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Press Favored Obama Throughout Campaign 1601

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the kudos-for-owning-up-to-it dept.
narcberry writes "After complaints of one-sided reporting, the Washington Post checked their own articles and agreed. Obama was clearly favored, throughout his campaign, in terms of more favorable articles, less criticism, better page real-estate, more pictures, and total disregard for problems such as his drug use. 'Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Reporters, photographers and editors found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic. Journalists love the new; McCain, 25 years older than Obama, was already well known and had more scars from his longer career in politics. The number of Obama stories since Nov. 11 was 946, compared with McCain's 786. Both had hard-fought primary campaigns, but Obama's battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton was longer, and the numbers reflect that. McCain clinched the GOP nomination on March 4, three months before Obama won his. From June 4 to Election Day, the tally was Obama, 626 stories, and McCain, 584. Obama was on the front page 176 times, McCain, 144 times; 41 stories featured both.'"
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Press Favored Obama Throughout Campaign

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  • Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:32AM (#25702587)

    I'm glad someone is finally stating the obvious.

  • No surprise (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Atheose (932144) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:33AM (#25702607)

    Is there any surprise? The media (with the exception of Fox News) has always had a pretty large liberal bias.

    Having said that, Obama is young, charismatic, and is promoting the change America wants. He would have won either way.

  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:33AM (#25702609)
    ...the voters. Isn't it natural that the winning candidate will appeal to the journalists more aswell, than the losing one? Especially in a historic election as this one.
  • That's nothing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:34AM (#25702615) Journal

    What is really surprising is that this is news! The media has admitted to this weeks ago.

    Even worse, you will see people deny that Obama was given better treatment than McCain. They will probably say something similar to that old Politico [yahoo.com] story that basically says, "We had to give Obama better coverage. It's not our fault that McCain sucks".

  • Not really biased (Score:5, Insightful)

    by visualight (468005) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:34AM (#25702629) Homepage

    I don't see this as evidence of bias on the part of reporters, I see it at evidence of the Democratic Primary running as long as it did.

    Also, the Republican campaign(s) threw a lot of mud which of course prompted coverage. If Mccain hadn't put Obama in the news so much, he wouldn't have been in the new so much. If the accusations had more merit the resulting coverage wouldn't have been as positive as it was.

  • Less to criticise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hasney (980180) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:36AM (#25702639) Journal
    Of course there was a more favorable approach towards Obama, for all the reasons stated in the summary. I'd like to see a like-for-like comparison of Obama and McCain stories before the Republican sideshows of Sarah Palin and "Joe the Plumber" were introduced, because I did feel a lot more hate once they were on-board

    The press over here in England still seem to be focused on the historic occasion of an African-American in power. It is a good thing and it has been noted, but I wish they would get back to focusing on how the right man won, regardless of race and what he is planning to do come January.
  • I wouldn't know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CustomDesigned (250089) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:36AM (#25702645) Homepage Journal

    I ditched the TV 20 years ago, and the newspaper 5 years ago. I don't understand why anyone listens to the "main stream media" anymore. My in-laws think everything they see on TV "news" is Gospel, however.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:36AM (#25702651)

    Obama ran a better campaign?

    Better campaigns get better press coverage. I know that sounds crazy, but generally people doing a good job get better reviews then people doing a bad job.

    Of course, in the eyes of the idiocracy that is the modern Republican party, doing a good job is evil, and reporting on it is bias.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:37AM (#25702661) Journal

    ...the voters. Isn't it natural that the winning candidate will appeal to the journalists more aswell, than the losing one? Especially in a historic election as this one.

    Is this a joke?

    You say that the press supported Obama because he was going to win. I think the point of this story is that Obama won because the press favored him. Personally, I feel that the election was close enough that it could have gone the other way had the media been fair.

  • by arkham6 (24514) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:37AM (#25702667)
    The goal of the media to sell advertising and papers. They do this by 'sexing' up the news as much as possible to make people want to read it. If it bleeds, it leads as they say. Why read boring stories about real substance when you can read Exciting! Stories! About Stars!

    So its no surprise Obama had more favorabe coverage. He was by far the 'sexier' candidate.

    (Tho Palin was hotter)
  • Palin? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kannibal_klown (531544) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:37AM (#25702669)

    Do the numbers factor in Sarah Palin at all? I'm too lazy to sign up for the Post.

    She was in the news quite a bit, at least a HECK of a lot more than Biden. I'm not saying her press was "good" but there was a lot of it.

    Comparing Obama+Biden vs McCain+Palin probably results in closer numbers.

    Besides, are we really surprised? Obama running as the Democrat nominee was history in the making. Of course he would get more press.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:37AM (#25702671)

    The Post was deficient in stories that reported more than the two candidates trading jabs; readers needed articles, going back to the primaries, comparing their positions with outside experts' views.

    That's not "a pretty large liberal bias".

    That is the Washington Post focusing on the easiest stories to "write". The ones that don't require any research. The ones that don't require any knowledge of the issues.

  • Re:... and? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:37AM (#25702677)
    The election is done and over with. You can sleep now. [2]

    And how exactly is this "News for Nerds" or, most importantly, "Stuff that Matters"????
  • Re:No surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by visualight (468005) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:42AM (#25702729) Homepage

    Alright, put some numbers up. I've seen and heard comments like this for months, and the only numbers I've seen have come from Obama, numbers which contradict your assertion.

    Come on, put up some factual data, with citations. You started a thread, back it up with something that can be verified and not some vague accusation like "He's a socialist" or "He said he's going to spread the wealth!"

  • by httpamphibio.us (579491) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:42AM (#25702731)

    What if all those stories were negative?

    Isn't any pre-election article about one candidate also pretty much an article about their opponent(s)?

    If I read an article about Candidate A concerning Issue X, isn't that article likely to mention Candidate B's stance on Issue X as well?

    What if one candidate simply had more reportable news?

    Simply having a greater number of stories written about you means absolutely nothing. If I'm a staunchly against Candidate A, it doesn't really matter how many stories I read about Candidate A's support of issues I disagree with... I'm still going to disagree with them. The Washington Post, I would say, has a fairly informed readership. There aren't many people that read it that are going to be making up their mind so close to an election.

  • by incripshin (580256) <markpeloquin@@@gmail...com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:42AM (#25702733) Homepage
    Yes, and we won't know anymore. If we went into the election with equal coverage, even if it meant giving the worse candidate more attention than he deserves, the right person will more likely rise to the top. The whole idea that liberal media is just a sign of the times is nuts. Balance it out, let the people decide what to believe.
  • by tripdizzle (1386273) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:43AM (#25702747)
    the sky is blue and water is wet.
  • Re:... and? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jgtg32a (1173373) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:43AM (#25702749)
    Because the definition of "Nerd" has changed to somehow include the "Starbucks Mac Writers"
  • by stranger_to_himself (1132241) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:43AM (#25702751) Journal

    The Post was deficient in stories that reported more than the two candidates trading jabs; readers needed articles, going back to the primaries, comparing their positions with outside experts' views.

    That's not "a pretty large liberal bias".

    That is the Washington Post focusing on the easiest stories to "write". The ones that don't require any research. The ones that don't require any knowledge of the issues.

    Add to that - the ones people wanted to read

  • Insightful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WiglyWorm (1139035) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:46AM (#25702783) Homepage
    I'd say you've pretty much nailed it with that comment. A lot of the coverage of Obama was prompted by attacks that he was "pallin' around with terrorists" and whatnot. The press investigated, found that the concerns were baseless, and the result was what ammounts to a positive story for Obama. Then, of course, McCain keeps up the attacks and the press writes what ammounts to a negative story about how McCain is slinging mud on the campaign trail. It's not really that the press was biased (though I will give you that the media does tend to have a leftist tilt), so much as that they covered what was happening on the election trail. How was anyone supposed to spin the facts as a positive story for McCain? Obama, on the other hand, didn't give the press much chance to cover McCain. His attacks were far fewer, and according to most fact checkers nearly every one of them had merit.
  • by SpinyNorman (33776) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:46AM (#25702785)

    One of the candidates (Obama) was a lot more newsworthy than the other, and the news coming out of both campaigns was decidedly different. You can't blame the press if MacCain campaign was all about a self-described "pitbull with lipstick" "hockey mom" with a $150K campaign wardrobe, a secessionist husband, and foreign policy experience that consisted of a geographical proximity to Russia. It's not the press making it up when McCain in rapid succession says he knows nothing about the economy, asserts that it is fundamentally sound, then suspends his campaign because he's so important in rescuing it (only to sit there silent in the meeting then return to his campaign). The press didn't make this stuff up - even the $150K clothes was somthing that was emphasized by disgruntled McCain insiders. The whole McCain campaign was about negativity - trying to shoot Obama down - while Obama's was much more positive - about change and hope and the future. You can't blame the press for reflecting the tone of the campaigns or reporting on their self-generated news (Joe the non-business-purchasing, non-plumber was even on the campaign trail with McCain), nor can you blame them for runnning more stories on the more newsworthy candidate. The press should be reporting on the news - they're not meant to be suppressing the differences and reporting both in equal column inches and in equally glowing terms ("Will Ameria elect historic first septuagenarian as president?", "Hitler sees bright future for germany!").

  • by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage@prae[ ]tator.com ['can' in gap]> on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:46AM (#25702789) Homepage

    ..."Reality has a strong liberal bias."

    My take on this is that Obama's candidacy and success were in fact more newsworthy than McCain's. Obama changed the game in a lot of ways, both in terms of who he is and how he ran. McCain was more of a known quantity to begin with, and ran a fairly ordinary race. In fact, the most remarkable thing about McCain's campaign (apart from the stunt-casting VP pick, which generated plenty of news)was that it was so painfully typical, where McCain used to do things more his own way.

    In short, if McCain had made more news, he might have gotten more headlines. Instead, he was mostly yesterday's news.

  • Duh! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WCMI92 (592436) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:47AM (#25702795) Homepage

    This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Indeed, journalism is dead. The only difference between the "mainstream media" and conservative talk radio is that the radio people are more honest, as in they admit that what they are doing is opinion, and state plainly their stances whilst the old media pretends to be "unbiased".

    BTW, could it be that people are waking up to this have something to do with ALL the major newspapers losing circulation rapidly, and the Big 3 networks also continuing to lose viewers? Fox News is #1 not because they are any less biased, but because they ALONE in major media gives voice to the other side.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrNaz (730548) * on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:48AM (#25702801) Homepage

    Not only that, perhaps we can now realize that exercising free speech actually *does* have consequences and hence cannot be treated as an inert exercise of one's freedom.

    Perhaps as a civilization this sort of thing may help us grow up and realize that the right of free speech comes with the duty to exercise it responsibly. More generally, all rights come with a corresponding duty.

    The question is, however, do we as a people have the collective intelligence and insight to pick up the socio-political subtleties of this sort of thing?

  • Re:No surprise (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Kokuyo (549451) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:49AM (#25702819) Journal

    Why was this marked Troll? I find it a very valid statement.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:50AM (#25702827)

    I think the point of this story is that Obama won because the press favored him. Personally, I feel that the election was close enough that it could have gone the other way had the media been fair.

    Here's a personal account of an election worker in Iowa dealing with voter "purges":
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/10/precinct_elections_official/ [theregister.co.uk]

    Do not start talking about "fair" without also addressing those purges.

    And from TFA:

    The number of Obama stories since Nov. 11 was 946, compared with McCain's 786.

    So you're talking about a difference of 160 stories. Over almost a year. Let's just call it a year. That means we're talking about a difference of less than 1 story every two days.

    Meanwhile, McCain's 786 stories equates to just over 2 stories every day for a year.

    Compared to Obama's 946 which equates to ... just over 2 stories every day for a year.

    But every THIRD day, Obama would get THREE stories and McCain would only get TWO stories.

    Yeah, and you're going to complain about the press "favored" Obama?

