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December 05, 2007

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Perhaps Bartlett would agree with your headline that the media are not biased, but that's not what he said. First of all, his remark was limited to a single issue, whether Bush was "lying" about weapons of mass destruction.

But more importantly, what he said was that the media wasn't "purposely doing it." I'd argue that one can be very biased but not be doing it purposely. As an example, for far too many generations white Americans treated blacks terribly. Much of that behavior wasn't purposeful, it was reflective of unconscious attitudes. But that didn't make it any less biased.

Disparate treatment doesn't have to rise to the level of consciousness to be biased. My complaint about much of the media has been that they are so far in the box, they don't know there is a box. They unthinkingly repeat and promote the ideas that have currency among their milieu. What is needed is a little consciousness-raising, so that their journalistic principle of fair treatment can be purposefully applied.

Rob, while the question is about WMD, his response is to a wider, un-asked question,

"Look, I get asked the question all the time: How do you deal with them when they’re all liberal? I’ve found that most of them are not ideologically driven."

Rob - do you mean because journalists are secular humanists (in general) they have a "hidden bias" ?

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