Are you wondering why the press is letting its biases show more in this election than ever before? It could be that they just hate George Bush so much that they can’t help themselves. But they hated Reagan, too, and it was never quite this bad. Perhaps there’s another reason: They’re no longer in control.
Remember how we thought the Soviet Union had the potential to be especially raucous when it was doomed? Well, maybe the same thing is happening to the media, now that they realize they haven’t the power to shut out the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, muzzle Teresa, and act as all-round gate keepers for what we see and hear.
Writing on Tech Central Station, Instapundit Glenn Reynolds explains what’s behind this welcome phenom:
“That decline is partly technological in origin. Monopolistic or oligopolistic newspapers and broadcast outlets were the result of technology: economies of scale and scope that rewarded consolidation and led to virtually no competition among newspapers and very little among broadcasters. Now that’s changing, as alternative outlets like talk radio, cable television, and, especially, the Internet, have almost completely removed the traditional barriers to entry and allowed competition.
“But the loss of those barriers isn’t the biggest problem faced by the mainstream media. The biggest problem is that, like most monopolists, they’ve spent so many years enjoying their position and not worrying about quality that they’re left floundering now that competition is exposing their faults. Like the folks at GM who couldn’t understand why people were buying Toyotas all of a sudden back in the 1970s, today’s “Big Media folks are shocked to see ratings and circulation numbers falling while readership for Internet sites skyrockets. And, like the auto executives, they’re even starting to mumble about the need for protection.
“But it won’t work, of course. And — much like the release of the Chevrolet Vega, the Ford Fairmont, or the AMC Pacer — the press’s coverage of the 2004 presidential election has revealed an industry in deep trouble. One problem is that even the pretense of evenhandedness has vanished, as members of the press — who increasingly share the same left-leaning political views and who increasingly live in what Mickey Kaus calls the press ’cocoon’ — have let their bias show.”