July 11, 2003

Subtlety in Media Bias

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To note yet another stroke against the myth of a liberal media, take a look at CNN's latest front-page headline: "Democrats grow bolder in criticism of Bush on Iraq" (story here). Underneath that headline is the note that "Republicans say Democrats are playing politics, trying to make some headway in the upcoming 2004 election."

I do not recall, in the uncountable times that Republicans accused Clinton of everything and anything to score political points, that the media characterized the political assault and its motives as the chief story; rather, they focused on the charges and whether or not they were true. It was never "Republicans strengthen their attacks: Democrats say Republicans are playing politics"; rather, it was "Clinton accused of [insert accusation here]," followed by details and analysis of the accusation. See examples here and here.

By representing the story as shown above, CNN is effectively putting the actual criticism in the back seat, and is instead highlighting the story as a political move. This may well be, but, as noted, it is inconsistent with reporting styles under Clinton, and ignores very real and well-deserved criticism of the administration. This spin put on the different stories makes the difference between supporting and attacking a political party.

Posted by Luis at July 11, 2003 04:21 PM