Why Media Bias Matters

As you may know, Bill O’Reilly doesn’t have much faith in what passes for the mainstream media.  The other night, in a conversation with me on The Factor, he said this:

“Folks know that the media is dishonest, that the media now is not in the business to report the news anymore. They’re there to advance an ideological agenda.  So, if the folks know it, all the polls say they know it, that means that the press is not going to have any real influence on the elections this time around.”  Then he asked what I thought.

I said even liberals know the press has an agenda, that it takes sides, and that while coverage favoring President Obama might influence less sophisticated voters, the influence would be minor and would not affect the outcome of the election.

That prompted a blog from somebody named Erik Wemple who writes under the banner of the Washington Post.  “So if the impact of media bias is so trivial, why do these guys [O’Reilly and me] harp on it each week?” he asked.

You might think that someone who writes for an important news organization like the Washington Post would understand why media bias is important.  Alas, he doesn’t.

First, Bill and I don’t “harp” on the subject of media bias.  We discuss it.  A small point, perhaps, but not to me.  Second, I have never said that media bias is “trivial.”  That’s how Wemple characterizes it hoping we’ll drop the subject and move on to something less threatening.  Don’t hold your breath, Erik.

Here’s why media bias is important, even though it may not affect the next – or the last, or possibly any – presidential election:  In a free country we have to have a free press.  Everybody knows that.  But you can’t have a free country forever if you don’t also have a fair press.

In a free country, people depend on the media for their information about government and other powerful institutions.  If the press sounds the alarm about some danger, people have to pay attention.  But if they have lost confidence in the press – because of its biases – then there’s a good chance we’ll ignore the warning.  And that could be dangerous.

While I was writing A Slobbering Love Affair, my 2009 book about the media’s crush on Barack Obama, I talked to political analyst Pat Caddell, and asked for his thoughts about the mainstream media.

They were more biased than ever, he said, before launching into a bit of history to put the current mess into perspective.  “There is one institution in America which has no checks and balances,” he told me.  “And that is the press.  And there was a reason for that.  It wasn’t that the Founding Fathers loved the press.  It was because the press was supposed to protect the country.  That’s why Jefferson said, ‘I would much rather have newspapers without a government than a government without newspapers.’

“But [when the media] leave the ramparts and become a partisan outrider for one party or the other or one candidate or the other; essentially [deciding] who should be president and who should not be president; what truth people should know and what truth they should not know; then what they become, what they constitute, is a threat to democracy.”

Imagine, Caddell told me, that one day a demagogue comes along and decides to run for president.  Imagine that he “gets up at the start of his campaign and says, ‘I want you to see the press.  They are the enemy of the American people.  They will do everything they can to stop me because they want to stop you.’  And the American people will believe it.  What if this is the most dangerous man that ever came along?  Nobody will care what the press says.”

That, Erik Wemple of the Washington Post, is why bias in the media matters.

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  • Berryraymond

    Bias is a moving target.  In the early 60’s the media fell in love with JFK.  Today the words of JFK would make him a right wing Tea Party radical.  Kennedy had the nerve of saying that taxes were too high.  The ground that the bias reporters in the lame stream media takes has moved so far left that Senators and members of the house we think are extreme leftist, are considered to be moderates by this media.  While the Republicans flounder along and don’t stake down any positions the middle continues to move further left.  One only needs to go back to a North Carolina Senator, Jessie Helms, to see how far left the party of Lincoln has shifted.

  • Art

    if you don’t think media bias is playing a role in this election cycle just look at Ron Paul. He has more people at every one of his events than ANY other political hack and the media makes believe he is a whack job and an outer fringe sociopath. 

    The reason for this is he is the only real threat to the medias darling sociopath.  there is complicity between the media, the establishment right and establishment left. they all serve the same masters and share a common goal defeat “the one man they can not buy off”. Now IF you do not believe that this bias and manipulation matters just look at the numbers of poor simple souls who are now at the ready to back Barack OR Mit, because they believe it to be the only way to insure a victory over the establishment that has gotten us into this mess when in reality they are the establishment and stand only for more of the same. 

  • Dcjitney

    Media Bias has an insidious ability over time to move the discussion of social programs to the left. Since most of the main stream media is left or liberal obviously the preponderance of the point of view of the media will be liberal or left leaning.  With that said, those same liberals will say my point of view is ridiculous, is only my point of view, my opinion, and I can’t prove it.
    Well folks I can prove it. I take you back to the year 1960 where the conservative point of view on health care was that it’s a private service that each individual makes up their own mind about. The liberal opinion was that the government should provide SOME type of assistance to SOME people SOME of the time. The middle of the road on these diverse points of view was to talk about a compromise between individual decision and some type of assistance for some people. 
    Take us forward 42 years and the entire discussion concerning health care has moved completely into the liberal left point of view. No one can dispute that the media bias toward the liberal left as exhibited by the heart wrenching stories about folks without health care and the uncaring nature of the health care industry toward those without insurance has driven the discussion into the liberal camp. Media Bias does matter.  

  • Bradley

    Media bias is pervasive through every vein of the media, including Bill O’Reilly, and the rest of Fox and Friends. That’s not exclude NBC or its affiliates and that’s not to exclude CNN, ABC, or CBS. But, Mr. Goldberg, I think you’re wrong about the lack of a check/balance system in the media. It exists in the wallets of consumers. If infotainment stopped selling cable subscriptions and real news started getting the big bucks, I’d wager my first-born that the major media companies would change their tune. Unfortunately, consumers have voted with their wallets and they’ve voted for infotainment. 
    – Bradley, your daughter’s friend P.S. Nice website. I loved your Ellen article a while back. 

