Understanding Liberal Bias

Recently I was discussing media bias with my socially liberal but fiscally conservative friend. She's your average college-educated, middle-class busy mom of three who's politically aware but not knee-deep in specifics. When I told her I didn't want my children growing up under the liberal umbrella of our public schools, she conceded she doesn't like this either. But then this caveat: "I don't want them growing up with conservative bias either. I want them to make up their own minds about what to think."

This conversation stuck with me, as I realized something about everyday Americans (like my friend) who are too busy with their daily lives to be concerned with media bias: they're confused.
Conservative bias is not the opposite of liberal bias (though, I admit, this is a perfectly intelligent assumption). Liberal bias exists for one reason: The overwhelming majority of Americans in power -- college professors, the media, and Hollywood -- are liberal-minded folks and believe being liberal is the good way, the right way, the only way, to be. As a result, they refuse to acknowledge the conservative mindset -- depsite the fact that most people between New York and CA (where most of the media and Hollywood folks reside) consider themselves traditional Americans. To those in power, traditional-minded Americans need to be enlightened to the inner workings of the liberal mind.

The indoctrination begins in college, particularly for those who attend schools on either coast, as I did. I was considered the "conservative" girl from the Midwest when I attended Boston University, where most of my friends hailed from the East Coast. I remember thinking even then how crazy this seemed -- since I am not, and wasn't then, that conservative in my beliefs. It was only compared to modern liberals that I appeared this way. One year I didn't attend a pro-choice rally in Washington D.C. with my friends, for example. I might as well have been a pariah! Funny thing was, I am not (and wasn't then) staunchly pro-life; I'm just not a "ban together with other people to fight for my rights" kind of gal. But this didn't matter. The fact that I wasn't staunchly pro-choice was enough to marginalize me.

After college the indoctrination continues every time you turn on your television or read a magazine. Whether you're watching Lifetime television for women, reading women's magazines, or trying to catch the news, you're bombarded with liberals. You can't escape them. Unfortunately, to the average American who's too busy to pay attention, this all smacks of paranoia.

It is not paranoia.

To see the bias clearly, you have to pay very close attention and take the time to study the messages sent to you every day through the idiot box. Because, trust me, that's what the folks in media are banking on: that you're too busy to realize you're being indoctrinated. Even worse, as Bernard Goldberg points out in Bias, the folks in the media don't even know they're biased. Their arrogance is so severe they truly, honestly believe the liberal view of the world is the only view of the world.

Which brings me back to the alternative. The alternative to liberal bias is not conservative bias. It's regular news, the way news used to be. Not liberal news, or conservative news, just news. And the only way to cover news objectively is to:

1) cover ALL news stories, rather than cherry-picking the producers' favorite ones (which will always include stories of victims and paint America in a bad light)
2) when analyzing the news, offer conservative and liberal perspectives

These two things are not difficult to do. The reason FOX news outperforms the rest is precisely because they figured out this is how America prefers to watch news. They like the debate. They want to hear everything there is to hear, and they want both sides presented.

Liberals will tell you FOX News is conservative news, but keep in mind two things:

1) They don't watch the channel, so they have no idea what they're talking about.
2) While it's true FOX presents conservative views, it also presents liberal views!

In other words, you hear a bit of everything -- and you decide what to think. The fact that Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly are traditional-minded Americans doesn't make their shows conservative; it makes them conservative. Moreover, Greta is not a conservative, nor are some of the others. Liberals like to use Rush, Ann, Bill, and Sean as examples, but there are plenty more journalists from whom we're getting our news! Finally, there's a difference between news analyis and straight news. Part of the evening line-up includes news analysis, but the morning programs and dinnertime news hour are supposed to be straight news.

Unfortunately, liberals don't know the difference.

2 Responses to “Understanding Liberal Bias”:

  1. Anonymous says:

    Suzanne - fabulous post. You've nailed it (as usual) with your observation that conservative bias is not the opposite of liberal bias. As a former teacher, the use of the classroom for political advocacy must make your skin crawl.

    It seems that in much of the country indoctrination begins long before students even reach college. When I was in 5th grade, every kid's looseleaf was adorned with a Mondale/Ferraro sticker, courtesy of our public school teacher. There are plenty of similar anecdotes from the 2008 campaign season, and I frequently come across instances of extreme liberal bias in American history textbooks.

    Regarding indoctrination at the college level, David Horowitz has a new book out this month about how the far left has taken over academia - it's called called One Party Classroom. I haven't read it yet, but it looks promising.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My sister's friend who graduated high school this year was in the running for valedictorian. However, due to the fact that she was one of the few conservative-minded people in her Spanish class, she recieved her only B in 4 years of school. My sister (I believe she was in the same class) would often come home talking about the frequent, one-sided discussions the teacher would start about politics. In Spanish class! I really hate when teachers take advantage of the fact that a lot of people will listen and/or agree with whatever they say, just because they're teachers. My school is just overflowing with liberal ideas. Sometimes it's hard to talk politics when there're very few conservatives around to back you up.