August 04, 2005

Mainstream Media's Silence on the Air America Scandal

From Investor's Business Daily:

Rush Limbaugh's prescription drug troubles were splashed all over the media. Yet a financial scandal rocking a leftist radio network rates no coverage. The mainstream media, fixated on bringing down Karl Rove, have so far deemed apparent funding irregularities at Air America unworthy of note. But that doesn't make them any less of story.

Here's the gist, according to The New York Sun — which is giving the scandal the coverage it deserves — and a few others, mostly bloggers and columnists, who are providing a public service: New York City's Department of Investigation is looking into charges that $875,000 from a Bronx nonprofit group and an affiliate whose budgets are generously stuffed with local, state and federal grants was inappropriately used to fund Air America, the left's counterattack on the colossal success of conservative talk radio.... Jeannette Graves, president of Gloria Wise's executive committee, has said that without her authorization or knowledge, Cohen siphoned $613,000 from the organization to himself and Air America...While this mess is being sorted out, the city has suspended its ties with Gloria Wise and Pathways. That means money intended for poor minority children and Alzheimer's victims was instead used to make sure the financially tanking and ratings-troubled Air America could keep blathering.

Public funds used to prop up a business! Just the kind of scandal that left-leaning media would die for. Yet for some reason they're giving this one a pass. Is it because there are no mean ol' conservatives to blame?

When Limbaugh's problems with painkillers came to light, the mainstream media could hardly contain themselves. They called him a "pill popper" and hypocrite and cheered for release of his medical records. And when he returned to the air, they couldn't talk enough about his stay in rehab. Al Franken, Air America's featured host, seized the moment and labeled Limbaugh a "drug addict" — after calling him a "Big Fat Idiot" in the title of his book years before. Nothing wrong, mind you, with reporting on Limbaugh's woes. Nothing, that is, as long as the media cover flaws of those on the left with equal enthusiasm.

This is a really interesting story. Why the lack of coverage in "Mainstream Media"??
It is more than obvious that "Mainstream Media" - CNN, Reuters, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, NY Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, etc (there are many more I could quote, but yeah, I am lazy this morning)... are ideologically selective about the stories they cover. O.K., I know what those on the "Left" would say -"What about Fox News". Personally, I don't see much bias towards the "Right" on Fox News. However, even if you take it as a given that Fox News is biased towards the "Right", what is one television channel vs. the list referenced above.
This is unfortunate. Not because they are failing to cover stories that I deem relevant. On the contrary, it is because I think that they have done themselves a huge disservice. When the media allows ideological bias to dictate the stories they cover or the manner in which they cover a story, they have ceased to be objective purveyors of the news. Rather, they have become advocates.
As a result, the media faces a credibility crisis like it has never seen before. Poll after poll continues to show the public's faith in the media eroding. Will they ever learn? I won't hold my breath.
For more on the AirAmerica Scandal (and the Mainstream Media cover-up), see Michelle Malkin's blog or this excellent column by Hugh Hewitt
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