TVNewser has a transcript par excellence, for your reading pleasure. In sum, Mika Brzezinski has gone off the Big Media reservation again, in a good way. Let’s just say she unwittingly (?) offers praise for a cable news network with much better ratings.
In an interview for her new book, Brzezinski spoke with Julie Menin about the partisan nature of today’s American media:
BRZEZINSKI: "I've worked in the mainstream media for all the networks and I will say what people aren't saying. It's got a liberal world view. There are great people working at the networks, and they're mostly Democrats, ok? They try really hard to be objective, really hard and they do a great job at it, but the balance is not there within the objective mainstream media. It's not, it is not and I'm not sure how we fix that. I hate the polarizing extremes that we're seeing on cable where there's these sort of ‘Think my way or you’re evil’ kind of subliminal message or cartoonish type characters on the right and the left.
Interesting enough – but even more piquing is Brzezinski’s solution to the problem of a partisan media:
BRZEZINSKI: [...]We need to stop pretending about who we are and every journalist should tell us what their political affiliation is, who they voted for, and we go from there. Because come on, are you telling me that a reporter for a great news organization does not have opinions and does not have a world view and did not vote for a presidential candidate?
MENIN: But do you think then that on the broadcast news that those personal views are seeping into the news coverage?
BRZEZINSKI: Of course they are, which is why we have got to be honest.
Do tell! Brzezinski, formerly of CBS News and now a denizen of NBC News, is in a good position to know. Naming names might be too much to ask of Brzezinski, but one certainly must be curious as to how much of Katie Couric’s bias – or Brian Williams’ bias – is “seeping through.”
Julie Menin, however, is still skeptical:
MENIN: And you think that by disclosing the party affiliation –
BRZEZINSKI: We can’t sanitize it. We can’t say this reporter has somehow, you know, taken a bath in alcohol, rubbing alcohol and therefore the news is clean. No. Every reporter, every anchor, every human being that is a personality on television has opinions, and has a world view, and has a slant. You know I think what we have to do is know that the viewer is smart about that and if you are fair and you are looking for the truth you can be trusted and you’ve got to be honest.
By Jove, I think she’s got it. You see, in the Fox News model of TV personality we have the Bret Baiers and Chris Wallaces– the calm, generally fair fellows whose accuracy and fairness in reporting the news is personally precious. Then we have Glenn Beck, whose firebrand stylings have earned him the ire of nearly every liberal whose ire one could want. Both archetypes, however, are honest about where they stand – and it is fairly easy to tell the difference.
Last, but certainly not least, Brzezinski talks about the effect that a left-slanting media had on the origin of Fox News:
BRZEZINSKI: The reason why we've got these extremes is a reaction to the ‘objective’ mainstream media that is so not objective when you have most of them being Democrats or liberals running it. Ok, that's why we have FOX. Because it [mainstream media] wasn't honest and because there was reaction out there to this – and now what I'm saying is, lets pull it all back together and let’s start from a base of honesty and then work toward fairness and objectivity and maybe we’ll cut against these polarizing extremes that we are seeing on television that are drawing people and galvanizing them in ways that are not all constructive.
Admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery – or at least, that’s what Journalists Anonymous might tell you. Bravo to Brzezinski, for being one of the few interested in rehabilitating the mainstream media.