get together daily to decide the day's talking points.

They all follow the day's talking points scrupulously, with admirable discipline. You'll go to a town hall meeting where your Republican U.S. representative is visiting from Washington, and he'll talk about the same issues, using the same catchphrases (chosen with the aid of focus groups) as Rush Limbaugh and the pundits writing for newspapers and talking on Fox News.

You just don't find this sort of thing in liberal circles, mostly because of the lack of hardcore liberal media in the mode of the Washington Times and New York Post, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. I'm a reporter, and I'm liberal, but I don't write things solely from a liberal perspective, whereas reporters for the Washington Times, New York Post and Fox News report flagrantly from a conservative slant. It's so self-evident, yet anyone who points this out is accused of liberal myopia and class warfare and such.
posted by Holden at 12:14 PM on November 27, 2002


The "class warfare" accusations to me are the richest, what with the various salvos fired at the non-CEO class by the GOP and its news/pundit arms (the WSJ editorial page's declaration that people who made under $12k were 'lucky ducks' because of the tax breaks they got comes to mind ...).
posted by maura at 12:27 PM on November 27, 2002


Things that are valid no matter what ideological blinders you wear.

I agree. Also, Al Gore was a journalist out of college, right? He is just trolling in my opinion, and he can say what he wants his opinion.

I do like hearing from both sides especially ones further than mine. How else do I know what is too far. Here is a stretch for you.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:31 PM on November 27, 2002


The admirable organizational skills of the right are nothing new. For those interested, the Commonweal Institute is working to do something similar on the left.
posted by frykitty at 12:57 PM on November 27, 2002


I am disappointed with the direction that this discussion has taken.

It seems that only a few here have addressed the principal question. HAS AL GORE LOST HIS MIND? It's one thing to claim that Rush, Fox News and Washington Times are one-sided and wrong on the issues. It's another thing to suggest that they constitute a "fifth column" that must be stopped at all costs. I would expect such a baseless, silly remark to be made by the lefties that frequent this site, not by an allegedly intelligent guy who is running for president of the United States. Gore aparently believes that the media is dominated by a conservative conspiracy of journalists, talk show hosts and billionaires, that are actively plotting against him and similar minded Democrats.

And they say Bush is a moron? Give me a break!
posted by Durwood at 1:13 PM on November 27, 2002


Hildago: NPR = short, shallow coverage with tons of sound effects and graphics that fly at you.

muppetboy quips You must have a much more advanced radio than I do.

glenwood retorts And you must have a much less advanced capacity for recognizing sarcasm than I do.

maniactown: I didn't catch the sarcasm either... I thought Hildago lost touch with reality and had begun hallucinating whilst staring at their radio. Maybe from watching FOXNews in the background.
posted by maniactown at 1:13 PM on November 27, 2002


For anyone that cares:

Two opinions about The Left and Talk Radio.

Everyone have a nice holiday, and a happy Thanksgiving!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:13 PM on November 27, 2002


Durwood, we ignored your question because it was a stupid, inflammatory one that clouded up potential for a worthwhile discussion, and if you read any of the links supplied by other posters -- or, hell, even their posts -- you may see why.

maybe.
posted by maura at 1:22 PM on November 27, 2002


Two opinionsabout The Left and Talk Radio.
Also: A klansman opines on Martin Luther King Day!

Or the functional equivalent of those to "WorldNetDaily" screeds.
posted by owillis at 1:24 PM on November 27, 2002


there just aren't too many liberal talk radio shows that are interesting

I don't think I've ever heard, or even heard of, a liberal talk radio show. The only FM talk radio in my area is this station, which played a big role in an anti-income tax protest that caused a little trouble down this way last year.

Just take a look at their "Personalities" list. Give me a break.
posted by sklero at 1:26 PM on November 27, 2002


owillis, your right! Everyone on the Right is a Klansman, I mean just look at Senator Byrd, oops...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:29 PM on November 27, 2002


i.e. America Radio Network is great for those that want to hear something on radio besides a conservative viewpoint. You can hear that anywhere. I enjoy hearing all viewpoints, but consolidation has done the same thing to talk radio that it did with music radio.

It's pathetic that I have to go through Winamp to hear someone on the radio criticize George W Bush.

BTW, Rush Limbaugh is a good entertainer, but that's all he is. I laugh at the suckers that use his show only for information.

Gore apparently believes that the media is dominated by a conservative conspiracy of journalists, talk show hosts and billionaires, that are actively plotting against him and similar minded Democrats.

Durwood, Gore is talking about the Republican propaganda network that has taken over America's mainstream media and their control of the day's news reports. Of course, it exists. The spin, the catch phrases, it's everywhere.

