Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Dec. 15, 1999 /6 Teves, 5760

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
David Corn
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Arianna Huffington
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Robert Samuelson
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports
Weekly Standard



Beltway media bias -- BESIDES THE CONSTANT irritant of the Clinton administration, what is the one thing that elevates a conservative's blood pressure more consistently than anything else? The answer: The undisclosed liberal bias in the reporting of the national media.

Please note every word. It's not merely their bias -- everyone has biases. But the beltway media preposterously contends that their bias does not interfere with their objective reporting. To the contrary, their political sympathies are reflected in the selection of stories that are reported, the wording of the headlines, and the content of the stories themselves.

A Roper Center poll released in April 1996, revealed that 89 percent of Washington reporters voted for Clinton in 1992; 7 percent voted for Bush; 61 percent called themselves "liberal" or "moderate to liberal;" 9 percent "conservative" or "moderate to conservative;" 50 percent said they are Democrats; 4 percent, Republicans, (apparently the remaining 46 percent were in liberal-denial); 59 percent called the Contract with America "an election year campaign ploy"; and 3 percent thought it was "a serious reform proposal."

Interestingly, even retired media-dean, Walter Cronkite, admitted that, "Everybody knows that there's a liberal, that there's a heavy liberal persuasion among correspondents."

But there is a significant silver lining to this story. Certain watchdog groups have risen up over the years for the express purpose of documenting media bias. One such group, Brent Bozell's Media Research Center, on Dec. 9, 1999, presented the "Dishonor Awards for the Decade's Most Outrageous Liberal Bias."

A friend of mine who attended said he hadn't laughed that hard in a long time. He then pensively added, "But when you think about it, this is quite disturbing."

Emcee Stan Evans of the National Journalism Center aptly remarked that there is nothing crueler than to condemn people with their own words. Here's a sampling:

TV critic John Leonard won the How Do I Hate the Gipper award with this choice quote: "In the plague years of the 1980s -- that low decade of denial, indifference, hostility, opportunism, and idiocy -- government fiddled, and medicine diddled, and the media were silent or hysterical. A gerontocratic Ronald Reagan took this (AIDS) plague less seriously than Gerald Ford had taken swine flu. After all, he didn't need the ghettos and he didn't want the gays."

The Wackiest Analysis award went to Elaine Shannon for nearly eulogizing Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) for not being hypocritical (presumably in acting out his murderous contempt for polluters of the environment). But the runner-up in that category was equally brilliant. Newsweek's Jerry Adler in the Dec. 31, 1990, issue, noted, "It's a morbid observation, but if everyone on earth just stopped breathing for an hour, the greenhouse effect would no longer be a problem."

Time's former reporter Nina Burleigh won the Presidential Kneepad award hands down but her quote is too obscene to include. But Dan Rather's runner-up utterance is as pure as snow: "If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we'd take it right now and walk away winners. ... Thank you very much, and tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her, and we're pulling for her."

Columnist and radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux said of Justice Clarence Thomas, "I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter, and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease. Well, that's how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person."

Let's be clear here. No one is suggesting that journalists be denied their First Amendment rights or their precious political biases. We just want them to be open and honest about those biases.

The editorial pages and political commentaries, designated as such, are the proper venues for the injection of a commentator's political views. But when reporters are selecting and reporting the "news," as painful as it must be for them, they must endeavor to leave their prejudices on the cutting room floor.

Since such an expectation is sheer fantasy I expect that we'll be seeing, reading and hearing a great deal from the Media Research Center in the future. In the meantime, beltway reporters should be on notice that their reporting is being monitored and assimilated for next year's nominations as we speak. And that is a beautiful thing.

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


12/13/99:White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?