[internetworkers] Republican controlled media
rowland at cashi.us
Sun Sep 19 11:11:43 EDT 2004
Can we P-L-E-A-S-E have Michael for president?!
Michael Czeiszperger wrote:
> On Sep 19, 2004, at 3:25 AM, Don Rua wrote:
>> There's something about the comments on this thread that brought
>> questions to mind:
>> Summary assertion: The 'republican controlled' media is
>> de-legitimizing journalism by labeling it "the liberal media".
>> Q: If the media is republican controlled, why wouldn't they label
>> themselves as objective. Why trash what they own?
>> Q: Or, if the 'republican controlled media" is just a small
>> percentage of media, how is it that their voice can be heard over the
>> majority? Why wouldn't the majority of media voices effectively earn
>> our respect by doing good work objectively, at a much greater volume
>> than a minority group? Are the republican voices just smarter?
> There are two types of media outlets. The first are the three
> broadcast networks, "liberal" newspapers and magazines which employ
> professional journalists trained on an ethic of objectivity who bend
> over backward to avoid even the appearance of bias. The second are
> conservative broadcast networks such as Fox, newspapers and magazines
> which are mostly staffed not with trained journalists, but rather with
> employees who come from conservative lobbying groups and think tanks.
> The movement to label objective journalist as having a "liberal bias"
> started in the 70s by political operatives of the Nixon administration
> who sold conservative business interests on the goal of bullying the
> media through constant criticism to provide incentives to induce the
> media to give equal time to heavily subsidized pro-business and pro
> Vietnam-war commentators on the air. This work was implemented with
> hundreds of millions of dollars in donations from businesses to groups
> such as Accuracy in Media and the Media Research Center. Any
> broadcast in the objective media that didn't include a conservative
> point of view, however implausible, was met with an angry, coordinated
> attack. To make a long story short, over 30 years this has forced the
> objective media to gradually shift from the role of objective
> reporting into the role of providing media time for "commentators".
> Instead of objective reporting, where the goal is the find the truth,
> we are simply given two opposing viewpoints.
> The reason the conservative movement decided to go this route rather
> than create conservative media outlets with journalists is object
> media outlets give equal scrutiny to all points of view, something
> that does not fit in with their political goals. Your typical
> "liberal" newspaper for instance can't be controlled-- it will tend
> to report both the bad and good about an issue, which is at odds to
> the conservative propaganda agenda. The other problem with using
> journalists is the conservative establishment doesn't have any, and
> they tend to believe that everyone else is like themselves, i.e.
> one-sided partisans who's only goal is to push a certain agenda.
>> Q: Thirdly, it seems as if these assertions assume the masses are
>> ignorant, and can't tell opinion from logic. I guess with Bush in
>> office, liberals on this list would say EXACTLY!, but then what do
>> you say when Clinton or Kennedy is in office? Do the masses become
>> smart only when your party is in office?
> I'm not sure of your point.
>> Q: If people admit that there are 'right wing' media outlets doing
>> all this nasty business, isn't it a bit naive to assume that all of
>> the other media outlets are objective? I think that there are too
>> many examples of liberal media bias to say the label is the fault of
>> republican strategy. I don't need a 'cue' from the right to know that
>> Maureen Dowd is liberal, or to question why the media still puts
>> Carvel on screen, etc. I don't see any paper's editorial boards
>> writing that abortion is horrible and should be overturned, so
>> where's the right-wing domination?
> There are of course partisan lobbying organizations for a huge range
> of issues. Unfortunately there is no underlying liberal agenda as
> there is on the right, so while the right has groups such as the
> enormous Heritage Foundation, where the public relations staff alone
> has 80 people, the left is stuck on single agenda issues and
> organizations such as the environment, pro-choice, etc. When the
> media decides do have "balanced" reporting they just grab a
> commentator from both sides rather than give an objective assessment.
> This goes hand-in-hand with the conservative movements distrust of
> science, wanting to lend equal importance to opinion as they would
> towards peer-reviewed research.
> I see you're interested in newspaper editors. An extensive study by
> Harvard's Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy looked at
> the partisan nature of the four leading editorial pages, The New York
> Times, the Washing Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington
> Times. The research found that "conservative editorial boards are far
> less willing to criticize a Republican administration than liberal
> pages are willing to take issue with a Democratic administration".
> Outside of the editorial pages the research found that liberal papers
> criticized then president Clinton 30 percent of the time, while
> conservative papers criticized President W. Bush only 7 percent of the
> Another example of a partisan network is the Fox News Network, which
> is run by Republican party consultants and echos the RNC's talking
> points on a daily basis.
>> By the way, for the past three months I have been working in news
>> rooms while I hunt for a product marketing position in my area. I run
>> production teams that put out several papers, and work with 5
>> editors-in-chief. While they all try very hard to make sure they
>> don't APPEAR biased (all employees are forbidden to have political
>> bumber stickers on their cars), I hear their true comments in the
>> newsroom. They share their frustrations, exasperations, and political
>> thoughts freely as they are banging out stories or looking over
>> letters to the editor. There is NO objective media as far as I can
>> tell, as they are all human and subject to what grabs their attention
>> as 'newsworthy'. They try, on the whole, to be honest and fair, but
>> they don't go looking for stories that conflict with their beliefs,
>> and they run fast after those that align with their beliefs.
> The main books on media bias have pretty much the same thing, that
> journalists try to be objective, even to the point of not being able
> to put bumper stickers on their cards, but yet can't help for subtle
> bias to creep in since they are human. Compare this, then with
> conservative media outlets such as Fox news who totally reject even
> the concept of objective reporting in favor of a top-down controlled
> propaganda. That is why "media bias" is so important to the
> conservative movement. Without it, they wouldn't have an excuse to
> broadcast their own propaganda. They get to criticize objective
> reporting by providing political commentary that don't meet even the
> most minimal journalist standards. For example, when a journalist
> such as Jason Blair at the NYT is found to make up stories, he or she
> is fired. Contrast this with Fox News, which tolerates reporters who
> regularly broadcast easily refuted falsehoods, and even edit
> recordings to make it seem like public figures said something they
> michael at czeiszperger dot org
> Chapel Hill, NC
> Come and play at the InterNetWorkers Web site!
> You are currently subscribed to InterNetWorkers mailing list
> To unsubscribe visit
More information about the InterNetWorkers