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The Role of the Media in US Politics



View Poll Results: How hard has the media been on President Obama?
All of the media have been too hard on Obama 3 13.04%
All of the media have been too easy on Obama 7 30.43%
Mixed bag: some too easy on him, some too hard 14 60.87%
The media has covered Obama too much 9 39.13%
I want to see more stories about Bo Obama! 7 30.43%
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  #41  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 10:38 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post


I don't agree with your conclusion, Leah. What it means, from where I sit, is that Obama ran a more positive campaign than McCain. It follows, logically, that coverage of his campaign would reflect that as fact, since it was fact, and also that McCain's negative campaign would generate negative coverage.

That does not prove bias in my opinion. The facts are what they are.
What facts? Fact, the media printed more articles containing popular opinions of Obama than they did McCain. That is the only fact. There's no fact on how the campaigns were run. What you've posted is only opinion. None of this proves that there was no bias.


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  #42  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 10:56 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

Reopening. Let's try to discuss legitimate issues without getting personal or overly snarky.


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  #43  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 11:43 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

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What facts? Fact, the media printed more articles containing popular opinions of Obama than they did McCain. That is the only fact. There's no fact on how the campaigns were run. What you've posted is only opinion. None of this proves that there was no bias.
The negative character of McCain's campaign IS a fact:

Why McCain is going so negative

McCain has shown willingness to attack

McCain's Negative Ads Could Backfire

Campaign ads going negative. Negative ads up sharply as McCain falls back in polls

Nervous GOP Urges McCain to Attack

There are 383,000 hits on this Google search link.

There was also the matter of lies attributed to the McCain campaign. One of the better feature stories on those lies came from Time Magazine's Joe Klein, who previously supported McCain over Obama: McCain and The Lying Game.

Joe KleinAlmost every politician stretches the truth. We journalists try to point out the exaggerations and criticize them, then let the voters decide. When McCain says, for example, that Barack Obama favors a government-run health-care system, he's not telling the truth — Obama wants a market-based system subsidized by the government — but McCain's untruth illuminates a general policy direction, which is sketchy but sort of within the bounds. [...] Obama has done this sort of thing too. In July, he accused McCain of supporting the foreign buyout of an American company that could lead to the loss of about 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio. McCain did support the deal, but the job loss comes many years later and was not anticipated at the time. That, however, is where the moral equivalency between these two campaigns ends.

McCain's lies have ranged from the annoying to the sleazy, and the problem is in both degree and kind. His campaign has been a ceaseless assault on his opponent's character and policies, featuring a consistent—and witting—disdain for the truth. Even after 38 million Americans heard Obama say in his speech at the Democratic National Convention that he was open to offshore oil-drilling and building new nuclear-power plants, McCain flatly said in his acceptance speech that Obama opposed both. Normal political practice would be for McCain to say, "Obama says he's 'open to' offshore drilling, but he's always opposed it. How can we believe him?" This persistence in repeating demonstrably false charges is something new in presidential politics.


I think it's pretty clear McCain gave the media an awful lot of material, not much of which could be construed as a positive message.


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  #44  
Old December 4th, 2008, 12:00 am
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

Obama was also guilty of distorting the truth and / or stretching the truth in his ads, to be fair to everyone involved. The common perception, however, seems to be that McCain was more negative, as evaluated by analysts in the newsmedia.


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  #45  
Old December 4th, 2008, 1:38 am
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

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Originally Posted by chparadise View Post
Obama was also guilty of distorting the truth and / or stretching the truth in his ads, to be fair to everyone involved. The common perception, however, seems to be that McCain was more negative, as evaluated by analysts in the newsmedia.
This is true. I think he stayed within the confines of what Klein said:

Joe KleinUsually when a candidate tells something less than the truth, we mince words. We use euphemisms like mendacity and inaccuracy ... or, as the Associated Press put it, "McCain's claims skirt facts." But increasing numbers of otherwise sober observers, even such august institutions as the New York Times editorial board, are calling John McCain a liar.


I had never heard that word used so critically in coverage of any presidential campaign before this one. It might have helped John Kerry if the press had done a better job of calling Bush and his swiftboaters four years ago. Or back in 2002, when they were ginning up for the invasion of Iraq.

Klein had more to say on the subject of McCain's lies:

KleinWorse than the lies have been the smears. McCain ran a television ad claiming that Obama favored "comprehensive" sex education for kindergartners. (Obama favored a bill that would have warned kindergartners about sexual predators and improper touching.) The accusation that Obama was referring to Sarah Palin when he said McCain's effort to remarket his economic policies was putting "lipstick on a pig" was another clearly misleading attack — an obnoxious attempt to divert attention from Palin's lack of fitness for the job and the recklessness with which McCain chose her. McCain's assault on the "élite media" for spreading rumors about Palin's personal life — actually, the culprits were a few bloggers and the tabloid press — was more of the same. And that gets us close to the real problem here. The McCain camp has decided that its candidate can't win honorably, on the issues, so it has resorted to transparent and phony diversions.

