[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Conservative Media Bias?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Conservative Media Bias?

Since ABC hired conservative radio and CNN talk host Glenn Beck as a commentator on Good Morning America, some liberal bloggers have been up in arms in concern that the network is brushing liberals aside.

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America, is one of these concerned individuals.

Boehlert's post, linked above, alleges that ABC and it's news political director, Mark Halperin, are exhibiting obvious conservative bias. He notes that Halperin has "endorsed conservative conspiracy theories" that mainstream journalists are "overwhelmingly liberal", "hate the military" and are "blind to their bias".

It's not a conspiracy theory to believe that mainstream journalists tend to be liberal, just ask Bernie Goldberg. There's no dark conspiracy out there, it's widely believed to be a fact. I don't know that they hate the military, that's a big stretch in my opinion. But that they are blind to their bias is like saying that the sky is blue. It's my opinion, of course, but one that's shared by many.

Eric Boehlert also makes strong accusations against new ABC employee Glenn Beck. Beck is predictably a frequent target of liberals due to his admitted conservative leanings. As a regular viewer of Beck's show on CNN Headline News, I can say that he openly admits that he's a conservative in order to leave no doubt as to where he's coming from when he presents his topics. In the article, Boehlert accuses Beck of saying that Katrina survivors are "scumbags", calling Hillary Clinton the antichrist, comparing Al Gore to Hitler, and supporting U.S. military torture of prisoners. Follow the links to video and audio from Beck that supposedly supports these allegations. You'll see that it is quite a stretch to conclude that Beck actually believes these things. Being familiar with Beck's style, he can be quite sarcastic and very un-PC, and I believe Boehlert is simply misinterpreting the clips. Watch his show for a few days and you'll see what I mean.

Another accusation Boehlert makes is that Beck is anti-Muslim. Again, another easy generalization to make until you actually read between the lines. Beck, who aired the popular documentary Exposed: The Extremist Agenda last summer, isn't anti-Muslim. He's anti-extremists, thus the title of the documentary. He frequently brings Arab and Muslim guests to his program to talk about the concern over the spread of fundamentalist Islam. He has called out moderate Muslims for not speaking out enough against the terrorist factions of Islam, but that is far from being anti-Muslim or anti-Arab, don't you think? Although Beck at times teeters on the edge of being an alarmist, the fact that he's trying to bring to light the intentions of the extremists in the Middle East is quite refreshing, and frankly, necessary.

One accusation Boehlert makes that is accurate is that Beck is pro-war. Of course, Boehlert describes Beck's pro-war stance as "cheerleading". Give me a U! Give me an S! Give me an A! What's that spell?

In the end, Boehlert is exhibiting his own liberal bias in expressing his concern over Beck's hiring at ABC. I have no problem with that, I'm expressing my own bias in this post. However, as someone familiar with Glenn Beck, I believe I should at the very least present the other side of the argument which refutes much of Boehlert's concerns.

My only question to Boehlert would be, when will ABC cancel The View?

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Blogger Rick said...

I don't have a problem with Beck because he's too conservative. Hell, what's one more righty when the media is loaded with them.

But I do have a problem with his bigotry and racism. When you question a congressman's loyalty to his country simply because he's Muslim, there's something wrong. And that's what Beck has done, amongst other things.

The thing that most disturbs me, however, are the people who, for whatever reason, feel the need to defend his conduct and his words and make excuses for it.

It's a continual source of amazement for me to listen to people in this country claim that we've come so far in race relations while we still have men like Beck and Limbaugh behind microphones with listeners who hang on their every word.


6:32 PM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger The Universal Spectator said...

Rick, do you mean Rush Limbugh, whose second-in-command on his radio show happens to be black?

I guess only those enligthened among us who don't listen to his show thinks he is a racist...

10:05 PM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger Rick said...

This is news. It's only possible to be racist when it comes to black people. Truly a breakthrough there, George.

Remind me of that when someone accuses me of being racist against Cuban-Americans. In addition I'll tell them, "Hey, I work with a couple. Some of them C-A's are friends of mine. How can I be racist?"

Tell the truth, George...you really don't think this way, do you?

And BTW, I listen to Rush whenever I'm driving around town midday, which is a fair amount. It's one reason why I believe hard line conservatism is one of the last bastions of bigotry and racism in this country.


10:29 PM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

I don't know Rick...throwing the "r" word around to describe Beck and Limbaugh is pretty far fetched, definitely more so with Beck whose not as partisan as Limbaugh.

Perhaps I have a very literal definition of racism - I can't think of any other way to properly define the term. Beck's questioning of the Muslim representative was probably the only time I can remember him probably stepping on the line, but then he turns around and invites Al Sharpton for a one-hour segment in which he lobs softball questions to him. Doesn't sound like a bona-fide racist to me.

