[dropcap]B[/dropcap]rent Bozell III, the long-winded nephew of William F. Buckley and founder of conservative propaganda machine Media Research Center, spoke at the Centennial Institute on Monday night. The title of his lecture was “You Can Fight Media Bias.”
But, as Bozell soon acknowledged, bias wasn’t at the heart of the discussion. He was more interested in what he defined as the premeditated suppression of important news stories on behalf of a dangerously liberal media.
“Entire scandals are deliberately being kept from the American people by the news media,” he told the audience. “And we can back it up.”[pullquote]”Your friends, they are not the right-wing crazy people like you,” Bozell said, meaning you should use them to spread the right-wing message through social media. [/pullquote]
To listen to Bozell speak is to enjoy a peek into the world conservative media paints as reality. His free-associative meanderings put “news media” generally in collusion with the Obama administration, which he said holds the rule of law in “utter disdain.” He brought up Watergate as an example by which to judge current media bias. Bozell believes that conservatives are unfairly persecuted, that stories about stimulus-funded bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra or the catastrophe in Benghazi or the horribly failed “Fast and Furious” Department of Justice drugs-and-guns policy or the supposed scandal involving IRS auditing non-profit groups are the most important unreported stories in the nation, left untold because of a conspiracy of allegiance between the media and Obama.
Most of these stories have not only received an undue amount of media attention, but news sources following them up have come to rebut main assertions promoted on the right about each of them. The IRS scandal has been picked apart fairly thoroughly. The IRS in fact targeted nonprofits across the political spectrum equally. And, although IRS workers may have been sloppy and took shortcuts, it is the obligation of the agency to closely examine nonprofit applications.
Bozell recommended combatting liberal media and the evil government with social media and conversation.
“If you look at your friends, they are not the right-wing crazy people like you,” he said. What this means is that crazy right-wing conservatives have unprecedented access to more moderate or liberal-leaning friends. Those friends should be capitalized upon.
Bozell and his left-wing peers share at least one belief in common: that without an informed electorate, there can be no such thing as a vibrant Democracy. The difference-— and it is a large one-— is what Bozell counts as “information.”
“This is the opportunity we have finally to communicate our message directly with our peers, directly with the public, and get our message out to the public. I know this. I have invested millions of dollars in this.”[Image via Gage Skidmore on Flickr]