Media bias is nothing new to conservatives. We’ve seen it all our lives. But bias is one thing, and political activism is something else entirely.
In the 2008 presidential race, the media finally crossed the line. Says author and media critic Bernard Goldberg, it’s no longer an issue of bias: the media are political activists, broadcasting campaign ads for Democrats disguised as news stories.
How bad did it get? Goldberg’s new book, “A Slobbering Love Affair,” paints a vivid picture of how bad it gets.
Goldberg writes of the clown show at MSNBC, “Chris Matthews is a journalist hooker putting out for Obama from the moment the senator showed some leg.”
“A Slobbering Love Affair” (published by HUMAN EVENTS’ sister company Regnery Publishing) — just out today — concludes we’ve now entered “Bamalot”: where the media are so invested in Obama’s success that they’ll do anything to help him succeed. And if reporters won’t perform their basic function in telling Americans the truth about their government, democracy cannot function.
Here are some excerpts from “A Slobbering Love Affair”:
Most Journalists Don’t Even Know They Are Biased
I know these people, I used to work with them, and I can assure you that if you hooked even the most biased reporter up to a lie detector machine, while he was swearing that he was not in the tank for Barack Obama the needle on the polygraph wouldn’t budge, not even a little. (p. 13)
…they [journalists] work in liberal newsrooms imbued with liberal sensibilities. And so they are like fish in the ocean that don’t know they’re wet. How would fish know they’re wet? Fish have no frame of reference. They only know wet. And, yes, it is the same with the journalistic fish who swim in America’s big mainstream liberal newsrooms. They don’t fully understand how their liberalism affects their news judgment. (pp. 66-67)
On the Role of American Media
Goldberg relates the story of an exchange with a college professor, who asked:
“Isn’t it the role of the media to effect change in society?”
It was a statement posing as a question.
“Your change or mine?” I asked.
Silence. After a while, I thought that I had either gone deaf or that the phone went dead. It had never occurred to this supposedly well-educated liberal man who taught liberal kids at a liberal college that change comes in more than one package. My change, I explained to him, would be very different from his.…It is not the media’s role to effect change — either the professor’s kind or mine. And while we’re on the subject, it is not the media’s role to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, even though this is taken as gospel in America’s liberal newsrooms. It is the media’s role to report the news, not to advocate for causes, no matter how noble journalists think the cause might be. (pp. 2-3)
"Clueless" Chris Matthews, The Journalistic Hooker
Matthews had just heard Obama give a victory speech and had to share his innermost thoughts — no, make that his innermost feelings — with all of us. “I felt this thrill going up my leg,” Matthews blurted out. Yes, Chris heard a politician speak and it sent a thrill running up his leg. Memo to Chris Matthews: This is not political analysis. This is a man crush! Matthews, who might as well have been wearing a short skirt and carrying pom-poms emblazoned with a big O, was madly in love with Obama and he didn’t care if the whole world knew it….Matthews also told Leno that night that Barack and Michelle Obama are, “cool people. They are really cool. They’re Jack and Jackie Kennedy when you see them together. They are cool. And they’re great looking and they’re cool….Everything seems to be great. I know I’m selling him now. I’m not supposed to sell.” I disagree. Hookers sell all the time. That’s what they do. And Chris Matthews, whatever else he may or may not be, is a journalist hooker who was putting out for Obama from the moment the senator showed some leg and decided to run for president of the United States. (pp. 24-25)
White Liberal Guilt
There are deep reasons why so many white journalists sold out their principles for Obama. In no small way, they were trying to redeem their own racial virtue. “Since the sixties, whites have had to prove a negative — that they are not racist,” is how the scholar Shelby Steele explained it in an essay entitled, “Liberal Bias and the Zone of Decency.” Sure, they wanted to make their Messiah look good. But even more important, they wanted to feel good — about themselves! (pp. 42-43)
Palin Derangement Syndrome
I have a theory. What drives some of them nuts is not just that they think she’s unqualified to be vice president, or certainly president, of the United States. As I said before, that’s a perfectly legitimate point of view. What makes these liberals foam at the mouth is that this “white trash,” pro-gun, pro-life, church-going woman, who didn’t to go to Harvard or Yale or Princeton, but who flitted from one second-rate school to another before she wound up (my God, they groaned) at the University of Idaho, became the most prominent woman in all of America! (p. 49)
Rush Limbaugh Explains the Media’s Unabashed Liberalism
Goldberg: “Is there anything — anything — the mainstream media can do that will help them regain the trust of the American people — and if so, will they do it?
Limbaugh: “…I believe the creation of the New Media has made the mainstream media now openly competitive with the New Media, which is why they are so open now about choosing sides…since I started in 1988, look at what has happened. There were 125 talk stations in 1988. Now there are over 2,000. Right-wing blogs have sprung up. FOX News prime time is simply talk radio on TV. So all this New Media pisses off the mainstream media. They are in open competition with us and as such have now been forced to openly declare what they used to hide behind their so-called objectivity: and that is their liberalism.” (pp. 55-56)
Who Beat John McCain?
As corrupt as the media were during the presidential campaign of 2008, the mainstream media did not defeat John McCain. They may have cost him a percentage point, but that’s about it. (p. 147)
Now Republicans have to take stock. They have to be introspective. They can’t blame the media for all their problems. They have to admit their mistakes and figure out where to go from here, or they will continue to lose elections. The good news for the GOP is that they have some interesting thinkers in their ranks — people like Newt Gingrich and Michael Steele and a few governors like Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. They will figure out, I think, how to regain the trust of the American people. And that just happens to be the very same challenge facing the mainstream media. How will they regain the trust of the American people? History suggests they have a much bigger problem on their hands than do the Republicans. Politicians care what regular folks think, if for no other reason than they need regular folks to survive. The mainstream media don’t give a damn what regular folks think. They haven’t cared for years. Why change now, especially since their guy just won? (pp. 149-150)
Welcome to Bamalot
In his acceptance speech, Obama laid the groundwork. “The road ahead will be long,” he told us. “Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term” — thus inoculating himself if he comes up short. And the mainstream media, I think, will carry that idea with them, because of the huge investment they made in his success. They will set up a construct in which all that turns out good will be to President Obama’s credit. All that turns out bad will be Bush’s fault. In other words, heads Obama wins, tails Bush loses. Although it’s too late for the media to redeem its coverage of the 2008 election, they can still hold Obama accountable as president. They should closely examine his early actions in office, especially if he issues executive orders, and report promptly any of his decisions that may function as rewards for his campaign donors and other influential supporters. I hope we don’t have to wait too long to see those kinds of stories. But the media did work hard to get Obama elected, didn’t they? So the question now is: will they risk undermining him in order to bring to the American people something as trivial as honest reporting? (pp. 156-157)
Here’s my solution to the problem of media bias: diversity. What journalism needs is more diversity. And not just the kind we’ve grown accustomed to. Journalism needs an affirmative action program for the smallest minority in America’s newsrooms: conservatives. (p. 159)
But please understand, I don’t want these conservatives slanting the news to the right anymore than I want liberal journalists slanting it to the left. All most of us want is some fairness, and we think that diversity that goes beyond skin color and sex and ethnicity can provide it. Over the years we made sure that our newsrooms look like America. Now we need them to think a little more like America. Who could argue with that? (p.161)