There is no doubt that the media is very biased in an anti-American way, but why? What are the root causes of this bias? Those working in the MSM generally make a very good living. Their living is derived directly from living in free societies where they are able to print or televise virtually anything that constitutes "news".
So why the bias? Why be so against the spread of freedom and liberty? If a society is no longer free, then what purpose does a "news" agency have other than being a propaganda instrument?
I'll attempt to answer these questions by giving a few reasons.
REASON #1: Liberal Cocoon
I don't think there is any question that the majority of the MSM is left-of-center in the US. The opposite is true for the majority of Americans. Thus, in the MSM, one gets liberals/socialists for whom the policies of Democrats seem to be mainstream. This false impression is reinforced by their colleagues. This manifests itself in both national and foreign policies.
- Poverty, solution: Increase Govt. Spending.
- Poor education, solution: Increase Govt. Spending.
- Health care, solution: Increase Govt. Spending.
- The Muslim world hates us, solution: Give Them Aid.
- Terrorists and the Terror Masters, solution: Grovel in Front of the UN.
Often times, I'll see such liberals interviewing Republicans and they'll come off as combative even though they might think that it's just fair questioning. Similarly, they'll lob softballs to a Democrat because hey, the Democrat has no bad policies to be questioned on. To them, there is no bias.
For certain liberals in the MSM, the enemy is President Bush with Cheney as Darth Sidious. They can do no good. Tax cuts FOR THE RICH. Social Security privatization FOR HIS BUDDIES IN WALL ST. The war in Iraq IS ALL ABOUT THE OIL. Often, it comes down to who's in office. Clinton, war in Kosovo, good stuff. Bush, war in Iraq, quagmire.
Their view of the US military is, needless to say, distorted. The US military kills people. Hence, it's bad. Do we really need thousands of nuclear warheads, fighter jets, tanks, and all the different kinds of guns? Just think of all the hungry kids we could feed in the world. Think of all the poverty we could eradicate with the billions of dollars that the US military wastes on new gadgets of death. And remember since poverty causes terrorism, we'll be reducing the number of terrorist as well!
There are even some in the MSM, especially in foreign countries, who think that the US is the source of evil on this planet. Hey, we created Osama bin Laden, don't you know. Perhaps, you've heard of Giuliana Sgrena.
REASON #2: Differing Standards
I long for one objective standard for everyone. The MSM has its own undecipherable formula. Though, the West is always judged by a harsh 21st century standard whereas the non-West has, at best, the 19th century as its benchmark.
Take Saudi Arabia for example. Here is a country that punishes alcohol possession by beheading. Hands are cut off for stealing. Women are lashed for getting raped. (No, I did not mistype that last sentence) The Mutaween, the religious police, enforces the law of Islam all across the country.
Now, the regime in Saudi Arabia recently allowed sham municipal elections in which women were not allowed to vote. I read quite a lot of praise in many corners for this utterly meaningless PR event. Now think of the reaction the MSM would have if a Western country, where citizens are not murdered for drinking alcohol or their hands cut off for stealing or the females lashed for getting raped, decided to outlaw only women from voting.
Clearly such a Western society would still be light years ahead of Saudi Arabia but still it would be ripped to pieces in every MSM outlet. So, why the out of whack reactions? It's because the MSM has a much lower standard for non-Western societies. The US authorities get hammered on every little detail, true or not. Unfortunately, the many thugs in the world, like Castro, get away with decades of brutality.
REASON #3: Political Correctness
Ah, yes, the deadliest Western disease of all. Charles Goggins asked:
Why be so against the spread of freedom and liberty?
Do imagine if a member of the MSM was for the spread of Freedom and Liberty. Then, s/he would be implying that Freedom and Liberty are superior to the laws derived from Islam. That would be outrageously bigoted!
On more than one occasion I've seen roughly this fomulation. "We are white and thus superior. They are brown and thus inferior. Our culture should replace theirs. All will be well then." Forgetting the fact that the US is a multiracial society, to some, WWIV boils down to racism. Of course, it'll come as a surprise to the Japanese and the South Koreans that they sold their cultures to the White Man by embracing democracy and human rights.
REASON #4: Access
Obvious. For access to the [non-democratic country], the MSM never showcases the horrible news from such a country. Hence, complete freedom in US to report whatever they please and almost always good news from wretched countries.
REASON #5: Attracted to Negativity
The MSM always leads with the latest atrocity in Iraq. Just compare with the good news that Arthur Chrenkoff presents. Thousands of projects completed and in progress: YAWN. Car bomb exploded in Baghdad: ROLL CAMERA.
That's it. Not everyone in the MSM is perpetually biased but sadly enough are. The Blogosphere has certainly helped the situation. Here's hoping that Pajamas Media will make it even better.
Update: Today, Ernest Miller answers three questions relating to journalism. His answer to the third question is very sound. Link via Instapundit.