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Author Topic: How Obama got elected.
TomDavidson
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quote:
Some of us arrived at our ideas and beliefs only because of our sense of humor.
I am fully willing to grant the possibility that those people who voted for George Bush but are not half-balding church elders in bad clothes did so only because they have a sense of humor. [Smile]
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Quinnalus
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"Tragedy is pain with which we can personally identify... Humor is sombody else's pain at which we can laugh..."

Now to return to the discussion at hand...

The following is from the New York times statement of ethics:

quote:
2. Companywide, our goal is to cover the news impartially and to treat readers, news sources, advertisers and all parts of our society fairly and openly, and to be seen as doing so. The reputation of our company rests upon that perception, and so do the professional reputations of its staff members. Thus the company, its separate business units and members of its newsrooms and editorial pages share an interest in avoiding conflicts of interest or any appearance of conflict.

89. Journalists do not take part in politics. While staff members are entitled to vote and to register in party primaries, they must do nothing that might raise questions about their professional neutrality or that of our news operations. In particular, they may not campaign for, demonstrate for, or endorse candidates, ballot causes or efforts to enact legislation. They may not wear campaign buttons or themselves display any other insignia of partisan politics.

90. Staff members may not themselves give money to any political candidate or election cause or raise money for one. Given the ease of Internet access to public records of campaign contributions, any political giving by a staff member would risk feeding a false impression that we are taking sides.

This can be found at - http://www.nytco.com/press/ethics.html#voting


This is from the Pew Research Center's Project for Exellance in Journalism:

quote:
The media coverage of the race for president has not so much cast Barack Obama in a favorable light as it has portrayed John McCain in a substantially negative one, according to a new study of the media since the two national political conventions ended.

For Obama during this period, just over a third of the stories were clearly positive in tone (36%), while a similar number (35%) were neutral or mixed. A smaller number (29%) were negative.

For McCain, by comparison, nearly six in ten of the stories studied were decidedly negative in nature (57%), while fewer than two in ten (14%) were positive.

The above can be found at - http://www.journalism.org/node/13307

quote:
..............................Spent to Date / Cash on Hand / Vote Results:
Barack Obama (D)...$498,894,922 / $65,762,929 / 66,715,535 (52.7%)
John McCain (R)......$302,090,668 / $66,991,256 / 58,240,949 (46%)

The Above can be found at: http://www.newsmeat.com

So Let's add this all up...

In contradiction to its own ethical standards of at least maintaining the "appearance" of neutrality...

Our National Media gave Mr. Obama a little over 257% more positive reporting than it gave Mr. McCain.

Our National Media also gave Mr. McCain just under 197% more negative reporting that it gave to Mr. Obama.

Finally, after signing a commitment to use only public funds... Mr. Obama raised and spent almost
$200,000,000 more money on advertising to eventually garner a 6.7% lead in the popular vote. That's about $30,000,000 per % point.

And we have to ask "How Obama Got Elected?"

Yes, it would appear that you are correct after all... there is nothing humorous about the Obama campaign... it is Tragic. And Moot.

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flydye45
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Quinallus,

Yes, the media (with few exceptions) was in the tank for Obama. And, with few exceptions, they are in the tank for every Democratic candidate because of bias. This is a mere fact of life.

The Three Monkey apologists of the media on the board will also seize on any critique of a Democrat by the media as proof that "the media is unfair to both sides" despite wildly disparate numbers. This is also a fact of life.

We still win sometimes.

McCain did not debate effectively, Palin was not ready, and the Republican brand is besmirched by their own crappulance and hypocrisy.

Yes, Obama got a pass but that isn't the reason he won.

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Greg Davidson
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I assert that McCain-Palin were much worse as candidates than Obama-Biden, and thus the differential coverage was appropriate. As I said in my previous posting, if the media were really in Obama's camp, they would have held McCain to the same standards on flip-flopping as they did with Kerry. They didn't. How is that consistent with the hypothesis that they were biased against McCain?
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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
As I said in my previous posting, if the media were really in Obama's camp, they would have held McCain to the same standards on flip-flopping as they did with Kerry. They didn't. How is that consistent with the hypothesis that they were biased against McCain?