    • floridahank

      A man like Soros carries a hundred times more influence than me.  I might spend a few $$$ on a politician or an advertised product, but Soros can spend $100,000
      in the same situation — who do you think would have more influence….me or
      Be realistic.  Big $$$ is more important in our society.  The only way we can have a fair election is if the free press is a fair press –which it obviously isn’t.
      If GE, XOM, Apple, IBM, etc.  has a certain agenda that is number one for them, you better believe with all their $$$, lawyers, contacts, etc., they’ll get what they’re after, regardless is it’s for the better good of the public or for themselves. 
      We truly live at dangerous times for the freedoms of our citizens,  and I wish we
      had someone like Reagan or Goldwater who would not have hesitated to speak their mind.

  • UpLateAgain

    Media bias matters because if bias is allowed to exist is can be used to support any cause at any time.  Libs love the fact that the press is far and away liberal.  For now.

    But time passes and worms turn and if media is allowed to continue being biased without criticism, the time will come when the media is biased heavily to the right.  There is nothing to stop it from, in fact, becoming heavily biased toward a thoroughly oppressive fascist government.

    That would be no worse than being heavily biased toward a thoroughly oppressive socialist government…. except those that favor socialism in some form or other think it is great to have it that way.

    Fox news tends slightly to the right.  But at least you get the left point of view expressed, and you get important stories covered.  When I watch CBS 3/4 of what is covered is pap, unless it presents a disfavorable view of the right or a specifically favorable view of the left.  They pick up stories only after Fox has started airing then all too often…. otherwise, you’re going to get stories on Kim Kardashian or Lindsay Lohan rather than coverage of an ACORN scandal.

  • PatriotBelle

    Even the totally un-political American can tell that Obama has a Box of Chocolates on his desk; not a sign that says ‘The Buck Stops Here’. People whom would vote again for Obama liberally live under rocks!!!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

      Well, We know it won’t be the people who voted for George W. Bush … two times!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

    Bernie, Did you see  the tape of Bill O’Reilly’s claiming that he was
    joking when he called Reich a communist. He said last night that he was
    obviously kidding and “laughing” when he called Reich a communist. The tape
    at http://tiny.cc/j84ddw proves, he was
    definitely not laughing and joking!

    • StanW

      Wil, was O’Reilly kidding the same way Spike Lee was kidding about Charleton Heston when he said “Shoot him with a .44 Bulldog.”

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

        Do you care what 
        Spike Lee says, I don’t! Try to stay on subject. That also goes for your buddy-buddy Dovey too.

        • StanW

          Both said somethign stupid, both apologized later, yet you Spike was forgiven, while you keep harping on O’Reilly.

          Not that your hypocrisy is any surprise to anyone.

          • Bob Hadley

            O’Reilly did NOT apologize for calling Reich a communist and an admirer of Karl Marx.  Quite the contrary.  He also has not apologized for all his Hitler/Nazi/Goebells metaphors.

            He may well have been sarcastic when he said that about Reich, but he said it in such a way that he came across as being half serious. 

          • Tim Ned

            I saw the episode and there was no doubt, in my mind, that O’Reilly was ridiculing Reich.  What else can you do on Reich’s economic policies?

          • Bob Hadley

            Yes, O’Reilly chiding Reich’s social and economic positions for being sympatico with those of communism and of Karl Marx, which in today’s world are not necessarily one and the same.

            But to say that is a wild mis-statement.   I think even O’Reilly knows that. 

        • 1LonesomeDove1

          Stay on subject, sissy? I answer whatever subject you bring up.

          Are you really this stupid?

          • Jeffreydan

              This year’s Antique Skillet Award for the best contribution of irony goes to Willie, for telling someone else to stay on subject.

              Understandably, the trophy is very heavy, so let’s make sure he has an adult with him when he goes to get it. 

          • 1LonesomeDove1

            You know him too, I see.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

            Oh, Dovey is Stanley not being nice to you and you take it out on me. How sad!

          • 1LonesomeDove1

            You’re so easy Wil.

            There are a few libs over here who actually do present a bit of a challenge sometimes, but you….are so easy…..to use….to make ourselves….look goooooooood.

          • Bob Hadley

            How low are you willing to stoop to try to look good? 

          • 1LonesomeDove1

            I don’t attack family members with filthy language and sexual smears…….like libs have done to me.

            But is there a specific problem you want to discuss with me, or is this all about my being a conservative and “how dare I oppose your ideology”?

          • Bob Hadley

            Lol.  You’re way off.  You need context.

            Read your prior post in response to Wil’s post and then re-read my post.  If you still don’t get it, I doubt anything I’ll say will give you a better understanding, assuming you even want to truly understand my post.

            BTW, sounds like you engaged people who don’t deserve engagement.  But don’t kid yourself, there’s lowlifes from all points on the political spectrum

    • 1LonesomeDove1

      O’Reilly’s a libertarian idiot.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

        O’Reilly is  a buffoon and a pervert! Just ask Andrea Mackris.

        • 1LonesomeDove1

          Yeah, so? Don’t listen to him then…..I don’t.

    • Paul Courtney

      Wil:  Staying on subject, you are soooo right, Bill O’ called him a commie, those of us who can read his mind KNOW he was serious, now he says “just kidding”, oooh he’s such a lying hypocrite.  He should be punished.  Hey, I know, you could become a factor premium member!  Get you a “no spin” tote, fill it with the Complete Works of Keith Olberman!  That’d show him and the rest of those hitler youth @ Fox.  Then you could sit back and enjoy Bill O’ pretending not to notice.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

        All I’m saying is: Bernie’s outrages are selective. They are all based on him reading the minds of liberals that are  biased in the media. Oh, I know he can always find some obscure reason or something to make his point.  But, this is what he does. I’m just pointing out his hypocrisy.

