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Obama's Web 2.0 Communication Strategy

| 80 Comments

You'd think that the party with a massively biased media dead-set against it might be the one doing the most innovation in terms of new channels and approaches. You'd be wrong, of course. The GOP leadership still sees the Internet as a cheaper way to send pres releases, with partial research materials sent as a concession to bloggers. I have yet to see anything approaching a party communication and mobilization strategy for the GOP itself, let alone outreach beyond its base or input into the communication and policy process.

Obama led in all these areas, and this MarketingVOX piece talks about their continuation into governance, alongside the immediately-available "change.gov."

Marc's startlingly naive election-period posts re: "McCain should have run a better campaign in the face of a deeply slanted media" missed a point that no veteran of politics should have missed. Candidates don't have alternative channels to leverage - and it's stupid to expect that. Parties might have them, if they build and tend them beforehand. The GOP has been remarkably deficient in that area, despite the clear writing on the wall for over 7 years, as part of a much larger disconnect from its base. While the GOP begins to sort out its leadership problems, therefore, Obama will continue full-speed ahead - building on his existing advantage in case his fawning media sycophants ever decide to start, you know, doing their jobs.

80 Comments

Indeed he has done well using it as a resource. Hopefully he will not go into the next phase which is to deny it to the opposition, via various "fairness" type regulations, and the use of "filters". Once internet content is restricted FOR ANY REASON, the nose is under the tent. Judging by the left's inclination to shout down opposing views, I hold little hope for freedom of political speech.

I'd have a fairly long story to tell about working in congress as a press secretary, but frankly no one is interested. Nor have they ever been.

Moreover, it's not that Democrats have sussed this all out and developed a more uptodate networking system. Well yeah, come to think of it, it is. The crux of politics is contacts, both subtle and intense, and neither penetrates very far into Republican consciousness. My take is that anyone in an authority position within the conservative party is so preoccupied with self-preservation that new ideas, persons, and approaches are simply perceived as threats. Of course, I think the Dems are just far too naive about this sort of thing, and that'll catch them up eventually. But the realities sure take the fun out of politics.

My recommendation is to have a figurehead and a working capital. Leave the figurehead capital in Washington, DC but move the working capital to Omaha. No one will pay any attention to it, and it'll be able to get some work done.

Robert Byrd has been trying that idea for a while now.

Joe, this is kind of self-contradictory...on one hand, McCain had no options to reach voters around the media that was stacked against him; on the other the Democrats managed to build a huge new media operation.

What am I missing here?

A.L.

You're missing that "McCain" and "the Democrats" are not the same kind of thing. (We could argue whether one is a subset of the other, but they're not the same kind of thing.) I think what Joe is saying is that a long-term effort by the Democrats to build and sustain online communities meant that those communities were available to the Democratic candidate, while the failure of the Republicans to do likewise meant that McCain was on his own online.

Yeah, especially considering the way out campaign financing works, McCain had a relatively limited amount of resources at his disposal. His campaign needed to spend those resources on television ads and tromping around the country. Those are expensive and time consuming activities, but they are proven to work to an extent.

We don't really know how much reach this new type of media has, but if its true to form it will be somewhat less than one might expect (silly analogy- the Snakes on a Plane furor on the net led to only mediocre box office takings). It would be a huge gamble for McCain to divert time, energy, and money on a large scale away from proven tools.

But the RNC has lots of money to spend, lots of time, and lots of people. I think Joe's point is that the RNC should have been working on this for years to the point where McCain could just cut a quick promo now and again (as opposed to organizing, financing, and executing). But the RNC is headless and whatever animates its body right now just reflexively works to reelect incumbents who's only principle is stuffing the pockets of lobbyists and bringing home pork.

This all goes back to how rudderless the remains of the Republican party is. Its leaders are coopted statists (as McCain certainly is) and the only choice is between the Bush status quo and trying to out-Democrat the Democrats. Without a philosophical revolution, new practices and media outlets dont matter. Republicans have nothing to say at the moment, does it matter how we say it?

The failure to develop alternative media and communications by Republicans and conservatives generally is bigger than the candidates or the party organizations, I think, and speaks more to (1)general conservative and Republican discomfort with the new political, social and economic environment; and (2) complete rejection of the conservative view by many practitioners, users and makers of the new tools.

The Bepublicans are simply not as global or flexible. Whether the new elites are wise to embrace the Democrats, and to look uncritically on a less parochial, more transnational world is another story entirely.

The irony is conservatism is at least as strong 'on the ground' in the new media. Its the connection to the levers of power that is lacking. When Koz speaks, people at the DNC listen. George Soros makes sure of that. When Glenn Reynolds speaks... i doubt anyone at the RNC has ever heard of Glenn Reynolds, and i'm positive he doesnt have a billionaire benefactor.

Mark Buehner,

"But the RNC has lots of money to spend, lots of time, and lots of people. I think Joe's point is that the RNC should have been working on this for years... "

Four years ago, the Republican party possessed a huge database system (I think it was called the Voter Vault) that enabled them to identify the leaning and committed voters they needed and to predict where to spend to get out the vote. This operation was credited in large part with George Bush's reelection in 2004.

I have heard nothing about the Republican turnout machine this year and I am surprised to hear from Republicans that the party is so disconnected in its technology operation. What happened?

Did the Democrats mismanage their technology in 2004 and the Republicans mismanage it in 2008, or was the difference in outcomes more the result of other factors, such as the candidates and the political environment (and the asymmetry in fund-raising associated with both)?

"The irony is conservatism is at least as strong 'on the ground' in the new media. Its the connection to the levers of power that is lacking."

I thought the influence of the religious right in Washington reflected the influence of the voters who now constitute a majority of Republican party activists. The fact that McCain had to nominate Palin would seem to me to show the kind of leverage that enabled his volunteers to power Obama to the nomination. The real issue was whose nominee connected with centrist voters. Dean and Lamont did not do so in 2004 and 2006; Palin did not do so in 2008.

One other question is whether there is really a failure in the Republican use of new technology as much as an adverse trend in demographics.

What, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Sean Hannity and countless pundits and journalists publishing Republican party propaganda on a daily basis in major news outlets are not enough control over the media for you?

The Republican's problem for this cycle was emphatically NOT that they had a problem getting their "message" out. To the contrary, it was perfectly clear to people what they stood for (or didn't). They simply rejected it decisively.

I know this is the last thing ideologues and others blinded by a slanted and entrenched philosophical position want to hear, but there it is. The faster Republican's recognize this, the better, although from my perspective I'm happy to allow you enough rope to continue to hang yourselves, politically speaking, by lashing out at the messenger rather than looking at the rotten core of the "message", such as it is (which can be boiled down to claiming that Obama is an America-hating terror-loving closet Muslim Socialist). I give American's credit for looking beyond the idiotic claims of your party and past the complicit media's hawking thereof.

Be a man and admit that your defeat cannot be blamed on others but on yourselves and the abundant evidence surrounding us of the utter failure of your Conservative/Republican principles.

It's silly to think that Obama would ever lose his media advantage. Here's the proof
NY Times Mark Foley 4,530 hits. Tim Mahoney - 314 hits


Washington Post Mark Foley - 2,730 Tim Mahoney - 267 hits



ABC News Mark Foley - 2970 hits Tim Mahoney - 80 hits



CBS News Mark Foley - 392 hits Tim Mahoney - 74 hits



MSNBC Mark Foley - 31 hits Tim Mahoney - 0 hits



Fox News Mark Foley - 900 hits Tim Mahoney - 142 hits



CNN Mark Foley - 2,990 hits Tim Mahoney - 481 hits
The media bias is pervasive and thorough and will not change. If anyone who is not liberal wants to talk to the country, they will have to find other means.

