'Anti-Journalism Attack Groups' Like MRC Threaten Democracy?

Were you aware that the Media Research Center is a preeminent example of imported CIA psychological-warfare techniques? And that it’s an “anti-journalism attack group”? Former AP and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry warned of this and more on Alternet:

A key strategy of the right has been to convince as many Americans as possible that the U.S. news media has a "liberal bias," a canard that has stuck even though newspapers have been traditionally pro-Republican and most media outlets are owned by giant corporations reflecting the interests of wealthy individuals.

Does Parry read a newspaper? In 2008, liberals touted how Obama beat McCain among those so-called "traditionally pro-Republican" newspaper endorsements by three to one. Parry’s also just playing the usual Marxist games by insisting robotically that "giant corporations" equals "conservative media bias."

The article is titled "Corporate Media's Cave-In to 'Liberal Bias' Attacks Pose a Real Threat to Our Democracy." It continued:

Still, over the past 30 years, the right has spent tens of millions of dollars building anti-journalism attack groups dedicated to making the "liberal bias" case. At the same time, the right has invested billions of dollars in constructing its own vertically integrated media apparatus, reaching from print to radio to TV to the Internet.

The "fair and balanced" slogan of Fox News is itself a propaganda message, reminding viewers of the supposed "liberal bias" of the mainstream media.

Parry claimed that with liberal media outlets being bought out by "neocons" (like The New Republic) and the failure of Air America radio, "The resulting media imbalance had another consequence: the mainstream media tilted further rightward to protect against career-threatening attacks from the right. The greatest danger to a journalist's career was to be tagged with the ‘liberal’ label."

Then Parry suggested that the American people are not very bright. They're "easy marks" for right-wing propaganda messages:

Despite that reality, many rank-and-file Americans, having heard endlessly the assertions about "liberal media bias," were on the alert to left-wing propaganda while lowering their defenses against right-wing propaganda. Thus, they became easy marks for messaging that blamed America's problems on tax-and-spend Big Government and that equated "freedom" with letting Big Corporations do pretty much whatever they wanted.

With centrists, neocons and hard-line rightists dominating the American media landscape, progressives got the shortest of shrift in U.S. policy debates. They had little opportunity to weigh in on foreign crises (think back on the run-up to the war in Iraq when anti-war voices were ignored or dismissed as treasonous).

Nor did liberals get much of a chance to explain how government intervention was important for addressing domestic problems (the dominant view of both mainstream and right-wing media in recent decades has been a faith in the "magic of the marketplace").

While there are surely exceptions to this rule -- a few liberal editorial writers are permitted here and there and MSNBC is experimenting with a liberal evening lineup -- the truth is that the left has become the favorite punching bag of American politics, absorbing endless blows and lacking the media counterpunch to hit back.

MSNBC "is experimenting" with a liberal lineup -- since Olbermann replaced Phil Donahue in 2003? Parry makes it sound like the "experiment" debuted last week.

[Hat tip: Dan Gainor]

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis