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The battle against right-wing media bias!

By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted May 17, 2004

In support of their holy crusade to defeat President Bush, liberals have rolled out the third wave of their three-pronged attack on what they comically perceive to be conservative media bias.

The first salvo was the light assault of Air America, launched last month to "give voice to what millions of Americans are thinking, but can't hear on radio." Sadly many of those millions will have to look elsewhere, at least in major markets like L.A and Chicago which pulled the plug on it just weeks into its run. Not to worry though; eleven whole stations still carry them.

And it's only getting worse for Al Franken and friends. In the past fortnight alone, four top executives including the program manager jumped ship, and it was reported that this week's payroll checks were not, as they say, in the mail. Not a good sign for a company that actually pays for broadcast time as opposed to the other way round.

Al Franken

It's easy to lay the blame for this turkey at the feet of whoever is now responsible for the broadcast content. In addition to fabulist Franken, the roster boasts frowsy feminist Jeanane Garofalo, rapper Chuck D and a host of other folks you never heard of. The show titles are equally impressive; "The O'Franken Factor" joins "Morning Sedition" and the deliciously named "Bring The Noise."

Talent aside, the reason for its impending implosion is a simple fact of American life. Liberalism is a medicine which must be induced without the knowledge of the patient, like when mom crushed your aspirin and mixed it with orange juice. Americans have been getting their doses for years in dribs and drabs, primarily through the public school system and from the idiot box.

Except for their radical base, not many people can take the left wing's mantra straight up. Recent polls on gay marriage and abortion show that most of America disagrees with the two main pillars of their agenda. To succeed they must cloak their message in pleasant euphemisms like 'choice' and 'equal rights'. Conversely, right wing radio flourishes by shouting its beliefs from the rooftops; and it sells.

Phase two of the beat Bush campaign was launched this month when ping-pong pundit David Brock announced the rollout of his new website Media Matters. Meant to compete with Brent Bozell's Media Research Center which documents liberal journalistic bias, its mission statement illustrates the difference.

In defining the conservative disinformation they seek to expose and uproot, it states: "Conservative misinformation is defined as news or commentary presented in the media that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda."

Misinformation in commentary? Were Mr. Bozell to tackle that job from the right he would have to increase his staff by ten-fold. The truth is, the site is no more than a chronicle of the evils of Rush Limbaugh and other conservative entertainers and opinionists.

On the day of this writing, of the fourteen items on the sidebar of Media Matters' main page, six of them involved Limbaugh while another six zeroed in on Fox News talk shows. It is interesting to note that the Fox hunters did not bag the network's main news program except for the following tidbit:

"An unsubstantiated rumor about Senator John Kerry's hair, originating with an April 27 Drudge Report Exclusive that cited only anonymous "campaign sources," made its way onto the April 29 episode of Special Report with Brit Hume on FOX News Channel. In his "Political Grapevine" segment, Hume reported the story without citing any sources."

Earth to David Brock: do you know the meaning of the word "grapevine?"

Having invaded the Internet and talk radio, the latest attempt by the left to break up the daunting control that conservatives wield in the media (ask them) comes in the form of a new TV station.

Al Gore blew into New Orleans earlier this month and announced that he and his financial backers had purchased Newsworld International, a 24-hour cable news channel, from Vivendi Universal Entertainment.

"This is not going to be a liberal network, a Democratic network or a political network," said Mr. Gore with a straight face. The news content will continue to be supplied by the Canadian Broadcasting Company -- not exactly a bastion of fair and balanced American reportage like say, CBS.

The best thing to come out of Gore's announcement was this propitious statement: "I don't ever expect to be a candidate for office again. I'm not being coy. I'm really enjoying life after politics."

Just goes to show that good news is good news no matter what its source.

Lisa Fabrizio is a freelance columnist from Stamford, Connecticut. You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com.

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