Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 25, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

LIBERAL MEDIA UPDATE....Here's a report from the front lines of the media bias wars from Four Color Hell, a comics blog recommended by Instapundit:

According to the History Channel's special, "Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked," which first aired Monday, June 23, the best thing about comic books seems to be their advancement of leftist politics.

It only gets worse, though, when they get into and past the '80s when the post-"Crisis" Lex Luthor is seen as a reaction to Ronald Reagan... here the '80s businessman is referred to as the ultimate evil. The pro-gun control "Batman: Seduction of the Gun" is praised. A recent Captain America story arc where the bombing of Dresden is compared to September 11th is seen as "political complexity" instead of moral equivalence.

See, this is what always happens when I actually look into charges of liberal bias, even on a subject as trivial as comic books. I watched this show on Monday and thought it was fairly interesting, but I didn't take away any particular bias at all. The "leftist" politics was one guy's opinion that Superman was a reaction to the Depression and a celebration of FDR's values, but this was neither praised nor panned. It was just an observation, and quite possibly a correct one. And the "ultimate evil" of Lex Luthor being an American businessman was obviously being played for laughs.

Now, it's quite possible (indeed probable) that comic books themselves trend pretty liberal these days. They certainly seem that way to me, although I suspect some of that is inevitable since superheroes by their very nature are bound to stick up for the little guy. But if that's the case, then any documentary that accurately portrays the industry is going to talk about that. That doesn't mean the producers are biased, just that they're describing reality.

The show re-airs Sunday, June 29 at 6 pm, so if you're interested you can watch and judge for yourself. Is it slanted, or is it just describing a liberal medium? You be the judge.

Kevin Drum 9:44 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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