But I Trust the News

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Tom Van Dyke

Tom Van Dyke, businessman, musician, bon vivant and game-show champ (The Joker's Wild, and Win Ben Stein's Money), knows lots of stuff, although not quite everything yet. A past inactive to The American Spectator Online, the late great Reform Club blog, and currently on religion and the American Founding at American Creation, TVD continues to write on matters of both great and small importance from his ranch type style tract house high on a hill above Los Angeles.

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202 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Point being?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      If you were a Republican, how much would you trust this individual to fairly and accurately represent the Republican National Convention or unfolding events in general?

      How widespread do you think the attitudes represented by this individual are amongst news reporters?

      If your answer to the second part is that this is an aberration and that such attitudes are not common at all, then I suppose it renders the first question moot. If you think this attitude is more widespread and simply not voiced with an open mic as here, it can strike you as pretty significant.

      (For my own part, I don’t know how common the disdain represented here is, but I do consider the overall tilt of reporters in general to be rather problematic no matter how fair they are trying to be in their analysis.)Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        Oh i don’t blame R’s for not trusting this guy. There are reporter types i think are biased. So the obvious solution is to watch and believe the fair and balanced guys. If you are against bias then you are against bias. Saying you are against bias then choosing a biased source becuase it reinforces your own bias is less then lucid.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Okay, so members of the media bring biases to the table that possibly/probably influence the way they report the news.

        Did anyone here not already know that? I’m confident saying we were all aware of that fact.

        So, again, I ask… what does this post inform us of as currently constructed?Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          I would posit this post as something of a log on the fire. Not an argument in itself, but noting something of a larger argument that TVD and conservatives have made in the past and the media and how it approaches the parties and the issues.

          I am, in case there is any question, a believer in the larger pattern* to which Tom refers. So it is not without reason that I immediately understood.

          * – Though I consider the pattern to contain a lot of noise. More than a few counterexamples and a more complicated thing than the journalistic activism that many believe it is.Report

          • Avatar greginak says:

            Your footnote takes you far away from the pattern Consertives in general seem to suggest. Tom has even admited C’s know Fox is biased but that is fine since everybody else is against them. I would completly agree there are plenty of reporters with biases. But i think the liberal argument would be that the MSM has biases that are more from being owned by large companies and from being inside the beltway focused. I don’t think the L argument is that the MSM doesn’t have biases but we see it is a different way.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              I consider the biases to be multifaceted, but the one that C’s are complaining about? I see that one, even if I think it a muddier thing than they do.Report

            • Avatar Koz says:

              It’s worse than being biased, and I’m glad that Mr. Chalian was fired, even though I doubt that will substantially change things.

              Actually, it’s pretty similar to Nob’s GFY to start off his recent post. It’s not that such a thing was horribly offensive (even though it was offensive enough). It’s the fact that he said it in the first place, and what that implies about his ability to process information and events in the political arena. And in Mr Chalian’s case, that’s his most important political obligation.

              At the very least, Mr Chalian or anybody in his position (or anybody here for that matter) ought to be able to see why most Republicans see Romney’s welfare ad as completely inoffensive wrt racial issues, even if they don’t believe that themself. Given what Mr Chalian said, I think we can see how this could be in doubt.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                “Nob’s GFY to start off his recent post.” Mr. Koz: It was at the end of his post. [GFY = “Go F**k Yourself,” directed @ right-leaning types who might not accept the premises of a recent Ta-Nehisi Coates article.]

                GFY, Koz. And I mean that in the nicest way possible, bro.Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                I hesitate to ask, but is there something here I’m missing?Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                No, Koz. Like Mr. Nob, I meant GFY in the nicest possible way, us all being gentlepeople and all. Tony Comstock would probably make a lovely and heartfelt film of it. 😉Report

          • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

            You get it, Trumwill. I do use the LoOG as a gauge for what otherwise verrrrry well-informed people are unaware of. I can attribute these lacunae only to their choice of news sources—and the choices of the gatekeepers of those news sources, like this Yahoo News dude, which is putatively “mainstream.”

            In direct answer to Mr. Gregniak, I do get much of the left-leaning national talking points via the LoOG and it should be unnecessary to name names. [And it’s OK, although I don’t like it when we become a mere amplifier for your Yglasiases, Sullivans, Kleins and godforbid DeLongs.]

            But it’s impossible to be a conservative in this country and not know what the left’s up to: It sets the agenda of the national conversation. Romney tax returns, yes; Solyndra, no. I googled today and 1000s of hits on those guys throwing peanuts at the [black female] CNN cameraman.

            Geez, bro, I think Obama should be impeached just for his wife serving our children cabbage sandwiches. Now that’s a national scandal.Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              If you think you get the liberal view solely from the LOOG then you are sadly misinformed. BTW Tom, you are sadly misinformed about what L’s talk about in their tribes.Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                That’s actually an interesting one. Do you have anything in particular that somebody should broadly know about if they follow lib media but wouldn’t if they get their lib media exposure from reading the League?Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                Greg, I get all my left-BS from the LoOG. “Sadly?” I’m happily misinformed.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            Will-

            My issue is that Tom never built the fire. He throws logs in here and twigs in there and a bit of gasoline from time to time, but I’ve never seen him actually build the fire. I’m happy to have a discussion about this, because I agree with the broader idea that bias in the media is something to be mindful of.

            But it’s just more of the same from the same. And I find it damn interesting that the author in question won’t himself respond, explicitly, to what the point of his post is. But, c’est la vie, I’ve gone/gotten as far as I’m going to on this particular post and will depart.Report

  2. Avatar greginak says:

    Well they should have at least fired him or something instead of giving him a cake and ice cream party. Right?Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Isn’t ‘Bureau Chief of Yahoo News’ someone with just about the same prestige and influence as ‘High School Year Book Editor’?Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

      Heh heh, Mr. K. Superciliousness aside though, this guy is—was—the news gatekeeper for literally millions. And true, there’s the prestige and salary thing, which makes some of these lower-level news functionaries very hostile indeed.

      You unearthed quite a promising vein.Report

    • Avatar Koz says:

      Yeah, that’s actually a very good point. Even as I follow political punditry pretty closely, I’ve never heard of this guy before. I wonder if it was somebody with a little bigger profile, say Soledad O’Brien or Katrina Vandenheuvel or whoever, what would have happened to them.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      Funny how whenever a right-wing pundit says something horrible, it’s an example of exactly what every Republican thinks; but when a left-wing pundit says something horrible, it’s just some loner who nobody cares about and only an idiot would think it represented anything general.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Every reporter is a liberal who thinks Republicans are racist, and every Republican is racist. That’s what I’ve learned from the actions of nobodies at the Republican convention.Report

  4. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Agreed. Should have been fired.Report

  5. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Tom, I’m with you on this one. It’s one thing for a pseudonymous blogger to say Romney is happy black people are dying (it’d be wrong, but par for the intertubes), but it’s entirely different when someone who’s tasked with the responsibility (the DUTY!) of presenting news to otherwise ignorant people says something like that. I’m not sure it shows what Trumwill, and by extension you, seem to think it does – that there is a constructed lefty bias in the news. I think, rather, it shows that partisans can also be gatekeepers.

    And regarding the “liberal media bias”, I subscribe to the Colbert thesis that reality itself has a liberal bias, myself. If so, then conservatives are essentially fighting a two front war.Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

      Trumwill/Will Truman is his own man, and I unfairly dragged him in. He said my point is valid, that’s all. It doesn’t mean he agrees much more than ankle-deep. Which is cool.

      As for the Romneys not giving a damn about drowning black people, it’s a slander that goes beyond any decency, man. Did you know of all the the things that Dubya endured, it was Kanye West saying the same shit about Katrina that hurt him the most?

      We’ve got to stop slandering the very human decency of good men. Some things have to be out of bounds.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Actually, Bush said it was the worst moment of his Presidency. Which sure is saying something, given how many Americans died during his Presidency…

        “Five years later, Bush hasn’t forgotten. “I can barely write [West’s] words without feeling disgust,” the former president explains in a forthcoming book. “I faced a lot of criticism as president. I didn’t like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low.”

