Michael Goodwin was weaned on Abe Rosenthal’s New York Times, rising to City Hall Bureau Chief before becoming Executive Editor of the Daily News and, now, chief political columnist for the New York Post. He’s been around, so when he says this, it comes from experience:
It’s not exactly breaking news that most journalists lean left. I used to do that myself. I grew up at The New York Times, so I’m familiar with the species. For most of the media, bias grew out of the social revolution of the 1960s and ’70s. Fueled by the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, the media jumped on the anti-authority bandwagon writ large. The deal was sealed with Watergate, when journalism was viewed as more trusted than government—and far more exciting and glamorous. Think Robert Redford in All the President’s Men. Ever since, young people became journalists because they wanted to be the next Woodward and Bernstein, find a Deep Throat, and bring down a president. Of course, most of them only wanted to bring down a Republican president. That’s because liberalism is baked into the journalism cake.
This is the sort of statement that really needs context, as the left-leaning of the Nixon era wasn’t the same left as today. There were similarities, of course, in that Nixon was viewed as inherently evil and must be taken down. The lives of young men in Viet Nam depended on it, so the platitudes were born.