        • Paul Courtney

          Wow, two replies!  That’s what I call a good day.  Bob, maybe I’m too ready to give Bill O’ a pass because I’m conservative, but my take is-  He calls someone a name to gin things up, keeping some wiggle room on the “it’s a joke” excuse, much ado about nothing.  Then Bill O’ hammers someone for name-calling, so the “no-spin zone” is not a hypocrisy-free zone.  I’m still yawning.  Calling Ann Coulter names won’t anger up my blood, either, what gets me is that the progressive press will do absolutely nothing to correct its bias, no matter how starkly it gets exposed.  Bill O’ has given air time to his critics, when was the last time the network had Brent Bozell, or Bernie, in for an on-air chat?  Wil, did you catch the show where Bernie gave it to Bill in the ribs, identifying for whom Bill O’ is in the tank?  And did you notice that Bill took it, and had him back next week?  What would the ten million dollar chandelier  have done?

          • Bob Hadley

            Paul,  I think you’re largely correct.  But I must have missed that episode of O’Reilly where Bernie recently socked it to him.  What was that segment about?  I know Bernie sometimes criticizes O’Reilly, but I get the distinct impression though that Bernie often pulls his punches with him.

            And I missed it if Bernie ever criticized O’Reilly for showing a shoving match in a southern California demonstration at the very moment O’Reill was pondering about potential violence in the Wisconsin demonstrations. That wwas fraudulent!  O’Reilly may not have realized what was happening at the time, but even if so he must accept full responsibility and apologize to “the folks.” And if he didn’t do it, Bernie should have raised the isssue on his show.

            As for the liberal MSM, they do have conservatives on many of their shows.  Yesterday I saw George Will and Fiorini (sp?) along with another conservative on This Week.    I see conservatives and Republican operatives on numerous other shows on MSNBC and CNN .  If they’re window dressing, what are liberals on FNC?

            The truth is that if you truly want a fair and balance view of things, and if you are really interested in the truth (and many aren’t), you need to get info and perspective from a variety of sources. 

            Would you defend a talk show host who said with a straight face that Brent Bozell or Bernie Goldberg is a fascist and a secret admirer of Mussolini and, when called on it, said “Awww shucks, I was only joking.”  Just curious.  :)

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

             Bill O’ has given air time to his critics>>
            Ha-ha …  And doesn’t let them get a word in edge wise. He also threatens to cut them off, if they don’t agree with him.

          • 1LonesomeDove1

            Awww, poor widdle demodimwits….can’t handle Bill O.


      • Bob Hadley

        O’Reilly said that Reich was a communist and an admirer of Karl Marx with a straight face and just a hint of sarcasm.  I think even Lou Dobbs was taken aback.  He did it in such a manner that you had to read between the lines.  I interpreted it to mean that his social and economic positions are close to those of communism.

        At best, the remark was very careless.  As O’Reilly himself has said, talk show hosts have a responsibility.

        If a talk show host said that Ann Coulter is a facist and an admirer of Pinochet, and then later said “shucks, I was only joking,” what would you say?

    • GlenFS

      Maybe you should watch the show instead of the edited versions on your lib sites.  I saw it and they WERE  joking.  No VIEWER thought it was anything else.  Not that it matters, it’s the best plug Reich has had in a long time.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

        I did! Did you watch the beginning of the segment? O’Reilly  called Reich a communist who “secretly adores Karl Marx.” What’s funny about that? I just got banned from HE for saying much less.

        • 1LonesomeDove1

          It’s not funny that Reich is a communist who secretly adores Karl Marx. There’s nothing funny about anyone who’s a lousy communist.

          And you were never banned, moron. You were having trouble posting just like we all were having trouble that day.

          I had to keep re-tying to get several of my posts posted, but you stay there if you think you were banned.
          Ya come back here and you’ll have to admit you were wrong and apologize to Human Events, and we all know you’re not mature enough for that.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

            I just got banned from HE for saying much less.
            Note: The site has blocked you from posting new comments.

          • 1LonesomeDove1

            Whaddya mean it’s stopped me from posting new comments? I’m still posting over here.

            You were not banned. The site was giving everyone trouble that day, but if you think you were banned, then stay away and good riddance.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

            The site has blocked you from posting new comments.”
            That is what HE posts to ME, not you.

          • StanW

            Well Wil, maybe you should be less of a classless jerk. Then you won’t get banned!

          • 1LonesomeDove1

            I don’t think it has and you’re lying, but if so, you were flagged for foul language.

            No one is banned here for their mere opinion, else all the other libs here…..who are far more intelligent than you are….would be banned too.

      • Bob Hadley

        ” No VIEWER thought it was anything else.”

        Why do you make things up?  Or did you call EVERY viewer of that segment of O’Reilly’s show, including those who saw it over the internet, to find out what they thought?

        • GlenFS

          Funny Bob.  If you’d seen it, it was obvious that he was not being literal and did in fact say at the time he was joking.  You are correct, there are all sorts of people, some too stupid to see the obvious and others with an agenda.  All the rest, no doubt got it.

            To me it makes no difference at all if he wanted to call Reich a communist,  the distance between progressive and commy gets shorter every day under the Obama regime (and supporters like Reich).  But in fact he was tweaking the man in jest.

          • Bob Hadley

              “To me it makes no difference at all if he wanted to call Reich a communist, the distance between progressive and commy gets shorter every day under the Obama regime (and supporters like Reich)”

            So, you’re saying that O’Reilly was really joking but that he was also correct? 

