Thursday, December 15, 2005

Cast your vote – who is more ‘in the bubble’ – George W. or Newsweek?

“Bush’s World,” reads the front cover of this week’s Newsweek. “The Isolated President: Can He Change.”

Hilarious, really.

Of course the president is isolated what with every nutcake terrorist here and abroad that would love to place flying lead in his cranium. Of course Mr. Bush is isolated – insomuch that he doesn’t read the editorials of the Washington Post and the New York Times. Of course W. is out of touch, when a steady diet of talking heads on television would only serve to place fruitless ideas of highly partisan flaks to his cognition.

But the funniest part of all of this is that two self-important writers from the media elite - Evan Thomas and Richard Wolffe of Newsweek - think that someone else – anybody else! – is “isolated” from the rest of the world. These are the same kind of guys who wonder where all these “red states” came from. And how the rest of the country can be so backward on issues like homosexual rights, full-blown abortion-on-demand, guns, traditional values and paying less to the federal government to do jobs they don’t want the federal government to do.

Maybe this president is isolated, and maybe, as the authors suggest, more than ever before in the history of the presidency. So? Effectiveness does not lie in focus groups and talking to people who leak and taking Truman-esque strolls across D.C.
But let’s just say it does, and then lets apply the same standard to the media.

The Lichter, Rothman and Lichter studies began back in the 1980’s to take the “balanced” façade off the national media. They interviewed, it will be remembered by some, 238 journalists from the entire spectrum of mass media including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS and asked them questions about their background and beliefs.

The research is old but the reality lives. Guess what? The media elite were liberals. A healthy majority even admitted it; even more admitted it of their colleagues. Half had no religious affiliation at all; only 8 percent attended church or synagogue weekly. Just 17 percent placed themselves on the conservative right of the political spectrum. Only 9 percent were convinced that homosexuality was morally wrong. Fifty-four percent saw nothing wrong with adultery; only 15 percent "strongly agreed" that extra-marital affairs were wrong. Ninety percent believed a woman should have a right to an abortion.

These were the people controlling the news flow of the nation. And that was just the start of such a raw look at our friends in the media centers of the nation. Every indices since seem to indicate much the same. Said CBS News reporter Bernard Goldberg much later in 1996: “No, we don’t sit around in dark corners and plan strategies on how we’re going to slant the news. We don’t have to. It comes naturally to most reporters.”

And such a left-of-center bent to the news, as well as a Newsweek cover that touts an out-of-touch president, does indeed come naturally to reporters, writers and editorialists. They are at least as “bubbled” as the president they mock. Oh, certainly, they don’t think they are, but recast your eyes on the statistics, know that they haven’t changed much across two and a half decades and then remember that in their own minds they are the middle of mainstream.

Can he change? I don’t know about the president, but those writing about his tenure in office from the offices of periodicals like Newsweek, well, don’t expect ideological repentance any time soon.

13 Comments:

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Thinking in Ohio said...

E-mail to the magazine and see if they print it in their "letters to editor" section!

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George the Second is not just in a bubble, but so far in the bubble that he doesn't even know what day of the week it is. I am with Newsweek on this one.

 
At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Bubble Boy" image of Bush has been around since the beginning of his presidency. It was in Susskind's book about Paul O'Neill's experiences in the Bush White House. Three weeks ago, I watched a group of Washington reporters--people with their ears to the ground--talk about how Bush has become so distrustful of his inner circle, including Cheney, that he no longer knows whom to believe and now goes looking for advice from those outside his inner circle. In other words: Bubble Boy was coming out of his bubble.

And now, the Newsweek story. So what am I to make of what the "Washington insider" reporters were saying three weeks ago? Truth be told, most presidents have a group surrounding them. Clinton did as well. So did Reagan, Bush I, JFK, and so on. The upper echelons of most companies involve a CEO surrounded by a group of trusted associates. The CEO hardly knows the name of the boys in the mailroom. That makes the CEO a Bubble Boy, too. The "Newsweek" description of Bush is, therefore, hardly a new idea or even an interesting one.

