How many times have you heard Republicans complain about a liberal bias in mainstream media? Whenever things don’t work out for Republicans, or a member of their flanks is criticized publicly, they go on the offensive. No matter how objective the reporting may be, if it is not positive towards Republicans or their beliefs, it is an attack. This underlines the fundamental misconceptions of media that Republicans carry around with them everyday.
They claim that the media is liberal, which might in fact be true — under their definition of liberal. To them, objectivity is necessarily centrist, and therefore not conservative. They fail entirely to see the difference between coverage and commentary.
Coverage is objective journalism. After years of training and exercise, journalists are trained to expose truths, especially when people try to hide facts. There is a code of ethics that real journalists adhere to, which involves research, citation, and an absence of bias when reporting. A code of ethics for a specified profession is different than a blanket code of morality, another not small fact that Republicans willingly omit. Journalists as individuals can believe whatever they wish, but it is left out of their work.
Then there is commentary: individual and communal opinions that discuss elements of current events, like this website, which provides only the thoughts of its authors and is therefore not classified as news. If you haven’t yet noticed this site’s liberal bias… George W. Bush is a war criminal.
But Republicans feel that all news coverage that does not come from a blatantly conservative source must be liberal. It is how they think because their media outlets refuse to separate news and journalism from commentary. These outlets continuously complain about a liberal media bias to hamstring legitimate news agencies. There is such a worry now of appearing liberal that real journalists are worried about what they write, even things they know to be truly objective but discuss Republicans in some negative way.
The truth: journalists are trained to question what they see, not something the Republicans exactly encourage. Information liberalizes, and in turn humanizes, which is one of the reasons why Republicans fight against public education so strongly. The best strategy is to just ignore these types of complaints, and understand that the person opining it just does not understand media.