"Plot"? Hell, yeah. The GOP use their propaganda via the airwaves to squeak by in some close elections and now they claim they have a mandate.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 1:54 PM on November 27, 2002


Jesse Helms, Steve_At_Hypocritewood, Jesse Helms. A far more virulent history of open and on the record racism. A senator for nearly as long as Byrd's i don't recall Byrd going to court to try to torpedo Martin Luther King's holiday after the Senate passed it. I repeat, Jesse Helms, Steve_At_Cheapshotwood, Jesse Helms.
posted by y2karl at 1:58 PM on November 27, 2002


ao4047 correctly identifies the problem as a branding and marketing issue, and the media "conspiracy" is basically doing what all commercial media do – chase the money. Democrats are by definition at a disadvantage because they don't kowtow quite as completely to business interests.

It's easier for the media to sell paranoia and patriotism than it was to sell Junior pre-9/11, so that's what they are doing. Nielsen ratings are higher for the networks, and approval ratings are higher for the administration. Win-win, from their perspective. Rove is hailed as a genius, and the only ones who lose are the citizens. (And no, Al Gore has not lost his mind. Scaife actually exists. Read former right-winger David Brock's book Blinded by the Right if you doubt how the right wing media machine works.)
posted by skimble at 2:05 PM on November 27, 2002


That is, as long as Byrd was and a race-baiting campaigner even to his last race.
That's your side, Steve_At_Dittoheadwood.
Remember that when you knuckle drag out the Byrd was in the KKK the next time. Maybe you can go back to your little fort now and post more stuff insinuating Chelsea Clinton's a slut for dressing like a typical college student.

I must admit, though, I am in Jesse's debt for what he did for internet radio. The point here, though, is look before you slime.
posted by y2karl at 2:06 PM on November 27, 2002


That said, look at this cool house! I ran across it while hitting the yard sales in my new neighborhood. Here's what it used to look like. Now it's got a turret with finial, motto and lush interior. Did I say lush interior? Check out this sitz bath and this elephant trunk toilet. Oh, and don't forget the front porch! Here's the not quite whole story. I figure it's not worth a front page post but at least it makes for a good derail. Quick, guess the demographics involved here.
posted by y2karl at 2:10 PM on November 27, 2002


And doesn't anyone out there think Al Gore would totally win if he took off his shirt?

He tried something similar before (photo) and it didn't work.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:14 PM on November 27, 2002


[y2's house story]
posted by goethean at 2:22 PM on November 27, 2002


Maybe you can go back to your little fort now and post more stuff insinuating Chelsea Clinton's a slut for dressing like a typical college student.

Man, you really liked that photo, didn't you?

Anyway, your reputation as a politics-savvy intellectual would be significantly enhanced if you didn't abandon the topic at hand to take pot shots at someone's old blog posts.
posted by oissubke at 2:31 PM on November 27, 2002


Quick, guess the demographics involved here.

Elderly Republicans from Nebraska? Am I close?
posted by oissubke at 2:38 PM on November 27, 2002


Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms...

Christ you are like a broken record... Must have really touched a nerve there...

[sarcasm]
Yeah, Karl, you are right... My point was that all the bad guys ever in history have been liberals, and none have ever been conservatives... We are good, pure and have never made a mistake...
[/sarcasm]

The childish name calling is a nice touch. Oh, look how clever Karl is for changing the spelling of my user name... I dare not match wits with some one of such intellectual power that can think up 'Steve_At_Dittoheadwood'

I would spend the time to think up something equally childish, but I think you have made yourself look foolish enough on your own...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:52 PM on November 27, 2002


Al Gore has not lost his mind. Scaife actually exists. Read former right-winger David Brock's book Blinded by the Right if you doubt how the right wing media machine works.

David Brock? Now there's a reliable source! Even assuming Brock was correct, does Scaife control Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, George Stephonopolous, Judy Woodruff, Claire Shipman, Al Hunt, Bill Moyers, Thomas L. Friedman, Joe Conason, Larry King, Daniel Schorr,Mary McGrory, Ted Turner, Helen Thomas, Chris Matthews, Phil Donahue, Nina Totenberg, Barbara Walters (and her friends on the View), CNN, CBS, NY Times, Time, Newsweek, Nightline, Washington Post, NBC, ABC etc., etc. etc.? Besides talk radio, Fox News and the Washington Times (and the Wall Street Journal editorial page), can anyone name any mass media news source that is dominated by conservatives? Even if such a "fifth column" existed, isn't there any room in the media for conservative voices?

Gore's remark is absolute nonsense. I would have no problem if he had criticized those sources for being unfair to him, or unfair to liberals. The real problem is his suggestion that there is evil right wing conspiracy that is dominating the national media. It is simply not true.
posted by Durwood at 3:13 PM on November 27, 2002


i don't recall Byrd going to court to try to torpedo Martin Luther King's holiday after the Senate passed it

No, but I do recall the Honorable Senator Byrd setting the Senate's record for 'Longest Filibuster':

"At 9:51 on the morning of June 10, 1964, Senator Robert C. Byrd completed an address that he had begun fourteen hours and thirteen minutes earlier. The subject was the pending Civil Rights Act of 1964."

