You got bias in my media

Cartoonist Ted Rall, who is most likely not getting his talking points from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck, says that media outlets won’t touch him because he’s mean to Pres. Obama. It’s almost as if there’s some sort of, I don’t know, bias toward Pres. Obama.

The Nation and Mother Jones and Harper’s, liberal magazines that gave me freelance work under Clinton and Bush, now ignore my queries. Even when I offered them first-person, unembedded war reporting from Afghanistan. Hey, maybe they’re too busy to answer email or voicemail. You never know.

Other censors are brazen.

There’s been a push among political cartoonists to get our work into the big editorial blogs and online magazines that seem poised to displace traditional print political magazines like The Progressive. In the past, editorial rejections had numerous causes: low budgets, lack of space, an editor who simply preferred another creator’s work over yours.

Now there’ s a new cause for refusal: Too tough on the president.

I’ve heard that from enough “liberal” websites and print publications to consider it a significant trend.

A sample of recent rejections, each from editors at different left-of-center media outlets:

· “I am familiar with and enjoy your cartoons. However the readers of our site would not be comfortable with your (admittedly on point) criticism of Obama.”

· “Don’t be such a hater on O and we could use your stuff. Can’t you focus more on the GOP?”

· “Our first African-American president deserves a chance to clean up Bush’s mess without being attacked by us.”

I have many more like that.

What’s weird is that these cultish attitudes come from editors and publishers whose politics line up neatly with mine. They oppose the bailouts. They want us out of Afghanistan and Iraq. They disapprove of Obama’s new war against Libya. They want Obama to renounce torture and Guantánamo.

But you see, Mr. Rall, that’s what happens when a purportedly free, unbiased press is anything but. They lose their standing, they lose their critical eye, and they lose their worth.

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