Mainstream Liberal Media: `Blind To Their Own Bias'

Regarding "Who speaks for America?" (Media, May 8), surely a nonpartisan observer would judge that The Washington Post is at least as liberal as The Washington Times is conservative and The New York Times editorial page is at least as liberal as The Wall Street Journal editorial page is conservative. Yet the conservative journals are referred to as the "right-wing Washington Times" and the "polemical right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page" and the liberal journals referred to as "professionally run, objective sources" and "impartial and authoritative" but never the "left-wing or liberal" anything. The mainstream liberal media, including the author, are so immersed in their liberal world they are blind to their own bias.

Peyton Gannaway

Saratoga, Calif.

In your essay, it is stated that "Despite endless griping to the contrary, there is little hard evidence that [the traditional media] truly do exhibit a `liberal' bias." I find this assertion impossible to accept. Network news coverage and papers such as The Washington Post (to which I subscribe) consistently reveal their political preferences through the stories that they cover or don't cover, the terminology that is used, and the statements of opinion that are presented on front-page stories as if they were facts.

Radio talk shows are more conservative than the mainstream media because journalists no longer present a balanced point of view. If they did, it is unlikely that Rush Limbaugh and others would have as wide an audience as they enjoy today. Worst of all, however, are magazines such as BUSINESS WEEK that deny that the liberal bias in the media exists.

The popularity of radio talk shows will remain high, and the credibility of the mainstream media continue to erode, until the mainstream media move their opinions off the front page and onto the editorial page where they belong.

Bradford V. Frisby

Arlington, Va.