Ed Driscoll

With All Due Respect...

As ABC’s Terry Moran might say, with all due respect, who made leftwing Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) the editor of Newsweek? James Taranto notes that he’s dusted off the bottled-in-2002 “conservative media bias” canard to attack the media–for being too soft on the president!

Taranto writes:

What is interesting is the reaction of the press–or rather, the lack of reaction. Here we have a government official calling official hearings to accuse the press of not doing its job properly. Shouldn’t such interference occasion some outrage from the press? It certainly did when Scott McClellan criticized Newsweek last week.

Granted, a member of Congress from the minority party is far less significant than the White House. But suppose that, back when the Democrats controlled Congress, a Republican congressman had held hearings on liberal media bias? Our guess is that the press would have complained quite loudly.

Assuming that we are right about this, what does the lack of outrage over Conyers’s hearing tell us? Perhaps journalists don’t take complaints of “conservative bias” as seriously as complaints of “liberal bias.” But if journalists themselves take the latter more seriously than the former, that suggests that liberal bias is indeed a problem, and journalists know it.

Or maybe journalists actually agree with Conyers’s critique. But if they find themselves in accord with one of the most left-wing members of Congress, that would seem to illustrate that they have a liberal bias and don’t know it.

That last paragraph reminds me of a comment we linked to on the weekend last July that (now recently departed ombudsman) Daniel Okrent admitted that The New York Times was liberal.

Update: Somewhat related post by Glenn Reynolds on the politics of the media.

Another Update: I wonder if Conyers will be holding hearings on this?