MSM's Entry Into Blogosphere Shows Its Leftward Tilt
It's taken a while but I think it's safe to say that blogging has now become pretty universal within the MSM. Despite the howls of crusty old liberals like Bill Moyers, the web has fractured the political audience and the elite media are out for a piece of it. Big Media outlets like ABC, NBC, Time, CBS, and the New York Times are all blogging up a storm. Unfortunately for their claims of political objectivity, all the blogging has revealed what the center-right has said all along: the elite media in this country are skewed left in both demographics and content.
The best way to tell what side of the aisle a media outlet is coming from is what sources they cite. It's rare that you'll see conservatives quoting from Dissent, Commonweal or the Nation. Similarly a liberal is not going to be regularly quoting from National Review, Commentary, or the Weekly Standard. The idea is fairly basic: You rarely quote people whose opinions you find unworthy of discussion.
That same phenomenon applies within the MSM corner of the blogosphere. Spending a few minutes in Google I was able to verify that right-leaning blogs almost never get quoted on Time's "Swampland" blog. Here are the numbers:
- "Kos," 101 mentions
- Glenn Greenwald, 371
- Josh Marshall, 127
- "Atrios," 134
- Glenn Reynolds, 16 mentions
- James Taranto, 1
- Michelle Malkin, 43
- Power Line, 1
- Little Green Footballs, 8
A liberal journalist reading this might retort that the reason Swampland doesn't quote right-of-center blogs is that we often report negative information about the media which doesn't exactly endear us to them. A few years ago, that argument might have had some credibility. It doesn't anymore because, as Ace points out, the left blogosphere has begun attacking the media, too:
Right-leaning bloggers have been critiquing the media -- not just in terms of opinion, but in baldly mistating easily-verified facts, for years. [...] Left-leaning bloggers began doing this fairly recently in order to "work the refs" a bit and push reporters back towards their natural left-leaning state. [...]
Recently the left-leaning Radar Online quoted Thomas Edsall as saying boring, useless David Broder represented "the voice of the people." Left-wing bloggers went apeshit over the story, as they dislike Broder for speaking ill of Harry Reid and speaking in favor of caution on the part of the Democrats. (Caution is of course a dirty word among the nutroots.) Liberal reporters like Joe Klein immediately sprung to Broder's defense, even engaging in blogfeud type back and forths with the noxious Glenn Greenwald. Left-liberal Jonathan Alter continues the overreaction, stating that Edsall didn't even say that at all.*My point -- and I do have one -- is that straight MSM types have been reacting to this rather minor and trivial incident for going on a week now. The left of the blogosphere speaks, and the MSM responds.
They almost never respond to even caught-dead-to-rights-criticism from the right. Instapundit has been correcting -- sometimes several times a week -- the media's constant mistatement of George W. Bush's "famous sixteen words," words so famous the media cannot remember them at all and always claim he stated that Saddam was seeking uranium from Niger specifically. Not only has no MSM type never responded to Instapundit regarding this, they apparently are entirely unaware of the constant corrections, as they continue misstating the "sixteen words so famous we have no idea what they are" virtually every time they "report" them.
My point here isn't to whine that the MSM pays us no mind. My point is simpler: the media claims to be neutral politically, and yet, it seems, while they have all the time in the world to read left-wing blogs and respond to them, they don't even bother to read the biggest of the right-leaning bloggers.
Glenn Greenwald they have bookmarked. Instapundit, it seems, they've never heard of. How else to explain why not a single editor or reporter in all of the MSM seems aware that Bush did not mention Niger at all in his "famous sixteen words"?
Another totally false "fact" that the MSM is endlessly repeating is that President Bush declared "mission accomplished" while on an aircraft carrier following the cessation of major combat operations in Iraq.
The fact is that Bush did say the phrase at a later date (with several qualifications that rebuilding Iraq was going to be tough) but he never said it onboard any ship. In fact, then-secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld said he made sure "mission accomplished" was removed from the speech Bush gave March 1, 2003 aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.
The right side of the blogosphere has been regularly correcting the MSM on these myths but still they continue to be endlessly repeated, proving that the self-styled mainstream media really isn't.