Monday, December 08, 2003

I like the gang at Brent Bozell's Media Research Center, and I also think the liberal bias of the mainstream news media is proven beyond a reasonable doubt--largely thanks to the dilligent efforts of the MRC.

Still, I think sometimes they go a little overboard in their search for supposed bias. In today's Cyberalert, the MRC sees Tim Russert's questioning of Hillary Clinton on yesterday's "Meet the Press" as some sort of attempt to convince her to run for president, ostensibly based on his desire to see her run:
1) On Sunday, ABC's George Stephanopoulos and NBC's Tim Russert grew excited and repeatedly tried to entice Senator Clinton into the presidential derby, eliciting laughter from Clinton for their efforts.

...NBC's Tim Russert presented her with the scenario of a deadlocked convention which turns to her. Russert followed up ten times as he tried to persuade her to run. Examples: "So no matter what happens, absolutely, categorically, no?", "But you would never accept the nomination in 2004?" and, ever hopeful, "I think the door is opening a bit."
First of all, despite Russert's Democratic credentials (he's worked for Mario Cuomo, among others), I think he is perhaps the fairest high-profile journalist on any of the networks.

Second, Russert didn't handle it any differently than I would have handled it (as a right-winger, no less) if I had been in his place. Mrs. Clinton refuses to categorically deny the possibility of a run, always couching her "denials" in the typical, Clintonian language that her husband made famous. Any good journalist would see the cracks of light in her non-denial denials and attempted to nail her down, especially since anything concrete that she lets slip out would be a major coup for a news organization. As long as she refused to give a candid answer to the question, Russert was right to keep exploiting the holes in her evasions.

Simply trying to nail down an evasive subject on an important issue like this is hardly evidence of liberal bias.

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