Brian Montopoli at Public Eye, the media blog for CBSNews.com, today notes that the left-leaning reaches of the blogosphere are virtually ignoring the riots in Paris which have continued unabated for nearing two weeks now. After excerpting some conservative blogger commentary on the troubles in France, Montopoli closes:
Stories like this are interesting in part because they show just how much what people consider news, and how we explain it, is influenced by our political views. Conservatives think this is a huge story, one that shows the failure of liberal ideology. They see the riots as the result of bad policymaking on the part of the left-leaning French government. (And it never hurts, from a conservative perspective, that France looks bad.) Liberal bloggers, for their part, have mostly ignored what seems a pretty significant story.
It reminds me why it's a mistake for anyone to pay attention to just one side or the other – and to accept the conventional wisdom of one's ideological brethren without questioning the beliefs through which it is filtered.
Perhaps the program directors for CBS News can take a cue from Montopoli's conclusion. While there was a full story on The Early Show by Sheila MacVicar from Paris today and a full story by Elizabeth Palmer from Paris last Wednesday on the Evening News, most coverage of the riots on CBS has been in short anchor-mentions on those programs, while no experts have been interviewed in studio on the larger implications of the riots, particularly conservative critiques of the French welfare state or generous immigration policies.