Antimedia, Republicans will not be happy until they control the media completely, I guess. There's a word for this type of governing, you know...

And I'm not sure what you think you're little experiment shows other than that the Mark Foley story has been with us for a MUCH longer time than Tim Mahoney, which is a simple explanation for the results you post. However, if you choose to view it as "Liberal Media Bias" I don't supposes all the rational explanations in the world would change that, would they?

What, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Sean Hannity and countless pundits and journalists publishing Republican party propaganda on a daily basis in major news outlets are not enough control over the media for you? The Republican's problem for this cycle was emphatically NOT that they had a problem getting their "message" out. To the contrary, it was perfectly clear to people what they stood for (or didn't). They simply rejected it decisively.
This is pure sophistry, as this link proves.

First of all, Fox News is not biased to the right. They are simply less biased to the left than most organizations. I just posted the undeniable proof of that. Secondly, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are preaching to the choir. That does nothing whatsoever to win over those who are not listening. Finally, the difference between hard news sources and opinion sources should not be lost on anyone. Most people discount opinion sources while far too many uncritically assume that the hard news sources have no bias at all.

Finally, the exit polls show clearly that the Republicans lost because Republicans rejected them, not because the country rejected them. In fact, both the party votes and independent votes split evenly. The real story of the election is how McCain managed to do so well despite the gigantic odds stacked against him.

[ link fixed. -- M.F. ]

Antimedia, Republicans will not be happy until they control the media completely, I guess. There's a word for this type of governing, you know...
That's ridiculous. I've never met a Republican or conservative who wants to control the media. They simply want the media to report the truth, without bias, something the present media is utterly incapable of doing.

The point of the Foley vs Mahoney comparison is that both stories were about the same thing. Yet the media attention given to them is obviously completely lopsided. And it has nothing to do with the time elapsed. That's a silly argument.

BTW, I am not a Republican. Never have been. Never will be. But I'm also not in the tank for anyone, and I'm quite willing to point out hypocrisy when I see it.

G_Tarhune is right.

The GOP has a bad message and instead of fixing it-they choose to assign blame elsewhere. Look, the GOP owns Fox and they have a near-monopoly on the radio.

BTW, adding to Tarhune's comment WRT Mark Foley/Tim Mahoney--a gay scandal involving minors is always going to trump a heterosexual extramarital affair. Every time.

I've never met a Republican or conservative who wants to control the media.

Your social circles have nothing to do with this, of course, making it a worthless and irrelevant point.

And it has nothing to do with the time elapsed. That's a silly argument.

Is that so? Why is it "silly"? Does the search account for this?

Please either contribute something substantive or stop wasting everyone's time with trivia and anecdotes that prove nothing except, humorously, your own bias and hypocrisy.

G_Tarhune doesnt understand the difference between opinion and news. The media doesnt either, and thats the point. Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, these people give their opinion for a living. CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS, MSNBC, NYT, LAT, these people purport to report unbiased journalism (which every study and poll has found to be nonsense).

Anytime you want to trade Hannity, Limbaugh, and Fox for all the major tv networks, the public networks, almost all the major newspapers and magazines, not to mention Hollywood, Republicans will take the trade every time and twice on Sunday.

This outright fantasy that somehow conservatism controls the media is either a product of finding everything right of Castro conservative, or some deep felt envy of not being able to play the victim.

The GOP has a bad message and instead of fixing it-they choose to assign blame elsewhere.
I never took issue with that claim, nor would i.
Look, the GOP owns Fox and they have a near-monopoly on the radio.
Please don't make me laugh. They have a near "monopoly" on talk radio because there is apparently an audience for it. But news? Not even close. And the GOP owns Fox is a claim that is refuted by the facts. Liberals often like to conflate the opinion side of Fox with its news side so they can make this claim. The news side leans slightly to the left according to every study that's been done.
BTW, adding to Tarhune's comment WRT Mark Foley/Tim Mahoney--a gay scandal involving minors is always going to trump a heterosexual extramarital affair. Every time.
That would be true except for one minor detail. Mahoney replaced Foley and did it by running on a family values platform. Yet while he was still campaigning to replace Foley he was engaging in an extramarital affair and sexually harassing his paramour.

To think that a gay scandal would trump an extramarital scandal by a factor of 10 or more to 1 is to ignore the salient facts of the two stories. Suffice it to say that if Foley had been a Democrat and Mahoney had replaced him under the same circumstances, the coverage bias would have been precisely reversed.

"Look, the GOP owns Fox and they have a near-monopoly on the radio."

Am i crazy or are there about 10 other television stations that regularly show the news? If the only station you get reception on is Fox you should call you cable company.

Republicans do well on talk radio because there are so few other outlets to get talk that isnt slanted left. That should be obvious. Do liberals not own radios? Somebody must be listening to PBS.

But this isnt news. The conservative complaint is that when the average, nonpolitical American flips on the 9'oclock news, they shouldn't have a 9 out of 10 chance of having an Obama supporter explaining the election news to them.

Is that crazy?

Forget Foley/Mahoney.

Explain to me why an unsubstantiated allegation that McCain had an affair made the front page of the NYT, meanwhile the proven fact that John Edwards had an ungoing affair was covered up throughtout the primary and right up until the point that the Enquirer chased the man through a hotel lobby in the middle of the night?

Game, set, match.

Actually, Fox doesn't differentiate between news and media. That's why Hannity and others are listed in the Fox News Dept. It is Fox's agenda to blur the lines between news and opinion. That's why you see a Fox newsperson interviewing a hack like Jerome Corsi during a purported news story on Obama.

You didn't see anything like that on NBC, CBS or ABC.

But hey, if you don't want to fix what's broken--I'm sure the DNC will be quite pleased.

Antimedia, the very fact that you brought John Ziegler's slanted, biased and agenda-driven "polling" and opinions into this discussion indicates that you're doing nothing more that mouthing the Republican/Rightwing idiocy du jour. The site you link to is imbecilic, as are those who think it has any value other than to further illustrate the exact problem that the Republican's face, which is that people like Zeigler, Katzman and yourself seem to be primarily upset that people are not (or should I say "no longer") eating the sh-t you're trying to feed them fast enough or in large enough quantities. And that the media should do nothing more than serve it to them in heaping portions.

You think the media is obligated to push this crap because it is "fair and balanced" to do so? Hardly. Would you invest in a restaurant chain whose management was telling you that business was decreasing because of the way the food was described on the menu if in fact the food simply sucked, or if it became know that the kitchen's were infested with pests and he blamed the local health inspectors or journalists? LMAO.

To the Republicans: Your. Product. Sucks.

Explain to me why an unsubstantiated allegation that McCain had an affair made the front page of the NYT, meanwhile the proven fact that John Edwards had an ungoing affair was covered up throughtout the primary and right up until the point that the Enquirer chased the man through a hotel lobby in the middle of the night?

Because by McCain's own admission he'd had affairs in the past. Plus, the fact McCain's own aides were concerned about his relationship with Iseman that they took steps to keep them apart.

Game, Set, Match.

"You didn't see anything like that on NBC, CBS or ABC. "

Really? Who's the host of This Week? Oh yeah, that guy that was Clinton's press secretary.

Who's that lunatic that hosts Hardball and moderates presidential debates? The guy that wrote speeches for Carter?

Who and lets not forget Keith Olbermann, former news anchor and coancher of MSNBC presidential coverage... in tears when Obama won.

Please.

"Because by McCain's own admission he'd had affairs in the past. Plus, the fact McCain's own aides were concerned about his relationship with Iseman that they took steps to keep them apart."

That somehow made it NOT news that Edwards, who ran on his basis of taking care of his cancer stricken wife, WASNT news?