            I did see the segment in question.  O’Reilly sounded serious but with a note of dirisive sarcasm.  Even Lou Dobbs seemed taken aback.  You noticed Dobb’s reaction didn’t you? 

            If I wasn’t familiar with O’Reilly and his off-handed carelessness, I would have reasonably thought he might be completely serious.  But, as you yourself imply, there was an element of seriousness to his remark.

            If you can’t distinguish between Obama’s policies and communism, you way off.  Or were you only joking? :)


          • UpLateAgain

             There are clearly serious differences among Communism, pure socialism, and what is called (for lack of a better term) social democracy.

            There are also significant similarities, and one of the more significant similarities is at the heart of why those on the right tend to put them all into the same basket.

            All three have at their core a consideration for the welfare of the collective in preference to a consideration of the primacy of the individual.  And the primacy of the collective is invariably expressed through an evolution of government to the primacy of the state as the representative of the collective.

            The folks on the right don’t care for them because there have been hundreds of governments and systems throughout history that have used this approach. Some were much more oppressive than others, but none exist without some form of taking from individuals to support the collective, which, no matter how you try to disguise it, is justifying theft.

            All of these governments and systems eventually fail.  You can argue that all systems that extoll the primacy of the individual eventually fail as well.  But you can’t argue that those systems are the least oppressive of individuals, and you can’t argue that those systems have not produced far, far, far and away a higher quality of life in general.

          • UpLateAgain

             There are clearly serious differences among Communism, pure socialism, and what is called (for lack of a better term) social democracy.

            There are also significant similarities, and one of the more significant similarities is at the heart of why those on the right tend to put them all into the same basket.

            All three have at their core a consideration for the welfare of the collective in preference to a consideration of the primacy of the individual.  And the primacy of the collective is invariably expressed through an evolution of government to the primacy of the state as the representative of the collective.

            The folks on the right don’t care for them because there have been hundreds of governments and systems throughout history that have used this approach. Some were much more oppressive than others, but none exist without some form of taking from individuals to support the collective, which, no matter how you try to disguise it, is justifying theft.

            All of these governments and systems eventually fail.  You can argue that all systems that extoll the primacy of the individual eventually fail as well.  But you can’t argue that those systems are the least oppressive of individuals, and you can’t argue that those systems have not produced far, far, far and away a higher quality of life in general.

  • Guestemail01

    This was the best segment I’ve ever heard you speak about on O’Reilly.  I thought you were incredibly poignant, and it was really the first time I’ve ever heard the reason behind the high-media standard stately so clearly.  I have never heard the constitutional Freedom of the Press clarified and put in the context of today’s press and the reasons we demand high standards of responsibility from the press – which they are not keeping.  They are clearly a self-serving bunch with their own agenda and are not serving the American people.   Excellent!  Thank you, Mr. Goldberg.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X4Z5CLLBUPFUX4UKXCAIKKUE24 Donnie

    “Imagine that he “gets up at the start of
    his campaign and says, ‘I want you to see the press.  They are the enemy
    of the American people.  They will do everything they can to stop me
    because they want to stop you.’ ”   Bernard, what if he says that is NOT the most dangerous person alive?   Could Ron Paul not have made this assertion?

  • Kathie Ampela

    I think you and Bill underestimate how many drive by consumers of news there are out there and how easy it would be to sucker them all if you didn’t constantly “harp” on the subject of media bias. “Harping” and “nagging” is good for you sometimes…I know because I’m a mom :-)

    • Paul Courtney

      Kathie:  My thought, too.  If by “harping”, Mr. Wemple means writing once a week about one stark instance of progressive press bias (out of the dozens that occurred during said week); or he means repeatedly pointing out bias that is alternately 1) denied; then 2) admitted, but it certainly doesn’t affect reporting; then 3) well, FOX News does it, too, well then harp on!  Bernie and a few other brave souls have been on this for more than two decades, yet there is no sign that the press is pulling its collective head out of…. the sand. 

  • EddieD_Boston

    Picture this headline in the Boston Globe: “World to End Tomorrow. Women and Minorities Seen Hurt the Most”.

    They’re that deranged.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

    Caddell told me, that one day a demagogue comes along and decides to run for
    president. >>


    Bernie,   That actually happened.  I remember when Reagan ran on telling America they should not trust their government. He won and he proved
    it, with the worst criminal administration ever! Bush senior had to pardon a lot
    of Reagan people.

    • Tim Ned

      Please let me know the bill to impeach Reagan?  Or tell me the legal action calling for Reagan’s arrest.  Now you have crossed the line from being just a silly nonsensical fool to being a liar!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

        Ronnie Reagan?  You know, that president who raised taxes, raised the debt,
        cut and run from the Middle East and negotiated with terrorists?? And cheated on
        his first wife, getting a divorce and marrying Nancy after getting her pregnant.
        And told America they should not trust their government… that guy?  And, as for me  lying Google it!

        • 1LonesomeDove1

          He did raise taxes, but only after he cut them too far.

          After that raise, we were still left with over a $130 mil net decrease.

          You really do need to research things instead of swallowing what the left feeds you.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

            Sez you! He also increased the National debt… a lot!

          • 1LonesomeDove1

            It’s not a matter of “sez me”. It’s a matter of history. A history that libs seem to have missed, or want to ignore.

