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Coloring the News: How Crusading for Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism Hardcover – December 25, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; 1 edition (December 25, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893554287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893554283
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,886,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a book likely to spark controversy, and with the relentlessness of a prosecutor, McGowan (Only Man Is Vile: The Tragedy of Sri Lanka), a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, presents case after case in which, he contends, reporters and editors got stories wrong or ignored topics worthy of coverage because of their liberal ideologies and their fear of offending African-Americans, gays or feminists. (In many cases, he says, the journalists later admitted their own timidity.) Both in hiring practices and story coverage, multicultural journalism is "oversimplifying complicated issues" and "undermining the spirit of public cooperation and trust," McGowan writes. On race, he points to what he calls "soft" coverage of Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry and Rev. Louis Farrakhan's Million Man March. But some of his arguments are inflammatory. Lumping "Gay and Feminist Issues" together in one chapter, he compares the coverage of the Matthew Shepard murder and that of another murder by two gay pedophiles in light of what he calls "the sanctity of the gays-as-victims script." McGowan also cites biases in reporting on the abortion issue, attributing them to the fact that over 80% of journalists surveyed say they are pro-choice. Detractors will note that journalists rarely cover issues without biases, and that it's unlikely that journalists of the past covered most causes including the 1960s struggle for civil rights that McGowan holds up as a model for race relations in the United States with the objectivity he trumpets. Skeptics of multiculturalism will love this book, and lefties will love to hate it. (Nov. 15)Forecast: Encounter Books knows how to reach its conservative audience. More generally, this will generate controversy among media mavens.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

McGowan, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contends that the drive for diversity in the newsroom has resulted in shoddy journalism. He has compiled an impressive array of anecdotal evidence, but his litany of journalistic negligence includes such questionable examples as the promotion of safe sex for everyone (not just gay males) and use of the term anti-abortion instead of pro-life. Claiming that news outlets are so out of touch with mainstream thought as to have alienated most people (he blames pro-diversity reporting for the rise of talk radio), McGowan betrays his own ideology when he refers to the "outdated paradigm of white oppression" and repeatedly uses the value-laden term illegitimacy for out-of-wedlock births. News reporting has always reflected the opinions of those who produce it; a more illuminating study would have delved deeper into the reasons for the predominance of liberal views. Still, the points raised about the dangers of ethnic and cultural cheerleading in the newsroom make this an important book for journalism collections. Susan M. Colowick, North Olympic Lib. Syst., Port Angeles, WA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

This book is well written, well researched, and, well, informative.
Geoff Matthews
In the book "bias" the author Goldberg , admits he is a Liberal Democrat that is for abortion, Gay rights and afirmative action.
Dan Daly
I could only read one chapter at a time ... for no other reason than it would make me too angry!
Linda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Both Bernard Goldberg and William McGowan have written books about the obvious bias in newsrooms today. Goldberg's book, Bias, was written with specific reference to his many years at CBS news. McGowan has written a more generalized and philosophical book about how publishers, managers and editors made conscious decisions to "diversify" their newsrooms in an effort to present a more complete and balanced view of the world in which we live.
McGowan believes that effort became corrupted early on. Instead of presenting a useful, broadened view of our complex lives, the news today has become much more narrowed. Political correctness reigns, with journalists who are now advocates rather than reporters. Different points of view, once cherished, are now discouraged or attacked outright within the newsrooms themselves. Not that alternate views are never published or aired. But to do so requires the journalist to undergo heavy criticism, intimidation, and in some cases, complete ostracism. For journalists who might report different views, McGowan writes that many have found those stories not worth the effort. Something of that sort seems to have happened to Goldberg.
In the end, today's news has nothing to do with intellectual curiosity tracking through a wide range of opinions; that is, real diversity. It is only about promoting preferred groups and skin color.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By J Lee Harshbarger on September 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Back in the days of the Soviet era, the West made snide remarks about news coverage in the Soviet Union, how only news that made Communism look good was printed, and anything that would make it look bad ignored; how facts were ingeniously twisted to make a sorry situation look like a Communist triumph, how only the bad things about capitalism were printed. The West patted itself on the back for its investigative journalism, its freedom to pursue and print the truth, unhindered by authoritarian forces.
Yet today in the USA, we now have the same type of situation as the Communist regime. Here, there is no government doing such extreme filtering of the news, though; the news media are doing it themselves. These unelected bastions of power control the public agenda and use their unchallenged power to force their ideological crusades onto unsuspecting news consumers. Now they are the ones deserving of the snide remarks.
I have long been agitated by the liberal bias of the mainstream news. I enjoy reading left-wing magazines like Mother Jones, In These Times, The Nation, etc., to get an understanding of the views of the left. These are not irritating because they wear their bias on their sleeve. What is irritating is how the mainstream media, who try to parade themselves as being neutral, are anything but. It's easy to pick up in things like little phrases they use. One example I'll never forget was a comment in passing by Dan Rather on CBS News, something about "a woman's constitutional right to an abortion." Whoa! And where in the constitution is that? And how about coverage on the evolution issue. Remember the Kansas debacle?
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
McGowan exposes in great detail about what many of know: the media, in its conscious decision to add minorities to its staff at any cost, has destroyed journalistic impartiality on many important issues. McGowan's major point is that as this country moves headlong into major demographic changes, without any input from its citizens, the media has been complicit or silent about this historical change. Most of this is due to the fear and intimidation of non-minority journalists coupled with the addition of minority journalists who are cheerleaders and advocates for these changes. McGowan is particularly strong on the subject of immigration, where he describes the nearly universal lack of discussion on this critical subject. In light of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, the failure of the media to discuss this subject has had tragic consequences. A must read for those concerned about the future of journalism and the future of the United States.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Eugene A Jewett on January 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In the same vein as Bernard Goldberg with his book "Bias:", Bill McGowan speaks out about the heresy of those who are purveyers of the news as reported by the major networks and the nation's leading newspapers. He cites the by-now familiar tale of political correctness gone awry thru yet another attempt by the politically Left to be fair and balanced. The hitch is that this group's idea of fairness and balance is as exclusionary as any you can name in any historical context you care to conjure up. Bias is bias whether from the Left or the Right, but man's need to feel virtuous coupled with his infinite capacity for self deception leads to a metaphorical snow blindness when it comes to seeing reality thru a clear lens.
McGowan's thesis is that the media, in an attempt to be more inclusive of different opinions in the newsroom, has hired reporters who have become advocates for their particular issues which has resulted in the omission of facts unsupportive of that individuals particular advocacy. This has reduced to a stream of issue advocacy reportage on subjects such as racial relations, gay and lesbian musings, feminist positions, the homeless, global warming, and PETA to name just a few. The result has been a steady stream of slanted world views conflicting with those of mainstream America. According to McGowan this has fueled the rise of talk-radio and the internet as mediums where dissenting listeners and viewers can now go and get there information. One might aver that this syndrome is also responsible for the falling market share of the major networks juxtaposed to the commensurately risng share garnered by the Fox Network.
This trend is merely another example of trends going to extremes before correcting back to more normative levels.
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