Biased Media Coverage?

Archangel M

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This reporter thinks so.

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=6099188

Now, of course, there's always been bias in the media. Human beings are biased, so the work they do, including reporting, is inevitably colored. Hell, I can show you 10 different ways to color variations of the word "said" -- muttered, shouted, announced, reluctantly replied, responded, etc. -- to influence the way a reader will apprehend exactly the same quote. We all learn that in Reporting 101, or at least in the first few weeks working in a newsroom.

But what we are also supposed to learn during that same apprenticeship is to recognize the dangerous power of that technique, and many others, and develop built-in alarms against them.

But even more important, we are also supposed to be taught that even though there is no such thing as pure, Platonic objectivity in reporting, we are to spend our careers struggling to approach that ideal as closely as possible.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those people who think the media has been too hard on, say, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin, by rushing reportorial SWAT teams to her home state of Alaska to rifle through her garbage. This is the big leagues, and if she wants to suit up and take the field, then Gov. Palin better be ready to play.

The few instances where I think the press has gone too far -- such as the Times reporter talking to prospective first lady Cindy McCain's daughter's MySpace friends -- can easily be solved with a few newsroom smackdowns and temporary repostings to the Omaha bureau.

No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side -- or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for the presidential ticket of Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Joe Biden, D-Del.

If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography.

That isn't Sen. Obama's fault: His job is to put his best face forward. No, it is the traditional media's fault, for it alone (unlike the alternative media) has had the resources to cover this story properly, and has systematically refused to do so.

Finally, a media profesional who has come out and said what Ive been saying here all along.
 

Sukerkin

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As an 'auslander' I'm not in a position to judge what the internal coverage has been like on the electoral front.

However, I can say that the view coming across to those of us on the 'outside' is that McCain is a no-hoper and that Obama is a sure-bet. That can either be a true reflection of the feelings of the American electorate or a 'media truth' being fabricated to ease along the required result for those that really run the show.

I suspect that, regardless of his own attributes, McCain has been 'poisoned' by the preceding Bush administration anyhow but the push to portray Obama as some sort of immaculate saviour leaves a sour taste too.

At the end of the day, these are just men. They have flaws and strengths and will have good days and bad days when they are in office. They should be held to high standards, true, but the media needs to learn that the unvarnished facts (I hesitate to use the word "truth" in such a context") will serve everyone well enough.
 
OP
Archangel M

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I really dont like the fact that we all know how much Palins clothes cost..her family troubles with a trooper brother-in-law..her pregnant daughter etc. but we now almost nothing about the man running for (and by media accounts leading the race) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! And its obvious the media isnt going to go looking for anything.
 

girlbug2

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I too have noticed that conspicuous lack of scrutiny of Sen. Obama.

I also wonder how much of the election will become the media's self-fulfilling prophecy. Nobody wants to vote for the "loser", and if they repeatedly trumpet that Obama will win (as I think they have done in the last few months, even before it was possible to predict), then many people who would have voted for McCain will be discouraged and either stay home or change their vote (to be with the "winners"). It is a stupid fact of human nature that we react this way, rational consideration being the statistical exception rather than the rule.

Whether or not this is a deliberate strategy on the part of the media for their darling candidate or whether it is short-sighted enthusiasm with no agenda, I cannot say. But it becomes easier every day to believe in the "conspiracy theory" aspect of this election, that it was media-engineered to help Obama win.
 

Twin Fist

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This reported ADMITS his bias:

http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_7484&pageNum=1

exerpt:





Quote: The reality is: I quickly realized Rudy was a maniac. I had a recurring fantasy in which I took him out during a press conference (it was nonlethal, just something that put him out of commission for a year or so), saving America from the horror of a President Giuliani. If that sounds like I had some trouble being objective, I did. Objectivity is a fallacy. In campaign reporting more than any other kind of press coverage, reporters arent just covering a story, theyre a part of itinfluencing outcomes, setting expectations, framing candidatesand despite what they tell themselves, its impossible to both be a part of the action and report on it objectively.
 

Gordon Nore

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I thought it was a very good article that illustrates the decline of mainstream media to its current state. If I might drift the thread a bit, it reminds me very much of season four of the HBO series The Wire, which is set in Baltimore. The final season focuses on the media, a newspaper in this case that has been gobbled up by larger chain. Bit by bit the paper is taken apart: foreign bureas shut, budgets cut, etc. In it a sneaky young reporter wins a Pullitzer for contriving a story, while his old-school editor boss gets sacked.

It really does feel like investigative journalism, where people look for details, is dead. Where, oh where is the corroboration to the Palin book-banning story? The story has been repeated so many times in profiles of her, it's like a big orgy of plagiarism. If it actually happened, then show the readers and viewers and skip the story about her clothes.

It's been this way for a while. Remember the media scrum around the Clintons' Arkansas home when photographers were trying to get a picture of their cat. There were an awful lot reporters to their trying to scoop the story of a president who didn't own a dog.

And the mainstream press looks down on the paparazi?
 

grydth

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The overall liberal bias of the mainstream media is so well known, I am surprised it is even being seriously debated. (Exception : Fox News, biased in the other direction)

For example - McCain is going to lose badly, he will be punished at the polls for Bush's supposed economic sins. But the original economic sin, which okay'd the formerly illegal sleazy practices which were at the core of this Fall's recession... those were deregulated in 2000.... in a bill signed not by Bush I or Bush II... but instead by Bill Clinton. (Same guy as gave us NAFTA.)

