Media partisanship goes too far

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

The BBC’s Jamie Coomarasamy is concerned about American media bias:

The American media are well known for having journalists who are open about their political allegiance.

But recent cases have opened the debate on whether partisanship in the media is going too far.

The Bush administration has already come under fire for paying commentators to espouse its views.

And now journalists themselves are questioning whether their profession is being undermined.

Undermined by … Jeff Gannon!

One of the battles began when bloggers went after a conservative journalist for lobbing what they thought was a soft and leading question to President Bush during a press conference.

“Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the US economy,” said Jeff Gannon, correspondent for the web-based Talon News.

“How are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?” he asked President Bush.

What began as an innocuous question at a presidential news conference ended with a journalist nailing his political colours to the mast.

Someone asked a soft question of a Republican president. Shocking, isn’t it? This is the BBC’s idea of the media “being undermined”, “going too far” and “nailing … political colours to the mast”.

I challenge readers to discover any soft questions being asked of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, or any other Democrats between 1992 and 2000. Did anyone “go too far”? Were “political colours” nailed to any mast? Were the media “undermined”? I bet you won’t find a single example!

Posted by Tim B. on 03/08/2005 at 10:24 AM
    1. Mainstream journalism’s appeal is just becoming more selective.

      Posted by rhhardin on 03/08 at 10:37 AM • #


    1. The American media is biased certainly, but to believe it is a conservative bias, you would have to be completely out of touch with reality.

      Oh… this piece is from the BBC. Suddenly all is clear.

      Posted by Kosmopolit on 03/08 at 10:38 AM • #


    1. Omigod!  Closeted gay journalists in the media!  Surely such a thing is unknown at the BBC!  We are shocked!  Shocked!

      Let’s see, American internet reporter lobs “softball” question to President Bush.  BBC reporter breaks down weeping at the death of Arafat.  By billy jingo, how can we assail such a tower of moral superiority?

      Wasn’t there a whole section of the Hutton report devoted to how we could be thankful Gilligan never asked Tony Blair a softball question?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/08 at 10:45 AM • #


    1. “If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we’d take it right now and walk away winners….Tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we’re pulling for her.�?
      — said by Dan Rather to President Clinton, via satellite, at a May 27, 1993 CBS affiliates meeting, referencing his new CBS Evening News co-anchor Connie Chung

      Posted by Kosmopolit on 03/08 at 10:53 AM • #


    1. The only thing media companies are conservative about are their profit margins.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 03/08 at 10:58 AM • #


    1. The weird part to me is that the Democrats lambasted Gannon not only because of the “softball” questions, but also because he is gay, and he was associated with a gay pornography website.  I guess someone being gay is only bad when the person is a conservative.

      As for gay pornography on the internet, could this be a blatant appeal to red state voters?  I wonder how many Democrats would vote to make it illegal?

      Posted by Ioxymoron on 03/08 at 10:59 AM • #


    1. There was a wave of real hate directed at gannon in DU, revolving around him being gay, thinly disgused as outrage that he was gay for money. Now they’re calling him a “Republican man whore”. So democrats hate prostitutes now? Since when? Wasn’t condemning sexual immorality the fixation of the regressive Jesuslanders?

      These people can’t even be bothered to maintain the thinnest veneer of consistancy over their hypocracy. The more I learn of them the more I despise them.

      Posted by Amos on 03/08 at 11:17 AM • #


    1. The American media are well known for having journalists who are open about their political allegiance.

      Oh, man, that’s funny.  What a complete lie—or, being charitable, a complete misunderstanding from someone born yesterday.

      American reporters have been known for decades as pretending to be neutral observers, all the while giving away their overwhelmingly leftist bias through their choice of sources, questions, and phrases.

      Anyone in the press who doesn’t recognize this is either in deep denial or, as I suggest above, hopelessly naïve.

      Posted by Rittenhouse on 03/08 at 11:20 AM • #


    1. Nothing surprises me about the BBC.  Their coverage of Rathergate was couched in kinds of qualifications, like they didn’t want to admit that their kind had been rumbled.  I seem to e-mail them every day or so but never get a reply despite them supposedly being ‘accountalbe’.  And we will have to pay our money to these tossers for the next 10 years at least.

      Posted by Craig UK on 03/08 at 11:23 AM • #


    1. Ann Compton, US network news “reporter” to candidate Bill Clinton during ‘92 presidential campaign debate with G.H.W. Bush, after having just asked Bush to respond to an accusatory, technicality laced military question, “Mr. CLinton, how do you define ‘family’?”

      On a related note, what the hell is a “coomarasamy”?

