Media bias is always something Republicans love to bitch about. While I agree it is a problem today, I think everyone gets it wrong. First off, there has never been a time in our country when we had an unbiased media. I don’t know when Americans got it in their heads that the media was fair. Theoretically they should be. The idea of the media being a fourth level of government in the whole checks and balances theory is a great one. The media is supposed to keep politicians honest. But let me point out here that the phrase checks and balances is nowhere in our founding documents. Yes if you look at how the government is structured that is a good description of how the government is supposed to work. Although myself and many on the right will argue that that is not happening these days. Nobody is checking anyone. Politicians give great speeches about it then get to Washington and roll over.
Where did the idea of an unbiased media come from? At this countries founding there where very few forms of media. Newspapers where by far the biggest. But where they unbiased? Hell no!! The difference between then and today is Newspapers 240 years ago didn’t try to hide it. Everyone knew the political parties owned the papers. Republican or Democrat was often part of the newspapers names! There is absolutely no historical reason to think the media is unbiased.
I have a theory on where an unbiased media came from. In the middle part of the 20th century the media had a huge growth spurt with TV. Suddenly there was a lot of competition. During this period getting the big story was more important that party politics. Granted at times it did take some doing for the media to roll over on their party, but it did happen because they couldn’t let the big story slip away. This mentality carried into the Clinton presidency. The Monica Lewinsky scandal is the last real example of the media turning on their party. And even then they only did it when they had to and only pushed hard enough to give the impression of being honest.
During the 90’s the internet exploded and once again the main stream media found themselves with major competition. But this time they decided to go the other direction and become more hardcore behind their party. As Rush Limbaugh points out, the networks are making enough money on other channels they can lose money on the news channels. Have you ever looked up the Nielsen ratings? How can major news networks pay million dollar salaries to anchors that have less than a million viewers? Some cases less than five hundred thousand. Why do they continue to push an agenda so few people watch? Fox news has more viewers many hours of the day than all others combined. But honestly it’s still not good numbers considering the size of the population.
News channels can be broken into two themes. News and opinion. News during the day and opinion at night. At times during the news portion of the day, anchors can almost be called fair. Almost because the stories you can say that about really aren’t political. Any political story during the day forget it. And lets be honest here. A totally unbiased news show would be boring to watch. Once you get to the evening programs when most people are home to watch the news, we are into the opinion shows. While I welcome debates in the comments, if you don’t think Fox opinion people sway to the right and CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC sway to the left, don’t leave a comment. You are to stupid to waste anyone’s time. Unlike most people, I am OK with the networks having biased opinion shows. Just admit you are an opinion! It pisses me off when opinion people claim to be unbiased journalists. In fact it pissed me off when biased journalists claim to be unbiased. I have yelled at my TV during the daytime news cycle many times. Yes on Fox News. And I am one of the ones pissed at Megan Kelly for her performance at the first Republican debate. Just because Fox News is the closest to being unbiased in my opinion, their motto of fair and balanced is a stretch.
But I didn’t decide to write this article with the intent to bash anyone, it just sorta happened. So back to my point. We have never had an unbiased media so stop getting pissed about it. That is not the problem. The problem is the political right lets the left get away with it. Stop cowering to what we believe is the truth. The right is so worried about being called names by the left that any attempt at a real debate is lost. And we are losing the country because of it.