Explain please.

Anytime you want to trade Hannity, Limbaugh, and Fox for all the major tv networks, the public networks, almost all the major newspapers and magazines, not to mention Hollywood, Republicans will take the trade every time and twice on Sunday.
I get your point, but personally I wouldn't take any of them - especially Hollywood.

The stuff you see on TV nowadays is so thoroughly disgusting that it's impossible to watch. You would think the entire world is made up of rutting pigs looking for a sexual encounter. Most movies aren't much better. None of them are close to any reality that I'm aware of.

I think the best we can hope for is that the alphabets will shrivel up and die, to be replaced by hard-hitting news organizations that actually do the work of journalism instead of political advocacy.

Really? Who's the host of This Week? Oh yeah, that guy that was Clinton's press secretary.

Gee, then the Dems should have won in 2000 and 2004 with George S. leading the way.

That somehow made it NOT news that Edwards, who ran on his basis of taking care of his cancer stricken wife, WASNT news?

It was news. That's how you heard it. You also have to realize Edwards was the third or fourth place person in a two-person race for the nomination. His candidacy was merely a remote possibility. McCain was the frontrunner and had in fact secured the nomination.

Antimedia, the very fact that you brought John Ziegler's slanted, biased and agenda-driven "polling" and opinions into this discussion indicates that you're doing nothing more that mouthing the Republican/Rightwing idiocy du jour.
Who is John Zielger?

I linked to Gallup. I assume you've heard of them?

Next time you seek to criticize someone, it would be wise to first follow the links, bozo.

[ More civility. Please. -- M.F. ]

I should also add the McCain-Iseman story was a two-fer. Not only did this story have allegations of an affair (according to McCain's own staff) but the fact is Iseman was a lobbyist.

Remember, mcCain was trying to frame himself as the guy who stood up to special interests and was not beholden to lobbyists. Yet, Iseman was spending inordinate amaouts of time with McCain.

Is it just me or is there a trend toward using foul nasty language from the left? Apparently emotion , whether fawning or furious, is the order of the day. Surly we can articulate without the use of invective? Please?

One thing about message- the Republican party should not at this point be confused with the term "conservative", any more than the Democratic party should be labeled "liberal". As far as I can tell, they are two faces of socialism.

The essential conservative position is that as little Government as necessary is best.

Republicans lost because yes, their message sucked- but the message was far, far closer to the Democratic party line than any "conservative" position. One of the reasons McCain had a hard time with Obama because he was so close in position to him.

HA!-- "surly"? ok- try "surely"- now that is an interesting slip!

raven,

The essential conservative position is that as little Government as necessary is best.

That is everyone's position. It simply begs the question: how much is necessary? Nobody wants more government than he or she believes is necessary. It also begs the question: necessary for what? Paved roads? Financial security? Physical safety? Education.

Simply saying you want as little government as possible is avoiding all debate over the tough issues.

Somalia has very little government, e.g. I'd prefer to live Holland, however.

I went to the trouble of googling John Ziegler to find out who he was. I now see where G_Tarhune got his reference, although he conflated Ziegler's documentary with the Gallup polling to which I referred.

With reference to Ziegler's documentary, there has been much heat but precious little light. Perhaps this response from Zogby will clear the matter up. (And since some clearly don't follow links, I will quote it here.)
"We stand by the results our survey work on behalf of John Ziegler, as we stand by all of our work. We reject the notion that this was a push poll because it very simply wasn't. It was a legitimate effort to test the knowledge of voters who cast ballots for Barack Obama in the Nov. 4 election. Push polls are a malicious effort to sway public opinion one way or the other, while message and knowledge testing is quite another effort of public opinion research that is legitimate inquiry and has value in the public square. In this case, the respondents were given a full range of responses and were not pressured or influenced to respond in one way or another. This poll was not designed to hurt anyone, which is obvious as it was conducted after the election. The client is free to draw his own conclusions about the research, as are bloggers and other members of society. But Zogby International is a neutral party in this matter. We were hired to test public opinion on a particular subject and with no ax to grind, that's exactly what we did. We don't have to agree or disagree with the questions, we simply ask them and provide the client with a fair and accurate set of data reflecting public opinion." - John Zogby
So far from being "John Ziegler's slanted, biased and agenda-driven "polling" and opinions", as G_Terhune so eloquently puts it, the poll referenced by Ziegler was done by Zogby and is defended by Zogby.

To make it as clear as I possibly can, I am not now nor have I ever been a Republican. I have always been an independent voter who has studied the issues and chosen the candidates that I believed were the best choice.

If you want to respond to what I write, do so with integrity rather than invective. And don't presume to know from where I come because you clearly do not.

[ Link fixed. -- M.F. ]

"It was news. That's how you heard it. You also have to realize Edwards was the third or fourth place person in a two-person race for the nomination. "

Amazing then that the media knew ahead of time that that was how it would turn out. One would think Democratic voters in Iowa and NH should have had that information available should they have chosen to go with him.

And this wasnt just a matter of not being inquisitive about allegations against a candidate (how much time was spent sorting Palin's garbage compared to Obama?)- that particular story was being actively covered up by the likes of the LAT. Their bloggers were warned not to discuss it. I've never heard of such a thing. I'm sorry but if Mitt Romney had a love child it would have been front page news the day the LAT could get a picture proving the woman existed.

Man, I am screwing up the links today. My apologies.

Mark B., it should be noted, in fairness, that the LAT and most other members of the liberal media also did NOT report on or cover George Bush's (Senior) long-time affair with Jennifer Fitzgerald....to their credit, I believe. Do you believe they should have?

Mark, I have to disagree- I feel the bulk of the modern Rep and Dem in power believe the most Government possible is the best. The default position is that ANY problem is best addressed by the Government.

Consequently we are losing our freedom's and we are going bankrupt.

raven, I think it is best to address each problem individually rather than hide behind a vacuous "principle" (aka a slogan) that government is not a solution. How would you deal with an increase in crime? an increase in poverty? a foreign invasion? muddy roads? fallen bridges? bankrupt auto industry? too many cartoons on TV? women who wear too much makeup? "illegal" immigration (how can something even be illegal without government?)? Obviously, you have to pick and chose when and where and how --- not to mention whether -- government can do anything. The hard part is figuring it out. Sure, it would be great (and easy) if all there was to it was to say "Government's not the answer to problems." Then there's no thinking involved. But you'd quickly end up with a survival of the strongest-and-meanest and might-makes-right -based society.

I'm sorry but if Mitt Romney had a love child it would have been front page news the day the LAT could get a picture proving the woman existed.

A picture appeared in the National Enquirer. It proved nothing. And you're demanding the media investigate everything in the Enquirer?

Fine.

Just prior to the election, the Enquirer ran a picture of Cindy McCain in full liplock with someone who was about 30 years younger than John McCain and had brown hair and a ponytail. Are you demanding the media investigate that?

Antimedia in #13 wrote:

This is pure sophistry, as this link proves.

"This link" takes one to: http://www.howobamagotelected.com/

Which contains:

"Watch John Ziegler's appearance on Fox News, Hannity & Colmes show."

If you'd like to know more about the man behind the site linked to in #13, read this

Excerpts:

I had the chance this afternoon to speak with John Ziegler, a documentary filmmaker and former radio talk show host who built the website HowObamaGotElected.com and is promoting a forthcoming documentary of the same name.

Ziegler was responsible for commissioning a Zogby International survey of Barack Obama supporters, which took the form of a multiple choice political knowledge test, stating a "fact" to the respondent and asking them which of the four major candidates (Obama, McCain, Biden, Palin) the statement applied to. Because I believe that many of the statements on the survey are questionable or false but are misleadingly presented as factual to the respondent, I characterized the survey as a "push poll" in an article posted early this morning.

