Monday, September 13, 2004

Kurtz's Theory of the new Media Bias

Stanley Kurtz has an interesting theory on the CBS forgery scandal and media bias. Kurtz's basic theory is that with the mass exodus of conservative and like-minded moderates, old media outlets are offering liberalism as news because their markets are largely made up of liberals who stuck around. That is why CBS and Rather are sticking to their story on the forged documents. In other words. CBS and the like are now simply preaching to the choir.

Kurtz writes:

Gradually, with the exit of moderates and conservatives to other networks and

the alternative media, CBS's audience is probably now composed largely of

liberal Democrats. In the middle of the most divisive presidential election

in years, we have to assume that the CBS audience itself is far more interested in

helping John Kerry than in getting to the bottom of the forgery issue. So as the

country increasingly divides into two media camps, the "mainstream media" is

becoming more openly partisan. And it's the audience that's driving this — not

only, or even primarily, the journalists, liberal though journalists may be.

The Belmont Club points out that this movement away from the truth, towards the liberal is killing the left wing movement because by living in an echo chamber, the libs are misleading themselves. This thought process explains why the Kerry theory of the campaign was that the voters had already decided on tossing Bush and they simply needed an acceptable alternative. These days, if you watch CBS and rely on the NY Times for reliable information, you're in trouble.

To add to Kurtz's point and somewhat agree to the what the Belmont Club argued, the problem with the liberals right now is that they have no ideas of their own. Liberals think Fox News is "conservative" and that is why it is successful. So they seek to copy the success of Fox News and what they see as the conservative media. The alternative would be for old/"mainstream" media outlets is to be outwardly "liberal" while also claiming to be Fair and Balanced. The problem with that logic is that their underlying assumptions are misplaced. Fox is not "conservative" because it praises Bush and seeks to help him out at every turn. It simply doesn't ignore or ridicule the conserative side of the news. To liberals, this means "conservative."

You see this type of thinking other places as well. While Dems are always claiming that their patriotism is being questioned, they are actually the one questioning the Patriotism of President Bush and VP Cheney and other conservatives. Their simplistic tit-for-tat mindset forces them to call the president a liar and unAmerican in a direct way, whereas the attacks that they perceive as questioning their patriotism is subtle at best to an objective observer.

My point is that it is the left's lack of imagination that has hurt them most and CBS's and the old media's un-nuanced mindset that will kill them in the long run.