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Monday, September 26, 2011

The liberal bias of American media


Occupy Wall Streetis a very loose movement initially called by AdBusters, publicized by Anonymous, and motivated by everything from an itch for a moment of spectacle to the desire to see CEOs behind bars. It may be the Arab spring belatedly come to Manhattan; it may be the Invisible Committee's shot across the bow of America; it may be a bunch of naïve wannabes, sorry that they missed the Battle of Seattle, and trying to jump-start another manning of the barricades with a page out of Abbie Hoffman. One thing's for sure, you won't get much guidance from those institutions whose job it is to report the news with their mandated, university-intellectual-approved left-leaning bias. Because chances are you haven't even heard of Occupy Wall Street. On September 23, a full week after the protests began, the famously liberal New York Times managed a piece oozing with condescension. It took NPR, that hotbed of wobblies and fellow-travelers and whatever, nine days to deign to so much as mention the movement, and then only in response to listeners' indignation. This is after over a hundred a thousand arrests, and any number of protesters being pretty atrociously mistreated, including some women who were doused with pepper spray by a policeman who had to walk deliberately up to the barrier behind which they were shouting "Oh my God!" as they watched someone be handcuffed and manhandled. Watch the video; if it doesn't ruin the career of one of New York's finest, I hope it at least loses him the respect of his children.

Are the protests big? (Maybe getting bigger, anyway; see here.) Are they likely to really shake things up? Will it look like Tahrir Square? Will activists flood into New York and make the stock market freeze? Not if the "left-leaning" press have anything to do with it.

[UPDATE 10/1/2011 The first link in this post, for the moment, makes my virus-detection software break out in hives. So someone somehow has either poisoned the OWS site, or Norton is providing a service for the Power Elite. Current comments on safeweb.norton.com offer variations on "WTF?" Ain't live conspiracy theory fun? Stay tuned.]

[UPDATE 10/2/2011 Decent coverage from Al Jazeera. Meanwhile, the NT Times again does a two-step on the Brooklyn Bridge (this is really just a shift in emphasis--the same facts are reported lower down in the article.)]

7 comments:

  1. There's a disconnect between your title and the text of the post. The media is liberal, insofar as liberal refers to the nature of government and capitalism itself. In no way is the media "left" or "left-leaning", but then in no way should liberal be confused with left either.

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  2. You are right; but part of the problem is that the vast majority of what passes for political discourse makes the very mistake you are pointing out. I agree with you, and it was one of the things I was reacting to, albeit inchoately. (Indignation is not the best state in which to write well.) NPR just a couple of months ago did a navel-gazing exercise to exonerate itself from the charge of left-leaning. With "progressivism" like NPR's, we don't need fascism. Not because it's "just as bad", but because the need for wholesale fascism simply doesn't arise.

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  3. "With "progressivism" like NPR's, we don't need fascism. Not because it's "just as bad", but because the need for wholesale fascism simply doesn't arise."

    This is excellent.

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  4. These things are relative. The press institutions are "left-leaning" in the sense that they are further left than the American mainstream - which is so far right that these institutions are decidedly centrist by global standards. Ayn Rand would have been left-leaning in ancien régime France.

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  5. Amod,

    No doubt. The rightwards migration of the American "center" is one of the reasons why it is (as per the cliche), easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Which may be why the Occupiers of Wall Street seem so foregonely doomed to irrelevance, even to someone like me who is fundamentally well-disposed to them. I, too, am infected by the New Normal. The question (for a philosopher) is: how to manage to keep enough sympathy with my culture to be able to communicate at all, and yet to continue to strive for the clear-sightedness that realizes just how narrow the scope is? It's nothing new, just the parable of the cave.

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  6. I've been appalled by the lack of mainstream media coverage this story is getting, and I did read the NYT piece, where they basically made fun of the protesters for being inept and disorganized. So when Al Jazeera finally did a decent story, it wasn't as much a shock about where the story was coming from as a big disappointment in our own media outlets.

    Clearly there is a big need for people, inept *or* organized, to point this out, which is one of the things the protesters are accomplishing. Even The Daily Show didn't touch this until the end of last week, but then they usually cover the media rather than the story.

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  7. Thanks! This post contains very significant ideas and facts that every reader should be followed. Great idea indeed.

    Liberal Bias 

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