HERE IS AN AMAZING STAT, a veritable sparkle in the eye of the beholder theory we call media bias. Unfortunately, no data from the right-leaning FOX News was included. From an article by Confederate Yankee:
Reality, however, does not have a leftward bias (neither does it have a rightward bias). Reality, like nature, seeks equilibrium... balance.
The reaction of the newsworks is simple when reality intrudes on the narrative: they dispute it, then they ignore it, and if they can no longer ignore it, they pretend that they never held a contrary position.
Presently, the falloff in news coverage in Iraq is the result of media attempting to ignore that the "quagmire in a failed state" narrative they've been promoting has been failing for over a year.
According to data compiled by Andrew Tyndall, a television consultant who monitors the three network evening newscasts, coverage of Iraq has been "massively scaled back this year." Almost halfway into 2008, the three newscasts have shown 181 weekday minutes of Iraq coverage, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007. The "CBS Evening News" has devoted the fewest minutes to Iraq, 51, versus 55 minutes on ABC's "World News" and 74 minutes on "NBC Nightly News." (The average evening newscast is 22 minutes long.)
CBS News no longer stations a single full-time correspondent in Iraq, where some 150,000 United States troops are deployed.
Psychologists have more precise terms to describe this collective behavior, but it comes down to this: the situation in Iraq is far better than the media have predicted it would be, and they aren't sure what to do. They don't want to report success, as success means having to explain why they've been wrong. They also morbidly hopeno doubt subconsciouslythat things will once again turn worse, and vindicate their years of predicting doom and failure.
So coverage withers away. The war becomes a non-event, and thankfully, a Presidential campaign between a far left shape-shifter and an occasional Republican provides a welcome distraction.
The War in Iraq is plenty interesting to Americans. That has never faded in five years, and most would be heartened to hear what independent reporters have been indicating for months; that real progress has been made economically, diplomatically, and militarily.
But the newsworks don't want to admit they may have been wrong, and so their interests have now focused elsewhere. They don't want to undermine a political party that long ago made abandoning Iraq a key part of their party platform. They don't want to expose a shameful candidate who has made defeating his own military and abandoning a fledgling democracy his signature issue.
From their perspective, it is better to provide only the bad news, and when the bad news fails to live up to expectations, to ignore the uncomfortable.