Southern Poverty Law Center on Dobbs

SPLC raises the stakes. Will CNN respond? I doubt it.

Quarter-page ad on the op-ed page of today’s NYT. Here’s the press release.

The question now is can/will CNN management continue to stonewall, or will SPLC and a few bloggers be able to smoke them out? My money’s on CNN standing pat.

In a related matter, Tom Maguire makes fun of the NYT for doing a piece on Romney and not mentioning his imaginary 7-year French marriage contracts. But though that nonsense got some on-line attention, it never made any of the major print, radio, or TV outlets, so in practical terms it didn’t happen.

What the two cases have in common is that conservative-to-right-wing candidates and media personalities can get away with errors that could have sunk a liberal candidate or media personality because the right wing has greater sounding-board capacity. Contrast Dobbs with Rather, or Romney with Edwards’s haircut.

That’s why so many of us find the idea of “liberal media bias” risible. Whatever the personal beliefs of reporters, the institutional behavior of the mass media tilts the playing field heavily against liberal candidates.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com