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

8 comments

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  1. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 February, 2012, 20:44

    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 Paula Jones legal settlement was WELL into Clinton’s second term, not before he took office as you imply. In fact the case went all the way to the SCOTUS as to whether or not a current sitting President could be sued on a matter like this while in office. It was allowed and that was a big mistake by everyones account.

    Reply this comment
  2. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 5 February, 2012, 12:29

    Good catch, Rex. I forgot about how the P. Jones scandal went down. It’s remarkable that a guy as brilliant as Clinton would get taken down by the likes of Jones and Lewinsky. He could fend off the most powerful of political attacks. Yet two groupies were able to forever tarnish his legacy.

    There’s no objectivity in the American media. All major outlets are slanted to the left or to the right. It’s sad that I have to go to foreign websites or to independent bloggers to really get an honest appraisal of what’s happening in my own country. Freedom of the press??? bah……..

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  3. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 5 February, 2012, 12:46

    I can’t think of anything that better defines Faux News than this: “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.”

    Any media outlet that doesn’t toe the right-wing line (a.k.a., the “mainstream media”) is automatically biased, while Faux, the Drudge Report, the New York Post, etc. are paragons of objectivity. Fair and balanced, my foot.

    Reply this comment
  4. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 5 February, 2012, 14:20

    Steve you need to take off those rose colored democrat glasses.

    May I suggest you look into Independent status or the “Tea Party” or the “Occupy” movment/s.

    You are very biased and partisan, to say the least. You need to stop memorizing the Public Union/SEIU talking points and do some independent thinking instead of just regurgitating the same old garbage.

    Reply this comment
  5. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 6 February, 2012, 06:56

    I know the Jones settlement was paid after Clinton was in office – I added that to remind people that a settlement was paid out – something the media tried to hush. The point is that all of the information was available, and well-known, particularly to people in Arkansas.

    Would that happen today? Many say it could not, but it did in 2008 with Barack Obama. Even with Fox news and the new media, the traditional media successfully covered for Obama – Americans still know very little about him. If I ran for office, you’d know about my report cards from kindergarten.

    Katy

    Reply this comment
  6. queeg
    queeg 6 February, 2012, 08:12

    Fox News dumped a truth teller gone wild… Glen Beck….gotta get those ad dollars…no rock the boat.

    Fox News has second tier jounalists and some low IQ commentators hacking and droning the same material day in..day out…no originality.. international coverage is poor.

    Reply this comment
  7. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 6 February, 2012, 10:20

    The media is bought and paid for. None of them – the left or the right – has really explained how you got screwed and how you continue to get screwed by the government and the largest financial firms in the nation. ZIRP (zero-interest rate policy) has been in effect now for nearly 40 months! Have you looked at how much annual interest you’re being paid on your passbook savings account? 0.70% APY? The Fed has deliberately and artificially kept the rates down – which is nothing more than the transfer of wealth from the middle class savers to Wall Street. Those of you who played by the rules are forced to bail out the Wall Street gamblers who lost. You will NEVER hear the media – left or the right – tell you that simple truthful fact. That’s because they are BOTH owned by the fiscal oligarchs.

    Do you know that when interest rates rise to a blended 4% that the country will spend $600B just on interest to service the $15T plus debt??? Did you know that for every 1% rise in the interest rates thereafter it will add $100B onto the interest payment???

    When is the last time someone in the media gave you these FACTS?

    The media here really isn’t much better than what they had in the Soviet Union back in the 1970’s. All the important facts that you have a right to know are hidden from you. Julian Assange from Wikileaks tried to get some of those facts to you. Did you see what happened to him???

    Reply this comment
  8. NotAFan
    NotAFan 17 February, 2012, 10:55

    Jones and Lewinsky are two groupies who tarnished Clinton’s legacy? Seriously? I voted for him both times, but I don’t think I ever saw stated that he was required to put his cigar where it didn’t belong. Yea…let’s blame a 21 year old intern instead of a married sit-chasing husband and father. Good job.

    Reply this comment

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