Ben Adler explores the reporting gap between left- and right-leaning journalists:

Conservative publications, in contrast, have generally opined, with the occasional whimsical reported dispatch. Breaking hard news was simply not in their DNA. Politico’s Jonathan Martin, who briefly worked at National Review, wrote an article suggesting that this gap hurt Republicans in the election because they were not as able to drive news stories, and that it has also led to more liberal journalists than conservatives joining mainstream publications. Martin attributed the difference to one of tradition: liberal journalists grew up aspiring to be hard-nosed investigative reporters like Woodward and Bernstein, while conservatives grew up suspicious of mainstream papers and aspiring to be the next William F. Buckley Jr.

It’s true that some conservative publications have pushed stories into the mainstream media to great political effect. The American Spectator stoked the Whitewater and Paula Jones scandals that plagued President Clinton through much of his tenure, and conservative blogs questioned the veracity of the CBS report in 2004 on President Bush’s National Guard service. But the focus has been either media watchdogging or political score-settling, rather than government and corporate accountability.

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