Media Bias: From a news perspective, the saga of San Diego’s Democratic Mayor Bob Filner has it all. Abuse of power. Serial sexual harassment. Rank hypocrisy. Refusal to step down.
So far, 14 women have come forward accusing Filner of blatant sexual harassment. Much of it took place during Filner’s 20 years in Congress. And several involve military personnel.
This from a guy who had cast himself as an advocate for female veterans while serving in the House.
The only thing lacking that would give the story full life on network news, across newspaper front pages, and among pundits endlessly discussing “What It All Means,” is the word “Republican.”
Filner, you see, is a liberal Democrat. Not that you’d know it, since when the media do bother to cover the story, they tend to leave that fact out or play it well down in the story.
It’s not as though there aren’t important national angles or bigger issues to this story.
Did any of the “pro women” Democratic leaders, for example, know about Filner’s abuses while they were endorsing him for mayor or handing him a committee chairmanship in the House? Instead, the press treats this as little more than a local news item, while often portraying Filner as some sort of tragic figure.
Worse, journalists covering Filner knew or suspected that he was up to no good. They just refused to report it.
“We never really tried to find out what was behind the near-incessant rumors that always floated around Filner,” columnist Doug Curlee admitted on ScoopSanDiego.com.
“We never tried to confirm any of those rumors, or, if we did, we quickly gave up when presented with the denials, or refusals to talk about it.”
Try to imagine a reporter making a similar confession involving a Republican politician. It wouldn’t happen.
Yet even Curlee can’t seem to understand why reporters were willing to run interference for Filner at the expense of the women he was serially abusing.
Why didn’t we do our jobs, he asks himself? “I honestly don’t know,” he answers.
But the answer couldn’t be more obvious. The mainstream press covered for Filner because he’s a Democrat. Period. End of story.
Until reporters are willing to openly admit this, they will never overcome their blatant one-party bias.