Conservative Books and "Studies" Alleging "Liberal
Rescuing America From the Media Elite" by Bernard Goldberg
2.3, Goldberg's book "Bias" was covered. Let's now look
at Goldberg's other book "Arrogance:
Rescuing America From the Media Elite".
As it turns out, after
writing one fraudulent, fact-compromised book, Goldberg decided to
write up another. Bob Somerby at The Daily Howler examined this one
too (numerous links on Somerby's coverage of both books are
Let me pick and highlight one or two of them (for lack of space/time).
Bernie just loves
cut-and-pasting. In Bias, he cut-and-pasted from the MRC—and
ended up slandering Natalie Angier for her thoughts about insect
reproduction. In Arrogance, he cut-and-pasted from the same
lousy source, this time slandering Howell Raines, for something a
fishing guide said. And just for the record, when he cut-and-pasted
from Michael Kelly, he fell into factual error again. Did Time’s
Jack White “hop on board the bandwagon” after Gore’s
comments about the media? That’s what Bernie clearly said, but
once again, the scribe was all wet. White’s statement was made on
November 15, 2002, on C-SPAN—several weeks before Gore’s
comments. The error is trivial, but the method is not. Goldberg’s
books are endlessly cut-and-pasted—and endlessly, Bernie makes no
attempt to check out the work he has borrowed.
Who is the corps’
biggest Hillary suck-up? In Arrogance, Goldberg devotes a
chapter to the topic, and he makes an odd choice: Margaret Carlson.
Here is the passage where he makes his award. By the way, note the
rancid tone Goldberg brings to his book—a book in which he weeps
and moans about the lack of polite discourse by liberals:
GOLDBERG (page 148):
Still, Nina Burleigh, Carole Simpson and even my ex-colleague
Leslie Stahl all take a backseat when it comes to painting
Hillary’s toenails. They are all runners-up in the “How May I
Serve You, My Queen?” Sweepstakes. Because none of them—not
even Newsweek contributing editor Eleanor “Rodham”
Clift—can rival Margaret Carlson, who does commentary for TIME
magazine (and is a regular on CNN’s Capital Gang) for
sheer devotion to Ms. Hillary. If they gave out Nobel Prizes for
Hillary-gushing, Margaret Carlson would be on her way to
Like many other Angry
Male Pundits, Bernie Goldberg has a hard time being polite to
liberal or mainstream female journalists. The name-calling is quite
frequent, as are the lightly sexist remarks. But then, feminists are
truly the source of all evil. “It is no coincidence that the
beginning of the collapse of the old [New York] Times standards
coincided almost exactly with the rise of the liberation movements
of the last sixties and early seventies, particularly feminism,”
Goldberg writes. So don’t be surprised when he invents mocking
names for Clift—and when he invents silly tales about Carlson.
At any rate, Goldberg
says that Margaret Carlson is the Mother of All Hillary-Gushers.
Here at THE HOWLER, we found this odd, because we had recently noted
Carlson’s exuberant bashing of Clinton. Carlson’s
autobiography, Anyone Can Grow Up, appeared in your
bookstores just last spring. In it, Carlson trashes the Clintons up
and down, and yes, that includes her Queen Hillary. In her book,
Carlson makes it sound as if Hillary’s friend, Vincent Foster,
blamed the Clintons in his suicide note. And she offers
mocking, foolish accounts of Hillary Clinton’s conduct and
character (links below). Soon after we reviewed Carlson’s book, we
also noted the mocking comments aimed at the Clintons when Carlson
appeared on Charlie Rose (link below). If you want to retain
an ounce of respect for Rose, we suggest you avoid our report.
