Close to four hundred people gathered Wednesday evening to see Charles Krauthammer, a conservative voice in the media, and his lecture on media bias, specifically, how to survive as a conservative in a liberally dominated culture, during the 2015 SMU Sammons Media Ethics Lecture.
The Caruth Auditorium was filled with students and outside participants alike to see Krauthammer give his speech on the annual subject of media ethics. Approaching the stage to an overwhelming ovation, Krauthammer opened with a few different jokes to ease the crowd into his subject.
A stout conservative, Krauthammer has worked for many years in different facets of the right wing media. A frequent columnist for The Washington Post, Krauthammer’s work has appeared in over 400 newspapers worldwide and has won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1987. His success in writing continues to be a large aspect of his life, as is evidenced with his newly released book, “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics,” which is a New York Times bestseller that has sold more than one million copies. Krauthammer spoke about his writing and how it has been a large part of what has made him as successful as he is. He recounted a story about the time he received a call from a journalist asking to do a story on “the unexpected success of his book.”
More than just a writer, Krauthammer is also a Fox News analyst, appearing on the “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Throughout his speech, Krauthammer frequently spoke about his work with Fox and how it has influenced his opinions on many things, especially the liberal media.
Krauthammer began his lecture with a section on how to avoid media bias and keep things balanced. However, he quickly descended into a lecture that focused entirely on lambasting the liberal media for all of its coverage on conservative issues. Clearly very far to the right in his views, Krauthammer focused his entire lecture on how the liberal media is changing its stories to flatter the left wing side of politics.
Krauthammer, explaining his problems with news organizations such ABC, CNN, CBS and others, said, “This is how the bias shows itself; it’s not in changing facts, but in arranging them.” Krauthammer continued to explain how the liberal media deliberately avoids some facts while obviously bringing others to the forefront of its audience’s attention.
Although Krauthammer was clearly unhappy with the state of the media in today’s world and the amount of left leaning coverage, he did say that he enjoyed the competition. Regarding the state of affairs, he said, “What I like about this is that it’s a stand-off.” The struggle to maintain balance, in Krauthammer’s opinion, is a constant battle. During a question and answer session at the end of the lecture, Krauthammer even told a student the best way to deal with the overwhelming liberal culture was to “compete.”
While Krauthammer deviated from his subject matter for some time during the lecture, he did involve the media as an instrumental facet of his speech. Frequently bringing up liberals’ hatred of Fox News, he said, “They just can’t get out of their minds that this opposition, Fox News, exists.”
His work for Fox obviously lends him some bias toward the organization, but his continued involvement in the news network tended to lead him off track from time to time. In another reference to liberals’ fear of Fox, he spoke about how, “They get particularly enraged by the success of Fox News.”
Krauthammer’s speech was met with thunderous applause at its climax, and a standing ovation was all but guaranteed.