Can Left-Wing Journalists Really Be Fair?

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Goldberg contrasts the mass media’s reactions to the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001 with its response to Timothy McVeigh’s evil deeds when he blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds of others. Political leaders such as US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair plus the Western press were quick to reassure the public that the acts of Arab Muslim Jihadists who murdered thousands of unarmed civilians had nothing to do with Islam, which is a religion of peace.

Goldberg recalls that McVeigh’s misdeeds from the Los Angeles Times to Time magazine were blamed on the “hateful rhetoric” of right-wing groups or the popular American conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh:

I thought about how it took some of the media elites only a few days before they started to play one of their favorite games – connect the dots. What they found back then – or more accurately, what they convinced themselves they found – was a line stretching from Oklahoma City to the Republican Party to conservatives in general and finally to Rush Limbaugh. Dan Rather said, “Even after Oklahoma City, you can turn on your radio in any city and still dial up hate talk: extremist, racist, and violent from the hosts and those who call in.”

Dan Rather is the former news anchor for the CBS Evening News from 1981 to 2005 and has also contributed to CBS’s 60 Minutes, a prime-time television news magazine which has run since 1968. In May 2012, Rather canceled an appearance on The O’Reilly Factor at Fox News, instead showing up on the satirical TV program The Daily Show with Jon Stewart where he argued that there is no left-wing bias in the mass media.

Goldberg, who worked with Rather for years, retorted that “His statement is a sham – he’s not telling the truth.” Much of the press is working to see that Obama is reelected, for instance. Bill O’Reilly looked back at the history of the powerful CBS broadcaster, noting that Walter Cronkite, the longtime anchorman of the CBS Evening News (1962-81), was a “very, very left-wing guy,” but he could hide it and wasn’t “some crank.”

Bernard Goldberg convincingly demonstrates with example after example how strong left-wing political sympathies not infrequently translate into lopsided reporting in real life, slanted in favor of left-wing politicians, organizations or causes, and how this bias colors reporting on men vs. women, whites vs. non-whites, or gays vs. straights. He repeatedly stresses, however, that most journalists honestly don’t see themselves or their reporting as “biased.” They tend to view themselves as smart, well-meaning and educated people without prejudice.

According to their own world view, perhaps we could call many members of the modern Western mass media and academia the Enlightened Class, who spread enlightened values to the masses while dispelling myths and warding off the evils of conservative backwardness, superstition and primitive dogma.

In every single Western country for which I have seen studies, journalists have political sympathies to the left of the general population, sometimes quite far to the left. The question is: Does it matter?

I think it does. The mass media are incredibly powerful. They are the eyes and ears of modern societies and affect how we collectively perceive the world around us. If they distort our senses by viewing everything through red-colored glasses, it becomes hard to accurately recognize and deal with problems. When faced with real enemies – and there will always be enemies – such a systemic distortion of reality could prove fatal.

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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


          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 " ?
    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 .