web counter Media Lies: Krugman admits the news is biased

Friday, July 30, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
Please adjust your bookmarks.

Krugman admits the news is biased

Oh, not in the way you might think, but the admission is there just the same. In his editorial today, entitled "Triumph of the Trivial", Krugman complains that the press is not doing their job. (I guess this comes as a surprise to Krugman?)

For example, he writes, "On the other hand, everyone knows that Teresa Heinz Kerry told someone to 'shove it,' though even there, the context was missing."

Long time Times readers will recognize this as a common problem in the Times' coverage of many issues, particularly things like the Joe Wilson story, the Sandy Berger story, the 9/11 Commission coverage, weapons of mass destruction, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum ad infinitum. But for Krugman to discover it is something of an epiphany.

Krugman, you are surely aware, is the leftist editorialist who insists passionately that any bias in the media is on the right. In fact, Krugman thinks the press is neutral in its coverage! (He must be furious with Okrent!)

But back to the point. Krugman complains that "Republicans, of all people, are practicing the politics of envy, and the media obediently go along."

What he means is that politicians set the agenda and the media simply parrots the party line without question. (Apparently Krugman is just discovering this as well?)

Krugman also complains that the Washington Post "quotes a voter" who questions the Democratic ticket's committment to health care. What upsets him is that the voter calls Kerry and Edwards "these millionaires" but isn't aware of Kerry's healthcare plan because the press is covering the former but not the latter. Krugman has a point, but this ubiquitous problem only bothers him because, in his view, it mispresents Kerry and Edwards. Krugman has never complained about the quotes the Times uses to misrepresent Bush. To him, that's objective coverage.

To Krugman, all these problems with the media are benefiting the Republicans at the expense of the poor, hapless Democrats who have no media to support their views. While this obviously cloistered view of the media doesn't reflect reality, at least he's beginning to see that there is a problem!

What did it take for Krugman to become aware of this problem? Competition, pure and simple. Now that the major media doesn't have a monopoly on the news, the problems they have always had and never addressed are suddenly coming back to bite them.

It's about time.

Hat tip to Tom Maguire.