Media bias, big-picture views of
Paul Waldman in The American Prospect:
The charge of liberal bias had a practical purpose, to "work the refs," as Republican Party Chair Rich Bond in 1992 memorably called it. But this charge was also woven deeply into conservative ideology, such that despising the media became part of what it meant to be an American conservative, even as the media became increasingly responsive to the right.
The left didn't agree with the conservative critique, but it didn't entirely disagree, either. Liberals believed in the fundamental mission of journalism and expected journalists to hold a broadly liberal worldview. Not that reporters were actively rooting for Democrats, but liberals saw them as advocates of government openness, inclined toward rationalism and skeptical of power. Progressives may not have thought journalists were on our side, but we did believe we were on journalism's side -- and that serious, substantive, and fair reporting would make the rightness of progressive ideas clear, without intervention. This assumption turned out to be extraordinarily naive.