  • by brokeninside (34168) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:53AM (#25702857)
    Sure, you can survey the number of times this candidate was mentioned in a positive or negative light and give an `objective' metric to compare to other candidates. The problem is that such a methodology ignores whether or not a candidate deserves those positive or negative mentions. To take extreme cases, consider either Alaska's Ted Stevens or Louisiana's William Jefferson. One would claim that if media coverage of these two men wasn't disproportionately negative that this would show bias. Sometimes a candidate is deserving of being attacked (or lauded) more frequently than his or her opponent.
  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hardhead_7 (987030) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:54AM (#25702867)
    First, in my experience only MSNBC has a liberal bias. Second, so? Obama was hitting themes that struck a chord with Americans. People want healthcare, and responsible end to the war in Iraq, etc. McCain/Palin, on the other hand, basically accused him of being a terrorist. If there's more positive going on with Obama, there will be more positive stories. That's not bias, that's just basic common sense. What I thought was stupid were the ridiculous "false equivalence" stories where they'd critize both candidates for "going negative" when Obama was talking about the fact that McCain would tax healthcare (ie, telling the truth) and McCain was accusing him of palling around with terrorists (ie, a lie).
  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Five Bucks! (769277) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:54AM (#25702869)

    Compare the CNN to the CBC in Canada and you'd swear Canada is a quasi-Socialist country!

    The CNN only 'appears' to be left-biased because the rest of the media is actually right-biased. In my eye, the CNN is quite centrist.

    I don't think there really is a media outlet with a left-bias in the US... But I'm speaking as a Canadian with only a passing interest in American politics.

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:56AM (#25702891) Journal

    While listening to NPR, I was struck by how one-sided the coverage was. The pinnacle of the disparity had to be when, during a segment on McCain, barely mentioned McCain's but they stated Obama's positions in detail.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:56AM (#25702893) Homepage Journal

    Meh.

    You often hear hard-right folks complaining about liberal media bias. And I also often hear hard-left folks whining about the media's conservative bias.

    Here's the reality: the media is fairly centrist, vaguely center-left. Obama isn't a hard-left liberal. He's pretty much center-left. Most voters are vaguely center-right, with a significant center-left contingent. The folks that complain the loudest are usually either hard-left, hard-right or some minority political position.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bigpaperbag (1105581) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:57AM (#25702899)
    Yes, the rest of the world is different than America, congrats on redundantly pointing that out.

    A story about an American newspaper, dealing with American politics, and an American scale of liberal/conservative bias has nothing to do with the rest of the world.  I don't understand why people keep pointing out that what we consider liberal isn't to them.  That's fantastic, totally off topic, but fantastic.  There are probably many differences between Europe and America, and while that is just jolly, it's not relevant.
  • by dreemernj (859414) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:57AM (#25702903) Homepage Journal
    At least this election the people went for someone with a more wholesome family background.  It might be a step in the right direction.
  • by originalhack (142366) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:57AM (#25702911)
    I agree with Bill Maher. Not every story has two sides. We don't expect every negative story about axe murderers to be balanced by a positive story about axe murderers.

    Why, then, are we expecting that the bizarre campaign of a man who is a shadow of who he was running with an uninformed hatemonger and which wants to continue

    • the massive shift of economic benefits to the super-rich,
    • corrupt government with the further invasion of government-sponsored religion into our personal lives,
    • and cowboy diplomacy

    would get as much positive press as a smooth campaign by two qualified candidates running on a platform of

    • equitable economic policy,
    • ethical government that leaves people free to make their own religious choices
    • the return of the USA to the community of nations

    Sometimes the reason the story is positive is because the subject is positive.

  • Re:Insightful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aug24 (38229) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:58AM (#25702925) Homepage

    In other words there were more positive stories on Obama because there was more positive stuff to say about him.

    Yeah, that makes sense. Hopefully tallies with him winning too ;-)

    Justin.
    A Brit.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jmyers (208878) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:58AM (#25702929)

    I think what makes Fox "fair and balanced" is that for the most part the commentators announce their bias. That way you can take what they say with a grain of salt. I personally think this is a much more honest way to present political news.

    The other networks, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc, do not make the political views of the commentators known. For the most part it is known or implied, but not announced. So uninformed viewers that only pay attention during the election cycle think they are seeing "unbiased reporting".

    I don't think there is such a thing as unbiased reporting. Any intelligent person is going to be biased, i.e. have an opinion. If someone is truly not biased then it just means to me they are not very bright.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Atheose (932144) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:59AM (#25702939)

    But I'm speaking as a Canadian with only a passing interest in American politics.

    Exactly. Yes, we all know that America is less liberal/extreme as the rest of the world. But when solely discussing the American media, it is more liberal than otherwise. CNN isn't as bad as MSNBC, but it's still pretty biased. Fox News does sort of balance it out by being more extreme in the opposite direction though.

  • by Targon (17348) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:59AM (#25702953)

    If you have watched the campaigns of both McCain and Obama, there is also a clear difference in what has been said on both sides. It was even more clear for the month leading up to the election.

    The Obama campaign has spent the most time saying what Barack Obama felt were the solutions to the problems, and talking about the problems out there. There was very little McCain/Palin bashing from the campaign. It may have been the press coverage, but I didn't see the Obama camp really stirring up anti-McCain feelings with fairly few advertisements saying why people should not vote for McCain.

    On the other hand, EVERY rally that McCain and Palin were at showed no solutions, just reasons why they said not to vote for Obama. This shows why McCain lost, because he didn't show he was focused on why people should vote for him.

    So, in the press, why should they cover, "Republican candidate bashes Obama but says nothing about how to deal with the issues" day in and day out? If McCain was more presidential BEFORE his concession speech, he would have done better.

    Also, when a candidate ONLY focuses on his/her "base", it makes anyone not in that group feel that there is no reason to support that person. If people in the press have a normal bias toward a more moderate to liberal candidate, then those who are focused on ONLY targeting the conservative people, it just makes for there being no real news if that conservative candidate doesn't say anything new.

    Did McCain EVER talk about having real solutions, or just how people should be afraid of having Obama as president?

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:01AM (#25702963) Journal

    I voted McCain; I was (and am) a fan of the pork-barrel spending cuts he wanted to implement

    So what are you going to do to solve the other 98% of the Federal budget deficit after you get rid of earmarks? And what's pork? Most Americans would view stuff that their own Congressman brings home as "economic development" and stuff that the other 434 bring home as "pork". Might it just be that some earmarks actually serve a valid purpose and that purpose is lost somewhere in all the discussion about the abuse and excess?

  • That's possible. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:01AM (#25702965)

    But the reactions here (on Slashdot) to articles about the candidates various technological positions did seem to do fairly well from a "number of comments" point of view.

    I'd say that this is more a matter of the same phenomena that we see in every election now. The "pundits" talk about whatever is easiest for them to talk about. And they're words get coverage because it's easier for the "reporters" to just regurgitate whatever they've heard.

    So, rather than research a subject and ask INFORMED questions of the candidates THEMSELVES we get the topic de jour from the pundits, then echoed by the reporters, then echoed by other reporters and then echoed by other pundits. Since all of the pundits and reporters are talking about it, it MUST be an important issue, right?

    I think that is why we saw so many websites pop up this election that did independent fact-checking of the candidates' public statements.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Artraze (600366) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:02AM (#25702985)

    > Really? To the rest of the world (or at least western Europe), even 'left wing' American newspapers appear hilariously conservative.

    That would probably be because the USA is considerably more conservative than the rest of the world (well, primarily Europe). As a result, what passes for 'liberal' here is likely merely 'not as conservative' there.

    But what's your point? The article is not about idealogical bias so much as it is about political bias. Related, yes, but free from the notion that centrism is the same as unbiased. What TFA is saying is that their stories tended to be biased in favor of Democrats. In the states, that is akin to saying "liberal bias", which they use instead because it flows better.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:03AM (#25702995)

    I see you totally missed the point.

    do we as a people have the collective intelligence and insight to pick up the socio-political subtleties

    Count one in the "no" column...

  • by EmperorKagato (689705) <sakamura@gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:03AM (#25703003) Homepage Journal
    Being apologetic is not a sign of cowardice. It is actually a sign of great courage that many leaders have the skill to do so.
  • Re:I wouldn't know (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cabjf (710106) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:06AM (#25703051)
    So you got rid of the TV and the newspaper but kept the internet, the worst of the three?
  • Re:yah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Goffee71 (628501) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:06AM (#25703063) Homepage
    So, to summarize, the world is interested in a youngish, articulate man and some woman in a tight skirt - but doesn't care about some old fart! Sounds like everyone, everywhere to me.
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:07AM (#25703073) Journal

    I thought the purpose of the media was to inform the reader/viewer with facts and let them make the judgement call. When has it become the media's job to tell us what is bad or right with the world? How about a just the facts, you report and we decide approach? Maybe an occasional connect the dots or something if the issues is overly complex.

  • Ever thought... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mdm-adph (1030332) <mdmadph@@@gmail...com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:07AM (#25703077) Homepage

    ...that maybe there were more favorable articles about him because he's actually a better person...?

    Naw... can't be that. Must be media bias.

    I love this line: "The Post did nothing on Obama's acknowledged drug use as a teenager."

    Maybe because we're finally getting away from considering a person's past drug use as a delimiter of what kind of person they are?

    The past two presidents before Obama have been admitted drug users, and they still got voted in.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde@@@gmail...com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:10AM (#25703101) Journal

    Except they didn't...

    Even in their own countries people opposed those dictators. Some didn't even know (their own fault in part I admit) the extent of the evil those men did. Most people were bystanders, who might have done something, but choose to stand aside because they didn't want to have their families hurt.

    And seriously, how is four men, from four countries, "most of the world"? A large part of the rest of the world fought against them you know?

    Not to count how the heck you can justify such a statement and how it relates to modern European and worldwide sensibilities, when most European countries are social-democrats, when those countries that lived under such monsters are now stable democracies (Russia excluded). Maybe you should pay more attention to what goes on in the world now, instead of wearing your post-WW2 rose-tinted Made in USA glasses (hint: they're Made in China now).

  • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Atheose (932144) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:10AM (#25703105)
    Again, I didn't vote for Obama. Geez, you can't make one neutral comment on Slashdot without people from either side jumping all over you with assumptions and condemnation. Heaven forbid I like both candidates for different reasons!
  • Re:That's nothing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:12AM (#25703143)
    It wasn't so much that McCain sucked, it was that McCain was BORING. Here was a long-time known political player, running in an unpopular party with an unpopular leader, with a message that seemed to be an echo of the same old Republican Party platform that has governed the country for most of the last 8 years. Then here comes Obama--a fresh, young, handsome guy with a message of change; drawing HUGE crowds at his rallies, inspiring worldwide excitement, defeating a CLINTON in the primaries, and having the historic distinction of being a black guy with a serious chance at winning the Presidency (actually half-black/half-white, which was even MORE interesting). How could the press resist THAT?
  • by Targon (17348) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:13AM (#25703151)

    One of the things that I find interesting is that Obama is really an African-American. He is not linked in any way to black slavery. His father comes from Africa, not from the USA. This is why he does not come across as "an angry black man".

    Previous "black" candidates in this country have always had the upbringing that showed that African-American people have had to fight to get to where they are today, and it has affected their perspectives. Some(not all, maybe not even most) have run as a black candidate as their reason to run for public office, rather than as a good or great candidate who happened to be black. This difference in self image and upbringing is HUGE. Those who always have it in the back of their mind that they have to overcome race to do well will always have a different perspective on things.

    I agree that many issues brought up during the election were a side-show to divert attention from the main issues, and these diversionary tactics did NOT start just because of the economy, but were there for months before the economy took center stage.

  • Re:That's nothing (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:13AM (#25703153)

    It's really not their fault if one of the candidates sucks. It's not the media's job to make a candidate's argument for them.

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:13AM (#25703159) Homepage Journal

    The young, photogenic, would-be first black President gets more attention than the puffy old white guy? Say it ain't so, America, say it ain't so!

    Of course, this is also easily explained by the fact that reality has a liberal bias.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:13AM (#25703163)

    A story about an American newspaper, dealing with American politics, and an American scale of liberal/conservative bias has nothing to do with the rest of the world.

    i only wish that were true. the fact that you think it is only goes to highlight how ignorant some americans are about the ramifications of the behaviour of their government with regards to everyone else in the world. I'll clue you in. THEY'RE [wikipedia.org] MASSIVE [wikipedia.org]. And the behaviour of your government can only be influenced by the will of the american populace - so your attitudes as reflected through your media are of great interest to everyone else in the world.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:14AM (#25703165)

    I find it comical anyone could deny bias occored, and when proven wrong its then justified by claiming Obama was more positive.

