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The Oregonian out of Portland seems to understand the truth about media bias.  In an Editorial this morning, the Oregonian stated.

Those inclined to accept right-wing mythology about the "left-wing mainstream media" should consider for a moment the sensational story of fake White House reporter "Jeff Gannon."

Never heard of him? That's not surprising. Mainstream news outlets have scarcely touched it. Yet it's been raging for weeks on left-leaning Web sites, which so far have been unable to elevate the story beyond the blogosphere.

Bloggers on the right, by comparison, have enjoyed spectacular success getting the supposedly leftist media to heed and advance their journalistic agenda. This creates a fertile new issue for industry researchers: Why is it that Internet bloggers on the left, compared with those on the right, have so much less demonstrable influence on mainstream journalism?

A vast majority of the American people seem to believe that there is a liberal bias in the media, in spite of the best efforts of groups like Media Matters, and the work of Eric Alterman and Bob Summerby over at Daily Howler.  A September 2004 Gallup Poll showed that 44% thought the news media was "too liberal" while only 15% thought it was "too conservative."  When I talk to other liberals I normally have a difficult time convincing them that there is not a liberal media bias.

A major step forward, the only way the truth on media bias is going to get out there, is if the story gets outside the blogosphere and left leaning circles.  Pot shots from smaller publications aimed at the likes of CNN, ABC, FOX, or any of the rest of the gang can get the news out without demonstrating the case false in the process.

Originally posted to cwech on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 08:44 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ah yes: (none)

    The Wayward Press. "Why is everyone mad at the mianstream media?" Well....

    Lehman ends his article on this somewhat provocative note:

    A better understanding of conservatives seems manageable, but there is another possibility, which is much more worrisome, at least to journalists who work in the mainstream media. It is that during the years of heavy shelling - through impeachment and the Florida recount and then the rough 2004 campaign - what they consider their compact with the public has been seriously damaged. Journalism that is inquisitive and intellectually honest, that surprises and unsettles, didn't always exist. There is no law saying that it must exist forever, and there are political and business interests that would be better off if it didn't exist and that have worked hard to undermine it. This is what journalists in the mainstream media are starting to worry about: what if people don't believe in us, don't want us, anymore?

    A democracy surely needs an independent press; a corporate media in the context of "independence from" seems contradictory, no? There's, indeed, much to worry about in this regard.

    "I participate therefore I am, I do not participate therefore I am not." Henryk Skolimowski

    by libby on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 09:04:55 PM PST

    •  Good... (none)
      If "real" journalists think their services will no longer be required if they don't fulfill their essential role, perhaps they will do so.  And if they don't, then the hell with them.

      The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously. -- Hubert H. Humphrey

      by KTinOhio on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 09:14:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  its not the journalists (none)
        that are the problem, so much as the managers and owners.  

        There are lots of great stories that get killed or watered down at the corporate level. It has been going on for ever, but more markedly since the 80s.

        •  But the managers and owners... (none)
          ...still want to sell newspapers and air time.  Think of the money the media corporations stand to lose when it becomes apparent that the corporate media has abdicated its true role.  This, more than anything else, might start the ball rolling in the other direction.
           

          The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously. -- Hubert H. Humphrey

          by KTinOhio on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 11:21:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  When they are the only (none)
            newspaper in town, they'll sell all they want.  Part of the lockdown in the press was put into
            place when the same company in large towns (like Phoenix, Las Vegas, ect.) got to buy all the
            major newspapers. "we'll run them both equally" was always the pledge.  Like hell.  In every
            case, every case, the more liberal paper was phased out within a year.

            Is the holy symbol of Solipsism a banana peel?

            by nargel on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 12:37:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  But they do!! (none)
        They do their job very well and that is the reason they make the big bucks.

        Their essential function is to sell you stuff. This stuff could be the "magic" pill, the SUV, the movie, or the "war" idea they want impressed on your brain, all for final corporate profit. That's it. Plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less.

        For example: Would you expect a GE-owned media to report how another GE-owned company has screwed the American public by indecent over-charge on a no-bid contract in Iraq? Follow the money and you will understand why the press is biased to the Right and why it is ludicrous to expect anything else.