A few points:

1) Antimedia doesn't even seem to be aware of what he is linking to in his own posts.

2) For him to portray his links as unbiased sourcing to Gallup and Zogby is clearly disingenuous. He is attempting to conceal the source and nature of his links in the hopes of representing them as legitimate and unbiased.

This is the Jerome Corsi of the polling world, another crackpot embraced by many on the right because his goals and theirs are consonant.

This is lipstick on a pig. Whether you are a Republican or not, Antimedia, you sure act and think like one...making stories up out of think air based on the flimsiest of evidence.

Message testing is not the same thing as push-polling. Speaking of "push-polling" after an election is a very curious thing, especially given the sample size reported. The accepted meaning of "pushpolling" is calling very large numbers of voters and asking them loaded questions, ostensibly while just asking their opinions, in an effort to change the outcome of a vote.

The vote already happened.

You might find fault with message testing, but everybody in recent politics has done it.

1) Antimedia doesn't even seem to be aware of what he is linking to in his own posts.
I assume this is a reference to the fact that I did not know who John Ziegler was. A thinking person would realize that I did not know of Ziegler's reputation and was therefore not deliberately quoting a biased source. Furthermore, to contend that Ziegler is biased in this case is to ignore the fact that Zogby claims no bias in the poll quoted.
2) For him to portray his links as unbiased sourcing to Gallup and Zogby is clearly disingenuous. He is attempting to conceal the source and nature of his links in the hopes of representing them as legitimate and unbiased.
Oh baloney. I gave you the links. You can follow them yourself and decide for yourself if they have meaning. If I did not give you links then I would be trying to conceal the source. Your "logic" sucks.
This is the Jerome Corsi of the polling world, another crackpot embraced by many on the right because his goals and theirs are consonant.
So Zogby is a right-wing pollster now? Good luck convincing intelligent people with that argument!
This is lipstick on a pig. Whether you are a Republican or not, Antimedia, you sure act and think like one...making stories up out of think air based on the flimsiest of evidence
This may come as a shock to you, but just because someone makes statements that seem to you to be consonant with Republicans does not make them a Republican.

I don't really give a damn what you think I am. If you don't want to believe what I say that is your perogative. But rather than try to smear what I've said by claiming it's all biased Republican bs, why don't you try dealing with the issues?

What about the Zogby poll makes you think that it's biased?

Do you think that simply because someone has a certain view of politics that everything they do is therefore tainted and suspect? Or is it just possible that sometimes they could be right?

I find this constant bleating from the left that anything someone on the right says cannot possibly have any validity to be the most puerile form of argument possible and utterly unconvincing. Not one person that has attacked my statements has made even a juvenile effort to refute them. You simply scream "biased" and assume everyone should agree with you.

All it does is convince me that you are either stupid or deliberately obtuse.

My point isnt whether the media should publish sex scandals or not. My point is that it needs to have SOME kind of consistent policy. It doesnt take a genius to look at the sex scandals that get reported on or not reported on and do a little math.

Bottom line- look at how McCain was treated compared to Edwards and if you dont see a problem there, you are part of the problem. Whatever post facto justifications you wish to employ.

I think we've discussed this before, and my feelings are the same. By all means let the GOP make better use of the internet, but the last thing we need is a right and/or libertarian version of the repellent Netroots.

The great possibility of the internet lies in its challenge to establishment media and establishment thinking. This possibility is both profoundly conservative (in a positive sense) and profoundly liberal (in a classical sense) - to rescue public thinking from the idiocy of political correctness, and to promote freedom through superior information.

All of which is ruined if it is just reduced to a Manichean shouting chamber, suitable for juveniles and sociopaths. One Huffington Post is enough.

Look, we've been through all this before: Liberal Bias, blah blah blah blah. I know all the steps, but the beat is so dreary. Can we get any of those newer tunes here?

Look conservatives: You (or at least the RNC) owned the government for 8 years. How did that happen with this overwhelming liberal bias? Chance? Luck? Space-Time dimensional vortex?

And how did Obama survive what is normally the kiss of death: Racist? Socialist? Elitist? You said all the dirty words, yet he's still president?

The answer to both is really the answer to this whole post: Obama ability (and McCain's inability) to craft a message decided the election. You can hide behind the fact that the MSM did not follow paranoid conspiracy theories (as Ziegler requests), but it's not like Ayers/Wright/Socialism wasn't out there. It's just that nobody cared.

You can cry over spilt media coverage, or you can find new ways to craft and sell your message to the media and to the American people. RNC whining over this election is better help Obama, but an election with two opposing messages are better for the country.

It's your move.

Look conservatives: You (or at least the RNC) owned the government for 8 years. How did that happen with this overwhelming liberal bias? Chance? Luck? Space-Time dimensional vortex?
The present administration was hardly conservative. Many of their policies were anathema to conservatives. As to how did it happen, the one journalist who should know claimed that the media is good for a 15 point slant in the Democrat direction. So you figure it out.
And how did Obama survive what is normally the kiss of death: Racist? Socialist? Elitist? You said all the dirty words, yet he's still president?
The Democrats were the ones screaming "racist". Socialist was and is an accurate charge. In fact, I would say that many of the Republicans are socialists as well. You should look it up some time.
The answer to both is really the answer to this whole post: Obama ability (and McCain's inability) to craft a message decided the election.
I think that's true to a degree, but the economic collapse played a large part as well.
You can hide behind the fact that the MSM did not follow paranoid conspiracy theories (as Ziegler requests), but it's not like Ayers/Wright/Socialism wasn't out there. It's just that nobody cared.
That's patently false. Here's two examples.

It wasn't until after the election that Ayers admitted that Obama was "a family friend" and also admitted to all of the basic charges against Obama, all of which Obama denied right up until the election.

Second, Ayers was interviewed just the other day. When asked why he dedicated his tome "Prairie Fire" to Sirhan Sirhan he flatly denied it and challenged anyone to prove it. The "reporter" never followed up, most likely because he didn't know because he didn't do his homework.

I submit to you that if Obama's associations had been scrutinized to the level that Palin's family and clothing were he might well have lost the election despite his overwhelming advantage in funding, media adoration and momentum against the Bush administration.

All this tripe about Republicans needing to move toward the center is poppycock. The reason so many Republicans stayed home is precisely because McCain is too far to the center on too many things.

Obama was right about one thing. Why elect Bush to another term? That's precisely what electing McCain would have done.

"Look, we've been through all this before: Liberal Bias, blah blah blah blah. I know all the steps, but the beat is so dreary. Can we get any of those newer tunes here?"

Oh, i get it. If i win despite the other side cheating, they werent really cheating? And i should continue to sit at the table with them without complaint? Oh, and btw, this time they did win? But i should still bite my tongue.

Any time you'd like to play cards alchemist...

Antimedia- Do you got a transcript of the full comments from Ayers? For some reason I don't like the cherry picked quotes I see on the web anymore... And besides, Palin was running the Ayers flag for two whole weeks. SNL did multiple sketches on it. It wasn't an insider concept.

by 'racist' I specifically meant the post-Wright criticisms of Obama...

on Palin: You know, maybe if Palin had given the media something else to write about, that might have helped. You can only have so many interviews that are completely devoid of substance...

I don't care about Ayers. I just don't. And apparently, neither did the public. If it did, your attack would have worked (as it did on John Kerry). But it didn't. McCain ran a campaign on Obama's character, and got beaten. Please, don't complain about it, it makes you look petty (see democrats 2004-2006). Just try something different next time.

