Mainstream Media Bias: An Example
The mainstream media is rampant with political bias. Its everywhere. Its all around us in every direction we turn. Its impossible to know who to trust; who to believe.
Learned and highly respected but politically biased individuals often push their own political agenda from their powerful media pulpits.
Today, for one individual, perhaps we will take him down a notch from his mighty perch to think differently about him in the future.
That individual is Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. His decade long political pulpit is the venerable New York Times.
The Krugman Sunday Sermon:
“Republicans Against Science” – Paul Krugman, New York Times, 8/28/2011
Why Pick On A Liberal?
Its not that conservatives aren’t biased. They are… just as much as liberals. But there are far more examples of liberal bias in the mainstream media than conservative examples. Liberal examples are far easier to find. They often lurk behind a purported unbiased facade pretending to champion truth and justice.
Liberalism needs no defenders. They are everywhere. Champions for conservative principals are few and far between.
This specific example of political bias is especially blatant and comes from a learned authority figure, yet it is easy to pick it apart for what it is.
Therefore, given a convenient good example, it seems more appropriate to pick on a liberal this time around rather than a conservative.
Who is Paul Krugman?
He received his Ph.D. from MIT. He has taught at Yale, Stanford and was the Ford International Professor of Economics at MIT.
Krugman is currently professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Krugman has authored or edited 20 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals. His long list of accolades in economics are far to numerous to be cited here.
In the public arena Paul Krugman has been a prolific columnist and blogger for The New York Times since 1999. He has written extensively for a broad public audience.
Krugman’s writings for wide public consumption is what has brought us to today’s Sermon from the Mount.
Who Are Krugman’s Targets?
In his article Krugman singles out two Republican presidential candidates for criticism – Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
It makes sense for someone with Krugman’s credentials to single them out. They are the two Republican front runners and both have experience in job creation, by far the #1 economic issue in the upcoming elections.
Perry has an incredible record of job creation as Governor of Texas over the last decade. He has succeeded creating jobs during the Great Recession when the rest of the nation has failed. Former Governor Romney has sorely needed real world business experience that he could bring to the Presidency.
So What Specifically Did Krugman Have To Say?
Of the Republican Party in general Krugman starts by saying:
it is becoming the “anti-science party.” … And it should terrify us.
Krugman took a page right out of the Obama anti-Republican playbook by attributing his general criticism to a non-threatening Republican source… in this case, John Huntsman.
That strategy is designed to convey the impression that the G.O.P. is not unified. Liberals make that charge just about every time they open their mouths.
Krugman criticizes Texas Governor Rick Perry for:
dismissing evolution as “just a theory,” one that has “got some gaps in it” — an observation that will come as news to the vast majority of biologists.
he dismissed climate science as a “contrived phony mess that is falling apart.”
And in regards to global warming said that:
Mr. Perry is buying into a truly crazy conspiracy theory
Krugman says Mitt Romney is starting to side with Perry on the issues of global warming and evolution because:
According to Public Policy Polling, only 21 percent of Republican voters in Iowa believe in global warming (and only 35 percent believe in evolution).
Of the Republican Party and Mitt Romney he says…
Within the G.O.P., willful ignorance has become a litmus test for candidates, one that Mr. Romney is determined to pass at all costs.
Krugman’s harshest criticism is aimed at the Republican Party itself:
it’s now highly likely that the presidential candidate of one of our two major political parties will either be a man who believes what he wants to believe, even in the teeth of scientific evidence, or a man who pretends to believe whatever he thinks the party’s base wants him to believe.
Krugman concludes his article with this ominous warning:
odds are that one of these years the world’s greatest nation will find itself ruled by a party that is aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge. And, in a time of severe challenges — environmental, economic, and more — that’s a terrifying prospect.
What Is Wrong With This Picture?
You don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner in economics like Paul Krugman to know that the #1 issue facing Americans today is jobs and the economy.
The economy is in the toilet bowl and it isn’t getting better. Tens of millions of Americans are either unemployed or underemployed. People are still losing their homes right and left. We are living under a crushing burdened of both personal and national debt. The future looks bleak.
In 2012, Americans are going to elect the candidate they feel is best qualified to solve those problems.
But does Krugman chose to criticize Perry and Romney, both with darned good credentials for solving our economic woes, for faults in their economic beliefs and policies or their inability to solve the problems of greatest concern to Americans?
No! Instead he criticizes the two Republicans for their thoughts on biology and climate science – two scientific disciplines that Krugman himself has no credentials whatsoever!
Yet, even more incredulous, not once does Mr. Economic-Nobel-Prize-Winner-for-2008 Krugman even mention job creation or fixing the economy.
Paul Krugman, a world authority on economics, could chose to use his position of authority and ability to reach literally millions of readers through the New York Times to discuss how to cure our ailing economy.
He could have criticized Perry and Romney, two candidates who appear to have the economic wherewithal to help recover our hurting economy, for their economic policies and positions.
That would be doing this nation a great service. After all, that IS the single most important topic in the upcoming elections and Krugman IS an expert in it.
But does he chose to do that? No!
Instead, he chooses to criticize an entire political party he doesn’t like and its candidates for scurrilous reasons totally outside his area of expertise.
If Krugman had spent more time studying biology and climate science than repeating things he’s heard then he’d know there is more to Perry’s beliefs than what he lightly dashed off with his flippant, intellectually snobbish remarks. He paints Republicans in general as ignorant and stupid.
Krugman is so blinded by his own personal political beliefs that he takes an intellectually elitist position to smear an entire political party and its candidates for reasons unrelated to the the #1 concern of voters in the 2012 elections. And he does it using the respected New York Times as his mouthpiece.
That, folks, is political bias in the mainstream media.
And so ends the lesson of the day.
Now, please, everyone open your hymnals to page 666 and sing, “Onward, Christian Soldiers“.