Goldberg also borrowed the
"work" of the always fact-challenged Media Research Center
Somerby mentions an egregious example of fakery that defines
"Arrogance", as much as it defined "Bias":
A FISHER OF RUBES:
How big a fraud is Bernie Goldberg? Let’s return to that puzzling
“quotation” from his new book, Arrogance—the quote we
discussed in yesterday’s HOWLER (see THE
DAILY HOWLER, 11/18/03). In his chapter about the New York
Times, Bernie Goldberg thunders and rails about liberal demon Howell
GOLDBERG (page 66):
A lot of people—and not just conservatives—think [the Times]
hit rock bottom in 2001, when Howell Raines took over as executive
Raines was famously
quoted as saying that “the Reagan years oppressed me.” He
has also declared that Reagan, a man beloved by millions of his
countrymen, “couldn’t tie his shoelaces if his life depended
In contrast, there was
his view of Bill Clinton: “Huge political talent,” declared
Raines when Charlie Rose asked how he thought history would regard
Raines loved Clinton,
and just hated Reagan: It’s
a message the talk-show right loves to hear. And Bernie had the
perfect quote—a quote that could make readers feel like real
victims! Ronald Reagan was loved by millions—but Raines rudely
said he couldn’t tie his own shoes! Pseudo-con readers could cry
all day long when they read the rude thing Raines had said.
But was the
“quotation” actually accurate? Did Raines say that Ronald
Reagan “couldn’t tie his shoelaces if his life depended on
it?” In yesterday’s HOWLER, we voiced our suspicions about the
oddly truncated quote. From Google searches, we knew that Goldberg
had taken the quote from the archives of the Media Research Center.
And as we noted, the MRC is pathologically dishonest; the
influential org holds every world record for pulling
“quotations” out of any sane context. We could find no record of
the full quote, but we did notice something which made us
suspicious. We knew the quote came from Raines’ book, Fly
Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis. And, since reviews had said
that the book dealt in part with the way different presidents fished
and tied flies, we couldn’t help wondering if the truncated quote
had to do with Reagan’s skill on a stream. We knew, all too well,
how the MRC works. We couldn’t help wondering if the truncated
quote might concern the way Reagan tied flies!
And sure enough! Let’s
face it, readers—if there’s a way to commit fraud with a
“quote,” the MRC will find it. Readers sent us to amazon.com,
where you can now search a book’s contents. We called up Fly
Fishing, and sure enough! The “shoelaces” quote is on page
84. And yes, it deals with Reagan’s fishing—and it isn’t even
Raines who is speaking!
Who actually makes the
disturbing statement? Raines is out in the boonies with the late
Dick Blalock, a legendary Maryland fishing guide. Blalock has Raines
on a fast-running stream—and he talks about fisherman presidents:
RAINES (pages 83-84):
Even here in northern Maryland, we were still below the
Mason-Dixon line and technically still in the South. More to the
point, we were in hillbilly territory. In the nineteenth century,
these people tended whiskey stills…Now their descendants still
lived back in the hollows of the Catoctins, experienced poachers
of deer and turkey and of the fat trout in the fly-fishing-only
section of Hunting Creek. In short, Dick Blalock had brought me to
one of the northernmost outposts of the Redneck Way.
“See that pool?”
said Dick. “That was Jimmy Carter’s favorite pool when he was
President. We’re only about a mile from Camp David. The Fish and
Wildlife boys kept the stream lousy with big brood fish from the
hatcheries when he was up here. I knew a guy who used to slip in
and give every big trout in the stream a sore lip whenever he
heard Carter was coming. Of course, I liked Carter. Charlie Fox
and Ben Schley taught him a lot about fishing, and he ties a good
fly. Reagan couldn’t tie his shoelaces if his life depended
Amazing, isn’t it? But
typical of the way Bernie Goldberg does business. In short, it was Blalock
who made the statement, not Raines, as Bernie blusters to her
misused, misled readers. And what was Blalock plainly saying? That
Reagan didn’t know how to tie flies! That’s the actual
context of the “quote” which the MRC has been flogging for
years. And it’s flogged again in Bernie’s fake book, finally
reaching a national audience. Bernie Goldberg is a fisher of rubes.
And he’s reeling them in with this fakery.
Of course, this isn’t
the first time that Goldberg has cadged a phony “quote” from the
MRC. How big a fake is Bernie Goldberg? In Bias, he slandered
Times writer Natalie Angier with a similar MRC cut-and-paste job.
Years earlier, Angier—a science writer—had written a piece about
insect reproduction. And the MRC had swung into action; they clipped
a quote and made it sound like Angier had written a piece bashing
men! (See THE
DAILY HOWLER, 1/12/02. Prepare to emit mordant chuckles.)
