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Author Topic: The election
Fishcicle
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It's kind of fascinating, if disgusting, to listen to the Republican talkshow hosts calling Obama everything they can think of. This has been going on with different targets ,probably at least 20 years, and I've found it offensive for most of that time. It's too early to gloat, but I'm beginning to think that people have seen Republicans call people traitors who disagree with them, that they're tired of it, and ready to disregard what they say. Not Rush Limbaugh's Dittoheads, of course, but a lot of people willing to think for themselves. But if Obama should win, and turn out to be as bad as Republicans say, talkshow hosts will have their share of blame to take for crying wolf so often.
There hasn't been much civility between the parties for quite some time, and it seems to reflect divisions within the country. Conservatives want everything to follow American tradition. Liberals want change. I think it should be plain that neither party has a monopoly on truth or the right way to do things. A lot of people may be dubious about the Democrats, but Republicans have had 14 years to demonstrate their bankruptcy and hypocrisy, which, in my opinion, they have done quite clearly. The party used to represent fiscal responsibility, but not anymore. Whatever the immediate reasons for our economic meltdown, it was Republicans who have been presiding over the economy and destroyed many of the foundations for it by running unprecedented deficits, as well as deregulating unwisely. If taxing and spending is bad, how good could be spending without taxing be?
To me, that should be enough reason to throw Republicans out of office and try something different.

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kenmeer livermaile
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A writer for Politico discusses the bias thing
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RickyB
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Shut up. It is too early to gloat. If I can deprive my Israeli blog readers of campaign coverage cause I don't wanna jinx it, you can refrain from outright veryverybadjuju your own self, mmkay? [Big Grin]

Oz - I lazed on linking that here. That *was* a good piece, warn't it? specially for that Politico.

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Jesse
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All he has to do now is not make the recession worse and remember to kick out the press corp before prostating himself toward Mecca and bouncing his head on Das Kapital.
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RickyB
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You're lucky I refrained from toking at the very last instant. snerking smoke is far less fun than snerking your soft drink... [Big Grin]
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cherrypoptart
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> Fishcicle


Welcome to Ornery!

You are wrong!

----------------------------------------

Always wanted to say that...

> But if Obama should win, and turn out to be as bad as Republicans say, talkshow hosts will have their share of blame to take for crying wolf so often.

What?!

We're telling you what's going to happen. It's predictable. Plain as day. It's all happened before and it will all happen again. Republicans most certainly WON'T have themselves to blame for crying wolf. The wolves have been here all along, and we've only half managed to fend them off!


> Whatever the immediate reasons for our economic meltdown, it was Republicans who have been presiding over the economy...

And with the little power the Democrats have look at all the damaged they managed to do!

Imagine what's going to happen when Democrats are in complete control! It's going to be interesting to watch the sky fall.

[ October 28, 2008, 10:38 PM: Message edited by: cherrypoptart ]

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Jesse
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Engles Ackbar!
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Oz - I lazed on linking that here."

But the spanking was stimulating after 3&1/2 days of codeine fog.

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flydye45
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A writer from Politico can be wrong...

quote:
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?

One would think that such a study would give the writer a sense of humility or introspection...

quote:
So what?

Nope!

quote:
OK, let’s just get this over with: Yes, in the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico.

And, yes, based on a combined 35 years in the news business we’d take an educated guess — nothing so scientific as a Pew study — that Obama will win the votes of probably 80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election. Most political journalists we know are centrists — instinctually skeptical of ideological zealotry — but with at least a mild liberal tilt to their thinking, particularly on social issues.

If one considers Obama a centerist, then yes, most journalists are centerists.


quote:
Any statement journalists make on the subject can and will be used against them. So the incentive is to make bland and guarded statements.
Oh God come the day!

quote:
There have been moments in the general election when the one-sidedness of our site — when nearly every story was some variation on how poorly McCain was doing or how well Barack Obama was faring — has made us cringe.

Oh good. A journalist with a sense of shame. It's kind of like seeing a man with three nipples. It's also nice that they have a shred of perspective left.

quote:
As it happens, McCain’s campaign is going quite poorly and Obama’s is going well. Imposing artificial balance on this reality would be a bias of its own.
Granted. More later.


quote:
Still, journalists should do more than just amplify existing trends. A couple weeks back, Politico managing editor Bill Nichols sent out a note to the campaign team urging people to cough up more story ideas that took a skeptical look at the campaign tactics and policy proposals of the Democrat, who is likely to be president three months from now. As it happened, the response was a trickle (though Nichols and Mahtesian came up with some ideas of their own).

There are MULTIPLE explanations to the highlighted point. Guess which one he picks?

quote:
Responsible editors would be foolish not to ask themselves the bias question, especially in the closing days of an election.

Now that it's too late.



quote:
But, having asked it, our sincere answer is that of the factors driving coverage of this election — and making it less enjoyable for McCain to read his daily clip file than for Obama — ideological favoritism ranks virtually nil.

The main reason is that for most journalists, professional obligations trump personal preferences. Most political reporters (investigative journalists tend to have a different psychological makeup) are temperamentally inclined to see multiple sides of a story, and being detached from their own opinions comes relatively easy.

Translation: Trust me, cause I said so. I'm a journalist. I know these things. And who better to have investigate an internal problem then the guys inside the problem. Why don't we get rid of internal affairs in the police department too, since cops are generally honest and objective guys...


quote:
One is McCain backlash. The Republican once was the best evidence of how little ideology matters. Even during his “maverick” days, McCain was a consistent social conservative, with views on abortion and other cultural issues that would have been odds with those of most reporters we know. Yet he won swooning coverage for a decade from reporters who liked his accessibility and iconoclasm and supposed commitment to clean politics.

