AND NOW FOR SOME FAIR AND BALANCED REPORTING: I’ve been following the Shamed/Barlow media bias controversy . Barlow’s post is vast, and I’ll just address a couple points.

I agree w/Barlow on media hype of Gore’s “lies,” and Bush did get a pass on some problems that didn’t fit the dumb-Texan stereotype (like the AWOL accusation, which I haven’t checked out so I won’t comment on). Also agree that Ann Coulter is egregious, and her comments are comparable to Julianne Malveaux’s (who said she wished Clarence Thomas’s wife would feed him so much lard–mmm, lard–that he’d have a heart attack and die). But I’d wager that if a black conservative had wished (out loud) for the death of a specific black liberal (it’s always easier to go nuclear in rhetoric against an abstraction than against a specific real person; and I am sure race plays into this, though probably in fairly complicated ways) she would receive much more denunciation, much more publicly, than Malveaux ever did. She might still be able to get on the air, though–having a Coulter type as your spokeswoman for the right is fun, and easier on leftists than having someone who’s more than a caricature.

But the bigger issues seem to be 1) bias in news reporting vs. bias in op-ed, “talk show”-y things; and 2) bias on particular issues. So here are two links on point #2; they’re reports on media coverage of abortion and guns. The abortion report was a four-part series in the Los Angeles Times, though their archives are sketchy and I couldn’t get it from their site. The guy whose site I’m linking to is pro-life, and seems to have excerpted the articles for no real reason [edited: No he didn't. My mistake], so I’d recommend you get them off Nexis if you have an account there. (Look up “los angeles times AND abortion” between July 1 and 4, 1990.) Anyway, here’s the link.

And here’s a similar report from Reason on gun coverage.

I think Barlow is right to move, toward the end of his most recent post on bias, toward an issue-focused approach rather than a global one. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any issues on which the big-name city media skews right–not even the war, really. Free trade, maybe. Then again, the NY Times is just messed up–it’s noticeably farther left than its biggest national competitor, the Washington Post. So the NYT may be skewing my impressions of the media as a whole.

Oh, and Barlow hasn’t yet addressed the point that anti-Gore stories (like anti-Clinton and pro-McCain stories) often reflected reporters’ belief that Gore and Clinton were sellouts–the stories were often attacks from the left, not the right. I’m not into this enough to get cites; maybe someone else is.

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