Rich Tucker

Sometimes stores have “Going out of business” sales that seem to last for weeks, months, even years. At some point, customers begin to think, “Just close already.” The same process is at work in the mainstream media. Newspaper circulation is down. Papers have shut down this year in Seattle and Denver. The New York Times is threatening to close its sister paper the Boston Globe unless labor unions make major concessions.

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Network news viewership is plunging too. CBS may have thought it could save the evening news by bringing in Katie Couric, but all it really did was waste millions of dollars. The network remains in third place, and the number of people watching any of the evening newscasts continues to slide.

A recent political cartoon by John Branch in the San Antonio Express-News predicts the future but doesn’t go far enough. It shows a lone reporter eating pizza as he listens to Barack Obama at the 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner. “If present trends in the journalism industry continue…” the cartoon warns, open-endedly.

The drawing would be even more accurate if the remaining reporter was wearing an “Obama 2012” pin and openly campaigning for the president’s re-election on the air. After all, the slow decline of the MSM has been largely caused by its liberal bias. This bias was on display as never before during the last presidential election.

Recall that in Feb. 2008, The New York Times ran a front page story claiming that staffers for Sen. John McCain had been “convinced” in 2000 that he was having a “romantic” relationship with a female lobbyist 31 years his junior.

Two days later the newspaper’s public editor kinda-sorta apologized. “If McCain had been having an affair with a lobbyist seeking his help on public policy issues, and The Times had proved it, it would have been a story of unquestionable importance,” Clark Hoyt wrote. Well, yes. And if the moon was about to snap out of orbit and fly away, that would be important, too. But it isn’t.

Meanwhile, even as the newspaper of record had four reporters tracking the McCain story, the mainstream media studiously avoided Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the man who served as Barack Obama’s pastor for decades and even inspired the title of his book, “The Audacity of Hope.”

Among other controversial quotes, Wright told his congregation that the United States practiced terrorism. “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” he declared the Sunday after September 11.


Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for Townhall.com.