Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Unapologetic Bias of the American Left

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Some yearn for the ancient monopolistic days of network news, the adolescent years of public radio and TV, and the still reputable New York Times—when once upon a time the Left at least tried to mask their progressivism in sober and judicious liberal façades. 

An avuncular Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, Jim Lehrer, or Abe Rosenthal at least went through the motions of reporting news that was awkward or even embarrassing to the Left. Their agenda was 1960s-vintage Great Society liberalism, seen as the natural evolution from the New Deal and post-war internationalism. Edward R. Murrow, the ACLU of old, and Free Speech Movement at Berkeley—these were their liberal referents. Those days are gone.

Yet even during the Obama years, when studies showed the president had received the most slanted media honeymoon in news history, overt media bias was, at least, as hotly denied as it intensified. There were still a few ossified, quarter-hearted efforts now and then to mention the IRS scandal, the surveillance of Associated Press reporters, the various scandals embroiling the Veterans Administration, General Service Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Secret Service. But even that thin pretense is over now, too.

Rejecting Objectivity 

What ended liberal dissimulation about slanted reporting is a new pride, or rather an arrogance, about bias itself. The new liberated defiance is something like, “We are biased. Damn proud of it. And what exactly do you plan on doing about it?”

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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