I don't personally think that that counts as evidence much. The main thing with the media is that "the story" overtakes "the facts" pretty rapidly. Once the story gets established in everyone's minds (Kerry flip-flops, Iraq is a quagmire) then all facts get interpreted in that light and generally reported so as to reinforce the story.

Non-partisan example from the UK. ABout 6 months ago there was a big media storm over some confidential information being lost - HR Customs and Excise, who do handle all the taxes etc. in Britain, managed to lose a disk containing the names, addresses, bank details and other stuff of several hunder thousand (or was it a few million) tax payers. My hazy memory was actually that it was details of people receiving child benefit from the government (and contained the children's data too). The disk had been very securely stuffed in an envelope and sent in the mail to another department, and got lost on the way. There were understandably major concerns about the information falling into the hands of people who could use it to commit fraud. It was, justifiably, a big story.

Since then, about every other week there is a similar report of some agency or another losing some confidential information containing people's personal details. It usually makes big news for a day or so. The fact it happens so often tells you that it was happening just as often before the big Customs story broke, but no-one cared. The facts of data loss haven't changed, merely the reporting of it. Because suddenly data loss has become a big public concern. It's "the story", and is being artificially fed by journalists perceiving there is mileage in the story, and people being concerned because it keeps being reported.

Give it another six months, and I doubt anyone will even remember, and it certainly won't be making news any more.

It's not media bias, so much as media bandwagoning. When a story gets traction, it takes on a life of its own. The stories on Kerry that gained traction were flip-flopping and swift boat vets. Nothing similar happened to McCain. That doesn't prove much. The issue isn't whether a particular angle gets bandwagoned the same way in seperate cases, it's how many bandwagon stories, positive and negative, run for each side.

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flydye45
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
I assert that McCain-Palin were much worse as candidates than Obama-Biden, and thus the differential coverage was appropriate. As I said in my previous posting, if the media were really in Obama's camp, they would have held McCain to the same standards on flip-flopping as they did with Kerry. They didn't. How is that consistent with the hypothesis that they were biased against McCain?

It is certainly a comforting point of view. Avoids the whole examination thing. Exactly how many abortion questions were asked on any of the debates (I didn't watch all of them, so perhaps I missed the one odd question). How much coverage on abortion in general was made? Has it ceased to be a hot button issue in America? The so called social issues in general were extraordinarily lightly covered. Anything that would get the "bitter" crowd's panties in a twist was avoided. "Look at the watch. He's not a scary candidate. You are getting sleepy..."

This is fall out from the Kerry campaign, where the media and the Left (but I repeat myself) felt the substantially better candidate lost due to alledged fearmongering over these issues. Wasn't going to happen to Obama because the media provided cover. Prop 8 was the only issue which had any mention this year only because it WAS a big issue in California. Obama was not taken to task for his virtual synonymous view of the issue as McCain.

McCain wasn't called on his flip flops for a number of good reasons, one of which was the fully expected and realized major adjustments in the Obama camp...starting with public financing and continuing well beyond. How badly was he taken to task for that again? (And yes, I am SO enjoying the author of campaign finance reform getting it in the short hairs. Never expect a Republican to agree to public financing again)

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Quinnalus:
Finally, after signing a commitment to use only public funds...

... if McCain would promise to stick to a positive campaign and help work to discredit any 527s that funded personal attacks. McCain wouldn't commit to that, so it didn't make sense for Obama to leave himself an easy target for the attacks that did come from all quarters.

Beyond that, he funded his campaign in what was probably exactly the manner that the laws were designed to promote. Lots of small donations from a multitude of donors, campaigning on a broad base rather than out of the pockets of a few wealthy investors.

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Haggis
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If people want to believe that Obama won because of a massive media conspiracy, that's fine with me. The fact is he ran a better campaign, at the right time, when the a vast majority of people think the country was headed in the wrong direction. Had a democrat been in power the past eight years, McCain would have won.

The fact is you got beat. This happens sometimes in a democracy. Please continue to whine about why you lost, rather than to get your own house in order. Please, please, please.

