Reader submission: frequently seen quote on conservative blogs and media falsely attributed to Czech newspaper
The falsely attributed quote is attached to an email making the rounds with a statement and video link from a Navy SEAL.
The media has been accused of a liberal bias for years. The Pew Research Center studied the media's coverage of President Obama's healthcare reform bill. Pew found that a majority of the terms used were conservative frames, not liberal frames. The media also covered the health care reform process like a horserace or battle.
Pew looked at 5,500 health care stories from June 2009 through March 2010 when it was the top news story. This time period corresponds to higher public interest and the greatest political partisanship. Talk shows, especially liberal leaning shows, discussed health care reform more often than the mainstream media.
While the media covered the politics of the health care reform, they spent little time on other story angles. The media hardly covered how the health insurance industry works. Newspapers were the exception, and they used about 18 percent of their front page coverage on the current state of health insurance in the US and how health insurance works. So while the American public was confused (69% said debate was hard to understand in December 2009), the media did little to help.
We are left with several questions:
Pew Research Center, Project for Excellence in Journalism. "Six Things to Know about Health Care Coverage" June 10, 2010. http://www.journalism.org/analysis_report/six_things_know_about_health_care_coverage (accessed June 20, 2012).
Liberal and Conservative; these labels play a major part in the way we differentiate and relate to politicians in our political arena. However, defining exactly what makes a politician a liberal or a conservative is a somewhat muddled matter. Does being a Democrat make a politician a liberal? If so, can there be liberal Republicans? Do political parties have a general tilt either to liberal or conservative? If there is variation, can we still label political parties in this manner? So, we ask the questions: What is a liberal? What is a conservative?
What does it mean to be liberal or conservative?
Liberals “believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. It is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. Believe the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. Liberal policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve problems.”
Conservatives “believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.”
Liberals, or the “left,” want “freedom of choice in our private lives (sex, religion, values, etc.) but state control of our economic lives.”
Conservatives, or the “right”, want state control in our private lives (sex, religion, values, etc.) but freedom of choice in our economic lives.”
Liberal and Conservative defined here highlight major differences in how problems are approached. Liberals typically want a stronger federal government in the external things which affect our lives, such as the economy, and have the government support the people as much as possible without directly interfering in the way we conduct our lives. An example of a liberal act would be the Equal Employment for All Act, which amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to keep employers from accessing credit to deny employment, except in special circumstances.
Conservatives typically advocate less government intervention in any part of our economic lives, believing the individual knows what is best for them. Conservatives often petition the government to pass laws enforcing morals, such as religious, family and sexual morals. An example of a conservative act would be the Title X Abortion Provider Act, which would prohibit HHS from providing federal family planning assistance to any clinic performing abortions. How, then, do these definitions compare to the actual meanings of the words liberal and conservative?