The mainstream news media, derided by some critics as liberally biased, actually overemphasizes the importance of religious conservatives, according to findings announced by two progressive-oriented groups based in Washington.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser in the Carter administration, believes that the Bush administration’s use of the term “war on terror” has created a culture of fear that’s had “a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America’s psyche and on U.S. standing in the world” (Washington Post, March 25).
The Dallas Morning News recently received the Religion Communicators Council award for the nation’s best religion section. It was the 10th time in 11 years that the News had won, and it has reaped similar prizes in annual Religion Newswriters Association contests.
“It's never been easy to make ends meet while putting out a progressive Christian publication. But in an ironic twist, a re-energized religious left may be making a tough task even harder. . . . At least five progressive periodicals—including four with a 30-plus-year publishing history—have either disbanded or undergone a radical makeover in the past three years.”
Conservative critics have claimed victory over the pulling of a fledgling prime-time TV program depicting an Episcopal priest with a host of family problems who held long conversations with a seemingly hip Jesus.
Advocacy groups say plans of cable television companies to offer family-friendly programming packages are flawed and designed to thwart consumers from getting what they really want: à la carte sales, in which subscribers pick and choose their channels.
Newsweek magazine’s cover story “Bush in the Bubble” (December 10) features an image of the president trapped inside a bubble. It’s an insightful story that does not go far enough. It is not just the president who is in a bubble: a substantial number of Americans are floating in a bubble too. For that we can thank the establishment media, including Newsweek.
When photographs of Saddam Hussein in his underwear were printed in the New York Post and the London Sun, President Bush told the Associated Press: “I don’t think a photo inspires murderers. These people are motivated by a vision of the world that is backward and barbaric.” Then he added, “I think the insurgency is inspired by their desire to stop the march of freedom.”
Columnists have the luxury of saying what mainstream media often ignore or brush aside. Within journalistic limits of fairness, accuracy and good taste, the columnist gets to stop and stare at the underside of news reports, which explains why columnists are especially valuable in a polarized political environment.