What better place is there, really, to corner news executives about media bias than the White House Correspondents Association Dinner? That's what Fox News producer Jesse Watters of The O'Reilly Factor had in mind when he headed out with camera and microphone to the "nerd prom" this past Saturday.
Even though there's copious amounts of adult beverages at the WHCA dinner, it seems in vino veritas doesn't hold when it comes to media executives copping to their biases. Some simply denied the obvious while others were visibly agitated at the very premise of the question. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS network CEO Les Moonves told Watters that there was “[p]robably bias on both sides" but added he "wouldn't say" that overall the media skewed to the left.
Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Alter was annoyed with Watters’s question: “This is just like a stupid exercise. Are there people who work at all of these places who are biased? Absolutely. Are they biased as a whole, that's just dumb.”
Notice that Alter didn’t say whether he thought some news organizations are biased as a whole. He avoided the question by calling it dumb. But Alter has spent a lot of time on MSNBC. Surely he has noticed that his own liberal views mesh perfectly with the culture at that network.
CBS morning anchor Norah O’Donnell, meanwhile, evaded Watters’s question altogether. She approached Watters on the red carpet, but when he told her that Bill O’Reilly had a quick question, she stopped in her tracks. “Oh, thank you very much. Nice to see you guys. Have a good night.” She then walked away, apparently unwilling to subject herself to tough questioning from an intrepid reporter. Nevermind that the WHCA fancies itself a collection of tough-minded intrepid reporters.
Many in the liberal media try to run and hide from accusations that they are biased. They can’t handle the truth, even as poll after poll shows the American public is on to their game. Denying the obvious doesn't negate it.
Below is a partial transcript of the segment:
LES MOONVES: Do I think there's bias in the media? Probably on both sides, yes.
WATTERS: And, do you think, overall, the media tilts a little liberal.
MOONVES: No, I wouldn't say that.
JONATHAN ALTER: This is just like a stupid exercise. Are there people who work at all of these places who are biased? Absolutely. Are they biased as a whole, that's just dumb.
WATTERS: You seem a little angry. You're not angry, are you?
ALTER: I'm not angry. I just think it's -- I think it's silly.
WATTERS: Mr. Bill O'Reilly has a quick question.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Oh, thank you very much. Nice to see you guys. Have a good night.