Evening radio talk show host John Ziegler, creator of the documentary “Blocking the Path to 9/11″ has been talking up his new film “Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted”. The film purports to show how the media focused positive attention on Obama’s campaign and negative attention on Palin’s. Ziegler is convinced that Obama won the election based on the positive coverage he received alone.
So, it’s a movie about media bias, which is itself heavily biased. I think that proves his point succinctly. The problem is, yes, he’s right — there is, or can be, a distinct bias in the mainstream media, but that’s why we have so much of it: the bias goes both ways on any subject.
I’m not denying that there were broad attacks on Sarah Palin during the lead-up to the election; that’s obvious. And you know why? Because Palin deserved it. She was outspoken, yet couldn’t support her statements. She was ill-informed about a great many facets of government functions, yet bull-headedly insistent that she was nevertheless correct. She tried to play an honest, just-like-reg’lar-folks facade, but it didn’t stand up in the face of repeated demonstrations to the contrary. The media recognized a suspiciously unfit person who was set up as McCain‘s running mate, so they swarmed around her to bring her down, and the public realized it, and voted their hearts and minds. That’s only right and fair. If there seemed to be more negative attention brought to bear against Palin than there was against Obama, that’s because there was so much more fuel for the fire in Palin’s case.
Personally, I want bias in my articles. I want the reporters to make their own conclusions. The facts of any situation should of course be presented, but that doesn’t preclude intelligent discussion. I want my news to be full of varied viewpoints so I can piece together my own opinion. That’s the essence of a healthy and thriving nation committed to free speech. I hope the era of objectivity is coming to a close, in favor of a more savvy, open discourse. Journalism shouldn’t just be about parroting events; it should be about informed opinion. Anyone can tell you what just happened, but it takes learning and intelligence to tell you why it happened. So the next time you hear John Ziegler complain about how poor Sarah Palin was targeted by a vicious media frenzy, just smile and say “Well, duh. That’s what it’s for.”