        “I still feel that way,” Bush told NBC’s Matt Lauer. “I felt [that way] when I heard [those words], felt them when I wrote them, and I felt them when I’m listening to them.” Bush also recalled telling his wife it was “the worst moment” of his presidency. “It’s one thing to say, ‘I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business,'” he said. “It’s another thing to say, ‘This man’s a racist’. I resent it, it’s not true.”

        “I wonder if some people are going to read that, now that you’ve written it, and they might give you some heat for that,” Lauer suggested. “The reason is this …”

        “Don’t care,” Bush said, interrupting.

        “Well, here’s the reason,” Lauer continued. “You’re not saying that the worst moment in your presidency was watching the misery in Louisiana. You’re saying it was when someone insulted you because of that.”

        “No, and I also make it clear that the misery in Louisiana affected me deeply as well,” Bush said. “There’s a lot of tough moments in the book.””

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/nov/04/george-w-bush-kanye-west

        Getting called out by a guy who it would be kind to say struggles with social decorum marking the worst part of an 8-year period during which 9/11 happened, America launched two wars, a hurricane ravaged a major city, and the economy collapsed so hard we still haven’t crawled out from under? Daaaaaaaaaaaamn man… THAT is a WTF moment.

        But facts, shmacts…Report

        • Avatar Koz says:

          Actually I don’t blame W for that one. It’s not a matter of indifference to the major world events of his Presidency and their human consequences, it’s about being able to hold enough humility to understand are just a limited part of the equation, even if you are President of the United States.

          Contrast with the current President, who either believes or finds it useful to lead us to believe that he personally was responsible for killing Osama bin Laden.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Another NYT Ombudsman quit recently and had the last Ombudsman column be about the pervasive liberal bias at the times.

    Of course, the editors tore into the column after it saw print.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Is the column still available?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Check it out.

        Okay, the column wasn’t *ABOUT* the bias… but it did include this part at the bottom:

        I also noted two years ago that I had taken up the public editor duties believing “there is no conspiracy” and that The Times’s output was too vast and complex to be dictated by any Wizard of Oz-like individual or cabal. I still believe that, but also see that the hive on Eighth Avenue is powerfully shaped by a culture of like minds — a phenomenon, I believe, that is more easily recognized from without than from within.

        When The Times covers a national presidential campaign, I have found that the lead editors and reporters are disciplined about enforcing fairness and balance, and usually succeed in doing so. Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.

        As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.

        Emphasis mine.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          Thanks. I read Brisbane quite a bit in his stint there. He struck me as intelligent and reasonable, though did stand out as one of the most conservative voices amongst those I read (which were not a lot).

          Nothing really stands out to me about what you’ve said here… I’ve always read the Times as moderate-left and figured they were more often guilty of lies of omission than lies of commission. I don’t really know what the broader perception of it is.

          One of the things I struggle with is that… I don’t run in many conservative circles. Yet I often here conservatives banging the drum about the liberal media burying stories. When Sean Hannity, who has one of the largest listening audiences in America in addition to a widely-watched television show, is complaining about liberal media bias burying stories… I’m all like, “WTF?” Sean, you ARE the media! You’re not the entirety of it! But when you start talking about stories being buried, you are unburying that story. And when Rush and Levin and others here start beating the same drum about the same story, I wonder how deeply buried it can really be. And it makes it harder to take those claims seriously as they seem more interested in making trips to the Victim Well than in actually uncovering truth.

          But, hey, that’s me… I wear a Tom Selleck shirt… what do I know?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            For what it’s worth, I don’t consider Sean Hannity “real” media. Nor Rush, for that matter. Nor Levin. They’re bloggers on the radio. News aggregators if I”m feeling generous.

            Fox is just barely “real” media.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              That what makes something or someone “media”?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’d say investigative journalists makes members of “the media” as opposed to mere “content providers”.

                I make similar distinctions between “All Things Considered” and “Democracy Now!”Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                So the High Information Media lean left, and the Low Information Media lean right? To a first approximation (and ignoring the angle at which they tilt), I think that’s about right.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                There’s always John Stuart Mill:

                “I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                They’re part of what we call “the media”. I think JB’s point is that they aren’t part of the news media.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Whooops. {{Mental note: don’t try to speak for Jaybird.}}Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                No, that’s another way to categorize things. I see Amy Goodman as a completely different animal than Melissa Block.

                If someone wanted to demonstrate that All Things Considered had a lefty tilt, saying that it played on the same station as Amy Goodman would not be a good piece of evidence, if you ask me.

                In the same vein, if someone said that the media was biased to the right because of AM Radio, I’d consider them to be… well… using a much different definition than most people use in their day to day.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Well, which of those sources do most people get their news, or what they perceive to be news, from?

                Fine, Hannity is right and the “media” is biased. But the movers and shakers, the folks who “inform” and shape discourse? Hannity can’t claim himself to not be one of those, which is exactly what he is complaining about when he plays the persecution card and goes to the victim well.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, which of those sources do most people get their news, or what they perceive to be news, from?

                If I had to guess, I’d say NBC/CBS/ABC Nightly News is the number one source in the country. Followed by one of the other two. Followed by the other one.

                *THEN* we have Fox News Channel.

                (I’m getting those numbers from here and here but I don’t have an apples to apples site.)Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          So a “liberal” paper let their own Om’s person publish a piece criticising them. In some ways i agree with the criticisms. This to me shows some tolerance for criticising themselves and openness to discussing their own biases. If only other news sources shared that same ability. Do you see this kind of thing in other sources? I don’t. My view about the NYT is that they also skew towards a rich clientele.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            So censoring an Ombudsman would be evidence of true liberal bias while the fact that they didn’t censor him indicates… what? That what he said obviously isn’t true?Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              So censoring an Ombudsman would be evidence of true liberal bias

              Yes. At least, the type of bias that conservatives are accusing liberals of engaging in.

              while the fact that they didn’t censor him indicates… what?

              That a person who negatively critiques a news outlet which is allegedly liberally biased will print an opinion piece criticizing the news outlet of being liberally biased. Which undermines the point, it seems to me. At least to substantial degree.

              Remember Frum!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It’s possible to be liberally biased and still believe that you shouldn’t censor your own Ombudsman, Greg. It’s possible to be both at the same time.

                There’s a lot of room between “liberally biased” and “Stalinist”.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                There’s a lot of room between “liberally biased” and “Stalinist”.

                It’s also indeterminate what constitutes liberal bias in the MSM. That was my point, I guess. If liberal media bias is confirmed by the criterion of censorship – passive or active – then the accusation that the Times is biased is undermined. If there is another criterion, then I’d be willing to hear it. But it seems to me the criterion employed by conservatives is that a media outlet is biased against conservatives if it doesn’t present the news from a conservative pov. But that just seems to beg all the questions, no?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                My take on “liberal media bias” is a bit more nuanced than the attitude taken by Fox News. Here’s an argument I made back in 2009 that I stand by:

                The media folk are all social liberals (if not libertine). Gay marriage, abortion, health care… all of these things make for great *STORIES*. “I sat down across the table from two people who had been married for the last 40 years. They bickered like any old married couple with one major difference: Utah refuses to recognize them.” You know, you can really get the personal angle and get to know someone anecdotally and get others to know them. This would make anyone say “I like this person and they deserve better.”

                On the other side, however, there are corporations that pay for ads that pay their salaries… and it’s just bad business to poke your thumb in the eye of your biggest customers. You don’t want to say something that would get them to boycott you, after all. So why not soften this article? Why not put this article from above the fold to page 23? Why not give a “two sides to every story” on the downsides of cheap CFLs? GE recently bought a full-page ad, after all…

                In addition to that, there is the whole issue of “access”. Let’s say you want to talk to John Cooper, the Barrel Czar, and discuss the recent barrel scandal. Well, John will sit down with you the first time and you have to toss him a handful of softballs to get his guard down… and hit him with a tough question. And then he says “if you don’t rephrase that question, this interview is over and I will forget to tell Phil Smith, the iron czar (and a close personal friend of mine), that you are a good reporter, one worth sitting down with and talking to.”

