Following the 1992 GOP convention, FAIR’s magazine Extra! (11/92) highlighted remarks made by Rich Bond in which the then-Republican national chair explained the strategy behind the right’s relentless charges of liberal media bias:
There’s some strategy to it. I’m the coach of a kids’ basketball team and Little League Teams. If you watch any great coach, what they try to do is “work the refs.” Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack next time.
In a recent appearance on MSNBC‘s Hardball With Chris Matthews (10/19/09), Pat Buchanan gave a first-hand account of how the strategy paid off for him and at least one other member of the Nixon administration:
BUCHANAN: I know when we hit the New York Times, for example, in the ’60s, all of a sudden, they blossomed with an op-ed page that had some conservatives on it and conservative voices there, and all the other newspapers did, as well.
MATTHEWS: That’s how you got Bill his job. Is that how you got Bill Safire his job?
BUCHANAN: Well, listen, they went out looking for conservative–that’s how I got my job! Create a vacuum out there and a real demand, you’ve got to put these people on, Chris, and go to work and….
Like Bond, Buchanan acknowledges that the ploy is disingenuous: In a Los Angeles Times interview (3/14/96) during his 1996 campaign for president, Buchanan praised the media for fairness: “I’ve gotten balanced coverage and broad coverage…. For heaven sakes, we kid about the liberal media, but every Republican on Earth does that.”
And of course it helps that the corporate media is acutely sensitive to charges of liberal bias–regardless of whether they are true or not.