Volume 5, Issue 1 University of Houston
Corporate-owned media in no way
By Ellen Simonson
OK, listen up, everybody. Ready? Good, because I'm only going to say this once: I am damn sick and tired of hearing about the "liberal media." Got it?
It seems like every time a conservative individual makes a bad judgment call and the press reports it, those with the same ideology pout and cry foul, alleging the media is only covering the event because of its bleeding-heart liberal academic bias. (The word "Jewish" is never mentioned, but don't worry; it's implicit.)
Never mind the fact that the same five companies control all the mainstream media in this country, from billboards to radio stations, and that their CEOs are just as concerned as the average right-winger with making sure the interests of the wealthy are securely protected.
Never mind the fact the same whiny conservatives who made the details of President Clinton's sex life known to every American while claiming to represent "family values" were up in arms over coverage of Enron. "The media's only harping on this because President Bush and Ken Lay were friends." Right. It's interesting how these people are suddenly so interested in painting themselves as victims, since we've all seen how their party treats those who have actually been victimized.
But all that is beside the point. The final proof the media is anything but liberal can be found in its reaction to the recent statements of our sainted Senate Republican Leader, Trent Lott (R-Miss.). Lott recently attended a colleague's birthday party. That colleague was Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), who was turning 100, and Lott had nothing but the nicest things to say about the doddering, misogynist, old, white supremacist.
Specifically, Lott told the gathering, "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
Lott has since apologized for the remarks, but he never bothered to explain what he meant by "all these problems." Of course, he didn't really have to. Thurmond ran on one platform and one platform only: the perpetuation of segregation. "All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches," he said during his campaign.
Lott said similar things about Thurmond in 1980, and has several times been a speaker at meetings of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which grew out of the segregationist white "Citizens' Councils" of the 1960s. So it's not surprising he said these things.
What is surprising is the fact it took the supposedly rabidly "liberal" media so long to get on the story. Lott's comments weren't reported until more than a day after he made them. Can you imagine the public outcry if, say, Clinton had said something similar?
In fact, it wasn't until some time had passed -- and black lawmakers and citizens had expressed their outrage -- that the media really reported the story. Even then, Lott's remarks weren't the focal point; the fact that he later apologized for them was.
Even now, Lott's supposed contrition is being given far more credence than his original statement. However he tries to disguise that statement said only one thing: One of the highest-ranking men in the American government believes his country would be better off under the outdated policies of segregation, racism and hatred. (Thurmond was opposed to anti-lynching laws, for God's sake.)
The "liberal media" took its sweet time getting to the story, and showered Lott with apology stories when it did. So, I don't want to hear one more word about the media's supposed bias against conservatives. This man deserves to be flayed alive by every respectable news outlet in the country, and he won't be. You know why? Because the media is only as "liberal" as the fat cats who own it.
Simonson, a psychology department employee,