In an ideologically monolithic media environment, it’s not good to have only one organization calling the shots on what is news, argues Mike D’Virglio.

Some weeks ago when Saturday Night Live took President Obama to task for not accomplishing anything in his nine months in office, CNN actually, seriously, with no discernable tongue in check, and seemingly without embarrassment, did a segment fact checking the SNL skit. No, really!

Now we have the AP assigning 11 reporters, yes 11, to “fact check” Sarah Palin’s new book, Going Rogue. According to John at Powerline, they came up with six, yes only six, alleged errors. As John concludes:

It appears to be a tribute to the factual accuracy of Palin’s book that eleven hostile AP reporters can’t come up with anything better than this.

Has the AP ever assigned any reporters, let alone eleven, to fact-check a book by a liberal Democrat politician? I’d put good money on the obvious answer to that one.

When I heard about this I was reminded of a piece I read recently about some news organizations trying to get by without the AP because of cost. A quote from the piece shows us the price truth pays because there is almost no ideological diversity in American journalism:

Much of what the AP provides is unseen by readers, listeners and viewers. The organization keeps event calendars, staffs bureaus in state capitals, distributes pool reports and acts as a non-partisan clearinghouse. In short, the AP is the 24-hour foundation for almost every newsroom in the country.

Nonpartisan? If you believe that, I have some highly appreciating real estate in Florida to sell you. A lot of conservatives think that by creating an alternative media, i.e. talk radio, Fox News, the blogosphere, the dominance of the liberal mainstream media can be countered, if not completely, then at least a little bit. Maybe, but a little bit isn’t good enough. 

Think about the AP, the organization that would do whatever it could to undermine the credibility of a conservative politician, being “the 24-hour foundation of almost every newsroom in the country.” That means the vast majority of apolitical Americans get their perspective of the news, and what is considered news, from this organization.

But I hate it when conservatives complain about media bias. Complaining hasn’t changed anything for 40 years. When I hear conservatives talk about raising up a generation of right-minded journalists to infiltrate “enemy territory”–and put effort and money behind it–then I’ll listen.

–Mike D’Virgilio