Carol Platt Liebau: Hold Off on the Condescension

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hold Off on the Condescension

Ironic. The LA Times puts this breathless story about the Amish newspaper on its front page. How exotic -- "Long-standing policy at Die Botschaft [the Amish paper] prohibits the publication of stories about murder, as well as stories about war, love or religion." Just imagine that, Angelenos!

Please. The tone of the story is remarkably condescending, but no doubt as the LA Times would be the first to remind us -- and Hugh Hewitt's listeners were reminded yesterday -- news judgment is highly subjective. It's long been clear that most of the MSM emphasizes negative news from Iraq, for example, while downplaying or ignoring many of the more positive developments.

As the Times seems to understand when it comes to the Amish (but not so well when it comes to its own coverage) what's left out is nothing but a matter of subjective choice guided by personal preference, and can be as important as the treatment of what's put in. That's why the MSM would be well-served by more transparency about its members' political biases; readers and viewers would be better equipped to understand what they might be missing.

Ultimately, what the Amish do with their newspaper, and what the LA Times does with its, isn't different in kind (the subjective decisionmaking about what stories are interesting or "important" to its readers); it's just the substance of the decisions that differ. That principle has been well-understood by conservative media watchdogs like those at Accuracy in Media and the Media Research Center for years, as they've monitored liberal bias in the MSM.

It's somehow fitting that the Times would end the week of the Fox News Channel's 10th birthday with a story like this. After all, part of the reason that Fox has come to lead the cable news ratings race is that it will cover stories that don't fit in with the ideological predilections of the rest of the MSM.


Blogger Cliff said...

The "main stream media", Hollywood and "educated" elites, HATE the Church along with anything decent and wholesome. They attack and trash things that are better than they because they see nothing of redeeming value in their godless, soulless, selves and therefore are on a campaign to reduce these people down to their level since they could NEVER reach the level that they despise. That's a fact!

8:06 PM  

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