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But as I'm sitting there I'm not thinking about any of that. To be perfectly honest, what I am thinking is, before Bias caught on with so many Americans, before it became such a hit, no one in the liberal, highbrow book business would have thrown water on me if I were on fire. None of them would have dirtied their hands on a book that would have dismayed their smart, sensitive liberal friends. Before Bias I would have been the skunk at their garden party. But now they can't wait to hear what I think?
But about fourteen seconds in, I am brought back to earth when one of the participants informs me that a friend of his thinks the whole idea of liberal bias is bogus.
I smile the kind of insincere smile I detest in others and look at the guy, wondering if I'm also looking at his "friend." I'm also wondering if everyone else in the room also thinks that bias in the news is just the stuff of right-wing paranoia. I am in Manhattan, after all, the belly of the beast.
And besides, Manhattan is one of those trendy places where the new hot media chic thing is not only to dismiss the notion of liberal bias in the news, but actually to say, with a straight face, that the real problem is ... conservative bias!
This is so jaw-droppingly bizarre you almost don't know how to respond. It reminds me of a movie I saw way back in the sixties called A Guide for the Married Man. In one scene, Joey Bishop plays a guy caught by his wife red-handed in bed with a beautiful woman. As the wife goes nuts, demanding to know what the hell is going on, Joey and the woman get out of bed and calmly put on their clothes. He then casually straightens up the bed and quietly responds to his wife, who by now has smoke coming out of her ears, "What bed? What girl?" After the woman leaves, Joey settles in his lounge chair and reads the paper, pausing long to enough to ask his wife if she shouldn't be in the kitchen preparing dinner!
Joey's mantra in such situations is simple: Deny! Deny! Deny! And in this scene his denials are so matter-of-fact and so nonchalant that by the time the other woman leaves the bedroom, leaving just Joey and his wife, her head is spinning and she's so bamboozled that she's seriously beginning to doubt what she just saw with her own two eyes. She's actually beginning to believe him when he says there was no other woman in the room!
Just think of Joey Bishop as the media elite and think of his wife as you-the American news-consuming public.
You have caught them red-handed over and over again with their biases exposed, and all they do is Deny! Deny! Deny! Only now the media have become even more brazen. Simply denying isn't good enough anymore. Now they're not content looking you in the eye and calmly saying, "What bias?" Now they're just as calmly turning truth on its head, saying the real problem is conservative bias.
What's next? They look up from their paper and ask why you're not in the kitchen preparing dinner?
Having been on the inside for as long as I have, twenty-eight years as a CBS News correspondent, I should have known it would be just a matter of time before they would stop playing defense and go on the offensive. Given their arrogance, I should have known that sooner or later they would say, "We don't have a bias problem-and if you think we do, then that proves that you're the one with the bias problem." Never mind that millions of Americans scream about liberal bias in the media; all the journalists can say is "You're the one with the bias!" The emperors of alleged objectivity have been naked for quite some time now, and sadly, they're the only ones who haven't noticed. Or as Andrew Sullivan, the very perceptive observer of all things American, so elegantly puts it, "Only those elite armies of condescension keep marching on, their privates swinging in the breeze."
But to deny liberal bias, the elites not only have had to brush off their own viewers, they also have had to paint their critics as wild-eyed ideologues-and then completely misrepresent what they say. For example, on March 4, 2003, this is how Nicholas Kristoff began his column in the New York Times: "Claims that the news media form a vast liberal conspiracy strike me as utterly unconvincing." Well, they strike me as utterly unconvincing, too. Exactly who, Nick, is making those "claims"? Got any names? Because I travel all over the country and speak about bias in the media, and I haven't met one serious conservative-not one-who believes that a "vast liberal conspiracy" controls the news. And for what it's worth, I write on page four of the introduction to Bias that "It is important to know, too, that there isn't a well-orchestrated, vast left-wing conspiracy in America's newsrooms." What I and many others do believe, and what I think is fairly obvious, is that the majority of journalists in big newsrooms slant leftward in their personal politics, especially on issues like abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, and gun control; and so in their professional role they tend to assume those positions are reasonable and morally correct. Bias in the news stems from that-not from some straw man conspiracy concocted by liberals in the supposedly objective, mainstream media.
Yet the idea that socially liberal reporters might actually take a liberal tack in their reporting is a proposition too many journalists on the Left refuse even to consider. Better to cast conservatives as a bunch of loonies who see conspiracies under every bed, around every corner, behind every tree, and, most important of all, in every newsroom.
In fact, right on the heels of the Kristoff column, the conspiracy thing pops up again in-surprise, surprise-the New York Times. This time in a book review: "The notion that a vast left-wing conspiracy controls America's airwaves and newsprint [is] ... routinely promoted as gospel on the right."
