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October 09, 2004

Another Memo Proves Political Bias

It appears that the liberal media is getting closer to taking the advice of conservatives and simply admitting they're liberals, and that their coverage is necessarily and sometimes deliberately skewed to the left.

It's pretty mind-blowing, actually:

We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides 'equally' accountable when the facts don't warrant that," the memo continued.

"It's up to Kerry to defend himself, of course. But as one of the few news organizations with the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the candidates are saying to serve the public interest, now is the time for all of us to step up and do that right."

Let us postulate that Halperin is an honest man, or is at least not conscious of any dishonest motives he may have. This memo is the smoking-gun that proves that the liberal media simply cannot, as they claim, report the news neutrally.

Halperin's assumption is that Bush's alleged "distortions" are much worse than Kerry's. That assumption is certainly a politically-sensitive one. Certainly I don't share it, and if you're reading this blog, you probably don't either.

The tricky thing about logic and reasoning and argumentation is that, as formalistic as a piece of formal logic might be, it almost always relies, at its base, upon inherently unproveable assumptions which are just something one believes in one's gut. Even mathematics relies on numerous key assumptions which haven't yet been proved (and, in a couple of cases, upon assumptions which by their own implications cannot ever be proven-- they can only be accepted provisionally, with all logic flowing therefrom).

Even the common dictionary is, at its heart, built unavoidably upon assumptions. It's been noted, for example, that there is no good definition for the word "word" -- all definitions of "word" are ultimately just tautologies which use the word "word" in order to define the word "word."

Reporters can claim -- certainly incorrectly and probably often dishonestly -- that their logic and reasoning and analysis proceeds, to the extent possible, along non-partisan and neutral tracks. But they cannot avoid the fact that all that analysis is built inevitably upon a foundation of assumptions -- nearly all of them liberal -- which they cannot prove and in fact are utterly unproveable. They don't even attempt to prove these assumptions, probably for the disingenuous reason that attempting to prove these assumptions would reveal, in piercing starkness, that these assumptions exist in the first place.

And that's something they will just never admit.

Halperin thinks that Bush's "distortions" are more important than, say, John Kerry's obvious demogoguery on recruiting additional "allies" to sacrifice blood and treasure to do America's (and Iraq's) job for us. Can he explain why he believes that to be the case -- and, more importantly, prove in objective terms that that is in fact the case? Of course he can't, and he dares not try. Instead, he just circulates an internal memo -- meant for liberal eyes only, of course -- instructing his liberal colleagues to act upon the assumptions they all know in their bones are true.

And yet which cannot be proven.

Halperin will of course just claim that he's trying to give ABCNews' audience the (dubious) benefit of his professional news judgment. But that gives the game away, doesn't it? For years the media has attempted to explain away liberal bias as simple, neutral, objective "news judgment." What they seem to mean is that the fact that they went to journalism school, and work in in the paid legacy media, gives them some special insight on "the truth," especially with regard to matters political, an insight apparently not to be found quite so well developed among any other class of Americans.

And furthermore, we now see that "news judgment" is just a euphemism for "liberal political assumptions."

The full memo is here, republished by the indispensible Drudge.

Now, Matt: This is a hurricane. Or a "hellstorm," as you like to say.

Thanks to Ron for bringing this to my attention.

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posted by Ace at 12:33 PM

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