I think about this a lot.
The Righties hate the evil Mainstream Media, the Lefties hate the evil Mainstream Media. The Righties call it Liberal, the Lefties notice that the supposedly liberal media hasn't done them any favors recently...
So which is it? Left or Right? And I am not talking about Rush, Fox, Air America, or anyone's Editorial/Opinion Page.
No, it is not politically slanted. It is just bad. That is all.
Not bad as in evil, but bad as in incompetent. As in bad journalists, bad editors, bad producers... Even some of the old pros have fallen into the cess pool of weak attribution and a complete avoidance of in-depth reporting on difficult, complex issues; even experienced people who know better (Yes, Danny, I'm squinting at you now).
We, the consumers of the media, are slanted. So when we see bad journalism, we think it is slanted towards the other side. But in the end, there is no slant, just inane coverage of complex issues that pisses everyone off.
Back in 1991, I was a Senior in high school looking at a career in journalism. I attended at National Press Club conference for the supposed best and brightest student journalists in the country. I took a look at the people at that conference, imagined what the media would look like in 10 years with these people in it, and found a new career goal.
Over 10 years later, the media looks even worse than I imagined.
And I held out for awhile, I didn't stick my fork into the "MSM" until the 2004 Campaigns. And this antipathy is still reserved, mostly, for broadcast news.
But in the end, my TV is still on CNN as I write this. What's a body to do?
UPDATE: January 11, 2005
I was in a mood yesterday morning when I wrote this. I hand't heard about the CBS report yet...
So, double everything I said above.
Atrios runs down some examples of bad journalism over the last few years in his post What Liberal Media