 
At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bubble or no bubble? I would have to go with Dubbya in the bubble, but what struck me most about your piece was the stone you throw at the Liberl media, perhaps they lean left so that they can report the facts to the great people of this country without an agenda or ulterior motive. Just the facts, that is all, and the fact is that President Bush is indeed in a bubble that i am afraid cannot be popped!

 
At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fear that you may be in the bubble with him. In the debates, Bush's response would be, "He's a liberal," rather than actually offering an analysis/opinion of what was said.

The irony is that "liberal scientist humanists" are often criticized for categorizing everything and using intellectual tools like comparative analysis, yet many conservative Christians use the same tools as the basis of their critique, too.

When Christ said to not trust reason, he was referring to both sides of the political divide. As a peacemaker, he stood between them and argued for God's moral authority, not for a political party. For better or worse, Newsweek did not define the nature of the bubble. That is the great failure of journalism today, and your effort would fail the same standard.

Consider that you consider yourself a Christian, but you raise no objection to war. Instead, you defend the warrior and the blind authority that President Bush represents. (He is not to blame for all the ills of the world, he just carries the water the same as everyone else.) The President is driven by fear, and you trust him because you share the same fears that he does. (Liberal fear a different set of fears.)

Will you repent? Will George Bush? Probably, eventually. But by then the damage will be done. Only the merciless ever need mercy. Fear divides, faith unites.

Peace,
Steve Consilvio
www.behappyandfree.com

 
At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what's a bubble? If you mean not being aware of what's going on in the world, I hardly think that's true of the president. If you mean he doesn't know what it's like for ordinary people, that would not be more true of him than of leading journalists, probably less true because at one time he was a struggling businessman. If you mean he's surrounded by people who tell him what he wants to hear, I doubt that's totally the case. It may be more the case with Newsweek editors! So I would trust the President's judgment far more than Newsweek's.

 
At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush is a misreable failure.

 
At 5:57 PM, Anonymous The Libertarian said...

Considering Bill Clinton was more true to the traditional conservative platform, Im going to to agree with Newsweek. He is isolated from his own party....

 
At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THEY ARE ALL IN THE BUBBLE, WHILE OUR COUNTRY FLOUNDERS!!! STOP POINTING THE FINGER, LOOK THERE ARE 3 MORE POINTING BACK AT YOU!!! WAKE UP AND FIX THE PROBLEM AMERICA, VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE, NOT THE PROMISES AND FEEL GOOD WORDS OF THE POLITICIANS!!! THEY WILL ALWAYS BE POLITICIANS AND THE MEDIA WILL ALWAYS BE THE MEDIA, THEY PLAY THE SAME GAMES!!! WHEN WILL YOU ALL GET OFF YOUR DUFFS AND GET TO WORK??? OUR COUNTRY IS FAILING ITS STANDARDS SET BY OUR FOREFATHERS AND THE WORD OF GOD, OUR CREATOR.

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger Kevin A. Wilson said...

Like you, I am a scholar at a religious school. As a scholar, I was surprised that you were still using the Lichter-Rothman study to bolster the old canard that the media is liberal. This study, conducted by two conservatives who were paid money by conservative foundations, is flawed in its method as well as its roots. The Pew study is up to date and has better grounding, and it suggests no such bias.

I would have to agree with Newsweek. Bush is in a bubble and has been since the beginning of his presidency. He has no interest in the American people, so long as he is able to impose his ideas on the government while having conservative media outlets distort his record into a positive one.

I do not want the media to have a liberal bias. But I also do not want them to have a conservative bias, they way many of them do now. I work as a missionary in Eastern Europe, where people know about party controlled news outlets from the Soviet days. Most of them roll their eyes at the fact that Americans would trust Fox News.

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger Matt Friedeman said...

Kevin:

On the ongoing studies concerning the left-tilt media...this one, this week.

http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=6664

Enjoy.

Matt

 
At 2:48 PM, Blogger girlsmom4jesus said...

If he is in a bubble, it's because he is focused on God and not the liberal media that colors most of the world.

 
At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt,

A big ole yawn to your study about left leaning media... Why not talk about the Right leaning Media, after all, CNN stands for....

The Conservative News Network.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home