While much of the mainstream news media has been floating rationalizations and excuses for its failure to cover the Gosnell trial, a cynical process nicely dissected by James Taranto here, at least one liberal commentator has the integrity to admit the obvious. He is the Huffington Post’s Marc Lamont Hill, and on a live webcast, he said this:
“For what it’s worth, I do think that those of us on the left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights. Whether you agree with abortion or not, I do think there’s a direct connection between the media’s failure to cover this and our own political commitments on the left. I think it’s a bad idea, I think it’s dangerous, but I think that’s the way it is.”
We are all biased: the ethical ones among us recognize our biases and try diligently to resist them. Hill is obviously an ethical and honest man. Now if some of his colleagues on the Left, which means the vast majority of reporters, editors and journalists in print, broadcast and internet news media, will admit their biases and do the right thing, there might be cause for hope. For the phenomenon that Hill describes is dangerous, and if it controls news coverage in this instance, we must assume that it does likewise in other stories and public policy controversies as well, not to mention political campaigns. If journalists’ “political commitments” warp their coverage of abortion-related events, then it is fair and reasonable to assume that they actively protect President Obama and his policy initiatives, bolster the Democratic party, undermine support for conservative positions, and, in short, do not practice objective journalism as they are professionally and ethically obligated to do, but disguised political advocacy instead. The admission of that truth, if significant numbers of the journalism establishment share Hill’s integrity (a huge ‘if’), should trigger a crisis intervention in the profession, with its members committing to reversing this undemocratic and sinister trend that they have denied for so long.
There is no reason to think so.
Pointer: The Blaze