New Prager University Video: Proving Media Bias

Check out the latest video from Dennis Prager’s fantastic Prager University series. Here, UCLA Political Science Professor  Tim Groseclose (author of Left Turn: How Liberal Media Distorts the American Mind) “explains his peer-reviewed study, which quantifies how slanted America’s news media really is. He says that if it were not for the media’s significant leftward bias, Americans would almost certainly vote more conservative.”

New at Live Action – Kansas Judges in Hot Water for Donating to Pro-Life Cause

A bit of a scandal is brewing in Kansas over two sitting judges, Eric Yost and Jeffrey Goering, who have each donated $100 to the Kansans for Life PAC, yet have not recused themselves from abortion-related cases. This is perfectly legal in Kansas, but not everyone is satisfied:

“Judges are held to the highest conduct standards, and they should be,” said Adam Skaggs, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school. “The best practice is going to be to avoid contributing to political organizations because of the inevitable appearance of partiality that those kinds of donations create.”
Kansas Sen. John Vratil, a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and an attorney, said he wants to examine the state’s rule for political contributions by judges.
“It can’t be good for the judiciary because it reflects on their impartiality,” Vratil said.
While the Kansas Code of Judicial Ethics broadly prohibits activities that appear to present a conflict of interest, it also specifically allows judges chosen in partisan elections – as Yost and Goering were – to make contributions to political organizations “at any time.”

The federal court system’s Code of Conduct forbids judges from contributing to specific parties and candidates for office, but doesn’t explicitly say they can’t donate to issue-based organizations.
Read the rest at Live Action.

The Educator’s Oath – How Times Have Changed

I just came across the “The Educator’s Oath,” written by Robert L. DeBruyn. Passages of special relevance have been emphasized:

I solemnly pledge to dedicate my life to the science of teaching.
I will give to those who are or have been my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due.
I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity; the well-being of my students will be my primary concern always.
I will honor the position of parents and uphold public trust.
I will maintain by all the means in my power the honor of my profession. I will respect the privacy of students;
I will teach toward meeting the individual needs and abilities of students.
I will accept all engaged in education and regard all as my colleagues;
I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics, social standing, or the monetary rewards received from my labors to intervene between my duty and my students.
I will maintain utmost respect for human dignity and human values, and I will hold human caring and consideration as the fundamental value in the student-teacher relationship.
I make this promise solemnly, freely, and upon my oath for as long as I am engaged in education.

Lovely sentiments. It’s a shame the public education establishment no longer believes in them.

Journolist Leak Confirms What Everybody Already Knew

In a sense, today’s revelation that numerous American journalists conspired to spike serious coverage of Barack Obama’s long friendship with America-hating bigot Jeremiah Wright isn’t really remarkable – this has been standard operating procedure for the mainstream media for ages. It is, however, rare to have these hacks admitting it in their own words, and catching them dead to rights is obviously helpful in convincing those still on the fence that the MSM isn’t trustworthy.

NewsReal’s Michael Van Der Gailen:

Leftists clearly believe that politics is war. They call conservatives racists, not because they are, but because it harms their reputation beyond repair, after which it’s fairly easy to beat them in elections. Conservatives have to be destroyed – no matter how.

NRB’s Paul Cooper:

Tomasky has often written for the hard Left and even once spoke at a Socialist conference, but as editor of Guardian America shouldn’t he be someone who isn’t pushing for silencing other journalists? (Ironically in 2003 Tomasky wrote a heralded piece attempting to prove that the liberal press wrote articles far more “civil” and “non-partisan” than conservative leaning press.)

On “Hannity,” Tucker Carlson just said the Daily Caller’s gonna break more news on the story tomorrow. Let the games begin…

Media Bias Consumption

Editorial: Another ‘451’ lesson: As mainstream media struggles, democracy wanes

As Fond du Lac Reads! reaches its closing chapter, we stand in awe of author Ray Bradbury’s fortune-telling capabilities.

In his “Fahrenheit 451” masterwork, he envisioned a culture in which literature — and, by extension, serious journalism — are as obsolete as the democracy that once relied upon them.

