Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The AP's liberal bias: a classic example

Readers Note: The post below was originally published on Nov. 1, 2005.

It cites a classic example of the AP's liberal bias I found in a story reporting on then U. S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner's resignation from the court and speculation regarding her replacement to be nominated by President Bush.

After you read the example, you may say to yourselves, "Nothing's changed."


Under Deb Riechmann's byline, an Associated Press story, Bush Expected to Name New Nominee Monday, contains this sentence:

Conservatives revile O'Connor for staking out moderate and practical positions on controversial issues.
Reichmann doesn't name a single conservative who reviles Justice O'Connor, nor does she or her AP editors provide one example of O'Connor's "moderate and practical positions on controversial issues."

But providing such information would get in the way of the AP's reason for running that sentence: To tell readers conservatives are people who revile a public figure who is moderate and practical concerning controversial issues.

If you doubt that, read the sentence again:
Conservatives revile O'Connor for staking out moderate and practical positions on controversial issues.
It reads like a cut-and-paste from a attack ad.

It does nothing but tell people what the AP wants them to believe about conservatives.

The AP could have told readers of conservatives' recent praise for O'Connor's dissent in Kelo and for much else. But that, as the pols say, "gets off message."

So the liberal journalists at the AP campaigned their way.


Anonymous said...

Reporters have their templates that determine how they treat any person who comes under their purview. Conservatives are always knee-jerk; liberals are always thought-provoking. Conservatives are judgemental, liberals are deliberative. Conservatives are always wrong, liberals are always right. Wouldn't it be nice if conservatives could be right at least half of the time? But that wouldn't be MSM, would it? I'm not a conservative, but I can see why the right doesn't believe the MSM when they claim to be unbiased.

JWM said...

Anon @ 6:59,

You've said so well what millions of Americans with strong allegience to our country believe.

If all goes according to plan, I'm going to use the post here, your comment and some results of a recent Pew survey of Americans lack of trust in MSM for a post this weekend.

I hope you see it by Sunday and comment.