Chuck Todd, who hosts Meet the Press on NBC, opened his show the way he often does, by introducing his panel of journalists. There was Luke Russert of NBC News, and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report, and there was “Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post … and Ken Blackwell, conservative columnist and former Ohio Secretary of State.”
Did you catch it? Eugene Robinson isn’t the liberal columnist of the Washington Post. He’s simply Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post. But Ken Blackwell is identified as a “conservative columnist.”
This may strike members of the so-called mainstream media as one of those “what’s the big deal?” issues — even though it happens all the time both on TV and in print. But if they’re feeling generous and concede that maybe it is somehow, some way, some kind of offense, it’s a misdemeanor of the lowest order. Journalistic jaywalking — at worst.
Sorry, but it is a big deal. A very big deal. One that goes straight to the heart of bias in the media.
Liberals, you see, don’t have to be identified. Liberals, as far as liberal journalists like Chuck Todd are concerned, aren’t controversial. They’re middle of the road. Moderate. Mainstream. Not so with conservatives. They need a warning label.
They put warning labels on packs of cigarettes and pesticides because they can be dangerous to your health. And, as far as many liberals – both in and out of the media — are concerned, conservatives need warning labels because their ideas can be dangerous to your health. I mean, if liberal views are middle of the road, moderate and mainstream, conservative views, being the opposite, must be fringe. And fringe ideas, in the liberal worldview, are most likely racist, homophobic and misogynist ideas, which are … well … dangerous!
So this little tidbit that Chuck Todd unknowingly offered up at the beginning of his program is the Rosetta Stone. It tells us not only how liberal journalists view conservatives, but it also tells us a lot about how liberal journalists see just about everything from politics to all the hot button social issues of the day.
It may be asking too much for Chuck to understand any of this. After all, he’s a bias denier. (I use that word “denier” because that’s the word liberals like to throw at anyone who doesn’t see global warming the same way Al Gore sees it. Liberals don’t own the word, right? )
Chuck has acknowledged a “cultural bias” in the news, but says it’s not because journalists slant the news left to coincide with their liberal politics. Rather, he says, it stems from “the fact that the news media is headquartered in New York City.”
So it’s geographical bias, according to Chuck Todd – not political bias. It’s a New York City bias. And what kind of bias would we find in New York City? Yes, exactly!
If the national news media were headquartered, say, in Tupelo, Mississippi – and almost all the journalists were conservatives instead of liberal as they are now – do you think Chuck would write off bias simply as a geographical issue? Me neither. He’d be yelling conservative bias from the roof of the NBC Building in Rockefeller Center.
No, Chuck Todd’s decision to put a warning label on the conservative columnist but not on the liberal was not an offense worthy of waterboarding. But it wasn’t journalistic jay walking either. It told us a lot about why liberal journalists put warning labels on conservatives. It told us that conservative views, which are held by millions and millions and millions of Americans, are subversive views, because they are not reasonable or mainstream or moderate. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Chuck.