Listening to NPR recently, I heard a story about Ambassor Susan Rice and her recent travails regarding Benghazi and the administration response. The reporter related information and opinions gathered from supporters and critics in an attempt to give listeners information needed to decide how to view recent events and significant actors such as Ms. Rice.
So far, so good. But what happened next was interesting. It turned out that the reporting on Rice was merely an introduction to a much larger story about Kelly Ayotte, the U.S. senator from New Hampshire. Listeners learned that Ayotte has been a significant critic of Ms. Rice despite her mere two years in the senate. It also turns out, the reporter noted, that Ayotte was often spoken of as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney. In the discussion of Ayotte, there was really none of the full-orbed treatment afforded to Ambassador Rice. Instead, the listeners were left with a vague sense that there was something not quite right about this Senator Ayotte person. Remember, the story was ostensibly about Ambassador Rice’s difficulties of late.
If you pay attention, you can learn something about the nature of media bias. Looking at a room full of excrement with a Democrat standing in the middle, the reporters start digging frantically. After all, there’s got to be a Republican in there somewhere.