      Posted by Hucklebuck on 03/08 at 11:37 AM • #


    1. How about the Hillary/Barbara Wawa interview of 2003 (I know it’s not in the specified time frame….but it’s too rich to ignore):

      Barbara Wawa-

      “If I ask you straight up: Was there and is there a right-wing conspiracy to destroy your husband’s presidency, would you today say yes?”

      Hell that wasn’t a softball…that was a big, fat beachball.

      Posted by Bucky Katt on 03/08 at 02:21 PM • #


    1. re: “I challenge readers to discover any soft questions being asked of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, or any other Democrats between 1992 and 2000.”

      Softball questions are one thing, but the big problem in the Clinton Administration was softball responses to Clinton’s answers to hard questions.

      Reporter:  Mr. President, how did 1500 Republican FBI files end up in the White House?

      Clinton:  Well (biting lip) I looked into that myself, and it turned out to be a clerical SNAFU.  I feel your pain.

      General MSM response:  Oh… that explains everything!  (Investigation dropped by MSM)

      Posted by mamapajamas on 03/08 at 03:51 PM • #


    1. 1998 was great, wasn’t it?  I was searching for softball questions and found some true Clintonian gems from the Lewinsky Era:

      ‘Clinton sidestepped questions asking him to relate the specifics of his relationship with the former White House intern, saying it was better to not get “mired in details.” ’

      And how’s this:

      ‘Citing his continued work over the past year in battling terrorism, working for peace in Northern Ireland and the Middle East and addressing the recent financial crises in Russia and Asia, Clinton said moral authority “is something that you have to demonstrate every day. My opinion is not as important as the opinion of others. What is important is that I do my job.” ’

      That Clinton, he sure did a good job with the moral authority thing!  Especially if you’re French, and don’t think on-the-job affairs are a big deal.  And boy, that terrorism-battling turned out swell!

      Say what you will about my man W, I feel very confident he never told a story to get his rocks off. He can invent reasons to invade dangerous countries all he wants; I’m thinking he’s not overly concerned with blowjobs from the hired help.

      Posted by on 03/08 at 05:53 PM • #


    1. I’m all for political disclosure from journalists, whether they are left or right.  It helps the reader discern fact from fiction when reading their stuff.  There is not one journalist (as for columnists, well..) who doesn’t have their own opinion about an issue.  Shrouding this belief as Fact is bullshit.

      Posted by flute on 03/08 at 07:10 PM • #


    1. It would be kind of fun to see if we could get someone like Xaviera Hollander (but must be a Republican—I don’t know her politics, if any) a daily press pass…

      Posted by Kathy K on 03/08 at 07:14 PM • #


    1. Hucklebuck, Jamie Coomaswamyis an example of cultural fusion (or maybe cultural confusion), like Kylie Kwong.

      Posted by mr magoo on 03/08 at 07:46 PM • #


    1. Bill Clinton… “political colours�? nailed to any [mast]

      no doubt…

      Posted by guinsPen on 03/08 at 08:38 PM • #


    1. NRO had an analysis of a single Clinton press conference in ‘99 that’s a veritable softball tournament; my favorite, from reporter Sarah McClendon – “Sir, will you tell us why you think the people have been so mean to you? Is it a conspiracy? Is it a plan to treat you worse than they treated Abe Lincoln?” (I don’t really know what that last question means – in her defense, she was in her late 80’s at the time).

      Posted by Yaron on 03/08 at 09:31 PM • #


    1. Why is Gannongate a bigger scandal – as far as “partisanship in the media” goes – than what Dan Rather did to President Bush with forged military documents last year? After all, the worst thing Gannon was accused of doing was tossing a softball question at the President. Rather, on the other hand, perpetrated the journalistic equivalent of an assasination attempt…

      And if you’re looking for examples of journalists sucking up, so to speak, to politicians, it’s hard to beat this comment from TIME magazine’s Nina Burleigh about Bill Clinton, which Burleigh made to Mirabella magazine during Clinton’s impeachment:

      ”…I would be happy to give him (Clinton) a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal…” (Courtesy of Bernard Goldberg’s Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite, Warner Books, New York, 2003, p. 147.)

      And NOW they’re worrying about “partisanship in the media going too far?”

      Pardon me while I ROFLMAO…

      Posted by Wes S. on 03/08 at 10:28 PM • #


    1. Two words: Helen Thomas


      Posted by Spiny Norman on 03/09 at 12:19 AM • #


    1. guinsPen — Those weren’t his colors.  Hillary wielded the hammer.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/09 at 12:41 AM • #


  1. All wisdom comes from The Simpsons:

    Montgomery BURNS: Ahem, Lisa do you have a question you would like to ask your uncle Montgomery?

    LISA: Yes, sir, a very inane one. Mr. Burns, your campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?

    Posted by Blue on 03/09 at 11:10 AM • #