Monday, May 21, 2007


Drive-Bias Shooting

The Washington Post today has a story about Republicans play ing catch-up in the online political world.

Given sites like Real Clear Politics, Red State and Town Hall, I'm not so sure gap is as wide on the activist side as it may be on the party-structure side. However, there is one quote in here that just drives me up the frickin' wall:

And Republicans are hardly conceding the fight in the 2008 campaign.
TechRepublican, the group blog started two weeks ago by All, who worked as communications director for Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), there is QubeTV, founded in March as an alternative to what one of its founders, Charlie Gerow, a former Reagan campaign aide, calls "the liberal bias" of YouTube.
Grrr..."the liberal bias" of YouTube? Oh, give me a break, please! Stop the whining, for the love of God!

The charge of "liberal bias" in the mainstream media had a resonance at one time, because people like Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, (and their print counterparts), etc. made statements that conservatives could credibly argue were, indeed, liberal. Even if there was no intent to push an explicit liberal agenda, many stories were broadcast (and written) based on a liberal premise of public policy. For example, the story might ask why more funds weren't being made available for child-care: The premise is liberal because a fair question could be asked why government should be paying for child-care in the first place. That's just one example of possible "liberal bias" in a mainstream media story.

That occurred at a time when the anchors, producers, editors, writers, etc. all came from a similar background, went to the same parties, same schools, etc. The mainstream media was run by group think -- and some places like The New York Times, CBS News, etc. are still run that way.

But there is so much more media out there right now. Media is a much more democratic (small-"d") entity. That includes talk radio. That certainly includes blogs. And it certainly includes YouTube. But how can YouTube be liberally "biased"? It's open to everyone -- unlike the Old Media entities. Anyone can post anything (within standards of decency, of course) they want, from any point of view.

Or no point of view, as the case may be.

But now, Charlie Gerow (who I've met a few times -- perfectly nice guy) feels the need to create a "conservative" YouTube, thus encouraging conservative video creators to abandon YouTube -- and making a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Create a YouTube competitor if you want, but drop the "bias" BS, please!

(The same argument, by the way, holds for charges of bias at Wikipedia, though that is a little more dicey, given how entries can be more easily sabotaged by people with political agendas and other axes to grind.)

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