Panel of reporters: Yes, the media leans left

posted at 6:41 pm on December 18, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via Politico, a nice illustration of how members of the guild have grown more willing over the years to cop to institutional biases. You could replace Tapper, Kelly O’Donnell, Mark Leibovich, and Peter Baker here with virtually any four reporters in New York or D.C. and get similar answers, I think. Only the most strident Krugman-esque lefty hacks would differ. The corollary, though, as I’ve said before, is that copping to institutional bias is now used as a sort of plea bargain to the charge of unfairness, to avoid the harsher penalty of having to correct that bias. Over the past 10-15 years, as conservative media watchdogs have flourished, the demand presented to “impartial” outlets was to be more neutral in their coverage or, failing that, admit that their ideological orientation is fundamentally liberal. The goal was to get them to change, not to come clean. Instead, increasingly, they’re apt to admit that they do lean left as a group. You win, conservatives; we’re liberals. And then the coverage proceeds more or less as normal, with major shifts produced only when an inconvenient fact becomes impossible to ignore or when conservatives wage an intense online campaign to browbeat them into covering a particular issue more fairly. E.g., it took big media four years to recognize that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” was an egregious lie, even though conservative media — like this site — was warning them about it ages ago. It took a relentless shaming campaign on Twitter to get them to cover Kermit Gosnell, even though the volume of murders he was accused of and the gruesome details about his clinic would have made for sensationalist media catnip in any non-abortion context. Those are two obvious examples; you can add your own. And if you challenge a reporter on them, he/she will almost certainly say, “You’re right, we as a collective do lean liberal.” What then, wingnut?

But maybe they can’t change. Watch Tapper and Leibovich argue, not unreasonably, that reporters are products of their environment like anyone else. If you went to an Ivy League school, live in a city, and work in a newsroom that’s leaned left for decades, odds are your friends, neighbors, and colleagues share certain cultural assumptions that are bound to influence you, subtly or not. An editorial board may grant occasionally that the GOP has a point about the need for entitlement reform, but on core cultural disputes like gun rights and abortion, rarely will they depart from liberal orthodoxy. It’s interesting watching Tapper, a fair reporter by anyone’s standard, make that argument, though. Is there something in his own background that makes it easier for him to resist those cultural assumptions than it is for other journalists, or is he just unusually mindful of those assumptions and works to resist them? And if it’s the latter, how to explain why others aren’t as mindful?


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Cries of media bias by the right are laughable.
 
urban elitist on January 2, 2012 at 10:13 PM

rogerb on December 18, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Panel of reporters: Yes, the media leans left

In other breaking news, water wet; sky blue; sun to rise in east tomorrow.

Hayabusa on December 18, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Panel of reporters: Yes, the media leans left

OK then!

Now onto a TWD hiatus Grumble Thread!

Bruno Strozek on December 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

And if you challenge a reporter on them, he/she will almost certainly say, “You’re right, we as a collective do lean liberal.” What then, wingnut?

First, cancel their health insurance and force them to use Obamacare. That might straighten some of them out, individually.

Second, media organizations need to make a concerted effort to hire conservatives as reporters and editors. In the name of diversity, of course.

malclave on December 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Leans left? That’s a rather benign euphemism for “wholly owned jock-sniffing propaganda arm of boyfriend Barry”

Kataklysmic on December 18, 2013 at 6:49 PM

But maybe they can’t change. Watch Tapper and Leibovich argue, not unreasonably, that reporters are products of their environment like anyone else. If you went to an Ivy League school, live in a city, and work in a newsroom that’s leaned left for decades, odds are your friends, neighbors, and colleagues share certain cultural assumptions that are bound to influence you, subtly or not.

An enclave of stupid.
We’re keeping our guns for this very reason.

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 6:50 PM

They are the fascist democrats palace guard.

VorDaj on December 18, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Intellectual inbreds is what they are.

VorDaj on December 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM

“Journalist” lean left? Is the Pope Catholic? I hope to shi_ in your mess kit!

StevC on December 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM

They think less independently than do the Borg.

VorDaj on December 18, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Are they even able to define the characteristics of the left versus right?

Murphy9 on December 18, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Leans = faceplants

MT on December 18, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Kind of like the internal temperature of the sun leans warm.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on December 18, 2013 at 6:57 PM

It’s interesting watching Tapper, a fair reporter by anyone’s standard, make that argument, though. Is there something in his own background that makes it easier for him to resist those cultural assumptions than it is for other journalists, or is he just unusually mindful of those assumptions and works to resist them? And if it’s the latter, how to explain why others aren’t as mindful?