So no, he may not have attempted to stop a holiday from becoming law, but he exhausted himself attempting to stop something quite a bit more important than a day off work...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:28 PM on November 27, 2002


The longest Senate filibuster was in 1957 made by Strom Thurmond and lasted 23 hours and 17 minutes.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:49 PM on November 27, 2002


maniactown: I didn't catch the sarcasm either... I thought Hildago lost touch with reality and had begun hallucinating whilst staring at their radio. Maybe from watching FOXNews in the background.

If I started hallucinating while listening to the radio I might not hear it when it tells me to set things on fire.
posted by Hildago at 3:53 PM on November 27, 2002


Xquz: Not according the Senate Website I read... But that really is besides the point...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:00 PM on November 27, 2002


Conservatives have Fox News, and liberals have CNN. Of course, liberals also have NBC, CBS, and ABC news as well, but I guess four to one, still isn't fair enough for the democrats. As far as liberals hating Rush, well now you know how conservatives felt about Phil Donahue, when he was the only political voice on daytime television for nearly 20 years, but that didn't seem to bother democrats, because Phil Donahue is a left wing liberal.

Of course, if liberals want to be consistent about this, then they will immediately demand that NBC run a conservative version of the tv series West Wing, in order to counter, what is basically a weekly infocommercial for the democratic party.
posted by Beholder at 4:04 PM on November 27, 2002


Of course, if liberals want to be consistent about this, then they will immediately demand that NBC run a conservative version of the tv series West Wing

Ok, if every radio station will offer a time slot in rebuttal to Limbaugh and his clones.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 4:43 PM on November 27, 2002


David Brock was indeed considered a reliable source by the right wing only when he was lying on their behalf, and on their payroll. That's how they play the game. Pay off whoever toes the party line; discredit everyone who doesn't. Tactics employed by Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, O'Reilly, the criminals Liddy and North, don't make me list the whole box of cretins... (And CNN totally lost any liberal cachet it might have had during Gulf War One.)
posted by skimble at 4:52 PM on November 27, 2002


Durwood, talk radio is an entire genre of communication... if only liberals were allowed to write on the internet, would you honestly let me get away with saying "besides the internet, where do liberals have a voice?"

Even more manipulative is your forced-lengthening of your list of pundits... which strangely I noticed you didn't actually define as "liberal" (most of which aren't) to counter the entities you admit are conservative. Whereas you create a false impression of non-conservative (again, note not liberal, merely not conservative) dominance by listing single writers and personalities in the bulk of your list, you then proceed to say "besides" talk radio- again, an entire wide form of mass communication and "besides" Fox- which translated honestly to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, one of the largest single media corporations in the universe.

Murdoch also controls the New York Post- which along with the admittedly conservative Wall Street Journal, Daily News, and New York Observer, means four of the five major print news sources to come out of the largest city in the country have a conservative bias... something which I assume Beholder finds significant since he was so intent with his drunkenly ludicrous claim that the Left dominates media by a four-to-one ratio.

The point is that you have openly stated a vastly powerful set of blatantly right-wing entities in the media to counter a sampling of the media that you pose as the "liberal dominance-" though you can't even admit yourself are liberal, merely not conservative. Right-wing presence in media is true for this very reason- the Doublethink logic that creates a false belief in a liberal media to create a conservative media under the label of "balanced."

And as a liberal, Beholder, thank you for telling me that I "have" CNN. Give me a fucking break, okay? What exactly are you trying to do, convince me that all these networks are actually speaking for me when I disagree with them only slightly less than the blatant bias of Fox News? This is just pathetic, and so is the extent of your evidence being an over-the-hill talk show host and a fictional television series. Stop embarrassing your position and stop insulting my intelligence.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:54 PM on November 27, 2002


It was during the Reagan era 80's that several ideas were pushed onto the American public with an almost mechanical repetition from any and all conservative pundits. These mantras were repeated so often than a majority of people seem to believe them as fact even today even though there is demonstrable evidence to the contrary.

1. Liberal is a really bad word for people who are communists, terrorists, revolutionaries or otherwise fringe and marginalized ideologically. (How this doesn't apply equally to conservative I'll never know...)

2. The media has a "Liberal" (there's that word again!) bias. Why has this been repeated over and over again? In the past 10 years I've noticed a dramatic and frightening trend to either corporate reporting (for profit, lack of depth pieces that either focus on scaring or charming but not really on thinking) of outright conservative news institutions ala Fox News. Neither of these show me any evidence of liberal bias much less thoughtful and in depth reporting of all sides.

