Monday, February 14, 2005


Missing the Point

The New Yorker has published a long, rambling defense, full of seemingly pointless anecdotes, of the supine American mainstream media. I can’t believe I slogged through this whole maudlin screed, whose point is — what else? — that everybody’s criticizing the mainstream media, but we’re really doing a great job. Please.

Conservatives say that the media have a liberal bias, and liberals say they have a conservative bias. The media favor the Democrats. No, they favor the Republicans. The media are caught between the two sides. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. The media can’t win. Pity the poor media.

But all this is just a red herring. The crucial issue is not whether the media are liberal or conservative, it is whether the media aggressively go after the truth or not, whether they question what politicos tell them, try to see through lies, and do some investigative reporting (come to think of it, shouldn’t all journalism be “investigative”?).

Why are the mainstream media reluctant to tell the public about the horrible crimes committed by our politicians, both Republican and Democrat? How come they don’t dig into 9/11 instead of merely peddling the nonsensical Bush administration account? How come the NYT didn’t run its story on Bush’s earpiece, and likely cheating in the debates? If it’s the truth, the media have a duty to report it. The truth hurts for people at all points on the political spectrum.

Truth isn’t right or left, or good or bad. It’s just the truth. Too bad that the media — even “liberal media” — often decline to be truthful.

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