Media Bias 2008
Items are listed from most recent to oldest; the numbering only reflects this and is not a ranking. Send Media Bias 2008 examples via "comments"' below, or to email2laer [@] yahoo [dot] com.
9. The End (Not Of Media Bias) Is Near!
In a truly awful piece by AP writers Alan Fram and Eileen Putnam titled Everything is Seemingly Spinning out of Control that wails about "wars without end" and "polar bears ... adrift," we see that all this ubber-angst is leading up to this:
The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year's presidential election. Each contender offers a sense of order — and hope. Republican John McCain promises an experienced hand in a frightening time. Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, "Yes, we can."Do you get the sense that to AP, McCain is alone, without a supporter in sight, but the Mighty O is surrounded ... as Christ was ... by multitudes? McCain is for a mere "sense" of order, but large crowds believe Obama; he's bright and shiny! Yes, we can! Yes we can bias this election!
8. 100 Years of Bias
Ever since John McCain said in January it was all right with him if troops stayed in Iraq for 100 years as long as they weren't suffering casualties, the media have pandered to Dem operatives who equate this to "100 years of war." Now it's back with McCain's statement that it's "not important" when the troops come home.
For over-the-top misinterpretation of this statement look no further than that Pillar of Objectivity, MSNBC and Keith Olbermann. After giving the full quote to provide "full context," Olbermann said:
And there is the context of what Sen. McCain said. Well, not quite, Senator.
The full context is that the Iraq you see, is a figment of your imagination. This is not a war about "honor and victory," Sir. This is a war you, and the President you support and seek to succeed, conned this nation into.
Of course, Olbermann is a commentator and is welcome to dish out all the thick-headed bias he wants. Another way of saying that is this: Olbermann gets to say what others in the MSM want to say; otherwise they would see the correct context -- that it's good for American security to have troops overseas -- and not report this story at all.
Eagle-eyed reader Elvis Julip spotted this item in the SacBee:
"Three passions seem to be dominant so far this year, and all offer advantages"Forgive me," Elvis writes, "if I don't quite believe that Republicans share that third passion on the level that the Sac Bee writer would have us believe."
to Obama: ending the Iraq war, restoring a sense of economic security and
ousting the Republican Party from the White House."
6. Cunning With Cunningham
The LA Times was looking for some quotes to fill in the blanks on a story they wanted to write: That John McCain was going to have trouble with conservatives in the critical swing state of Ohio. Rather than talk to, say the chair of the Ohio Republican party, they did this:
If McCain tried to gather his volunteers in Ohio, "you could meet in a phone booth," said radio host Bill Cunningham, who attacks the Arizona senator regularly on his talk show. "There's no sense in this part of Ohio that John McCain is a conservative or that his election would have a material benefit to conservatism."You remember Cunningham. He's the former warm-up speaker for McCain who got drubbed by the candidate for his vicious attacks on Clinton and Obama. When McCain apologized to the two Dem candidates, Cunningham went ballistic in a temper tantrum worthy of a four year old:
A conservative radio talk-show host said that "he's had it up to here" with Sen. John McCain after the GOP presidential candidate repudiated the commentator's remarks about Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama at a campaign event.
"John McCain threw me under a bus -- under the 'Straight Talk Express,' " Bill Cunningham told CNN on Tuesday, referring to McCain's campaign bus. (CNN)
Want a negative story? Interview psycho-negative sources. It's five months before the election and no one knows how Ohio will go -- but it's not too early for the LAT to try to do its part.
On the surface, the Washington Post appears objective on two big questions of the campaign: McCain's age (29 hits on a WaPo content search) and Obama's experience (26 hits). But numbers can be deceiving, particularly since the McCain search turned up this dog: McCain, A Matter of Temperment.
It ran on page A1, and the Internet version rambles on for five clicks of tales (some tall) of McCain's "legendary" temper. McCain speechwriter Mark Salter said of the story, “In sum, this is one of the more shoddy examples of journalism I've ever encountered. But for the infamous [NYTimes] story, I'd say it was the worst smear job on McCain I'd ever seen.”
In contrast, WaPo offers up no A1 story on Obama's inexperience. The 26 hits are mostly on op/ed pieces, on McCain's statements about Obama, and WaPo blog posts. Even so, none rose higher than page A6.
4. Ignoring Rezko
Nexis, compiler extraordinaire of news stories in mostly major MSM outlets, conjured up 114 stories matching a "Rezko AND convicted" sort between the day the story broke, June 4, and the next day. I re-ran the sort for today's date and there were ... Ta Da! ... six, count 'em six, stories.
Imagine if the GOP nominee had a longstanding relationship with a major contributor who had just been convicted of 16 felony counts of, basically, taking money from the poor for his purposes. Do you think there just might have been more than six stories a couple days later?
3. Global Bias
AP had to go out of its way -- very far out of its way -- to tell us Obama is a "great man."
Indonesia? Yeah, OK, we'll give you that. But Mexico? AP apparently didn't ask the Vietnamese community in Little Saigon, OC, what they think of McCain.
Indonesians were rooting for the man they consider to be a hometown hero. Obama lived in the predominantly Muslim nation from age 6 to 10 with his mother and Indonesian stepfather and was fondly remembered by former teachers and classmates.
"He was an average student, but very active," said Widianto Hendro Cahyono, 48, who was in the same third-grade class as Obama at SDN Menteng elementary school in Jakarta. "He would play ball during recess until he was dripping with sweat.
"I never imagined he would become a great man."
In Mexico City, hairdresser Susan Mendoza's eyes lit up when she learned Obama had clinched the nomination.
"Bush was for the elite. Obama is of the people," she said. (hat-tip: LGF)
2. NYT Expose ... Or Not
The NY Times didn't have a problem running a smarmy and unprovable story about a supposed McCain affair with a lobbyist. No similar bag o' crapola hit piece has run in the NYT.
Women swoon over Obama, but apparently there's never been an allegation of drop-trou, no matter how specious, that has caught the NYT's attention. This fact is not bias per se -- but the fact that only one crummy secondary hit comes up up on an NYT search of "Obama William Ayres" sure is.
1. Votin' Racist
An AP story that moved right after the announcement that Obama had sealed the deal compared the candidates in a biased way:
_Will McCain be able to overcome the country's intense desire for change by separating himself from the unpopular Bush while sticking close on issues of war and taxes?Think about it: Don't vote for McCain and you're anti-Bush (a popular sentiment). Don't vote for Obama and you're a racist (a not-so-popular attribute).
_Will Obama be able to overcome the country's unsavory history of slavery andlingering bigotry that deeply divides the public to be elected the first black president?