I’m not big on complaining about the “liberal” media, since I have spent most of my adult life either working for the mainstream media or running my own show.
I take more of the Bernard Goldberg approach which is that a liberal tilt is inevitable when the “news” comes from New York, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles and that most people who produce the “news” can go months without ever meeting someone with whom they disagree politically.
That doesn’t make it right, but I genuinely believe that most people who, on a daily basis, decide what the “news” is don’t get up in the morning with the idea that they are going to consciously slant their daily coverage to the left.
But the end result is that it does happen.
If, as an example, a lefty icon such as, say, Roman Polanski, fleeing a sentencing in Los Angeles in 1978 finally gets caught, the Los Angeles Times calls the crime to which Polanski pled guilty “the alleged assault of a 13-year-old girl”.
That’s right. L.A. Times writers Harriet Ryan and Richard Winter—both of who presumably are old enough to know better—called a crime which had already been pled guilty to by a perp who fled to France “alleged”.
Polanski, you see, is one of those figures who inspires respect from the left because he is part—albeit in exile—of the Hollywood-industrial complex. O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake didn’t get that kind of coverage.
Now, the L.A. Times happens to be in Chapter 11.
It is part of the Chicago Tribune bankruptcy which was largely about a company which went private with a lot of debt and, in today’s economy, no longer has enough advertising revenue to service the debt.
Many of the nation’s large newspapers face the same problems including the New York Times.
Interestingly enough, the newspapers which are having the fewest problems are those which are ideologically the most neutral.
Perhaps it is just coincidence. Perhaps those newspapers which have retained some ideological neutrality are simply run by better businesspeople.
But it is more likely that the news consumer is smarter than the publishers of the L.A. Times and the New York Times think they are.
I used to read the L.A. Times three or four times a week. Now, I don’t waste my money on that tripe. Same for the New York Times. But I do read the Wall Street Journal every day as well as the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Is it possible that news consumers are smarter than publishers?
I’d bet on it.
Now the fact is that the recession has changed the economics of the news business. So has the internet.
But you have to start with content people trust. Opinion which is clearly labeled opinion and bias which are fully disclosed.
Then and only then do you have a product which you can sell.
Just as it’s hard to sell someone a house in a bad neighborhood, it’s hard to sell someone news they don’t trust.
So when a major newspaper calls a 30-year old crime which a man pled guilty to “the alleged assault of a 13-year-old girl” and that major newspaper happens to be in Chapter 11, maybe there is a connection.