The Media's True Colors - Part 1C
This is part of my continuing series exploring the real nature and behavior of the U.S. mainstream news media - in terms of news coverage. Part 1 of this series addresses issues of basic journalism, and previous posts covered journalistic malpractice on political coverage (Part 1A) and accountability for malpractice against the Left (Part 1B). This part - 1C - summarizes the double-standards on accountability and punishment. [*This post was updated on 5/12/05 to add some additional data.]
What do the following individuals have in "common"?
They are all columnists/talk show hosts/reporters who were either punished or fired (almost all during the Bush presidency) because of their reports or behaviors that, in some way or the other, either placed prominent conservatives/Republicans in poor light or the media in poor light for propagandizing for the Right. This, despite the fact that many of these incidents have nothing to do with media malpractice, but have, at worst, to do with poor judgment. The list of 21 cases above is not extensive by any means since this was only based on Google searches; and let me make it clear that, I am not condoning poor journalism by featuring cases where someone got fired for poor journalism. After all, the whole point of my efforts is to highlight egregious and poor journalism. I am providing the examples to point out the vast hypocrisy and double standards inherent in today's conservatively biased media.
Journalistic malpractice against prominent Democrats is routinely considered acceptable and is rarely associated with any real punishment (see Part 1B). Indeed, people are sometimes even promoted after their journalistic malpractice against Democratic leaders (e.g., Carl Cameron of Faux News). In contrast, distortions or even opinions or facts that put prominent Republicans/conservatives or the media outlets that propagandized for them in poor light are often considered unacceptable and meet with publicized punishment. Sometimes this punishment occurs for mere behaviors that are similar in nature to those that are more than tolerated when they are exhibited (or topped) by media personalities or reporters on the Right, such as:
This alone shows how the media is not "liberal biased" on the topic of accountability and punishment, but is in fact conservatively biased.
Now, there are a few cases where conservatives have been punished (NOTE: I am not including a few other cases of Republicans being fired, for good reasons - see here; for similar exclusions on the other side, see here):
Ann-Coulter-wannabe Michelle Malkin (fired for being "too stridently anti-liberal")
Michele Zipp (Playgirl Magazine, fired for "being Republican")
Ann Coulter (USA Today dropped her after specifically hiring her to comment on the 2004 Democratic National Convention because of "difference of opinion over editing -- words, voice, that sort of thing" - as in, "difference of opinion" with the nature of an article about the "Spawn of Satan convention.")
Paul Greenberg (KUAR radio, claimed he was hired for providing a conservative voice and then fired for his stances)
But, it is obvious that this list is much smaller compared to the list at the top of this page. So, let me reiterate my point: on the topic of accountability and punishment, the mainstream media is in fact conservatively biased.
A final point. The fact that people like Rush Limbaugh, the entire set of Faux News talking heads, and hordes of reporters and columnists (especially conservative) far and wide (at the New York Times, Washington Post, Cable TV outlets, talk radio, etc.), have made a career out of years and years of fabrications and deception about the Democratic party leadership (and liberals in general) without losing their jobs, demonstrates that conservatives do not take seriously their own criticisms of media integrity or media bias. Inaccuracies are far worse than biases; yet, as the Daily Howler, Media Matters, FAIR, ConWebWatch and numerous other websites (e.g., News Hounds), as well as the myriad books like those of Brock, Alterman, Conason and many more, have documented over the years, reporters and columnists who invent stories about liberals/Progressives and Democrats overwhelmingly go scot-free. The worst of them even get more publicity, recognition or promotions in conservative circles (names likes Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Carl Cameron, John Tierney, etc. come to mind).