Bernie, of course, just cut-and-pasted—and ranted. The rough
little man clipped the ludicrous “quote” and ranted and railed
for the readers of Bias. Now, he cuts and pastes from an old
fishing tale, and says that Raines trashed Ronald Reagan.
Somerby also posted
an update showing the extent to which Bozell and the MRC are
willing to fake their claims:
QUITE A STRETCH: Let’s have
E-Mailer Joe explain it! Just how great is the MRC’s clowning?
Here’s the message our e-mailer sent—after he explored the
origins of that Howell Raines “shoelaces” quote:
E-MAILER JOE (11/19/03): One more note on the “shoelaces”
quote that Goldberg lifts from the MRC.
What do the stylebooks say? Here at THE HOWLER, we don’t really
know. Most likely, writers of those journalistic stylebooks never
dreamed of such total fakery—never dreamed that they’d have to
confront such startling attempts at deception. At any rate, E-Mailer
Joe is far too kind when he refers to this “rather loose abuse.”
This “quote” which the MRC stitched together is typical of that
org’s endless clowning. As we’ve seen, the “shoelaces” quote
(from page 84) concerned Reagan’s fishing, and it wasn’t even
spoken by Raines. But Brent Bozell didn’t want you to know that.
So he and his gang—well, they made quite a stretch! Their ellipsis
stretched across 28 pages—and it showed their contempt for your
The Howler from today notes: “As we noted, the MRC is
pathologically dishonest; the influential org holds every world
record for pulling ‘quotations’ out of any sane context.”
Luckily, the magic of the Internet gives us the tools to put that
thesis to the test.
The earliest cite of the shoelaces quote delivered by the
MRC’s own search engine comes from May 5, 1994. In its
long-running “Notable Quotables” feature, the
MRC shows us Howell Raines’ unspeakable bias:
“Then one day in the summer of 1981 I found myself at the L.L.
Bean store in Freeport, Maine. I was a correspondent in the White
House in those days, and my work—which consisted of reporting on
President Reagan’s success in making life harder for citizens
who were not born rich, white, and healthy—saddened me…My
parents raised me to admire generosity and to feel pity. I had
arrived in our nation’s capital [in 1981] during a historic
ascendancy of greed and hard-heartedness…Reagan couldn’t tie
his shoelaces if his life depended on it.” —New York Times
editorial page editor (and former Washington Bureau Chief) Howell
Raines in his book Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis.
However, having read my Howler regularly and taken its lessons
to heart, I questioned that last ellipsis. The logic of the
passage doesn’t seem to flow very well from “a historic
ascendancy of greed and hard-heartedness” to “Reagan
couldn’t tie his shoelaces.” So what’s missing in between?
Nothing much—just 28 pages of text! The portion of the
“quote” before the ellipsis occurs on page 56 of Raines’
book. The “shoelaces” reference appears on page 84. What do
the journalistic stylebooks say about this rather loose abuse of
three little dots?
[According to Somerby,
the MRC then posted something saying it “regrets the confusion”
about that “shoelaces” quote."]
Here's another case where Goldberg used fraudster John
Lott's work to claim bias, based on an incident in the Appalachian
School of Law. Tim Lambert at Deltoid reviewed
Bernard Goldberg and John Lott, birds of a feather
Lott’s favourite example of the “Bias Against Guns” is the
story of the shootings at the Appalachian School of Law. Lott
performed a superficial analysis of the news stories about the
shootings and found that very few of the stories mentioned the fact
that two of the students involved in apprehending the killer were
armed. Lott concluded that reporters deliberately left out this fact
because they were biased, but my more
careful analysis finds that the first stories published did not
mention the guns because the reporters did not know about them,
while the later stories were about different aspects of that matter.
Bernard Goldberg has a new book Arrogance where he
makes the same argument and repeats Lott’s superficial analysis.
He was interviewed on CNBC by Tim Russert on Nov 15:
In fact, only one student, Tracy Bridges said that he pointed his
gun at the killer. Goldberg neglects to mention that Bridges’
account is disputed by Ted Besen, who says that the killer put his
gun down before Bridges arrived and that there are no
witnesses who saw Bridges pointing the gun.
Mr. GOLDBERG: That’s—that story, Tim—you know, I told you
I don’t believe in conspiracies, but this one makes me wonder.
Early last year a student at the Appalachian Law School in Grundy,
Virginia, went on a shooting spree. He killed a bunch of people.
