News Media Still Liberal, Liberals Still Uncivil

August 4, 2011

Jonah Goldberg in the Corner reviews the double standard in the liberal media’s treatment of Congressman Giffords’s shooting and the recent debt-ceiling fight.  (In the former, war- and death-themed metaphors were deemed per se inappropriate and conservatives were accused of debasing the national debate with their supposed incivility; in the latter, members of the liberal media and liberal politicians disparaged conservatives by calling them “terrorists”, etc.)  The Media Research Center discusses further and provides links to a few examples of the latter.

Hat tip to the Foxhole.

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28 Responses to “News Media Still Liberal, Liberals Still Uncivil”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    I think we’ve beat this dead horse into a bloody pulp. A post on Entourage maybe? The season is starting to heat up!

  2. Ted Jekyll Says:

    The Cheney/Biden analogy simply doesn’t work. Cheney was perhaps the most powerful vice president in history, or at least perceived that way. Biden gets to do ribbon-cutting at the new Orange Julius. Given the man’s history of putting his foot in his mouth on a daily basis, it’s not an interesting story when Biden says anything.

    Also, criticizing the Today Show for a lack of hard news coverage seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel.


    • Well, OK, but even if you cut out all references to Joe Biden and the Today Show, there’s still the rest of the media and other Democrat politicians. Those were just some of the individual examples of the broader phenomenon he’s remarking on.

      • Ted Jekyll Says:

        If you take out references to the Today Show and Biden, you are left with the startling revelation that some New York Times columnists and MSNBC may have a liberal bias. The article seems to be remarking on the fact that no members of the media called out a few columnists who compared tea party activists to terrorists, despite the fact that the author (a member of the media) was doing exactly that. Last I checked, Fox News is by far the dominant cable news channel. The tendency to view the media as a single entity with a unified agenda verges on tin-foil hat territory.

        As to the revelation that members of the media may treat a situation in which twenty people were shot, a federal judge killed, and a member Congress left permanently disabled differently from the debate over raising the debt ceiling, is that really a surprise?

      • Snoodickle Says:

        This topic is phenomenally boring and less than irrelevant.


      • I think you’re missing the forest for the trees. As I read it, the main thing Goldberg is trying to get across is not that “some New York Times columnists and MSNBC may have a liberal bias”, or even that “no members of the media called out a few columnists who compared tea party activists to terrorists”, but rather that

        (1) Liberals (yes, including the liberal news media, and other liberals, all the way up to the president, and all the way down to my liberal friend who forwarded me a blog entry on the subject) took the occasion of Giffords’s shooting to call for, as Goldberg put it, “Civility. New tone. No more martial metaphors. These were the takeaways.” We were told that the right had poisoned the national discourse with our “apocalyptic” rhetoric.

        and

        (2) Liberals (including the liberal news media and Democrat politicians, up to Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden) took the occasion of the debt-ceiling fight to use apocalyptic rhetoric and war-themed metaphors against conservatives.

        I agree with you that if Goldberg were pointing out only one or the other of those two points, that by itself would not be very interesting, and I probably would not have mentioned it and linked to it. The fact that both of them happened, however, I think is very interesting.

        Sure, as you say, it makes sense for everyone to take a shooting more seriously in certain ways than a policy debate or a political fight, but on the theory of the liberal narrative in point 1, shootings like that happen partly because of “apocalyptic” rhetoric like that seen in point 2.


    • I will again permit your providing a link with no discussion (a curious habit for someone who keeps telling me how smart he is), this time, and I will answer it in similarly terse fashion:

      First, read Who Really Cares, by Arthur C. Brooks.

      Second, read The Vision of the Anointed: Self-congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, by Thomas Sowell.

      Third, read my blog entry “On Liberals, Conservatives, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Knowledge”.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        No discussion? Apparently you missed my insightful insight “The proof is in the pudding.” The link I just provided you has an actual study that shows that liberals’ IQs are higher than conservatives’.