            Here, read for yourself from the OMB:

            Legislated Tax Changes by Ronald Reagan as of 1988
            Tax Cuts

            Billions of Dollars
            Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981

            Interest and Dividends Tax Compliance Act of 1983

            Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986

            Tax Reform Act of 1986

            Total cumulative tax cuts


            Now for the tax Increases

            Billions of Dollars
            Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982

            Highway Revenue Act of 1982

            Social Security Amendments of 1983

            Railroad Retirement Revenue Act of 1983

            Deficit Reduction Act of 1984

            Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985

            Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985

            Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986

            Continuing Resolution for 1987

            Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987

            Continuing Resolution for 1988

            Total cumulative tax increases


            Source: Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 1990 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989), p. 4-4.

            Do the math! This leaves a $142.6 billion net “DECREASE”.

        • Tim Ned

          You called him a criminal.  Prove it!!

  • http://shawmut.blogspot.com/ Dave O’Connor

     Bernie, great article. Our current issues is what I believe George Orwell meant:
    “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth
    will be a revolutionary act.”
    As you cite politial veteran Caddel as one point of view, and then  “Poster”, like Wemple, who plays dumb to the issue; I can only drawa the conclusion the latters expresed indifference is disingenous – and that’s being polite.
    Are we to accept the notion that perhaps the media is kept closetted up in some sterile environment until it’s interview time and then they’re let loose to scribble and dribble>
    Not even America’s premier propagandist Edward Bernais would comment on bath-soap if he hadn’t calculated and set up manipution for the response.
    Now, I see the greater threat is not the media, but in the public that has been so dumbed down, that they don’t even question what they hear and read (if they still read – or remember how). They’ve become subject to the bias in a way that a patient becomes so medicated that he’s witless to the any benefit of the medical regimen.
    Maybe, we’ll see, yet, Orwell’s revolutionary act.
    Certainly, you are on the front lines. And yet, the best many of us can do to support you is recognize the bias and cite it; discuss it and confront it.

  • Iklwa

    Sadly, the media in America (print specifically) has a long and colorful past of distortion, lies and propaganda spread liberally (no pun intended) and without regard for fact.
     It has only been with the advent of collages offering coveted degrees in journalism that the folks contributing to fish wraps and now broadcast media have been given an air of respectability.
    Interestingly enough, the producers of the majority of journalism degrees are liberal universities and collages.
    For those historically aware, straining to find truth in media is, at most times, a futile effort at best and a terrible waste of time otherwise.
    Even the venerated Walter Cronkite was a hack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Koffer/1020263329 Dave Koffer

    Excellent article, Bernie!  Very good points!

  • GlenFS

    Harping is in the ear of the listener or eye of beholder…. in this case a liberal who does not want to hear ANYTHING about liberal bias.  To him more than a single mention will be harping, because it’s critical of his thinking and conduct.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

    Bernie,   How can you write an article about the mainstream media without
    pointing out the bias Fox spew out 24/7 every day of the week? My question to
    you is:  Do you own a TV and do you listen to FoxNews? Oh, I get it, you work
    for FoxNews. Nevermind!

    • 1LonesomeDove1

      You’re opinion only.

      However; we have evidence that a reporter from YOUR media was fired for tampering with facts about Zimmerman.

      • http://shawmut.blogspot.com/ Dave O’Connor

        Well? As you wrote 1Ld1, the reporter was fired for it. Thal says something positive for his former employer.  MSM would claim he was caught up in mis-informing, suffering an identity crisis or some other wimp-off.

        • Michael

          The only reason he was fired was because Fox News and conservative radio outed the guy and then pounded on the network until they were forced to do something about it. 

        • 1LonesomeDove1

          I know what it says for his employer. It says that what he did was so obvious that they had to move quickly and do the right thing before another news agency broke the story and made them look bad.

          They will throw their own under the bus rather then lose credibility as a whole.

    • Frazzledgear

      If you can’t give examples, it’s just a false claim. Specifics when Fox gave a biased NEWS report please.

      • GlenFS

        I’m sure Wil reads and hears reviews about FNC rather than ever viewing it directly.  Much easier to maintain a personal bias without the reality.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

        Frazzle, Just click on http://www.newshounds.us/ and http://mediamatters.org/ both websites
        reveal the bias reporting that Fox does, every day. 

    • Bruce A.

      Can you explain why Fox dominates the ratings?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

        The only people who believe Fox News is -not- the propaganda arm of the
        GOP, and who deny that it is, are those who watch it religiously and
        deliberately avoid watching or listening to anyone or anything else.

        • StanW


        • Bruce A.

          TOP RATED NEWs FOR YEARS  The facts do not lie.  Nobody watches MSNBC or CNN & the network news is dying. 

    • Tim Ned

      Hmmmmm, Obama campaign using NBC commentators in the campaign ad’s.  Do you Wil have a problem with this?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

        Nope, Romney has Fox.

        • 1LonesomeDove1

          And the left has the entire remainder of the media.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

            Talk radio and the newspapers in America : I don’t think so!

          • ph16

            Talk radio and Fox definitely belong predominantly to the conservatives. The liberals however do have the major newspapers like the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and the vast majority of the major newspapers in the country.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

            You’re wrong about 
            the major newspapers in the country. Most were for McCain in the last election.

          • 1LonesomeDove1

            They sure were, cause they knew he was no conservative and that he’d lose the election.

          • 1LonesomeDove1

            The left owns most of the newspapers, but all papers are heading for the door anyway, and it’s not my fault that leftist BS doesn’t sell on the radio.

            They’ve tried, but it just doesn’t sell.

  • B.BarNavi

    The best counter to liberal bias is double conservative bias! Brilliant!

