Roger L. Simon

The Non-Ideology Ideology

I had to smile when I read the following this morning on the Newsweek contretemps:

Daniel Klaidman, Newsweek’s Washington bureau chief, said Tuesday in an interview on CBS'”The Early Show” that the magazine will “continue to look at how we put together this story, learn from mistakes that we’ve made and make improvements that are appropriate as we go along.”

Asked if anyone involved in preparing the article would lose his job, Klaidman said, “We think that people acted responsibly and professionally and … there was no malice, no institutional bias, just a mistake that was made in good faith.”

Say what? No “institutional bias”? Last I heard Newsweek is written by human beings and I have yet to meet one who isn’t biased in one way or another, myself included most emphatically. Of course, editors (also being human) are biased as well, forming, in the case of a large news magazine, one big agglomeration of bias. But is that “institutional,” you may ask? Well, we’re into the world of semantics here, but I would submit that an organization like Newsweek is in essence one large hive mind – of bias.

What is that bias toward, however? The conventional answer in this case is “liberalism,” but what is that? On the face of it, it is something rather different than the liberalism of JFK and FDR or even the liberalism of Bill Clinton who was willing to take a pro-active stance against the Milosevic dictatorship. No, except in some instances, it is a bias that has ceased to be typically ideological and to be motivated more by issues of power and control. As many of us suspect, if the Iraq War had been Clinton’s (as it could have been under conceivable scenarios), the same parties that are attacking it now, fabricating corrupt news stories and the like, would be cheering it on. That is not ideology. That is sports fandom. But as we have now seen, the sport isn’t tennis or even football. It is gladiatorials to the death.