Saturday, August 21, 2004


Liberal Media

I consider it likely that there is indeed something of a liberal bias among journalists, both in the US and elsewhere. What people forget to say though is that this is distinct from, and indeed opposed to, a left, or socialist bias. As Noam Chomsky told Andrew Marr (link at Lenin's Tomb):

"I would call the press relatively liberal. Here I agree with the right wing critics. So, especially the New York Times and the Washington Post, which are called, without a trace of irony - the New York Times is called the "establishment left" in say, major foreign policy journals - and that's correct, but what's not recognised is that the role of the liberal intellectual establishment is to set very sharp bounds on how far you can go - "this far, and no further"."

Apropos of which Mark Kaplan's remarks are relevent:

"In the U.S....the terms mapping out the political spectrum are ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’, which of course denote two pragmatic perspectives within capitalism, pushing capitalism itself outside the horizon of debate. The term ‘liberal’ rent from its original meaning, now refers to little more than a certain attitude to ‘permissiveness’ and ‘tolerance of the Other’. And indeed, even this lame term has long since taken on a pejorative ring. (Moreover, commentators who are resolutely and obviously on the Left - eg Chomsky- get referred to as ‘liberals’, since the available language, like some autistic Adam, is incapable of naming them). Similarly, ‘conservative’ has become a misnomer. It has nothing to do with the authority of tradition and distrust of abstraction, since all it wishes to ‘conserve’ is the abstract logic of capital and the capitalist-fundamentalist pursuit of profit.The ideology of capitalism is, among other things, precisely this anamorphosis whereby language is bent and malformed in such a way that the system in which we live and breath disappears as an object of critical thought."

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