    The point is being missed here: when the press is in the tank for a candidate and is not fair and balanced, everyone loses.

    anyone claiming it didn't happen are shooting yourselves in the foot by justifying what happened with the press, because at the end of the day the press will turn on Obama, it always does to the standing president, and when they do its going to be comical watching everyone freak out at the "unfairness". i'll be the guy with the popcorn laughing...

  • Re:Duh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by darkstarx420 (1220470) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:15AM (#25703185)
    Exactly, the thing is that the newspaper's job is to report the truth, and in this case the truth was that McCain lied a lot during the campaign. If Obama had made ads accusing McCain of wanting to re-institute the draft, or cancel all Social Security payments in the next year, the press would have called him out too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:16AM (#25703201)

    3 stories vs 2 every 2 days is pretty significant to me. In fact you made it sound worse than I thought it was not better.

    Especially considering all the stories probably don't hit evenly like you say. Meaning in one day it could be something like 21 stories to 14.

    And your seriously going to bring up "purges". Ok then I'll bring up the black panther poll watchers in phily. That happens on both sides obviously.

    And I agree with the parent post it could have gone either way. The popular vote alone should show that.

    Obama wins and you still have the nerve to say republicans are rigging the election. Take your crazy liberal bias somewhere else.

  • by ricegf (1059658) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:16AM (#25703203) Journal

    You first.

    Actually, I hadn't read a single news story or even vanity post claiming that the 2008 election was stolen. I searched New Republic at your suggestion and finally located one solitary thread - as I write this, 13 replies asserted "scams" of some type, mostly ACORN related (only 1 person flatly said that the election was "stolen"); 16 asserted the voters just made a "bad" choice; 5 blamed the economy, McCain or the Republican party in general; and 17 were not directly related to the loss (including an oddly amusing short thread as to whether Texas such secede again).

    No, I don't think Republicans are responding to this election as Democrats did in 2004, for two reasons. First, no single state would have swung this election, as Ohio would have in 2004. And second, Republicans don't seem as whiny to me as Democrats, possibly because Democrats rely on others (usually the government) to solve problems, and Republicans (used to, at least) rely on individual initiative. Of course, that last observation might be slightly controversial... ;-)

  • Quality (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alomex (148003) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:20AM (#25703251) Homepage

    Obama makes a major speech on race, lauded by all sides, which is dully reported by the media. Did Obama dominate the headlines for a week round that, under a positive light? You betcha.

    McCain "rushes" to Washington, suspends his campaign and accomplishes exactly nothing, which is dully reported under a negative light? of course!

    This isn't media bias. It is candidates getting their just desserts.

    Media bias would be if McCain had given a historic speech, defining his candidacy away from Bush, Rove and the religious right and it didn't get reported. But that, my friends, never happened.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:20AM (#25703253) Journal

    Yeah, and you're going to complain about the press "favored" Obama?

    Even though it is what TFA does, you can't really just compare the raw numbers. One MSNBC commentator got a "chill up his leg" after hearing Obama speak. Obama went to Europe and every major news outlet sent high level reporters to follow him. McCain went to Iraq and Afghanistan and it was ignored.

    And it's not so much that Obama got better coverage. You have to also consider the negative coverage that was left out. Take the VP's for example. Sarah Palin, who has more executive experience than anyone on the ticket, was constantly labeled as "inexperienced". Meanwhile, you have Joe Biden, who can't keep his foot out of his mouth, will say something like "Three letters: J-O-B-S", tells a wheelchair bound man to stand up, says that Hillary would have been a better choice and it is barely reported. The Tony Rezko, William Ayers, and Public Allies stories were barely touched on while Palin's trooper trouble even got it's own "Gate" suffix. Then you had the whole "Fannie/Freddie" thing. The media never reported that John McCain cosponsored a bill [govtrack.us] that would have prevented it over two years ago. Here is a McCain quote from May 25, 2006 that the media did not report:

    If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

    If the press had reported this, the election would have been won by McCain. Instead, they bought into the line that the whole mess was Bush's fault even though Bush also supported the bill (Democrats blocked it).

    Even when Obama received negative coverage (Jeremiah Wright), it was only during the primaries. Once he received the nomination, all negative stories on Obama were labeled "old news", even though very few people pay attention to primaries and had ignored coverage up to that point.

    So, sorry, simply comparing the numbers is not at all the whole story. Actually look at what was reported, and more importantly, what was not.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:20AM (#25703259) Homepage Journal
    "This sort of stuff is about more than just my immediate bottom line."

    I'm just the opposite. My bottom line is the most important thing to me. Everything else in the world is secondary to me. Don't get me wrong, I would love the have the world all be sunshine and candy, but, that isn't reality. I'm happy if other people are happy, and the world is a happy place, but, not at my expense. Life is too short not to make sure my #1 concern is me and my situation. Once I'm safe....THEN, I'll worry about others.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timster (32400) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:21AM (#25703273)

    The guy who makes my sandwich at lunch for minimum wage works harder than I do. Maybe he didn't work as hard in school, or isn't as smart or whatever, but you know, somebody has to make the sandwiches. I personally appreciate the people who do that (or who take out the trash, mow the grass at the park, etc). I don't mind paying 4% higher taxes so that they can be taken care of when they get brain cancer or something.

    Conservatives need to get over this nonsense idea that rich business owners are the hardest-working members of society and the only ones who deserve all the perks. My salary is not determined entirely by how hard I work; a large part involves market forces outside my control. I'd be a moron to not realize that I'm at least a little bit lucky. This argument over who is working the hardest does not favor the wealthy.

  • by Dekortage (697532) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:21AM (#25703279) Homepage

    You say that the press supported Obama because he was going to win. I think the point of this story is that Obama won because the press favored him. Personally, I feel that the election was close enough that it could have gone the other way had the media been fair.

    FWIW: historically, when there is a serious economic downturn in an election year, the incumbent's party will lose. It does not matter if the incumbent is Democrat or Republican; voters often want change.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nschubach (922175) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:21AM (#25703289) Journal

    It's kind of like dealing with kids. They want candy, toys, and recess all day long. If you promise them that in exchange for work, they'll likely bite.

    Give a kid $5 and he'll go buy the most expensive thing he can buy with $5 instead of buying the $3 toy and putting the $2 away for when he gets sick or stops getting allowance.

    Obama was the cool Uncle who brought gifts. McCain was the evil Dad who made you go to your room.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:23AM (#25703307)

    Then I tried to think of cases in recent decades where world opinion differed significantly from the US media's dominant spin. I can't think of a single one.

    You mean other than the invasion of Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, rendition, the general role of the UN, stability in the middle east, climate change, an greenhouse gas reduction? Or do I need to farther back than five years?

    Have we allowed a self-appointed unregulated, unaccountable group of elites to take control of world opinion and thus overshadow the power of people and governments?

    Ah yes. That would be the Illuminati [wikipedia.org]. Best keep that one quiet.

    Then it dawned on me. Thanks to satellite TV, now the whole world can watch US TV news. They are influenced by media coverage just like US residents are.

    I know this may be shocking, but in the world beyond the US, people have more than just satellite recievers. They have actual cameras and transmitters.

    I've even heard that people who live there have 'opinions', and that these vary from region to region or even person to person.

    Suddenly, I'm no longer so sure that absolute freedom of the press is such a good idea any more.

    Thank you for playing. Now go study up on your John Locke [wikipedia.org].

    The press is not free because the current government allows it, but because representative government requires it. Without free speech and the free press, there are no other freedoms.

    People are not so dumb as you think.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:26AM (#25703349)

    Is there any surprise? The media (with the exception of Fox News) has always had a pretty large liberal bias.

    To be fair, reality has a known liberal bias.

    Seriously, though, what the fuck are you talking about, "liberal media?" That's just a bullshit talking point you're being spoon-fed by your winger radio guys. The media has a corporatist agenda, fuck this liberal shit. How seriously was the evidence examined before the Iraq War? There wasn't any examination. It was all fawning softball coverage. The media sat on all kinds of explosive reports that would have blown Bush out of the water. Why did they do that? Because management felt Republicans would be good for business. Karl Rove lobbied Jack Welch over at GE trying to persuade him it would be good to give favorable coverage to the Bushies. Welch's response was along the lines of "I don't see why NBC has to maintain this fiction of impartiality, they should be pulling their own weight and doing what's good for the company." And part of the company line is speaking no ill of the company.

    I'll tell you what, not all of that Obama coverage was positive. How much time was devoted to trying to gin up scandals for him? Remember, corporatist media. They're whores in it for the money. How many of them were telling us that the race was close, tightening, when all the insiders already knew there was no way McCain could win? Because horse races sell money. If McCain is up, they'll tear him down and boost Obama, then reverse course when McCain takes the lead. They want a frenzy of hype that will keep people watching.

    Repeat after me: it's all stage-managed bullshit.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:26AM (#25703353) Homepage Journal

    The other networks, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc, do not make the political views of the commentators known.

    Plenty of Fox commentators don't announce their political views (unsurprisingly, given apparently many of them are liberals who are paid to push a conservative agenda. The left has been using the term "Media Whore" for a while to describe these people, not just on Fox but on many of the other networks too, especially in the period from 1998-2003 where every news network was slanted so far to the right it's surprising the nation's TVs didn't topple over), and plenty of non-Fox commentators do. Some, like Chris Matthews, claim they're liberal (though spent the entire Clinton administration attacking him, voted for Bush, and supported Fred Thompson for President this time to a level many consider homo-erotic), others like Ken Olbermann and Phil Donahue have never made any secret of their liberalism.

    The real issue with Fox is that it doesn't try to be balanced. It has few commentators that attempt to find the truth and report it. It does, occasionally, have some very strong journalists - Shepard Smith would spring to mind, but as a network it plugs a right wing agenda, distorts the news by over-reporting anti-liberal reports and under-reporting anti-conservative or pro-liberal reports, and promotes divisiveness and hatred. One black panther dominated Fox on election day. Prior to that bogus claims of election fraud were levelled against an anti-poverty group, so successfully the right still thinks ACORN was the aggressor, not the victim, and many on the right think ACORN was actually submitting votes rather than registrations. Ashley Todd's story was reported when Fox believed it, and then virtually wiped off the network when it became clear it was a hoax. I'm really not finding any evidence any of the other networks acted that way.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:27AM (#25703369) Journal

    And seriously, how is four men, from four countries, "most of the world"?

    Re-read my post. I said:

    So? Much of the world supported either Hitler, Emperor Hirohito, Mussolini or Stalin. Does that mean they were right?

    If the whole world jumped off a cliff... Oh, never mind.

    Much != Most

    But, when you consider that three of the men were Axis leaders and the Allies were on the side of Stalin, that pretty much covers MOST of the world anyway. I would even say a "vast majority".

    But the whole point is, What is good for the rest of the world is not necessarily good for America. The "rest" of the world has been known to do some stupid stuff from time to time (not that America hasn't, just making a point).

  • Re:Duh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:31AM (#25703417)

    Yes, the public interprets reporting on negative issues as negative press, and hence perceives a bias in such reporting. The republicans wanted to see happy story after happy story of the McCain campaign, even as it was turning into a civil dispute within.

    Did they actually look at how the articles were written? In my experience, across the board, the media would report on mccain's attacks on obama, or mccain's responses to obama's attacks; it was VERY rarely the other way around until the ending days of the election race.

    The balance of 'experts' is also considerably skewed towards the far right, and they generally outnumber the 'experts' brought in from the center-left. Go back and do a count as to which 'experts' offered commentary on the national conventions, and how many of each were present. Then tell me that there is a 'liberal' bias in that reporting.

    The issue of bias is more complex then simply counting stories and assigning 'positive' or 'negative' labels to those stories. But I wouldn't expect the paper that has already admitted to writing shallow stories to actually turn around and dive down into this story.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hemorex (1013427) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:31AM (#25703433)

    Really? To the rest of the world (or at least western Europe)

    Amerocentrism bad, eurocentrism good!

  • Re:... and? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nschubach (922175) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:32AM (#25703439) Journal

    "Nerds" are not wholly unaffected by government. It's unfortunate, but true.

