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NBC: Our Bias is Showing
By Ed Driscoll · February 15, 2007 07:46 PM · Oh, That Liberal Media!

What's going on with NBC?

At the start of the month, I wrote:

So far the Blogosphere has spotted Chernobyl-style meltdowns in credibility by CBS, the Washington Post, Newsweek, AP, and on numerous occasions, the New York Times and Reuters.

When I interviewed Glenn Reynolds last year for my TCS Daily article on An Army Of Davids, he quoted a passage from Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End that "utopia was a Red Queen’s Race with extinction". Glenn added, "Even if things are going terribly, it will seem like it’s going well, right up until the end".

Have the mainstream media quietly begun some sort of Red Queen's Race of their own? Or is the Blogosphere merely getting increasingly better at catching the media's worst moments and publicizing them?

Here's another example of that apparent trend in action: Bill O'Reilly has been swinging at NBC repeatedly for heading further to the left in recent months. NBC's news president Steve Capus counterpunches that "I think it's really kind of sad and pathetic, some of the things that he's been lobbing at us these days", even as he hires ultra-leftwing BDS-obsessed Keith Olbermann to provide commentary for NBC's flagship Nightly News, in addition to his regular low-rated gig at MSNBC.

In response to this move, and the now infamous recent post by William Arkin, who's employed by both NBC and the Washington Post, retired Army Col. Ken Allard, a regular contributor to NBC, has had enough:

It is, therefore, possible to argue that NBC is merely undergoing a delicate arabesque in anticipation of changing audience preferences and the long- hoped-for Democratic restoration (although journalists generally seem reluctant to raise the tough questions that should punctuate the 2008 campaign).

But has anyone else noticed the network's precipitous retreat from journalistic and ethical standards? Not only were no apologies given and no pink slips issued for Arkin's outburst, but on his MSNBC show last week, Keith Olberman went out of his way to defend this "valid criticism" of our military.

In January, Conan O'Brien was allowed to escape without apology after airing a particularly tasteless gay skit deriding Christianity: "Oh, Jesus, I love you, but only as a friend." (Just try doing that sometime using Mohammad's name!)

And only this week, questions have been raised about the cozy relationships between CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo and the companies she covers as a supposedly objective journalist. The response by Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE and godfather of the NBC family: "Substantially, I don't think she did anything wrong."

Fine: Let's hope he's right. But sometimes the only way to show where you really stand is to vote with your feet. And so with great reluctance and best wishes to my former colleagues, with this column I am severing my 10-year relationship with NBC News.

As I wrote in my original post:
The media as a whole aren't going away any time soon, of course (although Hugh Hewitt might argue with that). They're too well funded via advertising, subscriptions, stocks, bonds, and other revenue. But it seems like something has to change--the accumulated weight of all of the errors, gaffes, and uses of wildly slanted tone in otherwise "objective" reporting has to begin to register at some point.
Where will NBC's direction further to the left lead them?

Update: Related thoughts from Sigmund, Carl and Alfred, found via The Anchoress, who has thoughts on both new media and old, and their evolution.

Update 2/16/07: Welcome Hot Air readers; and allow NRO's Stephen Spruiell to place NBC's current positioning into sharp perspective:

Ken Allard quits, William Arkin stays, and Keith Olbermann just got promoted. That should give you a pretty clear idea of where things stand right now at NBC News.
Indeed it does.

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