  •  The MSM (4.00)
    has first of all, a corporate bias.  They are
    subsidiaries of even larger corporations
    - enormous ones with profits exceeding many
    GNPs of countries.
    They also owe their living to profits generated
    by advertising, basically selling audients, subscribers, viewers
    (you and I) to other businesses.  You don't pay for a newspaper (not much of it, at least),
    the advertisers do.  So the media are businesses who sell the public to other
    businesses.

    So, the media has an overwhelming business
    bias, a bias toward corporate interests.  It's not complete, other stories appear, corporate scandals even, but these are comparatively rare.

    Now, liberalism is not necessarily a threat to
    the media, as long as it doesn't threaten the bottom line.  But conservatism (or whatever
    its called these days) works better, generally.
    It already has a pro-business bias.   Corporatism would be better still.  That's certainly where we're headed, if we haven't completely arrived yet. Of course, one
    definition of fascism is the melding of state and corporate power, and in particular, media control.

    But back to your point on the public.  Remember, they've been pummeled for years now with the meme that the press must be liberal,  by the likes of Limbaugh, Novak,
    Krauthammer, etc,  that they've internalized it.
    It is an effective way to control the public, actually (from a corporate point of view), as
    Noam Chomsky has pointed out, if the press is already liberal, then to question state power
    any more than what already occurs is going
    WAY to far.  It acts as a check against the rabble, i.e., the public interest.

    And, of course, what doesn't help is that these
    same corporations (again, motivated by the bottom line) promulgate sleazy TV to titillate
    the masses, and raise the objections of
    many that TV just caters to sex, violence and scandal (i.e., liberals).

    Well, now the Right Wing Media has become triumphant; the am radio clearly belongs to  Limbaugh, Savage etc.,  Fox News is basically
    an arm of the White House, CNN et. al. are
    scrambling to act like Fox, and the papers of
    "record",  NYT and Wash Post are now so timid and their editors so conflicted by their corporate sources of revenue (who overwhelmingly love Bush -- deregulation, corporate welfate/tax cuts) that they are basically rendered spineless.  Same goes for the networks.

    Maybe the public will begin to notice that something is up, maybe a "Well, lessee, if it were Clinton, with the Gannon/Guckert thing they'd have his head on stake..." kind of
    realization.  But then, people were pretty willing to swallow the crap on the lead up to
    the Iraq war.

    The fact is, Bush et. al. have gotten so many free passes from the MSM that they (MSM) really have to be feeling pretty embarassed
    right now.  There are good reporters, correspondents, editors, that must be miserable in that, even having internalized a
    pro-business outlook, they must be nauseated by the enormity of the propaganda that they have to spew.

    Perhaps this scandal will lead to a bit of
    a dam-burst.  It happened during the Watergate years, and it may happen again...

    •  Ignorance (none)
      I have never believed that these corporations have no ability to pusue the truth.  They have the money.  Obviously a number of experienced and very intelligent people.  And they reach a large market that they have plenty of influence over.

      And that is what it really comes down to.  In most cases up until the last couple of decades it was in the best interest of "Media" to express and propogate the truth.  "Truth Sells"  Etc... Whoever had the "real scoop" would capture the market.  

      The dynamics of that has changed.  Due to heavy influence and an overdose of information over the last couple of decades the truth has lost much of its value.  And even appeal.

      In the present it is all about $$  The truth really does not matter... and it has gone so far that it is actually a problem.  

      Whenever there has been a storey (and there have been many) that are not in the best interests of the media (and the power and money that control them) these storeys have been ignored.

      This administration has gotten away with so much that the media has not held them accountable for because it was in their best interest not to.

      This is the same for "GannonGate"  The ONLY reason it has hit the fan now is that they tried their normal tactics of ignoring and disinfo etc... without success.  Because of Blogs such as this.  (Believe me... they are scared shitless of this.  This is like a virtual town hall... where EVERYONE has a voice.  The people that hold the power definitely are not happy about that)

      Now they have no choice but to pursue this storey.  Dont expect much.  The intention will be to convolute and confuse the facts ect.  

      The media no longer searches for truth.
      Period.

      It is going to be up to venues such as this and people such as you folks to make a difference now.  It is possible.  In the end all that really matters is the truth.  Everything else is just a game.

