What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

What liberal media?

Right-wingers continue to insist that American media has a liberal slant; I receive e-mails from conservative readers who tell me about the liberal bias in the United States.  Conservative pundits say they cannot get their message out.  But they do get their message out.  Turn on any of the cable news channels and there's another conservative complaining about the fact that, aside from talk radio, cable news, the Internet, and a number of newspapers and magazines, their message isn't being communicated. 
And much in the same way the so-called liberal media hated Al Gore (how many times did you hear about Al Gore's "lies," even after they were debunked, such as Al Gore claiming he had invented the Internet?  It happened a lot).
The same thing is happening to John Kerry.  If the media were indeed liberal, wouldn't that media embrace Kerry?  Instead we continue to hear about Kerry's "flip-flops" or comments about his hair or distortions of Kerry's voting record. 
Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler has analyzed the media and its reporting on issues for several years now.   The Daily Howler should be required daily reading for anyone with an interest in the media, especially how the "liberal" media has treated George W. Bush and how John Kerry has been treated.  And it's not equal, and it has not been in John Kerry's favor.  Let's face it, George W. Bush and his administration have not done the greatest job in managing the country, yet the Bush/Kerry poll numbers are very close.  A recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows Kerry/Edwards with a slight edge of Bush/Cheney, 50% to 46%.    Yet George W. Bush's job approval is below 50%, at about 47%.  And as historical trends have shown, no president has ever been re-elected with an approval rating below 50%. 
If the liberal media had, in fact, been on Kerry's side, shouldn't Kerry's numbers be higher?  Bush's should be in the toilet.  The economy continues to sputter along, unemployment is at 5.6%, the same as it was in November 2001, when the recession started, and wages are not keeping up with inflation.  Civilians and soldiers continue to die in Iraq; nearly 900 Americans have been killed in action.  And despite the presence of the "liberal" media there has been little reporting on the numerous investigations into alleged prisoner abuse at the hands of U.S. military police.  All of this should make for a John Kerry landslide in November, but nothing is certain.
In the months to come we'll see just how liberal the media is, and we can judge that by comparing the editorial endorsements of both candidates.  Surely with a liberal media, John Kerry will have a higher number of media endorsements?  Right?  Yeah, right.


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