It Hasn't Always Been This Way (Blame the French!)

It's true that the press is biased. Studies have found, for instance, that in reporting on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, the press is consistently biased in favor of peace (first heard at WNYC's On The Media: Does NPR Have a Liberal Bias?)

The conspicuous absence of history

Another distortion of the press could be called the "tyranny of the present". One of the more remarkable things about "the first draft of history" is the conspicuous absence of history. No story about Trayvon Martin will mention the Civil War. No TV news segment on the "budget battle" will explain that the creation of the national debt in 1790 by Alexander Hamilton literally saved the nation from certain death. Only by turning to academics like Jessica Lepler will you find pieces like, America Owes A Debt To The National Debt where we learn:

Americans owe a frequently unacknowledged debt to the national debt. The United States was built on it, and the attempt to eliminate it in the 1830s ended in disaster. Before we try to eliminate it the next time around, we ought to consider its history.

So Americans can be forgiven if we tend to believe that the world has always been the way it is right now, with conservatives fighting liberals under the disapproving glare of the "objective media". But how old are things, really?

The Youth of Some Annoying Things

"Objective" media: 68 years old and dying fast. Starting with Gutenburg's one-sided, anti-pagan polemic known as "The Bible", the mass media has been biased for its entire 500 year history. The current charade is a passing fad.

 The French Republic:  55 years old. Most recently led by a dictator in 1944.

Germany (republic or otherwise):  142 years old. Most recent dictator: Erich Honecker in 1989.

Political parties: 334 years old, at most. In 1679, two proto-parties, the "Whigs" and "Tories", fought over the question of whether a Catholic (James II) could succeed to the throne of England.

ideology: 217 years old. Like all useless abstractions that wither into nothingness upon close examination, the term was coined by a Frenchman. The United States was already five years into its history before the concept of political ideology was even invented. That means that the cause of "Constitutional Conservatives"--to return America to the ideology of the Founding Fathers--is utter non-sense. But you knew that already.

 

The original biased journalism.

The original biased journalism.