This new strategy emerged during the first week of Obama's overseas trip in late July. McCain had been intending to contrast his alleged foreign policy expertise and toughness with Obama's inexperience and alleged weakness. McCain wanted to "win" the Iraq war and face down the Iranians. But those issues became moot when the Iraqis said they favored Obama's withdrawal plan and the Bush Administration started talking to the Iranians. At that point, McCain committed his original sin — out of pique, I believe — questioning Obama's patriotism, saying the Democrat would rather lose a war than lose an election. Ever since, McCain's campaign has been a series of snide and demeaning ads accompanied by the daily gush of untruths that have now been widely documented and exposed. The strategy is an obvious attempt to camouflage the current unpopularity of his Republican brand, the insubstantiality of his vice-presidential choice, and his agreement on most issues — especially economic matters — with an exceedingly unpopular President.


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  #46  
Old December 4th, 2008, 3:37 am
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
This is true. I think he stayed within the confines of what Klein said:

I'm sorry - august institutions as the NY Times - in this election? Thanks for the giggle!

Klein seems to forget that the insinuations against Palin were carried in the Times and the Post and broadcast on CNN and MSNBC and exposed a false within moments of being aired. That the Times, Post, MSNBC, and CNN are little more than tabliod press, well on that count I do have to agree with Joel.


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  #47  
Old December 4th, 2008, 4:40 am
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

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Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
Klein seems to forget that the insinuations against Palin were carried in the Times and the Post and broadcast on CNN and MSNBC and exposed a false within moments of being aired. That the Times, Post, MSNBC, and CNN are little more than tabliod press, well on that count I do have to agree with Joel.
You have links to back up the tabloid claim?

Personally, I think the term "august" is appropriate for a newspaper that has been around as long as the New York Times. I know conservatives love to knock it around, just as liberals have small use for Fox News, but I don't think the Times is anywhere near as one-sided as Fox.


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  #48  
Old December 4th, 2008, 8:35 am
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

If any mainstream news organization ran stories suggesting that Trig was not Palin's son, I want to see links. Those rumours were politics at its worst. Any paper that gave them credence with no proof should be ashamed of themselves.


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  #49  
Old December 4th, 2008, 9:58 am
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

Yep links are good. We love links.

Personally I think the Fox News versus the "liberal media" discussion is growing a little old and we've established by now that no media is 100% objective. Also that some favour left and others right... and we just have to live with it, because it's not likely to suddenly change...

But that was a slight detour...

Like I said I love links


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  #50  
Old December 4th, 2008, 4:42 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

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Originally Posted by WarriorEowyn View Post
If any mainstream news organization ran stories suggesting that Trig was not Palin's son, I want to see links. Those rumours were politics at its worst. Any paper that gave them credence with no proof should be ashamed of themselves.
There weren't any. The networks didn't cover it either.


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  #51  
Old December 4th, 2008, 6:10 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

Spot on art from Rob Tornoe:



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  #52  
Old December 4th, 2008, 6:31 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
You have links to back up the tabloid claim?
Ask Klien for them. I was using his words and carrying them to their logical conclusion. The portion of the article you linked quoted him as stating that the unfounded accusations leveled at Palin were largely only reported in the blogs and tabloid press. The accusation that Palin cut funding for special ed programs was carried in the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times. Same with the accusations of book banning, cuts in teen pregnancy programs, and teaching creationism. All of those charges were demonstrated to be false within moments of being aired. Since he said that the unfounded charges against Palin were carried by the tabloid press and they were carried by those "august" institutions listed above, then he characterized them as tabloid press.

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  #53  
Old December 4th, 2008, 7:09 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

I don't see anything logical in that conclusion. Sorry.

I'd like to see links to whatever you're asserting appeared in the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times. Come to think of it, you haven't offered a source for your claim that - whatever - was "demonstrated to be false within moments of being aired."

[staff edit]


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Last edited by Hes; December 4th, 2008 at 8:12 pm.
  #54  
Old December 4th, 2008, 8:11 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

Okay people, like I said a few posts above, provide links when making statements. If not, you will be asked to do so. It benefits the discussion and flow of the thread if you do it straight away. It's not so hard.


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  #55  
Old December 4th, 2008, 8:12 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

I'm not Mom, but I did find links to back up what she's saying.

