BOOKS: by John BarichNews Weekly
Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, by Bernard Goldberg
, May 4, 2002
BIAS: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News
by Bernard Goldberg
Regency Publishing, enquiries to News Weekly BooksSome years ago Michael Medved wrote Hollywood Against America excoriating the motion picture industry for surruptitiously attacking the values of middle America - patriotism, religion and family based on marriage.
He is now joined by another bestseller Bias
showing quite clearly the slanting of the news towards the liberal left. A very similar tendency exists in Australia, especially via the publicly-funded ABC, but it is impossible to do anything about it. Malcolm Fraser tried after his landslide victory, but failed. A small piece of evidence of what to expect is the fact that this most revealing book is not even available in Australia and had to be obtained from America despite the fact that so much of our media has a high US content.
Goldberg provides credible evidence of how on issues such as homelessness and AIDS, reporters have merely regurgitated the propaganda of their favourite lobby groups instead of reporting the facts. For his whistle blowing he has been called a "traitor", a charge he totally rejects, and calls his detractors arrogant.
Goldberg had been a loyal CBS correspondent for 25 years but was puzzled all along by broadcasters exaggerating the number of homeless, telling viewers that AIDS would spread to heterosexual America and giving radical feminist organisations disproportionate coverage compared with pro-life women. He claims that Phyllis Schlafly, whose Eagle Forum helped defeat the feminist-supported Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, is hardly ever invited on TV.
His faith in his employer finally gave up when CBS did a hatchet-job on one of the Presidential candidates. He concluded that "one of the biggest problems in big-time journalism is that its elites are hopelessly out of touch with everyday Americans" and that network news "steals just about everything from print". Anyone who dares to object to such unprofessional behaviour, as he did, is treated as a traitor by the News Mafia, who close ranks and send dissidents to Coventry.
Goldberg assesses the situation thus:
"They love diversity of color, diversity of gender, diversity of sexual orientations. But God forbid someone in their diverse newsrooms who has a diverse view about how the news ought to be presented".
One interesting technique employed by the media, according to Goldberg, so as to stereotype prominent people such as politicians, actors, religious leaders, judges, lobbyists, etc., is to label some as conservatives but refuse to do so with those who are liberal. The views of liberals are seen as "sensible, reasonable, rational views which just happen to coincide with their own."
Another gimmick is the "prettifying of reality". This was done with homelessness and AIDS. During the Reagan years, the media concentrated on characterising homelessness as due solely to government inaction rather than lack of self-help by people. As soon as Clinton was elected, the focus on homelessness stopped.
Similarly AIDS was described, against overwhelming evidence to the contrary, as a heterosexual disease which was "The Killer Next Door" rather than predominantly a disease affecting gays and intravenous drug users.
One similarity with Australia is the lack of objectivity about race. While all blacks did need support initially, now the well-off ones are still treated with kid gloves irrespective of their involvement in drugs, crime, illegitimate children, etc.
This leaning to the left is not the problem, but how it affects their reporting is unacceptable.
One particularly devastating aspect to which he draws attention, is the treatment of men, especially with regard to enforced child maintenance - even DNA tests do not stop the welfare bureaucracy from perpetrating injustices.
The male journalists are predominantly feminist. Yes, men as a group earn more than women but they do the more dangerous, hazardous, highly trained work; work longer hours and do shift work; work in less enticing places (oil rigs, coal mines); travel further, even overseas. These facts are hardly ever mentioned.
One of the sacred cows of the media is child-care. Despite all the evidence to the superiority of mother's care, elite journalists have taken the side of the child-care lobby. As child-care is predominantly for two-income families, the media bias is inequitable.
This book is a riveting read which has been rewarded by being the New York Times
number one best seller. It would have benefitted from an index, and while two out of the 15 chapters are solely directed to the US, the other 13 would apply very much to the situation in Australia.