Newspapers Ignore Corddry's Law And Readers Bid Them Adieu
You do know the great Rob Corddry's famous law? "Reality has a clear liberal bias," he memorably intoned once on The Daily Show. A truly hilarious line has never, ever, been less of a joke, (I wonder: Did he write that?).
As much as the rightwing and their enablers in the press try to ignore it, laws are laws and it's come back to bite them, bigtime in many ways, from the ghastly to the farcical. However, Glenn notes that WaPo's ombudsperson hasn't yet figured that out:
Deborah Howell, today wrote a column claiming that one reason that The Post and other papers are losing money is because they are "too liberal"; have had "more favorable stories about Barack Obama than John McCain," and "conservatives are right that they often don't see their views reflected enough in the news pages." To mitigate newspapers' financial problems, Howell decrees: "the imbalance still needs to be corrected." She adds: "Neither the hard-core right nor left will ever be satisfied by Post coverage -- and that's as it should be."Yep.
What if the actual facts -- i.e., "reality" -- are consistent with the views of "the hard-core left" and contrary to the views of the "hard-core right"? What if, as has plainly been the case, the conservatives' views are wrong, false, inaccurate? What if the McCain campaign was failing and relying on pure falsehoods and sleazy attacks, and The Post's coverage simply reflected that reality? It doesn't matter. In order to sell more newspapers, according to Howell, The Post's news coverage must shape itself to the Right and ensure that "their views [are] reflected enough in the news pages" (I don't recall Howell complaining when her newspaper -- according to its own media critic -- systematically suppressed anti-war viewpoints in its news pages and loudly amplified pro-Bush and pro-war views).
In Howell's view, The Post shouldn't determine its news reporting based on what is factually true. Instead, it should shape its coverage to please this discredited, failed political movement -- in order to sell more papers. That corrupt formula is, of course, what is now meant by "journalistic balance" -- say what both sides believe and take no position about what is true -- and it is precisely that behavior which propped up this incomparably failed and deceitful presidency for so long. The establishment media bears much of the responsibility for what has happened during the last 8 years, and amazingly enough, the lesson many of them seemed to have learned is that they didn't go far enough ("we're too liberal; we need to accommodate the Right more"). If there is an Obama presidency, watch for them very quickly to re-discover the long-dormant concept of "adversarial behavior."