  • robin in fl

    Bernie…first off ,would you consider being on the “short list” for VP???..of course Marco R is first on the list ,BUT..you can at least be second on the list..just saying

    as for this quote: “Folks know that the media is dishonest, that the media now is not in the business to report the news anymore. They’re there to advance an ideological agenda. So, if the folks know it, all the polls say they know it, that means that the press is not going to have any real influence on the elections this time around.” . ..well I am here to tell Bill O and anyone else that thinks that may always be the case,it is NOT.Quite a few people still believe if the media (be it nightly news or newspapers ,etc),say it,then of course it must be true.They tend to hear something once in the media and it sticks and after that they run with that first story they hear and start telling others.It’s sad but true that not all people are aware of media bias yet…Yes ,a lot are ,but I know for a fact a week doesn’t go by that someone doesn’t bring up some crazy biased story and asks me what I think about it and when I ask them where they got that information from,they always say the same thing. They reply.”well .that’s what “they” are saying”…when asked just who “they” are, of course it’s whatever news media source the person has just seen or heard it on….

    SO in my opinion, keep talking about it as much as you can, because for every person that understands the bias issue ,there probably are 2 people that are unaware of it still.

    And whoever that guy is that says you “harp” ,well I for one NEVER heard you “harp” .I think you more like educate those who do not or did not know certain things, once you let them know it’s up to the person to pay better attention and figure it out..well, that worked for me anyway. and besides that, when I hear the word “harp” I tend to think of a Harpy Eagle, though it is a magnificent looking bird and if you think about it, the Harpy’s talons are extremely powerful and assist with suppressing prey… so that may NOT be a bad thing. Perhaps it was actually a hidden compliment..!!!!

    keep up the good work Bernie,your fans enjoy it immensely ,even us small town southerners that are just too dumb (if you believe the ones on the far left) to have a clue about what goes on in the world!

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      Please “Robin in Fl” get off Bernie’s you know what!  It is a joke that the Bernie and Bill Show would dare talk about the MSM being “bias” when in fact they are no better.  Bernie of all people should know what I am talking about, he worked with CBS back when Dan Rather and 60 Minutes were publishing forged documents attempting to unseat a sitting President.  One internet typewriter expert (Joseph M. Newcomer) busted the idiots and Dan Rather and Mary Mapes were fired.  

      Now Robin in Florida we have numerous (not just one) well renowned document experts with unblemished careers in their fields who have come forward with slam dunk proof that the April 27th, 2011 computer generated birth certificate that Obama presented to the world is a forgery, a poor forgery at that.  Now Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his 300 person Cold Case Posse made up of career law enforcement experts with unblemished reputations and skills to collect and evaluate evidence have proven these document experts right.  They discovered the birth certificate that Obama has been flaunting on Coffee mugs and T-Shirts is a forgery.  They also discovered that Obama’s Selective Service card is also a forgery, a crime that carries a $250,000 dollar fine and a 5 year prison sentence.   

      Not only does the Bernie and Bill Show not follow the evidence but they avoid the evidence and slander those who want them to merely report the news and allow us to decide what is true.  It is not just the Bernie and Bill Show but also the rest of the whimpering little bias folks at Fox who are avoiding the crimes.  You know as well as I do that if this were a Republican we were talking about committing these crimes the MSM would not let this story go until the person resigned or was prosecuted.   

      These folks at Fox are in the same dugout with the MSM on this one and shame on them and especially Bernie who has been down that ugly road.

      • JohnInMA

        Wow. You just proved something else in your post. Until now I thought you couldn’t get satisfactory Internet connections in underground bunkers…..

        • robin in fl

          hehehehehe..i thought it was ‘just me’ as I sat and read that reply that person  directed at me with a *blank stare* on my face going “HUH”??????

      • robin in fl

        “whatchu’  talkin’ bout willis”?????……..(lookin’ attcha’ with a BIG ‘blank stare’) 

  • http://hemingwayreport.blogspot.com/ MerchantofVenom

    Pat Caddell… the only good emanating from the Carter years.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

      analyst Pat Caddell is a right wing demagogue, posing as a democratic pollster.
      He’s a fraud!

      • http://hemingwayreport.blogspot.com/ MerchantofVenom

        No argument from me. That’s what I like about him. He finally saw the light.

        • http://shawmut.blogspot.com/ Dave O’Connor

          Right, Merchant.  It takes a big man to concede to his past.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DGT5LFXDWHPKRWLSI2WPBXIGXE Wil

            Especially when the money is good! 

  • rbblum

    Would be worth mentioning that the trend of the ‘media news’ was presented in Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave . . . a departure from the centralized production of news and information controlled by a few sources that is presented to a captured audience . . . and, one that is transitioning into the process whereby individuals will need to pursue due diligence in seeking valid, substantive, timely news and information from various available sources.

  • Glen

    Bernie,  alas your fears have already come to awful fruition.  The press has sounded the alarm for global warming, which I and too many others did not heed, and now…we are all doomed!  Alas!

  • Kevin

    One thing about Americans, when a market becomes artificial, or saturated, or no longer relevant, we create a new market, based on what is current, relevant, meaningful and valuable.  That can be said for almost every new technology that replaced another, i.e. the phone, the car, the TV, the desktop, the laptop, the smartphone.  It translates into other areas of life as well, our choices of where to get the information we rely on for our daily decisions ranking high on that list.  This is precisely why Fox News took off in 2000 after it was the only news organization that refused to call the Presidential Election for Al Gore.  It has become increasingly successful since. Fox is successful for one reason, and it’s the same reason the other networks were successful as well as the NY Times. People trust the information they get. They can rely on it.  The failure of mainstream media is proof the American people are smarter than most media outlets give them credit for being.

