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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Are TV Comics Sources for Virginian Pilot Reporters? Fair and Balanced at the Virginian Pilot.

An example of the kind of bias that the MSM brings to issues is a recent article in the Virginian Pilot “What is the real face of Regent's law school?” by Steven Vegh.

The article takes as its starting point the issue of Monica Goodling, a Regent Law graduate and uses that as a springboard into what Vegh believes are the deficiencies of the young Regent Law.

Among the critics quoted by Vegh are people like:
“Comedian Jon Stewart joked that the school was no more rigorous than a "Jiffy Law" drive-through.”

And “"It's not a hard school to get into," sneered comic Bill Maher. "You have to renounce Satan and draw a pirate on a matchbook.

[and Maher on Regent students]"Jesus freaks" graduating from "a televangelist's diploma mill,"

I'm not sure what particular expertise Jon Stewart or Bill Maher bring to this discussion, but lest we be accused of being terminally obtuse, let's just say that in an article like this, these gentlemen are sock puppets for a certain reporter.
We are treated to thoughts such as these:

"It's not just some weird religious school."
"Not Just?" Do an extended interview and ask the right questions and you can get someone to say just about anything? Who – except for Vegh – suggested that Regent was a weird religious school?

Another quote [from Barry Lynn]:
He also said Regent's law students are not incompetent.

Again – who suggested that Regent’s students were incompetent?

If I were to assert that Steven Vegh was not a child molester, no matter what anyone said, I would be committing the same sort of journalistic malpractice that Vegh is practicing here. Reporters for the MSM are guilty of doing this every day.

The rest of the article provides statistics proving that Regent Law is not as highly regarded as Harvard Law. Really? Who knew? But what it is designed to do is to smear Regent.

There is even an eye-popping paragraph that makes absolutely no sense since it does not support Vegh's contention that students attend Regent because it's cheap:
Price could be a factor. Regent's law tuition for 2007-08 is $26,660. By comparison, tuition at George Mason University - a public institution with a law school ranked 34th in the nation - is $16,716 for Virginia residents and $28,532 for out-of-state students.

What brings this article to mind was a conversation I had with Richard Quinn, a reporter and blogger for the Pilot. We were waiting for Newt Gingrich to arrive and the bloggers in the room got into a discussion of the new vs. the old media. I brought up the Regent Law article as an example of the kind of bias the media beings to issues.

In my conversation with Quinn, he asserted that he believed the article was fair and balanced. You can judge for yourself.

And I don’t believe for a moment that Quinn has ever molested anyone and I will deny that Quinn is either weird nor incompetent.

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