He killed three people, including the dean and a professor and
a—a student and shot and wounded three other students. It’s a
blue-collar law school, so a lot of the students there have jobs.
And two of them had jobs in law enforcement. When they heard the
shooting—and the campus was running all over the place. People
were ducking for cover and everything. This guy was just shooting
up the place. They went to their cars and got their
guns—and—and I did a lot of reporting on this, and tracked
down one of the major figures involved, and they walked up to the
guy with their guns from two different directions, these two
students, and they said, `Put down your gun,’ and—and then
they wrestled him to the ground.
Of course, the scholar he refers to is John Lott.
I got a call from a criminologist, a scholar—a scholar, who
said that he had done a search on the computer and found 204
stories on this, and only four mentioned that the students who
subdued the gunman, who tackled the gunman as—as all the papers
and networks put it, also had guns. I didn’t believe that. That
could not be true; four out of 200. So I did a little research on
my own, and I found some guy at the University of Iowa who ran two
separate studies, and he came up with pretty much the same
numbers, pretty much. I didn’t believe it. I did my own study. I
went to Nexis and found the 100 biggest news organizations in
America, which included the networks and the—and all the big
papers, that covered the story, and I found six. Four of them in
the area, making it a local story for them—six that reported
that the two gunmen—that the two students also had guns to
subdue him. They didn’t simply tackle him. They didn’t simply
subdue the guy. They used guns.
Or if he had taken a little care in his analysis, he might have
noticed that, for example, reporter Rex Bowman did not mention the
guns in his Jan 17 story but did mention them in his Jan 18 story
and figured out that Bowman didn’t mention them on Jan 17 because
he didn’t know about them. But then Goldberg would not have had
this example for his book.
And I was—I was saying to myself, `Why would you leave out
such a crucial piece of info—that is crucial. All I could come
up with is that, since many reporters are liberal—most—almost
all are liberal—and since many liberals don’t just not like
guns, but they’re anti-gun, to—to do a story that says guns
sometimes—sometimes are used to prevent more violence, sometimes
guns are used defensively for good, that just didn’t fit the
preconceived notions. And by the way, that’s what the book is
about, the preconceived notions that reporters come to the story
with. And on guns, the preconceived notion is simply guns are bad.
Now this comes from a story
(registration required) by Rick Montgomery in the Kansas City
Star on the controversy about the media coverage of the
shootings. Unlike Goldberg, Montgomery presents both sides of the
debate, so Goldberg must be well aware that Besen contradicts
Bridges’ account and that reporters did not mention the gun
because they did not know about it. If Goldberg had bothered to tell
his readers about these facts it would have undercut his message
about media bias, so he just left them out. Montgomery’s story
presents both sides of the question, while Goldberg’s is
deliberately one-sided. Goldberg complains about media bias when the
bias is his own.
By the way, I think America is broken up into two groups about
guns, so I’m going to give you my own bias. I’m not a gun
person. I don’t like guns. But I’m not anti-gun. I wish
everybody on my street, where I live in Miami, has a gun. You
know, I think it would be a safer place if everybody had a gun.
But that—that goes beyond, you know, just group think. That
almost goes to group lying.
RUSSERT: But now when you raise this issue—I’m immediately
curious, did the students actually fire their guns?
Mr. GOLDBERG: No.
RUSSERT: Were their guns in their cars?
Mr. GOLDBERG: Yes.
RUSSERT: Were they bringing their guns to school?
Mr. GOLDBERG: Yeah.
RUSSERT: Were they licensed guns? I mean, it’s a whole
Mr. GOLDBERG: That’s right. By the way, the—there’s a
sidebar I did not put in this book, but I’ll tell you—and I
should have. I didn’t learn about it till later. When—when
somebody involved in looking into this called the Associated Press
and spoke to a major, major editor there, and said, `Your guy
didn’t’—talking about the Associated Press, `Your guy
didn’t put this in his story,’ the editor was shocked, but not
shocked because his reporter left it out of the story, shocked
that these other students had guns that they brought to campus
with them, and then put—took them out of their car, and God
knows what might have happened if these two guys started shooting.
That’s what he was shocked about.
