Conservatives have made a target of the liberal biases of the “mainstream” media. It has become a tired attack, wrung out of its freshness and meaning by constant repetition. So why not leave it alone?
The reason is simple: It’s too important to leave alone. The liberal media’s ideological prejudices are growing ever more blatant, outrageous and dangerous.
Most of the dominant news institutions in America, particularly but not exclusively those in television, may accurately be described as special interest groups with partisan, left-wing political and social agendas. Let’s be clear; I am not talking about opinion pieces, editorials or commentary; I am talking about partisan propaganda cross-dressed as news.
In the fall of 1998, Matthew Shepard, a homosexual college student, was robbed, hung on a fence, and brutally murdered by two white heterosexuals. In the fall of 1999, Jesse Dirkhising, a 13-year-old Arkansas boy, was brutally raped, tortured, and murdered by two white homosexuals.
According to Andrew Sullivan, columnist for the New Republic, in the month following the Shepard story, a search on Nexis found 3,007 stories about his death. In the month following the Dirkhising story, there were only 46 stories about his death. In all of last year, only one story appeared in a major newspaper about the murder of Jesse Dirkhising, while The New York Times published 45 stories about Shepard and The Washington Post published 28.
While the Dirkhising murder trial has received almost no national coverage, the Shepard murder trial was all over the broadcast news, received front page coverage in all major newspapers, and was featured on the cover of Time magazine.
Sullivan, himself a homosexual, said, “This discrepancy isn’t just real. It’s staggering.”
His explanation was straightforward: “The answer is politics. The Shepard case was hyped for political reasons: to build support for inclusion of homosexuals in a federal hate-crimes law.”
While the murder of Shepard was touted as evidence that conservative homophobes have created a widespread “climate of hate,” which leads to violence against homosexuals, Sullivan made the point that hate-crime murders are extremely rare. The FBI reports that there were only eight of them in 1997, a typical year and most of these did not involve homosexual victims.
In a recent column, Robert Stacy McCain, Washington Times correspondent, described how the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is an influential organization that lobbies from the outside to influence how the media portray homosexuality. GLAAD is aided and abetted by The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, which works from the inside to accomplish the same thing.
In an address to these gay journalists last year, Richard Berke, New York Times national political correspondent, boasted that “literally three-quarters of the people deciding what is on the front page are not-so-closeted homosexuals.”
Essentially the same news mindset as governs homosexual issues operates where racial issues are involved. In June 1998, a black man named James Byrd was assaulted by two white men and dragged behind a truck until his body was torn into pieces. The story made front page headlines and was trumpeted on all major national TV and radio news shows as a hate-crime — courtesy of the inside presence of the National Association of Black Journalists and the outside lobbying of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
In December 2000, two young black brothers first robbed, then abducted five young white adults at gunpoint. They ripped the clothes off the two women and took turns raping them while the three men were forced to watch. After forcing their victims to perform humiliating sexual acts, the black men shot all of them execution-style in the back of the head. One girl survived. The story received local coverage and little else. It was not considered a hate-crime, despite the evident sadism and cruelty.
The way the news is selected and reported exposes liberal media biases not only about race and homosexuality, but about politics, religion, immigration, abortion, education, the environment, and gun ownership. Many liberal decision-makers in the media are clearly in the business of censoring out news they do not want the people to see or hear, while amplifying news that advances their undisclosed agendas.
Many Americans are mystified, alarmed, and saddened by the many ways in which our nation has drifted “off course.” They ask, “How did it happen? What went wrong?” Basic answers may be found by examining the liberal news media’s scandalous role in illuminating wrong paths and manipulating public opinion.