One of the new cable shows that I have started to watch and I admit to watching is HBO’s “The Newsroom” . One of the reasons I started to watch it was that it stars Jeff Daniels who I like very much as an actor (I thought he was excellent playing General George Washington in the 2000 TV movie “The Crossing”). I like it for different reasons than its creator and writer Aaaron Sorkin (Who wrote the first four season of the TV show “ West Wing” ) intended. It is in my opinion a case study in why the Broadcast Networks news bureaus and CNN & CNBC are dying.
The backdrop of the opening credits of each episode shows Black & White images of Broadcast TV news in its heyday from the late 1950’s through the mid 1960’s. The images include the venerable Walter Cronkite and Chet Huntley and the old no frills TV news studios of the past. Then it shows the fictional ACN studio where the main character and top news anchor will McAvoy played by Daniels works.
Will McAvoy is portrayed as a hard working no-nonsense TV Journalist who is a self-proclaimed registered Republican who bristles at the thought of being biased and who never would skew the news. But as in the mainstream media the “Progressive Bias” is not a sin of commission of biased news coverage but rather than a sin of omission of news stories that do not fit the progressive narrative.
So let me treat the fictional news anchor Will McAvoy as a real person and ACN as a real news organization in which I have written a letter to him below:
William McAvoy, Editor News Night ACN Studios New York, NY
Dear Mr. McAvoy,
I am writing this letter to offer some constructive criticism of your News Night show. I know you pride yourself in being nonpartisan and I am not accusing you of distorting the news. I am accusing you of not presenting the full picture of news stories.
Here are a few examples:
You have railed against the Tea Party as destroying the Republican Party but you never explain in detail which of the Tea Party goals that causes your concern. You have mentioned their opposition to the increase of the debt ceiling. You stated that a failure to increase the debt limit would cause a financial Armageddon but fail to even present the fact that the Federal Government could run for several months meeting its current obligations on its current tax income without an increase to the limit. You also never explore the impact of borrowing forty cents out of every dollar the federal government spends on future generations and how the servicing of this debt will impact the ability of the government to fund Social Security and Medicare in the years to come.
On your investigation of the Koch brothers support for the conservative lobbying group Americans for Prosperity and their support for Wisconsin Governor Walker’s stand against the public sector unions and the fact that the average state workers salary matchedthe private sector. On that story you were correct on both points, but again you didn’t give the full story. You failed to mention that the Governor was not going to curtailthe unions right to negotiate salaries only benefits and you failed to mention their lucrative pension benefits as well as their low healthcare insurance contribution requirements which are almost unheard of in the private sector.
You reported the spontaneous gathering of teachers and other public employees and their occupation of Wisconsin capital building but failed again mention the busing in of these supporters as well as some of them being compensated by the unions also left out in your reports the vandalism they caused that cost the taxpayers of that state hundreds of thousands of dollars. Another oversight was to mention the financial support of these protestors by liberal financier and self-admitted currency manipulator George Soros through many of his front groups.
Another example of not presenting the full story was on the Gulf oil spill. You were quick to report that drilling at that depth was rare and that BP did not have much experience drilling at that depth and you were correct in doing so but again you only reported part of the story your investigation failed to report why BP drilled at that depth.
Your report did not include the fact that BP (And other oil companies) have in the past few years have been denied permits for drilling closer to shore in which they have experience and were their safety record was excellent. If your reporters looked into this fact they would have discovered this incident would not have occurred if this drilling was permitted closer to shore.
These examples are just a few of the reasons why your network as well as traditional cable outlets such as CNN, CNBC as well as the broadcast networks news programs have been losing viewership over the last 15 years. This also explains the rise of the new media such as Fox News, Talk Radio and the internet have been gaining market share.
I do admit in all fairness must of the above mentioned news outlets lean right but I will venture to say this is a reaction to the bias of the mainstream media. It is not always how a story that gets reported that shows bias it’s what stories do get reported and which are ignored.
Dennis Brady Owner and editor of BradyReports.com
Just my opinion D.B.