The Incredible Left

Scott Kauzlarich

A Journal for Western Man-- Issue XXXVI-- June 19, 2005

I'm always amazed at how strenuously liberals deny that there is any left-wing bias in the mainstream media. They seem incapable of admitting what is obvious to the non-liberal universe: that there is a pervasive slant to the left on the part of many major news sources.

And I'm really glad that Al Franken now has a radio and TV show devoted to the one-sided glorification of all things liberal. It's a breath of fresh air, it really is. Not because I agree with his socialist drivel, but because for so long I've had to endure the sanctimonious harpings of liberals who made it a point of pride that there was no "liberal Rush Limbaugh." No, as liberals they are far too clever to ever patronize someone like Rush. They're above that sort of thing, you know.

Truth be told, I was a raging liberal for many years, and this was exactly the stance I took. I never actually listened to right-wing radio, and I fumed that someone was giving aid and comfort to the enemy, but I consoled myself with delusions of intellectual superiority. So did every other liberal I knew. I suspect that some of them secretly hoped for a liberal version of Rush, and now they've got something close to it in Franken. At last, they have someone who makes no pretense of objectivity, someone as openly biased and stupid as Rush. It's good to see the left stoop to that level--go ahead boys, get your hands dirty.

See, the thing about being liberal is that you constantly have to check your true feelings and correct them so that you stay on the proper political footing. It's an exercise in self-denial. You have to smile when your tax bill comes, you can't laugh at certain jokes, and you have to feign knowledge and outrage about stuff you could really care less about. One day I finally had an epiphany and just yelled out that my taxes were a rip-off, Jesse Jackson was a regular bigot, and being liberal meant acting like a first-class wuss.

I think I still voted for Clinton that year, but it was a big step in the right direction.

The Innocence of Youth

Eventually, I came to find a home off the standard political chart in something called libertarianism. I began to challenge my old notion that the "liberal media" was a conservative bogeyman, made up to keep dim people from being progressive. Freed from my leftist blinders, I could see exactly what everyone was talking about. On issue after issue, the press was filling up people's heads with half-truths, distortions, and creepy liberal bias.

I could see that liberal defenses against the charge of media favoritism were now blatantly inept. As often as not, Democrats responded to evidence of liberal media bias by pointing out conservative bias. But that isn't a defense; it's just a red herring-and two wrongs don't make a right anyhow.

They also love to paint the whole thing as part of a vast right-wing plot to keep the people down. But again, that doesn't really answer the charge of bias. Why can't someone just show that all these examples of liberal bias are false? Because they aren't false. The Bernie Goldbergs of the world are right—there is a liberal bias and it's no harder to find than conservative bias. Dan Rather and his kind were shills after all.

I should have known—all I had to do was look in the mirror. I worked my way through college as a reporter and minored in journalism. In between studying Marx I planned for a future in the media where I could really start evening up things with greedy corporations and other evil reactionaries. And to think—I still thought the press was really doing its homework and only conservatives were party hacks. Thank goodness I mostly worked in sports where it's hard to do any real damage to the gullible.

Conservatives Bad; Liberals Worse

I have lots of disagreements with Republicans, but I rarely have to deal with their mental conceit. When tackling liberals you do; you have to break through a barrier of arrogance that tells every leftist his views are coming from a place of pristine objectivity and open-mindedness. You rarely win an argument with a liberal, even if your reasoning is more sound or your evidence more compelling. Liberals, because they think they are mentally superior to non-liberals, believe that at least part of the disagreement is due to some kind of psychological flaw that denies you the ability to see truth.

Marxists call this "false consciousness." Anyone who can't see the superiority of socialism has simply been deluded by the ownership class or some other flaw in their upbringing. It's a neat trick, which enables the Marxist to win all arguments by default, no matter how overwhelmed they are by reason or empirical data. If you roll the tape on Al Franken, Mario Cuomo, or any other liberal pundit, they will eventually get around to characterizing themselves as thinking with a fine-tipped pen while the rest of the world is drawing with crayons.

Liberals digest this self-congratulatory slop all the time and it goes quite a ways to explain why they are unable to see something so obvious as left-wing media bias. They really think that they are smarter, better informed, and more compassionate than everyone else. Thus, evidence of a liberal slant isn't an indication of bias; it's just an indication of right-mindedness.

Remember Jayson Blair? The New York Times reporter that admitted to making up his stories? When the furor died down a bit Blair went on TV and blew the whistle on the Times, admitting that the paper was overflowing with liberal activists.

The response from liberals? Why, he's obviously just making that up to save himself. I'm not sure how risking the ire of his liberal supporters saves him or what exactly he needed saving from, but at that point I start to wonder what it will take to get through to these people. When will it be clear that Michael Moore is engaged in a propaganda war? How many strikes will CBS News get? When does the pile of evidence get high enough?

The answer is it will never be high enough. If liberals allowed themselves to think too long and too hard about the fact that they are subject to just as much partisan propaganda as everyone else, their worldview might collapse. To ponder the implications of an education system and media infused with a left-wing agenda is to ponder a loss in confidence in the liberal cause.

Although they are supposedly our best and brightest, that kind of soul-searching is apparently asking too much.

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Scott Kauzlarich is a professor of Social Science at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, IA. He can be contacted at Scott.Kauzlarich@iavalley.edu.

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