Big Media Analysts: Liberal Bias Not to Blame for MSM Edwards Silence
Blame the economy.
In addition to Elizabeth Edwards, the source (National Enquirer), and plain old bias, add economic hardship to the list of reasons the MSM failed to investigate the Edwards scandal.
Howard Kurtz, in his "Media Notes" column surveyed the scene surrounding the deafening silence of the media gatekeepers:
By early last week, journalists were in the awkward position of refusing to report on explosive allegations that were almost certain to knock the former North Carolina senator out of the Democratic convention. They were in a box of their own making, one that came to feel airtight and uncomfortable.
When critics, especially on the right, accused the media of protecting a Democrat because of liberal bias, journalists were unable to respond, because to do so would be to acknowledge the very thing they were declining to report.
At the same time, in an area [sic] of financial cutbacks and shrinking staffs, news organizations have fewer reporters to dig into what most considered a less-than-pressing priority.
Oh yeah, I forgot one other reason: they didn't want to admit they were wrong.
Add 'journalistic hubris' to the list of reasons it took so long for Rielle Hunter to become a household name.
Later in Kurtz's piece, he quotes New York Times Executive Editor, Bill Keller, who referred to the "hold-your-nose quality about the Enquirer."
No doubt, this played a role.
And for some journalists, this may have been the biggest reason they decided not to run the piece. Or, in other words, rather than being influenced by liberal bias, many journalists may simply have had the attitudinal bias to which Keller refers.
After speaking with a number of our friends currently in, or recently graduated from, journalism school, many of them echoed the same sentiment as Keller, without having read or heard the quote.
They don't do that type of journalism.That stuff they leave to Fox News and, of course, National Enquirer.
This reflects the group-think that infects much of the MSM. There are a few at the top who decide what the tone and tenor of a story will be (or if the Edwards scandal will even be a story) and then the cadre of mindless worker bees simply do what they're told.
All of this is to say that at the top, among the so-called elite news outlets Kurtz and other apologists refer to (NYT, WaPo, et al.), there is a clear liberal bias. It is this liberal bias that prints unfounded libel about John McCain, but avoids, for months, the smoke surrounding John Edwards.
The lower level types, who take their marching orders from NYT editors (the ones who don't think for themselves), they may be able to claim Kurtz & co.'s excuses, but the ones at the top, the ones highlighted here at NewsBusters, they can not.