    • http://shawmut.blogspot.com/ Dave O’Connor

      Following your observation, Kevin: “One thing about Americans, when a market becomes artificial, or saturated, or no longer relevant, we create a new market, based on what is current, relevant, meaningful and valuable.”
      But can we rely on the same folks to buy what they shop-gawk?

  • Homer

    This article is a modern press version of the kid who cried WOLF.
    Way to go, Mr. Goldberg

  • Bobby D.

    Bernie, Just in case no one tells you, we need you where you are. I have the utmost respect for you, not only because you know what’s going on, but because you are never dishonest, and make no excuses for your honesty. Keep it up!

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      Please Bobby D. spare us the praise for this guy.  He and Bill O’Reilly are no better than the rest of the folks at MSM.  They have been black listing all of the Obama ballot challenges that have been going on all over the country.  Some of the god awful court decisions are already being heard on appeal in Georgia and Tennessee.  There is a huge Obama ballot challenge about to start in Florida with Attorney Larry Klayman leading the challenge.  Larry is the founder of Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch, no light weight and a man of unblemished reputation.  Not a word from Bernie nor Billy Boy or any of the folks at Fox for that matter.  If this were Mitt Romney being challenged these bias idiots would be right there along side of the MSM following every detail of the story.  Shame on you for thinking these guys are something special.  

      If there were an honest bone in any of their bodies these folks would have been on a plane and headed for Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office in Phoenix, AZ for a day long sit down with him and his lead investigator Mike Zullo.  They would have been sifting though the evidence they gathered in their 6 month investigation which is now an on going CRIMINAL investigation.  Not a peep from these dips, hell they slander anyone who dare follow the leads.  They have become just like the MSM.  We expect that from those liberals but not our Conservative friends.  Shame on them!!

  • jeromezacny

    Bernie, once again you have hit the nail on the head.   Unfortunately, the MSM has become a liberal propaganda machine and therefore cannot be trusted to report anything objectively.   Not all Democrats are liberal and not all conservatives are Republican.   While I doubt that you are a liberal, and despite the fact that you appear on Fox Cable News with some regularity, I can’t tell if you are a Republican or a Democrat, and that’s the highest compliment I can pay you.

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      I am amazed at how many people here are on the hog with Bernie.  This guy suffered through the Dan Rather scandal and now he ignores the scandal of the century for crying out loud.  Not only does he and Bill O’Reilly and the others at Fox hide from this scandal they slander those patriots who just want the scandal reported to allow us to make up our own minds.  This is shameless journalism.  They are no better than the folks they criticize, actually they are much worse.  Oh, you are wondering what the “scandal” is!!  I am not surprised that you don’t know what it is being our so-called conservative friends are running away from the scandal rather than right into it.  It has been proven that Barack Hussein Obama has been flaunting a computer generated forged birth certificate since April 27th, 2011 and a forged Selective Service card and a has been using a fraudulent SS# that was flagged by E-Verify.  All these are tied to his ineligibility to be POTUS due to him not being a “natural born Citizen.”  Now that is a scandal that will eventually cause a Constitutional crisis this country has never experienced before.  And Bernie sits back and enables this to continue.  Of course it would be easy for a person like Bill and Bernie to put this story to rest by just proving it is a bunch of lies.  They won’t because they fear what they will find and be forced to report.  

      • Ron Kean

        Give it a rest.

        • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

          Give it a rest, hell no, we are just getting started and the fun is about to really rock the house.  Attorney Larry Klayman has taken on the Obama ballot challenge in Florida.  He is the founder of Judicial Watch and now part of Freedom Watch.  That judge hearing his case will get an ear full and truck load of evidence as to why Obama should not be allowed on the ballot in Florida.  Sheriff Joe Arpaio has proceeded from “probable cause” to a “criminal investigation” and he has discovered some pretty shocking things that the press will not be able to continue to ignore.  Give it a rest my ass!  Who needs people like you.  OH, Bernie will throw me off this site eventually, that is just the way he is.  He has not totally shaken his boots of that god awful liberal virus that infected him for so many years.  

  • http://johngaltlist.blogspot.com/ Shrink the State

    Great Article, Bernie.

    “There is one institution in America which has no checks and balances” 

    To some degree,  the market is providing checks, albeit too slowly. FOX is way up and the LSM is way down both in terms of audience and the confidence of viewers.

  • Cuttimerabc

    Thanks for being a voice of reason.  With so much blatant propaganda and blather coming from the left and to a much lesser extent from the right pointing out the fallacies is very important.

  • Ed DeCosmo

    Rational people know that the “mainstream” media is bias. The liberals take advantage of it. Others can’t. Since I spent most of my life in the field, friends ask how it got this way. A short answer is that once we had editors who believed the first priority was to be responsible. We held reins on reporters who felt they had a mission to change the world. Today, those reporters are the editors and their goals haven’t changed.

  • SteveInTexas


    I, sort of, had a taste of what you and Pat Caddell refer to in the second last paragraph. I lived in Mexico for a long period during the 70+ years of the PRI single party regime. For different reasons at that time, and still somewhat today, the press in Mexico was also biased in favor of one party, conclusion: not good for democracy, prosperity and freedom. (My respects to all the Mexican reporters who over the years, gave their lives trying to get the truth out, and the many that continue to do so at risk to themselves and their families).

  • Pasekfred

    I can’t wait to hear the screeching and harping that comes out of MSNBC, ABC, NYT, Washpo, etc… come September and November. It’s going to be hysterical. Oh, look, housing prices dropped again. Better hurry and figure out how to blame Anne Romney…

  • YondCassius

    Yes, Bernie, the media (including Fox) is biased, business is greedy, government is corrupt, voters are ignorant of facts, unable to reason and irresponsible, and today’s pesky swarm of real and quasi-journalists may be a net loss to society … and so on and on and on.

