Column: Pretending the Media ‘Works Almost Entirely’ for the Right

In the Trump era — and in the media, it’s still the Trump era — there is no need to strain a mental muscle to prove journalists have a liberal bias. We find it everywhere. But there are still leftists who channel the spirit of Eric “What Liberal Media?” Alterman and claim reporters tilt inescapably to the right. Claiming a liberal bias is somehow silly nonsense.

Michael Tomasky – who not too long ago was a reporter for Newsweek – is now editor of The New Republic, and he claimed there’s an appalling double standard in the political press. Media coverage of President Biden is inherently unfair, that our media culture “has been shaped and defined by the political right, and it works almost entirely to their advantage.

The first joke is who found Hunter Biden’s stash?

Naturally, this is a complaint about Donald Trump. The Democrats are punished because they try to uphold standards and values, and the Republicans uphold nothing and get away with everything. It’s like Tomasky never watches a minute of CNN or MSNBC.

Tomasky begins with “Bidenomics,” and the gruel of his argument is so thin he’s arguing that a Washington Post piece on the subject featured four experts “favorably inclined” to Biden, and three that were hostile. That’s apparently proof of a right-wing media.

The Post is too balanced, while the “right-wing press wouldn’t utter one positive syllable” about Biden if he created an economic miracle. That’s fascinating, considering that under Trump, ABC, CBS, and NBC were allergic to reporting good economic news, like 31 new stock-market records and record-low unemployment for women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, and youth.

Tomasky then turned his complaint to the recent and limited acknowledgment that President Biden has lied routinely by claiming he has six grandchildren, leaving out four-year-old Navy Joan Roberts, who was conceived with an exotic dancer Hunter Biden met on one of his cocaine binges.

He was upset that Biden was “getting dinged” by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd because “he has made family and biography and empathy so central to his public identity, and this seems to contradict that.” This is unfair because Trump’s “personal behavior is so low, so crude, so immoral, so rife with tawdriness and sin and misogyny and you name it that nobody expects him to behave in any other way.”

Tomasky is guessing that if Trump had an unacknowledged grandchild, “I doubt Dowd would be writing any columns accusing Trump of hypocrisy.” This is ludicrous. In 2018, when porn star Stormy Daniels became all the rage with her accusations of sex with Trump, Dowd wrote a gleeful column titled “The First Porn President.” Months later, she slammed him again and his “Trumpland of Misfit Toys” in a column headlined “The Naked Truth About Trump.”  

The real complaint here is that journalists should always be Democrats first, and never allow a Democrat to be the subject of a negative report or column. Journalists should be shamed into not just two years of denying Navy Joan, but never-ending denials. 

All Biden scandals should be buried, or else the media culture is “defined by the right.” President Biden should be allowed to say he’s a “devout Catholic” fingering his rosary and running for president to restore the “soul of the nation,” and no journalist should ever expose the fraudulence of that moral pose.

Journalists like Tomasky think they stand for decency, but they won’t hold Biden to it. They think they stand for democracy, but they can’t tolerate journalism that exposes Democrats. These are important reasons why people don’t trust the media.


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