Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Six Rules of Mainstream Journalism 
Cori Dauber's anonymous guest blogger lays out six rules of reflexively liberal journalism.

Rule #1: When politically partisan groups are described as in conflict, the focus will be on the "aggressive" activities of the "right" groups.

Rule #2: when politically partisan groups are described, the "right" group will be portrayed as more extreme than the "left" group.

Rule #3: when spokespeople are chosen to "sum up" a "liberal" point of view they will have, or will be described as having, the most pleasing credentials possible.

Rule #4: when profiling the "religious right", the story will find a religiously-credentialed opponent on the left to quote; when profiling the left, no liberal critic of the left will be quoted.

Rule #5: activism by religious people on the right is dangerous; activism by religious people on the left is innocuous or praiseworthy.

Rule #6: the left gets the last word.

He applies them to a Denver Post article. Normally, I'm suspicious of rules someone comes up with to describe a particular article. It's dangerous to argue from the specific to the general. But this summer we have a perfect opportunity to test the good professor's theorems -- the fight over the replacement for Justice O'Connor, and later Renquist.

Someone with more time than I have may wish to actually quantify the results. Which news outlets have the highest tendency to hit all six rules?

Sounds like a great project for an aspiring communications or j-school student!

Splash, out


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