October 22, 2007

Read this post by Jamison Foser at Media Matters. I’ve provided just a snippet below. The whole article is a case study in how the media works.


In the week since former Vice President Al Gore became Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, The Daily Howler's Bob Somerby has written extensively about news reports and commentary about Gore's win that have failed to note the brutal and often false savaging Gore experienced at the hands of the media during his presidential campaign. Looking at the first news reports about Gore's award, a similar thought occurred to me: so many of those reports focused on whether Gore would again run for president, yet they made no mention of the primary reason he is not president today -- years of news reports (led by The New York Times and The Washington Post, not Fox News) that falsely portrayed Gore as a liar and childishly mocked him for his clothes.

It's a story that has been told many times, by countless people. And yet we keep telling it, and we sometimes criticize others for not telling it. Why? Simple: because it is important, because horrible media coverage of progressives didn't stop with Al Gore, and because not enough people are aware of it.

[ . . . ]

Between the media's treatment of Gore and their handling of the run-up to the Iraq war, how can Democrats have so much faith in the media and Republicans so little? There are probably a large number of factors that play a role, but two seem obvious: The American people are rarely told about the media's peddling of conservative misinformation, and they are frequently told that the media are "liberal."

The October 16 edition of MSNBC's Tucker provides an excellent, if infuriating, case study. Host Tucker Carlson and his two journalist guests peddled a steady stream of conservative misinformation -- and at the same time suggested that the very cable channel on which they were doing so is biased against conservatives.

[ . . . ]

But what makes the Tucker segment noteworthy is not that it featured false, misleading, and oversimplified claims about a prominent progressive -- that happens all the time on cable news. What really makes it noteworthy is that at the end of the segment -- a segment in which three journalists had discussed at length an allegation against Hillary Clinton that appeared, based on a single anonymous source describing a 14-year-old event, in a factually flawed book that at least two of the three had not read -- Carlson and his guests agreed that the media is giving Clinton a pass on the allegation.

[ . . . ]

Later in the same show, Carlson made another comment that, while not directly accusing the media of bias, likely led some viewers to conclude that the media inaccurately portray Republicans as the party of the wealthy. Carlson claimed to speak a simple truth that "nobody ever, ever mentions":

CARLSON: OK, but here's the fact that nobody ever, ever mentions -- Democrats win rich people. Over 100,000 in income, you are likely more than not to vote for Democrats. People never point that out. Rich people vote liberal. I don't know what that's all about.

The reason that "people never point that out" probably has something to do with not wanting to be thought of as a fool or a liar. Carlson's claim that people making more than $100,000 a year tend to vote for Democrats is simply false.

Much, much more at the link.

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