About Media and Liberalism

Quotes from a LA Times article on editorial cartooning, all the more interesting because they are made in passing:

“I think the newspapers have taken a conservative swing — certainly to the middle of the road,” said Scheibel, 82. “You get very weak cartoons that tell you what you already know. They don’t give you a whack. I think newspapers are playing it cowardly. They don’t want the impact that will offend anybody.”


At his home down the hill from Scheibel, cartoonist Cagle begs to differ.

“Too conservative? Certainly most cartoonists are politically liberal. That’s because only the large papers hire cartoonists anymore, and they tend to be urban, liberal newspapers,” said Cagle, 51.

If I’m a liberal – as I claim – why does this bother me?

Because being cocooned in the warm embrace of a compliant liberal media is the last thing we need – as liberals – to succeed in actually making changes that impact the lives of those who we’re supposed to be doing something for.

9 thoughts on “About Media and Liberalism”

  1. AL, this is profitable.

    Consider My Name is Earl: “You mean we’re going to have a baby? And it will be my skin color, and look like me this time?”

    Liberalism is all about laughing at lower-status whites. So, that mindset is profitable. Possibly not as profitable as other business strategies, but once the LA-NY Times consolidates with the Chicago and Boston and other papers into one national liberal paper, probably somewhat profitable.

    And it’s certainly comfortable. Always easier to laugh at those you despise most — blue collar white guys.

  2. I don’t care if the media is liberal or conservative. As long as it is compliant, what difference does it make?

  3. No, Brett.

    That tells us about your bias, not the media’s. The media’s job is to speak truth to power, liberal or conservative. This post tells us AL is more concerned with ideology than compliance. I would expect this from someone who doesn’t know the difference between real and perceived bias. That is mostly Bush administration apologists. That includes much of the media.

  4. #6 from Edmund Burka

    bq. _”The media’s job is to speak truth to power, liberal or conservative.”_

    No. The media’s job is to speak verifiable truth to its readers.

    And by “verifiable truth” I mean facts open to inspection, I don’t mean stories from single anonymous sources that are treated as credible because they conform to media bias, fit into a preferred big media narrative, and support an agenda.

    I don’t mean “verified” in the sense of “it came from Lucy Ramirez, and who could doubt Lucy Ramirez?”

    Obviously political cartooning isn’t required to stick to high factual standards. It’s a different activity.

    But I think the difference of the activity is lost when nobody else is playing by the rules anyway. Where’s the _kick_ in just making stuff up if the image works, if that’s what the “reporters” are doing in allegedly serious news stories?

    Give the reporters firmly to understand that, for example, showcasing a story that John McCain long ago slept with a lobbyist, but there are no verifiable facts to back up the story, is _not fit to print_, and that reporting on John McCain losing his temper on an airplane when the video shows the contrary will not fly, and cartoonists who do have a license to make up “angry McCain” images whenever they want to will be selling a different product.

    While the headline makers continue to invent all the Al Qa’qaa they want in tense, critical situations, they will keep being _edgier_ entertainment than any cartoonist, including Ted Rall.

  5. I mean, there’s sometimes a high wire thrill to watching the big media at work. “Are they really going to get away with that? Again?”

    Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, and sometimes, as in Hezbollah reporting on the Lebanon war, they do get pinged a bit, but first they get the job done, shaping the result of the war in favor of the jihadist warriors they support.

    It’s exciting, it’s happening, it’s now, it’s in play, and sometimes blood is being shed quite directly as a result of corrupt reporting. As anyone knows who has seen a crowd laugh at the littlest thing if it breaks the tension at a tight point in a big tennis match, tension makes for funnies.

    Cartoonists generally can’t keep up with the tension level of a blood libel like the Muhammad al-Durrah hoax.

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