Monday, April 15, 2002

"A Liberal, by any other name, is just as statist"- Many people over the years have pointed out that the media will lable conservatives more often then they label liberals. Cut on the Bias gives a run at the issue today. If one factors in the special-interests on the left are more numerous than the conservative ones. Let’s take the following sentence. “Feminists, Black, Hispanic and civil libertarian groups are opposed to the conservative proposals.” There are four liberal groups but just one conservative group. On moral issues, a coalition of abortion advocates, liberal women’s groups, homosexual advocates and civil libertarians will be opposed by a single group of “religious conservatives.” This makes the liberals look more diverse even if all four of these liberal groups have the same constituency and board members. Minorities, environmentalists, homosexual activists and women’s groups are assumed liberal unless given a conservative modifier. NOW is a “women’s group” while Concerned Women for America or the Independent Women’s Forum are “conservative women’s groups.” Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are black activists, while J.C. Watts is a black conservative. “Grass-roots”, “activist”, “public-interest” and “reformer” are other good modifiers to avoid the L-word, on top of the classic “progressive.” The other tendency that doesn’t get expressed much is the love of the word “center-left” to describe liberals/socialists. One has to be unrepentant Communists before a lot of writers will use “left-wing.” My favorite was then the socialist PRD in Mexico was referred to as center-left. Guys, the PRI is center-left. The PRD is just plain left. This may stem from the reporter assuming his own milieu defines what is centrist. If the people he talks to are 60% PRD, they’re now center-left in his universe.

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