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.

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Liberal Media Strikes Again

Why are conservatives still complaining about liberal bias in the media? Is this still an issue? I think not. Case in point: the CBS "memogate" story and the report that the hunt for WMDs in Iraq had ended with no weapons found.

Now, if the media has a liberal bias, what story do you think it would focus on more? Dan Rather and the CBS investigation into George W. Bush's National Guard service (which was based on forged memos), or the WMD story (which was based in part on forged documents)?

Give yourself a point if you guessed "Memogate" at CBS.

Yes, the media was all over CBS and the outcome of the investigation into why the program 60 Minutes II used forged documents in a report on Bush's Guard service.

Now, earlier this week, the Washington Post broke the story that the Iraq Survey Group had ended its two-year hunt for WMDs shortly before Christmas.

So, how to test the media reaction to these two stories? Well, I don't have Lexis-Nexis, but I have a similar service called Highbeam Research. While its database of news sources isn't as extensive as Lexis-Nexis, it's pretty close.

With that in mind, I'll do a total of four searches: two searches of "cbs news" and "weapons of mass destruction" through newspaper headlines and stories, and two searches of transcripts. I'll start with the date of Jan. 10 through today, Jan. 14.

Newspaper reports on CBS News: 160 hits.
Newspaper reports on WMDs: 57 hits.

Transcripts mentioning the CBS report on the Bush National Guard story: 18 hits.
Transcripts mentioning weapons of mass destruction: 5 hits.

So, in both cases, coverage of the CBS news fiasco was three times that of the report that Iraq had no WMDs.

Liberal media bias?

You can test this for yourself via Google News, if you do not have access to Lexis-Nexis or a similar service. Click here for a search for "CBS News," and here for a search for "weapons of mass destruction, covering Jan. 10 - Jan. 14, 2005.

What do you get? CBS News rates 4,250 hits, while WMDs rates 2,410 hits.

So, if the media has a liberal bias, why is it all over the CBS "Memogate" story?

Answer: because mainstream media does not have a liberal bias. In fact, right now, the media has a pro-Bush bias.

Say, speaking of the liberal media, whatever happened with the investigation that someone from the Bush administration had leaked the name of a CIA operative to columnist Robert Novak?

I can hear the crickets chirping. CIA operative? Huh?

Good job, liberal media.


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