Lamar Smith: Liberal Bias Bigger Threat Than Terrorism

Rep. Lamar Smith (TX) had an interview yesterday on the number one rated cable news network, Fox News, in which he made the astonishing claim that “liberal media bias” is the biggest threat facing America today:

SMITH: Let me just say — this is going to sound radical, I don’t mean for it to be radical — but to me, the greatest threat to America is not necessarily a recession or even another terrorist attack. The greatest threat to America is a liberal media bias.

I find myself relieved that terrorism and economic recession are not, in fact, anything I need to worry about.

FILED UNDER: Humor, Media, US Politics, ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Eric Florack says:

    It seems a fairly easy read, Alex.
    He’s suggesting that we can handle threats like terrorism and economic recession, assuming we’re being told the truth. And because of liberal bias, we’re not.

    I have my disagreements with Smith, but this isn’t one of ’em.

  2. Drew says:

    “I find myself relieved that terrorism and economic recession are not, in fact, anything I need to worry about.”

    Was that just snark, or intellectual dishonesty? He didn’t say that recession and terrorism weren’t to be worried about. He said that systematic difficulties in having an unbiased national debate on important issues could have greater consequences.

    By the way, I just noticed the Cigar Jack reference. I wish you wouldn’t do that. I had a friend who was a long term pipe and cigar smoker. Wound up with a nasty mouth cancer. Awful. You don’t want to be that guy.

    Henpecking over….

  3. Wayne says:

    Alex
    You really show how logical your thought process is. Someone saying the greatest threat is X means I don’t have to worry about Y and Z. Yep great logic there. (sarcasm off)

  4. odograph says:

    That’s worth a chuckle, and maybe a slight smugness at the continued self-destruction that is Fox (and its associated ideology).

  5. odograph says:

    Note: “liberal bias” translated means “not everybody agrees with me, and I’m not mature enough to deal with that.”

  6. Eric Florack says:

    That is certainly the usual translation as applied by leftists, odo. And I can see where you’d find it an attractive apologetic. But it’s not the truth.

  7. Boyd says:

    And if I needed proof that you make it up as you go along, Alex, here you provide it just a few hours later. As Drew and Wayne pointed out above, you quote, then immediately make up what you want Rep. Smith to have said.

    Because you apparently don’t have enough ammunition unless you lie.

  8. Michael says:

    He’s suggesting that we can handle threats like terrorism and economic recession, assuming we’re being told the truth. And because of liberal bias, we’re not.

    The truth has a well known liberal bias.

    As Drew and Wayne pointed out above, you quote, then immediately make up what you want Rep. Smith to have said.

    That seems to be fairly obvious sarcasm on Alex’s part, and by focusing on it you’re losing the bigger argument.

  9. Eric Florack says:

    The truth has a well known liberal bias.

    So, the universe is built around you, after all, eh?

  10. Alex Knapp says:

    Drew,

    Just snark–hence the “on the number-one rated cable news network” part of the sentence.And I appreciate the concern about smoking. I keep it to a minimum (one a week or less) and my dentist knows to keep an eye out for anything. I really don’t smoke often enough for it to be a risk but I’m careful regardless.

    Wayne, Boyd, Eric,

    Guys, how about turning off “victim mode” for a few minutes and having a chuckle? You can’t tell me someone who is on the highest-rated cable news network, complaining about bias, and having the interviewer agree with him isn’t hilarious….

  11. odograph says:

    Anybody who want’s to measure themselves can use this:

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/

    Today my mood is slightly right, and more strongly libertarian:

    Economic Left/Right: 0.50
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.46

    I think we can guess that anyone who see me(!) as “left” has to be way, way, over on the right side.

  12. Michael says:

    So, the universe is built around you, after all, eh?

    You’ve reverse the cause and the effect.

  13. Drew says:

    odo –

    I hope you didn’t really take that set of questions that seriously. They were poorly constructed. Gave false choices. And on.

    That was weak.

  14. floyd says:

    “”I find myself relieved that terrorism and economic recession are not, in fact, anything I need to worry about.””
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Oh, go ahead and worry! Those things are scary, they’re just not as dangerous as the liberal mindset!

  15. Furhead says:

    Some of those questions were indeed a bit narrow in the choices. And at least one was kind of bizarre … “Our race is superior in many ways to other races” – are we talking the human race, or skin color race? If the latter, then what do they mean by “our” – is this survey only meant for whitey’s?

    Anyway, I got 1.38/-5.03, not far off Odo’s.

  16. odograph says:

    I hope you didn’t really take that set of questions that seriously. They were poorly constructed. Gave false choices. And on.

