Blame the Ombudsman


Last Wednesday NewsBusters (Media Research Center’s project for "documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias") ran a
short piece on the alleged bias of PBS and their coverage of Bill O’Reilly’s role in the George
Tiller murder.

Focusing on a report by PBS’s ombudsman, Ken Bode, the
article’s author, Tim Graham, quotes at length from Bode’s report. Graham
offers little evidence disputing the report, however, but instead, at best, takes the
gray areas explored in any news report, restating his personal perspective as correct and unbiased. His perspective is warped. The article says:

 

"The article’s headline was ‘Now: Forceful, Accurate,
and Timely.’ This would seem like an odd headline, since Bode thinks it’s
accurate to claim that a threatening letter is an act of ‘violence.’"

 

The Secret Service considers it an arrestable offence to
write a threatening letter to the President, but ignoring that, how else could
we possibly categorize a letter filled with explicit death threats? The most
you can soften it is to claim that it’s merely a prelude to a violent act; this is hardly innocuous. In another
paragraph, Graham says that Bode’s suggestion of a different perspective from a
pro-lifer (in this case, one who denounces his role in violent speech) is
suggesting further bias: as if, somehow, offering tougher questions and a
different perspective makes an article unbalanced. Others would call this good
journalism.

 

Then Graham complains that when Bode laments "that National
Public Radio correspondent Juan Williams would lower himself to appearing on
Fox" this somehow implies unfairness. Graham is claiming that the act of
calling out another news network’s implicit bias is itself a declaration of
one’s own biased, unfair worldview; while this is logical enough, Graham
forgets that this is exactly what he’s doing by calling out PBS and its
ombudsman without offering anything substantial to justify his own claims. He’s
shattered his own credibility, and his article is pointless.

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