Mark: OOoooh. I love cards. But I don't cheat, if that's what you're implying. What I am saying is that the Bush administration made the media bow on its knees for several years. How did they accomplish this? Why did it eventually fail?

If you can find an answer better than blaming it on 'bias', you'll be halfway to a better campaign. So long for now.

Antimedia- Do you got a transcript of the full comments from Ayers? For some reason I don't like the cherry picked quotes I see on the web anymore...
You should do your own research, but since you wont. photgraphic proof that the book was dedicated to Sirhan Sirhan (among many others).

The Good Morning America interview with Ayers. Ayers claims they didn't target or kill people. That's a lie. They killed several cops in several places, tried to firebomb a judge's home and three of them died when a nail bomb they were building for a dance party at Fort Dix exploded while they were building it.

This is a Kennedy supporter's take on the Ayers story.

This is a video of Ayers first denying it, then admitting it, then claiming it was a stupid thing to do.
And besides, Palin was running the Ayers flag for two whole weeks. SNL did multiple sketches on it. It wasn't an insider concept.
That's irrelevant. The news media never reported the story. Find me today, right now, one major media outlet that has reported any of the following: Ayers' Weather Underground killed cops, Ayers dedicated his book to Sirhan Sirhan, Ayers and his cohorts discussed how to kill 25 million Americans who they estimated would not want to go along with their revolution, Ayers teaches radical communist ideology to his students and works to institute the same ideology into the primary and secondary school systems nationwide. You can't, because they didn't.
by 'racist' I specifically meant the post-Wright criticisms of Obama...
You considered it racist to point out Wright's decidedly anti-American views?
on Palin: You know, maybe if Palin had given the media something else to write about, that might have helped. You can only have so many interviews that are completely devoid of substance...
That's hilarious. Before her speech in Ohio was cold they were already sending teams of investigators to Alaska to dig up dirt on her. The first story out was that Trig wasn't her baby. It went downhill from there. Palin didn't decide the media agenda for reporting on her. The media did.
I don't care about Ayers. I just don't. And apparently, neither did the public.
Sadly that is true. In part it's because the media never made the public aware of who Ayers is and what he represents - a radical turn to the left for this country. Voters had every right to question why Obama would associate for 25 years with such a man, but they were never given that opportunity, because the media choose not to report it. I find it very sad that you don't care about Ayers, because he cares a great deal about you. He wants you to live in a communist nation or die if you disagree.
If it did, your attack would have worked (as it did on John Kerry). But it didn't.
The attack on John Kerry worked because it was true and because they were able to get the word out to enough Americans that it made a difference. The same would have been true of Obama had the Ayers story been reported.
McCain ran a campaign on Obama's character, and got beaten. Please, don't complain about it, it makes you look petty (see democrats 2004-2006). Just try something different next time.
I'm not trying anything. I'm a simple citizen, not involved in any party. I'm a veteran who cares about his country and is sad to see it slipping away.

If, as appears to be the case, Americans no longer care about facts, then they will get what they deserve - slavery to an almighty government. And the party in power won't matter one hill of beans.

At one time Americans actually cared enough about freedom to do something about it. That no longer appears to be the case.

"what I am saying is that the Bush administration made the media bow on its knees for several years. How did they accomplish this? Why did it eventually fail"

What are you talking about? I'm saying despite the media's best efforts Bush was elected twice. I could site glaring examples of the Bush DUI story being rushed before the election, or the lunatic Rathergate saga, but the everyday 'typical' bias most of the media has is far more problematic. Its not the 'how are we gonna get this guy today' issue that is worrisome, that tends to blow up in peoples faces (Mr Rather). Its the simple 'there are no republicans in this newsroom' bias that is far more harmful. Every story is started, investigated, edited, and published by people who disagree with republicans and conservatism overwhelmingly. How can they possibly be expected to give their ideas a fair day in court?

OBVIOUSLY that doesnt mean a Republican cant get elected. The media simply doesnt have the power to control elections. But that doesnt mean they have NO influence, or that the country wouldn't be far better off and more healthy if they were more balanced.

You seem to be making the claim that since media bias isnt absolute and their control 100% it either cant exist or doesnt matter if it does. Thats just not particularly logical.

Mark: No, I'm just saying life is the way it is. In 2000, many liberals, myself included, were deeply worried about the lack of media curiosity during the run-up to the Iraq war. Those people who openly questioned the President's plan were verbally attacked, and called them "Sadam appeasers". This "liberal media" that "cheats" at the political system did nothing to aid opposing opinions to the war.

That's the way life is. On the other hand, Fox news airs all the stories you complain about not being covered. Yet, strangely, no one seems to care anymore. Hmmmm....

Oops, meant 2002. And I'm talking primarily about the run up to war, not the period after wards, when rioting erupted and the media started to change it's tune.

You guys have exactly ONE counter-factual, the Iraq war.

And there is a GLARING problem with that example:

Yes, the media jumped on the Iraq bandwagon.

So did almost the entire Congress including Hillary Clinton and others with direct access to the intelligence. So did former President Clinton.

By your logic, the majority of Democrats in Congress are, in fact, conservatives. Bill Clinton must be a conservative.

After all, if the media is actually conservative because they supported GW in this ONE instance (wildly, wildly popular instance with the public BTW, hardly a profile in courage), then one would conclude anyone else that backed Bush's position must be conservative in the same way.

So basically everyone except the tiny minority of hard lefties like Dennis Kucinich that opposed the war can't be liberals and are really conservative. Which is really just another way of saying that anyone who sees the mainstream media as conservative must be so far to the left that George McGovern looks like a reactionary.

Sadly that is true. In part it's because the media never made the public aware of who Ayers is and what he represents - a radical turn to the left for this country. Voters had every right to question why Obama would associate for 25 years with such a man, but they were never given that opportunity, because the media choose not to report it. I find it very sad that you don't care about Ayers, because he cares a great deal about you. He wants you to live in a communist nation or die if you disagree.

You're delusional, man.

You're thesis is idiotic and impossible to prove, hence it is useless.

I'm a veteran who cares about his country and is sad to see it slipping away.

I'm glad to see it slipping away from the likes of people who think (or don't) like you, Antimedia. Very glad.

If, as appears to be the case, Americans no longer care about facts, then they will get what they deserve - slavery to an almighty government.

Yep, Americans are too stooopid to understand the Rightwing "facts"; that's the ticket.

As I said above, you're delusional.

To sum up:

The MSM cant be biased because:
1.They couldnt or didnt fix the last 2 elections.
2.They supported Bush's position on 1 issue, 1 time. Along with 297 congressmen and 77 senators, the former Democratic president, and 2/3rds of the American Public. But this clearly proves they were generally in fact Bush partisans and not the implacable critics every other instance would indicate they were.

Good stuff. I, obviously, disagree, but I expect everyone can draw their own conclusions.

2.They supported Bush's position on 1 issue, 1 time.

Mark, this is simply ridiculous. You're erecting a straw man that the slightest of winds would topple.

Quoth G_Tarhune: "You're [sic] thesis is idiotic and impossible to prove, hence it is useless."

"Billy" Ayers lists Prairie Fire as his work in his own resume. Entry #16.

Absent mind-reading technology, or a chance to get him sympathetically stoned in private, it's impossible to prove Ayers still thinks exactly the way he did in 1974.

But please explain to a rational bystander how that makes the matter "idiotic."

[link to scans of Prairie Fire]

AL likes to say he was just as hotheaded in his younger days. A while back he posted a picture of himself wearing a brassard, shouting and manning a student-action barricade.

He didn't post pictures of himself assembling improvised munitions and blowing things up. Gee, wonder why.