                Are you going to rephrase? Phil Smith would be one hell of an interview prospect… Everybody would read that interview. They might even put it over two days…

                Well, the reporter rephrases the question. And softens the story. And goes on to write a story talking about how gay marriage would really be a nice thing for these two old guys who have been together for 40 years.

                And the theocons can scream about liberal bias, and the hippies can scream about corporate bias, and both sides cannot believe that anyone could possibly think that the media could be anything but a pawn of the other side.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                Jay,
                Where does disaster porn come into the picture?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It depends on how the disasters are framed.

                The frames you have at your disposal are legion. Will we show people starving and tell a narrative that focuses on the recent changes in government where the people are starving? Will we instead discuss how Foreign Aid is going to this country (where people aren’t starving) and that country (where people aren’t starving) but not the starving country (where people *ARE* starving)?Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                Oy. It’s VERY determinate what constitutes mainstream media liberal bias. Geez, I can call you chapter and verse whenever a conservative loads it up, whether by slant or by rhetoric.

                It’s not the least bit hard for a non-idiot to separate the diamonds from the dunghill.

                I even understand how the far left accuses the mainstream media of a “centrist” bias. Heh, as if. But I can see their point, if your starting point is say, Noam Chomsky or my blogbrother Elias Isquith. [From the very first here @ LoOG, Elias and I have understood each other just bloody fine.]Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                I wonder what Chomsky would have to say about your use of English swearwords. I think he might detect a trace of anti-Americanism, disguised as an attempt to be gentlemanly by “softening” the profanity.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                If liberal media bias is confirmed by the criterion of censorship – passive or active – then the accusation that the Times is biased is undermined.

                To spike a column by the Ombudsman requires a degree of deliberateness that I do not believe the NYT has. Their failure to do so, however, doesn’t prove much unless we are arguing that the NYT is so deliberately liberal as to deny any dissent. Which some people are! But at least some of us are making the case that it is more nuanced than that. That people may be reporting the truth as they see it, but that they are seeing it through a certain lens. When they make their mistakes or slip up, the direction of these slipups are not likely to be evenly distributed.

                Now, I know that you believe that reality has a liberal bias. I think more reporters than not would probably agree with you on that. I think that’s the source of our disagreement. I think the media tends to be very fair when covering certain issues. I think they tend to be less fair when covering other issues. These issues are not evenly distributed. We can argue that my non-liberal views are just disproportionately likely to be wrong, but that doesn’t get us anywhere for me personally.

                (I’ve been talking about this issue for years and years. I’ve never seen anyone convinced. These days, I’m mostly just trying to explain where I am coming from.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                “Passive censorship” is downright impossible to demonstrate.

                It’s choosing this word rather than that one.Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                “I think the media tends to be very fair when covering certain issues. I think they tend to be less fair when covering other issues.”

                This is a great point. It’s also worth mentioning, that where the media is not fair covering certain issues (like this recent welfare business), that some of the answer might be anti-conservative antagonism. But we should discount the idea of plain old ignorance either, ie the lib reporters either don’t understand or are unwilling to figure out what alternative position on an issue is, whether they agree with it or not.

                That’s why I’d much rather have 50 extra conservative reporters or correspondents sprinkled through the MSM instead of having a new conservative media outlet.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                True, Koz. Jonathan Haidt’s research indicates the liberals can’t state the right’s viewpoint accurately [whereas conservatives and liberatarians get libs just fine].

                http://hotair.com/archives/2012/04/13/confirmed-conservatives-understand-liberal-positions-better-than-liberals-understand-conservative-positions/

                Andrew Biggs:

                But Haidt’s research went one step further, asking self-indentified conservatives to answer those questionnaires as if they were liberals and for liberals to do the opposite. What Haidt found is that conservatives understand liberals’ moral values better than liberals understand where conservatives are coming from. Worse yet, liberals don’t know what they don’t know; they don’t understand how limited their knowledge of conservative values is. If anyone is close-minded here it’s not conservatives.Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                What worse, is that conservatives often understand lib positions (especially the history related to them) better than libs do. That should be embarrassing for liberals, if they were the sort of people inclined to be embarrassed.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                What worse, is that conservatives often understand lib positions (especially the history related to them) better than libs do.

                That’s why conservatives correctly refer to liberals as socialists, while liberals mistakenly believe they’re capitalists.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                What’s to understand, Koz? The Holy Trinity: Robin Hood, Santa Claus, Barney.Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                “That’s why conservatives correctly refer to liberals as socialists, while liberals mistakenly believe they’re capitalists.”

                Well yeah, that happens because the Right is much more familiar with the various actors who have been associated with the label “socialism” in various historical contexts.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                This little subthread is confirmation, in my view, that the left and the right don’t actually disagree about anything. They’re speaking completely different languages. I mean, anyone who could say that conservatives understand liberalism better than liberals do can only be using those words in non-standard ways.

                Maybe CK is right about this stuff after all…Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                No, Jonathan Haidt is right: the left gets neither conservatives or libertarians.

                “Liberals don’t know what they don’t know; they don’t understand how limited their knowledge of conservative values is.”

                http://www.american.com/archive/2012/april/liberals-or-conservatives-who2019s-really-close-mindedReport

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Tom, if you think citing one article constitutes confirmation of anything interesting, then you’re deep in the throws of an epistemological crisis.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                Perhaps. It’s support for the argument, though. After all the dehumanizing and demonization, the other explanations are even worse.

                I think it also goes to the other discussion as well, that [many on] the left feel it’s fine to disrupt a speech or ceremony that has a conservative involved. This constant drumbeat of “racism!” Look at BlaiseP’s amusing spew on Condi Rice on the front page. We don’t even cock an eyebrow, man, it’s so routine.

                First, the left thinks the right is evil.

                Granting for exceptions that all generalizations allow for, conservatives believe that those on the left are wrong, while those on the left believe that those on the right are bad, not merely wrong. Examples are innumerable. For example, Howard Dean, the former head of the Democratic Party said, “In contradistinction to the Republicans … (Democrats) don’t believe kids ought to go to bed hungry at night.”

                Or take Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who, among many similar comments, said, “I want to say a few words about what it means to be a Democrat. It’s very simple: We have a conscience.”

                Has any spokesman of the Republican Party ever said anything analogous about Democrats not caring about the suffering of children or not having a conscience?

                Etc.

                http://www.creators.com/opinion/dennis-prager/the-left-hates-conservatives.htmlReport

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Stillwater, according to Haidt, liberals and conservatives don’t understand each other or themselves. Liberals are just slightly worse at both than conservatives are. Then again, that particular study doesn’t stand up well alone. It needs a lot of follow up.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Koz, I wonder how many liberals in American understand just how much they owe to people like Bakunin. I mean, come on! And of course Trotsky.Report

              • Avatar Liberty60 says:

                “Has any spokesman of the Republican Party ever said anything analogous about Democrats not caring about the suffering of children or not having a conscience?”

                Well, there’s the whole babykiller thing.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Tom, I think it’s interesting that you accuse liberals of not understanding conservatives and then cite Prager who writes

                Hatred of conservatives is so much part of the left that the day the left stops hating conservatives will mark the beginning of the end of the left as we know it.

                It’s almost like you deliberately tried to undermine your own point. If you think the left’s dislike of conservatives is the identity of the left, then I think you’re playing a game you can’t win. At that point, the argument goes either way, and justifies the same thing about conservative identity. What we can look to is the policies proposed, and the logical coherence which justifies them. If conservatives were really and truly concerned with minimizing government spending, and prReport

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                {{whoops! hit submit be accident.}}

                …and promoting liberty which wasn’t tied to traditional religious identifications of what that word meant, then I think lots and lots of people would gravitate towards those beliefs.

