Lost In the Flood

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New at Reason: The ever-hilarious Eric Alterman's new book What Liberal Media gets a close reading from Cathy Young, and the results are not pretty. Dedicated Altermaniacs can also check out some previous Reason coverage of the pugnacious pundit, including an earlier piece by Cathy and a look into some material Alterman, um, borrowed from Greg Beato.

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  1. GUNS? Bashing “Liberal” media? when did Reason turn into a Right wing site? I thought you guys were anti-war and anti-bush? Guess you are back to sucking up to Wolfie and the rest of the nazis.

  2. Also, you forgot to footnote my quote as well- quite surprising, given your devotion to scholarship, Jacob.

  3. i think what we both proved, Sir Real, is that a footnote is only as good as the sources it refers to- or the validity of the remarks made in the footnote, or their relationship to the work cited. as Ms. Young points out, many of hsi footnotes were irrelevant, taken out of contetx, or misleading. those kind of footnotes are worse than none at all, because they give an illusion of intelligence, and nobody checks footnotes excvept reporters and geeks. what, like if an couter put footnotes in her books, you’d go to the source?

    the thing is, ann coulter is not an intellectual and i doubt you’d find anyone who could seriously opinionate that she is. mr. alterman, on the other hand, seems to be passing off footnotes as unrelated to his topic as mine was and as irrelavento the topic as your was. You say, “find a quote relevant to your point.” my point was, footnotes can be meaningless- so, das ist da.

    plus, supporting state control of guns is statist, i.e. anti-libertarian. wolfe doesn’t really care about guns in americ so much as guns in iraq in the hands of US marines, etc.

  4. Both sides in this “Liberal Media” debate seem to be missing some points. First of all, “liberal” and “leftist” are two very different things. And second, mainstream liberalism and conservatism are not mutually exhaustive possibilities–they probably share about two-thirds of their positions.

    NPR liberals differ from mainstream Conservatives (TM) in a number of ways:

    1) they’re anti-gun, pro-Mapplethorpe, and for “a woman’s right to choose” (i.e., lifestyle issues);
    2) they support a kindler, gentler welfare state; and
    3) in foreign affairs, they’re more likely to favor acting through Cold War-era multilateral institutions like the UN Security Council before they proceed to blast the shit out of some country and inflict thousands of casualties (in the words of the “Star Trekkin'” song, We come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, shoot to kill).

    But mainstream liberals have virtually no objection to the basic structure of state capitalism: the military-industrial-R&D complex, GATT, NAFTA, intellectual property law, ad nauseam.

    Come on, that rabid “leftist” Hillary sat on the Wal-Mart board of directors. Shee-it!

  5. and state capitalism is….? (I know what Lenin says it is btw)

  6. So when there is a gun show with 2000 attendees and 4 protestors and the media van pulls up to cover the ‘Big Gun Show Protest’…is that right-wing bias?

    When the media is reporting on a suspects arsenal that includes an “AK47 assault rifle” and what they show is clearly an SKS…would that be left-wing bias, right-wing bias, or just ignorance? How about calling any semi-auto an assault weapon? Only ignorance? Has anyone EVER heard a TV reporter refer to a fringe group as “left-wing”? How about coverage of militias around the time of the Oklahoma City bombing? See any bias there?

    Surely the people here claiming to not see runaway left-wing bias in the news are just playing devil’s advocate?

    As for radio: What do the Rush Limbaugh/Hannity talk shows have to do with news? Neither claims to be an objective journalist or a journalist at all.

    How many Republicans has Dan Rather voted for? Not that that in itself means he colors the news, but when 80 – 90 % of journalists vote Democrat…it means nothing?

    Here is a site showing journalist’s voting habits – I bet they wise up and stop answering honestly in the future…

    http://www.mediaresearch.org/biasbasics/welcome.asp#how

  7. “How many Republicans has Dan Rather voted for? Not that that in itself means he colors the news, but when 80 – 90 % of journalists vote Democrat…it means nothing?”

    It means the rest of us should vote Democrat as well. After all, journalists are the best-informed people around, it’s their job to gather information. They must know something the rest of us don’t.

  8. whatever. people are going to read/hear/watch whatever it is they’re going to, unless claims that we live in a free, democratic and open society are to the contrary. claims of “bias” are a nonstarter; for who believes in objectivity except for objectivists? people who engage in such debates are merely staking their claim to subjective reality (read finger-pointing), or is that too post-modern (read liberal) for everyone to understand?

    where there’s bias there’s ignorance and there’s ignorance everywhere. no wonder we’re surrounded by fools.

  9. *Holding back laughter*

  10. Did Young write the sub-headline? The body of the work, while pointing out some weaknesses in Alterman’s work (and taking some shots at his character), doesn’t seem to support the contention that “Eric Alterman’s What Liberal Media? is as shoddy as the books it attacks.” Is this an editor putting a header on someone else’s work?