G_Terhune
Sadly that is true. In part it's because the media never made the public aware of who Ayers is and what he represents - a radical turn to the left for this country. Voters had every right to question why Obama would associate for 25 years with such a man, but they were never given that opportunity, because the media choose not to report it. I find it very sad that you don't care about Ayers, because he cares a great deal about you. He wants you to live in a communist nation or die if you disagree.
You're delusional, man. You're thesis is idiotic and impossible to prove, hence it is useless.
Here is my delusion.
I asked, well, what's going to happen to those people that we can't re-educate; that are die-hard capitalists. And the reply was that they'd have to be eliminated. And when I pursued this further, they estimated that they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these re-education centers. And when I say eliminate, I mean kill. 25 million people.

I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees from Columbia and other well known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.

And they were dead serious."

-- Larry Grathwohl, former member of the Weather Underground
Look, I can't help the fact that you are ignorant and choose to remain ignorant. I can provide the facts for you, but I can't make you read them or accept them as facts.

If you had a knowledge of history, you would know that the scenario described above has already taken place in Russia, in China, in Vietnam, in Cambodia and in other places to varying degrees.

That's the problem with this country. Way too many people are so partisan that they refuse to even look at anything that challenges their beliefs. You are clearly in that category.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope you don't live to see the day where freedom is gone. But if we keep heading in that direction, we will surely see that day, just as certainly as every other nation in the world that has succumbed to the lies of socialism has seen that day.

It's your choice. Exercise it wisely.

"Mark, this is simply ridiculous. You're erecting a straw man that the slightest of winds would topple."

Just repeating what i'm hearing. Not feeling much of a breeze either. I mean come on, if you could poll everyone who works for the MSM on who they wanted to win- Gore or Bush, Kerry or Bush, what do you think the results would look like?

You can make a case that media bias is overblown or not as important as its made out- fine. But the idea that it doesnt exist is silly, illogical. Human beings have biases, and it affects their work. Something as subjected as 'is story X more important than story Y' is bound to be influenced by reporters and editors personal beliefs and philosophy. Match that with the proven fact that the vast majority of newsrooms lean and vote left, and you WILL have bias. The cure is the same level of intellectual diversity that we demand in racial and gender diversity.

The idea that it is slanted in the Republicans favor is just ludicrous and not even worthy of as much comment as has already been wasted on it.

Mark B.

You can make a case that media bias is overblown or not as important as its made out

Indeed, you can.

Firstly, if there is a liberal bias in the MSM it is a largely ineffectual one. Despite there being significantly more registered Democrats than Republicans in the US, the Republicans have more than held their own over the last 30 years. If the bias is that ineffectual, I'd say it is overblown and not as important as some---primarily those who complain about it--make out.

Secondly, I wouldn't even call it bias. I would call it a slant. Bias suggests something unfair. I think the WSJ, e.g., which has a larger circulation than the NYT and LAT combined, has a clear editorial bias, as does FOX News, but I believe that their reporting is generally fair, just with a more conservative slant than some of their competitors. I would say the same for NYT, LAT & CNN, which have a more liberal editorial bias.

Finally, I would argue that--to paraphrase Bill Keller---the press is liberal in the same way that a liberal arts school is liberal. That is to say, more or less by definition. In general, people who are drawn to conservatism are not drawn to journalism. There are exceptions, of course. I think that most teachers and most scientists are more liberal than the average American. I don't think that necessarily makes them biased.

Diversity of thought is not necessarily a good idea in all professions. Unlike race, gender, geographic background, etc. which can prompt different but equally valid points of view....ideologies are not considered to be equally valid. How could anyone hold her own if she believed it to be as valid as any other. Scientists reject creationism or voodoo, and justifiably so. In the same way, I think most people in the liberal professions will reject conservative ideology as not appropriate to their work, though in a much milder fashion than in the examples given. I think that just comes with the territory. It's a built-in bias, just a scientist has a built-in bias that nature behaves according to natural laws. Thus, I believe it is overblown and not important. It's inherent in the task.

mark
Finally, I would argue that--to paraphrase Bill Keller---the press is liberal in the same way that a liberal arts school is liberal. That is to say, more or less by definition. In general, people who are drawn to conservatism are not drawn to journalism. There are exceptions, of course. I think that most teachers and most scientists are more liberal than the average American. I don't think that necessarily makes them biased.
You don't understand what bias is.

According to dictionary.reference.com:

bias - a particular tendency or inclination, esp. one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice.

slant - to have or be influenced by a subjective point of view, bias, personal feeling or inclination, etc. (usually fol. by toward).

IOW, they are the same thing.

Now, I'd be particularly interested in you explaining how someone who is "more liberal than the average American" would scrupulously avoid introducing that bias into their professional work.

I am biased. Everyone is. My biases lead me to be more likely to believe stories about liberals trying to steal our freedoms than to believe stories about conservatives trying to harm people. The stories I get agitated about will reflect my biases, just as the stories a liberal reporter gets exercised about will reflect his or her biases.

How could it possibly be otherwise? I'd be very interested to hear your explanation of that.

This meme that the media fawns all over Obama is stupid not Marc. The out and out hostility to Americans whom were not Caucasian, Christian Right, social conservatives and Gov Sarah Palin's ignorance was ignored and glossed over by the national press.

Anitmedia,

If everyone is biased, as you, say then my point is even stronger. To accuse someone of bias is simply to say he or she is human and has little or no meaning. It offers no further information. It would be like saying the press is imperfect.

I may be alone in feeling this way, but to me "bias" is something you accuse someone of having, i.e., an unfair or unjustified prejudice; whereas a "slant" is merely an acknowledged point of view. I am happy, however, to defer to the dictionary. Nonetheless, I do maintain that there are degrees of "bias," if not exact words to label the various gradations. But the type of bias I think we can agree that is under discussion, an unfair favoritism for or against a political party to the extent that reporting is inaccurate or unprofessional, is on the extreme edge of the range.

I don't see why a liberal American would be any less scrupulous than any other type of American.

mark
I don't see why a liberal American would be any less scrupulous than any other type of American.
I personally would never claim that they are. However, when news organizations are so dominated by liberals that the small number of conservatives that are there are afraid to even voice their views, it's silly to insist that the liberals' bias doesn't affect their reporting.

When I was blogging, I wrote about stories that interested me or that I felt were important. It's the same for a journalist. They're not going to write about things that don't interest them. Well, if every journalist has the same interests, isn't it a little naive to insist that nothing important goes unreported? That you're actually getting "all the news that's fit to print"?

Why do you think Dan Rather believed that the Bush Guard story documents were legitimate even though all three document experts they hired said otherwise? Because he wanted to believe it was true.

Why do you think Palin was pursued so relentlessly by the media yet Obama got a free pass? Because the media wanted Obama to win.

These things are obvious to someone at least attempting to be impartial about the facts. Even some in the business bemoaned the lack of coverage of Obama's warts.

The point of the Zogby poll that I referenced above is that the average American is going to know whatever the media talks about and is not going to know about what the media doesn't talk about.

Doesn't it then become essential for the media to talk about both sides of an issue? Doesn't it require that the media pursue Obama's problems with the same intensity that they pursued Palin's?

Or do you seriously think it doesn't matter at all to the country?

Antimedia, what I don't agree with is that the media failed to "pursue" (whatever that means) Obama as much as Palin. I think that is your bias selectively remembering and selectively emphasizing certain aspects of the campaign coverage. Frankly, it strikes me as an absurd statement.

The media covered and looked into Obama as much as any presidential candidate. Just because most people chose not care about Ayers-Wright-Khalidi, etc., doesn't mean the media didn't cover the issues. Palin was scrutinized very superficially, mostly, I think, because she was chosen late in the campaign (late August, I think), and wasn't much of a national figure prior to that. Obama has been in the media spotlight for 18 months.

