A friend recently reminded me about how the Right controls the media. For a short while, I had forgotten that Dan Rather/CBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, CNN, ABC, NBC, and all the others were actually biased in favor of Bush and the conservative point of view. Liberals have actually latched on to an effective, if dishonest and untrue, tactic by simply turning the “liberal media” label around. The problem is, though, that hardly any objective person really believes that, unless you want to talk about talk radio, which is a true conservative media.
However, if you believe that because newspapers and networks are businesses, and business people tend toward conservatism, thus newspaper and network news functions are controlled by the Right, that simply flies in the face of reality. Were that true, how could there be anti-Bush editorials and op-eds? What conservative newspaper or network owner would publish or broadcast them? The problem is that the “call” to journalism is most often heard by those who want to change the world for what they believe is the better, and to take on the fight for the “little guy.” These crusaders are unable to escape their ideology, and it rules their professional lives. The rest of us are the worse for their quasi-religious fervor.
Every now and then someone screws the pooch like Rather and CBS did, and we see in the full light of day who these people really are. When your job is to tell people what is going on, devoid of bias and opinion, and you are caught using fake documents to make your case, that pretty much lifts the veil behind which most reporters and news outlets hide.
Unfortunately, sad episodes like this one, which has rendered “journalists” lower than used car salesmen and politicians on the Trust List, are far more frequent than most people know. Trust me, as someone who has worked in and with broadcast and print media for 20 years, the majority of the media tilt substantially left, and the news Americans put their faith in is impure. 9/28/04