Donít Blame the Media  | American Journalism Review
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From AJR,   February/March 2009

Donít Blame the Media   

By Unknown

Dennis Lombard's letter in AJR's December/January issue is a familiar right-wing laundry list of complaints about the media. He blames us for being negative for "crying about recession starting two long years before it might arrive." More like issuing sensible warnings about the horrendous train wreck we find ourselves in now.

He says we're at the cutting edge of "moral decay." I'm not quite sure what that means, but I bet he means he's troubled that we aren't grossed out by gay people and we don't use our bully pulpits to oppose giving them equal legal rights. And maybe that we aren't losing sleep over the modern, widespread "so-what" attitude toward porn and the general coarsening of public language.

As for his complaints about coverage of the McCain campaign, I would point him to Rem Rieder's excellent column "In the Tank?" on page four of AJR's December/January issue. John McCain earned his negative coverage by running a lousy campaign, including a lousy choice for vice president. Barack Obama got plenty of tough coverage based on peripheral associations that had nothing to do with his positions or his ability to govern the country out of the ditch we're now in.

I seriously doubt a move to right-wing happy news would make any dent in the erosion of newspaper readership, but I don't think that's what all this is about anyway. The right wing has been "working the refs" for more than 30 years now, making accusations of left-wing bias where there is merely a willingness to air left-wing ideas. To quote Obama: "Enough!" Conservatives (and really the neocon wing of conservatism) rule talk radio, cable TV commentary and many newspaper op-ed pages, but it's time we realize they'll never be satisfied.

Matt Roush


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