1. When/why was NewsReal created?
NRB was first created in March of 2009. Its original and primary objective was to promote Discover The Networks, the Freedom Center's online database of the political Left. The publication really started growing and developing in August, though, when I came on as a full-time editor devoted to it and the Center decided to start growing it seriously. Since then our purpose has expanded. Now we work to promote all of the Freedom Center's projects and also to inject the DHFC's unique perspective into the debate. We do this through writing commentaries in response to items in the media -- the cable shows, talk radio, newspapers, magazines, and the blogosphere. Our focus is on the Left and Islamofacism but we don't limit ourselves to those subjects.
2. What has been the worst example of media bias in the last several years?
The obvious answer is, of course, the media's inability to properly vet Obama. But there's probably a worse example: the media's willful blindness toward taking Islamofascism seriously. Even Fox News has frequently faltered here.
But consider our recent big story of a student at UC San Diego confessing that she favors the extermination of the Jews. No leftist publication or TV show has even acknowledged this story. It's only been Hannity, Beck, and the conservative blogosphere that's come to the defense of the Jewish people. Would that be the case if a white student had told Angela Davis that he favored a genocide of black people?
3. With the changing face of media and new online sources of information, do you see bias getting worse or lessening?
Oh certainly lessening. The internet is a democratizing force in the media and the newspaper is a dying species. The "liberal media establishment" is a dinosaur quickly being usurped by the more versatile mammals of the internet. Now five friends with no money and an internet connection can start their own online newspaper or magazine. Thus, our focus at NRB isn't countering "media bias." Sure, we'll poke at leftists in the media for peddling their anti-Americanism, but we're not trying to unseat Newsbusters from it's rightful throne as the preeminent blog for confronting bias in the media.
4. How is media coverage different today than during the Bush presidency?
I don't think the nature of the media has changed too much in the past year and a half. Certainly the presence of the internet has grown tremendously since Bush was sworn in in what seems like a life time ago. Certainly the subjects being covered have changed. The focus during the Bush years was terrorism and the Iraq war. And now the focus seems to be more on the economy. One of the things that's most discouraging about this is that many politicos and average citizens are beginning to take their eye off the ball when it comes to foreign policy. We can't get complacent about the war our enemies are waging against us.
5. Is there significant bias in popular culture as well?
Definitely the Left has a major presence in Hollywood. For a history of this check out the great historians Ron and Allis Radosh's book Red Star over Hollywood.
Often times I think the Left's influence in the popular culture can be overstated. I've blogged about this here. Sure, plenty of leftist films come out. But most of them bomb. And the majority of films are actually apolitical and plenty even have conservative themes. Iron Man 2, anyone? As long as Hollywood needs to make money you'll find films which just naturally bend right. It's hard to do good vs evil without acknowledging that there's evil in the world.
6. Which played a larger role in the 2008 primaries-- Barack Obama influencing media or media influencing the rise of his campaign?
Barack Obama didn't need to influence the media. The dinosaur media was eating out of the palm of his hand, rooting for his victory long before he even declared his candidacy. They already knew what to do.
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