Palin cut Special Ed Funding:
DailyKos (A liberal favorite): http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/3/163229/8631
The Weekly Standard (discussing the smear): http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblog...he_cut_spe.asp
FactCheck.org: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2...ing_palin.html

Accusation of Palin book banning:
CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/...n4430259.shtml
Time: http://www.time.com/time/politics/ar...837918,00.html

Palin's Cuts in Teen Pregnancy Programs:
Washington Post: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the...g_to_help.html

Palin Teaching Creationism:
Huffington Post (lib fav): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/0..._n_122519.html


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  #56  
Old December 4th, 2008, 8:14 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I don't see anything logical in that conclusion. Sorry.
Way I see it if he says the unfounded stuff about Palin was carried by blogs and the tabloid press and that stuff appeared in the Post, the Times etc, and those institutions aren't blogs then he's characterizing the Post, Times, etc as the tabloid press. Just using his words and his characterization.

Quote:
I'd like to see links to whatever you're asserting appeared in the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times. Come to think of it, you haven't offered a source for your claim that - whatever - was "demonstrated to be false within moments of being aired."

Mod ruling, please? Is it okay to make charges such as these without links to a verifiable source?
Feel free to go back to the election threads. They were all linked there and we discussed them then.

So that you don't have to filter through all of them (and there are pages and pages) here are a few of the big ones which I listed above.

Banned Books smear courtesy of the NY Times. Per fact check - not true, not even by a long shot. Kinda hard to ban books that haven't been written yet.

Palin cuts funding for special ed programs smear from CNN. Per fact check not true. She increased funding for special ed programs. You don't even need to got fact check to debunk that one, you just have to read the budget authorization to figure it out.

Palin cut funding for teen pregnancy programs smear from the Washington Post. Also per fact check, not true. Like the special ed smear, she actually increased funding for special ed programs - in fact, you don't even need fact check to debunk thins one - you just have to read the budget authorization included in their report.

A journalists job is to approach any story with a degree of skepticism and do research to verify the accuracy of anything they report before they report it. That level of integrity wasn't in any way evident with the reporting on Palin. During this election the media went bonkers trying to paint Palin in a bad light. They printed stories without bothering to do basic research to see if the accusations were accurate. That the stories were so easily debunked by things like actually reading the budget requests demonstrates just how low the quality of reporting on Palin was.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hes
Okay people, like I said a few posts above, provide links when making statements. If not, you will be asked to do so. It benefits the discussion and flow of the thread if you do it straight away. It's not so hard.
If we've already provided the links previously on numerous occasions and the same specious charges keep coming back up despite being debunked do we have to link everything again and again and again? Some posters are still on dial up and it continually linking the same stories over and over again seem unnecessary.


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Last edited by monster_mom; December 4th, 2008 at 8:18 pm.
  #57  
Old December 4th, 2008, 8:46 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

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Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
If we've already provided the links previously on numerous occasions and the same specious charges keep coming back up despite being debunked do we have to link everything again and again and again? Some posters are still on dial up and it continually linking the same stories over and over again seem unnecessary.
Yes, you will still have to provide links if you want to discuss it or if someone asks for links in response to a comment made by you.

It doesn't matter if it has been linked a dozen times in other threads or 20 posts earlier. If it's discussed now, provide the links now.


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  #58  
Old December 4th, 2008, 8:50 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

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Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
If we've already provided the links previously on numerous occasions and the same specious charges keep coming back up despite being debunked do we have to link everything again and again and again? Some posters are still on dial up and it continually linking the same stories over and over again seem unnecessary.
That is a problem, but on the other hand as you noted the earlier links tend to get buried among all the previous posts, pages, etc. You don't necessarily have to provide a dozen links for an assertion (though obviously that helps your case), but you should back it up with something.

What we as mods are looking for is to know that people aren't just slinging made-up "facts" back and forth. None of us (mods or posters) have time to check out every assertion.


  #59  
Old December 4th, 2008, 10:42 pm
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

If you've already provided the links in a previous post, it may be easier to just quote (or link) that previous post in your new response, rather than re-invent the wheel.



Last edited by Lash Dresden; December 4th, 2008 at 10:45 pm.
  #60  
Old December 5th, 2008, 12:19 am
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Re: US Elections 2008: The Role of the Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lash Dresden View Post
If you've already provided the links in a previous post, it may be easier to just quote (or link) that previous post in your new response, rather than re-invent the wheel.
Stupid question, but if a thread has been closed can we still get into it? I had assumed that once a thread was closed we couldn't go into it anymore.

Never mind - I answered my own quesiton. Apparently we can get into closed thread to reference posts! Duh!!!! (we really need one of those smiley's with the hand smacking the head)


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