I’ll have more on Jon Stewart’s appearance on “Fox News Sunday” after I can go through the transcript in more detail, but one quick thing jumped out at me.
“The Daily Show” host argued that bias may exist in media, but it’s towards “sensationalism, conflict, and laziness.” His host didn’t see it that way.
Host Chris Wallace pressed Stewart on why he didn’t consider the New York Times and the Washington Post biased for asking readers to help read Sarah Palin’s email trove.
“They never said ‘help us go through the 2000 pages of the Obama health care bill,’” Wallace noted.
“I think their bias is towards sensationalism and laziness. I wouldn’t say it’s towards a liberal agenda. It’s light fluff so it’s absolutely within the wheelhouse,” said Stewart.
I had no idea the Palin email thing was seen as evidence of a “liberal media” in Republican circles. I thought it was evidence of “ridiculous media,” and certainly “lazy media,” not to mention “a misguided media lacking in editorial judgment and a sense of priorities,” but not “liberal.”
Indeed, the very idea strikes me as self-defeating. If major news outlets are obsessed with combing through emails of a former half-term governor turned right-wing media personality, isn’t that evidence that the media isn’t liberal? Wouldn’t an actually liberal media be more inclined to ignore the emails?
As for the fact that major outlets didn’t try to crowd-source the Affordable Care Act’s legislative language, the comparison seems bizarre. For one thing, the bill had far fewer pages, and had been scrutinized over the course of months as it worked its way through the committee process. For another, legislation and emails aren’t similar — filled with technical and legal jargon, bills aren’t written in a way to be read by a general lay audience.
If Wallace is looking for evidence of media “bias,” he’ll need to come up with some far better examples.