The conversation about the mainstream media’s left-wing bias resumed this week when a reporter for Yahoo News was fired after a hot mike picked up a racist comment he didn’t want aired.
David Chalian joined 23 million other Americans who don’t have a job after he was heard to say on a live ABC News broadcast that Republicans, including their presidential nominee Mitt Romney, “are happy to have a party with black people drowning.” Chalian had to go because he had surrendered any credibility he possessed — assuming any existed — in objectively covering the presidential race. That his joke, calling more than 100 million Americans bigots, wasn’t funny only made his offense worse.
Chalian was referencing the fact that the Republican National Convention was going on while Hurricane Isaac was pounding Louisiana and Mississippi, where folks other than blacks — even Republicans — also live. It’s also true that people haven’t been drowning, the tough lessons of Hurricane Katrina now being a life-saver.
There is a serious conversation to be had about why some polls say 99.99 percent of blacks will vote for President Obama, but Chalian disqualified himself from having a seat at that table.
From a macro view, yes, the media are biased for a simple reason, one that cannot be conquered: News organizations are comprised of people, and people have inherent biases, and no matter how hard reporters try, sometimes those biases bubble to the surface. The really good reporters try hard to gather the facts, present both sides of the story, and keep their own opinions on the back of the highest shelf.
If you doubt that the mainstream media is rife with bias, watch MSNC’s coverage of the Republican National Convention and then compare that with Fox News’ coverage. If you think MSNBC’s is right down the middle but Fox’s leans right, or Fox’s is fair and balanced but MSNBC’s leans left, then you have revealed yourself.
As a whole, it is true that the mainstream media leans left pretty heavily as polls show more than 70 percent of journalists self-identify as being liberal — and for every Fox News, there are several MSNBCs. As media outlets, particularly newspapers, get smaller, the trend is more toward conservatism.
So it’s important that media outlets self police, and spring into action when there are blatant offenses. That appears to have happened with Yahoo News and Chalian, but there really weren’t any other options beyond his dismissal, and we can’t help but wonder what Chalian got away with previously before he inadvertently outed himself.
Our best advice to anyone wanting to get their news untarnished is to gather it from multiple source and — this might surprise you coming from a newspaper — don’t believe everything you read or are told.