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Subject to Change by Rudy Yniguez: The Left is against free speech

April 12, 2002

New books expose what we already know: the media is liberal, the Left hates free speech

To the establishment — loosely defined to mean the status quo — there is nothing like being criticized from within and without. The only thing worse is when the criticism comes at the same time.

Such is the case with criticism aimed at the media, one of my favorite targets.

A couple new books about the issue have hit the streets in the last few months. One is from a long-time insider at CBS News, while the other is from a self-described lesbian feminist.

The books are "Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes how the Media Distort the News," by Bernard Goldberg, and "The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds," by Tammy Bruce.


Bruce, a past president (1990-96) of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women, exposes the Left for what it is.

"Look around you," she says. "Labels such as ‘racist,' ‘sexist,' and ‘homophobe' are routinely used to demonize anyone who utters a work that doesn't support the Left's agenda. Television producers allow their scripts to be edited by groups that purport to represent aggrieved minorities. On college campuses, student newspapers that don't toe the party line are collected and destroyed, and speakers with un-(politically correct) views are shouted down."

Such tactics are common and frequently reported for the Left. It's hard to believe the so-called free speech movement came out of the People's Republic of Berkeley when issues of UC Berkeley's student newspaper are swiped because of hurt feelings.

The Left — that is, liberals and Democrats — also resort to name-calling, but don't take my word for it. Here's what Bruce says.

"Today (name-calling) is one of the hallmarks of the left wing, and it's a pretty clever strategy," she writes. "Isolating individuals by promoting group identity and the politics of the ‘other' keeps people from recognizing just how devoid the Left is of actual ideas for progress and the future."

The Left devoid of actual ideas for progress and the future?

Obviously, having fallen from grace, Bruce says the following about the Left's preference for deceit in the pursuit of power.

"Ranging from the extraordinary and reprehensible behavior of both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton as leaders of the Democratic Party to the music industry's lionizing of the vile rapper Eminem, the Left has given us the legacy of a disintegrating culture," she says.

Bruce calls it paying "lip service" when the Clintons go to church every Sunday and when Jesse Jackson puts the word "reverend" before his name.

"In fact, these things are nothing more than cynical window dressing when your role-modeling tells society you can lie about your life, cheat on your wife and compromise principles for the sake of power."

Interestingly, Bruce defends John Rocker's right to say what he said about New York, and takes to task those, like Rudolph Giuliani, for saying Rocker needs some kind of training to become more educated.

"The only purpose sensitivity training serves is to indoctrinate people into a way of thinking that they currently do not hold," says Bruce. "It is one of the most obvious devices of the Left, and one of the most dangerous."

In his book, Goldberg discusses how he's been ostracized by what were once friends at CBS, starting with Dan Rather, whom Goldberg calls The Dan. Goldberg's biggest beef with CBS is that despite his numerous requests that the network at least talk about the possibility of a liberal bias in the news, nothing was done; nothing, at least, until he wrote an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal. The op-ed was critical of a hard news story about Steve Forbes' flat tax plan. Forbes, you will remember, was a presidential candidate.

The CBS anchor at the time the story ran was The Dan, and the reporter was Eric Engberg, a Washington, D.C., correspondent. The piece was a segment for a standing news slot called, "Reality Check."

Goldberg described the segment as "a hatchet job, masquerading as real news, a cheap shot designed to make fun of Forbes — a rich conservative white guy, the safest of all media targets — and ridicule his tax plan."

Such treatment, according to Goldberg, is not available to everybody.

"There is absolutely no way — not one chance in a million — that Engberg or Rather would have aired a flat-tax story with that same contemptuous tone if Teddy Kennedy or Hillary Clinton had come up with the idea."

I can tell you, ABC, CNN and NBC network news is just as bad.

Though I shorted Goldberg, to give you more of Bruce, both books are worth reading.

My only question is, where were these astute media observers 25 years ago?

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