Media bias, again

You would think that if there were a liberal media bias anywhere in the US, it would be in San Francisco. Fortunately for all you righties out there who constantly complain about how the left dominates the media, you have the San Francisco Chronicle. This is from yesterday's Opinions page.

I'm not going to deconstruct his article largely because the heavy lifting has already been done by Alterman and the folks over at Media Matters, but I will post the letter to the editor that I just sent off. Here's hoping they'll take it.

To the Editor:
Adam Sparks' 6/1 editorial "Media Bias? What Media Bias?" contains one misrepresentation and more than one bit of faulty reasoning.

In citing the Pew Foundation report, Sparks neglected to mention that in the commentary by by Bill Kovach, Tom Rosenstiel, and Amy Mitchell, the report stated "We would be reluctant to infer too much here. The survey includes just four questions probing journalists' political attitudes, yet the answers to these questions suggest journalists have in mind something other than a classic big government liberalism and something more along the lines of libertarianism." It is worth noting, however, that Sparks'
attitude is virtually identical to the one being posited by noted right-wing commentators Fred Barnes, Brit Hume, and Charles Krauthammer. In other words, his argument smells like conservative talking points.

Lastly, Sparks argues that since journalists are liberal--an argument that he has not proven--that means the media as a whole is also liberal. The problem with that argument is that even if we assume that journalists themselves are liberal, journalists aren't the ones who determine what stories get covered and with what level of ferocity. Publishers do that. And publishers are overwhelmingly conservative.

Most of his article is just a restatement of the same storyline we've been hearing for the last thirty years--the media is liberal and doesn't care about conservative values. As Eric Alterman and others have pointed out time and again, that's simply not the case--in fact, the reverse is true, and Americans would do well to recognize that fact.

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