Repetitive Media Bias Denial

Katy Grimes: Twice in one week, the Sacramento Bee printed grating op eds by retired Bee editors. Earlier in the week, former Bee editor Peter Schrag wrote that the Occupy movement is being orchestrated by a “shadowy right-wing cabal.” With today’s op ed, one can only assume that the Bee trotted out another of their retired editors for an opinion they didn’t want their own fingerprints on.

William Endicott, former deputy managing editor of The Bee, wrote a column about liberal bias in the media – his claim is about the lack thereof.

Endicott dug deeply into his political file cabinet to reference a disgraced Republican, former Vice President Spiro Agnew, “ripping into one of their favorite bogeyman, the liberal media.” Endicott reminded readers that Agnew “resigned the vice presidency in disgrace in 1973 after being charged with tax evasion and money laundering while governor of Maryland.”

This is true. Agnew was a bad boy. Liars and cheats are on both sides of the political aisle, but it seems that only Republicans resign.

Notorious and nefarious Democratic politicians Barney Frank, Jon Corzine, Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, William Jefferson, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and many other Democratic politicians have been linked or charged with dubious deeds and crimes, but are never described as “disgraced.” And they don’t resign elected office.

Endicott’s own bias is telling with his immediate reference to the hated Nixon Administration and Spiro Agnew.  But Endicott never pointed out that Agnew, Nixon and former Democratic President Bill Clinton all lied under oath… that would have been unbiased.

“Such visceral reaction can bear little or no resemblance to what actually appears in the newspapers, online or on television day in and day out, but ‘the liberal media’ image is fueled, interestingly enough, by ‘the conservative media,’ as represented especially by Fox News and the crown prince of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh,” Endicott said.

He may be right that it’s only conservatives and non-traditional news media who point out liberal bias in media. But Liberals aren’t going to poke holes in their own stories, are they?

And notice that Endicott couldn’t resist mentioning liberals’ most hated media, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. How predictable. Endicott and many others in the traditional media have complained loudly about the impact of  Fox News, since the network came on the scene in 1996.

The bias Endicott fails to address is not just in obvious partisan biases, but how the subtle bias is when crucial details are left out of stories and even op eds. Journalists are usually able to choose how to tell the story, and everyone has an angle. But the best journalists present the good, the bad and the ugly details, and let the reader decide.

Most of the criticism I hear about the mainstream newspapers and television is the way in which they report the news, and the obvious omissions. Television reporters and anchors now offer bold opinion about the news stories they present. Newspaper reporters make blatant, non-sourced opinion statements in news stories.

Endicott’s last barb sums up his own glaring bias: “Strangely enough, you rarely hear Democratic candidates and/or their allies bashing ‘the conservative media,’ even though, for instance, they have ample reason to question Fox’s ‘fair and balanced’ slogan. Either they have a more even temperament, or the right just enjoys a more receptive, quick-to-anger audience.”

The blending of news and opinion, as well as the omission of events and facts that differ from a liberal ideology, is the bias that non-liberals reference.

A perfect example are the hundreds of stories about current Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich and the many accusations that he cheated on one of his three wives. Gingrich may have cheated on his wife. It’s been in the news for many years.

But when Bill Clinton was running for President in 1992, before Fox News was even created, the media appeared to work harder at ignoring and covering up stories of his dalliances while he was Arkansas Governor, despite his notorious reputation in Arkansas. The media made him out to be so cool, sexual affairs and dalliances were just part of his repertoire and mystic. It only came out years later, that Clinton paid a large settlement of more than $800,000 to accuser Paula Jones.

The media and Democratic politicians continually covered for Clinton, and said that his only crime was sex. Tell that to Monica Lewinsky, the world’s most famous intern.

By 5:00 p.m. this evening, the Bee story had more than 250 comments left online. It appears that Endicott’s denial struck a nerve.

FEB. 4, 2012

Related Articles

This could be fun

Oct. 28, 2012 By John Seiler It looks like Proposition 30 is going down to defeat. So what I’m looking

S.F. politician aims to make city more felon-friendly

San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim is continuing her push to eliminate some of the life obstacles that people with criminal

Fahrenheit 78

John Seiler: Today, January 17, the Year of Our Lord 2011, in Huntington Beach it was Fahrenheit 78 degrees, the