mainstream media

How the media is #ReadyForHillary, in two tweets

propaganda

We all knew the media that served as praetorian guard for Obama, including constructing narratives for his 2012 reelection, would be in the tank for Hillary Clinton. I don’t think we expected them to dive in head first into the empty pool the day of her announcement.

On the evening after the hilariously flawed launch, Mark Halperin, who was already responsible for the only Sarah Palin portrayal worse than Tina Fey’s, was shocked, SHOCKED that anyone might think he and his comrades might be Team Hill.

LOL! Ok, Mark… I mean, what would give anyone the idea that major media establishments were colluding with the Democrat Machine. It’s not like they’re hosting cocktail parties together or anything…

Don’t Believe The Media Hype About Rand Paul Hypocrisy

rand reporters

The media may be tipping their hand at how they’re going to treat Rand Paul during the 2016 election cycle. Purity testing and alleged hypocrisy.

It started last month when Time.com put out an article on the Kentucky Senator’s proposal to increase defense spending. The piece claims Paul did an “about-face” and a “stunning reversal” from past stances on giving money to the Pentagon.

But that isn’t what Paul did.

He did propose $190-billion in defense spending, but tacked on $212-billion in cuts from other places, including foreign aid, HUD, and the EPA. Paul’s reasoning is simple: if the U.S. is going spend money on something, it needs to be able to pay for it. This is sound policy and certainly better than Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s proposal to increase spending without cuts.

It’s interesting Time didn’t bother getting a quote from Paul’s office. They instead just wrote the office confirmed the amendment was his, without getting context. Both Reason and Huffington Post were willing to get quotes from Paul’s office. That should say something about the context of how Time is treating Paul.

For those who are angry about Paul’s proposal, it’s important to remember he’s in the minority of the majority. He’s a libertarian, who is surrounded by people who aren’t. Paul may want to drastically cut the federal government back to sustainable areas, but he’s one man.

Surprise! Only 7% of journalists are Republicans

Journalist Party Affiliation

In an Indiana University School of Journalism online survey of 1,080 journalists shocking probably no one, just 7.1% consider themselves Republican, compared to 28.1% who consider themselves Democrats. Another 50.2% of respondents claimed the “Independent” mantle.

“The American Journalist in the Digital Age” survey has been conducted five times since the 1970s — 1971, 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2013. In 1971, 35.5% of journalists surveyed considered themselves Democrats, while 25.7% considered themselves Republican. Democrat affiliation spiked in 1992 with 44.1% of journalists rallying behind team Clinton.

The Fix’s Chris Cillizza concluded:

Over the last several decades, three things have happened: 1) The number of Democratic-identifying reporters increased steadily prior to a significant drop in the latest survey 2) The number of Republicans has steadily shrunk with that number dipping into single digits for the first time ever in the new survey c) more and more reporters are identifying as independents.  What seems to be happening — at least in the last decade - -is that journalists are leaving both parties, finding themselves more comfortable as unaffiliateds.

Cillizza also suggests that the move toward the “Independent” moniker for journalists mimics a similar move by voters over the same period (according to Gallup), which — in this author’s humble opinion — is probably baloney.

How the Media Reacts to Boston Tragedy

Boston Marathon

In the aftermath of the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday, a lot of information came out, and less than 36 hours we now know that most, if not almost all, of that information was incorrect.  As Elizabeth Scalia (@TheAnchoress) tweeted yesterday:

Every time something big happens, particularly if it is tragic, the media reports a lot of things that just aren’t so.  You’ve heard the saying “if it bleeds, it leads?”  Well that is completely true, and every news outlet wants to be the absolute first to report every detail.  When things are happening quickly, news outlets report whatever information they have, with no time to fact-check the details to make sure that what they report is accurate.  In the 24-hour news cycle, every broadcast news outlet is competing for ratings, so being right, but second to report, does not help.  Being wrong, but first to report, can help a broadcast station because they get the reputation as “the first on the scene,” but there is no accountability later for being wrong.  After all, it’s a chaotic scene, so how can you blame them for being wrong?

The Real Media Bias is Against Choice

On the right it is considered an axiom that the “mainstream media” is incredibly biased towards the left.  Now, this is not a charge without merit - I think it’s hard to deny that most media comes from major cities that tend to lean liberal.  But whether or not the media favors the left or the right, both sides know one thing for certain — their candidates will be covered extensively.  Every word from Romney or Obama will make the news in some format.

But for anyone outside the two major parties, it is rare to even be mentioned, except in passing as a potential “spoiler” for one candidate or the other in a swing state.  To the average voter, then, there are only two people running.  One cannot be surprised then that the vast majority of Americans have never heard of third party candidates.  They are presented a world where there are only two choices, as if the vast spectrum of political thought can only come in two colors, red and blue.

Take this quiz on USA Today for a perfect example.  Immediately upon opening the quiz, you are shown a graphic that is half Obama and half Romney.  Every option moves the bar one way or the other.  For me, the first couple questions were about the economy and moved it to Romney.  But then came questions about gay marriage, the War in Afghanistan, and cutting military spending, which knocked it to the blue side.  In the end, my score came out 55%.  Were the world truly consigned to two poles, then, I would have to vote Democrat.

Understanding media bias

media biasYes, there does appear to be a media bias.  I see it all the time, just like you probably do.  Part of the reason Fox News does as well as it does is because he simply presents a different media bias than what it’s watchers see elsewhere.  They’ve presented something new, and are being rewarded for it.

However, many people don’t believe in media bias.  They just don’t think it exists.  Well, let’s take a quick lesson in media bias, and some of the reasons for it.  For the record, I am the publisher of The Albany Journal, what was once a weekly newspaper in Albany, Georgia but is now an online news website.  I’m not telling you this to try and make it out like my vast newspaper experience gives me some insight (I only bought the paper last October after all), but so some stories later on will make some sense.