3. Trickle down economics works. This ridiculous notion is constantly pushed by the conservative punditry despite the fact that in the 20-ish years that we've given it a try the rich have gotten richer and the rest of people have barely held their own. Yes the country is wealthier but that's because it mostly goes to the top of the heap. I'm baffled that every time someone brings up this fact you inevitably hear things like "Class Warfare", "Communist", and the dreaded "Liberal" thrown around without ever addressing the fact that we have nearly the worst distribution of wealth between the rich and the rest of the country ever.
posted by aaronscool at 5:08 PM on November 27, 2002


CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC are all liberal, in the way Fox News is conservative? Repeat a lie like that one often enough, and people will adopt the delusion.
posted by Holden at 5:26 PM on November 27, 2002


Wow!

it sounds like Gore actually thinks the media is turning on him, as opposed to just backing the current party in power?

Who would have thought that could have happened?
posted by WLW at 5:29 PM on November 27, 2002


[sarcasm]
Yeah, Karl, you are right... My point was that all the bad guys ever in history have been liberals, and none have ever been conservatives... We are good, pure and have never made a mistake...
[/sarcasm]


You're the one who contemptibly dragged in the same lame old Byrd the Klansman canard in the first place, Steve_At_Spinwood--and only for about the 8th time, too--no matter how indignantly you sputter. Wow, you think trumped me with the fact Byrd filibustered against the holiday?
I'm hardly surprised that he did.
But.He.didn't.go.to.court.to.try.to.get.Dr.King's.
FBI.files.released.in.order.to.smear.his.memory.
Actually, there's a fair bit of difference in degree there, O Hypokrites.

This whole troll/assume-hurt-innocence routine is getting tired.
Throw a gratuitous grenade in the thread and get sniped at--well, duh...
It's not exactly rocket science.
posted by y2karl at 5:31 PM on November 27, 2002


Even more manipulative is your forced-lengthening of your list of pundits... which strangely I noticed you didn't actually define as "liberal" (most of which aren't) to counter the entities you admit are conservative.

So you actually believe that most of the people on that list aren't liberal? Oh pullleeese..... Who do you think on that list voted for Bush? Moreover, many of the people on the list (i.e. Brokaw, Rather, Jennings, Totenberg, Schorr, Moyers) would object to your characterization of them as as "pundits" as well. They are journalists, and they cannot hide the political bias in their reporting. O'Reilly, Hannity, Snow and Hume at least admit that they are conservatives. With the sole exception of 60 MInutes' Andy Rooney (a liberal who is not really a journalist), most journalists in the mainstream media continue to deny that the media is dominated by liberals. Just admit it and lets move on!!

This whole discussion was supposed to be about the ridiculous and paranoid suggestion by Al Gore that media is dominated by a "fifth column" of conservatives. His comment is as ridiculous as Dan Quale's suggestion that the epidemic of single motherhood and teenage pregnacy was caused by Murphy Brown. This is a total loser issue for Gore. Again, has he lost his mind?
posted by Durwood at 5:52 PM on November 27, 2002


It's not exactly rocket science.

Hopefully not, as the field of Rocket Science has an overt liberal bias!
posted by Hildago at 5:53 PM on November 27, 2002


the field of Rocket Science has an overt liberal bias

All science is henceforth liberal, ever since the takeover of the Republican party by creationist fundamental Christians who seek a war with fundamental Muslims. (Please don't spoil things by explaining that Iraq is a secular country.)
posted by skimble at 6:28 PM on November 27, 2002


whoops, wrong thread. :)
posted by skimble at 6:29 PM on November 27, 2002


Wow, you think trumped me with the fact Byrd filibustered against the holiday?

Karl, try reading before you post. He didn't filibuster the holiday... He filibusted the most prominent civil rights legislation since reconstruction, The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Because of that Act, discrimination based on "race, color, religion, or national origin" in public establishments that had a connection to interstate commerce or was supported by the state is prohibited including public establishments include places of public accommodation (e.g., hotels, motels, trailer parks), restaurants, gas stations, bars, taverns, and places of entertainment in general. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent legislation also declared a strong legislative policy against discrimination in public schools and colleges which aided in desegregation. Title VI of the civil rights act prohibits discrimination in federally funded programs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination where the employer is engaged in interstate commerce.

So, yes, I will agree that there's a fair bit of difference in degree there...

Pretty rotten thing for a Senator (regardless of ideology) to do...
I am not defending Jesse Helms, but that makes Byrd no less disgusting a pig.

Really Karl, stop before you hurt yourself...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:30 PM on November 27, 2002


Right now I'm worried that you've lost your mind, Durwood.

Even if everyone on that list is an unabashed liberal (hence why all of them, of course, make scathing editorials about abortion rights, corporate welfare, and campaign finance reform) that doesn't distract the fact that you've singled them out in some false pretense that they are the full extent of the "mainstream" media, ignoring an equally (if not greater) list of right-wing pundits to single out.

