The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 February 2004

What's left?

Vinny Ferrari has been listening to the radio again, and he's detected what Susanna Cornett (gawd, I miss her) might call "framing bias", pointing out that ABC's coverage of the San Francisco gay-marriage imbroglio was a tad less than evenhanded:

I noticed [Peter] Jennings repeatedly referred to the court challenge of the mayor's allowance and the legality of the unions as being led by "conservative" groups, and even heard right wing being bandied about on another station.

However, no one referred to the gays being married or the people cheering them on as left wing or liberal.

I don't think that this is necessarily a liberal (in the present-day sense) cause, and indeed most of the opposition is coming from conservatives, but his basic point — that in Big Media, conservatives are almost always identified as such, suggesting that they're somehow a departure from the norm — seems pretty sound. I got a whiff of it yesterday during NPR's coverage of the Iranian elections, which they cast as a clash between the "right wing" and the "reformers" — as though reform in Iran was something engineered by the left.

And similarly, if you hear the phrase "public-interest group" on the radio, eight times out of ten they'll be talking about liberals.

Posted at 10:35 AM to Political Science Fiction


its fair considering that right wing attitudes and conservativism is an anti-liberal movement and one that has been on the decline for the last 300 years, with the right wing fellows here in the US finding themselves in the same bed as people like the taliban and the guardian council of Iran.

Its not good company, and its fair to say that in a country like America, founded on liberal principles, to call conservatives what they are.

Posted by: bruce at 12:56 AM on 22 February 2004

I don't have any problem calling conservatives what they are; I just want the liberals to be similarly identified.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:49 AM on 22 February 2004

the right wing fellows here in the US finding themselves in the same bed as people like the taliban and the guardian council of Iran.

Right, bruce -- that's why you've been beheaded for your seditious slander of the regime.

What? You haven't? Well, that couldn't possibly mean you're wrong or anything.

Posted by: McGehee at 10:34 AM on 22 February 2004