Goldberg needs to wise up. He can no longer get away with
deliberately distorted accounts in his books because some blogger
will check the facts and expose him.
You know, Tim, I said there are slivers of sunshine, but when I
even hear myself telling stories like this, I say these guys are
so arrogant. They better wise up. They better wise up because if
they don’t change, they’re going to become the journalistic
equivalent of the leisure suit; harmless enough but hopelessly out
RUSSERT: It is so important when you have an issue like guns,
now matter how you feel, the fact is, the National Rifle
Association does represent a sizable number of Americans…
Mr. GOLDBERG: Oh, yeah.
RUSSERT: …state their opinion accurately, and Americans for
Gun Control have their view. Put both views out there and let
people make their own decision as to how—where they come down.
Mr. GOLDBERG: But people get angry. There was one guy who went
on a Web site and he really started putting stuff out that the
gunman had already put his gun down before the students went up
with their guns. That’s not totally true. The students came up
with their guns. They said, `Put your gun down.’ The st—the
guy had run out of bullets, was in the process of putting his gun
down. He may have been going to the car to get more bullets. The
fact that they had guns, these other students, no journalist could
argue that that’s not relevant. Yet only six news organizations
out of the top 100 reported that the subduers, the
“One guy who went on a Web site”? That would be me. (If you
google for “Appalachian School of Law”, my blog shows up in the
first page of results.) Notice how he just says “putting stuff
out” rather than saying that I was reporting the eyewitness
account of Ted Besen. And if Goldberg had bothered to read all the
stories about the shootings he would have known that the killer did
not have more ammunition in his car.
In another interview,
Goldberg repeats the story and adds this detail:
And then I found one of the guys, Tracy Bridges, one of the
students and had a long talk with him. And he told me—he said,
‘I spoke with about a hundred reporters. I told every one of
them what happened.’
This is interesting. Last year Bridges said
he spoke to over 50 reporters. Now the number has grown to a
hundred. If Bridges embellished his account of the number of
reporters how do we know he didn’t embellish his account of his
gun use? After all, the first time he told it, he
didn’t saying anything about pointing his gun at the killer.
Somerby covered another
aspect of this case:
GOLDBERG (page 186): I sampled one hundred news sources,
which included the major TV outlets and most every big city daily
in the country. And what I found stunned me. Sure enough, only a
few papers in the whole country reported that the rescuers had
guns. I counted a grand total of six out a hundred. Six!
As you’ll note, Bernie’s a bit rusty at research. First he says
that he sampled “one hundred news sources.” Three sentences
later, he changes his tale; now he reports what he found in a
hundred newspapers. (Yes, it makes a difference. Keep
reading.) But no matter! Bernie rails for page after page about the
way the American press suppressed the fact that “the rescuers had
guns.” But “giving credit where it’s due,” he names the six
papers that did cite the guns. “[T]he papers were the New
York Times, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Lexington
Herald-Leader, the Charlotte Observer, the Asheville
Citizen-Times, and the Roanoke Times and World News,” Bernie
For the record, even an amateur will note a few things about
Bernie’s list of good papers. Five of these papers hail from the
law school’s geographic area; these are local newspapers,
papers that gave the Appalachian killings oodles of coverage. For
example, are you surprised to learn that the Roanoke paper provided
more detail than the Seattle Times did? This is hardly surprising
(details below). And even a novice will note something else.
According to Bernie, the New York Times did mention the guns;
by contrast, the Washington Times did not. In a story alleging
liberal bias, this may strike you as a bit odd. Oh yes, one more
point. Although Bernie knew enough not to say so, at least one
network TV show did mention the use of the guns. On the morning
after the shootings, the Today show interviewed one of the
students who subdued the killer—and yes, the students’ guns were
mentioned. So let’s see: Katie Couric and the New York Times
mentioned the guns. But the Washington Times did not—and neither
did Brit Hume’s Special Report, which reported the story
that night. Weird, isn’t it? According to Bernie, Hume and the
Washington Times showed liberal bias; Couric and the New York Times
did not. Do you see how strange reality gets when Bernie Goldberg
begins firing in the air?