Most people don’t like to admit, even to themslves, that they could be biased. Most reporters want to believe that they’re giving us the straight dope (“just the facts”) and not putting any spin on it. It’s pretty much a matter of human frailty. Which makes the reporters like Tapper and others of the past like him who fought against their own feelings/biases that much more noble. (Did I just say that members of the press could be noble? Yikes!!)

Bitter Clinger on December 18, 2013 at 6:58 PM

It’s interesting watching Tapper, a fair reporter by anyone’s standard, make that argument, though. Is there something in his own background that makes it easier for him to resist those cultural assumptions than it is for other journalists,

Could it be he’s a heterosexual male with one heterosexual female wife, a single family (detached) house with a mortgage, 2 kids and a dog named Spot?

He’s a real freak in the newsroom if you ask me. Which makes him a fairly normal American man.

BobMbx on December 18, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Whod’ a thunk it? I am gobsmacked!

mouell on December 18, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Help me out. If I watch this video will they actually say that their liberal ideology willfully blinds them completely to the criminal activity rampant in the current administration?

DaveDief on December 18, 2013 at 7:02 PM

And if it’s the latter, how to explain why others aren’t as mindful?

Because generally they are not very smart. Go to Youtube and watch Wolf Blitzer and Soledad O’Brien for an indication of their ignorance,

Dey don’t knoe nuttin’.

FOWG1 on December 18, 2013 at 7:03 PM

I find it hard to believe that just because 95% of the news media self identifies as a leftists that they would actually repor…ah propagandize the lefts point of view….everytime.

jukin3 on December 18, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Bernie Goldberg said it best in “Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the media Distort News”…

A fish doesn’t know it’s wet.

Most of the media are blind enough to believe they are “centrists” or “Objective”

a5minmajor on December 18, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Help me out. If I watch this video will they actually say that their liberal ideology willfully blinds them completely to the criminal activity rampant in the current administration?

DaveDief on December 18, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Let’s not get crazy here.

Bitter Clinger on December 18, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Panel of reporters: Yes, the media leans left

Only notable because of all the years they spent denying it. Or claiming it didn’t matter.

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 18, 2013 at 7:11 PM

It’s interesting watching Tapper, a fair reporter by anyone’s standard, make that argument, though. Is there something in his own background that makes it easier for him to resist those cultural assumptions than it is for other journalists, or is he just unusually mindful of those assumptions and works to resist them? And if it’s the latter, how to explain why others aren’t as mindful?

I always thought that because Tapper first gained fame as an openly liberal political writer for Salon.com, he’s been trying to prove that he wasn’t just a liberal hack during his work with ABC and CNN, in order to be taken seriously. Whereas, guys like, say, David Gregory, never had to prove their impartiality — it’s always been assumed — therefore they never developed the ability (or ethical code) to recognize when their liberal assumptions were in fact liberal assumptions and not necessarily the truth or the only perspective out there.

Robert_Paulson on December 18, 2013 at 7:12 PM

…leans?…’leaps’ is more like it!

KOOLAID2 on December 18, 2013 at 7:15 PM

It’s not that they can’t change, it’s that they refuse to change. If they wanted to they could hire conservative commentators and reporters, balance out their ranks, and aim for actual objectivity. But that would mean that they would get their way less often than they do now, so there’s no incentive for them to change — hence why they’re willing to say “Biased? You bet! Go suck a lemon!”

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Yes, the media leans left

OMG! Stop the presses!

Like NO ONE knew!

Or is it that the evidence is so overwhelming, the liberal whores have nothing to hide behind any longer?

GarandFan on December 18, 2013 at 7:21 PM

You don’t say. Well, I learn something new every day. Shocked, really.

An enclave of stupid.
We’re keeping our guns for this very reason.

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Among a few others.

So what’s next? “Affordable Healthcare Act” isn’t affordable or about healthcare?

ghostwalker1 on December 18, 2013 at 7:31 PM

PRAVDA…….

crosshugger on December 18, 2013 at 7:38 PM

You can’t blame them. Liberals go to journalism school. They seek out the most prestigious colleges. They move to the influential coastal cities. They network. They hire each other. They organize. They tow the party line.

And all of it is legal. Fair and square.

If conservatives don’t like it, why don’t they send their kids to journalism school? Because their kids don’t want to go. Only liberal kids are interested in story telling. Those who don’t go to journalism school, go to film school. And the ones who don’t go to film school, go to teacher’s college, where they tell more stories to the next generation. And the ones who don’t go to teacher’s college, go to law school, after which they enter politics where story telling is how you keep your job. This is why we have a liberal society. All the cultural levers are operated by liberals because historically only liberals have been interested in operating those levers. Whose fault is that?

