What media bias?
When reporters admit bias or when polls -- like the recent one by The Pew Research Center -- show that reporters are four to five times more likely to self-describe as liberal vs. conservative, media defenders use their fallback argument. Elaine Povich, for example, former Capitol Hill reporter for the Chicago Tribune, said, "One of the things about being a professional is that you attempt to leave your personal feelings aside as you do your work."
Consider Bruce Morton's recent CNN piece. He compared Vice President Dick Cheney to Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., just chosen as Sen. John Kerry's, D-Mass., running mate: "Well, they're different. Boy, are they different. Vice President Cheney -- Mr. Inside, Mr. War (emphasis added), once an aide to young Congressman Donald Rumsfeld, was President Gerald Ford's chief of staff, was a congressman, was the first President Bush's secretary of defense, was -- well, you get the idea. Believes in secrecy, believes in a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein (emphasis added), whether the 9/11 Commission agrees with him or not."
CNN's "American Morning" anchor compared an upcoming Kerry campaign speech to one being given on the same day by President George W. Bush: "President Bush heads to the swing state of Florida today. He'll be in Tampa appealing to conservative voters (emphasis added) with an address on human trafficking and then to a rally in Beckley, West Virginia. . . . And John Kerry will be in Washington speaking to the American Federation of Teachers.
He's promising full funding for the No Child Left Behind Act. Later he'll hold a rally in Arlington, Virginia." And exactly what kind of voters did Kerry aim for in his teachers union speech? "Liberal" voters, perhaps?
On the same day, "CNN Headline News" compared the two speeches: "Earlier today, in Tampa, the president addressed the Justice Department conference on human trafficking. He says it's a global problem that the U.S. must tackle head-on.
It's also an issue many conservative (emphasis added) voters say is important in November's election. . . . Bush's Democratic opponent is talking to teachers in the nation's capital today. Right now, John Kerry is addressing the American Federation of Teachers. The Democratic candidate says he would fully fund the No Child Left Behind education reforms authorized by Congress."
Wait a sec. Again, Kerry's speech before the teachers union, apparently, does not count as a pitch to his "liberal" base? And when did the issue of human trafficking concern primarily "conservatives"?