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Greg Davidson
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I agree with Vulture that the major contributor to the Kerry flip-flop issue getting so much coverage was the media getting on the bandwagon for a particular story rather than specific bias against Kerry. I believe that more of the media behavior is due to this kind of group-think and intellectual laziness than specific bias towards one candidate or another. That is one of the main reasons that I am arguing against the hypothesis that the media was particularly biased in favor of Obama.

If we define bias as the expression of personal preference for one candidate resulting in slanted coverage in order to benefit that candidate, and if there really was a substantial amount of bias for Obama over McCain, then there is no plausible reason why the media would not have used the flip-flopping against McCain as soon as he sealed up the Republican nomination. They also did not use the adultery line of questioning that was so popular in the Clinton years. If the media were biased as defined above, they could easily have helped Obama by holding McCain to previously established standards.

Now, there is a chance that some of you are using a different definition of bias, and our mutual misunderstanding might be a cause of some unnecessary disagreement. Some of the band-wagon story-lines about Obama were positive and repeated. The discipline of his campaign organization (as compared to those of Clinton or McCain) got positive coverage throughout the campaign, as did the storyline that he was calm under fire but not overly intellectual or heartless (ie; the Dukakis storyline). Some of that was media laziness in defining and sticking to a single storyline, but it helps that Obama really did have the most disciplined campaign of any Democrat in a very long time. Campaigns always try to shape the storyline about themselves and their opposition - that's what the Swift Boat attacks were all about, as well as the "The elitist Al Gore's life is all about the Presidency and if he doesn't win his life will be over" comments in 2000 as well as the rumor campaigns that the Democratic candidate's wife was in a flag-burning incident in college (I seem to remember that one used with Kitty Dukakis as well as with Hillary Clinton, but I admit my memory begins to fade). What was different about 2008 is that his competitors' attempts to define Obama (inexperienced, muslim, shallow, radical) didn't succeed.

Fly, although you accuse me of selecting a comforting viewpoint, in my view this phenomenon of media behavior has favored both Democrats and Republicans at different times in different campaigns. In my view, more nonsense has stuck to Democratic candidates than Republicans over the last 20 years, but I agree that the exact ratio is arguable.

As for the extent to which social issues were covered in 2008, was the anomaly that they got less coverage this time around, or is it that they have gotten such a large share of coverage in previous elections? Was the amount of time spent on social issues in the 2000 election excessive compared to the degree that other issues have seriously affected Americans since the election of George W. Bush?

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flydye45
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quote:
Originally posted by Haggis:
If people want to believe that Obama won because of a massive media conspiracy, that's fine with me. The fact is he ran a better campaign, at the right time, when the a vast majority of people think the country was headed in the wrong direction. Had a democrat been in power the past eight years, McCain would have won.

The fact is you got beat. This happens sometimes in a democracy. Please continue to whine about why you lost, rather than to get your own house in order. Please, please, please.

Wow. You really don't read what people say, do you. At least not now.
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Quinnalus
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quote:
Originally posted by Haggis:

The fact is you got beat. This happens sometimes in a democracy. Please continue to whine about why you lost, rather than to get your own house in order. Please, please, please.

I think there is a difference between whining and discussion... I also agree with you that Mr. Obama proved himself to be the better Candidate. Mr. Mccain's organization was poorly run on all all sides... which was actually part of my point... With a poorly run campaign... $200,000,000.00 less in funds, and the documented bias of the National Media... 6.7% seems to me to be a smaller margin than it should be...

I truely believe that Mr. Obama won because the Republicans did not field a Conservative Candidate... One talking head described our choice this year as "Liberal or Liberal Light." When the Republican Party decides to actually be conservative candidate, when the decide field a candidate that excite the base, and draw the Reagan Democrats...

Whats the use let's face it we're waiting the 2nd coming of Ronald Reagan.

Yes, Mr. Obama proved himself to be the better Candidate. That is why I added the Tag Line that "It's Moot" to my above post... he is going to be president. Now, it is my fervant prayer that he will prove himself capable of managing the country in the same way.