                But as it is, when I look at the practice of politics when conservatives are in charge, I see pretty much the exact opposite of those beliefs being implemented. So the dislike of conservatives isn’t that they claim to want a smaller state, or less government, or an adequate defense. It’s that when they’re in charge they increase the state, and expand government, and use defense for aggressive purposes.

                I mean, I said it upthread. Maybe there’s just two languages being used to talk about the same things. But if you’re using Prager as an example of how well conservatives understand liberals I think you’ve undermined your own argument.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                Not really, Stillwater. Demonization is too much of the left’s playbook and Prager nails it. Romney doesn’t oppose taxes on the rich because he thinks it’s counterproductive, it’s because he wants less tax for himself and for his buddies.

                You can’t think Obama’s a crappy president, you oppose him because he’s black. If you’re Charlie Rangel you can say

                “It’s not ‘spic’ or ‘nigger’ anymore. (Instead,) they say, ‘Let’s cut taxes.'”.

                Enough.Report

              • Avatar James H. says:

                It’s fun to watch Tom Van Dyke, who is always dismissing social science evidence, here telling us that we know this bad thing about liberals us true because…SOCIAL SCIENCE EVIDENCE!!111!!

                I guess social science is TRUE when it produces results comforting to a conservative mind, and utter nonsense at all other times.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                My problem is with social scienTISTS. Jonathan Haidt is an honest man.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                James, a certain person here mentions that study repeatedly. It’s a sort of stereotypy for him, I think, particularly since he misrepresents the study every… single… time.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              No, just that the notion of the NYT being a cabal of hard leftists hell-bent on controlling the world might be a tad of.

              And, yes, people do think that and likely would use Brisbane’s piece as a very ironic piece of evidence.Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              I was in a bit of rush. I think printing a critical piece about themselves shows some integrity. An integrity lots of other news sources don’t have. Its an easy target but do you think Fox would let one of their people rip them apart on air.

              Interestingly he said he thought the national news reporters were fair. The other departments….well those end up being Style and Local news and that kind of stuff.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Did he mention stuff like the Occupy Movement or Gay Marriage in his column?

                If he did, how would you explain saying Interestingly he said he thought the national news reporters were fair. The other departments….well those end up being Style and Local news and that kind of stuff?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                I think that you are absolutely right that it is indicative of integrity. It doesn’t, however, undermine the main point. For what it’s worth, to the extent that the NYT does represent a liberal perspective, it actually speaks quite well of liberalism. One of the remarkable failures of conservatism, in my view, is its inability to come up with a news service that leans to the right (is more inclined to follow conservative leads and make conservative assumptions) rather than being a Conservative News Service so deliberately as to undermine journalistic credibility. In fact, the right’s entire response to the sensibilities of mainsteam news outlets has been extremely self-destructive.

                (I know that you’re not going to agree with some of the premises behind what I am saying. But I wanted to get that out there. It’s something I think a lot about.)Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                “One of the remarkable failures of conservatism, in my view, is its inability to come up with a news service that leans to the right (is more inclined to follow conservative leads and make conservative assumptions) rather than being a Conservative News Service so deliberately as to undermine journalistic credibility.”

                There might be something to be said for that, but if the new non-Fox media outlet had say, 50 or 100 conservative reporters, I’d much rather have them working for current MSM organizations than segregated into a specifically conservative one.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                From there it’s a question of culture and cultural influence. Take 100 conservative reporters, spread them out among newspapers, and how many of them are going to be conservative ten or twenty years hence? Maybe more than I give credit for, but I think attrition would be a concern. It sucks holding unpopular views.Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                I’d say all of them, or at least a substantial majority. As far as attrition goes, I’d be more worried about how many of them are working journalism 10 or 20 years down the road.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I’m not saying their integrity does undermine the main point. In fact i agree to an extent with the main point. As Kazzy has noted in another comment the NYT caters to their demographic which is more liberal and richer then most. the NYT also had Judith ” official bush war propagandist” working the Iraq beat in the run up to the war in Iraq. That wasn’t liberal, they were being used by the Bush gov to gin up support of the stupid war.

                Jay- yes i read that about Occupy and Gay marriage. I’ll give you one guess why gay issues might, just might, get a lot of coverage in a big paper in NY.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                “A lot of coverage”.

                Hrm. Is the complaint that the coverage is disproportionate?

                Dude, don’t get me wrong. I *SUPPORT* gay marriage. I like the NYT’s coverage of it. *I LIKE THAT THEY’RE BIASED ON GAY MARRIAGE*. They’re biased in the right, er, proper direction.

                But I wouldn’t pretend that it’s not a national issue nor that they’ve got a neutral point of view on the topic.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I’d be surprised if they had a neutral point of view on GM since most the staff will know gay folk. Hell they likely have quite a few gay staff. I’m absolutely sure their view is different then the Fairbanks News-Miner. The thing about the NYT is its a local paper that has a big profile, but its still the paper for NY. a lot of their news is focused on NY.

                Disproportionate??? At some point this kind of debate is a complete Rorschach. How much is the correct amount of coverage of GM? How much is correct for Salt Lake or Mobile or NY? Should the NYT have a daily update on Solyndra or should they be calling out Romeny’s blatant lies about O and welfare?Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                At some point this kind of debate is a complete Rorschach.

                It consts of throwing people down elevator shafts?Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

          Arthur Brisbane? Man, he must be a hundred and …

          OK, William Randolph Heart’s right-hand man was his grandfather.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

          Same-sex marriage is, as much as any issue I can think of, urban vs. rural, young vs. old, college-educated vs. not college-educated. So it’s quite unsurprising that a group of young, urban, college-educated staff, writing for an urban, college-educated audience display a consensus about it. That’s cultural bias. I don’t know that it’s reasonable to expect a New York newspaper not to have New York biases, even if it is considered the paper of record.

          When we move to issues which are partisan/ideological rather than cultural, Brisbane thinks the Times does well. Certainly the Times didn’t distinguish itself as liberal during the run-up to CW2, or the Clinton impeachment. If there was a bias, it was towards reflecting the views of the East Coast establishment, that in foreign policy the president (Bush) needs to have a united country behind him, or that Clinton’s philandering broke faith with the American people, again not surprising for a New York paper that’s part of that establishment. People and institutions unavoidably have built-in biases. I’m not seeing that the Times has a duty to reflect Salt Lake instead of New York.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            issues which are partisan/ideological rather than cultural

            You mean like Occupy?Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

              The dirty hippies who need a job and a bath? Yeah, nothing cultural about that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Is that how they were portrayed in the NYT?

                Did the Public Editor mention how Occupy was covered?

                I don’t know how they were covered by the NYT but, quite honestly, I suspect that they weren’t portrayed as dirty hippies if only because of how the Public Editor mentioned Occupy in the same breath as Gay Marriage as indicative of the paper’s progressive bias.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                Is that how they were portrayed in the NYT?

                Course not; it’s how they were portrayed in the conservosphere. Treating them as people who had a point (correct or otherwise) is an example of liberal bias.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                I mocked the sophomorism of using bad pictures of your enemies. Well done, NYT.

                “You’ve got to hand it to the photo editors at the New York Times: they are even better progressive propagandists than the NYT’s writers and their editors. With Paul Ryan hitting it out of the park to anyone who listened, the challenge was to create a mood entirely at variance with the sunny, likable, yet sharp impression Ryan made on the TV audience, not to mention the wildly enthusiastic crowd. But the Times, located in the graphic design capital of America, employs some real pros. They pulled out all the stops.”

                http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/nyt_bias_bleeds_through_photos_of_ryan_at_rnc.htmlReport

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Treating them as people who had a point (correct or otherwise) is an example of liberal bias.

