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Shock! Conservative Bias in the Media

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A great piece at the Washington Monthly by Paul Waldman about the rightward tilt of the Sunday Morning talk shows. It turns out, that despite what Fox News would like you to believe, the shows are predominiantly filled with conservative guests, and the percentage is growing, up to 58% in 2005.

The piece argues a point that many liberals have noted over the years. Even when there is one ‘liberal’ and one conservative on a show, it’s still not exactly balanced:

that some may have internalized the conservative critique of the media, which assumes that daily journalists are “liberal” almost by definition, and thus can provide a counterpoint to highly partisan conservative pundits.

Where has the conservative bias been most obvious? Discussion (or lack thereof) of the Iraq War.

On the most important debate of this period in our nation’s history, one side—the side on which the majority of the American people now find themselves—has been represented by only a tiny number of guests. In the pre-war period, beginning in September 2002, only 18 percent of the members of Congress who appeared as guests ended up voting against the congressional resolution authorizing the war. During the war itself (the period of “major combat operations” ending with Bush’s infamous “Mission Accomplished” carrier landing), the figure was a paltry 13 percent. And in the period since then, the anti-war position has been held by 17 percent of congressional guests. By comparison, 30 percent of representatives and senators voted against the resolution for war.

And so the discussion about the war has become this farce where one side advocates the Bush Administration position and the other side takes a Bush-lite position. No real discussion about the legitimacy of a unilateral interventionist US policy, no real discussion about the impact of the war on Iraq, and no real discussion about the possibility of leaving before our masters in the Bush Administration tell us we can.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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