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Evidence of rightwing mass media bias abounds. Most in the corporate media support the current Bush Administration - as they supported his father's, Reagan's and Nixon's. The media almost universally endorsed Bush's rush to war, and every rush to war, by

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Evidence of rightwing mass media bias abounds. Most in the corporate media support the current Bush Administration - as they supported his father's, Reagan's and Nixon's. The media almost universally endorsed Bush's rush to war, and every rush to war, by echoing lies to rally public support for war - and demonizing or ignoring opponents. This applies to every important political and economic issue.

by Mike Hersh

OpEdNews.com

Some in the media occasionally question Republican lies, crimes and actions. However they do this only timidly and belatedly. The media dependably favor elite corporate priorities over the interests of regular Americans and oppose nearly every liberal political initiative from national health to living wages. We don't hear about this because the mass media don't tattle on themselves.

By contrast, the case for the "liberal media" is skimpy to the point of silly. The most often cited "evidence" relies on a poll of Washington, DC political beat reporters which showed most of them voted for Bill Clinton in 1996. President Clinton was a moderate, not a liberal. Therefore that poll shows most political reporters - not publishers or editors - voted for a mainstream centrist who ran against a continued Republican assault on Medicare, Medicaid, education and the environment. They didn't trust Bob Dole to protect the New Deal against Newt Gingrich's right wing wrecking ball. That doesn't prove the media have a liberal bias. So much for exhibit A.

Like most business owners and affluent people, media decision-makers favor right wing Republican candidates and policies. Still, right wingers escape derision and the label "conspiracy kooks" as they rail against the nonexistent "liberal media." Why? The media covers for right wingers for several reasons.

Hiding right-wing political and economic biases behind a moderate façade lets the media promote pro-Republican political and pro-corporate economic agenda without losing all credibility. It even enhances Republican operatives' rhetorical advantage when they can end any debate with the claim, "Even the liberal New York Times (or Washington Post) agrees...."

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While confusing to some, corporate media refusal to join with "Movement conservatives" on "social" issues merely reinforces this impression. Still, the media remain conservative on almost every political issue and campaign. Although most reporters don't think and act like the most extreme right wingers, that doesn't make the media "liberal." Taught to consider both sides of an issue and willing to accept science rather than rely on religion for fundamental truths, reporters differ from ideologues and theocrats. That's why many right wingers consider the media "liberal, but actually reporters behave like most people in this regard.

Most in the media oppose parts of the far-right retrograde agenda. Reporters and their bosses generally tolerate reproductive choice and at least the concepts of environmental protection and gun control. In this, they support the vital center of American politics. Still, those who reject this consensus see the media as a bastion of left wing extremism. This although most Americans share most of these views, placing the media squarely in the mainstream. Therefore even at their most moderate, the media are not "liberal" in matters political or economic.

Generally the media oppose blatant bigotry - at least in public. Stereotypical mass media depiction of dark skinned people as criminals, welfare recipients, and prostitutes noted, the willingness to hire diverse personnel and opposition to full-throated bigotry apparently infuriates some on the right wing. News and entertainment shows usually refrain from attacking or demeaning women and minorities. That's probably more a business decision than any real tilt toward liberalism. Still, if lack of racism, gay-bashing and misogyny make the media "liberal," "conservative" must mean "racist" and "bigot."

So the mass media isn't theocratic or blatantly bigoted, but are they "liberal?" No. If they were liberal, they would promote liberal politicians and support liberal policies like national healthcare, welfare, tax and trade fairness, and antitrust enforcement while opposing tax cuts for multinational corporations and the wealthy elite, deregulation and over concentration of economic power. They do the opposite. The corporate media parent corporations (GE e.g.) and their sponsors favor politicians and policies that favor the wealthy elite and multinational corporations because they are multinational corporations run by the wealthy elite.