Wrong again! But they are right about one thing: There is plenty of paranoid talk about a "vast left-wing conspiracy" in the newsroom. The problem is, the paranoids dreaming it up aren't conservatives-they're liberals!
And the uncomfortable truth-uncomfortable for ideologues on the Left, anyway-is that there now exists "a huge body of literature-including at least 100 books and research monographs-documenting a widespread left-wing bias in the news," according to Ted Smith III of Virginia Commonwealth University, who has done extensive research into the subject. And much of the evidence comes not from conservatives with axes to grind but straight from the journalists themselves, who in survey after survey have identified themselves as liberal on all the big, important social issues of our time.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, despite all the examples of bias that were documented in my book and others, despite the surveys that show that large numbers of Americans consider the elite media too liberal, despite all of that, the elites remain in denial. Why? Well, for starters, as I say, a lot them truly don't understand what the fuss is all about, since they honestly believe that their views on all sorts of divisive issues are not really controversial-or even liberal. After all, their liberal friends in Manhattan and Georgetown share those same views, which practically by definition make them moderate and mainstream. So, the thinking goes, it is all those Middle Americans who take the opposing view on, say, guns or gay marriage who are out of the mainstream, the ones who are "fringe." Journalists don't usually use the word-not in public anyway-but those supposedly not-too-sophisticated "fringe" Americans are smart enough to pick up on the condescension.
But there's another reason journalists refuse to come clean on liberal bias-one that Dr. Freud would have a field day with. To be honest with the American people and themselves, you see, would be to shake their world to its very foundations. And that, as you might imagine, is not something they're anxious to do, introspection not being their strong suit. By and large, these are people who see themselves as incredibly decent, even noble. They're the good guys trying to make the world a better place. That's why many of them went into journalism in the first place-to make the world a better place. Bias is something the bad guys are guilty of. So rather than look honestly at themselves and their profession, they hang on for dear life to the ludicrous position, to the completely absurd notion, that they, among all human beings, are unique-that only they have the ability to set aside their personal feelings and their beliefs and report the news free of any biases, "because we're professionals," they say.
But so are cops, and they can't keep their biases in check is what journalists tell us all the time. If a cop is biased, sooner or later that bias is going to come out on the job, is what reporters say. And they're probably right. It's human nature, after all. It's the same with judges and corporate executives with biases. No way they have the ability to set their personal feelings and beliefs completely aside-not for long anyway. And, as we all know, no white southern male over the age of five can keep his biases under control, certainly not as far as the elites are concerned. But journalists alone, the guys in the white hats, somehow can do what no other group can. Somehow, all of their life experiences can neatly be set aside as they go about bringing us the news, absent any preconceived notions and prejudices-because "we're professionals."
It's unbelievable. Literally.
Deny! Deny! Deny! By now it's not only their mantra, it's practically official newsroom policy. In one way or another Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, and Tom Brokaw have all dismissed the very idea of liberal bias in the news. Rather has called it a "myth" and a "canard" and has actually said that "Most reporters don't know whether they're Republican or Democrat." Jennings thinks that "It's just essential to make the point that we are largely in the center, without particular axes to grind, without ideologies which are represented in our daily coverage." Ditto Brokaw, Couric, Lauer, Stahl, Wallace, and Bradley. The list, as they say, goes on and on.
But as strategies go, this new wrinkle-"There is no liberal bias in the news, but there is a conservative bias"-is far better. This is what you say if you're a media liberal who is not only tired of playing defense but wants to put his critics on the defensive for a change. This is what you say if you're trapped in a corner, and you don't know what else to do and you think you're fighting for your life.
It was Tom Daschle, the Democratic leader in the Senate, who fired the first shot (unless you want to go back a few years to Hillary Clinton and her warning about the vast right-wing conspiracy) when he went after every liberal's favorite punching bag, Rush Limbaugh, in November 2002. That was right after the Democrats got hammered in the midterm elections and lost control of the Senate. Daschle accused Limbaugh and other conservatives on talk radio of inciting violence against liberals like himself. How would that work? you ask. Well, apparently Senator Daschle thinks the people who listen to talk radio are a bunch of crazy, drooling, scary rednecks who-if they're in a good mood-merely send out death threats to the liberals Rush was complaining about. If, on the other hand, Rush riles them up-and they're in a foul mood-well, then, who the hell knows what those morons might do?
This was so pathetically lame that it would have just been a one- or two-day story, except up popped Al Gore to stir the cauldron. Gore expanded the target list from Limbaugh to an entire Conservative Axis of Evil-an unholy trinity made up of talk radio, Fox News, and the Washington Times, whom Gore said were nothing more than mouthpieces for the Republican Party. "Most of the media [have] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks," he declared, "that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what's objective as stated by the news media as a whole."
Once Al Gore spoke the gospel of conservative bias, it took only seconds for left-of-center journalists to start hopping on board the bandwagon.
