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LETTERS

Media bias

March 30, 2003

David Shaw's column, regarding the so-called "liberal" bias in media, had a major omission that puts the lie to rest (" 'Bias' That Bends Over Backward to Right Itself," March 23). He never mentioned the type of ownership that controls the whole apparatus.

In the case of media, a handful of conglomerates rule the roost. AOL Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney Co., News Corp. (Fox), AT&T, General Electric, Tribune Co. and Clear Channel Communications are the big players who dictate what the American public will see and hear.

These goliaths are not liberal. Corporate giants prosper when regulation of business is lax and so they support the conservative Republican agenda.

Democracy requires a free press, but what we have is a monopoly. The government has been derelict in its duty to allow such complete control in so few hands.

There may be instances when the truth will out, but when it really counts, media will reflect the conservative interests of the corporations that own them.

Edward L. Koblitz

Los Angeles

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Despite the claims of "bias" in the media (and, even more so, in academia), it is not as if there are hordes of unemployed conservative journalists or professors who have been rejected for their political opinions.

I think there's a significant selection effect. Specifically, fields "dominated" by liberals tend to have high education requirements and relatively low pay. Someone who cares enough about money to really object to taxes is not likely to be interested in enduring eight years of graduate school to emerge with a junior faculty salary.

The highest-profile TV talking heads to the contrary, journalism is very much a high-education, low-wage field. Hence, those of a conservative bent are less likely to choose to enter it.

Dave Scocca

Carrboro, N.C.

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