I’m currently reading an amazing book. It’s by Bernard Goldberg, former CBS News correspondent, and it’s about the liberal bias in the mainstream media. Before I get to what I’ve gleaned so far from what I’ve read I have a personal experience to share.
Two of my coworkers (I won’t say which job this happened at) got into a discussion about illegal immigration. Both of them are very young and very opinionated; one is busting her backside to work full-time and go to school nearly full-time. The other is a hard-working guy but didn’t finish college. Their conversation started out with political labels. He was of the opinion that nobody can really be labeled, that one believes what they believe despite the labels that the rest of society may place on them.
She openly identified herself as conservative, at which point he tried to correct her by telling her that she’s NOT conservative, she just lives by a certain set of beliefs and it’s really her beliefs that define her, not the label. So they get into illegal immigration, and she talked a little bit about her views–at which point he immediately branded her a racist for her views. He then dropped what he was doing to go to another person and announce to them that he thought she was a racist.
I shudder sometimes to think what he’d say about me if he knew what I believe. My beliefs are similar, if not just a tad more harsh. But I found it interesting that he refused to accept being labeled as “liberal” and told her not to “confine herself” to being labeled “conservative” right before he rubber-stamped her forehead with a big, red RACIST label.
All because she believed that the rule of law should be observed and amnesty should never be given to people who have already broken the law.
Here’s where the book ties in. Goldberg was deep in CBS and was best friends with the likes of Dan Rather, Andy Rooney and other news superstars for over two decades when, in 1996, he got fed up with the bias he saw in his news organization and wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal about it. For years, he’d been voicing his concerns of how badly twisted the MSM had become in believing they really weren’t violating journalistic ethics and had met brick walls. Now, those brick walls admitted that there was bias, but they basically told him he needed to back off.
He brings up an amazing point, one I hadn’t considered before. After the piece was published, he found himself drowning in a shitstorm the likes of which he’d never dreamed of. In a slightly heated debate about it with “The Dan” (as he calls Dan Rather in the book), he asked Rather how he’d describe the New York Times. Rather said, “middle-of-the-road.” The Times, one of the most liberal rags in the country? Yep. You will never read a piece in that paper critical of abortion rights, anti-death penalty advocates, Democrat lawmakers or anti-war protesters. And Rather, like many colleagues, called it “middle-of-the-road.”
It brings to mind a thought that I hadn’t really found a description for. Most liberals don’t realize that they’re really liberal; they see themselves as mainstream. I’ve often griped here about the names we get called: “intolerant!” “bigots!” “racists!” “neocons!” And my personal favorite, “you guys must be a bunch of self-loathing closet cases! How can you be conservative and be gay? It’s like a Jew calling himself a Nazi!”
To any rational, thinking person (even to some of the folks I know who identify as liberal), that is the height of intolerance. But, I’ve just figured out something very important. Liberals don’t need to be tolerated–because they’re not really liberal. They’re the mainstream. They’re middle-of-the-road, progressive, forward-thinking, and they don’t need to be tolerated because they see themselves as the only reasonable members of society.
In 1972, Richard Nixon beat the unholy snot out of George McGovern (I flubbed that one and had to change it–Mel). He won 49 states while Mondale only took ONE. A normally brilliant film critic named Pauline Kael proves a point here with what she said: “I can’t believe it! I don’t know a single person who voted for him!”
That statement spotlights just how out-of-touch the mainstream media has long been with the rest of American society. CBS, ABC and NBC are run by people who think the things I have just described…that they understand what America wants to hear and that makes it perfectly okay to abandon journalistic ethics to pass live editorials off as unbiased news. If they really understand us, then please explain why Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Tammy Bruce, Michelle Malkin and Laura Schlessinger have enjoyed so much popularity.
I work with plenty of people like that young man I described above. Some refuse to give me a second thought because they know that I identify as conservative and they see me as a traitor. It only proves how those who demand tolerance are incapable of being tolerant, and how they think they don’t need it.
Yet because I refuse to toe the party line, I’m arrogant. I’m a racist. I’m a self-loathing closet case. I’m a traitor. I’m intolerant.
I’m not LIBERAL.
(Bernard Goldberg is an author well worth reading. I’ll most certainly be buying the rest of his books; click here to find his work on Amazon.)