Exposing Liberal Media Bias
November 1, 2017 | View PDF
For months now, we’ve heard the term “fake news” batted around and attached to news organizations across the political spectrum. The term has been increasingly applied by President Trump as it relates to the coverage of his administration by liberal news outlets, and while conservatives have long known that the dominant mainstream media outlets were skewed to the left, are they truly culpable in an agenda of pushing propaganda under the guise of news?
James O’Keefe, conservative activist and president of Project Veritas, who is best known for his undercover video series exposing ACORN, voter fraud, and other government misconduct, set out to learn just what happens in the hallowed halls of media giant The New York Times in his new video series “American Pravda, NYT.” O’Keefe’s undercover tactics typically draw immediate outrage from the left, and this series is no exception. I would imagine that even the series title, an apparent comparison of American print and network media to that of communist Russia was akin to pouring gasoline on a fire in the minds of O’Keefe’s enemies.
The four-part series (recommended for adult viewing only at http://projectveritas.com/ due to excessive use of expletives in describing our president) consists of undercover interviews with two members of the media staff and one I.T. contract staffer with The New York Times. The first interview of Nick Dudich reveals the online tactics of burying stories that the staffer didn’t like as well as his bragging about the placement of anti-Trump stories on the front page. Senior management of the Times dismissed the first and second videos as the staffer only being a recent hire who “violated their ethical standards and misrepresented his role” but the third video was far more revealing with remarks from Senior Home Page Editor, Desiree Shoe. In that video, Shoe is heard admitting this about the Times: “…it’s widely understood to be liberal-leaning. But, American newspapers are not supposed to claim a bias, they’re supposed to be objective.”
Further, Shoe claims that reporters of the NYT actually thought that anti-Trump articles before the election could sway voters against Trump. In her own words, “I think one of the things that maybe journalists were thinking about is like…Oh, if we write about him, about how insanely crazy he is and how ludicrous his policies are, then maybe people will read it and be like, oh wow, we shouldn’t vote for him.”
Finally, in the last video, in-office I.T. consultant Todd Gordon who has been with the company for 20 years acknowledges that the entire culture of the NYT actually “hate him (Trump) like the plague” and “unfairly report” on him by relying on hearsay rather than confirmed facts.
While we expect a degree of bias from opinion pieces such as my own which is appropriately titled as commentary, Americans expect the news we receive to be as free of bias as humanly possible. It’s certainly not easy to remove your bias when reporting; I still remember my attempts at doing so a few years back while briefly covering legislation at the Alabama State House for this publication. It was truly one of the hardest writing assignments I’ve ever encountered, and it gave me a deep appreciation for those few journalists of our time who endeavor to report the “who, what, where, when, and how” of news without slanting the facts towards either political side.
I’ve never held the belief that the NYT was in any way conservative but here’s my question - is the NYT merely biased or are they engaging in controlling the news? Based on the information contained in these recently released videos, it’s fairly apparent to me there’s certainly an intent to do so. But O’Keefe isn’t content with only exposing the bias and attempts to influence news at the NYT; he has promised that his video series will continue and expose other mainstream news outlets one at a time.
The angry reaction to the video series from NYT’s executive editors is as expected, with Executive Editor Dean Baquet calling O’Keefe a “despicable person who runs a despicable operation,” all the while acknowledging that an employee said “really stupid stuff” and “things he shouldn’t have said.” This editor thinks that going undercover is a greater “sin” as it is a sin of deception and subterfuge. Yet, the NYT and numerous media outlets in this nation have in the past utilized undercover operations to expose instances of fraud and corruption. Why are similar tactics acceptable for them but not others?
As O’Keefe explains in a video response to this editor, “their deception is to the people. Our deception is to gain access to certain subjects so that we can tell the truth about them to the American people. In other words, we deceive our targets – they deceive their audience.”
And in these videos, employees of the NYT brag about it. Sorry, Mr. Baquet and the NYT, do you really want to debate who is being deceptive?
*All quotes from http://projectveritas.com/ and video series “American Pravda, NYT”
Marcia Chambliss has been involved in grassroots conservative politics since 2009 and has contributed opinion articles pertaining to and cultural issues to The Alabama Gazette since 2010.