Silly Question: 'How Did Republicans Learn to Hate the News Media'?

November 23rd, 2018 10:26 AM

For a healthy dose of how liberals write unintentional humor, see this Columbia Journalism Review article: "How did Republicans learn to hate the news media?" CBS MoneyWatch blogger and former Wall Street Journal investing editor Larry Light claims Republicans have a "prejudice" against the news media, as if there is no you've never, ever spent a day on NewsBusters. 

He wrote: "My father didn’t want to hear any evidence that contradicted his views, and neither do today’s Republican media haters. The hallmark of a prejudice is that you don’t have to prove it: You just know it."

Light travels through history, from the media exposing Joseph McCarthy and Barry Goldwater, to forcing Richard Nixon from office, and then leaping ahead of George H.W. Bush's last-minute "Annoy the Media" slogan in 1992. Nowhere in those decades is there any evidence of media favoritism, apparently. Just "prejudice" and hate. Then he notes that the Media Research Center and others point to surveys showing few Republicans in the media elite: 

[N]early all available data indicate that journalists are overwhelmingly not Republican. Does it then follow that they hate Republicans and can’t report on the GOP honestly? In a time of increasing partisanship, where more and more Americans believe you’re either with us or against us, lack of devotion to the Republican tribe’s line, as disseminated by programs like Fox & Friends, for instance, is perhaps proof enough of bias. For the media haters, at least, it is.

One of the defining characteristics of the right is a sense of grievance. The success of Fox News demonstrates that the “mainstream” media seldom run stories appealing to this resentment. Most journalists tend to roll their eyes at, say, Fox’s perennial year-end coverage of the supposed “war on Christmas.”

The truth is that journalists, particularly at the most prominent outlets, are a highly educated bunch. And they mostly live in cosmopolitan places like New York and Washington, where support is not strong for allowing nativity crèches on town-hall lawns and stopping immigrants from crossing the Mexican border. That doesn’t make them Democrats’ shills or hostile to the right. But it might make them view some of its concerns as less important. My father, a combat veteran, believed anti-war protesters were traitors and couldn’t understand how the media didn’t scorn them as such.

Light somehow hasn't imagined that this lame attempt to deny liberal media bias is as old as he is. "Highly educated cosmopolitans might LOOK like Democrats, but they're only explaining the world in a highly educated way...that's not media bias." It's newer (but still lame) to claim "Not sounding like Fox News doesn't make you liberal." Listen to CNN or MSNBC for five minutes. You know which party line they closely resemble.

Or you could just say: Stephanopoulos and Cuomo, NOT Democrats? 

The article arrives as a lame ending, as he notes that in private, Republicans try to work with reporters, and that toward the end of his life, Nixon sought out reporters, since he knew they would help define his legacy. Dear Larry: Just because you try to influence liberal journalists doesn't mean you don't know who they are, and what they will try to do. 

Light concluded: "maybe someday, like Nixon, Republicans will tire of press bashing. In the meantime, duck."

PS: The liberals at Five Thirty-Eight did a much better job earlier this year of investigating (rather than dismissing) the media's image problem.