Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The myth of the so-called liberal MEDIA!

Anyone who knows me IRL (that's In Real Life) is probably aware that it drives me absolutely bonkers when people regurgitate the fabricated right-wing talking point of the so-called liberal media. This pejorative and inaccurate term is used to marginalize many legitimate, factual news reports that have even a hint of possible criticism for a conservative politician. Never mind the truth(!) seems to be the right-wing mantra.

I could go on and on about why that's just so wrong, about how most major media conglomerates are owned by plutocrats or how legitimate news organizations (i.e. NOT Fox "News") have a wall to separate editorial policy from news, but why should I when so many people with far more time and talent than I, have already done it so well ...

Hmmmm ... Since the whole country is now abuzz about "ethics reform" and "standing up to the status quo," why don't we create regulations on social mixing between the media (which is supposed to be the watch guard for the public) and elected officials???

As Colonel Robert McCormick, the famous late publisher of the conservative bastion, The Chicago Tribune, carved into the lobby of the Tribune Tower, [quoting Richard Brinsley Sheridan]

“Give me but the liberty of the press and I will give to the minister a venal House of Peers. I will give him a corrupt and servile House of Commons. I will give him the full swing of the patronage of office. I will give him the whole host of ministerial influence. I will give him all the power that place can confer upon him to purchase up submission and overawe resistance: and yet, armed with the liberty of the press, I will go forth to meet him undismayed. I will attack the mighty fabric of that mightier engine. I will shake down from its height corruption and bury it beneath the ruins of the abuses it was meant to shelter.”


Carl said...

Do you research before you write?

1) The press overwhelmingly prefers, votes for, and contributes to, liberal Dems.

2) The press admits it is liberal, and admits that helps Dems.

3) Yes, most big media are public companies--meaning they're owned by shareholders like you and me--but what evidence do you have that their ownership or management creates a conservative bias? As I've written:

"the most telling rebuttal . . . is the fact that MSM endorsements, the area most under control of management, overwhelmingly go to Democrats: the NY Times and Washington Post haven't endorsed a Republican for President since 1952."

4) Complaints about liberal bias in the MSM center on their failure to fact check, the difference in how they address the same facts for Republicans and Democrats, and their flat-out editorializing. All these are in supposedly objective news articles.

5) The media, like anyone, has a right to their opinion, even liberal opinion. But even their editorials are inconsistent, supporting Dems for the same thing they castigated Reps.

6) Regarding your proposed regulation, what part of the First Amendment don't you understand? Government regulation of the press has historically been antithetical to press freedom.

UliPele said...

First, I think it's pretty clear that my blog is opinion and half-parody. Even so, I spot checked your links. It's funny that the first one points to a piece that refers to its own statistics as coming from a "very unscientific survey" of something like 100 journalists. Most of the rest are from your own blog.

There's this pesky thing called correlation vs. causation (or "correlation does not prove causation") in the research world, which rends much of your conclusion unsupported. If your theory is that most press is left-leaning, one would have to ask a lot more questions, of a much larger group, to really tease out potential relevant variables to make an accurate conclusion. You'd also have to set up controls to ensure lack of bias in the questions and interpretation of the data.

50 people caught a cold. Those same 50 people read the NYT the day before their cold symptoms emerged. That doesn't mean that reading the NYT caused their colds.

Also, my point about most media conglomerates being owned by conservatives (perhaps more accurately: major shareholders), I still believe to be true. Owners, or in a publicly held company perhaps the board of directors, have ultimate control over editorial policy.

And last -- even if your contention were true, I'd have to ask why? Maybe a more intimate and thorough familiarity with the two parties leads one to reject the corrupt values of the right wing.

Carl said...

ulipele--it's a good thing you're kidding, because otherwise I'd have to note (1) the irony of an author who posted no data and little in the way of supporting links critiquing my comment as "unscientific"; (2) failing to address MSM admissions that they're liberal; (3) ignoring that most big-media endorsing candidates endorse Democrats; and (4) dismissing links to my blog which--had you taken the time to read them--contain additional data, all hyperlinked to sources.

For further rebuttal, I'd point you to today's posting. On second thought, given you "still believe [conservative media bias] to be true" even in the face of contrary data, I guess your comment also was a parody.

UliPele said...

It's clear that you spend a large amount of time analyzing the media, but still disagree with your premise.

Just to reassure myself, I did go and check the first 5-10 of of your claims. This was made awkward by your lack of a compiled bibliography, so I had to follow a bunch of links. Credible researchers compile a bibliography to ease the process. But I plowed through a few of your cliams, and what I did check showed sloppy research, and many of your sources are other blogs, opinion pieces and editorials.

But the quality of your research (or lack thereof) aside, even if the reporters are liberal, anyone who's paying attention can see there's no great liberal conspiracy. In fact, I'd say the media, as a whole, is complicit in helping the republicans lie to the public (with few exceptions).

This latest Fannie/Freddie/AIG debacle is a prime example. McCain has more than 20, maybe 30, CLOSE ties to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG, yet McCain runs an inaccurate attack ad attempting to tie Obama to Fannie/Freddie, and there's barely a whisper of the hypocrisy and inaccuracy of the ad.

Anyway -- your logic is flawed. What you're basically saying is that most journalists are liberal, thefore their articles are biased.

A is the journalist
B is liberal beliefs
C is the bulk of published literature/aired news casts

Your theory that A=B, and A produces C, therefore C=B is fallacious.

For just one thing, you leave out D = editorial policy requiring balance, and E = ownership F = unprecedented concentration of media ownership, which, by the way, is due to republican policies of deregulation and allowing insane mergers.

Can you say Big Five?

Carl said...

Re that "inaccurate attack ad attempting to tie Obama to Fannie/Freddie," further research is needed: McCain's source was the Washington Post itself, which then went into distorted contortions trying to deny it. The MSM is in the tank for the Democrats, as usual.

Carl said...

Oh, on Obama's ties to Freddie/Fannie: of anyone in the House or Senate in the past decade, he received the second most campaign contributions from Fannie/Freddie PACs and individuals--despite serving fewer than four years.

UliPele said...

Tha's just the contribution analysisi of one year. Sheesh -- more proof of your inability to accurately research matters and put them in proper context.

McCain has 19 former lobbyists of Fannie & Freddie running his campaign and shaping his policy.

Carl said...


Read again: those numbers were contributions over the past decade! It's not wise to claim others are inaccurate when your research seems uniformly sloppy.

Carl said...

BTW, want to guess where Obama places on the list of recipients of donations from employees and PACS of the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers?

Carl said...

I know I'm beating a dead horse, but I note that Obama's "no lobbyist" policy is riddled with exceptions.