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About that liberal media bias

June 1, 2006
by

Let’s review recent examples of liberal media bias shall we? Let’s see… the Liberal Media:

  • thoroughly buried Judy Miller’s revelation that a senior White House official leaked intelligence to her in July 2001, indicating advance knowledge that Al Qaeda was planning an attack on American soil; and
  • quickly suffocated a Boston Globe feature on George W. Bush’s unprecedented use of signing statements (750 so far; more than all previous presidents combined) to selectively break laws he finds incovenient (and the Globe’s follow-up discovery that Cheney’s office specifically screens legislation for provisions it thinks will limit the president’s “power”); and
  • so far ignored the fact that Cheney’s office is flagrantly violating the law by not reporting the number of documents he secretly classifies; and
  • launched another character assassination of Harry Reid (same writer, John Solomon, of the Associated Press), because the first one just didn’t do the trick; and to make extra sure this sticks, they’ve edited subsequent versions to make the story even more misleading (see here, too); and
  • devoted a week of bloviating to a ridiculous profile of the Clinton marriage (see The Left Coaster on this point, too); and
  • seems to have successfully shushed up news that the NSA is also reading your email; and
  • well, you get the idea. This all makes me very tired. But that is precisely the point:

    The blogger Billmon writes: “I don’t know if it’s a byproduct of decades of excessive exposure to television, the state of America’s educational system, or something in the water, but the ability of the average journalist — not to mention the average voter — to remember things that happened just a few short months ago appears to be slipping into the abyss. “If this keeps up, we’re going to end up like the villagers in “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” who all contracted a rare form of jungle amnesia, so virulent they were reduced to posting signs on various objects — ‘I AM A COW. MILK ME’ or ‘I AM A GATE. OPEN ME’ — just so they could get on with their daily lives.”

    A 1991 science fiction film called Total Recall pictured political amnesia, in the words of Michael Rogin as “an essential aspect of the ‘postmodern American empire.'”

    A book by Andreas Huyssen takes another tack, arguing, “Rather than blaming amnesia on television or the school, “Twilight Memories” argues that the danger of amnesia is inherent in the information revolution. Our obsessions with cultural memory can be read as re-representing a powerful reaction against the electronic archive, and they mark a shift in the way we live structures of temporality.”

    But whatever the causes, the consequences are truly frightening. When 63 percent of young people can’t find Iraq on a map after three years of war and coverage, you know that the institutions that claim to be informing us are doing everything but.

    Read the rest of Danny Schecter’s “Political Amnesia is the enemy.”

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