  11. Cathy Young is a far right winger. She is worse than Ron “Corporate” baily.

  12. ^ jesus CHRIST. i am ick of you anti-corporate goons. she pointed out the fact that mr alterman published a pile of lies, wthout making any political critique of him really.

    are you criticizing her as a right winger in the sense that she is uber-religious, uber-nationalistic and in favor of a stronger military and police force? because i don’t notice that. otherwise, you must be absing your claims on the fact tat she is pro-free market and anti-demagogic clown, which is actyually a LIBERTARIAN position, because this is actually a (shriek) LIBERTARIAN website run by a LIBERTARIAN magazine.

  13. clarification: i didn’t mean, sh is a clown who is anti-demagogic, but rather that she is anti-demagogic clowns. re-reading it it seemed as if a participle was dangling or something.

  14. It’s odd-

    Cathy seems to be saying that there’s no difference between intentional and unintentional “spinning” of the news. The first is a lie, the second a mistake. Rather than address that, she equates them, and goes on to grind her ax about being “pro-isreali”, and nit-picking the footnotes Coulter couldn’t be bothered to provide. 2 liberal commentators Cathy knows become equivalent to the 25 Alterman names (appearently one liberal is worth 12.5 conservatives). While I’ve read Andrew Sullivan on Salon, I can’t recall a single liberal on prime time Fox news- they must be standing behind Neil Cavuto….

    So, in sum- Intentional deceit is morally equivalent to unconscious bias. Books with inconsistent citations are equal to books with no citations.

    And she’s not “Pro-Isreali”, damnit.

  15. ” I can’t recall a single liberal on prime time Fox news”

    Allan Combs must be wearing his Ring of Invisability again!

  16. “Books with inconsistent citations are equal to books with no citations. ”

    Michael Bellesiles’s book had lots of footnotes. Hence it was true.

  17. Anon 0241:

    I’m using it in the same sense as Gabriel Kolko’s “political capitalism,” or James Weinstein’s “corporate liberalism,” and not in the libertarian commie sense. Thinkers as diverse as libertarians (Murray Rothbard and Joe Stromberg) and neo-marxists (James O’Connor) have contributed to the understanding of it.

    It means big business acts through the state to cartelize the economy with regulations, obtain subsidies, obtain guaranteed outlets for its product, etc. In other words, what Bush calls “free trade” and “free markets.”

  18. What everyone from the left and the right seems to be forgetting here is that news is, by its very nature, subjective, and therefore open to all sorts of individual biases. In fact, bias shows through in simply what one considers newsworthy. For example, liberal media might give a considerable amount of coverage to anti-globalization protesters/looters, and make every attempt to sympathize with them and lend credibility to their cause, while conservative media might simply not report on them at all, or if nothing else, try to paint them as misguided fanatics from the lunatic fringe.

    Every news story in every news outlet is the product of the many biases of the many people who helped to produce it. The best solution is for all of us to be cognizant of these biases (as well as our own biases) and then make our own rational decisions.

  19. Read both sides and encourage free markets in the media.

    Or just bash Faux News and nazi talk radio and pretend that only liberal media counts…

  20. http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=16348

    Rethinking Objective Journalism
    By Brent Cunningham, Columbia Journalism Review

  21. Who is this Allan Combs you speak of? Are you sure he wasn’t just being toyed with, before they fed him to Cavuto?

    And as for Belesailles book? Never mentioned it- but I can bet it’s better than Coulter’s books, like Alterman’s, simply because it HAS citations.

  22. “Never mentioned it- but I can bet it’s better than Coulter’s books, like Alterman’s, simply because it HAS citations.”

    “Read both sides and encourage free markets in the media.

    Or just bash Faux News and nazi talk radio and pretend that only liberal media counts..”1

    1. from anon @ 11.03 AM, https://www.reason.com.hitandrun
    7/10/03

    so i guess my post is by defintion better than yours, huh?

  23. If you need someone else to tell you, Jacob, then no. It’s considered customary to cite things relevant to your point, whatever that might’ve been.

    And your quote is Anonymous, from a discussion forum. I might as well say “Bush iz ST00pid” as a rebuttal, and cite my self. 1.

    1. from Sir Real @ 12:57 PM
    https://www.reason.com.hitandrun
    7/10/03

  24. kevin: thanks, as it is a non-standard term that you use often that i don’t think most people understand.

    i still maintain though that when a right-liberal says they are for ‘free markets’ or ‘free trade’ they really think that is what they are advocating (though they may be confused)

    i still maintain though that when a left-winger says they are against ‘free markets’ or ‘free trade’ they really think that is what they are advocating (though they may be confused)

    we are dealing with principals. right liberals are for free markets in PRINCIPAL, thought they may be uneducated on what that means or the best way to get there or how close to the ideal is possible.

    leftists are against free markets. they hate NAFTA not because it is less-than-free trade, but because they really think it is free trade (which “exploits workers” fill in your own debunked communist theory, etc).

  25. I think any attempt to assign a coherent philosophy to the anti-free trade protesters is doomed to failure. They see rank injustices perpetrated by multinationals in poor countries, and flail about trying to find a solution.

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