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With Dan Rather’s departure from the CBS Evening News last week, there has been a lot of debate about whether or not there is a liberal bias in the mainstream media — as if that were a debatable point. Some pundits and journalists argue that even if a liberal bias existed in the past, that those days ended with the rise of talk radio, Fox News and the blogs.

While I am ready to concede that these new media outlets are helping to bring balance to the presentation of news, I hold that the mainstream media still has an unmistakable liberal bias. For those following this transformation, I have come up with a few telltale signs that will signal the mainstream media has achieved a “fair and balanced” presentation of the news.

You will know the mainstream media is no longer biased…

…when the average American knows as much about what Sandy Berger stuffed into his pants, as they know about what Bill Clinton pulled out of his.

…when whistleblowers Linda Tripp and Manuel Miranda are treated by the media in a manner comparable to the way Richard Clarke, Paul O’Neill and Joe Wilson were treated. (Don’t know who Manuel Miranda is? Read on.)

…when the media reports the story of Senate Democrat Judiciary Committee memos as a story about elected officials admitting that they were against the nomination of Miguel Estrada because, among other things, “he is Latino,” rather than as the story of a Senate staffer, Manuel Miranda improperly accessing documents the Democrats did not intend for public consumption.

…when every conservative judicial nominee is no longer referred to as “extreme” or “controversial” simply because they are opposed by the Democrats.

…when liberal pundits are labeled “liberal” on the television screen as consistently as Ann Coulter and other conservative pundits are labeled “conservative.”

…when phrases like “big union,” “big abortion,” and “big trial lawyers” are as common as “big oil” and “big tobacco” in news stories.

…when there is as much of a rush to be the first to break the story of who forged the Bush National Guard memos as there was to run the pre-election report based on the fake documents.

I came up with that baker’s half dozen without even addressing the way the mainstream media reports on the war, taxes or a myriad of other subjects. Until I start seeing changes like the ones listed above, I will not be convinced that liberal bias in the mainstream media has gone the way of the rotary phone.

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