Published On: Sun, Jan 29th, 2012

Media Elites Skeptical about Extent of Media Bias

There are certain undeniable truths in life that most everyone not in recovery or denial can agree with.

Examples include facts like these:

  • the sun rises in the East,
  • the earth revolves around the sun
  • the media has a liberal bias.

Everyone that is, except for members of the liberal media themselves.

The other day, the Media Research Center held a telephone news conference so that MRC President Brent Bozell could announce the launch of the “Tell The Truth! 2012” campaign, an ambitious undertaking designed to “document, expose and neutralize severe liberal bias in the reporting of the 2012 election campaign.”

A well known conservative media watch group, the MRC expects to spend $5 million to highlight and combat the obvious: how the mainstream media is “covering up the failures of the Obama presidency and attacking every Republican presidential candidate one-by-one.” Bozell described the campaign’s purpose as an attempt to counter  “an onslaught of character assassination against anyone who dares to challenge Obama.”

A $5 million spend to combat the media juggernaut in a year when the Obama campaign has boasted that they expect to spend $1 billion (!) to re-elect the unpopular president may seem like a Quixotic effort where those precious dollars could be lost like grains of salt on the beach. Despite the daunting challenge, however, the effort promises to incorporate certain cheerful aspects of guerrilla theater that should help stretch and add bang to the buck, and has already started to take affect.

CNN's Erin Burnett chats with Ari Fleischer before this past week's Jacksonville debate, unaware of the Media Research Center message visible in the background.


Bozell said that hundreds of thousands of “Don’t Believe the Liberal Media” bumper stickers, signs and buttons will be distributed, and that road signs and mobile billboards with the same message will be in evidence nation wide. As part of what he called “the largest social media effort ever undertaken by conservatives via facebook, twitter, email” and their own media platform, MRCTV will be, Bozell promised that “over one million Americans will participate.”

“Our demand to the press is simple: tell the truth. Be fair, honest and honorable. The rules that pertain to one side must pertain to the other. No more efforts to elect one candidate and defeat the other. Those days are officially over. In short, this is our message to the left wing, so-called news media: To the degree you try to tilt this election, we’ll be there, documenting, exposing and neutralizing your efforts. The reason you’re losing your audience by the millions is because of your bias. You may continue at your own peril. Fasten your seat belts folks. We’re coming after you.”

We Listen In

In our role as political voyeurs and commentators, on Thursday These New Times was invited to call in and participate in the conference call where Bozell made his official announcement of the campaign in advance of the release of the embargoed video announcement, joining luminaries from Broadcasting and Cable, the Associated Press, The American Spectator and other well known media outlets. In the course of the Q&A following Bozell’s remarks, a question by Beth Fouhy of the AP caught us up short.

Ms. Fouhy questioned the very premise of the MRC campaign, and referenced an October 2011 report by the PEW Research Center that suggested that of all the  candidates, it was Obama who had received the most negative coverage in the first five months of the 2012 campaign.

The fact that the President presiding over the rapid disintegration of the American economy, society and political structure because of his missteps and calculated actions might engender negative reviews from even an infatuated press corps, and that such coverage is fundamentally different from digging up stories about who Mrs. Santorum dated 30 years ago, or what Gingrich’s bitter ex-wife had to say about the wreckage of a marriage 20 years past seemed not to have occured to her.

We don’t know Ms. Fouhy but are sure that she is a qualified professional and a lovely woman. One suspects that what a majority of Americans consistently perceive as the liberal media’s slant on the news is just what Ms. Fouhy and her peers perceive as a normal and level playing field.

That she is a hereditary member of that same liberal media elite should not go unmentioned.

Fouhy is a graduate of Oberlin College and was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2001-2002. Prior to joining the AP in 2003, she spent 13 years at CNN during the days when it was known as the “Clinton News Network” and before it passed the baton of lunatic leftism to it’s successor, MSNBC. Of further interest is the fact that her father is Ed Fouhy, who was a Founding Director of the Pew Center for Civic Journalism.

Her dad’s elite media bona fides are similarly impeccable. He was an associate producer at CBS News in 1966, Saigon bureau chief at the height of the Vietnam war, and then the senior Washington producer of the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” during the Watergate era. Eventually he became CBS News Washington Bureau Chief, and then a CBS News Vice President and News Director; served as ABC News Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief and eventually became an executive producer for prime time news programs at NBC. Mr. Fouhy was also executive producer of the 1988 and 1992 presidential debates.

That’s a whole lot of journalistic firepower packed into two prestigious careers. Would it be too much to ask Ms. Fouhy or her colleagues to apply the same professional diligence used to sift through the lives of Republican challengers to find out what Obama’s graduate school thesis was about, or who his friends were at Columbia, or exactly what the real Barrack Obama was like during his tenure at Harvard?  Could someone find out who paid for his 1981 college trip to Pakistan, or what his passions were as an undergraduate, or what was his true relationship with the terrorist Bill Ayers?

Anyone casually surfing Google can find George Bush’s college transcripts, Newt Gingrich’s youthful missteps or even intimate details about Harry Truman’s young life, a president who has been dead for 40 years. How is it that journalists with advanced degrees have so little interest in similar details about Barrack Obama and so little success piercing his cloak of invisibility?

It’s almost as if they accept the puff bio promoted by David Axelrod and the Chicago machine without question.

It’s almost as if they don’t want us to know.

About the Author

- Russell Halley is a lifelong political voyeur. Halley started writing for weekly newspapers in the early 70's, and advanced to a successful career as a freelancer, having been published in several national magazines. Eventually, however, the call of commerce lured him away and he switched to circulation, working with many of the largest publishers around the world to increase readership. As an avocation, Russell has always followed and participated in the minutia of the political world, and migrated from a severe left wing point of view to conservatism. He was flattered when the San Jose Mercury News once described his style as “Republican Punk”, and prides himself on a certain expertise in this arena, with a perspective that he hopes sheds light on the issues of the day. Read more of Halley's clips here.