Motherhood and Politics, or How Media Bias Works

In Goldberg's book, Bias, there's a chapter called "The Most Important Story You Never Saw on TV." The story Goldberg's referring to is "the terrible things that are happening to America's children." Put another way, he writes, "As more and more mothers have opted for work outside the home over taking care of their children at home -- and not always for economic reasons -- the results have been disastrous." The entire chapter is devoted to the fact that this monumentally significant cultural change goes unreported by the media for one reason only: media bias.

The reason it goes unreported is obvious. The average female journalist or anchor on your television screen -- if she has children -- is clearly a working mother. And the average male journalist or anchor (think Matt Lauer and his ilk) has to live with these working mothers every day. Now do you think they're going to report about the negative results of a mother's absence from the home? I don't think so. Of course no one in the media will admit this. Instead they'll report to you that most mothers are in the workforce today, and that most of them have no choice.

I exposed these myths in a book called 7 Myths of Working Mothers. I told the story the media refused to tell, and I corrected their errors in reporting. I didn't expect to be popular, of course; but then I didn't become an author to be popular. I did it to right the wrongs the media were peddling to women. For example, yes, it's true most mothers are in the workforce today -- but the implication is that most mothers are absent full-time while their children are in substitute care. This is patently false. Most mothers stay home when their children are young and return to work part-time when their children are in school. Or they work part-time when their children are little and share babysitting duty with friends or have a family member help out. Or they tag-team with their husbands so a parent is always home. Full-time working mothers who employ nannies or use day care -- in other words, the women in the media -- do not represent everyday Americans. Their kids may be left with a nanny or left to fend for themselves after school, but most children are not.

The fact that most mothers are not absent does not negate the fact that too many are. Indeed, it's the children who are left alone and the ones who do attend full-time day care who suffer the most -- but you won't hear about this on the six o'clock news or on Oprah. In fact you won't hear about it at all unless you seek out alternative news sources. (I mention some of these in yesterday's post.) It's not that the big guys -- the Today show and all the rest -- didn't call my publicist. They did. But they either chickened out last minute, or they put me on the air to make a point: their point. Which is that I'm nuts.

This is the point at which you realize you're thankful for for cable, talk radio, the Internet, and "conservative" publishers. Indeed, I did over 200 radio interviews for my book. Some were conservative; some were not. But they interviewed me nonetheless because they don't operate like mainstream media.

Now do I have your attention?

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