Ed Driscoll

The Rightwing Media Bias Meme Returns--With A Twist

After the left lost ground during the 2002 midterm elections, prominent Democrats such as Al Gore floated a bizarre meme that the mainstream media was dominated by the right wing–which must have been pretty amazing news to editors at Reuters, AP, The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as producers at ABC, CBS, and NBC, where at the time, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw still ruled the airwaves. (Not to mention CNN, PBS, and NPR, and the Columbia Journalism School.)

In contrast, nobody floated the vast right wing media conspiracy theory after the 2004 election–and for good reason. The mask had dropped, completely, and permanently.

But this is a meme with legs–it’s back! Only this time, instead of coming down from on high in 2002 from men like Gore and Tom Daschle, it’s bubbling up from the left side of the Blogosphere, as the Washington Post recently discovered, and as Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, Katie Couric and Aaron Brown, none of whom are exactly favorites of the right (with the arguable exception of Russert, who cut his teeth working Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan) are finding out.

As one blogger wrote, on the weekend in 2004 that the New York Times came out of the closet:

If you find yourself arguing that the major news media do not lean liberal, then you almost certainly have identified yourself as being to the left of the mainstream news media and well to the left of the rest of your fellow Americans. Which is fine.

I’m not sure if I agree entirely with the conclusion Paul Jaminet reaches, but the contempt that the MSM now finds from both sides of the aisle is quite a unique development–and it will be fascinating to watch how it all plays out.

In any case, seventy years after its creation, how’s that one-size fits all mass media concept playing out these days?