As usual, Jeff Jacoby from the Boston Globe nails it:
With the exception of the Fox News Channel, the liberal tilt of the mainstream media – the major newspapers, the networks, National Public Radio, the news magazines – has long been a fact of American life. No one observing the coverage of this year’s presidential campaign with both eyes open can have much doubt that the media establishment is pulling heavily for the Democratic ticket.
That explains why, for example, the intense media interest in George W. Bush’s National Guard records last February wasn’t matched by an equally intense interest in John Kerry’s Navy history in May, when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth first went public with their criticisms. Far from leaping on the charges that Kerry’s Vietnam heroism had been greatly exaggerated, the mainstream media’s initial reaction was to largely ignore them. And while the press saw no reason to question the credibility of Bush’s accusers or to demand that Kerry repudiate them, their attitude toward the Swift Boat vets has been much more hostile.
None of this should come as a surprise. The nation’s newsrooms are Democratic strongholds, and that cannot help but affect their coverage of the news. Evan Thomas, the assistant managing editor of Newsweek, put it plainly last month.
“Let’s talk a little media bias here,” he said on the PBS program “Inside Washington” on July 11. “The media, I think, want Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards . . . as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there’s going to be this glow about them that is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.” Just how lopsided is the pro-Kerry bias? When New York Times reporter John Tierney surveyed reporters covering the Democratic National Convention last month, the results were striking.
I’ve never seen an instance of media bias more striking than I have over the Bush/AWOL vs. Kerry/Vietnam stories. Unbelievable.
Well, I take that back. It’s very believable.