If these people are all liberal, then it's certainly an upset for liberals since hardly a damn one of them seems to claim that they are. Oh yeah, I'm really proud of the strong support CNN has made for the Democratic Party by completely denying any support for it.

My point is that you are the only one demanding that we "admit it and move on," when it's the exact ironic opposite. It's the conservative pundits that openly profess a conservative bias then demand a balanced media. Why is it that only conservatives insist that liberals confess to a liberal leaning? This is news, not a witch trial.

You attack me as insulting TV journalists by labelling them as "pundits" and then say that "at least O'Reilly professes his conservative lean." First of all, that's bullshit- O'Reilly was caught a few years back claiming his political independence and hiding the fact that he was a registered Republican (in other words, he was LYING). Second, how dare YOU tell these journalists what their political leanings are simply because you believe it. If a conservative pundit wants to admit conservatism, then go the fuck ahead, but don't you dare spew some McCarthy-style rhetoric that anyone who DOESN'T is a liberal. Moreover, if only conservatives are "open" about their leaning, then how the hell can a network containing all these openly conservative pundits claim to be fair and balanced simply because no other network agreed to Fox's self-created rules? It's hypocritical and you can't have it both ways.

Furthermore, you're insulting the likes of Jennings and Rather by even equating anyone like Hannity, Colmes, O'Reilly, Begala, Carville, Limbaugh, Hightower, Buchanan, Press, Ivins, or any cable show host of any bias- left or-right- to them. The significant difference is that O'Reilly and the like are hosts of OPINION shows- programs in which they are deliberately supposed to show a side. The host of a NEWS program is just as you said, a journalist, and therefore SUPPOSED to remain impartial- even if Rather is a closet Communist, he cannot discuss that on the grounds of journalistic integrity- so your demand that he "just admits" your rabid belief that he's a liberal (you're one of those guys than can tell just by looking at a dude, aren't you?) is the exact opposite of what the public expects them to do.

Conservatives rush to claim, as given in this very thread, that "they have" Fox News to call their own... are liberals really claiming that NBC, CBS, and CNN are "their own?" Ridiculous and you know it. The closest thing a liberal like me has to a media source that doesn't mock my beliefs and insult my intelligence is the Daily Show and that's not even a real news program. I would LOVE it if there was an open mainstream media source that actually admits a liberal leaning the way Roger Ailes takes pride in a conservative one. And yet there isn't... and for some reason, conservatives refuse to accept the blatantly obvious reason for that: because there simply isn't a liberal dominance of a major media source... you'd rather belive that there's a "massive left-wing conspiracy" of silence.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:30 PM on November 27, 2002


Murdoch also controls the New York Post- which along with the admittedly conservative Wall Street Journal, Daily News, and New York Observer, means four of the five major print news sources to come out of the largest city in the country have a conservative bias.

Umm sorry, but wrong. News Corp does own The New York Post, but DowJones owns The Wall Street Journal and The New York Observer is owned by The New York Observer, L.P.

Not to nit pick, but News Corp only owns 1 newspaper in the United States (and one magazine, The Weekly Standard)
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:03 PM on November 27, 2002


I would LOVE it if there was an open mainstream media source that actually admits a liberal leaning the way Roger Ailes takes pride in a conservative one. And yet there isn't... \
That's the point!!! There are left-wing mainstream media sources and they DON'T admit it! Geez!!! They PRETEND to be fair! They're not. Listen to the NPR! Watch CBS, CNN and NBC!!! Read the New York Times!! I am not the only one who believes these institutions report the news from the left!! It may not be as far left as you are or would like, but none of those sources can be characterized as conservative or even "middle of the road." What makes Fox, Rush and the Washington Times so different (and the fact that they get under the skin of liberals more than any other news sources) is that they report the news from a conservative perspective, rather than a liberal perspective.

Again, where is Al Gore's "fifth column?" He singled out three news sources with which he disagrees, and labelled them as some kind of evil cabal (in an attempt, I suppose, to discredit them). Do you want conservatives to be silenced because you don't agree with them, as Al Gore apparently wants? I'm sure that Al would love to run for president without their scruitiny, but fortunately, there are a few voices (certainly not a "fifth column") in this country that will object.
posted by Durwood at 7:35 PM on November 27, 2002


I love it that the places with the most rigorous journalistic standards get called left-leaning the most often. If you try to tell the truth, you find yourself disagreeing with the right wing. What does that tell you?
posted by Hildago at 8:08 PM on November 27, 2002


Holden: CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC are all liberal, in the way Fox News is conservative? Repeat a lie like that one often enough, and people will adopt the delusion.

Hear, hear. I hardly believe that news organizations owned by AOL Time Warner, GE, Viacom and Disney -- corporate behemoths all -- are inherently liberal. This ain't exactly The Nation we're talking about here, folks.

