If you make a conservative argument in 2012 there is a better than average chance a liberal will complain that you must watch Fox News. They will follow it with a claim that you sound like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.
The Obama administration tried to stay away from Fox in its early days. Why not? It is much easier to field softballs from the rest of the media. It is always easy to dance with who brought you and the media coronated Obama in 2008.
Obama finally allowed himself to be interviewed by Bill O'Reilly and the left cried because it actually was an interview instead of a commercial. How dare someone actually ask Obama a question that was not a masked compliment?
The left will argue passionately that the rest of the media does not have a liberal bias. Liberals will quote the New York Times (NYT) as a factual bible that must be accepted.
A common argument that is put forward is that reporters and editors can leave the bias behind. It is an argument that Arthur Brisbane, outgoing NYT public ediitor, dimissed in a recent farewell editorial.
Brisbane talks about coverage of issues such as the Occupy movement and gay marriage. He talks about the paper having the fabric of its staff "bleed" onto the pages. It is a remarkably honest look into the mirror. An admission that the paper he has worked for has a slant.
Anybody who has ever worked in journalism knows how hard news can be manipulated. A story can be put on page 1 or on page 50. The same thing can be done with a correction.
The stories that get run and how many on an issue can shape an agenda as well. The ADN has been guilty over the years of chasing down many stories of corruption when it comes to Don Young. Mark Begich though? Not so much.
There have been many stories broken on the internet or Fox that have forced their way into the rest of the media. Examples are the ACORN scandals, the New Black Panther voter intimidation story, and Solyndra. 30 years ago these stories might have been buried by the traditional media.
The use of words can be deceptive. The issue may be abortion rights but the use of the term "pro-choice" gives a positive spin to a position. It is as if it is like choosing whether or not to have fries with a burger. The use of the word "progressive" instead of "liberal" has been one of the biggest changes the left has tried to make over the years to play with connotations.
Sarah Palin may be an easy target but does anybody really believe that Katie Couric would have sliced and diced a Democrat the same way? Ever seen a conservative on Today or The View? It is an instantaneously hostile environment. It is laughable that Obama and Co. are scared of Fox when a typical Republican can never let their guard down.
There are token conservatives on the alphabet networks and CNN. And Fox has Bob Beckel, Kirsten Powers, and Juan Williams among others to provide liberal "balance." This is in the opinion realm though and not in the so-called excuse for hard news seen in most of the media.
There is no way to weed out bias. The problem is many people who watch or read the news do not understand that. They actually buy into the myth that the NYT is a legitimate source of news. Even worse, the Associated Press has the same bias and much of what people read is often originates from those sources.
It is refreshing to see someone inside the liberal establishment admit what any objective observer has seen already. It is also not surprising to see the perpetrators protest and claim the accusations are false. It is the dying cry of a once dominant liberal media.
I love to watch Bill Maher. I get a kick out of Shannyn Moore's columns. I have been known to go to Salon.com or The Daily Kos. And who does not love a little conspiracy theory on MSNBC once and a while?
Some current and former editors of this paper have told me they do not agree with me politically. I have never had one tell me they do agree with me. It would be impossible for that to not have an effect on content.
The AK Voices blog has a decidely left wing slant to it. That is true even among the inactive contributers. At present I stand alone among the four of us who still post regularly in being right of center. And on social issues there is almost never a right leaning piece in this section.
My advice to my liberal friends? Watch Fox once and a while instead of listening to the person hired to scan the network and hammer it. Read some Charles Krauthammer and George Will. And if I can chuckle at Bill Maher maybe you can chuckle at Rush Limbaugh.
The best way to solidify your views is to understand where the other side is coming from. If you truly understand the opposition and still believe your stance it makes you a better person. It also opens up room for compromise.
That is why you will see left leaning sources cited in my pieces. It is why conservatives, especially the "God, guns, and guts" crowd, often take shots at me.
The sad part is the bias is often not anything more than party partisanship. It is a deterioration where the media gets turned into a campaign tool. Yes, Fox is a tool of the Republicans. And yes, most of the rest of the traditional media is a tool for the Democrats.
The electorate needs to be more educated. And that education may be tough unless the educated can see the bias in what is presented in every outlet. The left no longer has a monopoly. And crying about Fox will not bring the monoploy back. And ultimately that is good for a country that should believe in the Constitution.