It seems to me that you can't accept that people come to different conclusions from you based upon the same evidence. You suspect they must not have been told. Or they've somehow been hoodwinked into forming different impressions than you. You are blaming the media for the fact that you hold minority opinions. I think most of us who voted for Obama knew as much about Ayers as we needed to and came to the astonishing conclusion that it was pretty much of a non-issue.

Journalists cover what they are assigned to cover. A reporter doesn't write about city council meetings because they interest her. She writes about them because it's her job.

The average American has access to more media outlets, including those on the internet, than anyone throughout history. The average American can watch FOX if he choses, listen to Limbaugh, read whatever blog or newspaper of any political stripe he choses. The MSM is the MSM because it provides the widest possible appeal. It's a business. Give American's a little more credit for deciding what type of information they want to consume. The marketplace dictates the content of news outlets.

"Firstly, if there is a liberal bias in the MSM it is a largely ineffectual one. Despite there being significantly more registered Democrats than Republicans in the US, the Republicans have more than held their own over the last 30 years."

Or, perhaps Republicans would have been even more successful. Its entirely unfair to suggest that just because the media hasnt managed to coopt the entire nation, media bias doesnt have a significant impact. Think how you would feel if the shoe was on the other foot, and conservatives dominated all of the major publically owned television airwaves including public programming. Regardless of the balance of power at a given time, that would be a bad thing, right? Surely it would have an impact.

Secondly, its not just about 'programming' people. The lack of objectivity HAS led to the explosion of talk radio etc. Im not sure thats such a good thing. Its a reaction that has undoubtedly polarized the nation. Now people of different stripes go to their own media sources for the news and ignore or go to war with the other. Maybe thats inevitable, but i'd like to think that there could be sources that were deemed intellectually honest, if not unbiased. I dont think you can get that without balancing out the newsroom itself and scrupulous self-examination, something the media in general despises. Big Media would NEVER accept the stonewalling and messenger shooting they display on a daily basis out of any other industry they cover.

Think how you would feel if the shoe was on the other foot, and conservatives dominated all of the major publically owned television airwaves including public programming.

This is easy to answer because Conservative or Republican owned corporations already dominate the majority of TV and radio outlets (Clear channel ring a bell?).

I don't like it one bit.

Really, you boys are missing some important points. How the heck do you think Bush got elected twice when his policies and practices could have easily been predicted to have been 180 degrees from the way the campaign and the complicit media portrayed them? "Uniter, not a divider"? "I do not support Nation Building"? All of the idiotic statements he made in the 2000 debates that the media allowed to slide by because they were on a single minded mission to destroy Gore? The list of demonstrably false statements that they've allowed him to claim up until very recently would fill volumes, almost equal to the number of idiotic and baseless attacks of Gore's "character".

In essence, you're all complaining that they don't seem quite as willing to behave in this irresponsible manner any longer.

What do you think explains the rise of the Liberal netroots and alternative media outlets?

The MSM has given Bush a pass for nearly 8 years straight, and look where that has put us. Oh, believe me, I do not like it one bit that they are in the pockets of, or afraid of, or happy to be the mouthpieces for, the lying Republicans in the last two election cycles preceding this one. I hold them to blame almost as much as the actors themselves.

So how do I feel? Suck. On. This.

I hope that answers your question, Mark.

"This is easy to answer because Conservative or Republican owned corporations already dominate the majority of TV and radio outlets (Clear channel ring a bell?)."

Disney is conservative? GE is conservative? Viacomm is conservative? In what respects?

"Really, you boys are missing some important points. How the heck do you think Bush got elected twice when his policies and practices could have easily been predicted to have been 180 degrees from the way the campaign and the complicit media portrayed them?"

G, you arent listening. Go re-read the thread. If you think the media preferred Bush over Gore you are smoking something. I know you think if the Dan Rather didnt kick the door of the oval office in and lead an angry mob to lynch Bush they must be complicit, but the truth is RELATIVELY SPEAKING there is no way a sane person could say this media favors Bush over any Democrat.

Now if you want to talk about the argument that the media in general is to accommodating and cozy with our political class, thats a great debate to have. I happen to agree. The point is you can be more adversarial and less buddy buddy with both sides. Whether as a general principle the press is doing its oversight job has nothing to do with whether it is relatively biased. Which it is. That doesn't mean they have to go to war with Bush and coddle Obama (although sometimes they do). They may be too accepting of Bush but STILL be biased against him.

Mark B.,

Its entirely unfair to suggest that just because the media hasnt managed to coopt the entire nation, media bias doesnt have a significant impact.

I don't think it is unfair at all. I think it's perfectly logical.

I don't think you give people enough credit. Your theory suggests most people are intellectual sheep, unable to make informed decisions and choices about the accuracy and reliability of information they receive, mindlessly following the liberal shepherds of the media. It presupposes that, absent the liberal media, they would think and act more like how you would prefer them to think and act.

I would argue that, given the existence of 5 national networks, 3 cable news networks, all of which are capitalist enterprises in competition with one another, the market--that is to say, people's viewing choices--drive the content of the media outlets we are talking about. If you perceive the media to be biased, it is a response to what people want.

If there were, in fact, some large national undercurrent of conservatism that is somehow suppressed by the existence of a significantly influential liberal media, you would expect market forces to quickly correct it. FOX does well, but not so well as to suggest the media is actually keeping the Republicans from their rightful super-majorities by fooling or indoctrinating a gullible public.

I don't think the media is effectually biased. I think your perceptions are biased. I think the media--as a group--plays it pretty much right down the middle.

"I don't think it is unfair at all. I think it's perfectly logical."

Huh? The influence of the media is either 100% or 0%? Thats logical?

"I don't think you give people enough credit. Your theory suggests most people are intellectual sheep, unable to make informed decisions and choices about the accuracy and reliability of information they receive, mindlessly following the liberal shepherds of the media."

Now you're building a straw-man. I didn't say that. Like I said- the bias has driven perhaps a majority of Americans to other forms of media. That is somewhat healthy, but it has huge problems (polarization, lack of trust, increased vitriol).

"It presupposes that, absent the liberal media, they would think and act more like how you would prefer them to think and act."

Now you seem to be suggesting that the network news has no influence at all? How does that make ANY sense? OBVIOUSLY anything that millions of people have televised nightly in their homes will have SOME impact on SOME people. You don't acknowledge that? Zero percent?

"I would argue that, given the existence of 5 national networks, 3 cable news networks, all of which are capitalist enterprises in competition with one another, the market--that is to say, people's viewing choices--drive the content of the media outlets we are talking about. If you perceive the media to be biased, it is a response to what people want."

WRONG. The news departments on network TV LOSE MONEY for all the networks. PBS is of course a world unto itself. CNN has been bleeding marketshare since FOX appeared and has gone a long way to mediating its bias by welcoming conservative and moderate voices in recent years. MSNBC is losing money. The Market is succeeding in that bad products are punishing their companies, but in a sense it is failing because the companies are so big they accept the losses for political and social reasons.

"I don't think the media is effectually biased. I think your perceptions are biased. I think the media--as a group--plays it pretty much right down the middle."

I think you are playing a strange game. Do you accept that the overwhelming majority of journalists that work for the MSM are democrats? Is it possible this doesnt influence the groupthink inherit in a subjective field like journalism? Is what you are saying possible even in theory?

And another thing re:people are sheep...

According to John Zogby 83% of Americans think the media is biased (2/3rds say biased to the left).

Now why would that be if people are so smart.. and yet media bias doesnt exist? A paradox?

Mark B.

