What Bias Looks Like - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
What Bias Looks Like

Connoisseurs of liberal media bias will cherish the first-class specimen provided today by Carol Leonnig in The Washington Post. One of the basic habits of liberal journalists is to apply ideological labels to Republicans while omitting such labels for Democrats, and Leonnig describes critics of the Obama transition team as “”staunch conservatives” in her first paragraph, then later describes these critics as belonging to the “ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party.”

Meanwhile, similar appelations for liberals appear only when framed as accusations from the aforesaid ultra-conservatives. Ergo, to the Washington Post reporter, it is self-evident that Roger Clegg is an ideological extremist, whereas only such extremists would complain of “an ultra-left takeover by Obama advisers and nominees.”

Leonnig masterfully demonstrates the Post‘s classic passive-aggressive method of leading the story with a dependent clause which serves to tell the reader what to think about the story that follows:

To some staunch conservatives watching President Bush relinquish the reins of power to President-elect Barack Obama, a few too many ardent liberals are now crashing the gates.

See how this works? With the dependent clause, Leonnig informs her readers at the outset that criticism of Roberta Achtenberg or Bill Lann Lee is considered legitimate only by right-wing troglodytes. You have to burrow your way past all that in order to find the actual news hidden by Leonnig’s technique, namely that, contrary to the expectations raised by Obama’s mantra of “Change,” the incoming administration is staffing up with Clinton administration cronies, including controversial figures like Achtenberg and Lee.

Robert Stacy McCain
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