Saturday, September 04, 2010

Bias in the Media

Another Karl at Patterico's Pontifications looks at "manufacturing dissent".

Why was the establishment media so slow to recognize the turnaround in the Iraq war? Why did they largely rush to judgment when the Duke lacrosse team members were accused of rape? Why did they get the Jena 6 case wrong? Why was the establishment media narrative about Hurricane Katrina built on myths, including grisly fables about violence and death in the Superdome? And why is the establishment media celebrating it?

These examples are but the tip of the establishment media's "faux news" iceberg. Folks on the far left probably have an entirely different list, but that is the point — the establishment media's center-left epistemic closure produces the same problems critics identify in the conservative media. That the critics are only concerned about closure in conservative media — and dismiss the theory that conservative media closure is partially caused by the establishment's marginalization of conservatives — suggests they are less interested in solutions than they are in further marginalizing the right.

As with the epistemic closure obsessives, don't hold your breath waiting for the center-left to consider that that their shrill stereotyping only adds to the problem. And as with the epistemic closure obsessives, the offense they give to everyone else is fueled in part by the double or triple standards at work. If you think the Ground Zero mosque is a bad idea (as I do), you are deemed a religious bigot, or are empowering religious bigots. In contrast, if you think Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptists protesting at military funerals (or Bill Keller setting up shop near Ground Zero) is a bad idea (as I do, for many of the same reasons), the center-left does not unleash the same gushing firehose of vitriol. When the passage of California's Proposition 8 caused people to engage in anti-Mormon protests and boycotts, and to practice the politics of personal destruction against Miss California, the center-left was not denouncing it as religious bigotry. And to bring it full circle, if the folks behind the Ground Zero mosque are not entirely gay-friendly, the center-left media ignores it.

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