The corporate-owned media overwhelmingly favored, protected and supported Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and both George Bushes. Had the media investigated and informed the public about Vietnam, Watergate, Iran-Contra, connections with international terrorism and Florida election crimes, it's safe to say that public outrage would guarantee impeachment if not imprisonment for all four of these Republicans.

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In spite of their intellect-insulting lies and race-baiting on the campaign trial, malign and failed policies, and gross criminality, four Republicans won five of six presidential elections from 1968 to 1988, and successfully stole the election in 2000. Even if all of this were possible in the face of liberally-biased media coverage - a doubtful prospect at best - Republicans would not enjoy wide-scale public acceptance without pro-Republican media cover.

Some inkling of some Republican scandals eventually saw the light of day, but only because of the profound systemic corruption of the right wing and its leaders rather than any media bias against them. The recent non-stop Reagan veneration despite the war against most Americans he waged with nearly a dozen dozen criminals in his administration proves right wing media bias. This should surprise no one.

Most Americans still don't know most of the sordid details about the series of right wing scandals. Republicans would poll in the mid-20% range if voters understood that these outrages - dating back before the witch-hunts and abuses of the McCarthy Era - represent Republican business as usual. Not an "aberration" by a few "overzealous" operatives.

Underscoring the transparent dishonesty of this media-endorsed cover-story, felons from past Republican administrations thrive as members of the current criminal Bush / Cheney GOPeration and appear as "experts" in the not-so-liberal media. The media often embrace even disgraced and convicted right wing liars as experts.

Contrasted against savage attacks against moderates like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the reluctant media coverage of Republican failures and scandals prove media complicity and bias in favor of the right and against the center-left.

American Reactionary "Conservatism" - the ideology that opposed every sensible policy in US history from independence and the abolition of slavery through pure food and drug laws, anti-child labor laws, women's suffrage, the League of Nations, Social Security, protections for investors and bank depositors, timely intervention against the Nazis and Imperial Japan, the GI Bill, the Marshall Plan, environmental protection to date - is the dominant political movement. Could this happen if the media were liberal? Of course not.

True, the media reluctantly covered Watergate and Vietnam as debacles, but this led to a severe backlash as many blamed "the liberal media" rather than the real causes - bad policies based on failed right wing assumptions and garden variety Republican extremism and corruption. Former Nixon Treasury Secretary William Simon, a billionaire who cashed in with his shady leveraged buyout techniques of paper-shuffling "capitalism," led a crusade against those he considered "socialists" in academia, business, and - most of all - the media. This merely accelerated the rightward media trend.

Once upon a time, reporters were working stiffs and identified with common people. Publishers and editors less so, but the press usually showed some balance between corporate and personal. Over time, however, demographics changed. Today, most reporters are college graduates from higher up the economic ladder. Top reporters make $100,000s or even $millions a year and they think and act like others in their elite tax bracket. Still, past impressions linger obscuring current reality.

As always, the decision-makers - editors and publishers who choose which stories get on the air or into print and hire, promote and fire reporters and - identify with rich business owners whose advertising underwrites the media. The media elite hobnob with fellow business executives at Chamber of Commerce luncheons in upscale salons and exclusive country clubs.

The bottom line for the media remains their bottom line. They want big profits so they support unfair regressive tax cuts for multinationals, lax or no enforcement of anti-trust laws, deregulation, low wages and little or no worker protections, a permissive Federal Communications Commission, and other policies that favor their corporate interests and their corporate advertisers. All of this establishes media bias in favor of right wingers - increasingly Republicans - and against reporting the ongoing systematic deception, corruption and failure of corporations and pro-corporate politicians dating back more than a century. This holds across the board for all questions of policy and politics, economics and more.

Want to understand media bias? Follow the money. Media moguls identify with their peers and share their profound pro-Republican biases. Of course they do. They know where their money comes from, and it's not from liberal interest groups, unions, or the working poor. Want to do something about media bias? Join the Media Watch project - http://democrats.com/media.

Evidence of rightwing mass media bias abounds. Most in the corporate media support the current Bush Administration - as they supported his father's, Reagan's and Nixon's. The media almost universally endorsed Bush's rush to war, and every rush to war, by echoing lies to rally public support for war - and demonizing or ignoring opponents. This applies to every important political and economic issue.

Some in the media occasionally question Republican lies, crimes and actions. However they do this only timidly and belatedly. The media dependably favor elite corporate priorities over the interests of regular Americans and oppose nearly every liberal political initiative from national health to living wages. We don't hear about this because the mass media don't tattle on themselves.

By contrast, the case for the "liberal media" is skimpy to the point of silly. The most often cited "evidence" relies on a poll of Washington, DC political beat reporters which showed most of them voted for Bill Clinton in 1996. President Clinton was a moderate, not a liberal.

Therefore that poll shows most political reporters - not publishers or editors - voted for a mainstream centrist who ran against a continued Republican assault on Medicare, Medicaid, education and the environment.

They didn't trust Bob Dole to protect the New Deal against Newt Gingrich's right wing wrecking ball. That doesn't prove the media have a liberal bias. So much for exhibit A.

Like most business owners and affluent people, media decision-makers favor right wing Republican candidates and policies. Still, right wingers escape derision and the label "conspiracy kooks" as they rail against the nonexistent "liberal media." Why? The media covers for right wingers for several reasons.

Hiding right-wing political and economic biases behind a moderate façade lets the media promote pro-Republican political and pro-corporate economic agenda without losing all credibility. It even enhances Republican operatives' rhetorical advantage when they can end any debate with the claim, "Even the liberal New York Times (or Washington Post) agrees...."

While confusing to some, corporate media refusal to join with "Movement conservatives" on "social" issues merely reinforces this impression.

Still, the media remain conservative on almost every political issue and campaign. Although most reporters don't think and act like the most extreme right wingers, that doesn't make the media "liberal." Taught to consider both sides of an issue and willing to accept science rather than rely on religion for fundamental truths, reporters differ from ideologues and theocrats. That's why many right wingers consider the media "liberal, but actually reporters behave like most people in this regard.

Most in the media oppose parts of the far-right retrograde agenda.

Reporters and their bosses generally tolerate reproductive choice and at least the concepts of environmental protection and gun control. In this, they support the vital center of American politics. Still, those who reject this consensus see the media as a bastion of left wing extremism.

This although most Americans share most of these views, placing the media squarely in the mainstream. Therefore even at their most moderate, the media are not "liberal" in matters political or economic.

Generally the media oppose blatant bigotry - at least in public.

Stereotypical mass media depiction of dark skinned people as criminals, welfare recipients, and prostitutes noted, the willingness to hire diverse personnel and opposition to full-throated bigotry apparently infuriates some on the right wing. News and entertainment shows usually refrain from attacking or demeaning women and minorities. That's probably more a business decision than any real tilt toward liberalism.

Still, if lack of racism, gay-bashing and misogyny make the media "liberal," "conservative" must mean "racist" and "bigot."

So the mass media isn't theocratic or blatantly bigoted, but are they "liberal?" No. If they were liberal, they would promote liberal politicians and support liberal policies like national healthcare, welfare, tax and trade fairness, and antitrust enforcement while opposing tax cuts for multinational corporations and the wealthy elite, deregulation and over concentration of economic power. They do the opposite. The corporate media parent corporations (GE e.g.) and their sponsors favor politicians and policies that favor the wealthy elite and multinational corporations because they are multinational corporations run by the wealthy elite.

The corporate-owned media overwhelmingly favored, protected and supported Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and both George Bushes. Had the media investigated and informed the public about Vietnam, Watergate, Iran-Contra, connections with international terrorism and Florida election crimes, it's safe to say that public outrage would guarantee impeachment if not imprisonment for all four of these Republicans.

