Liberal Bias

We all know that there’s tremendous liberal bias in the media. We know it because conservatives keep telling us so.

I guess that liberal bias is the reason no reporter or well-known journalist ever challenges George Bush’s assertions or promises. (After all, anyone who spends taxpayer money as liberally as George Bush does must be a – well, a liberal.)

Brad Friedman, in his entertaining blog, provides a typical example of the free passes that Mr. Bush gets all the time. In a recent press conference, Gorgeous George was asked about an Amnesty International report that described the Guantanamo prison as the "gulag of our times." In his reply he committed two offenses against the English language.

First, he said, "We’ve investigated every single complaint against the detainees." That makes one wonder when they’ll start investigating the complaints made by the detainees.

Second, in his typical talk-down-to-the audience manner, he said the prisoners "had been trained in some instances to disassemble – that means not tell the truth," a definition that probably has Noah Webster spinning in his grave. 

Friedman goes on to show how the various media quoted Mr. Bush, trying desperately not to make him look bad in the process.

More on bias

I recently heard on a Fox TV News roundtable program the oft-quoted (by conservatives) statistic that 68% of reporters voted for Kerry in the last election, while only 25% voted for Bush. This factoid was cited as proof that the media have a liberal bias.

Every time I hear that statistic, I wish someone would ask whether the 25% of reporters who voted for Bush slant their news stories toward the Republicans. If the answer is "no," what difference does it make if 68% voted Democratic?

Or is it only Democratic reporters who are devious?

So what’s the answer?

If the media are liberally biased, why have reporters and journalists been so kind to George Bush? Why did no one challenge his assertions on the Iraqi war? Why aren’t any of the left-wing reporters telling us about the recent revelation that the RAF and the U.S. Air Force escalated their bombing attacks on Iraq in 2002, in hopes of provoking Saddam Hussein into an incident that would provide a good excuse to go to war against Iraq?

The answer is that the media in general are neither pro-liberal nor pro-conservative. They are pro-big-government. If you’ll look closely, the media almost always side with the government – whether that government is represented by Bill Clinton, George Bush, or anyone else, whether the government is trying to impose new intrusions into health care or trying to regulate our morals.

June 6, 2005