Sunday, June 22, 2008


[From the STMcC archive; 2006, December 4th]

Book: “BIAS: A CBS Insider Exposes How The Media Distort The News” by Bernard Goldberg; 2002.

Grade: A -

“Before September 11, the media elites, too often, behaved badly. And they will again”, Bernard Goldberg writes on the first page of his important and impressive book, BIAS, “It is, after all, who they are.”

I must begin by saying how much I respect and admire the courageous Mr. Goldberg. This is a self-professed “liberal”, a man who acknowledges that he had never voted for a Republican candidate for president in his entire life! And yet, he put his liberal azz on the line when he publicly confessed and complained about liberal bias in the news media. Not the liberal values mind you – those he mostly endorsed – but the bias, the way the media distorts the truth to manipulate the perceptions of the (easily manipulated) masses.

Writing BIAS was not an act of courage, as that came after Goldberg’s retirement from CBS, when he could not be hurt by the revelation, and could only benefit from the book sales. No, his great act of bravery and neck-outta-the-turtle-shell honesty came in the form of a 1996 Wall Street Journal op-ed piece in which he criticized his industry for its underhanded practices while he was still dependent upon that industry for a paycheck. Goldberg is the proverbial dog who bites the hand that feeds it. And in short order, he was treated like a cur, given a one-way ticket to Pariahville. But he expected as much and did it anyway because he believes in fair play. Though politically, Goldberg and I have next to nothing in common, if I ever met him at Jolly Jacks, I’d buy the man a “Kocktale” and consider it an honor to count him amongst my friends. He’s a rare breed in today’s world of politics.

The two factors that make this book a watershed publication on this subject are 1) that the exposure of the media’s Leftist slant (yeah, a “slant” like a “lien” on the truth) comes not from a protesting Conservative, but a dyed-in-the-wool Lib, and 2) the slant is not just admitted but illustrated – illustrated with unimpeachable examples and research into how, and how many times, certain socially important stories were framed and deliberately hung crookedly in the media museum for all the world to see. (You know, like this… ;o) See the Left-leaning reporter wink? That wascally wepohtah winks ‘cause he pulls the wibewal wool over yew TV-satuwated eyebawls.)

But what I liked was the book’s tone: it’s both humorous and hard-hitting. Goldberg pulls no punches on his old cronies. Consider these examples:

* “If arrogance were a crime, there wouldn’t be enough jail cells in the entire United States to hold all the people in TV news.” [-Pg. 186]

* “They love diversity in the newsroom. That’s what they say, anyway. They love diversity of color, diversity of gender, diversity of sexual orientation. But God forbid someone in their diverse newsroom has a diverse view about how the news ought to be presented. When that happens, these champions of diversity quake in their boots and practically make in their pants.” [-Pg. 32]

* “I know that homelessness ceased to exist because I watch television news. If homeless people still existed, Dan and Tom and Peter would have them all over the news . . . I could be wrong, but I think homelessness ended the day Bill Clinton was sworn in as president. Which is one of those incredible coincidences, since it pretty much began the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president. What are the odds?” [-Pg. 71]

In blowing the whistle on the liberal bias of both print and broadcast news sources, Goldberg tells us that “everybody to the right of Lenin is a ‘right-winger’, as far as the media elites are concerned. [-Pg. 13] . . . liberals have an uneasy feeling about tax cuts in general and are downright hostile to the kinds of cuts that benefit the wealthy in particular, even if they also help a lot of other Americans . . . [liberal opposition to the flat tax] was visceral, from the same dark region that produces envy and the seemingly unquenchable liberal need to wage class warfare.” [-Pg. 19]

Do you realize what Goldberg just called liberals (whether he really meant to or not)? Well, if you’re not educated enough to figure it out, I’m not going to spell it out for you. Like hell I’m not! C-O-M-M-U-N-I-S-T-S. There! It’s out! Now maybe we can finally make some real progress in this political debate between liberalism and conservatism.

The only aspect of Golberg’s BIAS that I must take issue with is his insistence that “there isn’t a well-orchestrated, vast left-wing conspiracy in America’s newsrooms.” He writes, “It is not some sinister plot, but about how mostly liberal journalists tend to frame stories from a mostly liberal point of view . . . No, we don’t sit around in dark corners and plan strategies on how we’re going to slant the news. We don’t have to. It comes naturally to most reporters.”

I have no doubt that’s true. But by his own admission, members of the media “vote overwhelmingly Democratic.” [-Pg. 118]; “By and large, the media elites, really are liberal. And Democrats, too.” [-Pg. 122]; that there is “a disproportionate number of liberals” in the media [-Pg.120]; and “in the world of media elites, Democrats outnumber Republicans by twelve to one.” [-Pg. 124].

No “left-wing conspiracy”? Hey, I didn’t just fall off the “potatoe” truck, ya know? A nod to Dan Quayle there. (An aside: You wanna learn how to spell better than a U.S. vice president? Just remember it this way… MR. POTATO HEAD only gets an “e” when he’s hangin’ out with other “potatoes.” Likewise his Marxist/Feminist girlfriend, MS. TOMATO HEAD. She only gets an “e” when she’s hangin’ out with her “Red” comrades, the other “tomatoes.”)

But look, in a country fairly evenly split between Democrats (liberals) and Republicans (conservatives?!), and the alternative news sources proving no lack of Republican interest in the media, the huge disparity between the number of Dems and Reps in the mainstream media indicates a “Left-wing conspiracy” in hiring practices. Maybe there’s no collusion in the newsroom, but there would have to be one at the level where employment decisions are being made. How else did the newsrooms become so liberal, and how did they maintain that liberal “lien” on the media decade after decade? (See the book, NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON: 25 YEARS LATER by John Stormer.)

Other than this one disagreement, I found BIAS by Bernard Goldberg to be a solid indictment of the mainstream media’s bias. An exceptional book! Wanna see how this country’s view of things like Homelessness, AIDS, Feminism, and Affirmative Action was shaped by the media? BIAS is your book and Bernard Goldberg is your writer. Despite being a Democrat, his insistence that at the least, the opposing conservative viewpoint deserved to be heard, proved to me that he is more “good man” than “bad liberal.” Goldberg is Left but right, and you should buy his book.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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