                Again, it’s subtle. If the Tea Parties had a “Lee Greenwood, Angry Conservatives Upset At Black President, Teabaggers” thing going on *AND* Occupy was treated more like a cause than a news subject… is that something that we should understand is baked into the cake and only someone naive (or worse) would expect differently?Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                That the people who made up occupy were a lot closer demographically to the Times staff (many of whom probably have student loan issues themselves) than the Tea Partiers, and thus would get treated more sympathetically? Yeah, I think that’s baked in. To be honest, I suspect the fact that the TPers were unhip enough to call themselves teabaggers at first didn’t help. (I admit, I only knew the term because there was a joke about it on SatC).

                And I think it’s a bit perverse to criticize the Times, who are trying to run a real new organization, for being imperfect, while letting, say, the Washington Times slide because everyone knows that’s a right-wing rag.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I apologize for letting the Washington Times slide.

                If I henceforth call it “that damn Moonie paper” would that make amends? Are there any other newspapers you feel I’m letting off of the hook? There are 49 more states, after all. I haven’t even talked about Maine yet.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                Well, are they part of the news media? If so, how does that play into the analysis of news media bias? If not, what distinction is being made?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, I think that the New York Times Ombudsman (or “Public Editor”) pointing out that there really is a liberal bias at the nation’s “Newspaper of Record” is interesting. The fact that a second one went on to say it again just a few short years later is, again, interesting.

                Given that the counter-argument is usually of the form “no, the New York Times doesn’t have a liberal bias”, the counter-argument being something closer to “of course it’s got a liberal bias, it’s urban, it’s educated, it skews younger… DUH!!!” is a counter-argument that will get most of the folks who have been noticing the liberal bias in the media for the past few years now to say “whew” rather than “nuh-uh!”

                The argument, as I understand it, is that the NYT is the beacon that all newspapers aspire, for the most part, to be like. It’s The Daily Planet. Pointing out such things as that damn Moonie paper as a counter balance to the NYT is something that, it seems to me, ought to seem absurd to most.

                The argument over the past few decades has centered on such things as ABC/CBS/NBC nightly news, NPR, and the newspapers. Remember: Fox is a relative newcomer when it comes to the whole debate over the liberal bias in the media. AM Radio shows for talk radio is only a decade or two older than that.

                Believe it or not, the counter argument during that era was *NOT* “of course it is and only naive people would think otherwise”.

                Would that it had been.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                So mainstream media make a good-faith effort not to show liberal bias but don’t always succeed. Conservative media is damn straight biased and do you have a problem with that, libtard?

                I feel so ashamed.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                So mainstream media make a good-faith effort not to show liberal bias but don’t always succeed.

                I would say that there’s a difference between denying the existence of a thing and trying one’s best to compensate for the existence of a thing that you’ve acknowledged.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Well, I think that the New York Times Ombudsman (or “Public Editor”) pointing out that there really is a liberal bias at the nation’s “Newspaper of Record” is interesting.

                Small point here. But the NYT Public Editor can only “point out” a liberal bias if it’s already been established that there in fact is a liberal bias at the Times. What he was doing was presenting his own personal evidence of a liberal bias. A view that’s subject to all the logical worries and question-begging criticisms we’re already burdened with.

                Two different things, yes?

                (That’s not to say he was dishonest or that he was wrong.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Sure, absolutely.

                And that argument is the argument that I’m used to arguing against in this discussion.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                Let’s recap:

                Brisbane said “Yeah, there’s issues some places, but we do a good job on the really big ones.”

                Okrent (in 2004) says pretty much the same. He admits that the editorial slant is liberal, but no one disputes that. When discussing news, he uses one of the same examples, same-sex mariage, as where the Times is biased, Not that anything they print is false, mind you, but that they don’t give the other side. His silence on bias in, say, the GWoT or the presidential campaign is pretty telling, if you ask me.

                So I don’t think the classic “liberal media bias” case has been made, except on the margins. And if a conservative newspaper wants to build an organization that can take “Newspaper of Record” away from the Times, no one’s stopping them.Report

  7. Avatar Glyph says:

    Anecdatum of the Kael type – a good friend of mine used to work as a research librarian at the local paper, back when ‘papers’ were a thing. This paper was fairly well-respected for a city this size, won some awards, yada yada.

    Anyway, the employees were told by the paper that they were not allowed to put any political stickers on their cars that particular election year – moreover, they were told that they were not allowed to attend a particular popular rock concert that was politically-related. They were told that this was to avoid the appearance of bias.

    She, and many others were (understandably) incensed by these restrictions on their free speech & assembly, as well as the implication of bias.

    When I asked her how many people at the paper that she thought would be likely supporting the Republican candidate in the upcoming election, she furrowed her brow, thought a moment, and said, “well, I think there’s that one guy, down in Distribution.”

    Personally, I think they should have had all the stickers their cars could hold….I think it would be instructive.

    But I can see how the paper’s owners think that could be bad for business.Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

      Spot on, Glyphperson. A former Reason mag contributor told me she was the only person she knew at the LA Times who went to church on Sundays.

      One Fish to the Other Fish: Water’s cold today.
      Other Fish: What water?

      So it goes.Report

    • Avatar Koz says:

      “When I asked her how many people at the paper that she thought would be likely supporting the Republican candidate in the upcoming election, she furrowed her brow, thought a moment, and said, “well, I think there’s that one guy, down in Distribution.”

      Personally, I think they should have had all the stickers their cars could hold….I think it would be instructive.”

      Well yeah, it’s got to be at least one or the other. If they actually be unbiased they have to work harder at upholding the canons of objectivity.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    There was another column back in 2004 from then-Ombudsman Daniel Okrent.

    The NYT didn’t censor it, which is evidence of… something.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      (There was a follow-up column where he went on to say that the right-wingers are totally taking him out of context but I can’t find it and I wanted to link to it.)Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      I didn’t read the whole thing, but I think it touches on some really salient points…

      As I said, I think the paper is moderate-left. As someone who considers himself to be largely moderate-left (with some radical left and hard libertarian mixed in), this probably means it might be even more left than that. And as someone who is largely in the target demographic of the paper (upper-middle class urbanites, particularly those in the northeast), it is probably more biased (or, perhaps stated more accurately, less welcoming) of folks who did not fit those demographics.

      This last point is a tricky one. Is a paper targeted to an urban metropolis biased against rural folks 1000 miles away if it pays little attention to and/or unintentionally misrepresents the people there and the issues they face? I dunno. I feel like there are better words to describe it, especially with what “media bias” has come to mean today. The NYT is a bit unique in that, despite being written for and named after a particular city, it is undoubtedly one of the more far-reaching papers out there.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        If we came up with an alternative phrase, it’d just be used and abused the same way that “media bias” is (and I do agree that it is an abused term).

        Ultimately, though, I might try to think of it in these terms: If a newspaper is entirely white, how accurately do you think it will represent people who are not white? Even if they were like *really* trying? Now, imagine that the writers were making an effort to be fair, and they had editors to try to enforce the fairness, but if you ever got half the reporters over a couple beers, they admitted that they don’t actually care all that much for African-Americans. But they don’t let that influence their reporting, they promise. How effectively do you think they could cover an article on gentrification? Or competing proposals for which part of town the new monorail should go through?

        I’m *not* saying that this is a perfect comparison, or that discriminating against ideology or even way-of-life is the equivalent of discriminating against race. Rather, I’m saying that we all see things through the lens of our experiences and, to some extent, our ideals. Even setting aside readership demographics*, when reporters so often fit a particular mold, I question anyone’s ability to set that aside.

        * – In addition to the aforementioned biases, I do believe that most major urban newspapers have a significant class bias. Regardless of their personal income if you look at their bios I think you’re going to see that they are not randomly distributed amongst the population. I think this is going to color their reporting. Especially at the big papers, which is going to include a lot of writers from Ivy League backgrounds. I think there is a not-insignificant chance that a lot of the norms these papers set are going to spill over to writers of newspapers in places like St. Louis or Denver. Is there any paper that doesn’t want to be more like the New York Times?Report

        • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

          Is there any paper that doesn’t want to be more like the New York Times?