  • Re:No Surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:36AM (#25703521) Journal

    Vetting does not consist of "Obama! Obama! RAH! RAH! RAH!", which is what appears to have happened. The media was too busy cheerleading for Obama to actually vet him.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:40AM (#25703565)
    we in Italy love to say we have impartial press, having laws mandating equal time share on media between candidates, and fines to whom doesn't comply. Guess what? It's not the time, is the tone. It's not who get's coverage, it is who control the outcome of the press. Our "beloved" mr. President controls 75% of the press and 75% of the tv, using some spectrum illegaly (search it yourself - the history of Rete 4)

    and no I'm not making it up: 3 channels are owned by his son, while the public tv has given hope of being impartial and has been divided among major parties.

    It's thousands times better to have genuine biased press (in both ways) than to have our illusion of freedom in speech.
  • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nate B. (2907) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:40AM (#25703571) Homepage Journal

    This is a good example of how journalists should be providing
    a lot of useful information, so much so that there's enough
    real information there to allow the audience to make up their
    own mind and counteract whatever bias might be obvious in those
    presenting it.

    Exactly. Had the media been doing their constitutional duty rather than merely cheerleading the outcome during the primaries would have been decidedly different for both parties. For McCain the cheerleading had been going on since 2000 and for Obama since his convention speech in 2004. But since the media has gravitated toward large top-down government, these are the candidates they promote, and why there really was no choice between the major party candidates in this election.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:41AM (#25703585) Journal

    Number of stories is a pretty silly metric anyway. There was a great bit in a Jeffery Archer book (First Among Equals, I think) explaining how the press got around equal coverage laws to favour a particular candidate. If their opposition was not photogenic, they would use the column-inches for photos, not for text. If they said particularly silly things, they would use the space to report quotes.

    You can report an inane remark by Palin and an inspiring speech by Obama and get the same number of stories. You can report Obama's preacher saying 'God damn America!' and McCain talking about reducing corruption, and get the same number of stories. On a more subtle level, you can talk about Obama wanting universal healthcare in a publication with a primarily liberal readership, and it's a positive story, but run the same story in a publication with a libertarian readership and it's negative.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UltraAyla (828879) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:42AM (#25703599) Homepage

    I find it comical anyone could deny bias occurred, and when proven wrong its then justified by claiming Obama was more positive...The point is being missed here:...

    I find it comical that you actually missed the point. Whenever something like this happens, it's a great time to ask why the press would be biased like this. There are news outlets with known liberal biases (MSNBC) and conservative biases (Fox), but for the most part, they all fall somewhere around the center and try to keep it there. We should then ask - what causes a respected news outlet like the post to run more articles for one candidate - I don't think it was a conscious decision, especially with the relatively small margins of difference between them.

    I think GP hit it on the head. The newspapers will write articles that sell - one campaign's rhetoric was negative, and one was positive. In this campaign, positive was what sold. Why then, is it so surprising to hear that one news outlet featured him in more articles? It's not.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theaveng (1243528) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:42AM (#25703603)

    >>>realize that the right of free speech comes with the duty to exercise it responsibly.

    Translation: You can only say what "the authorities" allow you to say. In that case it's no longer FREE speech. It's slave speech (where your mouth is no longer your own, but is controlled by somebody else). Anybody who attempts to take away my right to say or print whatever I feel like saying will answer for it to the fullest measure. "From time to time the Tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Founder of the Democratic Party, Thomas Jefferson.

    If you want balance, you do it through freedom and liberty, not control. If the Washington Post prints Obama-loving articles, than you counterbalance that with your own paper which prints McCain-loving articles. You then leave it to the People to decide, for themselves, where the truth lies. Not some authoritarian censor.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by postbigbang (761081) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:44AM (#25703643)

    Perhaps it *was* responsible. Perhaps Obama's ideas had traction. Perhaps the WP, along with other papers, saw through a bankrupt agenda led by the assasination tactics of the lowest rated presidential administration in US history.

    I know, did Obama 'deserve' the extra ink, better placement, and so on? The WP is but one of many papers. Where I live, the papers treated him not deferentially, but boorishly. McCain's real estate was prime, and Obama's was back-page with junior writers making stunningly silly assertions.

    That there is bias is no surprise. We are a biased people. "Responsible speech" means agreeing with your stance. Nothing more.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:1, Insightful)

    by EastCoastSurfer (310758) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:49AM (#25703723)

    And I have a hard time calling it socialism to ask people who make more than $250,000 to pay 3% more tax so they can temporarily help out struggling people and get our economy back on track.

    Okay, so it starts at 250k and then when that isn't enough it moves down to 200k then 150k and...wait there is no one left to pay because everyone is just living on the government. The problem with many of these social programs is that they aren't temporary. We have created entire cultures and generations of people who live off the government. Do we want to put even more people on the gov. dole?

    Those who have, have an obligation to help those who do not.

    WHY? There is a spot on the bottom of every tax form where you can send in more taxes if you want. You can also give to charities, etc... If you think that you have an obligation to give to help those who need it, feel free to cut bigger tax checks to the government. They will happily take it. Don't force me to pay anymore than I already am.

    The funny thing here is that people talk about the wealth as people who don't spend money. The wealthy spend a ton of money. They buy stuff which in turn transfers money to people selling stuff. The problem is that you have to be working to earn money, and clearly this is something many people are tired of doing.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Seakip18 (1106315) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:49AM (#25703725) Journal

    What? Are saying that it might be possible that a guy who voted for Obama isn't that much different than another guy who voted for McCain?!?! I'm shocked I dare say. This is us vs. them...

    It's actually sad how the even the more tempered left/right will buy into the idea that your opponent has some fatal flaw or deficiency that keeps them from ever being better. I mean, heartland American is gonna be different than your LA or NYC guy, but are we really all that different in what our core needs/wants are?

  • Re:That's nothing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gad_zuki! (70830) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:50AM (#25703739)

    Exactly. Its also worth a mention that McCain got a big pass on the Keating 5 scandal on the 80s and his sudden move towards anti-abortion right when he started running for president. McCain also didnt take any big foreign trips and didnt command an audience of over 100k. Towards the end he was having a hard time filling small venues.

    Its also worth mentioning that his pick of Sarah Palin guaranteed the attention would be on her instead of him. Id like to see this study expand to cover her also.

    Lastly, Im so sick of the "liberal media" canard. Lots of conservative politicans get a pass from the media. Bush started a war with Iraq because of false connections between Saddam and 9/11 and WMDs. Its only recently that the press has stood up to this, 5 years late.

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:51AM (#25703749)

    Suddenly, I'm no longer so sure that absolute freedom of the press is such a good idea any more.

    We need to pass some laws regarding news media ownership and operation:
    1. No business doing business with the United States is allowed to own any media outlet. GE couldn't own NBC, for example.
    2. Restore the old telecom rules that made national players like Clear Channel illegal.
    3. No owning more than one outlet per media type in a single market. You may have one TV station, one radio station, one newspaper, not a dozen of each.
    4. Expand public broadcasting and remove all political oversight.

    Something I've been arguing for a while now is that our mass-marketing culture is a slow-rot poison eating away at our souls. The Bangladeshi micro-lending guy, Muhammad_Yunus [wikipedia.org] feels the same way. He's a big proponent of social businesses, you can think of them as "for-profit charities" designed to be self-sustaining, reinvesting profits into the social work they are performing. He argued for a bit of culture-jamming on their part, putting out positive propaganda for positive living. Of course, the first reaction is "I don't want to be propagandized by anyone" and the response is "You're already being propagandized by the for-profits."

    I was raised in a Christian household and I'm sick of hearing about the evils of Hollywood this, the evils of rock and roll that, DC being a pit of slime because people haven't accepted Jesus into their hearts. "We need a moral code, one based on Judeo-christian ethics! How can you live apart from God?" Makes me want to vomit. But this doesn't mean they don't have a point. They are defining a real problem, just coming up with the wrong solution, kind of like how a rabble-rouser will do a good job of accurately describing how awful the economy is and then inaccurately defines the root of those problems as the Jew. We do lack a moral basis and standards in this country. I'm 100% for sex in or out of marriage with whoever you want, as long as you're adults and consent, who cares? But our culture twists sex into things it shouldn't be, fashioning reins tipped with sharp hooks to plunge into our libidos and jerk us this way and that at the whims of the market. It poisons our understanding of and expectations for sex, human relationships, the very way we valuate what should be most dear to us. We're sexualizing the kids these days, little girls running around with "come molest me" togs. We're telling them they have to fit preconceived and narrowly-defined body types, the sum of your worth is defined by what you consume, roll that clip from Fight Club, etc.

    I reject the notion that religion is needed as the basis of sound system of morals and ethics. The whole moral relativism argument about us having sex with children and box turtles if we don't have the bible is bunk. I will borrow just two religious axioms: (1) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and (2) And it harm none, do what thou wilt. You will not be able to present a problem that cannot be resolved by going back to those two rules. But I think I've kind of drifted away from the original point here. :)

  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theaveng (1243528) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:51AM (#25703765)

    I think we should let the free market provide "balance". If the Washington Post prints Obama-loving articles, than you counterbalance that with your own paper which prints McCain-loving articles. You then leave it to the People to decide, for themselves, where the truth lies. Not some authoritarian censor.

    As for television, I've found all the outlets to be socialist biased (they assume only government can provide a solution). I have yet to find any television channels that espouses using the People, exercising their own freedom of choice, as a solution to problems (a bottom-up solution).

  • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:54AM (#25703825)

    Funny, I was about to respond to the parent by saying that some people mistakenly think Godwin's law is an actual law. But you kindly demonstrated for me.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by johnlcallaway (165670) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:55AM (#25703837)
    Evidently, only 3% more than half the people want healthcare, ending the war, etc. I would hardly call the election a vote of confidence for Obama, more like a few more people than last time voted Democrat.

    And you mean the truth about where the tax increase would start? Or the truth about accepting public campaign finances??

    There was enough dirty politics, misrepresenting the facts and half truths to go around, neither candidate can claim the high ground. I distinctly remember when I was pleased they were both behaving, and then noticed Obama going negative first.

    Probably just a matter of which candidate you were for.

    Now Obama wants everyone to work together. If only he had started that mantra with his own party when he got elected to the senate, maybe he would have more credibility. His definition of 'working together' appears to be 'doing it my way'.
  • That's funny, (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ilikebees (1382425) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:00AM (#25703915)
    'cause so did I.
  • Re:No surprise (Score:1, Insightful)

    by theaveng (1243528) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:01AM (#25703931)

    >>>To the rest of the world (or at least western Europe), even 'left wing' American newspapers appear hilariously conservative.

    That's because Western Europeans gave-up their freedoms a long time ago. When you're being taxed at ~60% rate (working not for yourself, but for government from January to July), you are not allowed to own guns for self-defense from murderers, cannot print your own newspaper/blog without government harassment, et cetera..... well, you're no longer living in liberty.

    I know this message will likely be down-modded, but I have to state what I see from the other side of the ocean. I see 1984. I see the language of freedom coming from European politicians, but the reality in which the People live is the opposite. Double-speak.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HungryHobo (1314109) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:02AM (#25703959)

    although by the standards of much of europe almost all american news stations are right wing.

  • You're overlooking one critical aspect of responsibility: it's not an external decision imposed on you. It's an internal decision you impose on yourself.

    Yes, the First Amendment gives you the right to say almost anything you care to. Falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is an example of something the First Amendment does not give you the right to do. The example of the Westboro Baptist Church, on the other hand, is something that is protected under First Amendment rights.

    Where does responsibility meet the First Amendment? In the first case, by not spreading false and potentially harmful information. In the second case... there's no act of responsibility behind that particular organization's communications.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theaveng (1243528) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:06AM (#25704027)

    >>>Had the media been doing their constitutional duty...

    I cannot lay my hand on any part of the U.S. (or States') Constitution that says, if I owned a tv studio, I have a duty to report the truth. All it says is: "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." In other words I can say whatever I feel like saying using my tv studio. Or my newspaper. Or my blog.

    If you don't like what I'm saying, then get yourself a tv studio, newspaper, or blog to say the opposite of what I said.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by penguin_dance (536599) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:17AM (#25704247)

    First, in my experience only MSNBC has a liberal bias. Second, so? Obama was hitting themes that struck a chord with Americans.

    No, that's just wrong. Journalists are there to report, not support. (catchy, huh ;-)

    "Journalists love the new..."

