The Public Interest

The media we deserve

Mark Blitz

Spring 2005

THE media in the United States have been under close scrutiny since at least the Vietnam War. People began to notice that journalists did not merely report events, but shaped them and our attitude toward them. Television was especially praised or blamed for galvanizing opposition to the war. It was then that Vice President Spiro Agnew began the conservative attack on the press, which made his eventual downfall such a pleasure for liberal journalists everywhere. And the problem of media bias has not gone away with time. Charges were made after the 2000 presidential race that television networks prematurely declared their favorite--A1 Gore--the winner. During the 2004 campaign, CBS anchor Dan Rather gave air time to obviously concocted documents that were meant to harm President Bush’s campaign. Today, three quarters of Americans say that reporters show political bias: 50 percent believe it to be a liberal bias, 25 percent a conservative one.

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