Ed Driscoll

"They Don't Give A Damn What Any Of You Think"

FrontPage Magazine quotes the speech that Bernard Goldberg (the author of the groundbreaking books on media bias, the first titled, logically enough, Bias and its sequel, Arrogance, gave during David Horowitz’s latest Restoration Weekend on November 14th. It was followed by a Q&A, where this excerpt was taken:

Bernie Goldberg: I have long argued, and I continue to argue, despite what some of my conservative friends think, there is no conspiracy. Katie Couric, Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson, and in my day, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, and Tom Brokaw never came in the morning, went into a room, summoned their top lieutenants, pulled the shades, dimmed the lights, gave the secret handshake and the secret salute, and said, “How are we going to screw those conservatives today?” It never, ever happened that way. And you know what? I wish it did because that is so outrageous. That is so unacceptable that nobody would tolerate it for two seconds.

What happens in reality is worse. What happens is there are so many likeminded people in the newsroom, they not only think alike; it becomes a group-think kind of thing so that they see conservative views as being to the right of center, which they are, and they see liberal views as middle of the road. They don’t even know what liberal views are because of this bubble that they live in.

What made it different this time – despite the fact that they wanted Michael Dukakis or Walter Mondale to win, it wasn’t the same thing as this year because Walter Mondale was just another white guy and so was Michael Dukakis. This was different. They were on a mission. This was very important. Their cause, as I say, was noble, and they were going to do whatever they had to do to make this happen. And unlike in past years where they all denied their bias, you’re right. The questioner was right. They acknowledge it. And you know why they acknowledge it in the end? Because they don’t give a damn what any of you think. That’s why.

Unidentified Audience Participant: What I would like to know is there’s such a contradiction here in the fact that the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times are almost spinning out of existence. Why is it that they had such a powerful effect on the election?

Bernie Goldberg: I don’t know that they do have a powerful effect on – I don’t think the media defeated John McCain. I think the media was as corrupt as the day is long, but I don’t think they defeated John McCain.

One of my friends in the room suggested maybe two or three points, but it wasn’t enough to throw the election. I think people listen to this stuff.

A poll came out. It was a reputable poll. I think it was by Pew, the Pew Research Center, that said 90 percent of Republicans – the question was simply this – “Who do you think most reporters want to win the election?” and 90 percent of Republicans said they want Obama to win. But this is a statistic that should send chills running up the spine of any journalist with half a brain; 62 percent of Democrats and independents said the same thing. Now, if they don’t have Republicans – we’ve already decided we don’t trust them, but if 62 percent of Democrats don’t trust them, that’s a real problem because all they have, at least in theory, is their credibility. So I think they didn’t put a thumb on the scale, but they put their big fat asses on the scale this time, and they wanted him to win, and they made no bones about it. But they didn’t beat John McCain.

He’s right–McCain did much damage to his own campaign through its infighting and lacking of planning and coordination, and his ham-handed “suspending his campaign” stunt in late September without really knowing what he’d do once he got to Washington to deal with that month’s bailout sealed his fate.

And McCain seems thrilled to be able to hang out with David Letterman and count the media as his friends again. The pressure of actually having to lead is off.

Now go over and read Goldberg’s actual speech.

And for my two-part interview with Goldberg in 2004 in Tech Central Station, click here and here.)

(H/T: CG)