          The Washington Times, for one. They’d lose their funding.Report

  9. Avatar trizzlor says:

    If you have to dig through someone’s private statements to find bias then there’s probably no bias in their public statements. People check their biases at the door to their place of business every single day of the week. In academia, this is an argument often put forth by conservatives, and they’re absolutely right.

    Yahoo! fired him because he’s now bad PR, that’s all. That’s what companies do. So without specific evidence from his work this is all just conspiratorial mumbling.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      If you see the world through a certain lens, that doesn’t completely go away just because you try not to see through them. This is especially true when your job is to report on issues and narrate events. You will see them through the lens of your value system and priorities.Report

      • Avatar trizzlor says:

        Sure, but the fact that everyone has a lens is not news. That’s a strong argument for diversity, but it says nothing about systematic bias. Bias becomes pernicious when it results in lies/deception/omissions, and while spotting a partisan private comment may increase the suspicion of such behavior, it is not in any way evidence of such behavior. TVD stacks his jive carefully, so it’s hard to figure out exactly what he’s saying here, but it sure sounds like blurring the line between suspicion and evidence.Report

  10. Avatar Koz says:

    “So without specific evidence from his work this is all just conspiratorial mumbling.”

    For me at least, this most recent welfare business is fairly substantial recent evidence of just that. The problem with Chris Mathews et al isn’t so much that they disagree with conservatives about this or that. It’s that they exclusively associate with libs to the extent that they really can’t fathom any other version of events other than what libs are circulating to each other. That’s why libs are working themselves into such a lather over dog whistles and such.Report

    • Avatar trizzlor says:

      I’m not sure what Matthews quote you’re talking about but I won’t argue that MSNBC frequently lies by omission and that Matthews (perhaps unwittingly) does so as well in the way he chooses when to challenge his guests. He played a terrific set with Michelle Bachmann, but I honestly doubt he’d be able to disarm someone the same way if they were spouting similar garbage from the left. This Yahoo! business, though, just comes off to me like the David Weigel affair: a journalist no one really knew or read all that much, with no evidence of bias in his writing, is fired over an candid private comment.Report

      • Avatar Koz says:

        http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/chris-matthews-and-the-shibboleth-of-civility/261626/

        Sorry I thought it was clear from context, check out the link. It’s been one of the bigger stories of the last week imo. He’s going on this dog whistle angle like he’s caught somebody with their hand in a cookie jar instead of a speculative story that he and his lib buddies have talked themselves into.

        I don’t know if you’ve followed the Mickey Kaus blogposts over the last week or so (about welfare, not Mathews). Basically, libs have painted themselves into a corner wherein any remotely centrist thing you can say about welfare is a racist dogwhistle if it happens during campaign season. Not only is that not true on the merits, but there are important consequences of that that maybe aren’t obvious until you think about it. Ie, welfare and the values that it represents, are an important issue that deserves a hearing where the citizens have a fair chance to comment. But lib advocacy, either by accident or design, short circuits that opportunity.

        Corrupt advocacy is the sine qua non of contemporary liberalism in America.Report

        • Avatar wardsmith says:

          The good news is we have TNC outing himself in the comments section about his “objectivity”:
          I am not objective, and have never once presented myself as such. But I also wouldn’t write an article about the need for comity and faux-balance and decorum in response the question.

          So we have a Senior Editor for the Atlantic who states unequivocally that he is NOT objective (never was) and doesn’t feel that polite discourse is even necessary in a “news” situation. I didn’t watch the video at the time but watched the linked video and concluded that Chris Mathews is a 100% asshole, but since I already knew that I learned nothing. He shouted over the guest’s attempts to “answer” the “monologue” “question” and then claimed he had “won”. When I was in debate EACH side was given the exact same amount of time to present their case. Liberals feel that such a thing is inherently unnecessary. No wonder they can’t make their cases on the merits.

          The further this goes the more certain I am that the liberal left in this country is in for an old fashioned spanking as already happened in 2010 and they will be just as astonished the second time around as the first. Tone deaf doesn’t even begin to explain their cluelessness about the issues. They have managed to place “senior” operatives in high positions of power in the media but they have utterly failed to make their case. It worked once to influence an election but I’m beginning to suspect it will never work again.Report

          • Avatar greginak says:

            Ward- Senior Editor only means he gets his own blog and will have a certain number of long form pieces in the mag. That is what most editor titles mean.

            Its funny i think Mathews is 100% ahole also. Perhaps we can arrange a group hug.Report

          • Avatar Koz says:

            To be honest, I don’t mind TNC as much as citing him as a convenient source for the Mathews outburst.

            You actually hit on the main point. It’s not so much that Mathews is rude (even though he is). It’s the fact that he has got the blinders on so tight that he can’t understand the other side’s case or even allow the other party to make it.

            As to the point of whether this should incline Americans to reject this sort of narrowness and vote Republican, all we can do is hope.Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

            “So we have a Senior Editor for the Atlantic who states unequivocally that he is NOT objective (never was) and doesn’t feel that polite discourse is even necessary in a “news” situation.”

            wtf? ward, have you ever read TNC? Every post he does is couched in “this is the world as I see it;” what you quoted isn’t a slip.

            You know that his title is what magazines give opinion writers that are contracted to them, right? That other Atlantic contracted writers with an editor title over time have included PJ O’Rourke, Meghan McCardle, Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, Jeffery Goldberg, Ross Douthat, Marc Ambinder and Caitlin Flanagan?Report

            • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

              Tod’s correct. Contributing “editor” is an honorific to fluff the masthead. They don’t actually edit.

              I must say I don’t enjoy The Atlantic much anymore, too partisan. I used to consume it cover-to-cover immediately. Now with Hitchens gone [RIP], I barely even make it through the back of the book stuff.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                I’m finding, in general, that structured publications aren’t that interesting.

                Individual articles are. Sometimes, long stretches of one individual’s writing. Stuff lumped together by the same editorial crew? Usually not so much.Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                I see your point but I used to have some sympathy for the Atlantic. It’s been pretty much all downhill since Megan McArdle left though.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                William Langeweische’s epic “The Shipbreakers” [2000] here, unfortunately sans photos. The Atlantic was breathtaking back then.

                http://www.wesjones.com/shipbreakers.htmReport

              • Avatar Koz says:

                I think most of the writers there are reasonably intelligent people but too much of their political or cultural writing is insular and smug to the point where it induces nausea. Fallows and Friedersdorf would be much better if they had to work anywhere else (though probably much less comfortable).Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                too much of their political or cultural writing is insular and smug to the point where it induces nausea

                You know, I’ve read stuff like that.Report

            • Avatar wardsmith says:

              The second half of my point was lost in the shuffle apparently, [TNC] “doesn’t feel that polite discourse is even necessary in a “news” situation.”

              This is the Atlantic that I used to love. I don’t read or listen to partisan vitriol from either side, vitriol is vitriol. If someone wants to put up a well-reasoned argument for their proposition I’m happy to read it. But to skip past all the reasoning and jump to the conclusion leaves me more than a little flat. News used to mean something in this country, it doesn’t any more.

              When I was younger we used to point out how the Soviets wouldn’t actually let their citizens read the sources, they only got to read the state-sponsored editorial reviews of what the books said. We’re fast approaching that here. Does anyone else remember that Pravda means Truth in Russian?Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                I think that is a rather slanted reading of what Coates said, having read that post when in came out.

                His issue was (and is) with journalists, out of politeness, not challenging political figures when they willfully misinform. Now, you may not agree that Preibus (the man in the interview Coates was referring to) was misinforming, but I think you’ll agree that that isn’t really such a radical view.