My goodness, if they were truly liberal, they'd beat us over the head with it the way Fox hammers the right-wing POV. We'd be seeing a LOT more coverage of the World Bank, the IMF, fair-trade coffee, labor unions, et cetera. George McGovern and Barbra Streisand would have his own shows. You'd see pundits from Mother Jones magazine instead of Newsweek and Fortune.

(Full disclosure: I work for one of the network news companies referenced above, and yes, I'm a liberal. However, I defy ANYONE to figure out my politics based on my work. I'm a liberal, but I'm also a professional.)
posted by Vidiot at 8:17 PM on November 27, 2002


These mantras were repeated so often than a majority of people seem to believe them as fact

that's the whole point...who is putting these mantras out these days? I think you'll find that it's not NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, etc...

There is no liberal counter to this spin and lies....(and npr does not count..it doesn't reach a quarter of the people rush does...)
posted by amberglow at 8:22 PM on November 27, 2002


This whole discussion was supposed to be about the ridiculous and paranoid suggestion by Al Gore that media is dominated by a "fifth column" of conservatives.

then you should have posted it over at freerepublic, where the echo chamber will validate your delusions.
posted by lescour at 8:26 PM on November 27, 2002


That's the point!!! There are left-wing mainstream media sources and they DON'T admit it! Geez!!! They PRETEND to be fair! They're not. Listen to the NPR! Watch CBS, CNN and NBC!!! Read the New York Times!! I am not the only one who believes these institutions report the news from the left!! It may not be as far left as you are or would like, but none of those sources can be characterized as conservative or even "middle of the road." What makes Fox, Rush and the Washington Times so different (and the fact that they get under the skin of liberals more than any other news sources) is that they report the news from a conservative perspective, rather than a liberal perspective.

Gaaaaahh! This is exactly my point! CBS, CNN, NBC are not bastions of liberalism OR conservatism! They ALL are corporate media enterprises who will tell you the exact stories in the exact manner they think will get them the most rating and as a result the most advertising revenue. This is most certainly NOT a liberal lean and personally I can't fathom how a 1/2 hour news program with an average 12 second news bite can have ANY kind of political lean.

Speaking of which here is a tip for you there SHOULD NOT be a "perspective" to news. If there is this means someone else is trying to interpret something for you that you should get enough of the facts to decide for yourself what your OWN DAMN OPINION is. This is why I don't like either the self proclaimed conservative media such as Fox News or the commercial TV news that simply can't present complex issues in 12 seconds or less.

Back to the question at hand and Gore's "Fifth Column". I would have to agree that the Mainstream TV news has an echo chamber effect WRT politics. Often times news organizations will simply report what another channel reported (whether or not the facts or correct) and this will get picked up by another station until it becomes a "Real Story" somehow. I also agree that those who have political agendas AND own media outlets will work to get their agenda into the mainstream.
posted by aaronscool at 8:28 PM on November 27, 2002


That's the point!!! There are left-wing mainstream media sources and they DON'T admit it! Geez!!! They PRETEND to be fair! They're not. Listen to the NPR! Watch CBS, CNN and NBC!!! Read the New York Times!! I am not the only one who believes these institutions report the news from the left!! It may not be as far left as you are or would like, but none of those sources can be characterized as conservative or even "middle of the road." What makes Fox, Rush and the Washington Times so different (and the fact that they get under the skin of liberals more than any other news sources) is that they report the news from a conservative perspective, rather than a liberal perspective.

I don't know. For all the liberalness of these news sources they certainly seem to be throwing the Bush Administration softballs. Bush appointed two convicted purgurers to important offices without a hint of scandal with Poindexter leading the drive for one of the most significant attacks on our basic rights to privacy in years. Bush just let electric companies buy environmental deregulation for a song. The Bush administration awarded huge contracts to Halburton while the company was under investigation for fuzzy accounting practices. So far these stories have gotten no more than a 10 minute nod.

Meanwhile, the dominant message of the major networks over the last few weeks has been "everything will be OK if consumers just go out and BUY BUY BUY this Friday."

Again, where is Al Gore's "fifth column?" He singled out three news sources with which he disagrees, and labelled them as some kind of evil cabal (in an attempt, I suppose, to discredit them). Do you want conservatives to be silenced because you don't agree with them, as Al Gore apparently wants? I'm sure that Al would love to run for president without their scruitiny, but fortunately, there are a few voices (certainly not a "fifth column") in this country that will object.

I don't know. Perhaps Gore is starting to feel that taking the high road in the political discussion is not good enough. Certainly Gore is not the only one to use hyperbole in these debates. After all, it seems like it was only yesterday that academic employees of universities were accused of being a "fifth column", and just today librarians were accused of radical liberalism for arguing that filtering software should be chosen by local mandate rather than federal mandate.

Perhaps it is time for the left to start getting really dirty. After all, someone gave Matt Drudge a libelous hot tip that Clinton appointee Blumenthal was a wife beater. By coincidence, a right wing think tank provided Drudge with a bottomless warchest in his defense.

