Bozell & Graham Column: Deniers of the Reality of Liberal Bias

November 21st, 2017 10:32 PM

As the media elites roll their eyes and sigh at people who deny the apparently inevitable approach of traumatic climate change, there’s one category of denial they always endorse: denying a liberal bias in the “news.” Chest-pounding journalistic activism defines the Trump era, and yet shameless journalists still claim media bias is a “myth.”

James Warren, a former Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune, now works at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies (or Media Denial?) He posted a November 20 commentary headlined “How mega-media deals further erode the myth of a 'liberal' media.”

Liberals made fun of Mitt Romney, who they claimed said “corporations were people,” but they subscribe to the cartoon that “corporations are all conservative.” They have a profit motive, so somehow that inexorably translates to Republican propaganda?

Rupert Murdoch is looking at unloading some of his Hollywood assets, and among Murdoch’s buyers could be Disney (ABC) and Comcast (NBC). To Warren, this somehow heralds a new era of “not just unceasing consolidation, but the unceasing influence of folks of distinctive conservative ideology.” The Murdochs explore selling off properties, and that’s conservative consolidation?

Not only that, Warren says the “dubious...caricature” of a liberal media is rebutted when “the aggressively conservative Sinclair is primed to become the biggest local TV broadcaster.” And in a vast majority of the cases, those Sinclair stations are routinely airing network news and entertainment content from....ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. 

Warren then rounds up academics who sound like they never read or watch the liberal media. Matthew Baum, the Marvin Kalb professor of communications at the Kennedy School at Harvard, claimed conservatives “mostly point” to surveys showing reporters vote for Democrats. He adds, “Of course, the core journalistic norm of balance and objectivity run directly counter to that. So at a minimum, it isn’t obvious why personal political views would trump professional norms.” He argues “research” shows “news reporting tend to reflect the interests of ownership,” so that predicts “a more pro-conservative bias.”

It’s official. This professor sounds dumber than a grade-schooler. 

He seems to have ignored every story written or broadcast over the last two years about Donald Trump and his allegedly racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic voters. Because the “professional norms” have been to demean Trump and the Republicans as a dangerously ignorant gang shredding democracy.

Warren then cites Danny Hayes, a political scientist at George Washington University, who doubles down on the idiocy. “The debate about the ideological bias in the media is not productive at all.” That’s true....if you’re a liberal who wants the average (and apparently ignorant) media consumer to think the news is “objective.” Hayes insists “the social science research finds virtually no evidence in the mainstream media of systematic liberal or conservative bias.”  

Hayes should be teaching geology, because clearly he is living under a rock. We’ve been churning out daily evidence of a dramatic liberal bias in the “objective” news media for 30 years, and this “scientist” in D.C. thinks there’s “virtually no evidence”? 

This is a little like arguing that "research" shows there’s virtually no evidence of pro football players kneeling this season during the national anthem. Everyone’s seen it. No one is fooled. The only fool is the one who thinks denying the obvious might just work.