Can Left-Wing Journalists Really Be Fair?

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During the Nordic Media Festival in Bergen, Norway, in May 2012, the largest media conference in the Nordic region with 1600 delegates, Professor Frank Aarebrot voiced his deep concern over the fact that an increasing number of Scandinavians prefer websites that are not edited by proper, decent journalists. He considers this trend “disturbing,” since it leaves a confused audience to search for information on their own. The flock might presumably be led astray without qualified shepherds to guide their path.

Research done by him and others in Scandinavia proves that journalists have political sympathies that are far to the left of the general population, and have had so for decades. Yet Professor Aarebrot is quick to reassure us that this has absolutely no impact on the political profile of their journalistic work, none whatsoever.

As a matter of fact, if you believe that journalists with far-Left political sympathies might slant the way the mainstream media report issues, you’re just as crazy as those who believe that Elvis Presley is still alive or that little green men from outer space walk among us and built the pyramids in ancient Egypt. Yes, that was the exact comparison Aarebrot drew in court in his expert testimony during the trial against Anders Behring Breivik. This comes from an oft-quoted and respected professor of political science in his native country.

But if journalists have some special ability or gene that makes them immune to the weakness of personal bias that affects that rest of mankind, why can’t neo-Nazis make excellent journalists? That would be the logical conclusion if we truly believe that the personal views of journalists have no impact on their reporting.

After hearing the news of Breivik’s massacre at Utøya on a summer camp of the Labor Party’s youth league (AUF), the American television personality Glenn Beck found it distasteful that a party would have a political youth camp at all. As The Sydney Morning Herald commented, “Norwegians have hit back at former Fox News presenter and Tea Party darling Glenn Beck, after he compared the country’s shooting victims to the Hitler Youth in a radio show overnight. In a monologue on the syndicated radio show The Glenn Beck Program, the conservative commentator said: ‘There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler Youth or whatever. I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.’”

Frank Aarebrot, who has studied in the USA, retorted by calling Beck a pig, a “Fascist” and a “vulgar propagandist” leading the American public astray and trying to surpass Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany. When Aarebrot is not presented as an objective scientist totally devoid of personal bias of any kind, he is also a Labor Party supporter and a lifelong honorary member of AUF.

To his credit, Glenn Beck did note that Breivik is a mass murderer and a terrorist who is just as bad as Osama bin Laden. Some observers might claim that his comments were in poor taste, but it is nevertheless a fact that Utøya is a place where Socialist politics and ideological indoctrination is combined with youthful hormones.

It is somewhat odd to label somebody a Fascist when that person advocates less political indoctrination of impressionable youths, not more. Let us leave aside the fact that Beck has earlier warned against the rise of European “Fascists” such as Geert Wilders.

Presumably, to people like Frank Aarebrot, “Socialist” and “unbiased” are seen as synonymous terms. Socialists and Social Democrats are simply honest, decent and honorable people working to spread enlightenment and all that is good to the masses. Sometimes they are opposed by irrational forces clinging to outdated myths or susceptible to the propaganda of evil forces.

Bernard Goldberg is the author of the bestselling book Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News. In it he documents how stories about the plight of the homeless, whose numbers were allegedly mushrooming in the USA, increased under the Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the 1980s but then almost disappeared when Bill Clinton from the Democratic Party was US President from 1993 to 2001, only to resurface once more with the advent of another Republican President, George W. Bush.

The frequency of stories about homelessness was not directly related to the actual number of people living in the streets; they represented a bias in the mass media. Homeless individuals were often presented as innocent victims of a cruel and heartless capitalist society. Less was said about the fact that quite a few of them had problems with drug or alcohol abuse and might at least partially have contributed to their own situation.

Goldberg mentions a study from 1996 among journalists in Washington D.C. showing that fully 89% of them voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, more than twice Clinton’s share among regular voters. 50 percent said they were Democrats; only 4 percent identified as Republicans. This very pronounced left-wing bias among leading journalists has remained remarkably stable for many years. Similar numbers will probably be found in Hollywood and the American entertainment industry, too, which have a major international influence.

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  • Anamah

    So true!!!

  • Mik

    democrats hate conservatives

    conservatives hate the media

  • StephenD

    There was a time when the role of the Free Press was to be the eyes and ears of the laity. As it turns out, they have willingly sold their heritage for an ideology. They are easily spotted and more and more are becoming nothing more than the propaganda tools they chose to be. People are wising up and giving less and less credence to these talking heads. What is the going cost of a soul these days?

