Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Is There a Unwritten Rule for Media that "Liberal" Commentators Must See Both Sides While "Conservative" Commentators Are Allowed to See Only One?

You have seen it time and time again with "talking heads" on cable and broadcast shows. The conservative on the show is rude, totally fixated on getting his or her points across, while the show's token liberal is some person who is quick to see "both sides" of an issue. So you get commentatory from the conservative how great Bush is while the liberal says things like "well, I can see why you think he is great, and he has done some good things, but, all in all, I think he is not as great as you think" or some other bs like that. Which leads us to this question: is it because of the personalities involved or is it a intentional choice made by the producers of the show?

And you don't just see this in TV shows. You see it in print media, too. Take the Washington Post. Their two liberals, Richard Cohen and E.J. Dionne, aren't nearly as partisan as Robert Novak by himself. Robert Novack has never seen a Republican do a bad thing in his life, unless it is to try and reach out to Democrats or, heaven forbid, suggest that income tax cuts aren't needed. Meanwhile, Cohen and Dionne are bending over backwards to show how fair they are to Republicans.

We want to know why TV shows and papers can't have fire-breathing liberals on to balance the fire-breathing conservatives. Surely there are liberals and progressives who can match the intensity of people like Novak. So why aren't they getting airtime? Is it "them", TV producers and publishers, or is it "us", liberals and progressives?

No comments: