A refreshing and fascinating column appeared today on ABCNews.com from Michael Malone, one of the few legitimate newsmen still present in the journalism industry, about the unapologetic and overwhelming media bias in this presidential election in the context of a declining industry. He points the finger, primarily, at media editors—perhaps rightfully so—but I think he goes too easy on the modern journalist and the modern journalism school.
I majored in Public Administration, but my interest in journalism led me to add an Electronic Journalism minor. Two things struck me about George Mason University’s journalism department: First, the vast majority of my classmates—people who wanted a career in journalism—didn’t actually watch the news, pay attention to world events, or know who major world leaders were. Second, the professors were extraordinarily biased against conservative media (Fox News, Wall St. Journal, etc.) and toward liberal media (New York Times, CNN, etc.) and did not hesitate to express those views and expect you to agree with them. I had one professor tell me, with a straight face, that Al Jazeera was a more fair and even-handed television news network than Fox News Channel.
Malone is part of a dying breed—journalists who see it as their responsibility to ask the hard questions of everybody, and present their answers with as little bias as possible. Malone and I agree that bias is inevitable, and human beings will always subconsciously inject their biases into the things they say and write even when they try not to, but that the recent media Obama-fest (of which he gives many examples) is unforgivable. His column is well worth the read, regardless of your political views, because a dishonest media will ultimately hurt everybody.