When talking about media bias, there are some things that happen.  I’m guilty of it as much as the next newspaper editor/publisher/news director.  Some stories cross my desk, and my natural reaction is to not devote space to them.  Even if they don’t cross my desk, I sometimes read articles on other sites and think “I wouldn’t run that”.  Sometimes, it’s well founded.  An eatery half way across the state that says it is going to start making their own bread just isn’t news for Albany.

Sometimes though, my subconscious makes the decision for me.  For example, a story about how laws regarding junk food in schools may be helping reduce childhood obesity.  Now, this as an AP story, and I don’t get to run AP stories, but this is a case of one I would probably not have run.  Consciously, I would probably argue to myself that I just don’t think my readers would find it interesting, but is that really the reason?

What do the Iowa Caucuses Really Mean?

I woke up this morning with news that Ron Paul got a third place finish. It was, most certainly, a disappointment, when we had earlier heard reports he could win the state. However, after crunching the numbers, Paul did surprisingly well, doubling his support from 2008 and was only a few thousand votes behind Romney and Santorum. He did very well, and his team should be proud of that.

Of course, the media is going to use it as an excuse to completely ignore Paul, just as Chris Cilizza did in his post about the different tents of the GOP that Romney and Santorum depended on in the caucus. Yes, I realize the post wasn’t really about Paul, but but in trying to show that there is a “socio-religious conservative” faction and an “Establishment” faction, Cilizza completely ignored the new “faction” that is growing within the Republican Party, the libertarian faction (and no, I don’t mean the Tea Partiers; they have some libertarians, but they also have a bunch of right-wing social conservatives who are just focusing on spending for the moment.) This is not something that should be ignored, since it may just well take over the party and push the other “factions” to the side, as more and more voters desire something approaching sanity.

A Hot Cup of TEA

Recently, the TEA Party movement celebrated its first anniversary. At first the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party activists were dismissed as a few grumpy right-wingers upset that America elected a black president. They were given little credence beyond being an amusing political side show. That soon changed. On April 15th hundreds of thousands of average Americans showed up at protest rallies across the nation, outraged at the “stimulus” package of goodies doled out to special interests, liberal activism organizations and Democrat pet projects. CNN reported that a few thousand people showed up at the rally in Atlanta, but I was there and can assure you that it was close to ten-fold that amount. It was shoulder-to-shoulder for about four blocks in one direction, not counting the people on the side streets.

Once they could no longer be dismissed as a fringe element, TEA Party activists were labeled as “Astro-turf” (fake grass roots), accused of being flunkies of Big Corporate America, mindlessly doing the bidding of their masters. They were accused of being a fabrication of FOX News and the Republican Party. They were accused of being everything except what they are…average Americans, generally with traditional conservative values, who were fed up over 20 years of Bush-Clinton-Bush politics, two political parties who paid only lip service to the people they claimed to serve while engaging in a bacchanalian orgy of political perks, who had finally been pushed over the edge by a pork-laden spending bill of almost $800 billion. They were saying “Enough is enough!”, and they were going to make their voices be heard.

What a joke: Obama now says he doesn’t watch the news because he knows what they’re going to say before they say it

Obama meme

During most of the Obama presidency, to the consternation of conservatives and the few remotely close to objective journalists out there, Obama has been claiming that he learned about various problems through the press. Of course, this is something that has caused his detractors to suggest that he is an impotent leader, and has no idea what his underlings are actually doing — presuming he’s not using these comments as a well-worn out lie.

As for his supporters, one can only assume that they’ve accepted these vacuous excuses simply because Obama has offered them.

But now it seems that really isn’t the case, or at least Obama is now saying that he actually does know what’s going on, without the assistance of the press. Of course, this is a far more believable scenario, but it doesn’t lend itself to letting the president blame anything on his lack of knowledge anymore.

It’s all about the angles, and on this one, there doesn’t seem to be an immediately obvious reason for Obama to finally say that he actually knows “things” before reading about or seeing them in the news.

While his polling numbers have been in the basement for a while now, they seem to have leveled off. In spite of the various world problems, he’s still been able to maintain his schedule of golfing and fundraising without major complaints from his base. Of course,  Obama wouldn’t admit to this sort of thing to appease conservatives — if anything, he’s just opened a proverbial can of worms for them to feast on with this statement.

Rand Paul’s stand against Obama was huge moment for the Constitution

Judge Andrew Napolitano really has a way of explaining the importance of basic civil liberties in a very common sense way. In his latest at Reason, “Another Week of Government Lawlessness,” he asks some very basic, mostly rhetorical questions:

What if that lawyer who advised the president that he could kill with drones—even Americans if he wished—has been nominated to become a federal judge? What if the bench to which the president nominated this lawyer is the second highest court in the land?

What if the Constitution requires Senate confirmation of all of the president’s judicial nominees? What if Sen. Rand Paul and others asked this nominee for public copies of his legal memoranda in which he found a way for the president legally to kill Americans? What if this nominee and the president refused to make these memoranda available for public scrutiny until a court ordered them to do so?

I have a question of my own: “What if the media actually thought Rand Paul’s filibuster was actually important enough to cover?” After watching half of one local newscast and half of another last night, it occurred to me that neither had one thing to say about Rand Paul’s filibuster, good or bad. Not one word about this judicial nominee, either, not even on the crawl on the bottom of the screen!

So what did my local news think was important enough for my consumption? The CEO of Levi’s advises his customers not to wash their jeans, the cat who saved a child from a dog attack “threw” out the first pitch at some minor league baseball game, and the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks visited the White House.


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