Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Going Over That Bias Thing Again

I grow weary of re-explaining, but it keeps coming up.

The bias that conservatives accuse the media of is not an absolute partisanship, but a reliably leftward lean; a tendency. We don't believe that the papers and the networks never criticise liberals, only that they are much less likely to. We don't contend that the media favors people the farther left they are, but that the centerpoint they regard as neutral is actually left of center. These three sentences refute two-thirds of Eric Alterman's book.

So individual instances of making Al Gore look bad -- even unfairly bad -- or of criticising a Clinton, or reporting good news out of Iraq, do not illustrate, much less prove, a lack of media bias.

2 comments:

The Good Reverend said...

Good point. I think many liberals and conservatives alike probably misinterpret the media bias idea--liberals by, as you say, denying it entirely, and conservatives by seizing upon it as an excuse to discount what the leftward-leaning media reports. I tend to think of the media as left of center but still within the realm of reason--that is, if the media were a member of the Senate, you might refer to it as a moderate democrat. Still, that hypothetical illustrates a problem with the generalization--the media are a group, not a singular person with one political identity.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Glad you returned the favor and dropped by. Liked your site, BTW.