The far right conservatives do make me nervous with talk that sometimes borders on racism. But seriously, anyone who listens to these 2 guys and concludes that they're racist in the truest sense is not applying the definition of the word correctly.

10:57 AM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

You want to hear racism? Ask leftists about black conservatives like Clarence Thomas. Ask leftists about Michelle Malkin. See how long it takes for terms like "house slave" and crude euphemisms for "asian whore" to be used by some of these openminded, tolerant leftists.

3:20 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Rick said...

So, Jonathan, what exactly are you saying?

Are you saying that because there are some lefty racists then there should be some righty racists, namely Beck and Limbaugh?

5:53 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

I'm saying that quite a few leftists are racists. This fact should be obvious to anyone who, for example, follows Malkin's arguments and reads some of the vicious personal attacks on her that are made on popular leftist blogs like Kos.

Limbaugh and Beck aren't racists. If you knew anything about modern conservatism you would know that in the post-war period conservatism only became politically successful after people like William F. Buckley chased out the racists and other kooks in the 1950s and 1960s. You can't be successful today in national conservative political or intellectual life if you're a racist. And if you believe that CNN would retain a racist conservative commentator you're nuts.

I sure wish people like you would deal with actual ideas for a change, instead of always trying to discredit your ideological opponents by making personal attacks. It gets old, and the attacks are so obviously false, irrelevant or both that after a while some of us get tired of dealing with you entirely. In case you haven't noticed. I'm happy to mix it up intellectually with people who disagree with me on the merits and want to discuss ideas. But when the responses to my arguments are along the lines of, "Bush bad!" and "You racist!", it just isn't worth it.

And yes, the press is biased. Profoundly. For some reason people with my views almost never are interviewed or quoted, in either formal or "man in the street" settings, on TV or other big media, with the occasional exception of Fox. When was the last time you saw a "man in the street" interview with someone who said Bush's problem is that he's being far too timid and PC in prosecuting the war, and that we need to go all-out to crush the Iraqi militias, overthrow Assad and use force to stop the Iranian nuke program? Yet people with such views are abundantly represented on the Internet, where there are no gatekeepers. Telling conservatives and libertarians that there is no press bias, or that the press is actually conservative, is like telling black people in the Jim Crow South that racial prejudice is a figment of their imaginations.

8:49 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Rick said...

So Limbaugh calling Jesse Jackson a "chocolate chip," isn't racist? Limbaugh telling a black caller to "take a bone out of your nose" isn't racist? Of course, then there's the Donovan McNabb remarks. And that's without even trying, Jonathan.

I don't know. Maybe you think those above characterizations are okay. But I don't. They are racist. Pure and simple.

So is Senator George Allen's "muccaca" statement. So is the ad the RNC ran in Tennessee this past fall.

All this stuff may be perfectly acceptable in your world, Jonathan, but for most people, it's racist.

10:03 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Yes, ignore the points that you can't respond to easily. Then go on the attack by choosing one simple talking point and demagogueing it over and over again (in a "concerned" way, of course).

I see a bright future for you in network television or Democratic Party media operations.

10:47 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Alex said...

Jonathan, you are the one who ignored the point in the first place (about Beck going after Ralph Ellison with an outrageous accusation "prove to me you are not working with our enemies" for no reason other than his ethnicity/religion) and went on a rampage about leftist racists and liberal media bias (talk about tired).

And after complaining about "personal attacks" you post that last gem.

So to get back to track: basically your position is that it's Ok if Beck and Limbaugh make racist statements because some nutjob at Daily Kos does the same? You seriously equating the two?

Now about Beck. He's a sensationalist and all those pronouncements are designed to get a reaction. CNN benefits from that. But he does know where the line is. The problem wth those "commentators" is, one day they forget they are on cable TV and not talk radio, and their real beliefs come up. Then you get Michael Savage.

5:16 PM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger daniel said...

quick someone remind me what organization robert byrd belonged to? and what about his filibuster on the civil rights act? while youre at it, did al gore sr vote for or against the civil rights act.. and jesse jacksons 'hymietown' comment.. sure it made a great SNL skit for eddie murphy, but still, i can see why the jews found it offensive.. just cause you are a dem doenst mean youre not rascist, and just cause youre repub doesnt automatically mean you are

12:10 PM, January 30, 2007  
Blogger Alex said...

Not in dispute Daniel. Which makes the "hey you lefties got some racists too!" even more pointless.

2:09 PM, January 30, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

You people are failing to consider the fact that the press is biased toward business, not toward the "left" or toward the "right." These are vague and not-very-useful ideas in this day and age that have been kept alive by the press and those who wish to incite division in America rather than common ground. What sells the most copies? The most spectacularly divisive topics.

7:20 PM, January 31, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

and yes, there are terrible racists in all political parties, but I wouldn't vote for them, or listen to what they have to say, most of the time.

7:23 PM, January 31, 2007  

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