The MoBseen: Observations as seen through the eyes of Mark
The Liberal Press. A moniker used to describe America’s media. Media of all sorts; radio, print media, and TV and the Internet. For years I’ve wondered how this term came to describe the media and reporting in the United States.
In my mind, it flew in the face of what I saw and heard and read on a daily basis. The likes of Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, Imus, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Martha Zoller, Pat Buchanan, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck and a laundry list of other talk show hosts are widely syndicated, very popular and all very conservative.
Many, such as Limbaugh, Imus and Coulter, to name a few, have become media icons. Very recognizable, syndicated in dozens of cities and consequently very rich. Many of these conservative talk show hosts also write columns in major market newspapers, are guests on TV news shows, are active in the world of blogging and all have their own web sites devoted to their point of view. They all have access to worldwide media that allows them to state their point of view.
The print media is also suspect and much more conservative than they would have you believe. Major newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal (coined by some as the “War Street Journal” for its support of the Iraqi conflict), The National Review and The Washington Times all support the view from the right.
The man that owns many of the media outlets in the world, Rupert Murdoch, “is a long-time supporter of the Republican Party.” Murdoch News Corporation owns Fox News, Fox Cable Networks, Fox Sports ,ESPN Star Sports, Dow Jones, DirecTV, FSN FX, Twentieth Century Fox, New York Post HarperCollins and The Weekly Standard to name but a few in the vast portfolio of Murdoch’s conservative leaning media outlets. His empire encompasses every media available today from print to radio and TV to the Internet with MySpace.com. Murdoch’s empire is worldwide with ownership of newspapers and media outlets in Britain and Asia as well.
A search of Google looking for conservative radio talk show hosts lists “about 314,000 sites” versus “about 294,000 sites” listed as liberal. I have no problem with their right to espouse their opinions. On the contrary, I welcome differing points of view and feel we and the media should question everything.
My beef is that these conservative icons continue to harp and tell us that the media is liberal and far left leaning when nothing could be further from the truth.
Are there liberal publications? Of course! Are there liberal media icons? Yes. But ask someone to name a half dozen liberal media persons, not actors or people in the entertainment industry (Rosie O’Donnell comes to mind) but liberals that write for a major newspaper or host a radio talk show program. My guess is that they can’t name but one or two. Al Franken’s name may come up although Franken is hardly a household name like Limbaugh, Hannity or Coulter. The fact is that conservative media is far more prevalent than its liberal counterpart.
According to Media Matters For America: “Sixty percent of the nation’s daily newspapers print more conservative syndicated columnists every week than progressive syndicated columnists. Only 20 percent run more progressives than conservatives, while the remaining 20 percent are evenly balanced.”
One only has to turn on the radio here in Maryland to hear the likes of Ron Smith, Bruce Elliott and Tom Marr to get their local fix of conservative talk radio. Rush, Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Sean Hannity, to name a few, are syndicated on the big stations here in Maryland, the so-called blow-torches of Maryland radio. Even the rock stations’ hosts are more right leaning than left. Think Mickey Cucchiella of 98 Rock and Ed Norris of WHFS.
Major Internet news portals like the Drudge Report are far more conservative in their news links than they are liberal.
If the National Press was as liberal as the conservative press would have you believe then why the softball questions to our political leaders such as Bush, Cheney and Rice? Has anyone from the White House Press Corps ever asked Bush directly why there were no WMD’s found in Iraq? Why did we attack Iraq, a Country with no ties to al-Qaeda and no ties to 9-11?
I’m sure they have, their responses just don’t make it to your TV set at 7:00 PM.
My guess is that the White House Press Corp doesn’t ask the tough questions because they will be denied access to the White House and everything that assignment has to offer. Think about it, you’re a newsperson assigned to the White House Press Corp, you’re on television every night, you travel on Air Force 1, you meet heads of state and people of importance on a daily basis, the nation tunes in to hear what you have to say. A pretty sweet deal! Are you going to jeopardize all of that by asking the really tough questions that need to be asked? Of course not! You go along to get along and consequently you become a pawn of the administration.
Both sides of the aisle are guilty of manipulating the press. When the Liberal Party does it and the press capitulates they too are guilty.
The next time you here the phrase “Liberal Media” or someone tells you that the press is “too liberal”, ask yourself where you heard it. Chances are it came from a Rupert Murdoch media outlet. Rupert Murdoch … “a long-time supporter of the Republican Party…”
Shore Guy says
"The next time you here the phrase “Liberal Media” or someone tells you that the press is “too liberal”, ask yourself where you heard it. Chances are it came from a Rupert Murdoch media outlet."
Of course. Liberal media never admits that they are too liberal, it needs to be pointed out. Media Matters is such a company (as you must know). Using their biased figures to make a point is not too convincing.
