In her discussion of media bias, Norah Vincent missed the big picture ("The Unbiased Truth About Media Objectivity," Commentary, Dec. 5). Underneath the self-satisfied, elitist liberalism of the New York Times and the strident, reactionary arrogance of Fox News lies a more insidious bias.
The major media have for years hidden or apologized for the true motives and tactics of American foreign policy. From Vietnam to Chile to Nicaragua to East Timor to Iraq, the deaths of civilians, the racketeering for multinational corporations, the deceit by one presidential administration after another, the flouting of international law, the support of brutal dictators, the ravaging of Third World ecologies -- all have been ignored or distorted by media that are owned and funded by corporations and, therefore, obviously protect corporate interests.
Vincent did not mention this, but anyone interested in a scientific study of this phenomenon can read "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media," by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, or even see the excellent movie by the same name.
The saddest part of Vincent's commentary is that she asks us to accept media bias as "unavoidable." With hacks like Vincent given free rein, she may be right.
Let's see now, Chris Matthews, host of "Hardball," is a liberal and the New York Times is as far to the left as Rush Limbaugh is to the right. Actually, Vincent, too, has it only half right. Yes, the press in America does indeed have a liberal bias. It cannot and should not be any other way. For the same reason that our universities have a liberal bias, so, also, must our press. Both institutions are charged with challenging the status quo, questioning the conventional wisdom and pointing us in new directions. I say hurray for the liberal press!