As I was watching President Bush's latest news conference, I was again struck by the thought of how different the news climate and public mood would be if the mainstream media (MSM) were truly as unbiased as they pretend to be.
If the MSM were indeed objective and animated by an investigative impulse and a nonpartisan, government-watchdog instinct, they might thoroughly cover and inquire into the following:
-- Why Joe Wilson appears to have lied when he denied that his wife, Valerie Plame, recommended him to the CIA to investigate the claim that Saddam Hussein sought uranium yellowcake from Niger, manifestly unqualified though he was. They might also examine Wilson's bragging about debunking certain forged documents on his trip that were not even discovered until eight months later.
-- Senator Durbin's unconscionable likening of America's treatment of terrorist detainees to the treatment of prisoners by Pol Pot, the Nazi regime and the Soviet Gulags.
-- Why one of its own standard bearers, the vaunted New York Times, sat on the surveillance "scandal" story until the week Congress was debating reauthorization of the Patriot Act.
-- Where Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid gets off demanding an independent investigation about this NSA surveillance -- a practice that essentially began under President Clinton and about which Reid and his colleagues were privy to a dozen briefings.
-- How Democratic leaders have continually accused President Bush of lying to get us into war when they had access to the same WMD intelligence as President Bush and voted to authorize him to attack Iraq.
-- Why only a handful of Democrat senators availed themselves of their access to certain detailed reports on Iraqi WMD.
-- Why Democratic leaders claim their plainly unconditional authorization to attack Iraq was based on further conditions.
-- Upon what evidence the Democrats base their slanderous allegation that the Bush administration, as a matter of policy, engages in the systematic torture of terrorist detainees.
-- How Democratic leaders could justify their irresponsible call for a specific withdrawal timetable for Iraq without playing into the terrorists' hands.
-- Why most of those Democrats, when Republicans called their bluff, were afraid to back up their destructive rhetoric with their vote.
-- The Democrats' conspicuous inability or unwillingness to offer a single alternative plan for Iraq, though they ceaselessly condemn President Bush's policies on it.
-- Why senators who voted for the Patriot Act are now refusing to reauthorize it despite the lack of a credible case that the administration has abused its authority or compromised civil liberties.
-- How Democrat Senators can complain about the government's failure to connect the dots concerning the terrorists' 9/11 plot and at the same time take action that will virtually guaranty our inability to connect future dots.
-- On what basis Sen. Harry Reid charges that the present Congress is "the most corrupt in history."
-- The remarkable progress in Iraq of the training of Iraqi security forces and the rebuilding of the Iraqi infrastructure.
-- The positive morale of the American troops in Iraq despite the endless distortions of the MSM and Democratic politicians.
-- The robustness and resilience of the American economy under President Bush.
The MSM has been largely silent or slanted on these stories, along with many others that don't support their preferred template.
Yet, in the face of this evidence, the MSM mostly deny their bias. What's scary is that many of them actually believe they aren't biased, which is as much a result of self-deception as deception of others.
This is because they operate in the type of stifling bubble they believe envelops President Bush. They surround themselves only with people who share their decidedly leftist, secular worldview. They harbor a myopic arrogance that regards contrary opinion as aberrant, perverse and evil. They oppose at all costs anything that advances that worldview, including the dissemination of the truth.
Thus, their professed allegiance to the truth must yield to their jaded perception of the higher good. Their pretense toward objectivity must be subordinated to their desired political ends.
This explains their concerted suppression of the undeniable historic significance of the Iraqi elections in favor of their timed release of the story on the surveillance scandal. It explains CBS's John Roberts' obliviousness to how he embarrassed himself in asking President Bush -- on the heels of this remarkable news about the burgeoning Iraqi government -- to confess his worst mistake in office.
While I am mindful and appreciative of the profound counterbalancing impact of the New Media in the interest of truth, we must remember that the MSM are still alive and kicking and hellbent on shaping the news and public opinion in conformity with their worldview.