Walter E. Williams
Major media people have values unlike most other Americans. Former CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg documents that in his best-seller, "Bias." Eighty-nine percent of Washington journalists voted for Clinton in 1992, compared to just 43 percent of non-journalists; 23 percent of the public described themselves as liberal, compared to 55 percent of journalists; 49 percent of the public is pro-choice, whereas 82 percent of journalists are; 75 percent of the public favors the death penalty, compared to 47 percent of journalists. The differences go on and on. While the media elite differ significantly from the average American, their level of dishonesty and leftist bias is appalling. Goldberg addressed this concern in a meeting with Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News. Since CBS does so many investigative reports, Goldberg wanted to do one on media bias. "Look, Bernie," Heyward said, "of course there's a liberal bias in the news. All the networks tilt left." When the meeting ended, Heyward warned, "If you repeat any of this, I'll deny it." Andy Triay, a producer at the Miami bureau of CBS News, was covering a story of two white men who abducted a black man and later doused him with gasoline and set him ablaze. Triay scripted the victim as a black man in an e-mail to his bosses at "CBS Evening News" in New York. A senior producer told him to change the description from black to African-American. Triay told the producer that the man was from Jamaica. The producer said, "Change it to African-American or the story doesn't get on the air." Triay made the change. Then there's liberal hate-speech. In reference to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Julianne Malveaux, USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host, said, "You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter, and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease." Nina Totenberg, ABC news reporter said about Sen. Jesse Helms, "I think he ought to be worried about what's going on in the Good Lord's mind, because if there's retributive justice, he'll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it." A bride who had been jilted at the altar was asked by Katie Couric on her NBC show about the appropriate remedy: "Have you considered castration as an option?" The numerous examples of bias and dishonesty that Goldberg cites are just too numerous to be errors and slips of the tongue. They represent a generalized arrogance and contempt for the ordinary citizen. Some of the contempt for the ordinary American is seen -- not mentioned in Goldberg's book, but I've encountered it -- in their reference to their viewers as "Joe & Mary Six-pack." That is, explain it so that dumb "Joe & Mary Six-pack" will understand. What's the solution to major media bias? The free market is taking care of it. According to the Nielsen ratings, in the 1979-80 season, 75 percent of all television sets turned on in the early evening were set to ABC, NBC or CBS news. Today, their audience share has fallen to 43 percent. When Walter Cronkite turned over the CBS Evening News to Dan Rather, it was in first place. Now CBS is in last place, having lost half of its ratings. Americans are responding to major media bias and dishonesty by voting with their remote controls, and a beneficiary has been FOX News, whose motto is "fair and balanced." Obviously, Goldberg is no longer with CBS. His career's death knell sounded when he wrote a Wall Street Journal editorial exposing shameless media hypocrisy, arrogance and bias back in 1996. That tells us just how appreciative the media elite are of free speech and differences of opinion.

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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