Reveals how good intentions have constricted journalism within a narrow multicultural orthodoxy.
"Diversity seemed like a good idea originally, but media critic McGowan says the campaign to ensure minority access and participation in the institutions of a democratic society, hasn't worked out well for American journalism. McGowan presents specific cases from leading newspapers and TV network news coverage to argue that major media stories on race issues, gay and feminist issues, and immigration, as well as stories interpreting statistics, are written to reinforce the so-called politically correct ideology of writers, editors, and presenters. Not only is bias written into such reportage, it is characteristic that when conflicting facts come to light, falsifying or complicating the original stories, the contradicted newspaper "buries" the new information on an inside page, reports it cursorily, or ignores it. The worst damage done by this bias, McGowan maintains, is to the media themselves, as news readers and viewers, failing to recognize the world the media present as true, stop reading and watching and turn to such alternatives as conservative talk radio--"arguably the Frankenstein monster created by the PC press," McGowan says. Particular media McGowan critiques include ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS/NPR, and among newspapers, especially the Los Angeles Times (scarily negligent on illegal immigration problems), the Washington Post, and, above all, the New York Times. This cogent, nonrhetorical, nonpartisan book should be required reading for anyone concerned about media bias. --Ray Olson"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In a book likely to spark controversy, and with the relentlessness of a prosecutor, McGowan (Only Man Is Vile: The Tragedy of Sri Lanka), a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, presents case after case in which, he contends, reporters and editors got stories wrong or ignored topics worthy of coverage because of their liberal ideologies and their fear of offending African-Americans, gays or feminists. (In many cases, he says, the journalists later admitted their own timidity.) Both in hiring practices and story coverage, multicultural journalism is "oversimplifying complicated issues" and "undermining the spirit of public cooperation and trust," McGowan writes. On race, he points to what he calls "soft" coverage of Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry and Rev. Louis Farrakhan's Million Man March. But some of his arguments are inflammatory. Lumping "Gay and Feminist Issues" together in one chapter, he compares the coverage of the Matthew Shepard murder and that of another murder by two gay pedophiles in light of what he calls "the sanctity of the gays-as-victims script." McGowan also cites biases in reporting on the abortion issue, attributing them to the fact that over 80% of journalists surveyed say they are pro-choice. Detractors will note that journalists rarely cover issues without biases, and that it's unlikely that journalists of the past covered most causes including the 1960s struggle for civil rights that McGowan holds up as a model for race relations in the United States with the objectivity he trumpets. Skeptics of multiculturalism will love this book, and lefties will love to hate it. (Nov. 15) Forecast: Encounter Books knows how to reach its conservative audience. More generally, this will generate controversy among media mavens. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved