- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 25, 2004

When anchorman Dan Rather dropped the bombshell about George Bush’s National Guard service, little did he expect it would trigger a crisis of confidence at CBS News.

But once people began comparing Mr. Rather’s performance to that of former President Richard Nixon, CBS knew it would have to abandon its plausible deniability strategy.

When people believe the news they receive is no longer balanced or objective, they begin looking elsewhere. That “elsewhere” is known as the New Media, the thousands of Internet sites that have sprung up in the last 10 years.

And it was the Internet bloggers who hammered away at the obvious forgeries in the fake memos. They tracked down the source of the documents. And it was they who insisted Mr. Rather come clean with an apology.

But Mr. Rather did not do the legwork on the ill-fated “60 Minutes II” broadcast. That task fell to producer Mary Mapes. She researched the story and obtained the four fake memos.

One would expect a “60 Minutes” producer to be very objective in her work. But recently Mary’s father, Don, appeared on KVI radio in Seattle. When asked about the “60 Minutes” brouhaha, Mr. Mapes said his daughter was “a typical liberal. She went into journalism with an ax to grind, and that was to promote radical feminism.” So much for journalistic objectivity.

It’s no secret the fem-liberal worldview permeates the Old Media. The Sisterhood doesn’t even bother denying it any more. Here’s Susan Winston, former executive producer of “Good Morning America”: “We were feminists. We were liberals, and most of us still are.”

The feminist-driven media rigidly cleaves to three rules in its coverage of gender issues:

(1) Portray women as deserving virtually limitless rights, with no corresponding responsibilities.

(2) Whenever possible, present men as bumbling fools. If they also can be shown to be abusive clods, so much the better.

(3) Never depict men as victims or being treated unfairly.

Take articles about missing persons. People don’t normally consider this a gender issue. But a recent Fox News article was provocatively headlined: “Missing women grab headlines, but what about the men?” The article rattled off a list of women whose disappearances gripped the nation in recent years, then asked, “But where are all the missing young men?”

Another story at MSNBC raised the same unsettling question. Missing men, especially blacks, seemingly don’t rate as much media attention as young, white females.

How can any journalist in good conscience write a story on missing persons, and then spin the article to pander to the only-women-count mindset?

The New York Times is one of the most dependable sources of Ms.-Information. Previous columns have documented how the New York Times has portrayed men negatively, biased its coverage of gender health issues, and worked covertly with pro-feminist Senate legislators to influence national legislation.

Author Warren Farrell came up with a novel explaination of the media’s neglect of men. He calls it the Lace Curtain, meaning the media tendency to view gender issues only from a female or feminist perspective. His book, “Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say,” documents the head-numbing experiences of male authors who have hit the estrogen ceiling.

And in his recent book “Arrogance,” reporter Bernard Goldberg recounts how CBS talk shows routinely invited radical feminists to appear as gender “experts.”

Some people like to dismiss the New Media as a flaky source of news and commentary. Jonathan Klein, former CBS News vice president, recently derided the Internet bloggers as “a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.”

No doubt the fem-liberal establishment got a chuckle out of that remark. But they need to face up to this sad but obvious conclusion: When it comes to men’s and gender issues, the Old Media’s coverage is no longer accurate, balanced and fair.

CAREY ROBERTS

Mr. Roberts is a Washington-area writer.

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