While driving back from my classes on Wednesday, I was listening to a report on the Energy Bill, then before Congress, on NewsRadio KNX 1070. This “news” station included two perspectives on the legislation, the first, a lengthy commentary from a spokesperson for an advocacy organization who faulted the bill, referring to it (three times by my count) as lining the pockets or the oil companies. The second perspective came from Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, also an opponent of the legislation. (He was among only 19 Democrats (along with 6 Republicans and one Independent) voting against the legislation.) The “news” station did not include a perspective (at least in the segment I heard — about 7 PM PST) from proponents of the bill.
And yet the bill was quite popular in Congress; today, it cleared the Senate by a vote of 74-26. The margin in the House was 275-156. More than half of the Senate’s Democratic caucus (25 of 44 Senators) voted in favor of the legislation.
As a popular bill was heading toward passage in Congress, a bill which the president favors, a “news” station only saw fit to broadcast the views of opponents of the legislation. This is not the only time when we see our mainstream media broadcasting one perspective, usually a perspective at odds with that of President Bush. Powerline reports that a reporter got himself in hot water for “criticizing the performance of his media colleagues in Iraq.” Mark Yost merely noted that the media coverage of the Iraq war “ignores positive changes” in that recently-liberated land.