A Los Angeles Times reporter wrote earlier this month that the media should stop even trying to cover both sides of political issues — since the conservative side is just wrong. She tells her fellow journalists to stop reporting what she calls “both-siderism.”
The idea of only reporting one-side of a political debate is not new on the left. Al Gore said the same thing years ago when he urged the media to stop reporting on anyone who did not agree with his climate change theories. They complied.
Here in Texas, covering the conservative perspective of the news — “both-siderism” — ended in the media years ago. In what appears to be an effort to counter news of Texas’ persistent success based on conservative policies, the Texas media dishes out daily news stories that portray the Lone Star State as a miserable backward place held captive by extremist leaders. The distortion is mind-boggling, starting with the Texas media coverage of what is going on at the southern border.
There have been almost no Texas news reports of the problems of South Texans whose safety is threatened and whose hospitals and schools and homes are overrun with migrants who have crossed the border illegally. Instead, although the border is the No. 1 concern of Texans, the “one-sider” press portrays leaders and legislators who are working to secure the border as extremists or even racist.
Virtually every poll shows that after illegal immigration, Texans are concerned about their property taxes — but there are almost no news reports of Texans telling their stories of how high property taxes affect their lives and their businesses. Instead, the Texas press has pushed out hundreds of stories on why local governments need more property tax revenue. “One-sider” media portray legislators who advocate for property tax reform as anti-local government, not pro-tax payer.
There has also been no Texas coverage of what critical race theory actually is and why parents are concerned about it. During the regular legislative session, lawmakers advocating for parents read aloud from actual books in Texas schools that encouraged children to look at each other in terms of color, not character. The books were not reported. Throughout the debate, lawmakers repeatedly noted that topics including slavery, the Underground Railroad, the impact of Jim Crow laws, the Civil Rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many other issues dealing with race in Texas are already part of the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and thus must be included in the Texas public school curriculum. But the “one-sider” press continue to report that opponents of critical race theory want to “whitewash” our history, stop teaching about slavery and cover-up our past.
Half the country and a majority of Texans oppose abortion, but the “one-sider” press uses Orwellian terms like “choice” and “abortion rights” and portrays those who fight against American abortion laws — which permits some of the latest term abortions in the world — as extremist. They use the same trick with what they call “transgender rights,” ignoring the fact that this is a women’s rights issue in most of the western world and many feminists see it as an attack on our hard-earned rights as women.
The election reforms finally passed in Texas’ special session had the support of a majority of Texans in both parties, as well as most African-Americans and Hispanics. The Texas media treated those reforms as some kind of racist plot.
The majority of Texans know “one-sider” news when they see it and they have given the Texas media a giant thumbs down. A recent Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll found that less than 20% of Texas Republicans watch local TV news and only 5% say they read their local newspaper. The reality of our lives in Texas disputes those lies.
More than 1,000 people move to Texas every day — and we all know why. The Texas economy was one of the first to recover after the pandemic and we continue to be the job creating engine for the entire country. We have the 9th largest economy in the world and our oil and gas industry almost single-handedly made the U.S. energy independent before Biden shut them down.
The national press can stop covering both sides of the political debate — most have already — but what we have found out about “one-sider” media in Texas is that reality — and truth — will still triumph.