    I think I can understand what they are trying with the questions, and I can see how it works. The key is that they are trolling with “always” and “never” questions. People who step up for those, who can endorse “always” and “never” without conjuring the opposing circumstances in their minds probably do belong out in one extreme or the other.

    There are some milder questions pointing right/left, authoritarian/libertarian, about what “usually” happens or what “should” be done. Those tease out positions from less absolute folk.

  17. just me says:

    I think he has a point. How can you evaluate and know what the real threats to our nation are, if the media isn’t being honest and acts more as cheering section for a president they like, then what they report on is pretty meaningless when it comes to knowing whether something is a threat of not.

    I am not convinced the media is consciously biased, I do think bias is something that can’t be avoided, but generally they do try. I do think the media has been more of a fan in how it reports on Obama than eyeing his presidency with a critical eye, and I hope this love affair ends soon, because i don’t think it is good for our country or even good for the press.

  18. odograph says:

    “Our race is superior in many ways to other races”

    That’s an example of what I mean. They are asking that question not because they think it is a “good” question, but because (presumably) people who “agree” cluster together.

    These are questions designed with a knowledge of past answers, and how people with various ideologies and political bents respond.

  19. Anderson says:

    Fun test, Odo. I am supposedly a “left libertarian,” at least in the “as opposed to authoritarian” sense.

    Economic Left/Right: -2.25
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.05

    I needed a “don’t know” on some of those questions however.

  20. Wayne says:

    There is a reason Fox has such high ratings. I bet if some of the printed media took Fox framework and give both sides of issues their readership would grow instead of tanking like it is now. Rupert Murdock tried but he was prevented by media monopoly rules.

    Hmm ever wonder why they have all those media monopoly rules? Why were the Democrats interested in the so call “fairness doctrine”? Look at a WH news conference if you want to see liberal media bias. Yes there is Fox news there but they are greatly outnumbered.

    It is in many military doctrines that one of the first things you do is take over media outlets if you want to conquer a nation. When the population only gets information that you want them to have it is much easier to control them. Many people in the US like my mother still get the vast majority of their information from the MSM. They don’t have Fox News or visit alternative news websites. So yes a very bias MSM is a very dangerous situation and in the US case it is liberal.

  21. odograph says:

    I am not convinced the media is consciously biased, I do think bias is something that can’t be avoided, but generally they do try. I do think the media has been more of a fan in how it reports on Obama than eyeing his presidency with a critical eye, and I hope this love affair ends soon, because i don’t think it is good for our country or even good for the press.

    Well, while we are tying this to human nature, why do we have a single individual as a national leader? Why do we, the Chinese, the Russians, the British, the French, need a “big chief?”

    I think it’s because we are basically comfortable with a tribal structure. We will defer to the chief, we give the new chief a chance … though I’m sure we have an ancient bias not to trust him too far.

    (When old presidents go out in disgrace, and new ones enter as new champions, that’s very tribal too.)

  22. odograph says:

    There is a reason Fox has such high ratings.

    Conservatives aren’t getting out of the house enough?

  23. Herb says:

    Yawn…complaints about liberal bias are so boring. We get it! If you want unbiased truth, you’ve got to get it from Fox, Drudge, or Rush Limbaugh’s bias-free radio show.

    Whatever you do…don’t get it from the “MSM” because mainstream media, despite the misleading use of the word “mainstream,” actually represents the far left.

    Like I said….yawn. (And yes, I’m being facetious.)

  24. Wayne says:

    Rush has never claim to be unbiased.

    Surely you don’t think just because a term is use in a title or reference to a group that it accurately describes that group. How many nation use Republic or Democratic in their title but are not. North Korea is a good example.
    MSM although mainstream is part of that title doesn’t mean they are in the mainstream philosophy. It is a term that many of the MSM use for themselves therefore identify them in a group. Many refer to DPRK as DPRK not because they think North Korea is a Democratic government but that is the name DPRK gave to themselve.

    Yes I know this is obvious and sometimes people are just playing dumb but I have been amaze how often people are not just playing.

  25. Tlaloc says:

    There is a reason Fox has such high ratings.

    You mean crass sensationalism and big breasted blonds are popular with the public? You don’t say…

    I bet if some of the printed media took Fox framework and give both sides of issues their readership would grow instead of tanking like it is now.

    Hustler already exists…

    Hmm ever wonder why they have all those media monopoly rules?

    I refuse to believe you are simultaneously dumb enough to ask that question seriously and smart enough to type. One of those two propositions is false.

  26. Herb says:

    Rush has never claim to be unbiased.

    So? Such a small insignificant point. My point is that if “liberal bias” isn’t your cup of tea, go for “conservative bias,” but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re getting unvarnished truth.