But a wider look at the news reporting shows how fake Bernie’s
work really is. According to Bernie, anti-gun bias was “the only
plausible reason” for failure to mention the rescuers’ gun. But
that statement by Bernie is simply untrue. And Bernie G surely
understood that. Why didn’t newspapers mention those guns? There
seem to be several obvious reasons—reasons Bernie dumped from his
Why didn’t newspapers mention the
guns? How about this: How about the fact that the “rescuers’
guns” seem to have played no role in the rescue? A bit of
background information will help: By March of 2002, the NRA was
complaining about the gun-free coverage of this incident. In
response, the Kansas City Star’s Rick Montgomery did what Bernie
refuses to do; he actually conducted a full investigation, and he
reported a full range of facts. In particular, Montgomery
interviewed two of the students who tackled the killer; he also
interviewed the Virginia State Police. And the story that emerged
from Montgomery’s research is quite different from the claptrap in
Arrogance. Did students “get the guns and use them to
subdue the killer?” On balance, it seems they did not. Here’s
the part of Montgomery’s piece where he begins to examine this
MONTGOMERY: A nagging wrinkle figures into the law-school
shootings: Whose version is true?
The Star recently interviewed two students involved—[Tracy]
Bridges and [Ted] Besen. They gave differing accounts.
Bridges repeated that he pointed his weapon at Odighizuwa and
ordered the suspect to put his own down, which he did.
According to Besen, the first student to tackle the suspect,
nothing of the sort happened. He said Odighizuwa set down the
gun and raised his arms—“like he was mocking everyone: ha, ha,
what are you going to do now?”—before the students confronted
The two armed students had not yet arrived at the scene, Besen
said: “Peter had no knowledge anyone had a gun.”
Virginia State Police confirmed Odighizuwa’s weapon was empty
So two different students told two
different stories! In Arrogance, of course, Bernie only
mentions Bridges—the students whose story he likes. Meanwhile,
Montgomery spoke to the State Police too. And the State Police
MONTGOMERY (continuing directly): Police spokesman Mike
Stater said the armed students did assist after Besen and
another student, Todd Ross, tackled the gunman. Bridges sat on the
suspect while Gross, also armed, provided handcuffs he had gotten
from his car.
Whose account is correct? We simply don’t know. But according to
the State Police, the armed students arrived on the scene after
Odighizuwa was tackled. Why were unarmed students able to subdue
him? His gun was out of bullets, Stater said—a point which no one
disputes. By the way, even Bridges didn’t mention his heroic
gun-pointing until several days after the incident. See his full
But to Stater’s view, the biggest heroes were Besen and
Ross—the unarmed men who lunged at Odighizuwa.
So why didn’t newspapers mention the
guns? One possible reason is obvious—when they interviewed
students and the State Police, no one thought the rescuers’ guns
had played any role in the rescue. But there are other clear reasons
for the absence of guns from most newspaper stories. Why didn’t
newspapers mention the guns? Duh! For most newspapers around the
country, this was a quite minor story. We’re not sure how
Bernie’s search allowed him to sample “a hundred newspapers;”
at present, Nexis archives show far fewer papers reporting the
shooting incident. (We count only 46 in the first five days
post-event. This includes such giants as the Fremont, California
Argus, which devoted about 100 words to the story.) But at any rate,
for most newspapers which mentioned the story, it was a very minor
item. Remember the Seattle Times, for example. Here was their
SEATTLE TIMES (1/17/02):
Dismissed law student kills dean, professor, wounds 3
GRUNDY, Va. A student who had been dismissed from law school
went on a campus shooting spree yesterday, killing the dean, a
professor and a student before he was tackled by students,
The attack also wounded three female students at the
Appalachian School of Law. They were hospitalized in fair
Authorities said the 42-year-old suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, had
arrived at school to meet with the dean about his academic
dismissal, which went into effect yesterday.
That was it! The Times ran a few dozen
words from the AP report. The next day, the Times ran an update:
SEATTLE TIMES (1/18/02)
That was it! You’d never know it from reading Arrogance,
but most papers gave this story extremely limited coverage, or gave
it no coverage at all. Given the length of the paper’s dispatches,
is it really surprising that the Seattle Times failed to mention the
rescuers’ guns? No, it isn’t surprising at all. Bernie doesn’t
mention this because he knows that it kills his fake story.