        P.S. If you’re so much smarter than me, how come I beat you at chess?

    • Tevyeh Says:

      Hoo boy, where to begin…

      Notice the exact parameters of the empirical study cited to “confirm” the hypothesis that liberals are smarter than conservatives:

      “…among the American sample, those who identify themselves as ‘very liberal’ ***in early adulthood*** have a mean ***childhood*** IQ of 106.4, whereas those who identify themselves as ‘very conservative’ in ***early adulthood*** have a mean childhood IQ of 94.8.” (Emphasis added).

      Why restrict the parameters to ***childhood*** IQ and political orientation ***in early adulthood?*** Why limit the analysis to the extreme values (i.e. “very liberal,” “very conservative”)? Wouldn’t the relationship between ***adult*** IQ and the political orientations of a more broadly representative sample of the population be more relevant parameters for the purposes of testing this hypothesis? Oddly specific criteria should send up a red flag. A razor-sharp liberal like you should have noticed.

      One explanation for these oddly specific parameters (the more charitable explanation): limited data. Maybe young adult political orientation and childhood IQ were the only data available for the researchers to study. In this case, we have a problem of sample bias.

      A more sinister explanation: deliberate cherry-picking. Maybe the results that the researchers desired could only be obtained by restricting their study to the chosen parameters.

      Either way, this study has very serious problems if its results are generalized to the entire population. Anyway, I have no difficulty believing that intelligent (but naive) young people are likely to be liberals. One possible explanation (I’m speculating here): young people of above-average intelligence are more likely to be enrolled in college than young people of below-average intelligence. A college student, living in the intellectual bubble that is academia, is more likely to be liberal. The tough, school-of-hard-knocks “real world” experience of the young person who doesn’t attend college might incline him to a more conservative world-view. (I’m being slightly facetious here, please don’t take this speculation too seriously).

    • Tevyeh Says:

      Another problem with this study: the way it defines liberalism and conservatism: “…one may reasonably define liberalism (as opposed to conservatism) in the contemporary United States as the genuine concern for the welfare of genetically unrelated others and the willingness to contribute larger proportions of private resources for the welfare of such others.”

      This characterization is either incredibly naive or blatantly question-begging. The moral and economic questions are presumed to be settled in favor of liberalism. Liberals pet puppies, conservatives kick them. I’ve noticed that many liberals seem to be comfortable with such assumptions, but anyone who wants to engage in a debate with conservatives will have to do better than that.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        That definition does not assume that conservatives are evil, it merely says that liberals are willing to contribute “larger” (larger than conservatives, that is), proportions of private resources for the welfare of others. If the definition assumed otherwise, the adjective “larger” would not be necessary.


      • Wow, it’s one thing for Snoodickle not to read the three recommended readings I gave in response to his flippant link, but it’s another for him not even to have read the article he himself linked to in the first place. Even that article admits “The fact that conservatives have been shown to give more money to charities” than liberals—i.e., conservatives give a larger proportion of their private resources for the welfare of others in the only context in which any of us has a direct choice: private giving. The article’s attempt to weasel out of being refuted by this inconvenient truth involves distinguishing between more and less genetically related “others”, and giving liberals credit for assumed good intentions behind their observed habit of voting for higher taxes for the rest of us—in other words, as Tevyeh said, question begging.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        Chess?

      • Snoodickle Says:

        P.S. What exactly are you referring to Chlllingworth? I was referring to Tevyeh’s citation from the article “one may reasonably define liberalism (as opposed to conservatism) in the contemporary United States as the genuine concern for the welfare of genetically unrelated others and the willingness to contribute larger proportions of private resources for the welfare of such others” and showing how that definition does not imply that conservatives are evil puppy killers. I never suggested that the article is consistent in every manner, or even makes sense. I basically posted it as a joking response to your post in which you actually tried to argue that conservatives are smarter, or at least better informed, than liberals. And I did read it, twice. You are the only one who refers to articles or cases without reading them (cf. Citizens United, that 30 page economics essay you cited a few posts ago).