How many times have you seen THAT reported? NOT!

Would it have been reported had his "co-president" Hillary gotten the nomination? I'm thinking: nope.

Now, I'm for Obama/Biden - - - but the race ought not be decided by ignorance fostered by those supposedly in the business of infoming us. Somewheres along the way, the media decided simply reporting news wasn't enough for them - - - now, they have to make it.
 

grydth

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This reported ADMITS his bias:

http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_7484&pageNum=1

exerpt:





Quote: The reality is: I quickly realized Rudy was a maniac. I had a recurring fantasy in which I took him out during a press conference (it was nonlethal, just something that put him out of commission for a year or so), saving America from the horror of a President Giuliani. If that sounds like I had some trouble being objective, I did. Objectivity is a fallacy. In campaign reporting more than any other kind of press coverage, reporters arent just covering a story, theyre a part of itinfluencing outcomes, setting expectations, framing candidatesand despite what they tell themselves, its impossible to both be a part of the action and report on it objectively.

Why would the Secret Service allow this maniac anywheres near a candidate for federal office at any time in the future? Anyone suffering from such a "fantasy" needs to be on the high school sports or bake sale beat pending a serious course of medications and psychotherapy. Here's another individual that shouldn't be involved in deciding the Presidency...
 
OP
Archangel M

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081028/pl_politico/14982

We were all set to dismiss Harris’ mother as a crank. Same for VandeHei’s: a conservative dismayed by what she sees as kid-glove treatment of Barack Obama. Then along came a study — funded by the prestigious Pew Research Center, no less — suggesting at first blush, at least, that they may be on to something.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism’s researchers found that John McCain, over the six weeks since the Republican convention, got four times as many negative stories as positive ones. The study found six out of 10 McCain stories were negative.

What’s more, Obama had more than twice as many positive stories (36 percent) as McCain — and just half the percentage of negative (29 percent).

You call that balanced?
 

zDom

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I've got to hand to the Democrats and their bedmates, the liberal media and entertainment industry: they have done a great job in spinning this election Obama's way. If they don't win, it won't be for lack of trying.

The master stroke, IMO, was saddling McCain with the economic downturn when in actuality it was the harvest from seeds they planted. Amazing.

I don't much like the Republican crooks much more than the Democrat crooks, but in this election I am seeing more "win at all costs" / "the means justifies the ends" type behavior than I can stomach from the Dems.
 

crushing

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Another thing I've noticed this year is the lack of commentary about which presidential candidate is raising and spending the most money. It used to be such a big issue in the media, with the media even hinting at the "buying of the presidendency".
 

zeeberex

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As an 'auslander' I'm not in a position to judge what the internal coverage has been like on the electoral front.

However, I can say that the view coming across to those of us on the 'outside' is that McCain is a no-hoper and that Obama is a sure-bet. That can either be a true reflection of the feelings of the American electorate or a 'media truth' being fabricated to ease along the required result for those that really run the show.

I suspect that, regardless of his own attributes, McCain has been 'poisoned' by the preceding Bush administration anyhow but the push to portray Obama as some sort of immaculate saviour leaves a sour taste too.

At the end of the day, these are just men. They have flaws and strengths and will have good days and bad days when they are in office. They should be held to high standards, true, but the media needs to learn that the unvarnished facts (I hesitate to use the word "truth" in such a context") will serve everyone well enough.

McCain is basically a good man, although a bit of a hot head, which is not what these times need. BUT, he definately is screwed for the actions of the current administration, no doubt at all.
 

terryl965

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Well by all the latest poll Obama has already won. So we need to close up and not even vote.
 

Twin Fist

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McCain is basically a good man, although a bit of a hot head, which is not what these times need. BUT, he definately is screwed for the actions of the current administration, no doubt at all.


he wouldnt be if the press told the truth that all the current problems are a result a democratic policies:soapbox:
 

crushing

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McCain is basically a good man, although a bit of a hot head, which is not what these times need. BUT, he definately is screwed for the actions of the current administration, no doubt at all.

Comedian Chris Rock says during one of his routines that Bush has ****ed up so bad that he made it tough for a white man to get elected president of the United States.
 

jks9199

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Omitted from the discussion thus far is the way that anyone OTHER THAN the Democratic and Republican candidates have been virtually ignored. Bob pulled a slate of about 12 candidates together; most of them got NO press. Bob Barr got and gets a little, but seldom on the front pages anywhere.

I wonder how the election might have shaped up had the off-party candidates been given equal press coverage...
 

Gordon Nore

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Omitted from the discussion thus far is the way that anyone OTHER THAN the Democratic and Republican candidates have been virtually ignored. Bob pulled a slate of about 12 candidates together; most of them got NO press. Bob Barr got and gets a little, but seldom on the front pages anywhere.

I wonder how the election might have shaped up had the off-party candidates been given equal press coverage...

I couldn't agree more. Journalists might as well get up and say, "It doesn't matter what Nader or Barr said, what the Green Party did today...," and so on, "because they're not going to win." This has been a concern of mine here in Canada, where our televised debates also lock out candidates whose parties have not held seats in previous parliaments. Mind you, our federal election cycle is much, much faster, so we're not subjected to the months -- nay, years -- of trivial media pursuits that our neighbours to the south are.

But, honest to God, when it gets to the point where the new wires are clogged with a story about Obama's auntie, maybe it's time to find another story, like Barr, Nader, the Green Party.
 
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