    But why is any of this newsworthy?? Given the obvious and intractable flaws in human nature, it would be really newsworthy if none of these things were true.

    God save us (ASAP) from our tiresome tendency to feverishly imagine and really believe ideals of human behavior that we humans simply cannot live up to. If there is a god and if he can save us and if he feels like doing it.

    Or is there some redeeming merit in this constant cheap-shot moralizing and the mindless excuse to vent our inner disquiet on those who displease us that escapes me,  imperfect member of an imperfect species that I am?

    • JohnInMA

      @YondCassius:disqus It is newsworthy primarily because of its spread.  The fact that nearly every broadcast has a similar bias has a non-trivial impact on the “voters” who “are ignorant of facts”.  If there were more balance than just Fox, then the matter would be less newsworthy.
      CNN superficially makes an effort to bring in opposing opinion in the vein that FNC practices, but in my experience most of the non-cable news divisions do that to a much lesser degree.  My sampling is pretty shallow. however, as I’ve stopped watching network news for the most part. But I rely on sites that accumulate clips,  like Real Clear Politics, Mediaite, etc.

      • YondCassius


        Frankly, I don’t see much usefulness in misinformation from a network like MSNBS or CNN being “balanced” by merely different misinformation from a place like Fox.

        I also have stopped watching most TV news and rely mainly on print media, primarily thru the Net.

    • Paul Courtney

      Your clear perception of the “intractable flaws in human nature” has utterly blinded you to the equally intractable goodness in human nature.  I’m gonna guess that when you observe a selfless act, it’s cause for derision.  Some of us posters wish the complete irrelevance of the progressive press would arrive sooner, but I think Bernie (and many of us) would really prefer that the MSM fix itself and restore its relevancy.  Just a little bit?  How ’bout this- we’ll keep striving for these useless ideals, and we’ll pity you almost as much as you appear to pity yourself.

      • YondCassius

        If you can really see ‘goodness’ in human nature, or at least see innocently mistaken error there, and if you see it even in those humans you disagree with, then you actually share my view. But can you?

        What I spoke out against was the neurosis of seeing only imperfections and especially seeing them only in others. 

        But I doubt zealous partisans and ideologues really want to fix anything; they’re generally ‘true-believers’ who believe what they believe merely because they believe it. End of thought, end of story, in spite of the fancy package of articulate verbiage

        Which is nothing essentially but the id-ish ‘intellect’ of our reptilian ancestors, to put it in a scaly nutshell.

        I might sound harsh in saying that, but I think we all do our realistically best, even you and Bernie.


        • Paul Courtney

          Can I see it?  Friend, I’m a regular reader of Mark Steyn, and I can still see it.  Don’t read his stuff until checking with your doctor, as it may depress you.  Where can it be seen?  Well, let’s start with Mr. Goldberg, who left CBS (and probably lost countless friends and associates) to advance the cause of media fairness.  I’m sure he has days when he despairs that it’s a lost cause, like you seem to believe, but he goes right back to banging his head against that wall.  Yes he does this on Fox News, where’s he supposed to go to get an audience, Current TV (I hear there’s an opening)?  Just in case you think I’m from Pollyannaville, I figure the press will collapse in a heap before they listen to Bernie, and the US will see a financial collapse before 60 senators listen to Paul Ryan, but humans will rise from this rubble.  We always have.

  • Ron Kean

    ‘Second, I have never said that media bias is “trivial.” ‘
    But you have said that there might be a point where, if the press continued what it’s doing, it would become irrelevant.  That would be a tipping point I’d like to see.  We’re all waiting. 

  • FloridaJim

    Bernie’s explanation of why unbiased media is important in a Republic is excellent . It should be read by everyone. This election is so important that we must write to all the blogs and columns explaining our expectations.


    I no longer take a newspaper nor listen to the ABC networks for news – because of their leftist bias.  I “got the messaage” – when will they?

  • Oldies1965

    You nailed it.  That is why I do not watch Network News Programs or subscribe to Liberally run newspapers.  Keep up the fantastic work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ted.wight Ted Wight

    What some people don’t understand is that the media — not just the press — is afraid to give facts and truths to the general public.  Which of course means that they believe the truth will damage their (the media’s) agenda of Progressivism/social “justice” and what all.  They want to keep the public uninformed and ignorant and don’t what them thinking for themselves.  If they do, the media fears, they will vote out liberal special interest politicians and vote in their hated targets: Republicans. 

  • JohnInMA

    Two artifacts are most important for me with the known bias in media.  First is the fact that I cannot trust that facts are presented accurately in the more extreme cases of bias.  Second, I can never be sure there isn’t a deliberate omission, either of pieces of truth or an entire topic or event.  So, even when reading, say, a NYT article, I feel compelled to research elsewhere to corroborate or refine – or even dispute.  Even though the Internet has made access to left and right sources much more plentiful, it is still an unwanted investment of my time.  But sadly, it is mandatory, especially when the topic has political undertones.   And what doesn’t any more???  Even sports are now victim of bias reporting in some cases.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=777164927 Mitch Beck

    Magnificent explanation Bernie. I completely concur with you right down to the last period, comma and quotation mark. 

    • YondCassius

      What about the spaces Mitch?  If you’re going to sincerely kowtow,  one must go all the way down and the head must be heard to thonk on the floor, so to speak.  Just a friendly tip.

      • Ron Kean

        yeah…and what about the layers, the pen strokes, the font types and the vertical alignment?

        • YondCassius

          Thanks for the sublimely magnificent additionals, but I didn’t want to tease him too badly.