We take that message seriously. The names you see at the top of this page represent the editorial board of this newspaper, and not one of us lives in a gilded ivory tower. We are quite aware of the public’s perception of what we do and how we do it, day in and day out.

Depending on whom you ask, The Reporter is either too liberal for conservatives OR too conservative for liberals; either pandering to the needs of minority communities OR not sensitive enough to the increasingly diverse face of Fond du Lac; either spending too much time focused on outlying communities OR ignoring everyone but our urban center. The paradoxes seem endless.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard this line! Media lefties love to turn criticisms against themselves into “he said/she said” affairs: who’s to say who’s right?

In short, our daily newspaper is confronting the same challenges faced by every other “traditional media” outlet in the country, if not the world — from the New York Times to the local evening broadcast. It is the bane of any news gathering organization that tries to appeal to a broad swath of the public at a time when “custom,” “niche” and “segmentation” are the new buzzwords of choice.

Indeed, the hunger for information, entertainment (and their devilish offspring “infotainment”) has never been higher.

What has changed — what Bradbury so wisely foresaw — is the way in which consumers want it presented. Objectivity, be damned:

– Those on the left end of the political spectrum can read The Progressive or Mother Jones, tune in to the BBC or Air America each night and, perhaps, read Anna Quindlen’s latest novel. Nary a right-leaning thought need ever enter their heads.

– Those on the far right can consume The Weekly Standard or The American Spectator, savor the witticisms of Rush Limbaugh, enjoy the Fox News Network and kick back with Ann Coulter’s most recent opus. Any whiff of liberalism can be scrubbed from their existence.

Calling the Fox News CHANNEL a right-wing venue actually exposes that the Reporter editorial staff does indeed have a liberal bias. For one thing, FNC’s resident “conservative” Bill O’Reilly
believes in global warming & denounced the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. For another, they employ more than a few liberals & other pundits who clearly aren’t conservative: Geraldo Rivera, Alan Colmes, Greta Van Susteren, Mort Kondracke, Mara Liasson, Nina Easton, Neal Gabler, Jane Hall…Fox Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, commonly offers legal interpretations unfavorable to the Right. Fox’s straight reporting does give both sides of the story, and with regular guests like Jane Fleming, Bob Beckel, Wesley Clark, Ellis Henican, Laura Schwartz, Al Sharpton, Jonathon Turley, and that Farrakhan henchthug who’s on Hannity & Colmes all the time, the Left is always amply represented.

And, for the first time in U.S. history, individuals on both sides of the socio-political spectrum can spend a lifetime without having exposure to a thought, notion, idea or position that in any way offends their sensibilities.

This, of course, is an exciting prospect from a consumer point of view. Imagine a world where niche after niche after niche is tailored specifically to our personal biases, thus freeing us from having to cope with anything that might be “disconcerting” or “off-putting.”

hit this nail on the head: “No doubt there are some who read, or watch, only things that agrees with their point of view. However, any reasonably intelligent conservative also reads the ‘other side’.” Also, most conservative commentary I’m aware of tackles the Left’s arguments head-on.

God forbid we wrestle with any issues that might make our days — how shall we put this? — less pleasant. Indeed, why sweat the future of Social Security when, oh, we can get live graveside coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s burial?

As Ray Bradbury presciently stated in his 1953 novel: “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him: give him one. Better yet, give him none … “

As the segmenting of America continues, we fear the loss of the proverbial “town square,” that safe place where neighbors of all creeds, beliefs and stripes can converge to exchange ideas and weigh them in a civil manner. (Too many nightly news shows suggest that the “winners” of such debates aren’t those with the best arguments, but the pundits who yell the loudest).

Ah, the obligatory “Loudmouth O’Reilly” slap! Has anyone at the Reporter even sat through an entire episode of the Factor?

Simply put, “Fahrenheit 451” foresaw the death of “we, the people” when individual citizens only care about “I, the person.”

Indeed, the novel’s cautionary message rings more true today than it did more than a half century ago.

And if that doesn’t frighten you, it should.