Lament of the liberals
Despite Dionne's portrait of a newsroom tilting rightward out of fear, the newsroom culture remains adamantly liberal. Call it the daily disconnect between the newsroom and the general populace. Huge majorities of Americans oppose racial preferences, want immigration limited, resent benefits for illegal immigrants, support the death penalty, are morally troubled by cloning, oppose gay marriage, look favorably on the Boy Scouts, support parental-consent laws on abortion, and want a ban on "partial-birth" abortion. In the newsroom, huge majorities hold the opposite opinions. When those opinions shine through, as they regularly do in the framing and selection of stories, readers and viewers begin to look elsewhere for their information.
Dionne, appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, acknowledged that the media have had a bias, "the bias of the educated upper-middle class," which is "not so good," he said, for religious conservatives, unions, and the poor. Yes, and it's also not so good for the military, law enforcement, nonreligious conservatives, and people who are proud of America despite its frequent blunders. Memo to E.J.: Whether you call it a political bias or the class bias of a similarly educated elite, it amounts to the same thing. And it calls for the same reforms.