Rather than get into a lengthy point by point refutation, let me remind you how I entered this particular fray:

Firstly, if there is a liberal bias in the MSM it is a largely ineffectual one

So I am not arguing that it must be 100% or 0%. I am arguing it has no significant impact. I am arguing that liberal bias in the media is not shifting the political climate of this country to the left of what it would be absent that liberal media.

If you are arguing that the media is so liberal that no one is paying any attention to it anymore, then this amounts to the same thing: It has no significant impact.

I understand most people think the media is biased. I understand most people reject evolution. I think most people are wrong. But I don't think that they are wrong because they are misled by some external force such as the media. I don't think that if only they were properly educated they would then think the way I think.

For the rest of my answer to your questions, see my #60 above.

I don't think you give people enough credit. Your theory suggests most people are intellectual sheep, unable to make informed decisions and choices about the accuracy and reliability of information they receive, mindlessly following the liberal shepherds of the media.

I don't think you give people enough credit. Most people are rationally ignorant. There's not much incentive for the average person to become well-informed about any issue - any individual's influence simply isn't large enough to justify the time investment. Instead people rely on agents like journalists to determine what's important and present it to them. If the journalists are favoring one side then the people are ill-served.

Although as the rise of Fox and talk radio has shown, some people are choosing an alternative. I'm not convinced that it's good for the nation when the two major parties fail to even agree on what is news, let alone what the facts behind the story are. I also think it's bad that each party has developed a cheering section that insulates them from scrutiny, at least from their supporters. You end up with roughly half the country thinking their guy walks on water and the other half thinking he eats babies.

Obama's going to be our president. His actions demand scrutiny. When a "journalist" says "I want to do everything I can to make [Obama's presidency] work", we the people are being ill-served.

I can understand supporting Obama. I don't understand granting him a free pass. The press should hold any person running for office to serious scrutiny, and the degree of scrutiny should not depend on the letter after their name. My guess is that, even with real scrutiny, a Democrat would have been elected President this year. I doubt that Obama would have been that Democrat, however. But, since the press failed to do their job (Obama's softball coverage during the Democratic primaries became an SNL skit), we'll never know.

SG, I don't see how you can say that the press has failed to scrutinize Obama unless:

a. you define scrutiny as the daily repetition of the same supposedly damning information.

b. you are aware of something important about Obama that hasn't been reported in the press.

What is it exactly that the press should have reported that wasn't reported?

"I understand most people think the media is biased. I understand most people reject evolution. I think most people are wrong."

Odd that a minute ago you accusing me of considering people sheep. Amazing those flat earther intellectuals making crazy 'scientific studies' that 'prove' there is media bias. But who cares about facts and studies and what the vast majority of people think is true anyway?

"you are aware of something important about Obama that hasn't been reported in the press."

Are you kidding me? What were Obama's grades like in college? What did he do on a day to day basis between college and his political career (You know, that 10 year span of his life)? Where did he stand on gun control when in the Illinois state legislature? What was his voting record like in the US Senate compared to other senators?

The truth is to this day we know almost nothing about Obama outside of whats printed on his 1 page bio on his website. Meanwhile i know all about Sarah Palin's shiftless brother in law, what she looks like in a bathing suit, and the cost of a rape kit in Wasilla Alaska.

Mark B.

It's not odd at all. Surely you can understand the difference between disagreeing with someone's opinion and understanding that he reached it on his own. I think you are wrong. But I don't think you are wrong because you have been misled by conservative radio talkshow hosts. I just think you have drawn faulty conclusions based on the same evidence available to me. Giving people credit for not being sheep doesn't require you to agree with their opinions.

If you think that liberal bias has significant impact then you must think a substantial number of people are swayed by it and that they do not think for themselves. Otherwise there's little impact.

#75:

When Obama claimed that 95% of people would get a tax cut under his income tax plan, did anybody in the media question how that could be possible when 40% of people don't pay any federal income taxes?

Does Obama support "born alive" protections for infants in failed abortions? How does he square his current position (whatever it might be) with his vote as an Illinois state representative?

How does Obama square his stated position supporting the Heller decision affirming the 2nd Amendment as an individual right with his claim that the government has the authority to restrict weapons sales?

When Obama was rallying against the Bush adminstration's lack of financial oversight, did the media bother to report that McCain co-sponsored a bill to increase federal regulation of Freddie and Fannie? Or that Obama in 4 years was in the top 4 recipient of Freddie/Fannie donations?

Why did Obama's campaign disable basic security checks on sub-$200 campaign donations? Who's decision was that? Why was it made?

Does Obama want to bankrupt new coal-fired plants? How does he propose to replace those energy sources? How much does he expect energy to cost?

I learned that Sarah Palin welcomed Pat Buchanan to her town and that her husband was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. Was Barack Obama ever a member of the socialist New Party?

When McCain accused Obama of launching his political career in Bill Ayers living room and Obama denied it, did anyone in the media report who was telling the truth, or did they leave it as a just another "he said/he said" campaign squabble?

Likewise, Obama's connections to ACORN. We heard McCain's (or Palin's) accusation and Obama's dismissal, but we never heard any "independent" reporting on it.

Or how about Joe Biden? When he said Obama's inexperience would cause him to be tested in the first 6 months, was there any folloup on what he meant? When he absurdly stated the US kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, what was that about? Or when he said we'd have no clean coal under an Obama Administration? Joe Biden talked about the folks at Alice's Restaurant (or whatever it was), did anybody report that it hadn't existed for 15 years? We know every stupid thing Palin has (or hasn't) said, but Biden's numerous stupidities went uncommented on.

These are all questions off the top of my head. I paid a fair amount of attention during the campaign, and I really have no idea what the truth is about Obama on any number of issues, some substantive, some just name-calling. The most the press seemed willing to do was report some of the McCain accusations, often followed by some hand-wringing about how negative the McCain campaign had become. Rarely did they bother to actually investigate the accusation.

Frankly, given the lopsidedness of the press coverage, I was surprised McCain made the race as close as he did. When you have to do all the mudslinging and the press lets your opponent stay above the fray, well, it isn't a level playing field. We the people really do deserve better.

#77 Mark says:

If you think that liberal bias has significant impact then you must think a substantial number of people are swayed by it and that they do not think for themselves. Otherwise there's little impact.

The name for that fallacy is "failure of the excluded middle." It's a classic.

If, for instance, as reported by some polls, a large number of people get their political information from what they see on entertainment programs, and the people who write for and act in the entertainment programs get their information in a biased fashion, much of the thinking-for-themselves that is done by the viewers will still be based on biased info. "If they get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers."

There are many ways to counter this claim you make. I'll pick one from science because it's a simple factual matter.

The number of chromosomes in the human genome was said to be 48, for something like fifty years. It was printed in the authoritative texts. Everyone who studied that subject learned the "correct" number. Actually counting chromosomes was quite hard. And when people counted them, they got the number they expected.

In 1955, someone counted them with a better method for preparing and viewing them. Ooops. Turns out there are 46. [link]

When people go back to the old microscope slides or photomicrographs prepared before 1955, guess how many chromosomes they can count? Yup. 46. Same slides, different expectations, correct (new) count.

All the thinking-for-oneself by all the people who "knew" the wrong number? They were not not-thinking-for-themselves; they were credulous in the face of difficult data collection. They believed the domain experts. Who were wrong.

Your refutation, quoted above, is fatally flawed. I can continue to explain it if you insist, using other examples, but I'd rather stop here.

PS: As a separate matter, I do think that most people are pretty lousy at thinking, and generally stop as quickly as they can. Thinking isn't rewarded among humans, day-to-day, anywhere near as much as winning fights / "being right" is.

Recall also the old saw attributed to O. W. Holmes among others: "Most people think that they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."

Wish that didn't ring as true as it seems to.

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