    No, journalists love the Democrat [mediaresearch.org]! Around 81% of journalists vote Democrat. Sarah Palin was also new and all most journalists wanted to do was trash her, even to the point of annoying some democrat women who clearly saw the sexism of those covering the campaign.

    While one cannot rule out all bias, today's media hardly tries! They are supposed to REPORT news, not put their spin or commentary in a news story. Basically a lot of jouranists are producing propaganda, not news. But today's journalist (and my degree is in journalism) sees their role as changing the world rather than observing it.

    Now some in the media are starting to backpedal. Tom Brokaw apparently said on Charlie Rose Show that "We don't know anything about Barack Obama." Well you had a good year and a half to find out and dozens of reporters who could have been assigned! I don't think they WANTED to know. They didn't want to dig too deep and possibly find something that might bring Obama down. Now they want to cover their ass in case something does come out.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:22AM (#25704317)

    Perhaps they had less positive stories about McCain, because there WERE less positive stories. Just because there is a story about one thing does not mean that there must be a story about another thing.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:22AM (#25704323)
    Does this mean that if Hitler stood as president you would have to have a fair proportion of press articles supporting anti-Semitism?
  • by Tacubaruba (553520) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:25AM (#25704369)
    If the Democrats had nominated an old guy who'd been around forever and the Republicans had nominated someone fresh and dynamic whose candidacy was historic, the coverage disparity would have been the other way around. It's a mistake to say this is evidence of media liberal bias. Obama was simply more newsworthy and interesting.
  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tfoss (203340) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:28AM (#25704431)

    My biggest beef with the NY Times is that, particularly since Obama was elected, it's been piece after piece about the 'barrier-breaking' historical significance of the event;

    I think that is likely because it was a historically significant, barrier-breaking event. I don't disagree that the # of articles saying such has become overwhelming, but that is hardly unexpected.

    the guy has gotten a big pass on making substantive policy statements just because he's such a 'game-changer.'

    I kept seeing this all the time during the campaign, and it made no sense then either. His website has a very long list on its issues [barackobama.com] page, each with links to more detailed policy positions. There *is* a wealth of information out there on his policy preferences and stances. He certainly does not stand up and read such policy papers...because that would be *boring*. However, they exist, and in more detail than the 90% of voters care about (shit, I clicked on a random issue..."rural" and got a 13 page policy paper).

    Additionally, it is pretty traditional that a president-elect not encroach too much on the current president's arena, the whole "There is only one president" construct. Lame duck though he may be, Bush is still the only one who gets to fulfill presidential duties for another couple months.

    but I think we let him skate by, particularly in the debates, with a lot of vague promises.

    That is no different than the treatment McCain got (ie his proclamation that he would balance the federal budget in 4 years followed by no actual discussion or questioning of what combination of spending cuts or revenue increases could produce such an situation) Debates have turned into pablum (for the leading candidate) and sound-bite attacks (for the trailing candidate), and the actual information content is just a dribble.

    I'll celebrate him being a game-changer once the game has actually changed.

    Well that's the point of those congratulatory articles...election of a black man has changed the game on one level. You can now tell little black boys (but not white or black girls, or homosexual, or native american, or etc etc) that they could grow up to be president and have it be more than theoretical fantasy. That is a major change for the country. Will Obama be successful as a president? Will he be able to improve governance? As you point out, that still remains to be seen.

    -Ted

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Danse (1026) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:30AM (#25704465)

    A lot of negative ads run against McCain/Obama were not directly from McCain/Obama but supporters of McCain/Obama.

    Even if you only look at the ads sponsored by the campaigns themselves, at least for the last few weeks or so, every ad run directly by the McCain campaign was negative, while Obama was something like 60-40 neg/pos IIRC. The main difference I saw was that McCain's negative ads were largely character attacks, while Obama's negative ads focused more on issues. I think people were more concerned with issues this time around, and the fact that McCain's ads didn't really address issues as much probably hurt him.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Danse (1026) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:35AM (#25704585)

    Funny, I find MSNBC less biased than CNN. Perhaps conservatives and liberals perceive bias differently :-) But the slant I noticed on CNN was elegant and subtle. Not only were they unlikely to run a positive story on McCain, but if they did then all other stories on the main page would be negative. If the biz section had a downbeat story on the economy, then the political section would have a McCain story. If the Science section told of some breakthrough, they would run an Obama story in National or Politics. Stories also ran for very arbitrary periods of time... negative stories could stay on the page for weeks unchanged. Positive stories lasted half a day to two days. I think there was an intentional effort on CNN's part to paint the public mood as gloomy as possible, which helped Obama.

    Also although I agree that Obama's message did strike a chord and McCain's messages were largely negative, in all fairness McCain had lots of positive messages but they were flatly refused to be reported. The new outlets only mentioned his negative stuff. Obama had *lots* of attacks on McCain but he was getting a lot more coverage so it didnt appear as if thats all he was saying.

    Those are some rather bold claims that suggest some sort of serious manipulation on a pretty grand scale. I think you're going to have to provide some support for those if they're to be considered even remotely plausible.

    McCain (and especially Palin when she joined up) spent most of the time hurling personal attacks at Obama. Those got reported widely. McCain's discussions of issues got reported as well, just as Obama's did, but there wasn't a whole lot to report on since both of them had rather vague plans. So the press would focus on the conflict. What McCain said about Obama's plans, and vice versa. I don't see anything sinister in that.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by crmarvin42 (652893) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:35AM (#25704593)
    I take umbrage with the implication that McCain/Palin simply campained on the idea that Obama was a terrorist. I voted for McCain because of the solutions he put forward, not the connections between the Pres-elect and some domestic terrorist I'd never heard of before.

    If you can't name any of the positive solutions McCain proposed then that's either because you never gave his candidacy a fair shake (for what ever reason), or you were never exposed to them because the media did such a piss poor job telling you what they were while they were creaming their jeans over Obama.
  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by edmicman (830206) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:40AM (#25704689) Homepage Journal
    What relevance does drug use in a person's youth have to do with their competence and worth now as an adult? You're electing a human being, not Jesus Christ. Who hasn't done something stupid or tried illegal things as a kid? What's important is that you learn from your past, and become a worthwhile member of society. In that, I *do* disregard past drug use.
  • by russotto (537200) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:42AM (#25704731) Journal

    You're overlooking one critical aspect of responsibility: it's not an external decision imposed on you. It's an internal decision you impose on yourself.

    Actually, it's not. To be responsible for something is precisely to be answerable for it.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:44AM (#25704777) Homepage Journal

    And by North Korea standards every news station in the world is extremely liberal. It's all about perspective. Why do people keep dragging out this rhetoric. This is American politics and American mainstream media. Everyone knows by now how right wing the politics are compared to Europe. Does that really mean anything?

  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by H0p313ss (811249) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:44AM (#25704779)

    I'm sure most people don't know what the Bush Doctrine [youtube.com], read a paper [youtube.com], or could name a supreme court decision they agreed with [youtube.com], or have any clue about international relations [youtube.com].

    Most people are not running for office. Most people can't handle double entry book-keeping either, but they're not accountants. When I hire someone to develop software I expect a certain amount of professional knowledge, why would you expect less of a President or Vice-President?

  • by misanthrope101 (253915) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:46AM (#25704843)
    1. Everyone is biased
    2. Therefore, those who work in the media are biased
    3. Sometimes it's impossible to report objective reality when two people don't do equally as well
      1. When Obama has a rally and 20,000 show up, and McCain has a rally on the same day in the same city, and 2,000 show up, there is no way to report that factually without revealing that McCain's campaign has an enthusiasm deficit
      2. When Palin repeatedly say things that are demonstrably false, such as "I campaigned against the bridge to nowhere," or "I said no to earmarks," the press has a responsibility to point out the falsehoods. Same applies to falsehoods and distortions from Obama's campaign, but if Palin's are more frequent and easier to spot, you can't blame reality
    4. The press is supposed to report things as they happened (as best they can), not make sure every story is even-handed. If McCain forgot where he was today and they report that, well, it's reality. If Obama is insanely popular and a good speaker, well, then that's reality.
    5. If the Republicans had won, would they be whining about the media? Grow up. The entire media isn't going to be Fox News.
  • by dtmancom (925636) <gordon2 AT dtman DOT com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:48AM (#25704861) Homepage
    I opened this thread expecting one thing: to see a bunch of replies saying, in a nutshell, "It isn't biased if it is true." Pretty much what I am seeing here. Obama is the most unvetted President in recent history, and you all know it. The media didn't investigate because they didn't want to. We all know, however, how much Palin spent on clothes and that a plumber in Toledo doesn't have a license.
  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:49AM (#25704879)

    Hehe, maybe that's why the major media outlets loved him? He gave them a ton of money in advertisement.

    That's not a joke, that's quite accurate. Have you ever noticed the full page video game ads in the same publications that give those games a 9.6 or so? Major advertisers can exert a lot of influence.

    McCain stayed within public financing limits. Obama exceeded them.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlackSnake112 (912158) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:51AM (#25704919)

    See how long the secret union vote stays in effect. The union want that gone. If the secret vote is gone, the union leaders will know which people voted for and against what the union wants. Talk about peer pressure. Ever go to a union meeting? At the meeting may people are cheering on the union. then vote against what the union wants. Take away the secret voting, those same people may not vote against the union.

    I know people in a few unions. This is what they are being told. Most of them are really scared. Not all of them have the skills to go to a new job or the funds to go out on their own right now.

  • by Joey Vegetables (686525) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:59AM (#25705103) Journal

    "Drug use" would not be seen as a problem. ALL of us use drugs. The only difference is that the government approves of some of those drugs (alcohol, caffeine, etc.) but not others (cocaine, marijuana, etc.)

    A much bigger problem is Obama's long track record of shredding Constitutionally guaranteed rights as a senator . . and his announced intention of doing so even further. Not that the Repugs have been/would be much if any better.

    But the biggest problem by far is not them, but us. It is that we as a nation were willing to elect anyone, of either party, who has amply demonstrated his or her willingness to violate the very rights they are sworn to protect. It is our willingness to give up liberty in exchange for the illusory promise of "security" or "prosperity" or anything else. Without liberty there can be neither of those things in the first place. What has made our nation weak, sick, vulnerable, and poor is the fact that we allow and even insist that others rule over and provide for us, rather than each of us ruling and providing for ourselves and our own loved ones. Until that changes, we can only expect things to get worse, not better, regardless of who is elected, and regardless of how many non-government-approved drugs he or she did or did not ingest.

  • Umm.. slashdot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lawaetf1 (613291) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:05AM (#25705197)

    Funny how nobody has stopped to ask... but WTF is this story doing on Slashdot? If I wanted useless partisan bickering over a news story (about news stories) I would go to Yahoo's message boards.

    Oh wait, even they figured out that hosting an open forum on the Internet about politics is like giving angry monkeys a bucket of poop. That's why there's no more comments section on articles.

    "News for nerds." Let's stick with that.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kjart (941720) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:09AM (#25705279)

    To be honest every liberal should only get their news from Fox and every conservative should only get their news from NPR.

    What a ridiculous notion, that anyone _should_ get their news from a single source.

  • by CustomDesigned (250089) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:14AM (#25705371) Homepage Journal

    Of the old media, newspapers are the best. You can get right and left versions, and you will usually find the info they would rather hide buried at the end of the 3rd continuation of the article on page 25. There is still some remnant of journalistic integrity.

    TV, by its very nature, can only present a tiny slice of information. So the reporter has to be highly selective in what information he presents. The selection process is highly biased, no matter how objective the reporter tries to be. And these days, they don't try. So it is nearly impossible to get a non-misleading snapshot of events from TV, whether Fox or NBC. And then there are the outright fabrications (CBS).

    I dropped newspapers because it was more trouble to chase down the crucial facts they try to hide (but feel compelled to include somewhere) than it was to google for opposing views. When google figures out how to politically bias search results (if they haven't already), then we are really in trouble.

    Oh for the *really* old media (1960), where reporters were determined to get to the bottom of a story, and looked for the dirt on *all* the candidates. Or maybe that picture was fabricated by Hollywood. I wasn't alive back then.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Danse (1026) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:15AM (#25705391)

    Those are some rather bold claims

    Dont be a fool, those are certainly not bold claims, and Im not even sure it was a claim. And if it were even a cursory application of critical thinking would show they cant be proven, and certainly not to the vast majority of those that have their minds made up. And even if it's true I doubt it's a conspiracy as much as an unintentional reflection of the mindset of the editors.

