If we learn nothing else from the war on Iraq and its subsequent occupation, it is that the U.S. ruling class has learned to make ideological warfare as important to its operations as military and economic warfare. A crucial component of this ideological war has been the campaign against “left-wing media bias,” with the objective of reducing or eliminating the prospect that mainstream U.S. journalism might be at all critical toward elite interests or the system set up to serve those interests. In 2001 and 2002, no less than three books purporting to demonstrate the media’s leftward tilt rested high atop the bestseller list. Such charges have already influenced media content, pushing journalists to be less critical of right-wing politics. The result has been to reinforce the corporate and rightist bias already built into the media system.
- Reprinted in abridged from in Karl Finsterbusch, ed., Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Social Issues, 13th edition (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005), pp. 29-37.
- Republished in expanded and revised form in Robert W. McChesney, The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the 21st Century. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2004, pp. 98-137.