                I agree, as you say in your comment, that in a debate everybody gets an equal amount of time to respond, but this is not a debate. Moreover, I would challenge the obvious place you have to go from that statement: that celebrities and famous political figures just don’t get equal time in interviews. It’s almost all 90% them, and its almost always unchallenged. I myself have no problem with Coates’s desire to have their feet held to the fire being more important that being “polite.”Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                I have some sympathy with the general point, but I disagree with the idea that it relates to politeness, especially as it applies to Chris Mathews and the like. Among other things, it has more to do with the ability of sources to control coverage about them. That’s why it’s critical to preserve channels for the dissemination of facts, a la Breitbart.

                isteve.blogspot.com/2012/08/tennis-arms-race-roger-v-serena.html

                “But if the interviewer asks unwelcome questions, like, “Serena, why are your arms more muscular than the world’s greatest tennis player’s thighs?” not only will the interview be over, but, worse, the photo shoot will be off.

                Moreover, it often turns out that your access is terminated not only to Serena Williams, but to the 17 other clients of her offended PR manager. Your career could be over. So, don’t ask unwelcome questions. Instead, just go with the conventional wisdom about “Aren’t these strong women wonderful role models?””Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                What does “feet to the fire” mean? Sit there while Chris Matthews yells at you? No thanks.

                “Why do you assume food stamp refers to black? What kind of racist thinking do you have?” Gingrich said as Matthews tried unsuccessfully to interrupt him. “Wait a second, you’re being a racist because you assume it refers to black.”
                Matthews said Gingrich’s and the GOP’s rhetoric about welfare had racial undertones, rhetoric that dates to President Ronald Reagan.
                “This is a history we have here,” Matthews said. “And this lingo is so clear to every African-American watching right now.”
                Gingrich disagreed.
                “So we’re not allowed to tell the truth about food stamps?” he said. “Come on, give me a break.”
                “You sit here and chuckle about it as if it’s not a game you’re playing,” Matthews said. “You’ve got that diabolic smile of yours, and you know you think you’re winning here, but everybody out there who’s black or white know exactly the game that’s being played here.”
                “No, here’s the game. You have the worst president,” Gingrich said.

                Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/80224.html#ixzz254IuN2jcReport

              • Avatar Koz says:

                It’s worth mentioning this is why Breitbart was such a useful media personality. We have to have the freedom to circulate facts. Even if most of the time they will be embroidered with interpretation and analysis, they don’t have to be and often times don’t need to be.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                It’s worth mentioning this is why Breitbart was such a useful media personality.

                His utter disregard for both truth and decency? Fortunately, there are others to carry on that flame.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith says:

                You for oneReport

              • Avatar Koz says:

                Ok, let’s dial down the invective a little bit and take a look at some objective realities.

                There are several lib and lib-affiliated conspiracies operating in various parts of American political culture. These conspiracies have a strong interest in concealing certain facts and Breitbart worked very hard to bring those facts into the public domain, thereby furthering the public interest. You can be sympathetic, or not, relative to his larger agenda. But being able to tell the truth and show the evidence supporting it is a very valuable thing for us.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                The Shirley Sherrod videotape, for example.Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                Exactly right. We get to make up our mind about Shirley Sherrod (to the extent that we care) because Andrew Breitbart gets the tape. Similarly, we don’t have to accept bland rationalizations from Ezra Klein or Yglesias because Breitbart gets the emails.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                OK, I’ll fake up a tape of Mitt Romney with farm animals, and let people decide what they think.Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                Breitbart never faked any tape.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                Uh-huh.Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                You can refuse to believe it if you want but if you’re not going to say anything more interesting than that, what’s the point?

                youtube.com/watch?v=eIJRyJkQXycReport

              • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

                You’re really going to distinguish between editing something to give a completely false impression and faking it? Fine. I’ll edit a Romney video so it says “I love sheep.”Report

              • Avatar Koz says:

                Well yeah, because:
                1. It’s not clear that Breitbart did the editing.
                2. Breitbart published more video as it became available.
                3. Breitbart has a long track record of attempting to disclose facts, not cover them up.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Ward, do you even read TNC? Does he engage in a lot of vitriol? Does he insult others and promote shouting down opponents? Does get into calling people he disagrees with nasty names?
                No. No. No.

                He engages in calm, reasoned discussion in his comments section. He has a point of view, which he doesn’t deny. He engages in actual polite discourse. I’m failing to see where you are getting the umbrage from or what the soviet stuff has to do with anything other then possibly vague red baiting.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith says:

                Greg, I suggest you read Tod’s post and put on your thinking cap. Coates points to a journalist who is in fact shouting down his opponent and his complaint is he should have done more of it. Coates is wrong.

                We have an opportunity as a society to solve pressing issues that will quite literally be the life or death of democracy. Or we can devolve to mob rule with the loudest “shouters” ruling the field. Good luck with that.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                So i would assume you hate Limbaugh and Hannity and O’reillly then if you are slagging Coates for his post.

                I think Mathews is an ahole like you and i don’t watch him. I don’t like shouting down anyone. However i do think it fine and dandy for journo’s to challenge the pols they talk to. We would be better off with pol’s being challenged far more then they are. Coates wants pol’s challenged more and falsehoods called out. I agree. the shouting i can do without, but then again i don’t watch mathews or msnbc.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith says:

                In an earlier post today Greg I said EXACTLY THAT. Mathews is wrong to do it and so is O’reilly. Do I need to link to it for you? Does this help?

                Does it make you feel better about yourself that you call me an ahole? Have you suffered a long time with your feelings of inadequacy? Does calling me an ahole increase or reduce the level of discourse? I’m guessing you’re in favor of the mob rule, right up until you’re the victim of same I suppose.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                “I think Mathews is an ahole like you… ”

                The chair rules this out of order.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                I read that to say “I, like you, think he is an ahole and don’t watch him.” And not “I think he is an ahole like you are and don’t watch him.” Greg can clarify, but I very much read the intent of the first and not the second.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                The chair prefers Mr. Truman to be correct. Damn, you’re good, Will.Report

        • Avatar David says:

          Priebus didn’t really have a reply to what Mathew’s said. Mathews essentially called out the GOP for starting a new version of Nixon’s Southern Strategy. He was calling BS from a point of view that understands historical context. Also, I have never heard him claim to be unbiased. Also he seems to save outbursts like that for people he seems to hold in contempt.Report

          • Avatar Koz says:

            Mathews even tried to pull the same stunt with Zell Miller once (though Miller wasn’t in the immediate presence IIRC). Most likely, being a prominent Demo like Mathews during the era when he was directly playing in the game (he was an aide to Tip O’Neill), he’s aware at some level that he has dirty racial hands, almost certainly worse than whatever the Republicans are being accused of.

            I suspect the Miller thing (and this) is a belated attempt to do something about race to make up for the times he couldn’t before.Report

  11. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I’m guessing I’m the only one here whose lesson learned was that yahoo has a news department.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      umm yeah i thought they just aggreagated stories. I didn’t know they actually did anything more than that.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Do we know that he was more than the aggregater in chief?Report

        • Avatar Fnord says:

          A quick search for Yahoo News (a Google search, naturally, because who uses Yahoo?) gets us there, and clicking a couple of headlines shows they do produce their own original content, though they also seem to syndicate a bunch of stuff. But it’s definitely not Google News-style aggregater.Report

  12. Avatar GordonHide says:

    Probably all political reporters who are good at the job are heavily biased. And their bias will be weighted with the same weighting as the better than averagely educated is weighted.

    This particular reporter was caught putting his bias on public display so he had to go.Report

  13. Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

    For whatever it’s worth, I tend to agree with Tom. I think, as others have pointed out, that it’s a little more subtle than he might be letting on here, but he’s broadly right.Report

  14. Avatar Trey says:

    Wow. I just stumbled upon this site today. I can’t believe I’ve found a smart and reasoned discussion on the internet.Report

  15. Avatar Trey says:

    I am not, nor do I eat spam.Report

  16. Avatar wardsmith says:

    Tom speaking of Breitbart (which I never read but may have to start) Koz got me to click over there and what do you think I found?

