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Ignorance Is Bliss

The question of whether the media has a liberal bias is, on the face of it, absurd.  No one who reads newspapers—fewer people with every passing day—or watches the major networks—those numbers are plunging also—is not fully aware that the liberal slant in the news is alive and thriving.  Nevertheless, Bernard Goldberg’s Bias and William McGowan’s Coloring the News are worth reading.

Goldberg, an Emmy Award-winning correspondent and 28-year veteran of CBS News, provides an insider’s look at the inner workings of CBS.  Bias reveals, among other things, how the media became a tool, in Goldberg’s opinion, for homeless and AIDS lobby groups; how they shut out conservative voices from the abortion debate; how female news producers disparage the contributions of stay-at-home mothers and air stories promoting daycare; how the media bend over backward to cover racial issues in a “sensitive” way during prime time, while ignoring minorities in order to attract a more affluent “white” audience. (Race is a major topic in Goldberg’s book.  Goldberg reports that, during the May 2000 sweeps, CBS’s 48 Hours and NBC’s Dateline ran no stories about blacks.)

Goldberg claims that even CBS executives acknowledge a liberal bias in the industry, among them CBS News President Andrew Heyward,...

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