Accuracy in Media

Most people are familiar with former CBS News reporter Bernard Goldberg’s documentation of liberal media bias. Now, an online political newsletter distributed by ABC News has put it on the record. “Like every other institution,” it said, “the Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections.” And those happen to be liberal.

The proposed Comcast buyout of Disney, which owns ABC, has received a lot of attention. But the frank and newsworthy admissions of ABC News political editor Mark Halperin, the editor of this online newsletter, The Note, have gotten far less. Halperin backed out of a scheduled appearance on the O’Reilly Factor to discuss the matter because it is so sensitive.

The newsletter said that Washington-based reporters and the political press accept “liberal political positions” on issues like gun control, homosexuality, abortion, and religion. It said that reporters share “a belief that government is a mechanism to solve the nation’s problems; that more taxes on corporations and the wealthy are good ways to cut the deficit and raise money for social spending and don’t have a negative effect on economic growth; and that emotional examples of suffering (provided by unions or consumer groups) are good ways to illustrate economic statistic stories.”

On foreign policy, Halperin said that, “The press, by and large, does not accept President Bush’s justifications for the Iraq war-in any of its WMD, imminent threat, or evil-doer formulations. It does not understand how educated, sensible people could possibly be wary of multilateral institutions or friendly, sophisticated European allies.

It does not accept the proposition that the Bush tax cuts helped the economy by stimulating summer spending. It remains fixated on the unemployment rate. It believes President Bush is ‘walking a fine line’ with regards to the gay marriage issue, choosing between ‘tolerance’ and his ‘right-wing base.'” Halperin said that the stories about Bush’s National Guard and Joe Wilson’s wife being outed as a CIA employee by the Bush administration “play right to the press’ scandal bias?” Columnist Randall Nunn has said that what makes the media dangerous is that “much of it masquerades as something that it is not.” That is, that much of the “mainstream media ” continue to pretend that they are fair and neutral on issues and candidates. He adds, “If the networks disclosed that 80% or more of their senior management and anchors were liberal Democrats, then citizens could consider that when they evaluate the news reports. If the media openly acknowledged the liberal bias that exists in the mainstream media, then citizens could put their ‘news’ reports in proper context.”

Mark Halperin has performed a public service with his inside look at and confirmation of liberal media bias. Having done so, it’s understandable why he backed out of that O’Reilly appearance. He has greatly embarrassed his colleagues who want to continue to masquerade as non-partisan and objective journalists. And now he wants to spare them further embarrassment. Sorry: the cat is out of the bag.

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