All they had to do was flip the argument around to one where their "team" was on the receiving end of the criticism and ask themselves if it's true in this instance, too. If so, then is the critic's original point still valid or is there a deeper story here?
- The mainstream media's coverage of the Occupy movement versus Tea Party demonstrations: the former was treated as a grassroots protest of value, the latter as surly, gun-loving racists with sinister motives.
- The lack of expansive mainstream media coverage of two big administration scandals: the failure of several green energy companies funded by stimulus money despite warnings from experts; and the Fast and Furious gun scandal where Attorney General Eric Holder has given conflicting accounts to Congress.
- The absence of setting the record straight when the president blamed Republicans during difficult policy battles--when his party, not Republicans, controlled Congress.
- The double standard on sex scandals: Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards's affair was only dragged into the mainstream media when the National Enquirer outed the story, while presidential candidate Herman Cain's alleged sexual harassment of women was given Watergate-like coverage in the mainstream media with conflicting and thin backup for evidence.
- And, just this morning, Mika Brzezinski's slavish adoration of the president's just-released budget. (She proudly displayed a lipstick bedecked copy of the budget on MSNBC's Morning Joe. Way to go, Mika. You set women journalists back a few decades with that stunt, even if you do work for a network that leans
By the way, you don't turn off that analysis when you encounter ideas that jibe with what's already in your ideological wheelhouse. You still ask yourself if the ideas are true, if there's a counter argument that's valid. (For a good example of lively conservative discussion and debate, not always in agreement, read the National Review's blog The Corner.)