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Monday, June 16, 2003

Posted by Jake
Big Dumb Lie -- Is anyone fooled by claims that the media aren't liberal?

Here's a question for you. There have been a lot of books claiming that the media is either too liberal or too conservative or whatever. However, I am not aware of a single reasonable individual that has argued that the media is not biased at all.

It is almost self-evident nowadays that the media is biased. And even though I suspect it was always more or less biased, this is not a good thing. We can bludgeon each other from now until doomsday with evidence as to whether The Weekly Standard is more influential or pernicious than the The Nation, but this would sidestep the larger issue that there is not a single news outlet in this nation that I consider centrist.

Now don't get me wrong, I think that the media tends to be a little bit liberal. 9 out of 10 journalists report themselves as liberal. And let's be honest, a lot more people read the NYTimes, Newsweek, Time, and The New Yorker than will ever read The Weekly Standard or OpinionJournal.com. It is not that conservative ideas are not out there, but if we are talking numbers the conservatives are considerably less read.

This is my point. Eric Alterman can paint a vast right wing conspiracy until he is blue in the face. (And, hey, maybe he is right. Because I am without a doubt a member of such a conspiracy. Oh wait, shit, I let it out of the bag. Conspiracy's over boys. Cancel the coup, back into the boats.) But the thing that goes unstated, that he considers the media not nearly liberal enough, is much more pernicious.

It is pernicious because Alterman instead of being satisfied with the correctness of his own arguments on their own merits needs to be additionally reassured by arranging the facts present in the media to affirm them. He demands control of both reason and premises, where any reasonable person would like the media to be correct in its facts and would then rely on the weight of their own arguments to carry them into rightness.

This is where the media is lacking. We have no good source of news that focuses on correctness rather than analysis. My buck is out there, media folks. You want it, produce something correct. I will take care of the arguments myself.


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