Monday :: May 16, 2005

The Media's True Colors - Part 1D


by eriposte

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 bias in journalistic malpractice on political coverage (Part 1A), accountability for malpractice against the Left (Part 1B) and punishment for transgressions (Part 1C). This part - 1D - addresses bias in censorship.

What do the following incidents have in "common"?

1. CBS and UPN (both part of Viacom), NBC and ABC - and the United Church of Christ

2. CBS and MoveOn.Org

3. NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News -and USAction

4. NBC and Ashleigh Banfield

5. PBS and "Postcards from Buster"

6. CNN and Log Cabin Republicans

7. CNN and the Iraq War (Christiane Amanpour)

8. Chicago Tribune and Boondocks

9. Clear Channel and the Dixie Chicks

10. Clear Channel (Various)

11. Sinclair Broadcasting and "Nightline" Iraq program

12. New York Times and Other ICM outlets - and the Bush bulge

13. New York Times and Paul Krugman

14. Washington Post - and the Iraq war

15. Sinclair Broadcasting and the DNC

16. Comcast Cable and anti-war ads by Peace Action Education Fund

17. CNN, Fox News, and NBC - and the Win Without War coalition

18. Tribune Media Services and Robert Koehler

19. CBS and Ronald Reagan miniseries

20. CBS and coverage of misleading/false report by Bush administration to go to war

21. Viacom and Compare, Decide, Vote

22. Fox News and CNN and reporting on Al Qaeda post 9/11

The answer:

They are all cases of overt censorship by major U.S. media outlets, imposed on ads, coverage or opinions considered unfriendly to (or by) the Bush administration/GOP. In contrast, such incidents of censorship on ads, coverage or opinions unfavorable to Democrats are far less. Three examples I was able to find in the latter category are:

(i) The Bone Conduction Music Show of Terry Hughes (via Instapundit) was evidently cancelled by WEMU-FM (radio) because of Hughes' stated pro-Iraq war position (also see here)

(ii) Gary Bauer's ad against China (and urging Clinton to not visit China) rejected by CNN [note: I think this is a somewhat doubtful case because Bauer's ad was mostly against China's human rights violations - which Clinton was against as well, but I'm including it anyway]

(iii) CNN's self-admitted, self-censorship of anti-Saddam coverage for years (to ostensibly protect its reporters in Saddam-controlled Iraq) [note: again, it is quite a stretch to make this an example of anti-Bush bias because CNN had been doing this even in Clinton's time, when Clinton was bombing Saddam - but I'm including it anyway; also see this note from FAIR providing a different perspective]

The fact that censorship of ads/coverage/opinions considered unfavorable to (or by) the GOP far exceeds any censorship of ads/coverage/opinions considered unfriendly to (or by) Democrats shows that on the issue of censorship the media is biased quite conservative, rather than liberal. (It's no surprise that well-known conservatives themselves either overtly or indirectly long for censorship of facts, opinions or portrayals they don't like).

P.S. I am not covering censorship that may be hidden and not known to the public because it is impossible to prove and/or quantify in any meaningful way. I am also excluding here the censorship of views expressed against media outlets for their coverage on certain (non-partisan) issues, but I've mentioned the few such incidents here.

eriposte :: 8:09 AM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!