New Media Claims Bragging Rights
by Carey Roberts --show me more like this
in Rathergate Flap
When anchorman Dan Rather dropped the bombshell about George Bush's National Guard service, little did he expect it would trigger a crisis of confidence at CBS News. But once people began to compare Dan Rather's performance to the antics of former president Richard Nixon, CBS knew it would have to abandon its strategy of plausible deniability.
When people believe that their news is no longer balanced or objective, they begin to look elsewhere. That "elsewhere" has come to be known as the New Media, the thousands of internet sites that have sprung into existence in the past 10 years.
And it was the internet bloggers who hammered away at the obvious forgeries in the fake memos. They tracked down the source of the documents. And it was they who insisted that Rather come clean with an apology.
But Mr. Rather was not the person who did the legwork on the ill-fated 60 Minutes II show. That task fell to producer Mary Mapes. She's the one who researched the story and obtained the four fake memos.
One would expect a 60 Minutes producer to be highly objective in her work. But recently Mary's father, Don, appeared on KVI radio in Seattle. When asked about the 60 Minutes brouhaha, Mr. Mapes described his daughter as "a typical liberal. She went into journalism with an ax to grind, and that was to promote radical feminism." (www.talonnews.com/news/2004/september/0917_cbs_producer_pressure.shtml
So much for journalistic objectivity.
It's no secret that the fem-liberal worldview permeates the Old Media. The Sisterhood doesn't even bother to deny it any more. Here's Susan Winston, former executive producer of Good Morning America: "We were feminists. We were liberals, and most of us still are."
The feminist-driven media rigidly cleaves to three rules in its coverage of gender issues:
1. Portray women as deserving virtually limitless rights, with no corresponding responsibilities. 2. Whenever possible, present men as bumbling fools. If they also can be shown to be abusive clods, so much the better. 3. Never depict men as victims or being treated unfairly.
Take articles about missing persons. People don't normally consider this to be a gender issue.
But a recent Fox News article carried this provocative headline: "Missing Women Grab Headlines, But What About the Men?" (www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,122398,00.html) The article rattled off the list of women whose disappearances have gripped the nation in recent years, and then posed the question, "But where are all the missing young men?"
Another story at MSNBC raised the same unsettling question (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5325808). Missing men, especially those who are Black, seemingly don't rate as much media attention as young, white females.
How can any journalist in good conscience write a story on missing persons, and then spin the article to pander to the only-women-count mindset?
The New York Times is one of the most dependable sources of Ms.-Information. Previous columns have documented how the New York Times has portrayed men in a negative light (mensnewsdaily.com/archive/r/roberts/03/roberts062103.htm, biased its coverage of gender health issues (mensnewsdaily.com/archive/r/roberts/03/roberts052103.htm), and worked covertly with pro-feminist legislators in the Senate to influence national legislation (mensnewsdaily.com/archive/r/roberts/03/roberts052703.htm).
Author Warren Farrell has come up with a novel theory to explain the media's neglect of men. He calls it the Lace Curtain, which he describes as the tendency of the media to view gender issues only from a female or feminist perspective. His book, Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say, documents the head-numbing experiences of male authors who have hit the estrogen ceiling.
And in his recent book Arrogance, reporter Bernard Goldberg recounts how CBS talk shows routinely invited radical feminists to appear as gender "experts."
Some people like to dismiss the New Media as a flaky source of news and commentary. Jonathan Klein, former vice president of CBS News, recently derided the internet bloggers as "a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing."
No doubt the fem-liberal establishment got a chuckle out of that remark. But they need to face up to this sad but obvious conclusion: When it comes to men's and gender issues, the Old Media's coverage can no longer be said to be accurate, balanced, and fair.
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