Through hard work, dedication and some balls out lying, the right wing over the last 30 years has achieved two goals: convincing the American public that they're not selfish, paranoid, racist, power hungry dicks...and convincing the mainstream media that they have a liberal bias that must be addressed.
The New York Times recently hired William Kristol as a columnist in yet another attempt by the media to placate the frothing right wing. Kristol, who was for the Iraq war, is already for the Iran war and is generally for any war you can imagine, will be heralded by the paper as a hire made for balance.
But here's the thing, Thomas Friedman and William Kristol don't achieve balance. A +10 on the conservative scale and -1 isn't balance. If Kristol was hired in 2002, the Times would've had Friedman talking about what a good idea invading Iraq is, Kristol proclaiming that soon the entire Middle East would love America and Judith Miller running around as Dick Cheney's bullhorn. That is some tremendous balance.
To balance Kristol idealogicially, the Times would have to hire a freshman year Womyn's Studies major. Or Woody Harrelson. Kristol could write a piece about how we should invade Iran so a gallon of gasoline will fall to $1.15 and Harrelson can write a counterpoint about how in two years cars will run on hemp oil.
To balance Kristol factually, the Times would have to hire a paranoid schizophrenic. They also make really outlandish predictions that never come true. Kristol can write a piece about how Saddam shipped his WMD to Syria, where Bassan buried them in the desert sands. And the schizophrenic can write a piece about how Saddam actually buried the WMDs in his colon and that when we executed him, it started a chemical reaction that infected everybody present and those people have gone forth and spread the virus. It would be a very compelling argument and nobody would ever point out that, you know, maybe Saddam didn't actually have WMD after all. Don't mention that, please, because the right wing will erupt in a fury and call the Times biased. For...printing factual material.
Here's what the Times and the rest of the national media don't get. The right wing will never like them. The right wing generally hate facts that run counter to their world view. They find them inconvenient. After all, if you're trying to build a fortress of lies, facts can set back your completion date. So they rouse all this rabble about liberal bias, the media caves, hires a far right idealogue in the pursuit of balance, that guy proceeds to spew inanities and right wingers say, "The Times sucks except for Kristol."
Great! Great work, New York Times! Keep hiring right wing mouthpieces until you move in line with The Free Republic. That'll balance things out!