Most conservative media outlets don't attempt to hide their conservative bent. Not so with the liberal media. The New York Times is a prime example as is the LA Times. Editorials are woven into news stories. It is what they do.
The once powerful TV news programs from ABC, CBS & NBC are still mixing their liberal editorial opinions within the context of straight news. After Dan Rather fell from his perch because of his dishonest and very liberal "reporting" the anchors on big three have toned down their liberal slant. Fortunately those ancient sources for news are fading away.
Conservative talk radio has seriously weakened the onetime stranglehold the liberals held on the "news" . It is more balanced now. Not by choice but because the public has learned the truth.
What really irks liberals is the fact that their talk radio programs all fail. Not because of a lack of talent but because the public has stopped believing in their cause.
Mr. Mephistopheles says
Shore Guy, you've oversimplified the perceived "bias" in Dan Rather's reporting. The Bushes have hated Dan Rather since Bush 41 ran for president in 1988. Roger Ailes, who was Bush 41's media advisor, had Bush appear on the CBS Evening News for a one-on-one interview during the 1988 campaign. Before the interview, Ailes told CBS that no subject was off-limits- including Bush 41's role in the Iran-Contral scandal. After Dan asked Bush about his role in Iran-Contra, Bush launched into a (pre-scripted) diatribe about how his career shouldn't be judged on one issue (Iran-Contra) and then asked Dan how he would have liked it if people judged his career based on the "Dead Air Incident" (Dan stormed off the Evening News set because the US Open ran overtime into the news timeslot). As a result, Dan became Public Enemy No.1 of the conservative movement- thanks in part to a set-up job that was orchestrated by one of Rupert Murdoch's minions (Ailes).
Also keep in mind that the White House kept its mouth shut after 60 Minutes aired the Texas Air National Guard story. They didn't speak out until the documents in question were proven to have been forged. Don't you think that if Dubya knew that he had nothing to hide, he would have issued an emphatic denial of Rather's allegations?
I'm probably a little bitter and drugged from a day of dental work, but at this point I think that the liberal/conservative debate is just so tired.
Neither of them talk about peak oil. Or about our collapsing infrastructure. Or about how virtually every single media outlet until you get down to the net is owned by large corporations, who kill and guide stories on college scammed whims that this is going to help them get laid at the country club this weekend. They don't care about politics. They care about their money.
To paraphrase the great Dave Eberhardt, the answers to our problems are neither liberal nor conservative. The answers will be radical.
Shore Guy says
"Also keep in mind that the White House kept its mouth shut after 60 Minutes aired the Texas Air National Guard story. They didn’t speak out until the documents in question were proven to have been forged. Don’t you think that if Dubya knew that he had nothing to hide, he would have issued an emphatic denial of Rather’s allegations?"
Yes, they were forged and Rather went down in flames because his bias wouldn't allow him to see it any other way, he wanted it to be true.
My advice, read the New York Times with a sceptical eye and somewhere in the middle id the truth.
You all are missing the point. None of the conservatives that you mentioned like Rush and Coulter are "newspeople" or members of "the press". They are entertainers or commentators. Do you understand the difference?
The liberal bias that exists is in news reporting.
Mr. Mephistopheles says
"Yes, they were forged and Rather went down in flames because his bias wouldn’t allow him to see it any other way, he wanted it to be true."
Rather went down in flames because he was in third place in the TV news ratings for over a decade. CBS didn't make an effort to defend him because Les Moonves and the network brass wanted him out even before the scandal erupted. If Rather was #1 in the ratings, the network would have defended him to the bitter end.
I'll ask you again, if Bush had nothing to hide, why didn't he dispute the story until the conservative bloggers saved his ass several days after the story was reported? The document may have been a forgery, but I don't doubt for a minute that Lt. Killian wanted to kick Bush out of the National Guard (Lt. Killian's secretary even said that Bush was AWOL).
Personally, I see nothing wrong with Fox News, as I know where they stand. I see nothing wrong with Limbaugh, Coulter, etc. I know where they stand. I sometimes will watch Fox News because I like some of the personalities, and enjoy the contrasting viewpoints of some of the guest. No, I don't watch O'reilly. I also do not care for Limbaugh and his ilk because I don't care for his style and message.
Likewise, I see nothing wrong with Al Franken. I see nothing wrong with Daily Kos and the Huffington Post. Again, I know where they stand. I will read those websites even though I may not agree with their viewpoints. But the dialog and debate is what is important.
If you are without bias, you are not human.
One more thing, the logic in that Media Matters study is flawed. Without circulation figures to back up it's assertions, there is no way to determine which "side" has more influence. Also, this study may or may not pertain to the topic of overall liberal bias since it only deals with syndicated op-ed columnists, while a great number of larger newspapers have there own non-syndicated editorial staffs.