Media Bias? Yeah, so what?

E. J. Dionne’s Washington Post op-ed really surprised me in its candor about media bias. Dionne articulates a strategy for Democrats and the media as they try to undermine Republican foreign policy.

But Democrats (and, yes, the media) risk playing into Republican hands if they fail to force a discussion of the administration’s larger failures or let the debate focus narrowly on exactly what date we should set for getting out of Iraq (source).

So there you have it. According to Dionne, Democrats and the media are united in their opposition to Republican ideals. If that’s not a clear admission of media bias, I don’t know what is.


16 thoughts on “Media Bias? Yeah, so what?”

  1. I ran accross this blog and just had to comment (with all due respect):

    1) The statement you reference does not admit media bias. What Dionne’s statement reveals is nothing more than the historically stated purpose, among others, for the media: to offer a critical analysis of the government. Since the Executive and Legislative branches are currently dominated by Republicans, then it makes perfect sense that the media do more than simple serve as an uncritical megaphone for Republican positions and platforms (we’ll leave that to Fox “News”). Forcing a discussion on those in power who consistently attempt to avoid discussion is not a case of bias; in fact, only those biased in favor of this Republican administration would be so quick to favor a media, and thereby culture, of blind acquiescence.

    2) Why not actually address the issues and arguments raised in the article, rather than simply dismissing the alleged intent behind the issues and arguments? If you can show Dionne to be wrong, wouldn’t that make your unprovable proposition of bias irrelevant? That is, if you can logically discount someone’s argument, then it doesn’t matter if the person is biased or not, because you have settled the issue once and for all. Of course, that takes more work than knee-jerk reactions and dismissals.

    Again, this is all said with due respect to your ideas an opinions. I haven’t read all of your other blogs, so it’s possible you’ve addressed these matters more fully elswhere.

  2. Scott,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Yes, I have addressed Dionne’s concerns in previous posts. If you click on the “Politics” category on my sidebar, you’ll get a feel for the kinds of things I’ve been saying about the President’s handling of the war and other salient matters.


  3. Denny,

    Scott beat me to it. Or to put it another way, remember when that horrible, evil, terrible President Bill Clinton was in office? What did his horrible, evil, terrible wife say about the media?

    She said that they were part of a “vast right wing conspiracy.”

    So, what does that mean, then? At worst, it means that there’s a supposed liberal bias AT THE MOMENT.

    I am sick and tired of the Republicans, who control ALL THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT AT THIS POINT, claiming that they’re so picked upon. No, they’re not!

    In a world where there was truly such a Liberal Bias, there would have been much more brouhaha over the blatant and downright evil deliberate miswording of the late term abortion ban. Smart news reporters who really wanted to do in the president would have needled him and Cheney on their sabotage until finally someone admitted that they were simply blatantly using the “religious right” to get their votes.

    In a world where there was such a liberal bias, news reporters would take Bush’s bait of throwing his religiosity out there time and time again and corner him on it. Because one look at the bankruptcy bill, and it’s clear the guy never read Leviticus in his life.

    In a world where there was such a liberal bias, there would have been more made about the rumblings of voting fraud and voting irregularities in Ohio and the rest of the country. Funny how you never posted the story by Robert Kennedy, Jr. about how Bush’s campaign may have very well stolen the election.

    Face it Denny, there is very little media bias. The right has Fox for its fake news, we on the left have to go to Comedy Central for ours. And sadly, our “fake” news COMEDY program is better than your fake news network on a nightly basis. CNN is very much right down the middle, and while NPR might seemingly veer left sometimes, its simply because there’s so much more to complain about when a retarted cowboy is in charge of the country.

    As for your takes on the President and the like, Denny, you really haven’t said a word. I am glad that you are more receptive to the situation in Darfur than most Americans are, but other than that, you spend all of your politics time defending a president that’s indefensible. He’s not a right winger, he’s not really a republican, he blatantly uses constituency groups to get what he wants and he goes to Ken Lay’s funeral instead of seizing the guy’s fortunes.

    Denny, you seem like a smart guy. And certainly smart enough to know better than to be a schill for these punks. Quit defending them. You’re better than that.

