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: 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 managing editor and chief of the Chicago Tribune Washington, D.C., bureau, now works at The Poynter Institute for media studies (or media denial?). He posted a commentary on Nov. 20 headlined "How Mega-Media Deals Further Erode the Myth of a 'Liberal' Media."
Liberals made fun of Mitt Romney when he claimed that "corporations are people," but they subscribe to the cartoonish idea that "corporations are all conservative." Corporations have a profit motive, so that somehow inexorably translates to Republican propaganda?
Rupert Murdoch is looking at unloading some of his Hollywood assets, and among the suspected potential buyers are The Walt Disney Co. (ABC) and Comcast Corp. (NBC). To Warren, this somehow heralds a new era of "not just unceasing consolidation but the unceasing influence of folks of distinctly conservative ideology." The Murdochs explore selling off assets, and that's conservative consolidation?
Not only that, Warren says the "caricature" of a liberal media is "dubious" and can be rebutted by the fact that the "aggressively conservative" Sinclair Broadcasting Group "is primed to become the biggest local TV broadcaster." Yet 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 global communications at the Harvard Kennedy School, claims that conservatives "mostly point to the political views of journalists at mainstream media outlets, who tend to lean Democratic." He adds: "Of course, the core journalistic norm of balance and objectivity run directly counter to that. So at minimum it isn't obvious why personal political views would trump professional norms." He then argues that some "research" shows that "news reporting tends 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 President Donald Trump and his allegedly racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic voters, as the "professional norms" have included demeaning 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 ideological bias in the media is not productive at all," he says. 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 Washington, 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 during the national anthem this season. Everyone's seen it. No one is fooled. The only fool is the one who thinks denying the obvious just might work.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.