      • “I basically posted it as a joking response to your post in which you actually tried to argue that conservatives are smarter, or at least better informed, than liberals.”

        That’s not what I was saying in this entry at all. Did you even read the blog entry you were commenting on?

        As to your understanding of the article you linked to, I already explained it once, in my previous comment; if reading the article and then reading my comment wasn’t enough to help you understand, I’m not going to explain it again.


      • Ah, here we are: At the bottom of the article Snoodickle linked to, Psychology Today (I have to give it credit for this) links to this response by another psychologist, who then links to his own careful analysis of Kanazawa’s methodology. The short version is that he agrees with a number of Tevyeh’s criticisms.

        E.g.,

        Second, the timing of Wave III data collection corresponds nicely with Kanazawa’s desired outcome. Recall that Wave III data was collected when subjects were between the ages of 18 and 28. According to the Pew Research Center (2003), young adults in the present population who choose a party affiliation (most do not choose an affiliation) are about evenly divided between Republican and Democrat. With increasing age, affiliation shifts toward the conservative side, most dramatically among men.

        There is only one reasonable explanation for this: people lose IQ points as they move toward conservatism and gain points if they become more liberal. That has been well documented in The International Journal of Shrinks Who Say Conservatives Are Doody-Heads.

        Another possibility is that “more intelligent” people, regardless of their ultimate ideological destination, were more likely to identify themselves as liberal at the time that they were measured. It seems that Wave III data was collected at a time in the subjects’ lives when their answers would be most beneficial to Kanazawa’s theory.

        He also notes that this is unfortunately part of a larger trend: “Psychology, which is unquestionably dominated by liberals, has developed an ugly habit of falsely maligning the political right. Through respectable-looking
        ‘research’ we sling mud with flawed data and tendentious methodology . . . .”

      • Snoodickle Says:

        I was referring to your entry where you argued that conservatives are better informed than liberals. You know, the one where you said liberals shouldn’t vote. Focus, please.

        P.S. What exactly do you think I don’t understand? I can’t make sense of anything you’re saying right now. Please explain.

  3. Snoodickle Says:

    Where does it say you have a policy of not posting links that are not accompanied by any discussion?


    • I don’t think I need a policy; it should go without saying that links “not accompanied by any discussion” are no way to contribute to the discussion. Nonetheless, as a courtesty, I did give fair warning, not even in some generic policy somewhere, but to you personally.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        What you’re saying makes no sense. What if the link says everything that I want to say? Would you have me retype the substance of the link in my own words? That doesn’t seem efficient at all.


      • If you can’t articulate (in less than a thousand words) how you think some 1,000-word article relates to the discussion at hand, yes, I think that’s a problem. To modify the old saying, if you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything at all. Again, I also think all this should go without saying.

        This is going to be my last comment on this entry. I don’t have all day to explain every little thing to someone who can’t even be bothered to read comments addressed to him personally.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        Again, what if everything I have to say is embodied in the link? That’s what I have to say. Does that make sense?

  4. Snoodickle Says:

    http://www.alternet.org/story/62436/

    A true scientific study to alleviate your concerns with the study cited in the last link I provided. This study actually measured the brain activity of liberals and conservatives, and concluded that liberals’ brains work better. (Is this sufficient dialogue, or should I write a couple more sentences?).

  5. egotistic Says:

    This post is comical in that you say liberals are uncivil and proceed to be uncivil towards liberals.

  6. Snoodickle Says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/science/earth/10truck.html?hp

    Now here’s a policy we can all agree on. Maybe there is hope for the environment after all.


  7. […] the liberal media’s coverage of this shooting with the coverage of the shooting of Congressman Giffords, which we were told was the fault of conservative rhetoric (and the shooter there wasn’t even […]


  8. […] “News Media Still Liberal, Liberals Still Uncivil” […]


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