It’s the nature of the beast. Complaining about it, as we oft do, just acknowledges that the liberals, are by nature, any society’s natural story tellers . . . and conservatives aren’t.

keep the change on December 18, 2013 at 7:38 PM

the actual lede is that recently leftist propagandist have felt safe enough to come out of the closet

30 years ago they could not have done this…now the left has more freedoms…cf. the hatred freely expressed by every leftists from podesta on down and up

out and proud

r keller on December 18, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Only the most whacked are oblivious to the obvious.

And all of it is legal. Fair and square.

Wow you’re a big thinker.

Most cons would rather their kids do a meaningful job and make a wage that supports their families.

I, like many, simply want them to quit pretending that they are not biased. They should be honest with their viewers and audience.

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 18, 2013 at 7:49 PM

I have felt for a while that all NEWS shows, Shows that are sold as NEWS shows, (CBS NEWS, FOX NEWS, PBS NEWS, etc) should have an oversight group of equal amount of Dems, GOP on it. If one of the sides think the NEWS on a station is presenting on a biased angle, that station will get a warning. If it continues to report the NEWS in a biased way to one of the sides (and the claim must withstand a truth test using facts)the word NEWS must not be used in the title of the show. Opinion shows (O Reily, Hannity, the Freak Shows on MSNBC, etc) must also open the show with a disclaimer (voice over and graphic) that the show is an Opinion Show and do not reflect the Views of the Station. We need to educate the LIV’s, not give up on them making them easy game for the preditors. I feel most NEWS shows have no respect for the First Amendment or the cost of treasure and blood it has taken to insure it. People need to know when they are getting non-biased reporting or opinion pieces wrapped up as a NEWS show. I guess what I am saying NEWS shows should be certified as non-biased.
Is this a reach?

Whiterock on December 18, 2013 at 7:53 PM

. It took a relentless shaming campaign on Twitter to get them to cover Kermit Gosnell, even though the volume of murders he was accused of and the gruesome details about his clinic would have made for sensationalist media catnip in any non-abortion context. Those are two obvious examples; you can add your own

No need to add. That is a good example. I’ll never understand why that animal isn’t the top villain in the country. Ed and Rscoop were heroic in their attempts to highlight Gosnell’s crime. For some reason, even though it eventually got some play, it never was the horror story it should of been. It became a story about ill equipped abortion clinics instead of one about a mass baby killer condoned for years by the abortion industry. That’s on this country. That’s one that didn’t reflect well on the viewing public. Ed and Scoop certainly did their part. Maybe Allah too(I can’t remember).

BoxHead1 on December 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

The same thing is going on with Jay Carney now admitting the healthcare rollout was a disaster. “It’s on us,” now admits almost with gusto. It’s a nice ploy. By admitting they blew it, they are off the hook for the whole mess. Hey, they owned up, didn’t they?

The proper response to this trick by a real reporter would be to follow with: “So you are incompetent and liars. Why should we believe you about, well, anything?

MaxMBJ on December 18, 2013 at 7:58 PM

They all get caught lying, spinning and distorting, over and over. And they just go on, hoping everybody will forget and fall back in the gullibility trance, because they’re still the ones with the megaphone.

Whatever happens
They have got
The megaphone
And we have not.

David Blue on December 18, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Ed and Rscoop were heroic in their attempts to highlight Gosnell’s crime. For some reason, even though it eventually got some play, it never was the horror story it should of been.

BoxHead1 on December 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Yup. The good guys lost that one.

David Blue on December 18, 2013 at 8:32 PM

If you went to an Ivy League school, live in a city, and work in a newsroom that’s leaned left for decades, odds are your friends, neighbors, and colleagues share certain cultural assumptions that are bound to influence you, subtly or not.

Excuse works when you’re 20, not when you’re 35.

It speaks to the lack of critical thinking skills of those coming out of schools of journalism. And, to be honest, it speaks to their lack of intelligence.

mankai on December 18, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Peter Baker: “I have Evangelical….you know….in my family.”

He can’t even get the word “Christians” out of his mouth.

aquaviva on December 18, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Over the past 10-15 years, as conservative media watchdogs have flourished, the demand presented to “impartial” outlets was to be more neutral in their coverage or, failing that, admit that their ideological orientation is fundamentally liberal. The goal was to get them to change, not to come clean. Instead, increasingly, they’re apt to admit that they do lean left as a group. You win, conservatives; we’re liberals.

It’s the “limited hangout” (not Ehrlichman’s “modified limited hangout”) in action.

Jazz on December 19, 2013 at 7:08 AM

The media doesn’t simply “lean” left, it has tipped so far to the left that all of the knuckles on their left hands drag the ground. They’re beginning to make the old Pravada look like a conservative newspaper.

rplat on December 19, 2013 at 8:27 AM