Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Same Tune, Different Band

Instapundit links to a piece describing how reporters are being laid off, and then taking government positions working for the state agencies or officials they previously covered:
Many 'Star-Ledger' Reporters Turn to the 'Other Side' After Buyouts

At least 16 reporters and newsroom staffers at The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., most of whom left the paper in the past year's massive buyout, are now working for public officials or state agencies the paper covers.

In several cases, writers who covered a specific beat are now working for individuals or agencies upon which they once reported.

With 151 newsroom staffers taking buyouts last October, out of 330 total, that figure represents about 10% of the departed reporters, although some left prior to that round of buyouts.
In January of last year I wrote The Church of the MSM and the New Reformation, a piece on how and why the media acts as it does. The essay was based on a very interesting book, The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage by Associate Professor Brian Anse Patrick of the University of Toledo. Professor Patrick began his research for the book for his Doctoral dissertation, and completed it early in his tenure at the University of Toledo. He explains:
"I come from a background where my father and uncle were hunters. When I went into the professional world and started writing, I ran into a lot of educated people who were horrified of the NRA and guns in general. I had a completely neutral experience," Patrick explained. "I realized a lot of people had this attitude about a thing that I regarded as a commonplace object, and it was against my experiences with gun culture. I thought it would be interesting to see what the media thought."

Patrick researched media coverage of the NRA and several other social organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Civil Liberties Union, AARP and Handgun Control Inc. "Even though they have different purposes, they’re still roughly analogous in how they function — they have a large body of people, and they are more or less democratic in how they function. The idea was to study an array of groups. It was important to have a comparison, and I wanted some groups that were middle of the road, some right and some left," Patrick said. He added that it would have been insufficient to only point to examples of negative coverage of the NRA; instead, it was important to compare the types of coverage with several organizations.
The most fascinating thing to come from his research, however, was his analysis of the news media and its front-line members. Patrick studied, in nearly infinite detail, how the "elite media" - defined as the New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report - dealt with the five different groups. He found there was very definite evidence of bias, but that bias wasn't specifically "leftist," or else how could you explain the predominance of negative coverage of the very Left-leaning ACLU?

No, what Professor Patrick found when he analyzed the data was that the bias in the media isn't a Left-Right bias (though the overwhelming majority of people in the media do lean Left), it's what he terms an "administrative control bias."

People who make careers in the media love government. They love it even better when the "right people" are in charge, but, as one much earlier commenter at Instapundit expressed it:
Perhaps the most pervasive way in which journalists are different from normal people is that journalists live in a world dominated by government, and they reflexively see government action as the default way to approach any problem.
Joining the "other side"? Hardly. They're just losing their vestments as the clergy of the Church of State and taking up lay positions.

Same tune, different band.

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