  • curmudgeon

    can left-wing journalists really be fair? noone knows. left wing journalists have never tried to be fair. it they were to attempt to be fair, who knows? they might be. and my dog might learn calculus.

    • Jacobite

      Leftism is what an Argentine court called "invincible ignorance". As there is no possibility of changing any but a tiny minority of Leftist's ideology, we have to consider them in the same way we must consider Mohammedan jihadists — a blood enemy, who must be eradicated. The Walker recall underscores the futility of relying on the electoral process to combat Leftism. They never stop attacking, everywhere, simultaneously. Like Carthage, or carpenter ants, they have to be defeated and then destroyed, permanently.

      • Amused

        C'mon man , Walker got the best support Koch Bros. money could buy . Hey Jake , how about just spitting it out and use the word "exterminate " ….lol….you know you want to .

        • voted against carter

          ass-mused,…

          I see you have your RECTALHAT on tight today as is usual.

          Your benefactor G. Sosos left wing money contributions FAR and away exceeds ANY amount of money contributed to conservative groups by the Koch brothers.

          The Koch brothers by the way, ACTUALLY produce products people need and want to buy.

          NOT like your Dr. Evil, G. Soros who JUST benefits off the designed financial destruction of others.

          Silly LIBRATARD.

          • Amused

            "voted against carter " – good name asssswipe , that's the last intelligent move you've made since then .TheKoch bros . BTW actually BUY whatever legislation they need to bring up the bottom line , no matter who they are screwing or poisoning ,. …go out there and lick their asssses , that your purpose in life . A sheet monger . YUK !!!

  • Sage on the Stage

    One of these left-wing reporters came to my door a few years ago; and tried mightily to convert me to the idea of the living wage.(There had been a big write-up in the local paper about a few city employees that got it) He acted like he was doing me a favor by listening to my opinion, but I stood my ground and hit him relentlessly with the truth. I got him to concede on the point that the "living wage" isn't really fair; but he walked away unbowed, intent on finding a gullible soul.

  • Ronald Johnston

    If everybody would do as I have done and do away with cable and satellite tv, this would be a better world. I have an antennae which enables me to get the weather in the morning. I watch no programs on tv!!! I will watch a sports event if I am interested. If it doesn't appear on one of the local channels, I don't watch it!!!! I listen to talk tv which is 99% conservative. If the leftist yellow-bellies had anything to say, they would have more than 1% of talk radio!!!! I read the tampa tribune every morning and then the Wall Street Journal to get the real story!!!! And the tampa tribune wonders why their circulation is down so much that they are having to sell the paper!!!!

  • Amused

    "Can Left wing journalists be fair " ? LOLOL……….sure they can …LOLOLOL…..about as fair as right wing journalists . Just look at" Mr.Jacobite " ……LOL…."eradicated " ??? " blood enemies " ?
    LOOK IN THE MIRROR SCHMUCKS !
    You're no better than your lefty counterparts . Your delusion is that you think you are better . I fully expect another 4 years of Democrats and Republicans pissssing on each other and accomplishing NOTHING . No matter who gets elected . LOL…Congressmen and Representatives ….be sure to bring rubber boots for your next session .

  • Amused

    C'mon Jacobite , stop dancing around the word you realy want to use , just spit it out man …"exterminate " . You know you want to ..

  • Amused

    Now EVERYBODY !!! C'mon lets all do a "SING-A-LONG " ……dont be shy Lefties ! The words are easy and no one really cares if you can hold a note ! Here we go now ….I HATE YOU -I HATE YOU -I HATE YOU – I HATE YOU — [now the chorus ] I REALLY DO !!! I REALLY DO !!! I REALLY DO !!!! $%$@*&^ !!!

    What a country !!

  • Amused

    And to curmudgeon , dont use politics to denigrate good ole' Rover , you're dog is a lot smarter than you think . He doesn't know calculus because he doesn't have to . He can get you off the couch with a look , he can get the best pieces of steak right off your dinner table with just a look , lol….and you even cut the piece and hand it to him .LOLOL…..he can even get you to walk behind him and pick up his droppings , something no man would do , not even for his wife ! And who could get you to rub their belly simply by laying on the floor spread eagled and belly up .? Thank goodness you're dog also don't know politics ….lol….he might bite you if he did .