It is extremely difficult to imagine what politics might be like if the mainstream media treated Democrats like it treats Republicans. Timothy Groseclose invited us to try in his invaluable book Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind — but the media ignored the book. The media treatment of Groseclose’s book vividly illustrates its thesis.
The New York Times’s treatment of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s possible marriage to her brother in Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s hagiographic profile of Omar (accessible here on Outline) presents a recent example. It is one that hits me close to home, as Stolberg linked to my City Journal column “The curious case of Ilhan Omar.”
According to Stolberg, the issue has only been raised by “conservative bloggers” (false) and the marriage was, in any event, “brief” (dates omitted from the profile — it was eight years long). However, at least Stolberg mentioned it. The Star Tribune has barely mentioned it over the past two years. I wrote Stolberg to seek her comment on my criticism of her profile (see here and here). She declines to respond on the record.
Oh, well. Byron York presents another example of media bias deriving from his beat covering Washington politics in the tweet below. I wanted to note it before the new Congress convenes and Nancy Pelosi officially resumes her duties as Speaker of the House. Byron asks us to Imagine. Unlike John Lennon’s stupid utopia, however, it’s hard to do!
Imagine a government shutdown, even a 1/4 government shutdown, during a holiday. If one side stayed in Washington, extending an open-ended invitation to negotiate, while the other vacationed in Hawaii, what should the coverage look like?
— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 1, 2019