    It certainly is a bold claim when you provide no evidence whatsoever that they did anything like what you say they did. For all I know, you might have read one or two issues that you felt were like that and simply decided that it was a pattern that proved that this is how their coverage was throughout the campaign season. Wanting some evidence to back up your claims does not make me a fool.

    I'm not trying to sway any opinions here... but maybe one or two people will look more carefully at the way news is presented and may see the pattern I thought I saw. If anyone replies to this thread in six months and tells me I imagined it all I can live with that. If you dont give a crap I can live with that too. But dont accuse me of making some Grand Statement and demand thorough and incontrovertible documentation because a thought doesnt conveniently fit in your mindset.

    I'm not demanding it because the thought doesn't fit my mindset. I'm demanding it to determine whether your claim is even worth investigating. I've heard too many claims of media bias and conspiracy on both sides to bother looking any further into a completely unsubstantiated one such as yours. I suspect others are probably tired of such claims as well when they aren't accompanied by a shred of evidence.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RobBebop (947356) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:16AM (#25705407) Homepage Journal
    By my calculation, Obama had 51% of the news articles, 55% of the front pages, and (according to stats that I heard from last week's election) 57% of the vote. I *highly* doubt that the electorate voted based on who was in the news more. OTOH, there were a lot of McCain press appearances that felt very scripted and fake... as if he was doing it just to get himself into the news. When the press follows Obama to his workout... that's a different issue although (and paparazzi laws in the country would be appreciated to protect the privacy of the famous).
  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gizzmonic (412910) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:16AM (#25705423) Homepage Journal

    Someone mod this guy insightful. "Unbiased" news cannot be gathered and disseminated by humans. Even the very choice of what to cover and what not to cover is highly biased.

    It's better to have a variety of voices with their own, well-known slants than to have a single, "unbiased" voice with a hidden agenda. We need people on the left writing stories about racism and exploitive labor practices, and people on the right writing about gun laws and political correctness. And we all need delicious gummi bears. We need to stay up late, pounding handful after gooey handful into our mouths, until all of us, as a nation, have diabetes.

  • by theaveng (1243528) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:17AM (#25705435)

    And that's the fault of the government-run school system, which trains children to believe only government can provide a solution, not the People acting individually (from the bottom up).

  • by Nimey (114278) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:18AM (#25705443) Homepage Journal

    After the whole contemptible "freedom fries" thing, it may have also been that the international community knew that disagreeing with us was pointless, and stopped doing it quite so much.

  • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:18AM (#25705447) Journal

    ... something like "There is class warfare alright, and my class is winning."

    Stick that red-baiting up yours.

    / (very) small biz owner

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cyberchondriac (456626) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:19AM (#25705463) Journal
    Granted - but then on that note, what does trying to get laid in your youth have to do with it either? - Yet, Rolling Stone Magazine - with it's huge readership - ran a cover story by Tim Dickinson (October, I think?)that was nothing less than a full out attack on McCain, a character assassination based on his "gallivanting" youth in the armed services. There was nothing really new there, it was just written to paint him in as negative a light as humanly possible. Not that I think McCain was the best choice the Repubs ever put forward (I don't), but the stuff in this article was really trite (not to mention decades ago), and I didn't see any huge cover stories bringing up any of Obama's negative youthful aspects - he gets treated like he's some sort of messiah.
    If you dig up "dirt" on one candidate, and there's clearly dirt on the other (Ayres, for one thing), then you gotta do the other too. The media can't claim it's just "reporting news" when it's being blatantly selective.
    (Yes, Fox was in McCain's corner but they also reported "dirt" on him as well as Obama).
    That Rolling Stone issue was little more than a huge negative ad campaign. I have no doubt that issue did a lot to sway a large chunk of youth culture to eschew McCain. (Even though so many kids act the same exact way in College! lol)
    Relevance is a matter of perspective - and which side you're on, apparently.
  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Danse (1026) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:21AM (#25705515)

    Not enough bankers have jumped from the top floors, but personally I consider that a negative.

    They have, but those golden parachutes just don't allow for the satisfying splat that we'd like to see reported. That seems to be the biggest problem with the financial industry these days. Salary and bonuses don't seem to have any relation whatsoever to performance. The banks are taking the bailout money and continuing to pay dividends and big bonuses to execs. W T F ?!

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:22AM (#25705529) Journal

    Given that in WW2 we were fighting against right wing ideology

    Keep repeating that and keep showing your ignorance. Nazi's were socialists ...

    Nationalsozialist

    You obviously don't know what a "right" or "left" wing is. The ultra right are .... anarchists. Ultra left are government solutions to every problem under the sun.

    The Democrat party of today has more in common with Nazis than the Republican party, though not by much.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by initialE (758110) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:24AM (#25705591)

    He promised a government that will listen [change.gov], and asked sacrifices of every american. He's not even in office yet and he already feels obligated to start keeping the promises he made. Vague promises? Are you kidding me?

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:26AM (#25705613)

    First off, that's occurred. Second off the numbers there are pretty meaningless, of course Sen McCain was covered less than President elect Obama, the former is well known and had won his primary several months earlier. The latter was involved in a much more complicated process and there was a lot more speculation about what would happen to his opponents supporters.

    Pack on top of that the fact that any candidate for the Presidency in this day and age that's breaking a significant barrier is going to be covered more than the other candidates. There's a lot of brown v., board of education and civil rights speculation which needs to be discussed.

    As for positive versus negative articles, I'm not really sure how you could make those even without asserting a contrary bias to the coverage. Sen McCain made spurious accusations of voter fraud as well as his running mate making even more spurious accusations that President-elect Obama was "palling around with terrorists." Both of those have been thoroughly debunked, 24 voter fraud convictions over multiple years isn't the sort of problem he was suggesting and we all know that Ayers was at best a distant associate of President-elect Obama's.

    You expect false claims, but ones which reach the depths of defamation not so much.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:30AM (#25705683)

    That's not appropriate for news organizations. There is an inherent bias of some sort, but any quality news outlet works hard to eliminate it and disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

    Having two extremist views on opposite sides does not constitute fair or balanced. It simply means that you've got two nutters that are arguing.

    It's a lot like having nut jobs that argue for ID and agains evolution does not make it a controversy. It means that you've got nutters out there that don't want to learn new things.

    No nation is well served when that sort of tit for tat news reporting is considered acceptable. And that's ultimately why Fox is such a crappy news source. It is indeed the worst offender, not that there aren't others, but the channel has historically lacked an appropriate wall between the editorials and the actual news. And there's a lack of fact checking and disinterest in eliminating stories that are clearly overtly biased.

  • by ffejie (779512) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:37AM (#25705823)
    You're right - I never saw a "Not My President" sticker in the last 8 years. I never saw an offensive slogan about "end of an error - 1/20/2009" and I never saw any childish bumperstickers comparing the US President's last name with female genitalia. The Democrats of the past 8 year were such good losers.

    Oh wait [cafepress.com]

    Please, make a mental tally how many times you'll see these offensive things in the next 4 years. Also, keep in mind, how many times it will be called racism if you don't support President-Elect Obama.
  • by jpflip (670957) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:37AM (#25705825)

    I'm generally bothered when folks trot out statistics claiming that the news media ran more negative articles/clips on one side of an argument than the other, and thus is hopelessly biased. What law of nature says that "fair" coverage has to have a balance between positive and negative for the two sides? If one side strays farther from reality on verifiable, important things, the news media should call them on that. The media shouldn't pick a side a priori, but it also has a responsibility to speak up when the facts are clear (which, admittedly, they aren't always).

    That said, I'm not going to argue that there is no bias in the media, nor that the recent election cycle was completely fair. If nothing else, Obama had a huge structural advantage in news coverage because he was vastly "newer" in numerous different ways. I'm sure the personal views of the news staff play some role as well. This study of the Washington Post is unusually comprehensive and interesting.

    The above should be taken as a more general rant about this kind of tit-for-tat comparison, whether trotted out by Fox News to attack the "liberal media" or in "balanced" science pieces where a crackpot gets as much airtime as legitimate science. I just don't find this general metric for judging bias particularly compelling.

  • by aldousd666 (640240) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:53AM (#25706117) Journal

    If you ask me, treating the People (with the strange capital letter P) as one body is already a step in ther wrong direction. The people don't hold any one thing in common other than the fact that we're humans, and we live inside the same country. Saying that we all have some common best interest or collective opinion in any one case is akin to claiming that your somehow better off than someone in another country because you happen to live closer to some winning olympic athelete than they do. The U.S. is a collection of individuals. Contrary to popular belief, implementing the rule of the majority always ignores the minority. The specific cases requiring actual available facts to be considered are always abandoned in favor of those that require sweeping generalization and ideaology instead. Perhaps it's this constant reliance on tugging at the heartstrings of the so-called supposed majority that leads to most if not all of the friction we have in dealing with our local 'bretheren.'

    I think America is the greatest place to live in the world, but that doesn't mean I think it's perfect. Some people are more qualified to make policy than others. (I don't claim to be one of them, but I do concede there are indeed experts out there.) Honestly, would you take a poll of public opinion as to whether or not we should operate to remove half of your liver? Why is it any different for things like who runs the government?

    That all being said, I can't think of a better way to do it. *Shrug*

  • by jcnnghm (538570) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:53AM (#25706127)

    And second, Republicans don't seem as whiny to me as Democrats, possibly because Democrats rely on others (usually the government) to solve problems, and Republicans (used to, at least) rely on individual initiative. Of course, that last observation might be slightly controversial... ;-)

    Controversial, but true. Look at the 2008 Prop. 8 demonstrations that are ongoing. While this is arguably one of the only things the Democrats lost, they can't accept it, even though it was a landslide. When Democrats lose, they throw a pity party, file lawsuits, and protest. When Republicans lose they generally blame their party, others in their party, and themselves. There are plenty of things the Republicans could be screaming about, including Obama's campaign financing (foreign money, lax security and name checking, etc..) but that's largely not happening. Before the close of polling, the Democrats were already talking about suing Virginia if they lost. It's pretty pathetic, really.

    I think, more than anything, it's endemic of their supporters. As a Republican, when I see someone more successful than myself, I ask myself, what can I do to rise up to their level, and compete. I think that Democrats, instead ask, what can I do to reduce them to my level, and make them bring me up to theirs.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by harmonica (29841) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:13PM (#25706547)

    Given that in WW2 we were fighting against right wing ideology

    Keep repeating that and keep showing your ignorance. Nazi's were socialists ...

    Nationalsozialist

    Yes, they called themselves that. Still, they weren't socialist, they were fascist. Same as in commercials, the labels aren't always correct. The Nazis weren't about class struggle (they were about struggle between peoples), and they didn't want to make all property public in the long term. And so on. Get Haffner's book on Hitler [wikipedia.org] for a readable introduction on what the Nazis wanted and didn't want. Some goals developed over the twelve years of their rule, other things they publicly demanded and still didn't do, it's not that simple.

    You obviously don't know what a "right" or "left" wing is. The ultra right are .... anarchists. Ultra left are government solutions to every problem under the sun.

    There are extremists of both wings that are very much into government and those that are against it.

    The terms right and left are not well-defined.

    The Democrat party of today has more in common with Nazis than the Republican party, though not by much.

    Both parties have almost nothing in common with the Nazis, so that comparison just doesn't make any sense.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TomHandy (578620) <tomhandy@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:15PM (#25706599)
    "In what respect" doesn't really fly though. If her issue was that she didn't know which iteration of the Bush Doctrine Gibson was referring to, the general response would be "That term has had multiple definitions - which one do you mean?". By asking "In what respect", she seems to more clearly have been trying to squeeze out some additional information so she could then give her response.

    The issue with the Bush Doctrine isn't so much that it isn't well-defined as much as that there have been multiple Bush Doctrines...... I'd give her credit if she simply asked which one Gibson meant, but she didn't, which indicates that she didn't know what he was really talking about, and certainly that she didn't seem to be aware that there were multiple definitions for it.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by edmicman (830206) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:17PM (#25706637) Homepage Journal
    But it was reported, wasn't it? I was aware of it, and I was under the impression that it was common knowledge. But people didn't care about it. Why would the media keep repeating something if they didn't thought it wouldn't capture readers? I guess my point was....there *was* dirt dug up about both Obama and McCain, it's just that the general public didn't seem to care about Obama's dirt. Is the media supposed to keep repeating it anyway?