Peter Odighizuwa, a former law student charged with capital
murder in the shooting deaths of three people at Appalachian
School of Law, told a court in Grundy, Va., yesterday that he is
sick and needs help. Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver said she will seek
the death penalty.
So according to the State Police, the “rescuers’ guns”
played no role in the capture. And many newspapers only devoted a
couple of lines to the story. But there’s another reason why most
newspapers didn’t mention the guns, a reason Bernie omits from his
piece so he can vent in full fury. Why didn’t newspapers mention
the guns? Most newspapers which covered this story did just what the
Seattle Times did—they ran some small part of the AP report. And
since Roger Alford’s January 16 AP report hadn’t mentioned the
rescuers’ guns, it’s hardly surprising that these far-flung
papers didn’t mention them either. But you know Bernie! He
pretends to have pawed through the nation’s newspapers, then he
expresses his sense of shock at their repeated failure to mention
the guns. But in the case of most of these papers, he is simply
counting the same AP story again and again, getting angrier
each time he reads it. Yes, this is a case of high clowning. But
then, that’s how this phony man works.
point about Arrogance highlighted by Somerby:
But what makes Bernie a major-league phony? In the two years
since Bias appeared, a number of writers have offered
critiques of the book’s major claims. For example, Eric Alterman
challenged Bias in What Liberal Media; incomparably
citing our own critiques, Alterman took on some of Bernie’s
assertions right in his opening chapter. Indeed, Alterman did what
real writers do; he repeated claims which Bernie had made, and then
he offered contradictory evidence. In the rest of his book, Alterman
sketched a nuanced theory about the press corps’ varying
tendencies. Why, it tells you that right on the dust jacket:
“Alterman finds the media to be far more conservative than
liberal, though it is possible to find evidence for both views.”
But how did Bernie respond to such
work? Simple! He simply ignored it! Alterman doesn’t appear in Arrogance;
the research he cited is MIA too. Instead, Bernie offers clipped
accounts of what liberals have said about media bias. He starts with
Al Gore’s claim, in November 2002, that a group of conservative
news orgs were “injecting the daily Republican talking points into
the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as
a whole.” Quickly, Bernie swung into action. We quote at length
for a reason:
GOLDBERG (page 7): Once Al Gore spoke the gospel of
conservative bias, it took only seconds for left-of-center
journalists to start hopping on board the bandwagon.
All nuance is gone from what these writers have said, and Goldberg
makes no attempt to produce or refute their real arguments. Instead,
he overstates what they have alleged, and ridicules them for their
“culture of denial.” “Deny! Deny! Deny!” he writes, as if
repetition could replace a real argument. But it isn’t as if he
presents no rebuttal. On page 9, Bernie quotes a joke by Jay
Leno—a joke which implied that liberal bias exists. “The joke
got a great big laugh,” Bernie says, “which ought to tell us
something.” To Bernie, if Leno’s audience thinks that it’s
true, that’s pretty much good enough.
“Al Gore said the obvious,” wrote the left-wing New York
Times columnist Paul Krugman.
“The legend of the liberal media is finally dead,”
proclaimed Joe Conason, the liberal columnist of the New York
“Sooner or later, I think we’re all going to have to
acknowledge that the myth of liberal bias in the press is just
that, it’s a myth,” according to Jack White, one of TIME
magazine’s liberal columnists.
The true “new bias,” according to E. J. Dionne Jr., one of
the many liberal columnists at the Washington Post, “adds
up to [a] media heavily biased toward conservative politics and
But then, Goldberg is the consummate lightweight—the king of
cut-and-paste pseudo-journalism. Did the media trash Clinton, then
trash Gore? In Arrogance, that doesn’t matter. Bernie says
that the media are liberal all the same—and later, he tries to
claim that the New York Times pandered to Clinton and Gore
DAILY HOWLER, 11/18/03). Howell Raines loved Clinton, he plainly
implies—and he doesn’t tell his conservative readers that Raines
trashed Clinton for year after year. The Times pandered to Candidate
Gore, he implies. That too is major-league hooey, of course, as
Alterman details in one whole chapter. But did we mention that
Alterman didn’t make Bernie’s book? Neither does Campaign 2000!
Incredibly, Bernie has written two full books about the corps’
liberal bias without mentioning the way they trashed Gore.
A lot more here
FAIR has some comments here.