Back in December of 2001, in a piece about Bernard Goldberg’s Bias, Jonah Goldberg wrote:
If [the media would] admit they have a problem and move on, lots of conservatives would just give up on the topic. It’s the infuriating denial that bugs many of us. It’s like the friend who swears he didn’t drink your last beer. You don’t care about the beer, but you just can’t stand him not admitting it. (You took my beer! Say it!! Say it!!!) By denying the obvious, so many pompous elite journalists drive us batty by acting as if we’re imagining things.
Almost a year ago, I put together a list of the growing number of liberal journalists who were willing to go on the record that media bias was no myth. A few months later, I interviewed Goldberg–Bernard that is–who said (correctly, I think) that his book, Bias helped break the logjam and made it easier for other journalists to openly discuss the concept of bias. And certainly, the Blogosphere sped up the process as well, by making communications a two-way street.
A couple of nights after the election, I wrote:
the real loser of the election wasn’t the Democratic party. America is built on a two party system. Republicans reconstituted themselves into a more conservative party after Barry Goldwater took one for the team after JFK’s assassination made LBJ’s election all but inevitable in ’64. There’s no reason why the Democrats can’t go through a bit–well, hopefully a lot–of analysis and see why they’ve lost the House and Senate for a decade (except during Jumpin’ Jim Jeffords’ 15 minutes of fame), and will be out of the White House for at least virtually all of this decade.No, the real losers are the legacy media: the TV networks and newspapers.
In a piece titled, “The ‘Media Party’ is over”, Newsweek’s Howard Fineman agrees. In fact, the gist of his opening paragraph is nearly identical to what I wrote two months ago:
A political party is dying before our eyes — and I don’t mean the Democrats. I’m talking about the “mainstream media,” which is being destroyed by the opposition (or worse, the casual disdain) of George Bush’s Republican Party; by competition from other news outlets (led by the internet and Fox’s canny Roger Ailes); and by its own fraying journalistic standards.
Read the rest, and add Fineman to the growing list of big media figures increasingly willing to explain the bias of their profession.
Update: Betsy Newmark observes:
Fineman traces their downfall to Walter Cronkite taking a stand on the Vietnam War and then with the meida going hammer and tongs after Nixon. He thinks that was all great stuff, but perhaps gave away the illusion of objectivity. Ya think?What really sticks in his craw is Bush’s seeming indifference to the mightiness of the press. By circumventing the media to gather money and support, Bush has shown that the Emperor, while not totally naked, is at least running around in some pretty funky skivvies.
Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds writes:
I heard an NPR story on the Washington State recount. Nothing at all on the allegations of fraud in King County, but a lot on Democrat Christine Gregoire’s admirable qualities. She was the first in her family to go to college!