LAT’s Rainey: (Shouted) Fox News Is A Bunch of Shills! (Whispered: Yeah, MSNBC Is Too) (Absent: Any Reference to CNN)
How can you tell when a journalist is firmly on one side of the political spectrum, and not doing a very good job of hiding it? When left and right are doing the same thing — and the journalist slams the right, while giving a slight rebuke to the left.
For example, L.A. Times media columnist James Rainey has a piece about the tea parties that starts off with a four-paragraph slam at Fox News:
It’s a real team effort over at Fox News.
You’d expect conservative commentators like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity to be hyping today’s wave of anti-tax “tea parties.” But Fox personalities labeled “news” anchors are right there with their blessings too — one telling us the protests will focus on “how much of our hard-earned money is going to the federal government,” another assuring us the tea parties themselves are sparking economic activity.
The Fox promotions people have been pumping up the volume, with ads celebrating hundreds of rallies and citizens who are “demanding real economic solutions.” That’s in contrast, you see, to the fake solutions President Obama wants to foist on the American people.
There’s something dispiriting, though not surprising, in watching the conservative movement’s favorite news outlet shamelessly promote a political happening, while simultaneously claiming its coverage will be “fair and balanced.”
Then we get a tepid Oh, and some on the other side are also bad:
That said, some liberal media voices seem just as intent on squelching the protesters before they’ve shoveled a single bag of Lipton into a single pond. At MSNBC, commentators Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews wrote off the demonstrations as the work of nothing more than crackpots or political stooges.
The rest of the piece is like that: ranting against Fox News, and then references to Olbermann, Matthews & Co. that sound obligatory, as though Rainey realizes that failing to mention those clowns would be prima facie evidence of his ridiculous bias.
Not mentioned: CNN, a network capable of putting out sober and objective journalism like this: a reporter who goes walking through a crowd looking for nuts to pick out, to show how the whole gathering is extremist. Having found one, she then runs into someone who threatens to make a good case for the purpose of the gatherings. She shouts some leftist propaganda into his face, and when he responds, she cuts him off just as he’s getting to his point. The crowd doesn’t like how she treats him, and she plays the victim — acting as though the negative reaction to her liberal filibustering and demagoguing demonstrates what a dangerous, angry crowd this is:
Note how impressed reporter Roesgen is that Illinois is receiving a big chunk of money from the government, even as Roesgen interrupts citizens so she can repeatedly scream: “What does this have to do with taxes?” Where does she think the wonderful grant to Illinois comes from??
How about that, James Rainey?