Rant of the Week

The Main Stream
Media is Right

In today's Washington Post-- and all over the place, actually-- several right wing pundits are weeping their little eyes out because the Mainstream Media is so biased that it gave overwhelmingly favorable coverage to Obama and overwhelmingly hostile coverage to McCain.  McCain, in fact, stopped talking to the media early on in the general election campaign because he thought they were all "for Obama". 

Is it true?

And if it's true, does it matter?

1.  If it matters, how come Bush was able to win two elections without the slightest assistance from the MSM?  How come McCain didn't complain about bias when he was the media's darling?  And how dare the MSM disapprove of John Hagee anyway, or Gordon Liddy, or James Dobson, just because they are crypto-fascists? 

The fact is that even if there was a conspiracy, it couldn't work: the internet has made it impossible for anyone to effectively suppress news.  If a story really was suppressed-- that would become the story, as it often does, when you see even liberal columnists bemoan the alleged bias of the media.  (They somberly note that more favorable stories have appeared about Obama than about McCain.  But what if Obama is the better candidate?) 

In short, McCain says it's snowing and Obama says it's raining and the media is biased if they look outside.  [With thanks to Campbell Brown, CNN Editor, in Time Magazine this week.]

2.  What about Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, ABC, and all the other conservative outlets?   I could almost buy the bias argument without choking if any of these whiners would actually think to mention that Fox News is at least as biased-- and, more reasonably, actually far more biased-- than CBS or the New York Times.  We often accuse our enemies of the flaw we most recognize in ourselves.

3.  If the MSM really unfairly ignored the William Ayers story, then Fox News would most certainly have uncovered any relevant facts.  But Fox News and conservative columnists kept ranting about William Ayers without providing the slightest evidence of anything about the matter that was relevant to the election.  What Fox News did do was give air time to some of the most poorly documented and scurrilous stories circulating among the fanatical fringes.  Obviously, they can safely assume that most of their loyal readers and listeners don't read very widely.

4.  Nobody tied Sarah Palin to a chair and forced her to provide Katie Couric with inane answers to sensible questions.  Nobody forced her to chat for six minutes with a bad imitator of French President Sarkozy.  Nobody forced her to identify white rural citizens as "real" Americans. 

5.  Did the MSM largely ignore Biden's gaffes?  I don't know of any gaffe by Biden that would have caused anyone to doubt his knowledge, abilities, or competence.  Even his comment about Obama being tested by America's enemies soon after taking office wasn't even really all that controversial-- does McCain really believe he won't be?

6.  Would you really go to Fox for actual news over the New York Times, Washington Post, or L.A. Times?  Okay-- the Wall Street Journal and Globe & Mail-- conservative papers-- provide a fair bit of real journalism.  But then, you don't hear their columnists ranting on and on about liberal bias.  The most conservative columnists, like the most conservative politicians who never seem to actually serve in any wars (McCain is the exception), never actually seem to do any reporting-- just opinions.

7.  As even many conservative columnists agree, Obama ran an absolutely superb campaign, perhaps one of the best in recent history.  He was supremely well-organized and efficient, and he raised enormous sums of money.  He was consistent and prudent and unflappable. The MSM accurately reported.  That's not bias: that's journalism.

8.  The conservative press assumes that all Americans share their anguish that Obama doesn't seem very eager to blow things up, bomb foreign cities, or spend trillions on obsolete, ineffective weapons systems.  How dare he.  They are even more astonished that any sane person would have the slightest concern for the environment at a time when Wall Street Investors actually have to bear some risk for their investments.


All contents copyright 2008 Bill Van Dyk All Rights Reserved