Eric Alterman criticizes my recent commentary in The Sun on major media bias ("Liberal media bias is beyond doubt, March 18) because, he claims, I lacked "supporting evidence" in claiming his book, ""What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News," had "evidentiary problems" ("Vatz's baseless attack," March 21). He unsurprisingly quotes variously liberal sources as finding his thesis well-proved. In several e-mails to me, he recklessly analogized me to the reckless Joe McCarthy, ending with addressing me as "Joe." Very adult.
As I explained to him, it is impossible to provide full analysis to every example one cites in a 600-700 word op-ed piece, but I shall be happy to now, quoting just a few problems in his work from a book review I wrote for a major journal in my field, the Fall, 2003 issue of Qualitative Research Reports in Communication. Incidentally, Mr. Alterman's book was required reading in my class for years.
Mr. Alterman disputes the existence of most liberal bias and even argues that there is much conservative bias in the media (p. 1, p.11, p. 15). He concedes that there may be some liberal bias here and there in the media, but he undercovers it and claims without proof it is not "overwhelming" in the significant areas of abortion, gun control, campaign finance reform, gay rights and the environment (pp. 108-109).