Jarrod Jenkins's Reviews > Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right

Slander by Ann Coulter
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Dec 08, 08

bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in December, 2008, read count: 1

The mainstream media, which includes ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, and others is overwhelmingly liberal. The numbers show that 89% of reporters, writers, editors, and publishers involved in the mainstream media identify as liberals--compared to only about 43% of the general public. Almost unbelievably, being a member of the media is a better indication of which party you will vote for than being a registered Democrat! In other words, a larger percentage of registered Democrats vote for Republican politicians than members of the media. If you think that the media elite can still objectively and fairly portray the news despite this overwhelming disparity in ideological representation, then you'd be wrong. Coulter's book offers countless examples why.

The selection of stories presented necessarily influences people's thinking. For example, on July 14, 2001, the United States military successfully shot a missle out of the sky under the "Star Wars" program. Considering this missile defense shield had been discussed and funded for nearly 20 years beginning with Reagan, one would think it would be huge news. The New York Times, however, relegated the story to page 12 while leading with yet another article on the 2000 election in Florida. So do you think more people are aware of the current state of the Strategic Defense Initiative, which could end up saving tens of millions of American lives, or that there was "something going on in Florida" during the 2000 election?

Once the stories are selected, the coverage is almost invariably biased. Bush won every single recount in Florida against Gore. The rules for determining electoral college votes are very clearly stated: the ballots have to be submitted no later than 7 days after the voting day. The Secretary of State in Florida followed that rule and the media accused her of throwing the election to Bush. The Supreme Court of the United States, able to interpret the very clear legislative rules, agreed with the Secretary of State, not the State Supreme Court or the mainstream media. But again, most people just have some vague notion of something fishy in Florida during the elections.

Consider the difference in media treatment between Anita Hill and Paula Jones, Gloria Steinem and Phyllis Schlafly, Matthew Shepard and Jesse Dirkhising. Have you ever even heard the name Jesse Dirkhising? That's exactly the point.

All conservative best-selling books are "surprise best-sellers," conservative pundits are from the "far right," and conservatives are the ones engaging in " fuming partisan attacks"--according to the mainstream media. Meanwhile, adjectives describing liberals are always pleasant or endearing. Pick up a New York Times paper or read a free article online to see for yourself. The "Newspaper of Record" has not endorsed a Republican for President since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956--more than 50 years ago! They endorsed Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis while Reagan and H. W. Bush won those elections handily.

The average amount of time it took CNN to report states that Al Gore had won after the polls closed was significantly shorter than the average amount of time it took them to report states that Bush had won. Even when Bush had a larger margin of victory, it still took more time. Example: Al Gore won Pennsylvania by 4 points, and it took CNN 1 hour and 24 minutes to report it. Bush won Arkansas by 6 points, but CNN didn't report it until 3 hours and 42 minutes later. This is not an isolated case, looking at all the states and the time it took to report the winner indicates that CNN was clearly in a rush to proclaim Gore's victories and much more delayed in reporting Bush's. Is it just a coincidence that it happened in so many states AND in Gore's favor, the Democrat's favor? Please.

In addition to story selection and the manner in which selected stories are framed, the media is not above outright lying or failing to make even cursory investigations of claims that conform to their liberal worldview. Exhibit A: I, Rigoberta Menchu won a Nobel Prize for an autobiographical account of an oppressed Guatemalan woman who survived abject poverty, political oppression, and watched her family members either starved to death or burned alive. Tragic. Except that it evidently wasn't true. She made it up. Exhibit B: Tawana Brawley accusing six white men of raping her. Also didn't happen. She made it up.

Compare these accepted "truths" to the fact that Bill Clinton's sexcapades with Lewinsky were revealed by Matt Drudge even though Newsweek had a tape of the intern discussing her affair with the President. Newsweek sat on the story. Apparently the President having affairs with White House interns wasn't newsworthy. When a Nigerian student went on a shooting spree at the Appalachian Law School in January of 2002, he was finally stopped by two students who had guns themselves. The New York Times reported that the attacker was "tackled by fellow students", completely omitting the fact that the heroes had guns themselves. Paul Krugman attacked Bush's association with Enron until he himself received $50,0000 from the company. The only reason we know of Krugman's payoff is because of the tireless efforts of Andrew Sullivan and his website.

Another tactic is to simply repeat an idea or phrase often enough until people begin to accept it. When the Anita Hill controversy first broke, 69% of people believed Thomas. After a year of positive media coverage including interviews on the Today show, being awarded the Woman of the Year by Glamour magazine, inclusion in a documentary called A Century of Women, invited to speak at the Yale Law School and American Bar Association, and positive portrayals in Murphy Brown and Designing Women, only 44% of women believed Thomas. At the time of the hearings, 73% of America thought Anita Hill was treated fairly. After the media campaign to glorify her, only 49% thought she was treated fairly. Newt Gingrich is primarily responsible for welfare reform known as the Contract With America, now widely considered a big success. Many liberals at the time lamented that women and children would literally starve in the street if this legislation ever passed. Bill Clinton vetoed it twice, but the Republicans kept hammering away until it passed. Subsequently, Bill Clinton took credit for it as one of his greatest achievements. All Republican Presidents and presidential candidates are called dumb. Even though George W. Bush had higher SAT scores than Gore and higher military intelligence test scores and Yale grades than Kerry. If you repeat a line (or is it a lie?) often enough, many people will begin to believe it.

Thus the media is similar in many ways to a propaganda machine. It has a worldview it is trying to convince the masses of and it uses many tricks and deceptions to achieve this end. Alternative sources of information such as talk radio, the internet, and Fox News Channel represent grave threats to the MSM (mainstream media). In response to these threats, the MSM does its best to malign, attack, or downplay the significance of people like Rush Limbaugh or Matt Drudge. They are not at all above using the power of the state to protect their monopoly on propaganda. Reference the Fairness Doctrine.

There is no question in my mind that the media is liberally biased. Watching the presidential election this year or 5 minutes of MSNBC will confirm this. This book offers empirical evidence for what everyone knows to be true.
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