    Honestly, did anyone really expect a different outcome? I think the media probably made it out to be closer than it was. Has history shown us that in situations like this the non-incumbent party thoroughly walks away with a win? It was the Democratic party's game to lose; no matter who really is at fault Bush and the Republican party gets the blame for our current state of affairs. The Dems could have put a stick up for election and they probably would have won, it's that bad. I just happen to think we lucked out by getting an actual intelligent person to be in charge, too.
  • by ErkDemon (1202789) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:26PM (#25706823) Homepage
    Remember that day when Obama was visiting Germany and addressing huge German crowds (reminiscent of JFK's Berlin visit), and McCain was visiting a smallish shop in the US? And McCain's people were upset that Obama's day was getting far more news coverage than theirs?
    It wasn't an issue of "balance", the Obama visit was simply the bigger story.

    And generally, Obama was a far bigger story than McCain. I mean, "My God, our next president may well be an elderly white man who married into money! Who'd have ever thought that such a thing could happen!" honestly doesn't make for such an interesting news discussion.

    If journalists were discussing the potential significance of someone with Obama's background becoming president, it was difficult not to be positive. It was difficult to think of as much positive material relating to the idea of someone with McCain's background becoming president.

    So Obama's campaign won a lot of positive news coverage by providing news stories that were difficult not to cover positively.

    Where the situations were reversed was with the choice of VP. Biden was a hellishly boring VP candidate, and consequently didn't get much coverage. Old white guy with worthy credentials and a lot of tedious experience. Snore. Nothing to see, move along.
    McCain OTOH deliberately chose an "exiting" VP candidate, and consequently got huge amounts of media coverage off the back of it.

    Unfortunately for the McCain camp, there was a lot more to say about Palin that was potentially negative than potentially positive, and even a lot of republicans winced at the idea of "President Palin", because the person honestly didn't seem to know enough to be considered presidential material. And Palin seemed to love the attention - the McCain people couldn't complain that news people were putting undue emphasis on Palin, because that's why McCain chose Palin - to get headlines and try to stir up some excitement. But other than McCain himself, it was difficult to find anyone in the Republican Party with any experience who was prepared to stand in front of a camera and declare that they thought that Palin would actually be a competent President if anything should happen to McCain. So that then generated a further tendency for negative stories about the McCain campaign compared to the Obama campaign, and that in turn generated discussions about the relative judgement of the two candidates, since Obama was generally considered to have run an excellent campaign despite his relative inexperience, and since McCain seemed to have made at least one critical error, in his VP choice.

    If that was the situation, then reporters were obliged to report on it. They weren't obliged to try to impose a corrective bias onto the news in order to force an artificial 50:50 balance in airtime, if the available stories and information didn't justify that balance.

  • by DigitalDame2 (908772) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:30PM (#25706909) Homepage
    I thought that one of the first things you learn in Journalism is to be objective when reporting the news. I barely saw that element throughout the whole political coverage. People were so much tougher on McCain when asking him about issues than they were about Obama. It's almost as if people were afraid of making him mad. Also, I didn't think it was right seeing journalists cry when reporting that Obama won. While I realize that it was an historic moment for the country, journalists are supposed to, again, remain objective. Yes, we're all human and we're all emotional, but I don't like turning on the TV and watching someone report the news with such a bias for the candidate he obviously wanted to win. I really don't think that there are any TV outlets (or newspapers for that matter) that are unbiased. They always seem to lean one way. How are people supposed to make an informative decision if people are telling them to go in a certain direction?
  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Candid88 (1292486) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:30PM (#25706923)

    Left / Right politics is a complete falsity invented by news corps wanting to bring quick summaries of news to the largely uninformed viewer.

    To imply all politics - and therefore all ideas - can be polarized into two camps is utterly absurd. Just because someone or some party has view X on say fiscal policy, in no way implies view X on foreign policy or the enviroment or adherence to any religous/cultural conventions etc.

    In this country, the Republicans generally favor lower taxes/public spending along with closer adherence to Christian principles; wheras in many countries, the exact opposite is the case (i.e. the party favoring higher taxes/public spending favor conservative principles).

    Further more, countries like North Korea and the USSR get highlighted as "left-wing" for no particular reason other than equating left-wing to socialism. However this makes no sense as many European countries (the Scandanavian ones in particular) have far more socialist policies in many various areas (social security, healthcare, schooling etc.) than the USSR, North Korea or China ever had, whilst have more "right wing" policies in other areas (free-market economies, private land ownership etc.).

    I know it might exclude from the political process a few people who struggle to ignite enough brain cells to hold more than one idea in their head, but can we please drop the meaningless - and often very misleading - left vs right nonsense.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:47PM (#25707251) Homepage Journal

    Note, however, that more favorable coverage is not the same thing as bias. For example, in covering the debate between advocates of intelligent design and advocates of evolution, "balanced" coverage -- coverage that is not favorable to one side or the other -- is biased, because intelligent design is not science. This is not to deny that bias might have existed in election coverage, but that isn't the only source of disparity between the treatments of the candidates.

    One important source in this case was the quality of the campaigns. Obama ran a superb campaign. It was organized, disciplined and consistently on-message. McCain's campaign was none of these things. They kept searching for a new message, then circling back to ones that weren't working, like the Ayers issue. They could have raised Ayers again if momentum was swinging their way, but it wasn't; it was just an issue that hadn't stuck that they they were stuck on because they didn't know how to swing the election back their way. This lack of focus created a vacuum into which negative coverage expanded.

    McCain himself couldn't stick to the script, and had to cut off press access, which is bad for a candidate who based his career on accessibility. Palin's lack of polish really undermined McCain's strongest issue in this election: even Obama supporters have to admit it would be better if he had a full term in the Senate under his belt.

    This was a Democratic year; to overcome that, McCain's campaign needed to put together a message that resonated, and slowly dig itself out of the hole over the course of weeks. Obama showed how to do this. He started in a hole against Hilary Clinton, and his campaign demonstrated the staying power to wear down her lead over months and months.

    McCain isn't like that; he's mercurial, given to dramatic gestures and sudden improvisations. That might work in an even year, but not this year. None of the big things he did that were supposed to sway the election, such as selecting Palin or "suspending" his campaign, had staying power to carry him through to election day.

    This election was most emphatically not McCain's to lose. It was Obama's, and the McCain campaign simply failed to seize the initiative. Obama was vulnerable, but McCain's campaign was simply not able to put those vulnerabilities into focus. The press did not snatch victory from McCain's grasp; he just never put himself in a position to grasp victory. His poor press coverage simply reflected this. A well run campaign, say Bush's 2000 campaign, determines what the press is covering and how it is covering it.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Crazy Taco (1083423) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:48PM (#25707271)

    There are news outlets with known liberal biases (MSNBC) and conservative biases (Fox), but for the most part, they all fall somewhere around the center and try to keep it there.

    I think you are wrong on this. Most news organizations slant liberal. It's not just MSNBC, but also NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN. Four years ago during the election coverage Wolf Blitzer looked like he was freaking out and about to cry as other networks started calling Ohio for Bush. And don't forget the Dan Rather meltdown on another network.

    The problem we have isn't that some news organizations are a little left, and some a little right. The problem is that almost all of our news organizations are far left (MSNBC) to left, and you have very few, like Fox News, that are actually close to the center. The only way you can call Fox News right wing is if you arbitrarily define "center" to be "the average of the positions taken by the other networks." There are plenty of liberal voices on Fox (Geraldo Rivera, Alan Colmes, Dick Morris, etc), and I never fail to hear both sides of the issue. It only appears conservative when compared to networks like NBC. Anyone watch their post presidential debate coverage? It was some of the worst spin I've ever seen from a mainstream network. They would do their "truth check" afterwords and immediately, without interruption, tick off three or four major things McCain said, and then pick one or two minor things Obama said and tack them on at the end. They didn't even bother to alternate mis-statments. They just hammered McCain hard several times in a row, and at the end would throw on a couple statements (less than they found for McCain) from Obama that weren't as big. It was pretty much "bash McCain, and throw in a little nick for Obama at the end to appear fair."

    The real danger for the country is that internal polling reveals that over 90% of journalists these days hold a liberal political persuasion, and the faculty of journalism programs are almost universally leftists. And that situation won't change, because the faculty decides who gets tenure, and of course conservatives aren't likely to get it. This creates a system that continues to produce only liberal journalists. It's true no one can report the news in a completely unbiased way, but when over 90% of journalists have a liberal bias, then upwards of 90% of the bias creeping into stories is going to be liberal. I don't expect completely unbiased reporting, but with a pool that homogeneous in their thinking, whether right or left, we are in trouble.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:56PM (#25707401)

    I'm just curious - wouldn't the larger story count imply that Obama is more vetted than McCain? No? Oh, I see - it's not the number of articles you have a problem with, it's the content. At this point, I can only tell you the obvious: more people disagree with you than agree. Get over it.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@ n e tzero.net> on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:56PM (#25707409) Homepage Journal

    The problem here is that the major news media outlets assert the claim to "balanced and fair" news coverage, and add the veneer of being a 3rd party when covering political issues.

    The truth is far different from this, and that is the real issue.

    I don't object to something like "Worker's World Daily" or some other magazine that proudly proclaims its political bias. Or talk radio shows like Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern. At least you know where those guys are coming from and have clearly stated agendas for what they are discussing.

    CBS Evening News with Katie Coric pretends to be "balanced" in its coverage of events for each candidate, but did nearly nothing about the "breaking news" of Obama's suggestion to kill the American coal industry or his association with Bill Ayers. Yet they dove (and continue to dive into) the trivial issue of Sarah Palin's clothing... ignoring that Hillary Clinton spent even more on the clothing she wore during her campaign this past year (or had it donated by various famous designers).

    If you are going to endorse a candidate... at least announce the fact and let your viewers/listeners/readers know about that fact before they get the news from you. The major news outlets don't do this, in spite of their rather blatant and obvious bias.

  • by rho (6063) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:09PM (#25707625) Homepage Journal

    Of the old media, newspapers are the best.

    I'd say radio myself, in which I'm including talk radio, public radio and satellite radio. NPR had good election coverage, perhaps with a slight bias towards Obama, but largely because Obama simply had a better campaign. Satellite radio you can pick out Fox, BBC, CNN, whatever you want and get much longer coverage and better discussions. Talk radio is largely right wing, but you do get a feel for what a significant chunk of the population is thinking. The give-and-take nature of talk radio is very enlightening.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EastCoastSurfer (310758) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:09PM (#25707637)

    If it's socialism to give a tiny bit of extra cash to the very lowest class of people then count me in.

    A bit of extra cash doesn't do anything to really help that person. We need to help that person long term, and most of those tools are already in place.

    1) Increase the level of education. My state is one of many that uses the lottery (tax on people who are poor at math) in order to fund higher education. Community college is fully funded here, so if you're not going why not?

    2) Job help. Already done. Lots of free places funded by donations and tax dollars that will help build a resume, give interview practice, etc...

    3) Public transportation. Some places it's good, some bad. I think if we do another 'stimulus' it should be spent modernizing our rail system and adding new lines, etc..., but that's another argument.

    For the go getter many of the tools are already there to get out of their situation. More money isn't going to do much long term.

    and it seems to me like rich people put their money in the bank

    Well banks do use that money to lend it out, but on top of that how do you think people become wealthy? They spend less than they make. Period. It's not rocket science. When the average credit card debt in the US is over 8k/person that should tell you something. First that people are poorly educated about finances and second, that they spend way more than they make.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fourier404 (1129107) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:13PM (#25707699)
    I don't get it, first you guys complain that Obama came out of nowhere and we don't know anything about him, but then you complain that the media is biased and spending more time on Obama than McCain. You're never happy are you?
  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by indifferent children (842621) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:22PM (#25707855)
    Count one in the "no" column...

    I think you missed the point. When Mother Theresa runs against Pol Pot, the press is not biased if she gets 'painted' in a better light. The press was exceedingly kind to McCain, especially on his VP pick.

