Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Media Bias and the pseudo-intellectuals

The bias of the U.S. media has been apparent for years.

Editors and journalists, on average, tend to be quite left-wing: they favour more and bigger government, more intervention into the market, and a very high social safety net. Many of them are sincere in their beliefs that policies consistent with these views will make the world a better place. Others are just plain arrogant snobs who think they know better than everyone else and therefore ought to be anointed as controllers of our lives. Some years ago, I had a member of the latter group tell me, quite confidentially, mind you, that deep down she was really a left-wing journalist. Well, no foolin', eh? All my friends and colleagues knew she was; we despised her lack of objectivity, and we hoped that if she learned some economics, she'd at least understand the concept of opportunity costs.

That Slate magazine's writers almost unanimously (with a few exceptions like Steve Landsburg) supported John Kerry in the last U.S. election is evidence of how pervasive this bias is in the media. I first started reading Slate many years ago, when it seemed more anti-establishment. I don't know what has happened to it in the meantime.

Anyway, (link courtesy of Newmark's Door) novelist Tom Wolfe has some pretty funny, scathing things to say about these bleeding-heart pseudo-intellectuals:

The truth is that my pals, my fellow journos and literary types, would feel more comfortable going to Baghdad than to Cincinnati. Most couldn’t tell you what state Cincinnati is in and going there would be like being assigned to a tumbleweed county in Mexico.

They can talk to sheikhs in Lebanon and esoteric radical groups in Uzbekistan, but talk to someone in Cincinnati . . . are you crazy? They have no concept of what America is made of and even now they won’t see that.

The above quote is from his article in the UK's world edition of the Times Online. If you're anti-snob, read the whole thing. You'll get a kick out of it.

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