      I don't expect it is going to be easy.  This people are no longer sane.  They will do anything to hold the power...

      ... but as I said in another post... this time they dropped the ball in their game.  We have it now.  And they want it back.  When they get it this will all disappear into history as some conspiracy.  

      But if we can hold onto this for a little while longer... this administration will run out of plays.  They are already cracking all over the place.  It is only a matter of time.  

      Like I said... in the end it is just a game.  Only the truth really matters.  And its on our side.

      •  who said (none)
        that media corporations had no ability to pursue the truth? Yes, "truth" (there are relative
        levels of truth -- sins of the media are usually omissions, not falsehoods) has value in the market, but there are filters in place -- media ownership and advertisers, and the ability of
        both and state power to discipline the media are the major filters.

        Currently the MSM are as constricted by
        these filters as in my memory.  Media ownership concentration is also at an all time high -- less independent journalism, with the exception of the internet, thank God.

        If a major scandal does break, it may allow
        other stories as, or more, relevant to flood
        through.  They will be less beholden to state
        discipline, and may suddenly realize competition to break something new....

        •  It comes down to this (none)
          Are you going to bite the hand that feeds?

          In a word , NO!!!!!

          The media is bought and paid for. Why else are they attacking the UN on every broadcast you look at, the only organization that can currently hold American hegemony in check?

          MSM see "Gannon" as a blip on the landscape, a deterrent to the big payday.

          Until we take ownership of the media out of the hands of corporate intersts or as a unit we render it financially untenable we will always be faced with truth being suppressed and stories being distorted.

  •  Media Bias? (none)
    Eventually the pedulum will begin to swing back towards the middle.  When enough lives have been ruined by the Bush Administration, the ignorant will finally begin to ask themselves why didn't the media worn us.  Rush (drug user), Lar Larson (Rush wannabe) and Mike Savage (homophobe) are greedy sociopaths who revel in the fact they can lead a herd of sheep into a pack of hungry wolves.  Fox News couldn't find the truth if it bit them in the ARSE.  O'really needs to lay off the testostrone that clouds his reporting, I think a weekly estrogen shot just might do the trick.  As for the newspapers, I believe that Journalism Schools around the Country need to steer their students away from the mainstream media and towards working with small independant outlets.  Lets face it, there is little need for true journalists in today World of regurgitated puke that is passed off as news.
  •  Press bias (none)
    Yes, this story illustrates most clearly how the right not only lied about a liberal press, but also used that allegation to bully the press into becoming even more conservative in its coverage. The 9/11 attacks were icing on the cake and the press became totally cowed in the way it questioned Bush's claims about Iraq and now Iran and Social Security. Any time a reporter questions or challeneges Bush a well-oiled machine starts up that floods that outlet with calls and e-mails charging bias and if the person is big enough they sick the national attack poodles on that person. Time and time again the media has buried bad stories about Bush.

    The CBS memo story is a brilliant example. One asshole on some shitty blog notices the memos are fake while watching the story on TV (I've always questioned that aspect- especially since he is a GOP lawyer who's well-connected). From one post on a blog that story immediately rises up to become national news. Yet I can remember many things posted here that failed to gain that kind of trajectory. One doesn't have to have a master's degree to understand what's going on here. Remember how every story about Clinton seemed to imemdiately catapult from the darkest bowels of the vast right wing conspiracy into the national echo chamber?

    I think the most important aspect of this story is that it covers two of the most basic threats to our democracy posed by the Neo-Cons: First, that they have created a well-oiled machine that is capable of forcing rumors and lies into the mainstream press, and second, that they have been able to bully anyone who opposes them into silence by the sheer force of that machine.

  •  Recommend this diary! (none)
    I really don't this diary should fall on the cliff yet. Click that greay button! Plus, since thousands of reporters are now visiting this site for more Guckert scoops maybe they'll see it and finally feel some shame!
  •  Fredrick Clarkson (above)said it very well.... (none)
    "there is no pendulum

    all there is, is what people are willing to fight for."

    If we have a lousy press, we have only ourselves to blame.  We have to demand that they meet an acceptable standard.  The press is afraid of the right wing, because they are vocal, they are able to motivate their adherents to action and they know exactly what they want.

    We must do the same.

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