The Danger of Ideological Media Bias

I recently picked up a book from my local library titled The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy: The Arguments You Need to Defeat the Looney Left, by Mark W. Smith. Smith is a trial lawyer, former professor of law, and member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, so I figured that this would be some educational, if not somewhat comical, summer reading.

I don’t agree with everything that Smith writes — in one chapter, for instance, he states that no cost is too great for our involvement in the Middle East — but I found the second chapter, titled “No Liberal Media Bias? Let’s Get Real,” to be particularly relevant to media coverage of politics today. Smith notes:

  •  89% of the Washington bureau chiefs and reporters voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 while only 7% voted for George Bush.
  •  The New York Times has not endorsed a Republican presidential candidate since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s.
  •  The public policy organization Media Research Center conducted a study tracking for two years in the late 1990s how the major media reported on gun issues. The study found that of the 653 gun-policy stories broadcast, 357 tilted in favor of gun control while a mere thirty-six tilted against gun control.

The book is a few year’s old, but today’s reporters seem all too willing to offer defense for or simply distract the public from the Obama administration, as indeed some have even with the NSA spying scandal. When I jump online to read about the government’s intrusion into our privacy, I am shocked to read comments like, “Who cares? You shouldn’t have anything to hide.”

What has happened to our freedoms? And why does no one seem to care? In my opinion, the media is to blame. It is their job to be our watchdog and to tell us when our government has made an egregious error, but this overwhelming statist bias seems to have negated that duty. Thankfully, we have brave citizens like Edward Snowden to expose the atrocities of our government…but that is a topic for another time. 

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