“The Progressive forces are always driven by the best motives: they are compassionate, courageous, conscientious, enlightened, future-oriented, peace-loving. These terms all have a left-wing odor about them (though the media rarely use the term ‘left wing’). The Reactionaries, meanwhile, are driven by atavism: hate, fear, supersticion, greed, ignorance, selfishness, sheer resistance to ‘change.’
“‘Hate,’ for example, has become associated exclusively with ‘right-wing’ causes in journalistic discourse. (See Newsweek passim.) No Progressive ever hates anyone, though he (or she) may feel righteous anger or rage. Journalese does use the term ‘right wing’ freely, but without defining it: it is a catchall for anything belonging to the dark past. Theocracy, capitalism, slavery, militarism: these are right wing. The fascist, the monarchist, the libertarian, the constitutionalist: all, somehow, right wing, though their only common denominator is that they all oppose socialism.
“What conservatives call ‘bias’ in the media is really more like a Weltanschauung, half-conscious, but shaping and shading everything. Journalists may try hard to be accurate and to suppress overt partisanship; they usually don’t realize they are taking sides with the very categories they start with. They don’t understand that there are alternative categories.”
▪ Joseph Sobran, The National Review Years (Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, 2012) extract from page 5; originally from National Review (5 November 1990).