"Al Gore said the obvious," wrote the left-wing New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.
"The legend of the liberal media is finally dead," proclaimed Joe Conason, the liberal columnist of the New York Observer.
"Sooner or later, I think we're all going to have to acknowledge that the myth of liberal bias in the press is just that, it's a myth," according to Jack White, one of TIME magazine's liberal columnists.
The true "new bias," according to E. J. Dionne Jr., one of the many liberal columnists at the Washington Post, "adds up to [a] media heavily biased toward conservative politics and conservative politicians."
Then on January 1, 2003, a weary world woke up to a page-one story in the New York Times, a story that made it all official. According to the Times, liberals are so sick of being beaten up by pro-conservative media, like talk radio and Fox News, that they are looking to create liberal outlets of their own for "balance"-everything from "progressive" radio talk shows, as the Times described it, to "a cable network with a liberal bent."
This seems like a good place to state the obvious: Yes, Republicans do indeed have friends in some conservative places like talk radio, Fox News, and the Washington Times, whom I'm sure they use to get their talking points out.
Excerpted from Arrogance by Bernard Goldberg Copyright ©2003 by Medium Cool Communications Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
|A (Very) Few Minutes with Andy Rooney||21|
|File It Under "H"||31|
|Mauling the Messenger||34|
|One Cheer for Honesty!||49|
|A Conversation with Tim Russert||78|
|Barbara Walters, Guardian of Standards||86|
|A (Black and White) Hollywood Ending||87|
|Pass the Mashed Potatoes, Please||100|
|What Liberal Media? Part 1||124|
|Who Stole Journalism?||127|
|And the Nobel Prize for Hillary-Gushing Goes To ...||146|
|Speaking of Sports and a Lot More with Bob Costas||152|
|What Liberal Media? Part 2||163|
|And Now, the Rest of the Story ...||185|
|What Liberal Media? Part 3||197|
|Actually, I Don't Have an Opinion on That||200|
|You Can't Make This Stuff Up||208|
|Welcome to the Gulag||209|
|Liberal Bias? Never Mind!||221|
|Step 1: Face Up to the Problem||238|
|Step 2: Lose the Enablers||241|
|Step 3: A Newsroom That Thinks Like America||248|
|Step 4: No More Balkans||252|
|Step 5: Teach the Children Well||254|
|Step 6: Stop Following the Leader||258|
|Step 7: Don't Stack the Deck||261|
|Step 8: Tell the Whole Story||266|
|Step 9: Don't Confuse Journalist with Activist||272|
|Step 10: Make Bias a Punishable Offense||276|
|Step 11: Expand Your Rolodex||280|
|Step 12: Stop Taking It Personally||295|
|A Final Word||296|
Posted January 18, 2005
A true veteran of Journalism Bernard Goldberg again has brought the important issue of bias in the media to Americans who have been long deceived by some major news organizations. As a student studying journalism I see some of Goldberg's points in the flesh in my experiences. It was a great read and definitely an important one. Any who reads this book, from front to back, and still sees no evidence of media bias needs wake up to reality.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2004
Yes, do you really believe that the 'left' own all the media? Rupert Murdoch, for instance? He is not a well-known supporter of trade unions. Note, you have to be pretty rich to own a whole newspaper - try buying one with loose change. Or how about a TV station - cheap NOT! So it's more likely that rich people own them, and on the whole rich people tend to be slightly more pro-rich people than pro-the majority. It's such nonsense to say that the media are 'left'. Get real!