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Chair of the Democratic National Committee, showed up on radio row at the Tampa Convention Center at the Republican National Convention today and promptly insisted that any conservative media be ushered away. Her assistants reportedly required that National Public Radio – NPR! – issue a list of questions before Wasserman Schultz would do a sit-down. And when conservative media crowded around Wasserman Schultz, eager to ask the Chair of the DNC a question or two, her handlers complained loudly to staff, questioning why Wasserman Schultz should even be in earshot of the conservative rabble.

    On radio row. At the Republican National Convention.

    Too bad there isn’t someone like Mathews to interview her in the manner (and I use the term ironically) that TNC seems to think is appropriate. Of course her “handlers” would never allow such an occurrence to happen so I’ll have to watch that video in my head.
    This is what the Democratic National Committee thinks of the American people: they don’t deserve to hear answers to the tough questions. Instead, the DNC wants to answer only softballs from their media lackeys. No wonder Wasserman Schultz was moving so fast through the conservative crowd. She didn’t want to sully her hands with the conservative rabble – and she didn’t want to have to hear any dissenting views or questions.

    I keep hearing something about goose and ganders in my head but can’t quite make it out.Report

  17. Avatar wardsmith says:

    Tom speaking of Breitbart (which I never read but may have to start) Koz got me to click over there and what do you think I found?

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Chair of the Democratic National Committee, showed up on radio row at the Tampa Convention Center at the Republican National Convention today and promptly insisted that any conservative media be ushered away. Her assistants reportedly required that National Public Radio – NPR! – issue a list of questions before Wasserman Schultz would do a sit-down. And when conservative media crowded around Wasserman Schultz, eager to ask the Chair of the DNC a question or two, her handlers complained loudly to staff, questioning why Wasserman Schultz should even be in earshot of the conservative rabble.

    On radio row. At the Republican National Convention.

    Too bad there isn’t someone like Mathews to interview her in the manner (and I use the term ironically) that TNC seems to think is appropriate. Of course her “handlers” would never allow such an occurrence to happen so I’ll have to watch that video in my head.
    This is what the Democratic National Committee thinks of the American people: they don’t deserve to hear answers to the tough questions. Instead, the DNC wants to answer only softballs from their media lackeys. No wonder Wasserman Schultz was moving so fast through the conservative crowd. She didn’t want to sully her hands with the conservative rabble – and she didn’t want to have to hear any dissenting views or questions.

    I keep hearing something about goose and ganders in my head but can’t quite make it out.Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

      Yeah, WS, I adored Breitbart [RIP] but mention him and the counterattack is Sherrod and that’s the end. The technique is always to get one hook into him and then the person and everything he ever said or touched is discredited.

      So if Paul Ryan punted the Janestown factory thing [CNN says yes, but not as bad as most MSM claim he did*] that means everything Paul Ryan says is a lie.

      If you bring up that Obama even lied about his mother’s health insurance when she came up with cancer**, that’s tu quoque and out of bounds.

      So it goes.

      _________________

      *http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/politics/pol-fact-check-ryan-gm/index.html

      **http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-road-weve-traveled-a-misleading-account-of-obamas-mother-and-her-insurance-dispute/2012/03/18/gIQAdDd4KS_blog.htmlReport

      • Avatar BlaiseP says:

        Poor Andy Breitbart. Died of a heart attack. Big news at the time, to learn he actually had a heart.Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        How dare people mention the egregious lies and sleaze of the Sherrod deal when discussing brietbart. How unfair to tar him with his own sleaze.Report

        • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

          And Obama lied about his mother’s health insurance when suffering from cancer. Every time his name is mentioned we should go there? But that’s just what’s going down here.

          http://www.ocregister.com/articles/lying-345410-mother-obama.htmlReport

          • Avatar greginak says:

            Well i can see your point tom, O did take a video of his mom health insurance and edit it to give a false impression of what she said. Tom if you want to talk about being civil then act it out. Walk your walk and talk your talk.Report

            • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

              Breitbart din’t edit the video. This has fallen off the rails. I didn’t even bring Breitbart up, but I’ll speak well of him. He played the game like the left does and that’s why they went berserk. They prefer the right to play sitting ducks rather than pick up a gun of their own.

              Andrew Breitbart didn’t play that.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP says:

          Andrew Breitbart thrived on abuse. He was a tapeworm, his mouth parts attached to the descending colon of the body politic. Every so often, a few frames of him would slough off. He was a preposterously hubristic shitworm. He thrived on invective.

          I once had the misfortune to attend a horribly maudlin funeral of a baby girl. The glabrous pastor told the grieving congregation that God had taken her home, to play with the angels in heaven forever. In like manner, Andrew Breitbart’s untimely death was merely The Fiend calling one of his own, home to Hell, to disport himself with the Father of Lies where the fire goeth not out.Report

          • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

            Breitbart was a very cool dude, and not the misery so many of his detractors are. Take a pill, check it out:

            http://www.bostonreview.net/BR37.2/bill_ayers_tucker_carlson_andrew_breitbart_dinner.phpReport

            • Avatar BlaiseP says:

              Oh Tom. Breitbart didn’t want to be cool. He wanted a fight and generally got one. Rendering his enemies apoplectic was all the validation he ever needed or wanted.

              Breitbart’s death could not have come a minute too soon. Live fast, piss off as many people as possible and die young, before you live to regret all the horrible things you’ve said. Spare me any talk of Breitbart being cool. He pumped liquid shit through a high-pressure fire hose and people like you just couldn’t get enough of it.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck says:

            So far today we’ve had BlaiseP respond to criticism of his posts by telling us how he’s got a jar of WTC rubble and that he attended the funeral of a baby girl.

            But Republicans are still bastards, right?Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP says:

              No, many Republicans were born within the confines of Holy Matrimony. They’re big on holy matrimony. But this isn’t a contract for all American Citizens, if we are to take the Republicans at their word. One of Breitbart’s few redeeming moments, providing the chiaroscuro for a true picture of that tapeworm, was his support for gay marriage.Report

            • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

              Oh, you’ll have to take that up with him over there, DD.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP says:

                He’s not going to get any validation from me, not on my diary, Tom. The only reason I responded to him here was because he stuck his fat head up far enough for me to make a joke at his expense and point out Breitbart wasn’t exactly a Republican Fundamentalist, at least on the issue of Who’s a Bastard.Report

      • Avatar wardsmith says:

        Breitbart.com is the name of the site, since he’s dead the CONTENT of the article is what should be considered. Or do we do the same with a guy named Pulitzer now, I can’t seem to recall?

        Blaise would you care to comment on the SUBSTANCE of my post instead of the innuendo? Wasserman goes to the Republican National Convention where she refuses to talk with anyone who isn’t already in the tank for the Democrats. She can’t even exhibit the courage the GOP’s chair exhibited to go into the lion’s den that was the Mathews show. The media is biased and you’re upset that Breitbart supposedly lied. The media lied through its fucking teeth when trying to back Weiner’s lie and you had nothing to say at the time other than what prudes the conservatives were. Nothing about the flim flammery that pretended to be journalism. You did predict a bad end for Breitbart and we’ll never know what last secret he took to his grave, but methinks it was worth dying for.

        Breitbart’s sites are run from the tip jar, and his tip jar isn’t like this site’s, it is where readers submit tips for his team to follow up on. That is where Sherrod’s video came from and all the rest as I understand it, including the snippet that led to Weiner’s petit mal. Huffington Post received the exact same pics that Breitbart did, naturally Orianna couldn’t be bothered to print anything about it, although I’m sure she has a special place in her heart (and secret pics folder) for Weiner.

        This entire OP’s premise not only stands but has been enhanced by the conversation and the best the liberals can do about the bias is acknowledge it exists but state that it could be worse or tu quoque arguments about minnows versus whales in respective organization sizes. NYT vs Breitbart.com? Really?Report