He won swooning coverage by being a consistant gadfly against Republicans, being reasonably clean, supporting a number of OTHER issues which reporters held near and dear, and couldn't hear a shutter click in front of the Capital Building without bolting to make a statement.

quote:
Now he is paying. McCain’s decision to limit media access and align himself with the GOP conservative base was an entirely routine, strategic move for a presidential candidate. But much of the coverage has portrayed this as though it were an unconscionable sellout.

Besides wondering about the exact causation of the bad press v access in the first statement, I also wonder at the sheer gall of McCain thinking he had to attract Conservatives to win an election. What crack is this guy on? Who was he supposed to reach out to? Democrats? (Sadly, this isn't as rhetorical a question as I'd wish)

Far lefty Obama starts next to Ayers, and now drifts to Biden. That isn't some kind of sell out. It certainly isn't reported as rank hypocrisy.

quote:
Since then the media often presumes bad faith on McCain’s part. The best evidence of this has been the intense focus on the negative nature of his ads, when it is clear Obama has been similarly negative in spots he airs on radio and in swing states.
And they report the first and don't juxtapose it with the other. How very odd. Doesn't sound particularly objective. They should make a word for that. Somewhere in the beginning of the dictionary. Maybe a "b"-word.

quote:
It is not our impression that many reporters are rooting for Obama personally.
Well impressions...That's almost as good as a Pew Study.

quote:
To the contrary, most colleagues on the trail we’ve spoken with seem to find him a distant and undefined figure.
How terrible! Distant and UNdefined. There's an opening in the work force. A group of people who won't let a politican get away with selling only his version of the story, who won't allow information discipline sufficient to hide their foibles and skeletons. It needs a snappy title. "Truthers". Maybe "Announcents". "Recordists?"

quote:
But he has benefited from the idea that negative attacks that in a normal campaign would be commonplace in this year would carry an out-of-bounds racial subtext. That’s why Obama’s long association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was basically a nonissue in the general election.

Too bad our professional journalists aren't nuanced enough to be able to parse the relevant issues from the irrelevant.

quote:
Journalists’ hair-trigger racial sensitivity may have been misplaced, but it was not driven by an ideological tilt.

Of course not! Mind you, bias for any other reason works just as well.

quote:
In addition, Obama has benefited from his ability to minimize internal drama and maximize secrecy — and thus to starve feed the press’ bias for palace intrigue. In this sense, his campaign bears resemblance to the two run by George W. Bush.
Let's see. Bush's campaigns were described as well run, but ominously secretive. I assume the objective, unbiased press is using the exact same characterization, particularly from a candidate who is even LESS as known as Bush, known as "distant and undefined". No? How very odd.

quote:
The strongest of these is the bias in favor of momentum. A candidate who is perceived to be doing well tends to get even more positive coverage (about his or her big crowds or the latest favorable polls or whatever). And a candidate who is perceived to be doing poorly tends to have all events viewed through this prism.
As a Republican, I'm not familiar with that particular problem. Usually, if our candiates do well, the press tends to drag them down like a pack of lionesses on an antelope, but I'll grant the premise. Certainly Jack Ryan couldn't speak to that...

quote:
Not coincidentally, this is a bias shared by most of our sources. This is why the bulk of negative stories about McCain are not about his ideology or policy plans — they are about intrigue and turmoil. Think back to the past week of coverage on Politico and elsewhere: Coverage has been dominated by Sarah Palin’s $150,000 handbags and glad rags, by finger-pointing in the McCain camp, and by apparent tensions between the candidate and his running mate.

I put it down to education funding cuts. When you only have ONE microscope, you just can't look at two bacteria at once... [Roll Eyes]

quote:
These stories are driven by the flood of Republicans inside and out of the campaign eager to make themselves look good or others look bad. This always happens when a campaign starts to tank. Indeed, there was a spate of such stories when Obama’s campaign hit turmoil after the GOP convention and the Palin surge
This comes from McCain having no game on the Conservative court. He had to borrow the Bush League, who have very little loyalty to him. Bad campaign. I get it.


quote:
Then there is the bend-over-backward bias. This is when journalists try so hard to avoid accusations of favoritism that it clouds critical judgment. A good example were stories suggesting Palin held her own or even won her debate against Joe Biden when it seemed obvious she was simply invoking whatever talking points she had at hand, hanging on for dear life.

As opposed to ignoring blatant Biden lies in the same debate, numerous public gaffes which don't get near the traction that, say, Bush had constantly repeated every news cycle till the next one...

quote:
Finally, one of the biases of journalists is the same one that is potent for almost all people: the one in favor of self-defensiveness. That’s why, even though we think ideological bias is pretty low on the list of journalistic maladies in this election, it is not viable for reporters to dismiss criticism out of hand.

Ah. So, answer: Write a rationalization piece instead as to why these people are way off base, ignoring the NUMEROUS studies on press bias in general. Beats endless navel gazing.

Luckily the answer is currently happening, multiple sources which are immune to editorial bias at the major outlets. But reporting will suffer as a result.

Are my responses 100% correct? Of course not. Is it more truth then the press would like to admit? Hm hm hm!

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canadian
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I've seen liveblogs of sporting events, but never for an article. Well done.

I think the defensive sarcasm hurt your credibility, but that's just a matter of taste.

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flydye45
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Since I have found I am only writing for myself, I find it a strangely liberating experience.

Sarcasm is my default personality.

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