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Media Coverage

“From media liberals' mouths,” an editorial on the Free Press editorial page of the January 3, 2006 Chattanooga Times Free Press. (Available online only by paid subscription.)

The best proof of the nearly lock step liberal bias of the major news media has always been remarks from reporters and media bigwigs themselves. We point that out on the occasion of the Media Research Center¹s annual announcement of dubious “awards” for obvious examples of liberal reporting in 2005. Judges from around the nation -- including this editorial page --
weighed numerous quotations from the past year to select the worst of the worst.

Here are some “winners” and runners-up:

* Andrea Mitchell of NBC Nightly News pondered whether Iran¹s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was among the violent radicals who took Americans hostage during the Carter administration. Brian Williams responded, “Andrea, what would it all matter if proven true? ... (T)he first several U.S. presidents ... might have been called terrorists at the time by the British Crown, after all.” Ms. Mitchell replied, “Indeed, Brian.”

* Discussing President George W. Bush’s criticism of the Yalta agreement, in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill surrendered Eastern Europe to Communist Soviet enslavement, Newsweek’s Jon Meacham disgustingly declared, “It’s like he (Mr. Bush) stuck a broomstick in his (Roosevelt’s) wheelchair wheels.”

* “I think you’re going to hear that word (impeachment) come up, and if the Democrats ever capture either house of Congress, there are going to be serious proceedings against this administration,” Eleanor Clift of Newsweek said on The McLaughlin Group.

* A headline over a New York Times article on Supreme Court nominee Judge John Roberts read, “An Advocate for the Right,” while a 1993 headline on an article about far-left nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg read, “Balanced Jurist at Home in the Middle.”

* “The day I say Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I’ll kill myself. All we need is one more liar,” said columnist and former reporter Helen Thomas.

* “The story is accurate,” former CBS Evening News anchorman Dan Rather declared of a story about Mr. Bush’s National Guard service, even after the key “evidence” for the story -- phony memos -- had been debunked.

* MSNBC’s Hardball host, Chris Matthews, asked radical anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, “Are you considering running for Congress, Cindy?” When she said she wasn’t, he pressed, “Well, I have to tell you, you sound more informed than most U.S. congresspeople, so maybe you should run.”

* On CBS’s Early Show, co-host Harry Smith asked author and pastor Rick Warren about families who were generously taking in refugees from Hurricane Katrina: “Do I need to be concerned that I’m going to go live with a church family, are they going to proselytize me, are they going to say, ‘You better come to church with me or else I’m, you know, you¹re not going to get your breakfast this morning’?”

* CNN founder Ted Turner told Wolf Blitzer of CNN, “I am absolutely convinced that the North Koreans are absolutely sincere. There’s really no reason for them to cheat (by producing nuclear weapons). ... I looked them right in the eyes. And they looked like they meant the truth.” Asked about Communist North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il’s savagery toward his people, Mr. Turner replied, “Well, I didn’t get to meet him, but he didn’t look -- in the pictures that I’ve seen of him on CNN, he didn’t look too much different than most other people. ... I didn’t see any brutality.”

The MRC also noted a few times when journalists acknowledged bias. “Too often, we wear liberalism on our sleeve and are intolerant of other lifestyles and opinions,” Washington “Post Book World” editor Maria Arana noted in an in-house critique. “If you work here, you must be one of us. You must be liberal, progressive, a Democrat. I’ve been in communal gatherings in The Post, watching election returns, and have been flabbergasted to see my colleagues cheer unabashedly for the Democrats.”

We wish that candor prevailed throughout the industry.