The late Peter Jennings would be mildly amused that ABC News has named two anchors to replace him. He might also be pleased that the very pleasant looking Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff share Jennings' political philosophy. They are both liberal.
How do I know this? For the same reason I know that when a pope dies, his successor will not be a Methodist, but a Roman Catholic. Vargas and Woodruff, along with the new "Nightline" troika of Terry Moran, Cynthia McFadden and Martin Bashir (Ted Koppel, you get bragging rights because it took three to replace you) are all liberals.
If ABC News president David Westin wanted to make a bold statement and attract new viewers, he might have found at least one conservative to be part of the anchor mix. But where would he look and upon whom would he call? John Stossel, who appears on "20/20," is the only conservative-leaning reporter at ABC, but his chances of being tapped were about the same as mine: slim to none. During an interview two years ago with "60 Minutes" reporter Lesley Stahl, I asked her about journalistic bias. She asserted that there were people of differing political viewpoints at CBS News. Asked to name one, Stahl could not.
Liberal journalists see the world through their own prism: big government and higher taxes are good; abortion on demand is good; nothing wrong with homosexual practice or same-sex marriage; America is evil or, if not evil, the cause of much of the world's problems; religious people are by definition unintelligent and need watching; Democrats are better than Republicans and have a "divine right" (if they believed in the divine, which most big-time journalists do not) to run our government; Bush is evil and an idiot; the war in Iraq is a failure and nothing American soldiers are doing is worthwhile; Howard Stern is a First Amendment crusader (he was featured on last Sunday's "60 Minutes") while those who want culture to at least acknowledge their beliefs are radical imposers of a narrow religious view.
The Media Research Center, a conservative media-monitoring group, has collected some statements by Vargas and Woodruff. While the list is short compared to Jennings', Tim Graham, MRC's director of media analysis, explains in the Washington Times, "New anchorpeople need time to grow in pomposity."
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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