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Monday, June 20, 2011

Media Bias?

Outgoing New York Times executive editor Bill Keller writes:

If the 2012 election were held in the newsrooms of America and pitted Sarah Palin against Barack Obama, I doubt Palin would get 10 percent of the vote. However tempting the newsworthy havoc of a Palin presidency, I’m pretty sure most journalists would recoil in horror from the idea.

That is not — or not entirely — for the reasons Palin thinks: that journalists are liberal elitists, that they find the Tea Party fringe ridiculous or alarming or that they are infatuated with the cerebral black liberal in the White House. There’s a grain of truth and a loaf of myth in each of those. But I think it’s more visceral than that. It has to do with a profound and mutual lack of respect that is not quite like any I recall between a candidate (or pretend candidate) and the press.

Jon Stewart appeared on Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: I am sitting here talking to Jon Stewart and I'm trying to get it, trying to understand you, and trying to see whether or not you recognize that what I believe is true, that there is as much bias on the other side as you subscribe to Fox, and why you seem to go easy on that.

STEWART: I think that there is a -- probably a liberal bias that exists within the media that is because of the medium in which it exists. I think that the majority of people working in it probably hold liberal viewpoints, but I don't think that they are as relentlessly activist as the conservative movement that has risen up over the last 40 years.

And that movement has decided that they have been victims of a witch hunt. And to some extent they're right.

People on the right are called racists and they're called things with an ease that I am uncomfortable with -- and homophobic and all those other things. And I think that that is absolutely something that they have a real right to be angry about and to feel that they have been vilified for those things. And I've been guilty of doing some of those things myself.

WALLACE: I accept your apology.

Stewart: (LAUGHTER)

Paul Bedard writes at US News & World Report:

In a crushing body blow to the pushers of the so-called "Fox Effect," which claims the conservative media is dragging the left into the center, UCLA political science professor Tim Groseclose in Left Turn claims that "all" mainstream news outlets have a liberal bias in their reporting that makes even moderate organizations appear out of the mainstream and decidedly right-wing to news consumers who are influenced by the slant. [Read Fox's Huckabee slams MSNBC's Matthews, Scarborough over bias.]

"Fox News is clearly more conservative than ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and National Public Radio. Some will conclude that 'therefore, this means that Fox News has a conservative bias,'" he writes in an advance copy provided to Washington Whispers. "Instead, maybe it is centrist, and possibly even left-leaning, while all the others are far left. It's like concluding that six-three is short just because it is short compared toprofessional basketball players."


Left Turn, How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, published by St. Martin's Press, is due out July 19.