Midya's Weblog

What Liberal Media?

So a liberal writes a book entitled, What Liberal Media?  Predictable. What really surprises me is that it took until 2003 for it to be written. Finally, Eric Alterman took on the task. Alterman is a journalist who writes for a periodical The Nation. I guess he is a self-proclaimed liberal.  I’ll see what I think about that at a later date.  This book is a good read. It boarders on crazy in sections, sure. I really appreciate Eric putting forth the effort, in a book no less, to tell us how he views the idea of the mainstream media having a liberal bias. That being said, this is about as safe a task as he can undertake knowing that no one in the mainstream media will lift a pen to criticize him-I didn’t do any research on that point.  maybe they have pinned him to the wall.  What is funny is that not only does he not see a liberal bias, he sees a conservative one which I think is telling.  Which makes me wonder if he sees things as being one way or the other.  I tend to.  Not that all information is extreme, just that ideas have intension.  What I think needs to be established in the minds of Americans is that no information is without context and direction. Now, you leftist linguists are probably screaming by now, but I”m inclined to think that seeing the bias is part of the point.  I mean, at least then we can be honest with ourselves.  Come on, if there were no intention behind what is written, then nobody would write any commentary.  We might as well admit it.  The fact that he doesn’t see the liberal bias, and in fact, asserts that it is actually conservative is still delusional.  I guess that the case really consists of selective examples in the recent past of conservatives making their voices known. All this book really proves is that conservatives do have an outlet for their opinions today where they did not as few as 20 years ago.
Truth be told, his hatred for the right and for George W. Bush inflames and blinds his information gathering capacities skewing any information that gets through his filters toward his own desire to reinforce his feelings of victimization which I think is perhaps my first conclusion from his book.  Just about every time he mentions a conservative Eric takes it as some sort of personal attack or conspiracy.  This book presents Eric as the victim of conservative bias.  I suspect that liberals view themselves similarly.  He is correct, when I walk into Borders the entire front rack is filled with conservative books singing the praises of W and supply side economics.  Right.  I did this the other day not quite sure what to expect.  To Borders credit, I actually found two books written by conservatives on their front wall.  Funny thing is that one was by Jonah Goldberg whom Eric wrote so lovingly about in What Liberal Media?  Did I mention that there were around 30 total books in this section?    
That being said, he adopted a tough task.  Proving a bias either way is a daunting task given so much information from so many different angles and with so many potential problems.  Someone who can identify potential problems with info and see inherent leanings could possibly make a case.  In my mind, this is what Eric should have done.  He actually almost begins to do so.  Right in the Acknowledgments he points out a key weakness with any information.  This weakness is people’s susceptibility to power.  This really affects the information that trickles down to us.  My opinion is that he didn’t even realize when he was doing this at the time.  Truth be told, I think he and I have a lot in common.  I appreciate the facts he presents.  Unfortunately, if he knows how to recognize bias correctly, he isn’t showing us.   And if he knows the difference between power and authority which he confuses constantly in his hatred for W, maybe he will write another book and show off.



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This entry was posted on August 20, 2008 by in book reviews, What Liberal Media.
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