    You’re not. You’re getting “conservative bias.”

  27. Wayne says:

    “but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re getting unvarnished truth.”

    Which is our point. When one listens to Rush we know he is covering it from a conservative view and is shaded so. We are just pointing out that almost all of the MSM is covering it from a liberal view. There seem to be many out there that think that the MSM is giving them the unvarnished truth which is simply untrue.

    Tlaloc
    Only someone like you would think a liberal publication like Hustler give both side of a story.

    Are you claiming that it would be OK if someone or a small group to have a monopoly of the media? I thought the answer to my tough in cheek question was pretty obvious but maybe not to you. Care to contribute or are you content to just throwing insults?

  28. An Interested Party says:

    I bet if some of the printed media took Fox framework and give both sides of issues their readership would grow instead of tanking like it is now.

    Hahahahaha…thank you you for that funny of the week…nothing like a little humor on a Friday afternoon…it’s always so cute to watch conservatives whine about the “liberal” media…of course this is why conservatives never hold power for very long, right? Because that evil MSM undermines them and always makes it possible for their “comrades” to pull the rug out from under the valiant heroes of the right…someone should let Bernie Madoff and Osama bin Laden know that they are chopped liver compared to the sinister CNN/Newsweek Axis of Evil…by the way, exactly how is Hustler a “liberal” publication…

  29. Michael says:

    When one listens to Rush we know he is covering it from a conservative view and is shaded so. We are just pointing out that almost all of the MSM is covering it from a liberal view.

    Whenever I listen to Rush, he is usually blaming and/or accusing Democrats/Liberals in general, or Obama, Pelosi or Reid specifically. His show, as with most of Fox news, is about telling you who is a fault for the days news. In contrast, when I watch the CBS/NBC/ABC 10 o’clock news, there is none of that.

    Heck, even the local Fox affiliate reports the news without bais. It’s only Fox News Channel that is casting blame, pointing fingers, and telling you who to hate.

  30. floyd says:

    “”of course this is why conservatives never hold power for very long, right?””
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    You have to ask?
    The answer is…
    NAH! It’s just that conservatives are busy trying to run their own lives instead of everybody else’s, like those toady busy-body liberals. 😉

  31. Eric Florack says:

    You mean crass sensationalism and big breasted blonds are popular with the public?

    So, CNN’s infobabes are hard to look at?

    And, making a sensation oout of the DNC talking points is something CNN would never do, right?

  32. An Interested Party says:

    It’s just that conservatives are busy trying to run their own lives instead of everybody else’s, like those toady busy-body liberals.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha…the jokes continue on this thread…it’s not “toady busy-body liberals” who tried to stick their collective nose in the Terri Schiavo case, into women’s wombs, into what drugs people want to ingest, etc. etc…psst, here’s a little hint, you know all those religious busybodies who want to tell other people how to live and what is “moral” and what isn’t? They aren’t liberals…maybe you need to look into some book by Lewis Carroll or Shel Silverstein to find the correct answer…

  33. floyd says:

    Aip;
    I guess you always ridicule what you don’t understand, so if children’s books are too much of a challenge, there’s no since in suggesting Kipling, or Paul, or Tocqueville?

  34. An Interested Party says:

    You proceed from an incorrect assumption…what I was ridiculing was the foolish statement you made in your 09:06 pm comments…

  35. Was it barbarians that brought down the Roman empire in the west or was it the rot in the empire that enabled the barbarians to bring it down? The terrorists can hurt us, but they can not defeat us if we do not allow them to defeat us. The economy will eventually come back (it will take longer with Obama’s massive spending and subsequent debt increase and his trashing of basic property rights law, but this to will pass with time). The rot that weakens the will to resist the terrorists and to rebuild the economy is the danger.

  36. An Interested Party says:

    The rot that weakens the will to resist the terrorists and to rebuild the economy is the danger.

    Ohhhhh…beware the rot that is the evil MSM…it will eventually destroy us all…are you scared yet…

  37. Wayne says:

    A fair comparison for Fox News would be other 24 hr news channel like CNN, MSNBC . Fox news at least give both sides. CNN and MSNBC do not.

    Also AIP I doubt you would know liberal bias if it bit you. I have seen it on the broadcast station as well. Showing Pelosi accusation about the CIA but not showing a rebuttal is being bias. Doing a story showing one side talking points then cherry picking a few weak talking points from the other side is bias as well.

  38. An Interested Party says:

    All this whining about “bias” in the media is hardly unique to the right…some liberals also complain about bias and use as an example how has-been Newt Gingrich gets so much face time on the news shows…funny how most of the media is owned by rather large corporations…who knew such entities were so damned liberal…