July 4th In Media Bias History

We might assume that on a holiday like the Fourth of July, there's not going to be a lot of liberal media bias. But a search through the MRC's "Notable Quotables" archive shows there have been a few sharp examples that could ruin an Independence Day. I'd begin with with this one from 1994: "We hear the stories of discrimination in education and housing and jobs all the time. We hear the violence between races. Do you think it's possible that America is simply an inherently racist place?" That was Today (then-substitute) co-host Matt Lauer, not exactly waving the flag. If it was an audition, it must have worked. Here are some others:

2003: "Tonight, we’re going to show you a new true face of homelessness in America. Today’s homeless are families, and the families you will meet have done everything right and yet there’s no place for them. Still, they struggle to find a home....There are more families homeless in New York City now than at any in the last 20 years....in numbers, it’s estimated, not seen since the Great Depression." – NBC’s John Hockenberry on the July 4 Dateline.

1999: "George Bush campaigned in a flag factory during his 1988 presidential run against Michael Dukakis. Bush was blasting Dukakis back then as a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union. A faint echo of the late Joseph McCarthy’s card-carrying member of the Communist Party, but it seemed to help Bush." -- Reporter Bruce Morton in a 4th of July retrospective on CNN’s Late Edition, July 4.

Also 1999: "Somewhat north and far to the right of George Bush, there was this presidential primary cookout put together by a coalition of conservative groups who are feeling a little ignored." -- CNN's Candy Crowley at a New Hampshire cookout featuring Sen. Bob Smith, July 4 The World Today.

1998: "China understands that if they’re going to globalize their economy and be a member of the family of nations, they’ve got to have rules that are modern and that means a legal system and that means expanding freedoms. I think that Jiang Zemin, the Chinese President, could well be the Gorbachev of China in the sense that he will try at least to preside over this change in a peaceful fashion." -- Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, July 4.

1992: "I think Gore and Clinton could be the all-generational change ticket, and I suppose if they lose, they could do cameo appearances on Studs or something." -- Newsweek reporter Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, July 4.

1989: "Kudos to CBS and NBC as the only two broadcast-news organizations that have a policy to use the journalistically objective terminology, prochoice and antiabortion." -- Boston Globe television reviewer Ed Siegel, July 4.

1988: "George Bush wants to convince voters that Michael Dukakis is a big spender who will raise taxes, coddle criminals, and disarm America. In other words, a 'liberal.' But does the dreaded 'L' word stick to Dukakis? Probably not." -- Newsweek table of contents summary of lead story in the July 4 issue.

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