Why the mejor media list so heavily to Port
During the over 22 years this observer has been involved in journalism, the question I receive most often is: Why are the major broadcast and print media so biased in favor of Liberal causes, in general, and the Democrat Party, in particular?
The answer lies in the work-ethic orientation of the young people who enter journalism and broadcast media. When it comes to journalism and academe (I confess to having been a college professor, a syndicated columnist and a newspaper editor), the truism is: Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach or they write about those who can do.
By and large, conservatives are not attracted to journalism or teaching or even government service. Conservatives prefer the world of business or science or medicine. They see government bureaucrats as people who can only influence society at the margins at best. Conservatives like to start their own businesses or strive for the top of the corporate leadership ladder. They see “nine-to-five, and never-on-weekends,” as the province of losers.
Some young liberals say they “want to make a difference;” however, all too often they try to “make a difference” by taking journalist potshots at those former President Theodore Roosevelt described as: “the man in the arena.”
Especially since the 1960s, schools of journalism have been and are chock full of idealistic youngsters and professors who “want to change the world.” While this old world could certainly benefit from a number of changes, it is not the true function of reporters to change it. Their function is to report the world as it is and then leave it up to their readers to decide if and when changes are needed.
The true function of the reporter is to be like Joe Friday: “Just the facts ma’am,” and leave out the personal opinion. Opinion is the province of the editorial writers and the opinion columnists such as yours truly.
In the old days, before the major media were consumed by the political Left, grizzled old editors would take brand-new reporters outdoors and command, “Describe the weather you see out here.”
Most of today’s wannabe Dan Rathers would say, “It’s a beautiful day or a lousy day,” depending on the weather conditions. That is not reporting. That is editorializing.
But the true reporter would say, “Sir, the temperature is 72 degrees, the relative humidity is 35 percent, the wind is out of the south at 10 miles-per-hour, and the skies are clear.” Now, that’s reporting.
So, you see media bias has four foundations: (1) It attracts young people who want to “change the world,” however, they do not want to get into the actual arena where the world is made and where the world is changed. (2) Their desire to “change is world” is encouraged by liberal professors of journalism who were probably out on the streets protesting everything in sight during the 1960s. (3) They are not trained to report as in my weather reporting example. (4) They know the path to replacing Dan Rather or Peter Jennings or Katy Couric or getting on CNN or writing for The New York Times or The Los Angeles Times or The Washington Post depends on toeing the Liberal line. Conservatives need not apply.
Yes, there are a few token conservatives around like George Will and Charles Krauthammer. But, insightful as this observer thinks they are, they are window dressing designed to deflect criticism from those who notice that Lefties and Leftist ideas meet with unquestioning praise from the mainstream media “stars.”
The reason conservative talk radio is so popular is because it meets an unmet need – a need for balance in what would otherwise be a media world totally dominated by the Left. Interestingly, Fox News Channel bends over backwards to present both sides of every issue and the Left screams like a stuck pig. Some folks just can’t take it.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2004. William Hamilton.