In spite of their intellect-insulting lies and race-baiting on the campaign trial, malign and failed policies, and gross criminality, four Republicans won five of six presidential elections from 1968 to 1988, and successfully stole the election in 2000. Even if all of this were possible in the face of liberally-biased media coverage - a doubtful prospect at best - Republicans would not enjoy wide-scale public acceptance without pro-Republican media cover.

Some inkling of some Republican scandals eventually saw the light of day, but only because of the profound systemic corruption of the right wing and its leaders rather than any media bias against them. The recent non-stop Reagan veneration despite the war against most Americans he waged with nearly a dozen dozen criminals in his administration proves right wing media bias.

Most Americans still don't know most of the sordid details about the series of right wing scandals. Republicans would poll in the mid-20% range if voters understood that these outrages - dating back long before the witch-hunts and abuses of the McCarthy Era - represent Republican business as usual. Not an "aberration" by a few "overzealous"

operatives.

Underscoring the transparent dishonesty of this media-endorsed cover-story, felons from past Republican administrations thrive as members of the current criminal Bush / Cheney GOPeration and appear as "experts" in the not-so-liberal media. The media often embrace even disgraced and convicted right wing liars as experts.

Contrasted against savage attacks against moderates like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the reluctant media coverage of Republican failures and scandals prove media complicity and bias in favor of the right and against the center-left.

American Reactionary "Conservatism" - the ideology that opposed every sensible policy in US history from independence and the abolition of slavery through pure food and drug laws, anti-child labor laws, women's suffrage, the League of Nations, Social Security, protections for investors and bank depositors, timely intervention against the Nazis and Imperial Japan, the GI Bill, the Marshall Plan, environmental protection to date - is the dominant political movement. Could this happen if the media were liberal? Of course not.

True, the media reluctantly covered Watergate and Vietnam as debacles, but this led to a severe backlash as many blamed "the liberal media"

rather than the real causes - bad policies based on failed right wing assumptions and garden variety Republican extremism and corruption.

Former Nixon Treasury Secretary William Simon, a billionaire who cashed in with his shady leveraged buyout techniques of paper-shuffling "capitalism," led a crusade against those he considered "socialists" in academia, business, and - most of all - the media. This merely accelerated the rightward media trend.

Once upon a time, reporters were working stiffs and identified with common people. Publishers and editors less so, but the press usually showed some balance between corporate and personal. Over time, however, demographics changed. Today, most reporters are college graduates from higher up the economic ladder. Top reporters make $100,000s or even $millions a year and they think and act like others in their elite tax bracket. Still, past impressions linger obscuring current reality.

As always, the decision-makers - editors and publishers who choose which stories get on the air or into print and hire, promote and fire reporters and - identify with rich business owners whose advertising underwrites the media. The media elite hobnob with fellow business executives at Chamber of Commerce luncheons in upscale salons and exclusive country clubs.

The bottom line for the media remains their bottom line. They want big profits so they support unfair regressive tax cuts for multinationals, lax or no enforcement of anti-trust laws, deregulation, low wages and little or no worker protections, a permissive Federal Communications Commission, and other policies that favor their corporate interests and their corporate advertisers. All of this establishes media bias in favor of right wingers - increasingly Republicans - and against reporting the ongoing systematic deception, corruption and failure of corporations and pro-corporate politicians dating back more than a century. This holds across the board for all questions of policy and politics, economics and more.

Want to understand media bias? Follow the money. Media moguls identify with their peers and share their profound pro-Republican biases. Of course they do. They know where their money comes from, and it's not from liberal interest groups, unions, or the working poor. Want to do something about media bias? Join the Media Watch project - http://democrats.com/media.

Bio: Mike Hersh is a writer, lawyer and activist living in the Washington, DC area. He operates two websites - MikeHersh.com and BushOccupation.com - and several online communities. He has been writing about politics and economics since the mid 1980s.

 

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

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