The mainstream press is liberal.
The refusal of mainstream media executives to acknowledge the ideological leanings of their staffs has produced a dangerous form of media guilt in which the press leans over so far backward to avoid the charge of left bias that it ends up either neutered or leaning to the right. This happened at The Washington Post and was reflected in weak and sometimes fawning coverage, first of the opening years of the Reagan administration, and even more so during George W. Bush's first term-when not only the lead-up to the Iraq invasion but key domestic initiatives went largely unexamined, with disastrous consequences.
Here's my question for Edsall: If I call myself a vegetarian and believe with all my heart that eating meat is both immoral and unhealthy, but I enjoy a nice steak dinner twice a week, does it make sense to refer to me as a vegetarian?
In case my point isn't clear: If the press "ends up either neutered or leaning to the right," why on earth does it make sense to call it "liberal"?