Righting the Liberal News Slant
From the January 21, 2002 Washington
by Christian Toto
Rare is the
honors ceremony in which none of the chosen are present to accept their
awards. No one expected them to turn up at the Media Research Center's
second annual Dishonor Awards, of course. Excoriating the no-shows was
half the fun.
Once again, the
"ceremony" on Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center took aim at 2001's most outrageously biased
Bryant Gumbel and Diane Sawyer headed the list of those taking their
lumps during an evening as unabashedly partisan to the right as its
guests contend the media is to the left.
With names like
the "Bring Back Bubba Award" and the "Gilligan Award for
Flakiest Comment of the Year," organizers pulled no punches.
Neither did those assembled, who threw haymaker after haymaker at the
media elite while giggling over a skein of ludicrous news clips.
All compiled by
the Alexandria-based Media
Research Center, which assiduously tracks left-leaning morsels doled
out by traditional media outlets.
winners: Margaret Carlson, who on CNN's "The Capital Gang"
opined about President Bush's environmental policies
-- "soon, we won't be able to eat, drink or breathe," all with
a straight face.
Lucianne Goldberg, the self-appointed Auntie Mame of the "vast
right-wing conspiracy," slammed White House reporter Helen Thomas
for a fawning tribute to former President Bill Clinton.
such a thing as a shelf life," Mrs. Goldberg said of the elderly
reporter to merciless laughter.
At a boisterous
pre-gala reception, Media Research Center President and Founder L. Brent
Bozell III said the public's perception of media bias has grown
dramatically since his organization began its work in 1987.
look at all the surveys. The public believes the information it's
getting is subjective opinion, not objective truth," said Mr.
Bozell, sipping coffee beside friends opting for harder beverages.
"They're seeing the bias. They're looking for alternative markets,
hence the growth of Fox News."
confab included master of ceremonies Cal Thomas, William F. Buckley Jr.,
former Rep. Robert K. Dornan,
"Capital Gang" panelist Kate O'Beirne and the Wall Street
Journal's John Fund.
underscored the evening's message while announcing the nominees for
several Dishonor Awards.
no vast right-wing conspiracy," he said. "But there is a
concentrated, focused and alert one, and it's in this room
The sight of
Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist chatting up flat tax
champion Steve Forbes while The Turtles' "Happy Together"
played in the background typified the night's rambunctious spirit as did
a hilarious series of songs by the Capitol Steps comedy troupe
tormenting Rep. Gary Condit and Mr. Clinton.
Some in the
audience had felt the sting of the media's left-leaning ways.
Secretary of State Katherine Harris could only laugh about the times CBS
anchor Dan Rather used modifiers like "as she
sees it" or "as she deems it" to explain her handling of
the Florida election imbroglio.
When she came to
Washington she reported, "Even some of the Democrat operatives came
to me and said 'we're really glad you
followed the law."
Mr. Buckley, who
sat at a table named for ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, said the
media's liberal bias is nothing new. What's
different today, he said, is that the imbalance is more visible to the
Now, he said,
"More people wince when they do their thing."
Free RealPlayer plug-in required to watch these clips
Home | News Division
| Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact
the MRC | Subscribe