Accuracy in Media

The old media, with their documented and demonstrable liberal bias, have lost much of their clout. But through the networks, the major papers, and the White House press corps, they continue to set the national agenda. And that means there are some things you just don’t write about if you want to remain “in” with the liberal media.

Newsweek senior writer Charles Gasparino, appearing on Tina Brown’s now-defunct CNBC show, made the following admission. “We sow the seeds of our own demise. Journalists have been advocates of the liberal attitude for way too long, and now we’re paying the price-Fox News.” Gasparino was saying something that should be quite obvious-that Fox News is a response to the overwhelming liberal media bias. He explained, “Journalists are generally liberal. That does come out in the reporting?It comes out in the stories that they do.”

ABC News political director Mark Halperin and his staff explained the bias this way:

“Like every other institution, the Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections. They include, but are not limited to, a near-universal shared sense that liberal political positions on social issues like gun control, homosexuality, abortion, and religion are the default, while more conservative positions are ‘conservative positions.’…The press, by and large, does not accept President Bush’s justifications for the Iraq war…It does not accept the proposition that the Bush tax cuts helped the economy…It remains fixated on the unemployment rate…”

Evan Thomas of Newsweek estimated that media bias for Kerry-Edwards was worth between 5 and 20 million votes.

The bias is evident, as Thomas said, in coverage of Democrats vs. Republicans. But the bias is also evident in coverage of the issues. Here are some of the things you can’t write about objectively in the mainstream media:

  • The harmful effects of abortion. Abortion is considered a sacred right of women that should not be challenged. In a related matter, a link between abortion and breast cancer is always discounted.

  • The theory of intelligent design. This theory, an alternative to Darwinian evolution, says that life has a purpose. But because it has possible religious implications, our media side with secular humanists who do not want the theory even discussed in the public schools.

  • That DDT has saved lives and can save millions more. DDT has been demonized by the environmentalists and the media for decades, leading to its banning. This is changing somewhat, as even the New York Times has now editorialized that some use of DDT may be justified to save lives. But the Times’ recognition of the truth has come millions of lives too late.

  • The violent nature of Islam. The media repeat claims that Islam is a religion of peace, despite passages in the Koran justifying violence against unbelievers. Diplomacy might justify the “Islam is a peaceful religion” mantra of the Bush administration, but there’s no excuse for the media to ignore the facts that are available at such websites as www.prophetofdoom.net 

  • The link between pornography and violence against women. The media depict Playboy founder Hugh Hefner as a cultural icon, even though he is a dirty old man with a long history of manipulating and exploiting women. Hefner’s Playboy Foundation contributed funding to a recent Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) film, “The Education of Shelby Knox,” about a teenager who becomes an advocate of explicit sex education and a “gay-straight alliance” in her school. No expressions of concern came from the media over Playboy funding of a PBS film because reporters were too busy writing articles decrying the possibility that the public broadcasting budget might be cut by 25 percent.

  • Questions about the real cause of AIDS. The  HIV=AIDS theory is never questioned, even though the official definition of AIDS does not require a diagnosis of having HIV, and AIDS tests are notoriously unreliable. In a related matter, objections to massive spending on AIDS at the expense of other diseases are completely ignored by the press. As the FAIR Foundation has shown (www.fairfoundation.org), in terms of federal government spending per death, AIDS gets more money than 16 diseases that kill one million more Americans annually. The only national journalist who has tackled this sensitive subject is ABC’s John Stossel.

  • Real reform of the CIA and FBI. Anonymous CIA bureaucrats frequently leak information to the Washington Post and New York Times in order to make their critics look bad, especially when questions are raised about the performance of the CIA. Even though the FBI has been racked by a series of failures, ranging from Ruby Ridge to Waco to 9/11 and the failure to solve the anthrax attacks, very few reporters write critically of the bureau, especially its treatment of former scientist Steven Hatfill, labeled by the government a “person of interest” in the anthrax case without any evidence at all. 

  • That homosexuality is a lifestyle one can leave and reject. Homosexuality is portrayed by the media as natural and acceptable, and all major papers run announcements of homosexual “marriages.” Ex-homosexuals are ignored. This bias extends to groups such as the National PTA, which refused to allow ex-homosexuals to run a workshop at its national convention. But the PTA did allow Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to hold a workshop.

  • That the Bush Doctrine is leading to positive developments in the Middle East, including democratic progress and women’s rights. It is fashionable to write of Iraq being a quagmire and a dead-end, in order to make Bush look bad. 

  • That Alfred Kinsey, the father of the sexual revolution, was a sex pervert who gathered data from sexual experiments on children performed by a Nazi pedophile. Instead, Kinsey has been presented in several films as a ground-breaking scientist who uncovered true facts.

  • That foreign aid doesn’t work. Rather than examine how hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted on foreign aid, the major media give glowing coverage to events such as the Live8 concerts which demand even more money.

  • Support for nuclear power from some members of the environmentalist movement, including a founding member of Greenpeace.

And the fact

  • That so-called medical marijuana is a complete hoax. A video shows Ed Rosenthal of High Times magazine telling fellow marijuana activists, to laughter, cheers and applause, that he smokes dope to treat glaucoma, which he admits he doesn’t have, and because he likes to get high.

This is certainly not a complete list of major issues ignored by the press. Indeed, almost every significant issue is subjected to such distorted coverage. The good news is that the old media are losing their clout and hold over the minds of the American people.

But further bad news is that the bias in the old media may get worse.

Chris Mooney, a liberal writer for the New Republic and the Boston Globe, among other publications, has written that traditional “balanced” coverage of climate change and an abortion-breast cancer link cannot be justified because, in his view, the evidence supports the liberal view of those issues.

Victor Navasky, publisher of The Nation and now chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review, wrote an article for the Los Angeles Times under the headline, “Objectivity is Highly Overrated.” He argued for more “opinion journalism” from the media.

He’ll get his wish. The trouble is that the opinion journalism is being provided under the cover of objective reporting.



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