April 1, 2021

DO YOU SEE THE SUBLIMINAL BIAS? In what is generally a good article about the impact of the Fox/Dominion libel suits, WaPo’s Margaret Sullivan makes some sensible points, mostly “be careful what you ask for.” After all, a deeply anti-media ruling may be precedential against all media outfits. But here’s the dirty little secret. She says:

“In some ways, it’s a relief to see someone hold Fox to account, especially since nothing else seems able to restrain right-wing media outlets from spreading disinformation.”

The not-so-subtle implication is that “disinformation” is a “right-wing” problem. It’s as if Daily Koz and Occupy Democrats (two notorious purveyors of false info) don’t exist. Russian hooker pee tapes, anyone?

Sullivan (like super-genius Paul Krugman) has elsewhere approved of the Wikipedia mob’s attack on fairness in journalism, decrying it as “bothsidesism.” Perhaps the deletion of fairness as an essential element of good journalism is responsible here.

I think it’s just as likely a byproduct of editing from within a bubble. These folks will go to their graves denying any left-leaning bias exists in their pages. Professor Reynolds ran headlong into this in a recent roundtable with First Amendment pater familas Floyd Abrams, who sniffed dismissively at the notion that the press is by and large, as Judge Silberman put it, a collection of “Democratic broadsheets.”

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