Dick Meyer complains about bias complaints saying that an accusation of bias is a conversation ender. I don't agree. I've seen the same dynamic that he has, I've been accused of bias myself. What I don't accept is that bias is anything more than a start of a conversation. "Yeah, I'm biased. And your point is?" is the attitude I take.
The honest truth is that if people who have different biases can't talk to each other and work out their differences, the Republic is doomed and we might as well just start the civil war now. Just because Dick Meyer is biased doesn't mean that he's wrong, it just means that he's not necessarily giving the other side a fair shake in his own presentations. Examining his blind spots, and my own, would lead to a pretty interesting conversation if good humor and good manners don't flee the scene entirely.
The partisan press doesn't much suffer from accusations of bias. Everybody knows that The Nation is on the left and National Review is on the right. When they show bias, it's not a failing but part of their explicit business plan.
I think that for CBS, the problem is very much their own business plan which is to sell their news offerings as objectives. It's the hypocrisy of saying your objective but not delivering the goods that gets so many people's riled up. Whether objectivity is available at all is another question but CBS offers it up and sets themselves up for failure when their reportage is rated by media watchdog groups like FAIR on the left and AIM on the right.
Stop offering up hypocrisy, measure out your bias, let people know what it is, and suddenly it's a badge of honor, not contentious in the least. That's really the tragedy. CBS and the rest of the MSM could end the bias wars by just labeling their product honestly, authentically providing the viewpoint they wish to without any cover of false objectivity. Too bad they have yet to twig to that fact.Posted by TMLutas at February 16, 2005 07:48 PM