Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is the Left-wing Media Consensus Finally Cracking?

I often blog about the state of the mainstream media, a favourite bugbear of mine.  I have complained in the past that the media in most Western countries, and in New Zealand in particular, is facile, politically biased and dishonest in hiding its real motives behind a hypocritical, holier-than-thou cloak of journalistic integrity.  Major global news organisations like the BBC and CNN are among the worst offenders, taking strong advocacy positions on issues of the day such as climate change and Middle Eastern politics without the slightest concern for impartiality.  The editorial views of such organisations are invariably left-wing - the answer to any problem is always strong, paternalistic, government intervention and individual rights are always dispensible.  Sure, they pay lip service to "human rights" but they are always selective about whose rights they are supporting.  The rights of Palestinian Arabs, for example, are deemed worthy of their support, those of Syrian protesters just a few hundred miles away, not so much (or those of Israeli families to enjoy life free of missile attacks). Of course, there are a few news organisations that take a more right-wing stance such as Fox News in the United States, but these are very much in the minority and in recent years they have become shrill advocates of religious conservativism rather than supporters of the small-government, maximum individual responsibility views of classical liberals like me.

There have been a couple of promising signs recently that the predominatly Socialist/statist/big-government consensus in the mainstream media is cracking.  On climate change, for example, the views of the many reputable scientists who question the consensus of catastrophic, man-made, global warming are finally getting some coverage in outlets previously staunch in their promotion of warmist propanganda - for example, this article in The Independent about Richard Lindzen's speech to a public meeting in the British House of Commons.  Even the Guardian, known for its overwhelmingly left-wing stance on all issues, recently reported in this article that the British public doesn't buy the continued expansion of the welfare state.  Here in New Zealand, I was surprised to see this opinion piece in The New Zealand Herald questioning why hardworking taxpayers should continue to pay taxes to support unworthy "work-shy drones" (hat tip to Lindsay Mitchell for bringing my attention to this).

I suppose a swallow doesn't make a summer but the signs are encouraging.  Perhaps a new wave of young journalists is finally questioning the years of brainwashing they received at the hands of Gramsci-ite journalism school lecturers, or perhaps editors are becoming concerned about their falling circulation figures and are realising they are out of step with mainstream public opinion.  I do not know the answer but it is encouraging to see we are finally getting a small degree of balance in the reporting of such issues by major news outlets.