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My book will not be biased

March 21, 2002|BY TIM ROWLAND

I have to say this very quietly, or I'll get censored by the editors and ostracized by my colleagues. But there are hideous doins in the local media - hideous, hideous doins. Liberal biases, right-wing conspiracies, devious subplots and cover-ups and lies upon lies.

Yes, I've been a part of it for the last 20 years, but I am ready to come clean. Nay, I must come clean to bare my soul, staunch my bleeding conscience and apply a soothing balm to the nerves that have been frayed over the years by the rasp of deception.

And I'll tell you all about it - for a price. In book form.

Because after thumbing through "Bias - A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News" by Bernard Goldberg and "Blinded by the Right - The Conscience of an Ex Conservative" by David Brock, I've decided it's the way to go.

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If the '80s were "gotcha" journalism and the '90s were "bedroom" journalism, it looks as if the '00s will be "sell-out" journalism - and I will be more than happy to play along, since this is also "profitable" journalism.

For example, there are some "forms of a question" that Herald-Mail copy editor Bob Fleenor doesn't want you to ask. And speaking of questions, just ask Executive Editor Terry Headlee about his conservative bias.

In his book, Goldberg professes great love for his old CBS colleagues and TV news, which he calls "a showcase for smart - - - reporters with attitudes, reporters who don't even pretend to hide their disdain for certain people and certain ideas that they and their sophisticated friends don't particularly like."

Yikes. Wonder what Goldberg says about the people he hates. The revelation for him that the nightly news (duh) leans to the left was a piece he saw on Steve Forbes' flat tax proposal. The then-presidential candidate had been pumping the flat tax and the piece that so offended Goldberg called on some experts who said the flat tax might not be all that Forbes was promising.

Ex-conservative Brock told The Advocate in an article this week that he got left wing religion when he was researching conservatives' anti-Clinton allegations in Arkansas and discovered they were (duh) not all true.

Well. The flat tax might not be as evil as the nightly news says? The allegations against Bill Clinton might not be as accurate as the daytime talk show hosts would have us believe? My, my, scandalous stuff, this.

But you see the key: Because it is a JOURNALIST saying journalists are biased, and a CONSERVATIVE saying conservatives are conspiratorial, that's what makes the sale.

Ipso facto, if you have a small, hayseed newspaper columnist coming out with a book of revelations about what really goes on behind the scenes at small, hayseed media outlets - you can just see the profi... I mean the implications.

For example, did you know that the editors at The Herald-Mail MEET TWICE A DAY! Now I've never been to one of these meetings, but I can just about assure you they are filled with biased, evil, godless stuff. Why else would they CLOSE the DOOR?? Well all right, they don't close the door, but they COULD if they WANTED to, that's my point.

Meantime, until my book comes out, here's the thing to remember: There are a whole raft of people out there who are stone convinced that Rush Limbaugh is heavily biased and that everything Dan Rather says is gospel. And there's another raft of people out there who are just as convinced that Dan Rather is heavily biased and everything Rush Limbaugh says is gospel. When, oh when, are people going to learn that Dan Rather is biased, Rush Limbaugh is biased, everyone who has ever had an opinion about anything is biased and the only person you can believe for pure, petrified, unembellished fact is me?

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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