In May of 2004, I wrote a piece for TCS Daily titled, “Welcome To The Post-Bias Media” (the italics in the title referred to Bernard Goldberg’s seminal look at the subject):
Another strange thing has started happening as well — in the past, media elites denounced any claims of a liberal bias in the news with a shrug and a “who, us? We’re not liberals. We’re not leftwing. We’re objective and neutral. No biases here!” More and more, as we’ll shortly see, the media are going on the record (Brock, Gore and Franken, notwithstanding) that it leans pretty heavily towards the left.
In September of 2004, a week after RatherGate broke, Stanley Kurtz theorized:
we may well be seeing the initial signs of a profound realignment of the media along more strictly and openly partisan lines. The mainstream media as a whole may be larger than the alternative outlets, but the mainstream audience itself is segmented. Looking at the CBS News audience alone, we are probably talking about the most self-consciously liberal part of the network audience pie. True, nowadays all the network newscasts are liberal. But CBS has had that reputation longer than the rest. Gradually, with the exit of moderates and conservatives to other networks and the alternative media, CBS’s audience is probably now composed largely of liberal Democrats. In the middle of the most divisive presidential election in years, we have to assume that the CBS audience itself is far more interested in helping John Kerry than in getting to the bottom of the forgery issue. So as the country increasingly divides into two media camps, the “mainstream media” is becoming more openly partisan. And it’s the audience that’s driving this