The Big Media - by which I mean the three broadcast networks and the most "influential newspapers" (i.e. The New York Times and The Washington Post) - have been "voting" for the next president for much of the last two years. In their news pages and on their news broadcasts, the Big Media have backed any Democrat over George W. Bush, and now the long-awaited mystery of which candidate they would officially endorse is over.
May I have the envelope, please?
The winner of the editorial endorsement of both The New York Times and The Washington Post is: John Kerry! What, you're not surprised?
Reading like a script from Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," The New York Times claimed in its Oct. 17 endorsement of Kerry that the Massachusetts senator is "a man with a strong moral core."
For a newspaper that recognizes no morality expect that which it writes for itself, the Times might have disclosed its "moral code" and the basis on which it can be deciphered. It certainly isn't rooted in anything related to what has traditionally been known as morality, for the Times consistently backs ideas, behavior and opinions that would have scandalized the once immutable moral code that comes from an Authority higher than its editorial boardroom.
Regardless of who wins next Tuesday's election (and no matter how long it takes to get the results following expected lawsuits and ballots cast by ineligible voters), this may well be the last election cycle in which the Big Media are taken seriously or regarded as influential.
The Big Media (let's abbreviate and call them BM) have gone over the top with this election. They have ripped off their final layer of faux objectivity, revealing their ideological nakedness for all to see in a desperate effort to get John Kerry elected.
No good news from the Bush administration is treated kindly by the BM. Is employment up? They're not the "right kind" of jobs. Is most of Iraq being pacified, and do many Iraqis speak well of the United States for ridding them of Saddam Hussein? It doesn't matter, because pockets of Iraq are unstable and Iraqis can be found who don't like the "occupation." Any moral convictions held by anyone in this administration are dismissed as right-wing fundamentalism by the BM as if the only convictions that matter are their own.
CBS News, which has a credibility gap wider than the Grand Canyon after it stood behind fake documents pertaining to George Bush's National Guard service, broadcast a report Friday night by Anthony Mason questioning whether most Americans are better off financially than they were four years ago. Mason claimed that while, on average, Americans are making more money than they were in 2000, they are "in fact, worse off." Mason's proof: "Median household income . . . is now $41,550, $30 lower than it was four years ago."
So, while Americans have more money than they did four years ago, median household income is down $30, proving to the BM that Bush's economic policies are a failure?
There are, and have been, countless examples of the most grotesque media bias against all things Bush and Republican by the BM. But it doesn't matter anymore. The BM are the past. Cable, newspapers in "flyover country" and the Internet are the future. I seriously doubt whether anyone's mind is changed by the BM's predictable endorsements and their familiar reasoning, which goes something like this: Big government and high taxes are good, sex with anyone for whatever reason is good, abortion and gay rights are good, more regulation of "evil corporations" (but not the BM corporations) is good and all conservatives are evil. Anyone sharing the BM's platform gets their endorsement. Anyone who doesn't gets unfavorable treatment in the news pages and on the air.
The anger of the BM in anticipation of a Bush win has gone beyond the fringe of a Michael Moore film or a George Soros 527 group. London's Guardian newspaper printed a column Saturday by a Charlie Brooker, who, after mocking President Bush with the familiar leftist invective, concluded: "The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. - where are you now that we need you?"
Nice, huh? This is why the media future is in what is called "alternative media." It will soon become the mainstream.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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