Ed Driscoll

The Post Inadvertently Triangulates Itself

The Washington Post’s Len Downie attempts to play this tired cliche amongst the ever-decreasing number of media figures unwilling to admit their biases:

In our news gathering, we seek to be strictly nonpartisan and nonideological. We’re human beings, we make mistakes, but we do not set out to be, nor do I think we are, liberal. And judging from my e-mail traffic in recent years, the left is much more critical, and much more angrily critical, of our coverage than the right has been.

And this proves what exactly?

I can’t say it any better than Ace:

Liberal media outfits do loves them their unhinged-leftist hate-mail. Because they use it again and again as proof positive that they must be reporting straight down the middle to incur so much wrath from the left.Although Allah points out the speciousness (and convenience) of that claim, let’s also note that most of the liberal media’s criticism on the right comes from mainstream Republicans representing the great mass of right-leaning thought, whereas those who think the WaPo is a part of the Vast Right Wing Noise Machine are unabashed, unhinged lefties, “undecided” voters only the sense they’re undecided between Ralph Nader and Hugo Chavez.

Which means that the criticism of the paper comes from the hard left and center-right, which means, in turn, the paper is somewhere in between. And what is in between center-right and hard left? Ah yes: establishment liberal. Which is what everyone who’s not batshit crazy understands the WaPo is, its support of the Iraq War notwithstanding, and its quite-praiseworthy attempts towards true political balance notwithstanding. Yes, the WaPo is less blatantly agenda-driven than the NYT, but it is still, on the whole, establishment liberal, and its reporting reflects that deep institutional bias.

Read the whole thing, including Ace’s paraphrase of the New York Times’ Bill Keller, who understands that such criticism is designed to “‘mau-mau’ (his words) the media more towards the left, or at least prevent the media from making conciliatory moves towards the center to appease conservatives”.