Monday, November 9, 2009

The pot calling the kettle black; the hypocrisy of media bias

Last week, John Stossel wrote a piece entitled, “The double standard about journalists’ bias”. It was an autobiographical piece in which he recounts the blatant hypocrisy of his colleagues.

Stossel said after years of reporting on business crooks at the local level, he was surprised to find a challenge in finding like crooks when he went national on 20/20, “As a local TV reporter, I could find plenty of crooks. But once I got to the national stage…it was hard to find comparable national scams.”

Mr. Stossel deduces the reason for this is simple: free markets are regulators. They reward those companies who put forth a quality product or service and punish those that don’t, “Regulation barely deters cheaters, but competition does.”

Certainly a sound concept but as Mr. Stossel would learn in his move from network news to the most viewed cable news network, suddenly competition isn’t such a good thing – that is, when you’re beating your competition hands-down.

After nearly forty years as a reporter, Stossel has gone from media hero to media zero; why? Because after so many years of championing government regulation, he came to realize it was counterproductive to business and to the American consumer. His 19 Emmy wins would stop, invitations to speak at journalism conferences were no longer extended – all because the veteran consumer reporter had the audacity to change his mind about the good of government regulation.

He titled segments accordingly; “Are we scaring you to death?” analyzed the scare-for-ratings tactics of newscasts and media coverage.

When Glenn Beck was at CNN, not much attention was paid to him, but at FOX News, it’s an entirely different story; as in the amount of stories done about him and not the scandals he uncovers. Mr. Beck drove the Van Jones story at FOX News. He uncovered what the White House vetting process failed to find, a radical, avowed communist.

Beck and Bill O’Reilly have done yeoman’s work in investigating ACORN and have come to uncover scandal after scandal, from millions flowing through a former funeral home in New Orleans to rampant voter registration fraud. Do the mainstream media back them like Deep Throat? No. They accuse them of making mountains out of molehills or fabricating scandals.

When the shoe is on the other foot, the mainstream media is conspicuously silent – Dan Rather used phony documents, aided and abetted by producer Mary Mapes to try and destroy President Bush from being reelected. Jayson Blair made-up entire interviews when writing for the New York Times – his explanation? The liberal news of record expected too much from him.

To quote Mr. Stossel from one of his most popular segments, “Give me a break!”

-- The Editors, Killswitch Politick

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