Dynamist Blog


Lileks draws on years of newsroom experience to explain how liberal media bias really works. It's not a plot. It's an attitude. And, though Lileks doesn't say this, I'm pretty sure it's most concentrated among copy editors.

The "liberal" bias usually manifests itself as a certain comfy sort of groupthink. Most people in the newsroom are Democrats. They vary wildly from issue to issue, perhaps, but there are some tenets that bind the tribe, and a good number of them are based in certain attitudes about conservatives that were quite possibly formed at birth. Certainly in college. My favorite example: years ago I wrote a book review about a study of free speech on American campuses. It wasn't one of those thinly-documented screeds; it was written by college educators horrified by PC speech codes, assaults on campus newspapers, and academic freedom. The copy editor had a question about one of the author's names. I wandered over and read it to her. The author used all three names--first, middle, last.

"F*cking Republicans," she said.

I was a bit surprised, and asked her what she meant. She seemed startled and suddenly a bit abashed, and said that the three names were pretentious. Like Hillary Rodham Clinton?

The book in question is obviously The Shadow University by Alan Charles Kors and Harvey Silverglate, who went on to found the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Pretentious is not a word anyone who knows them would use.

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