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munga
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Quin,

I disagree. I think that the republicans lost because the nation was tired of conservative foreign policy and conservative (recessive) economic policy. In the end, McCain was "right" about the surge, but the country judged that Bush was wrong about Iraq.

If Huckabigot had been floated, he would have been shot down for different reasons, and if Mitt had taken the ticket, he would have lost the center vote for the same reason his speech on religion fell short for me: should we have religious freedom? absolutely! Should any religious person or idea have better access to the processes and contracts recognized by the civil law? Absolutely not. If Mitt had stood at that podium and pounded fist that every person (Mormon, Catholic, Baptist or Atheist) would find themselves on equal footing before the law under his administration rather than attempting to win the religious right, he might have taken the ticket.

Reagan- yes we wanted another great communicator, but no we did not want another "trickle down economics" notion and I think in the end McCain's loss was a repudiation of it.

[ November 28, 2008, 08:52 PM: Message edited by: munga ]

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Quinnalus
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quote:
Originally posted by munga:
Reagan- yes we wanted another great communicator, but no we did not want another "trickle down economics" notion and I think in the end McCain's loss was a repudiation of it.

I'm not sure that this vote was a repudiation of "trickle down" economics as much as a repudiation of the twenty years of tinkering with the policy.
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velcro
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Quinnalus,

The fact that Obama had more positive stories in the media than McCain can by no means be considered proof that the media is biased. The Patriots had more positive stories last year than the Bengals, because there were more positive things to say.

Do you acknowledge this as a possibility? You seem to imply that McCain and Obama have absolutely equal positive aspects, in some quantifiable way, so any discrepancy of positive stories must be bias. A more reasonable explanation is that the people who make their living studying the candidates, who follow them every day and often talk to them, those people tell the positive and negative aspects exactly as they see them. They are trained and instructed to show no bias. That does not require them to ignore the truth when one candidate is better, so the better candidate gets more positive stories.

But when the experts disagree with your opinion, you can claim bias. "But the Bengals really were better than the Patriots, every sportswriter in America is biased!"

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kenmeer livermaile
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The Joker got way more raves than Batman.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Tragic Issues of Race
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munga
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Quin,

Someday, it would be great if you'd like to tell me why the government should be giving our tax dollars to big business, rather than giving all businesses equal access to it.

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kenmeer livermaile
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You see, munga, the former is a form of government-directed socialism, which is bad, so it is good, while the latter is equal opportunity open access free market action, which is good, therefore bad.

Happy to clear that up for us! [Smile]

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Lobo
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I thought it was big businesses giving their tax dollars to the government and the government getting really, really big...
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munga
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Ah! I understand now.

Silly me, I was thinking that the thing to do would be to take away the automatic access-to-tax-funds benefits from the special folks, give them mere broker's fees (1-3%) and instead do economic development for the good of all.

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munga
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quote:
Originally posted by Lobo:
I thought it was big businesses giving their tax dollars to the government and the government getting really, really big...

Nope, we don't support any more gov workers than we ever did, per capita. Of course, it doesn't help to be paying for a really expensive war....
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JabberWockey
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I was a little disappointed with this years election, to be honest. I feel like trying to decide between the two main candidates was like trying to pick the lesser of two evils. On the one side it appeared that the conservative side did not win any points for coming across intelligent or winning the media. On the other side you had the democrats who used marketing buzz words (like "green" and "fresh").

I think a prime example of facepalming was when I asked my roomate to give me ten reasons he voted for Obama. When he looked at me quizzically, I said, "Just give me five." Other than tax breaks and change, he was unable to give me anything - and I could tell that he was going to say hope but then realized that did not make any sense.

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Greg Davidson
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Welcome JabberWockey, you are wrong!

(Standard greeting, and my first chance ever to use it).

People are always griping that they are choosing the lesser of two evils. That's what I have heard from most people at every election I have ever voted in. It's a safe position, because you don't have to go out on a limb. Which is the Presidential election that you did not feel this way?

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kenmeer livermaile
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IN choosing the lesser of two evils, one is also choosing the greater of two goods. It is the latter that embraces more optimistic possibilities.

Ye old glass half empty/half full.

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