Journalists Insist Media-Obama Revolving Door Due to Economy, Not Bias

February 19th, 2009 12:03 PM

In one of the most comical Politico stories I have ever encountered, several prominent journalists insisted that the revolving door between the media and liberal Democrats, especially Team Obama, is not a symptom of bias. Instead, they blamed the trend on the economy:

In three months since Election Day, at least a half-dozen prominent journalists have taken jobs working for the federal government.

Journalists, including some of those who’ve jumped ship, say it’s better to have a solid job in government than a shaky job — or none at all — in an industry that’s fading fast.

Among that group of journalists defending those walking through the revolving door, after doing it herself of course, was former Chicago Tribune reporter Jill Zuckman. Zuckman's excitement in gliding from her career as a reporter into her work in the Obama administration was chronicled by Tim Graham and myself on NewsBusters. Here's Zuckman's defense:

As for other reporters making similar moves, Zuckman said that she didn’t think there would be so many “if the industry were stable.”

Several others in the article echoed the same argument including Al Hunt, the executive Washington editor for Bloomberg News. After lamenting the ease of movement through the revolving door between liberal politics and the media Hunt essentially chalked it all up to the need to "put food on the table".

However, the Media Research Center's own president, Brent Bozell, found that excuse just a wee bit questionable:

“When some leave journalism because of a reduction in staff, what’s the natural landing spot?” The Obama administration,” Bozell charged.

And beyond the painfully obvious point that no matter the state of the media journalists have not and will never make this kind of max exodus from the industry to Republican representatives and administrations there is perhaps a more ironic aspect to all of this. That is, of course, the fact that the blatant bias displayed daily by those in the media and document by NewsBusters is at least a strong factor in their failing financial situation. Thus the bias which is exemplified by their move from covering liberal politicians to covering for them seems to be, at least in part, the cause for their industry's faltering. In other words liberal media bias, among other things, has hurt the media enough that those perpetrating it are so afraid of losing their jobs that they've jumped directly and seamlessly into liberal politics but by doing so have exposed their liberal bias even further.

Yet it seems that the reporters themselves have realized how bad this makes their former profession look because many are still acting as though they are unbiased towards their own employers:

“I didn't leave journalism easily and I'll always think of myself as a reporter, with a notepad tucked in his back pocket and a lot of unanswered questions,” Frantz told Politico last month.

But even if Frantz views himself as a reporter, he’s no longer working for the Newhouse, Sulzberger or Chandler families. Instead, a Democratic politician signs the paychecks.

Frantz isn’t alone in downplaying the partisan aspect of his new job. Maybe it’s based on a lifetime of nonpartisan conditioning, but many of the reporters who’ve made the leap to government seem hesitant to admit that they’re no longer impartial observers.

“This is a Democratic administration; we’re obviously on that side of the aisle, but I don’t see this as a partisan job at all,” Carney told the Times a couple weeks back.

What an absolute joke. I guess when you are so used to denying your own obvious bias it becomes an undeniable habit. Seriously, who believes that someone working for a political party isn't partisan? Yet, despite this absurd claim of objectivity from people literally receiving checks from politicians, this story includes an even more laughable claim in it. The claim is made by Time editor Joe Klein about former Time editor Jay Carney:

Carney told the Times that he had “an affinity” with Biden and Obama, but that it didn’t influence his coverage at the newsweekly. Time staffers have told Politico that they could never tell Carney’s politics during the 2008 race.

“I didn’t even know Jay was a Democrat,” Time’s Joe Klein said.

I mean wow. Either Joe Klein and the Time staffers speaking with the Politico have never read anything by Jay Carney or they're simply lying. For goodness sakes Jay Carney once offered John McCain the advice that he should tell people that "I can be a Republican who actually cares about people that are suffering through this downturn and this crisis". Assuming that the people who create and edit Time magazine actually read Time there is no way they could have ever missed where Jay Carney falls on the political spectrum.

But regardless, there are really only two options to explain whats going on here. First, journalists who have a clear history of liberal bias are leaving their threatened jobs for jobs with liberal politicians because they want to, and always have wanted to, further liberal causes. Second, journalists who have a clear history of liberal bias are leaving their threatened jobs for jobs with liberal politicians because they need the money and have no where else to go. Which do you think is going on here?