  4. Not at all, which is why I am SOOOOOOOO upset about that one. That’s where the sabotage comes in. THEY KNEW that all they needed to do to make it constitutional was add in provisions for the life and health of the mother (easy enough, there are almost never life threatening complications at that point in the pregnancy), and THEY REFUSED TO DO SO. So, they had a slam dunk bill which they wrote in a way that was unconstitutional on its face. They get to say that they floated it, the house and senate republicans get to say they passed it, so the pro-lifers are happy, and it gets canned immediately by the Supreme Court. That way, the pro-choicers don’t have a chance to get upset and cast votes for the other guy instead.


    But also proof beyond all proof that y’all done got used, bro.



  5. Paul,

    Either you are being disingenuous, or you don’t understand the “life and health” of the mother exception as it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court.

    All proponents of the ban support the exception for the “life” of the mother. That’s not in dispute.

    It’s the Court’s broad interpretation of the “health” exception that has given us abortion on demand in America because “health” is defined as “whatever makes me uncomfortable.” If you put an exception for the “health” of the mother, then you are effectively not banning partial birth abortion.

    No, I didn’t “get used,” but the rhetoric that you spew is precisely what’s wrong with the abortion debate in America. The real issue of little babies being killed gets lost in the shouting.


  6. Denny,

    this is what amuses me about “the religious right.” You don’t understand the concept of the small victory.

    You put in the provisions for the life and health of the mother because it gets the bill passed. At the very least, it’s another stumbling block for a woman looking to get an abortion at that late stage in a pregnancy. Maybe it only saves 10 lives a year. But that’s ten lives more than are being saved right now.

    So, you put in the provision, you save ten lives, and then you go in with amendments defining what health in this situation is. Remember, the biggest selling point that the pro-choice lobby has in early term abortions is that the baby couldn’t survive outside of the womb at a month or three or even five. However, I, and many others, are proof that you can survive outside of the womb at seven months.

    In other words, this isn’t murder based on point of view (as many would claim for first tri-mester abortions), this is MURDER. And murder, if it can be stopped, should.

    But at least the ban has to be constitutional.

    So instead of looking for the grand slam, the republicans should have been looking to put a man on base.

    And if Karl and company have you convinced that anything less would be bad, then yeah, Denny, you got used.



  7. The fact that the three levels of government are Republican doesn’t mean that they aren’t picked on. What it means is that in spite of media bias (which to anyone with a brain is quite blatant), the American people, by and large, aren’t sucked in by what Hollywood or left-wing media have to say.
    In Canada, where I live, there have been numerous studies done by organisations like the Fraser Institute that document media bias. For instance, political scientist Lydia Miljan documented media bias during our recent winter election. Incidentally, Stephen Harper (a Conservative) got in by a narrow margin, even though the media’s chips were stacked against him.
    Denny is dead on in his evaluation of the media. And the quote above, though implicit, bears the evidence to prove his point.

  8. Seriously, Paul, I love the fact that you don’t just come on here and worship at Denny’s feet, but let’s tone down the rhetoric a bit. No need to call people “retarted cowboys” and “punks”, and no need to tell people they “got used”. There’s no better way to short circuit your arguments than to loft insults. I like where you’re going with some of this, but you’re better than that, bro. Just stick with your arguments and be done with the insults.

    I really do want to hear your arguments, so keep them coming!

  9. Wow, I guess I get to respond to a few people at once…

    1) Ian…Canada is not America. And how conservative is this Fraser institute? Trust me, even as a lefty, I don’t trust polls run by Mother Jones.

    2) Nick…Where was I not decent? Please, give examples.

    3) Steve, I am sorry if my shots on Bush have watered down my arguments. On the other hand, I truly believe that the “religious right” has gotten used and is getting used on a daily basis by these politicians. I can see it. I can see it in the wording of bills, in the timing of legislation, and in the comebacks of legislators when they are questioned about issues. And if calling it like I see it is bad, then I can’t at all see the purpose in being good.

    In the spirit of brotherhood, (which we’re all supposed to be, right?)however, I am willing to tone down the rhetoric in order to fully get my point across. Feel free to hold me accountable to that at any point in the future.


  10. I guess if I’m going to get used, I’d rather be used by someone saying the things I want to hear, than by someone that says everything I don’t want to hear.


  11. Denny,

    I think we met Paul that weekend at Louisiana College…the weekend I wrecked your car.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone refer to CNN as “right down the middle”. Wolf Blitzer? come on now. Let’s not get ridiculous.

  12. Dearest Hoodlum,

    Oh, yes. I remember that weekend. I felt like behaving like a wookie who loses at chess. 🙂


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