He's dead on when it comes to Bias and Arrogance in the Media. And I have to admit his latest book isn't too far off the mark! Where he and I will disagree is that I believe art, including films and tv shows, have traditionally been left of center, and I have no problem with shows like Will and Grace. In art, even modern day art forms, such as tv, films, book, and theatre, there is room for all kinds of perspectives and if it challenges us, makes us question our assumptions, bias and prejudices, and especially if in doing so, it enlightens us, then it has served its purpose.
Where we definately agree is that much of what Hollywood creates does NOT represent mainstream American thought, sensibilities or politics. When Hollywood elites begin to preach their mostly liberal values as the gospel, claiming them to be representative of mainstream american values, then it is they who are close minded, frightening, and disconnected from the truth.
I just finished reading an article by Ken Auletta, in the New Yorker, called The Dawn Patrol:The curious rise of morning television and the future of network news.
While none of what he shared comes as a surprise to me, especially regarding the egos of producers and on air talent, one particular revelation DID hit me hard.
In sharing Katie Couric's background, he mentioned her mother, Elinor, was a homemaker, and a Planned Parenthood Volunteer. PLANNED PARENTHOOD! Now this seemingly interesting and insignificant revelation may not appear to be of great importance, EXCEPT that it serves as further proof that Bernie Goldberg is right when he insists that liberal bias prevails in the MSM.
Let me elaborate:
In his book "Arrogance", in a chapter called, "Don't Confuse Journalist with Activist" Bernie quotes Abe Rosenthal, who once served as ringmaster to that bastion of liberal thought, The New York Times. Abe upheld the golden rule of journalism and described it this way
" I don't care if my reporters are fucking the elephants, but if they do, they aren't covering the circus". Translation: If a reporter takes a side on an issue, he cannot be allowed to cover news regarding that issue.
Bernie informs us of this "A CBS News employee who takes who takes a public position on a controverial issue OUTSIDE of work runs the risk of compromising his or her reputation for impartiality and fairness, and in so doing may damage the overall credibility of CBS News". from CBS Standards and Practices. I have no doubt that the same applies to ABC, CNN, and NBC.
Bernie then shares an exchange between Katie Couric and Whoopie Goldberg taken down verbatim by the Media Research Center. I won't quote it directly (buy his book) but in essence Katie asks Whoopie to talk about a very personal chapter in her book called CHOICE. During the exchange,Whoopie accidentally lets it slip that she AND Katie have marched together in a pro choice rally.
Again this may seem insignificant, and you may wonder how its related to media bias, but indulge me for a few more minutes, and I think this will become quite clear.
On January 6, 2005, Katie interviewed Michael Moore-ON and I blogged about it in a post called "Denial Is A River In Egypt".
In a conversation with Katie, the self deluded Moore-ON, who considers himself the barometer for the majority of Americans, insisted that the majority of American women are still pro choice. When Katie asked how he knew this, he claimed that all kinds of polls, from CNN, and USA Today, support this "fact". In reality, this isn't a fact, its merely a liberal assumption.
My question is two fold...
1)Where can I find any of these alleged polls that the liberal MSM took supportting this"fact"?
2)Why didn't Katie Couric challenge his statement and those sources?
Surely she must be aware of a Princeton Survey Research Study on Contemporary Feminism
entitled "Progress and Perils: A New Agenda For Women". After all Katie is a feminist and her mom volunteers for Planned Parenthood and this 140 page report on womens views which covered a range of issues INCLUDING Abortion, was commissioned by Fay Wattleton, Planned Parenthood's former president!
Am I to believe that Katie who earns a salary in the MILLIONS of dollars DIDNT know about this survey?? Her research team didnt know about it? No one at NBC knew about it??
But hey, I should be fair now, after all, how could Katie have known about it, the New York Times didn't cover it OR if they did it must have been buried waaaayyy in the back....and the other MSM outlets didn't seem to give it any coverage either, or if they did...it must have been slipped in during the commerical breaks!!
I wonder if the 'non biased' MSM never gave this story much coverage, because the central finding of this report, conducted in June 2004 for Fay Wattleton's organization The Center for the Advancement of Women, clearly proves that FAR from wanting abortion as readily available as botox, most women oppose the procedure.
As Wattleton wrote in the introduction, "There is significant and growing support for severe restrictions on abortion rights." 51 percent wanted to ban abortion altogether or to limit it to cases of rape, incest, and where the mother's life is endangered. Another 17 percent said the procedure should be available under stricter limits than now apply. And were theses women christian conservatives, or red state moms, NO, they were comprised of a cross section of American women!( details and breakdown were mentioned in "Denial is A River in Egypt")
51 percent constitutes a majority! So tell me again Michael and Katie, which way do the MAJORITY of women lean when it comes to abortion: Pro Choice or Pro Life???
Why did Katie never bother to dispute or question Michael's claims and the reliability of these alleged polls conducted by the LIBERAL PRO CHOICE main stream media? Why didn't she challenge him by mentioning Fay Wattleton's survey?
Could it have ANYTHING to do with the fact that Katie IS Pro choice, has marched along side Whoopie in Pro Choice rallies, and has a mom who volunteers for Planned Parenthood, a PRO CHOICE LIBERAL organization? Could the reason she never mentioned this study- conducted by the former President of Planned Parenthood no less -have anything to do with the fact that the results directly conflict with her PERSONAL viewpoint and HER activist agenda?
Noooo!!!! Come on now!!! How can that be possible??? After all the MSM elites keep insisting that there is NO BIAS in the media, and that Bernie Goldberg is wrong, misguided, disgruntled, a liar, and a hardline right wing Bush loving war mongering redneck conservative!
(I think the ONLY reason they have left out "Jesus loving Bible thumping Christian" is because he's jewish!!)
Katie Couric blantantly and unabashedly displayed BIAS in that interview with Michael Moore and in another interview laughed off Whoopie's revelation of her participation in Pro Choice rallies, with a girlish giggle, and said "Noooo..I'm not allowed to do that", thereby admitting she violated the network's book on Standards!
What possible explanation, other than liberal bias, can be offered up as to why the NBC newsroom, and by fiat, the NBC Network, which shares and supports her liberal pro choice left leaning agenda, laughed along with her during the interview, ignoring their OWN book of Standards. Why didn't they care that she was fucking the elephant and still covering the circus!
To expound on the question Bernie Goldberg poses: Suppose some journalist worked for a network/ magazine / newspaper which harboured a right leaning agenda, and he/she marched in a pro life rally, had a mom who volunteered for The Pro Life Action League, and then had the gall to do interviews on the subject; do you think the liberal elites, including Katie Couric would be so nonchallant?