Quite honestly, I find the "fifth collumn" accusations to be loony from left and right, whether we are talking about journalists, academics or librarians.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:56 PM on November 27, 2002


Really, I'm surprised that Gore would call the conservatives the "fifth column" seeing how the left has been up to those tricks for as long as there have been columns to count. *waves to the marxists*

Ah well, if you can't beat 'em, you can always join 'em, or just call them names.

"Gaaaaahh!... CBS, CNN, NBC are not bastions of liberalism OR conservatism! "

Well you're half-correct.

Let's see... what rhymes with "Lin"...Spin.. Gin...Win...Pin...
posted by hama7 at 9:04 PM on November 27, 2002


No I got it all right. If there were a "liberal" slant on any of these stations then maybe more liberals would watch. As it is these stations are geared for the bland majority of the consuming public.

Please enlighten me as to how these so called liberal newscasts slant their news because frankly at this point I'm baffled. Please provide me with some evidence that their owners or directors are trying to maintain some kind of liberal cabal because all I see are profit motives which tend to fall far from any liberal ideal I know of.

I am pretty tired of hearing of this liberal bias when I can't find a mainstream news outlet that has done ANY serious investigative work against the current administration pre or post 9/11. Is this not the same cadre of "Liberal Reporters" that would jump all over even the smallest POTENTIAL Clinton scandal story?

If there were a liberal bias you'd bet your ass these guys would be screaming bloody murder about Kissinger's appointment to head up the fact finding committee on 9/11 or the fact that Bush want's to enact nationwide the same sort of lax emission standards that led to Texas having the worst air pollution in the country AND that he's saying the same, "This will help reduce emissions..." nonsense.
posted by aaronscool at 9:41 PM on November 27, 2002


Stop before I hurt myself, Steve_At_Linnwood? Gee, I got your important point wrong--he filibustered against the Civil Rights Act which has hitherto been so revered by you so often in these pages. You want to point out that Byrd's a racist and the Democrats are hypocrites for having him in their ranks unpunished? Fine, it's true--but yours is Bigger...

Of civil rights protests Helms wrote, "The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights." (WRAL-TV commentary, 1963) He also wrote, "Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced." (New York Times, 2/8/81)

And the man ABC News now describes as a "conservative icon" (8/22/01) in 1993 sang "Dixie" in an elevator to Carol Moseley-Braun, the first African-American woman elected to the Senate, bragging, "I'm going to make her cry. I'm going to sing Dixie until she cries." (Chicago Sun-Times, 8/5/93)


You were saying about Robert Byrd?

Do you want to compare notes on the percentage of Senators who voted against the Civil Rights Bill by party? Byrd may have filibustered against the Civil Rights act-- but Barry Goldwater voted against it. What makes a doomed-to-failure-filibuster intrinsically more evil than a vote against the Civil Rights Act?

Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms. On your team.

I didn't throw him in until you made your little Byrd jibe for the umpteenth halfwitty time, to point out the basic hypocrisy of a bottomfeeder in an extremely large glass house on the topic of which party has the most hidebound racist senator.

You say Jesse Helms is creepy?--you brought up Byrd, O Hypokrites, when you've had, on your team, have a person who's spent far more time and energy race baiting than Byrd, no matter how you I win again! spin it, my wee Clintonhateroholic. Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms, Jesse Helms. Spin away trollboy.
posted by y2karl at 9:57 PM on November 27, 2002


And afterhaving puked up that gargantuan slab of maggoty rancor, do I feel stupid. Ah, well, I'm outa here--pardon the obligato. Happy Thanksgiving...
posted by y2karl at 10:15 PM on November 27, 2002


The news outlets might be somewhat -- and I stress somewhat -- socially progressive (outrage at bias crimes, etc). But politically? If they were as "liberal" as you claim, you'd be reading a hell of a lot more about the stories referenced above, or at the very least stories that were even mildly critical of Bush's policies and didn't refer axiomatically to the election results as a "mandate." As it is, the leftward leanings of professionally trained journalists have probably resulted in their bending over to find the "other side" -- because, for some reason, objectivity is still cherished within the newsroom.

And I thought someone had 'fessed up and said that the "liberal media" idea was pretty much a myth, anyway?
posted by maura at 10:33 PM on November 27, 2002


*sniffs* Something smells like Limberger cheese in here. Oh... It's just maggoty rancor.

Please enlighten me as to how these so called liberal newscasts slant their news because frankly at this point I'm baffled.

Ask and ye shall receive:

Here are a few good examples of Liberal bias in a snappy little piece by Matt Gever.