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 26, 2004
I recieved this book on Christmas and had it read by new years. I can not explain why I was glued to the book. In reading this book I could smell his ego, but with a book of this quality... well I guess he earned it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 6, 2004
'Bias' blew the lid off big media's failure to live up to it's role as an objective vendor of the news, and 'Arrogance' provides the depth of insight into what really goes on behind the scene at 'Big Media' outlets like the New York Times. Excellent, revealing and very often - shocking -is how I describe 'Arrogance' by Bernard Goldberg.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 28, 2003
Former CBS broadcast journalist Bernard Goldberg is seemingly the only journalist with the courage and integrity to expose the rampantly biased news media. And for his efforts -- of simply doing the right thing by writing BIAS and defending the truth -- he has been taking the heat from the media elite, others of their ilk, and the misinformed. But he's not giving up the fight. Goldberg's second book, ARROGANCE takes the truth and doing the right thing a step further, and he offers a solution. Indeed, it cannot be emphasized enough that instead of being objective truth givers and watchdogs for the people, the media elite have become a disturbing threat to free speech and democracy. They are unconscionable in advancing their social, political and economic agenda, stifling debate, censoring objectivity and condemning any dissent from their ideology. Goldberg is a hero to those who resist and reject relentless bias in the media. He is a champion for democracy and his books are highly recommended.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2003
I would prefer a more academic approach as to the journalistic style of writing. However, it is an excellent sequel to his book bias. This is a must read for anyone who wants a fair media.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2003
Mr. Goldberg's thesis is a return to journalistic balance. He fights uphill, since the American press has been partisan about every issue of importance (and many of absolute silliness) since factions developed in the early 19th Century. The book's examples reinforce the thesis strongly. Notwithstanding Mr. Franken's supposed rebuttal, the average media-watching human can often detect something 'wrong-headed' about the coverage. Books like this help teach readers to be more aware of stories, more conscious that there may be slanted or missing elements in reports. I call it a worthwhile book. So will you, if you genuinely believe that reporting of news should be fair and accurate rather than polemical. If you already have a political mind-set, it will generate the kind of reactions seen in other reviews.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 18, 2003
If, as some claim, Bernard Goldberg's assertions of a liberal bias in the media are inaccurate, why would not the offended anchormen, et al, invite him on their programs and expose his misrepresentations. The obvious answer--'The Smoking Gun'--is, obviously, that those of whom he writes are offended not by his assertions, but by the fact that he--an 'insider'--had the courage to tell the truth, which they apparently consider a betrayal of them and their 'balanced reporting.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 8, 2003
Truth hurts. This book unveils what should be obviously transparent.The 'news' is not news at all. Its old news and getting older.'Mainstream' America has always been suspicious of the media and what 'constitutes' 'newsworthy'.Integrity is lost in this 'institution of facts.' What has evolved is a double standard that slants opinions of the liberal left. News is Op-ed at best. The cronies who threw Jayson Blair out forgot to include themselves for the exact same if not worse crimes comitted.Leave... Mr.Sulzberger.Restoration of facts and only facts is a day the American people await.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 5, 2003
If Bias didn¿t convince you that the media is Liberal biased, this book should. Goldberg gives more proof of how the media colors the news to fit their agenda.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 4, 2003
The right-wing 'expose' books are growing old. I can go a long time without seeing any more Goldberg, O'Reilly, Coulter, Savage or Limbaugh...and equally have no need to read Al Franken rebuttal propaganda. This has become ridiculous.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 4, 2003
Brad should go back to school. He does not know how to read a good book and no intellegence to recognize great literature like Goldberg book 'Arrgance'. He should pull his head out of his deep hole. Good job Goldberg.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 6, 2003
I really was waiting to read this book. Boy was it a breath of truth. Right on and to the heart of the problem w/ the totally leftist media.Seeing there reaction to this book is further proof of there lopsided view of the world. Not one of the media elite has given an objective review of this wonderful book. This book goes along w/ the theme in another great book out there ,Who's Looking out for you. By Mr.Bill Orielly. Clearly not the media. I read this book quickly but clearly and wanted to get this posted.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 8, 2003
I think Brad needs to watch the interview w/ Al Franklin again, since Al interupted Bernie's responses everytime Bernie tried to answer. Liberals often interupt a conservative's thoughts and ideas because they are often layed in logic, not emotion, like so many liberal thoughts and ideas.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 16, 2003
Goldberg's Arrogance explains why the media elite slant the news and what they can do to change their ways. Check out a book that starts where Goldberg left off: 'JOURNALISTIC FRAUD: HOW THE NEW YORK TIMES DISTORTS THE NEWS', available here on Barnes & Noble. 'Journalistic Fraud' explains HOW they slant the news and how you can learn to spot the subtle techniques of burying opinion in the body of a news story. Goldberg is inspiring a fleet of authors who are trying to bring objectivity back into the news room. God bless him!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 29, 2003
Mr. Mack provides no evidence to back up his dismissal of Brad's feedback. This is similar to Mr. Goldberg's poor effort. It's hard to believe that he (Mr. Goldberg) was not part of the problem he tries to discribe in his new book. The Arrogant are Mr. Goldberg and his followers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 6, 2003
Posted December 9, 2003
Bias was as the one review put it, an elephant in the living room. Arrogance isn't quite an elephant, but it certainly is an exquisitely researched and well-written followup. I was extremely pleased that Goldberg saved some mind-numbing stats for this book...for all the examples in Bias where there were zero uses of a certain phrase by whomever on TV, there are as many if not more. It makes the point and drives it home forcefully that the media in this country is undeniably Left and while it uses some repeated points from Bias to do so, the new info and the two interviews (Russert and Costas) are outstanding as well. After reading one or both of Mr. Goldberg's books, you might feel the same way I do about the three 'mainstream' news anchors: queasy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 27, 2003
I find it interesting that Brad has rated a book he has not even read.... I think Brad should stick to the twisted half-truths that his heroes Franken and Moore like to peddle.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 26, 2003
He was exposed as a conjurer of lies by Al Franken on national television! He was shut up, completely speechless, unable to respond. Bernie doesn't even have his facts straight. He is a lazy writer who needs to learn how to research.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.