  • by jwiegley (520444) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:28PM (#25707981)

    You want to talk about bias? How about they report how many stories were done about the Green, Independent or Libertarian candidates; or any of the other 33 viable political parties in this country?

    No, the press is biased. Period. Where I see it is in their dumbing down of America to just a two party system (neither of which was popular until the 20th century.)

    America is screwed until we as a people realize that there are many of ways of thinking and solutions don't just boil down to tax the rich or fear of war.

    Politics is not just dems vs GOP, not just taxes vs military, not just abortion vs God. Politics is not a zero-sum game.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kadehje (107385) <erick069@hotmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:29PM (#25708001) Homepage

    The point is being missed here: when the press is in the tank for a candidate and is not fair and balanced, everyone loses.

    This case is pretty benign compared to some of the other issues for which the press has been "in the tank" for the past few decades. The media have had 20 years to report on unsustainable budget deficits, the massive Social Security and Medicare shortfalls we're on target towards realizing by 2020, human-induced climate change, the PATRIOT Act, warrantless wiretapping, and other defining issues and have at best paid lip service to them. And the most glaring example of the press being asleep at the wheel (or worse yet, intentionally taking their eyes off the road) has been the leadup to U.S. military involvement in Iraq in 2002-03.

    Perhaps if the views of Sen. Obama and other opponents had been better covered by the press before March 2003 we wouldn't invaded that country, or at least constructed a sounder policy and gathered more solid intelligence and used a better-considered strategy for an invasion. I remember virtually no coverage of Bush's opponents by the major media outlets leading up to the war. My reading of the mainstream media was that Bush had, in hand, evidence of Saddam Hussein's regime being in current possession of nuclear and biological weapons, or at the very least hard proof that he had the materials necessary to build them. Hindsight allows us to see that this the evidence was shaky at best that Hussein had any type of WMD since the end of the 1990-91 war. I understand the fact that in many cases this type of information needs to be classified, but all that the media would have needed latch on to an anti-war argument would be a public statement by a member of Congress or the Bush adminstration is "Based on the contents of the $Briefing_Name classified briefing, I do not feel that we currently have justification to initiate hostilities in Iraq." I'm sure such statements to that effect were made, but media coverage downplayed these statements and these statements did not lead to very many follow-up stories.

    In the 1970s, the press was vital to uncovering the Watergate scandal and pressuring Congress to pass reforms in its wake. If President Bush or President-elect Obama were found to have engaged in similar behavior, I'm not at all convinced it would even make a big story these days. Unless the scandal involves sex or drugs, the media now tend to downplay stories involving political figures and other notable people (and when sex and drugs are involved, the story is often blown up out of proportion). I don't know what's changed since then. Is it the fact that now entertainment content and journalism are more closely tied together in the corporate world then they were 30 years ago?

    I'm not sure what agenda the press has, but journalists used to feel a responsibility to tell a story how it is and give it the importance it deserves (i.e. putting it at the top of the front page or on the bottom-right corner of Page B14 as the story dictates). Sure, TV ratings and circulation numbers have always been important, but now it seems to be the only factor. As you've put it, the press has been "in the tank" for some time.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Risen888 (306092) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:30PM (#25708023)

    Some media sources you should expect to be biased. It's Rolling Stone, for cryin' out loud. I think they do some great reporting, but I know when I open it what slant to expect.

  • by Uberbah (647458) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:39PM (#25708233)

    Controversial because it's complete crap

    There, fixed that for you. Since you've been in a coma for the last few months, there was this massive bailout of Wall Street backed by financial conservatives.

    Look at the 2008 Prop. 8 demonstrations that are ongoing. While this is arguably one of the only things the Democrats lost, they can't accept it, even though it was a landslide.

    Since when is 51.8% a "landslide"? You must have been talking about Bush's "mandate" after the 2004 election, even though the electoral vote was 286 to 251 and Bush had the lowest popular vote margin for an incumbent president in a century.

    There are plenty of things the Democrats could be screaming about, including McCain breaking the campaign finance law that bears his name, or the low income voters suddenly finding thousands of dollars to max out their donations

    Fixed that too.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DogAlmity (664209) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:42PM (#25708319)
    Exactly. Candidate A does x positive things. Candidate B does y positive things.

    Sometimes x > y.

    This is also known as "math".
  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by operagost (62405) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:44PM (#25708373) Homepage Journal

    Given that in WW2 we were fighting against right wing ideology

    No, we were fighting against evil ideology that happened to be "right-wing." During the Cold War and Korean War, we were fighting against evil ideology that happened to be "left-wing."

    it's important to keep in mind how far we've fallen away from our founding principles and stated ideals.

    I agree. The problem is, it is the most "left-wing" judges on the Supreme Court who decide to refer to European sources for their decisions instead of limiting them to the founding principles embodied in the Constitution. It is the "left-wing" members of the Democratic Party who legislate powers to the federal government which are not given to it in the Constitution and, according to the 10th Amendment, belong to the states or the people.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witnessNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:12PM (#25708913) Homepage Journal

    I don't get it, first you guys complain that Obama came out of nowhere and we don't know anything about him, but then you complain that the media is biased and spending more time on Obama than McCain. You're never happy are you?

    Well, they also completely missed the question (or rather dropped) the question of whether or not Obama is really even eligible to be president, or that one citizen tried to discover if he was through the courts and got thrown out for "having no standing to bring the lawsuit".

    Unbiased coverage is not really all that hard - it just takes real journalistic work - researching facts, etc. - instead of stating opinions all over the place.

    Sure, you can slant the information by what you cover, but a true journalist would not want their agenda in their work - they'd want their work to be representative of the provable facts. Sadly, that's not how today's media works. most of the press is no better than picking up a tabloid - on-line, TV, or print.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tnk1 (899206) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:21PM (#25709095)

    I can't really argue that being up front about the press bias is probably better than pretending it is unbiased. And, in fact, its probably not possible to have an unbiased press, at least as we know it.

    The problem is that, increasingly, we have to deal with the fact that no one person, not even Obama and McCain or whoever the sitting President is, can possibly know enough about problems to make a decision about them. That is where the media and special interests come in, and that is why people complain about bias so much.

    Many of us believe that special interests exert their control over candidates and governments due to shady dealings and money passed under the table. This is not primarily the case, although it obviously happens on occasion.

    Underneath this cloak and dagger screen is a much more dangerous truth: most lawmakers barely know more about various important issues than you or I do. Some of them know considerably less.

    We all joke about this on a place like Slashdot, where we are technicians making fun of people who are not up to date on the the realities of computing, but consider that for all the "series of tubes" jokes we make, there are people in medicine, economics, the military and everywhere else that make the same jokes we do about legislators or the President.

    The real benefit of special interests for a candidate is that the special interests *inform* the lawmakers. They even provide draft legislation for the lawmakers. That is the real payoff of the special interests, not money. Consider the size of a Congressional staff. They may seem large to you, but think about what even a few dozen people could possibly know about the problems that face the world, and even their country? Having someone feed you facts, talking points, and even made-to-order legislation is like having your own outsourcer working for you for free.

    For voters, the media acts in a similar way. It promises to make us more informed, but the price is that we are only informed about what it shows us.

    There is no doubt that there is integrity in the media in many places, but the fact is that there is also a lot of looking the other way. Even worse, there is a lot of need towards making money.

    What sells? What is popular?

    It is an important question, because the media cares about both of those questions, but neither of them tell you what candidate or what position is better.

    Thankfully, this year I think we had two candidates who both were capable of improving on Bush significantly, but it does make sense to ask yourself why you voted for one or the other and how the analysis of the media affected you... even as just an exercise.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:29PM (#25710319) Homepage

    I don't get it, first you guys complain that Obama came out of nowhere and we don't know anything about him, but then you complain that the media is biased and spending more time on Obama than McCain. You're never happy are you?

    No, it's more like we're unhappy that, given the voluminous quantity of articles written and news segments made about Obama, none of them delved too deeply in any subject that would've caused harm to the Obama campaign. They were fluff pieces full of softball questions. They rarely -- if ever -- forced Obama to take a genuine stance on any controversial subject. When he reversed his stance on something he'd said earlier -- like public campaign finance, for example -- the press said little or nothing about it.

    Hundreds of reporters were sent to Wasilla, AK to dig through Sarah Palin's trash cans, but Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, "spread the wealth" and "bankrupt the coal industry" were largely ignored by the mainstream press until they couldn't be ignored without completely dispensing with the illusion of impartiality. Even the, with the possible exception of Jeremiah Wright, these issues were glossed over. Obama made to election day without ever being vetted by the press. They loved him unconditionally from day one, and they weren't going to to try and find anything out about him that would dispel his aura.

    If the press wants to be biased, let them. But let's quit pretending they're not, that way people can judge the info they receive accordingly.

  • by Darby (84953) on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:55PM (#25710779)

    Amazing how everyone can agree that in the last decades pretty much all public values and personal virtues degrading.

    Amazing how it all coincides with abandonment of the Christian religion and its morals.

    Actually, if you looked at the real world you'd have noticed that it coincided with the rise of religious fundamentalism in politics in the US. There's a reason that the founding fathers explicitly rejected religious nuttery as a basis for government. You, in fact, just pointed out exactly why.

    "Christian morals" is an oxymoron.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sp3d2orbit (81173) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:31PM (#25711481)

    By your own logic sure, I can safely say you are retarded. Its not that I'm biased against you, you deserve it.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sp3d2orbit (81173) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:33PM (#25711507)

    Let me get this straight, the media says x > y, therefore x must be greater than y.

    Don't believe everything you read.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Monday November 10, 2008 @05:08PM (#25712137)

    You say the press was "exceedingly kind," yet the very Slashdot article you're discussing says otherwise. This hasn't been the only media study on this issue, either.

    Your example is completely wrong. If Mother Theresa runs for a political position and gets painted in a better light, that is media bias. Her being Mother Theresa shouldn't have any bearing on the coverage of her qualifications for a position, just as Barack Obama being a black Democrat shouldn't mean he deserves better coverage than the white Republican. You're actually equating an inexperienced senator to Mother Theresa...proving the critics right about his baseless glorification.

    When Palin gets bashed by the press for being stupid, yet Biden claims Americans were huddled around televisions watching the president during the Great Depression and nobody mocks him for it, it's clear the press is not being "exceedingly kind." Give me a break. If McCain had attended a church for 20 years that, say, blamed black people for all our troubles, his campaign would be over. Obama gets to hang out in the church of Reverend Wright, yet he claims he never knew Wright preached what he preached...it's so ridiculous that you'd have to be purposely biased to not be skeptical of such a stupid claim. And so the press was.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DogAlmity (664209) on Monday November 10, 2008 @06:46PM (#25713435)
    I think you missed my point. If x really is greater than y then the media should report that x is greater than y.
  • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by crimson30 (172250) on Monday November 10, 2008 @07:14PM (#25713795) Homepage

    Really? To the rest of the world (or at least western Europe), even 'left wing' American newspapers appear hilariously conservative.

    Are you saying it's all backwards? In the rest of the world is...

    gun control conservative and anti-gun control liberal?
    socialization conservative and privitization liberal?
    abortion conservative and pro-life liberal?

    ...or are you saying that in the rest of the world, they are that much more extreme? And how would you get more extreme? If you are pro-life... you're pro-life. How do you get MORE pro-life? If you're for taking away everyone's guns... how do you get more extreme? What's more extreme than social healthcare, social security, etc... 95% tax on the rich?

    Is your view not issue based?

    I keep hearing this same sentiment from Europeans and I just don't get it. Can you please elaborate and provide examples.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DuckDodgers (541817) <keeper_of_the_wolf@NOSPam.yahoo.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:51PM (#25715355)
    McCain: not the first white man to run for President or win a major party primary. Not his first Presidential run. Not involved in a long, tough primary. Not setting fundraising records. A skilled but not renowned orator.

    Obama: first black man to win a major party primary. Obama's first Presidential run. Part of a long, tough primary. Set many fundraising records. Considered one of the best orators in the race from the beginning - though probably not the best (I thought Huckabee was a brilliant speaker, myself).

    Obama won the media attention and the campaign the same way that Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan won, by hammering on a message of optimism and outlining plans for the future. McCain had a far harder task - he had to reverse positions on all of those issues that made him an honorable, admirable maverick in order to win the nomination, and then downplay those reversals to win the general election.

When you don't know what you are doing, do it neatly.

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