Bernard Goldberg's book, appropriately entitled Bias, is another excellent source.
posted by hama7 at 10:41 PM on November 27, 2002


Oh please don't tell me that this was the best example of liberal bias you could come up with. Other than being your standard "the liberal media" op ed piece the examples are pretty atrocious. There aren't any specifics and certainly no blame on the CNN/CBS/NBC cabal you outed earlier. I'm sorry but when the Paula Jones story broke it was a smear campaign all the way around not to mention the fact that Paula was heavily backed by wealthy conservatives...

And certainly Bernard Goldberg's book was an interesting look at purported "liberal media" (if not mostly a bitter backhanded attack at former employers). similarly on the flip side is Brock's book.

Now down to the peas and carrots. Please tell me what you think the media reports that is inherently liberal? Certainly it's not the lovefest that Bush has enjoyed so far...
posted by aaronscool at 11:26 PM on November 27, 2002


You ask for examples, now you don't want examples? Oh well.

And no, the first piece I linked was simply first among thousands of similar google results.
posted by hama7 at 11:46 PM on November 27, 2002


Liberal bias. Her hands are cut off, and her tongue is ripped out, but Bubba still sees her, wraithlike Lavinia, hiding in the vertical blanking interval, taunting...
posted by Opus Dark at 12:25 AM on November 28, 2002


I want something other than opinion. I want some substance not a he said she said rhetorical argument. This was the problem with most of Goldberg's book. It boiled down to "the majority of the people in the newsroom were "liberals" so obviously the news was biased. P.S. I was fired cause I wasn't liberal..."

As I said before there should be more information in News not less and certainly someone should not be interpreting the news for you liberal, conservative or otherwise. The situation I see today is falls into two categories. Outright conservatively slanted news (Fox and 2 or 3 local talk radios stations in every city) or commercial for profit news that is only distributed if it will increase ad revenue.
posted by aaronscool at 12:35 AM on November 28, 2002


Go Al! If he keeps this up, I'll have someone to campaign for. Now if we could just get Jon Stewart to be his speechwriter...
posted by blissbat at 1:43 AM on November 28, 2002


Well speaking from a UK point of view, practically all the USA media appears conservative to me. The Guardian is a left-wing newspaper. Is there anything comparable to it in the mainstream USA media?

In the UK, there are strict rules about impartiality in TV news. Durwood would probably think that makes all of UK TV news "liberal".
posted by salmacis at 2:39 AM on November 28, 2002


Well speaking from a UK point of view, practically all the USA media appears conservative to me. The Guardian is a left-wing newspaper. Is there anything comparable to it in the mainstream USA media?

The New York Times springs to mind for some reason, and the Village Voice.

What do you think about The Sun? Left-wing or New York Post-style?
posted by hama7 at 4:54 AM on November 28, 2002


Murdoch also controls the New York Post- which along with the admittedly conservative Wall Street Journal, Daily News, and New York Observer, means four of the five major print news sources to come out of the largest city in the country have a conservative bias.

-----

Umm sorry, but wrong. News Corp does own The New York Post, but DowJones owns The Wall Street Journal and The New York Observer is owned by The New York Observer, L.P.

Not to nit pick, but News Corp only owns 1 newspaper in the United States (and one magazine, The Weekly Standard)


I think you misunderstood...the point was not that these newspapers share the same owner, but that they are all conservative papers. This isn't really accurate as far as the Observer is concerned, but that's still a heckuva lot of conservatism coming out of one of the more liberal American cities.
posted by Epenthesis at 7:17 AM on November 28, 2002


From that dumbass UCLA piece linked by hama7....

Everybody has biases; some are more up front about them than others.

Fox News isn't very up front about their bias and they swear they're fair. Fair = lotsa conservatives, a couple of moderates and one wimpy liberal.

Also, anyone that actually believes Bill Clinton recieved "favorable" coverage must have been asleep during the various Clinton-scandal-of-the-day coverage. That or you're just plain stupid.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 2:55 PM on November 28, 2002


The Sun? Left-wing?

Good grief...


Um, no. The Sun is not left wing. No. It is owned by Murdoch, though, which might be where the NY Post resemblance comes in. If that's what you meant.
posted by Grangousier at 3:11 PM on November 28, 2002


If that's what you meant.

That's what I meant.

It's nice to see the MetaFilter civility that I've heard so much about is still alive and kickin'!
posted by hama7 at 3:15 PM on November 28, 2002


Umm sorry, but wrong. News Corp does own The New York Post, but DowJones owns The Wall Street Journal and The New York Observer is owned by The New York Observer, L.P.

Umm sorry, but read more slowly. I didn't say Murdoch owned the other three publications, I said that Murdoch owned the Post.... which is one of the four blatantly right-wing biased papers coming out of New York.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:55 PM on November 30, 2002


this shows is that people should seek out information independently, and look at a variety of sources in order to get the full picture of an issue.

figure out my politics based on my work. I'm a liberal, but I'm also a professional.)
Sounds like you're ethical with your politics, Vidiot.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:21 PM on December 9, 2002


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