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

    by zoney_ie (740061) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:40AM (#25702701)

    Being outside America, I would agree that the media in the US by and large has, for the US, a liberal bias. But not "pretty large" by any measurement.

    Fox News is an exception, but it is far more extreme "conservative" (if one can apply that label to such extremism) than the other outlets are liberal. Their use of the "fair and balanced" slogan is obscene (it would be false for other media outlets in the US also, but not remotely as ironic for any others).

    The rest of mainstream American media would seem pretty centrist really outside the US, and much the same as the media here in Ireland which is mostly centre-left/right.

    I stuck with US coverage of the election, as the Irish/UK coverage is rather "outsider looking in" no matter how well they tried to do it.

  • Favouring... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SystematicPsycho (456042) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:42AM (#25702735)

    Bush had a good run in the media especially in making "the case" in the war against Iraq. He got a nice handshake from the mainstream media then, but when the shoe is on the other foot it's like the end of the world. Besides, the Republicans got so unpopular after two Bush terms it would be hard enough ramming the same trash down people's throats again.

  • by geeflow (85081) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:44AM (#25702761)

    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.

  • World Domination (Score:4, Interesting)

    by anorlunda (311253) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:50AM (#25702823) Homepage

    On NPR's Talk Of The Nation show last week, they had callers from all over the world give reactions to Obama's victory. I was shocked to hear Palestinians, Iranians and everyone be so totally knowledgeable about US internal politics. They talked about the Christian Right, neocons, and more. They sounded just like American media junkie citizens.

    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.

    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.

    Maybe I'm not conspiratorial enough in my thinking. 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?

    Is democracy a viable form of government if voter opinions are so readily influenced and shaped by the media?

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

  • by PowerEdge (648673) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:56AM (#25702881)
    If you care about the health of our democracy we better hope that the media does not treat Obama with kid gloves here on out, and end up becoming state press. I am quite upset that the WashPost did not add too and complete its story on the Barack Obama campaign credit card donation fraud. I provided evidence in the form of bank statements, screen shots, etc and was speaking directly to the reporter who wrote the article. He informed me that they were working on the story, even the day before the election, but nothing came of it. One wonders who squelched it. The media also needs to recognize the vast majority of McCain voters, voted against Obama not because of his race but because of his ideology and the direction we think he will take the country in. If they continue to treat all McCain voters by some sterotypical image of a bubba in backwoods somewhere, that is bad press and needs to be countered. Additionally, if BHO and his Democratic allies have their way, the voice of the conservatives on the AM dial will be squelched. The media should, in its own interest, understand this is not good for our democracy.
  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aquitaine (102097) <`sam' `at' `iamsam.org'> on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:09AM (#25703091) Homepage

    To the US, much of Western Europe (minus perhaps the BBC) appears hilariously liberal - this coming from a regular reader of the NY Times (and who lives in New York) and someone who voted for Obama.

    I do emphasize 'appears,' though, because I don't think this necessarily means there is a bias on the part of the reporters or the editors. By any objective measure I can think of, Obama was incredibly newsworthy. I wanted to vote for McCain (I'm a small business owner) but I couldn't stomach Palin; still, McCain received plenty of coverage around here. I think that the newspapers do their best to report stuff that they think is newsworthy, and having some arbitrary rule like 'we must publish an equal number of pieces about each candidate' is the type of gesture-laden but meaningless decision that is all too regular these days -- and it would ultimately result in fluff pieces or lowering the standards of what makes the news just so you get an even count.

    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; the guy has gotten a big pass on making substantive policy statements just because he's such a 'game-changer.' I don't mean to take away the gravitas of the historical situation, but I think we've been congratulating ourselves so much on our enlightened stance that we've indirectly said that, had we elected McCain instead, it would've been nothing more than backwards racism at work (since electing Obama was so forward-thinking of us). We get quotes from people around the world like 'There is the feeling that for the first time since Kennedy, America has a different type of leader' (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/05/reactions-from-around-the-world/?scp=3&sq=america%20president%20rest%20of%20world%20follow&st=cse) and similar comments praising the basic fact of the event itself.

    So it comes as no surprise to me that McCain would have to work twice as hard to get attention from such a 'landmark' event. I like and respect Obama, and I'm very interested to see how he'll do - but I think we let him skate by, particularly in the debates, with a lot of vague promises. I'll celebrate him being a game-changer once the game has actually changed.

    As for your original point, though, a (more liberal) friend of mine pointed out that, even in spite of the semi-regular absence of substance -- these were campaign promises, after all, and he's hardly alone in making vague ones -- there is an unavoidable perk in our reputation abroad not because Obama is a proven diplomat (he isn't) but because he's not George Bush and not a Republican.

  • by mi (197448) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:10AM (#25703113) Homepage

    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?

    Actually, yes I will, because McCain's losing ratio was less than his "coverage" ratio. And then, of course, there is the content of the stories — it is not just the quantity, you know... And that's been near-universally in Obama/Biden's direction [ldsmag.com].

    For example, think of the word "gaffe" for a second — it is more famous already, than the word "snafu" was at the end of Clinton's term. Every mistake made by Biden — from an actual gaffe ("Hillary Clinton would've been a better choice") to a flabbergasting moronity ("We and France kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon") — has been smoothed-over by the press, while Sarah Palin's inability to name another act by her boss (she did name one) was replayed on comedy and "news" channels umpteen times.

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

    by jedidiah (1196) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:20AM (#25703271) Homepage

    Sometimes, I really wonder if any of you people "get out" and "see the world".

    You want liberal bias? Watch or listen to PBS/NPR?

    Although that said, it was NPRs in depth coverage of who Obama
    actually is and where he actually came from that started to
    demystify him considerably. If you scratch beneath the surface
    he seems a lot less unreal (imagine that).

    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.

    Enough information will eventually destroy all bias.

    Of course Americans tend to be lazy and generally anti-intellectual.
    So if the news is anything more than a sound bit or two it might just
    get filtered out. Commercial media has to account for this.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:21AM (#25703281)

    Actually, yes I will, because McCain's losing ratio was less than his "coverage" ratio.

    Only if you're counting the popular vote instead of the electoral college vote. And if you're doing that then you need to look at who voted how in which state.

    And who did NOT vote. People simply were not motivated enough by McCain to get out and vote for him. And that percentage is far larger than the difference in the coverage.

    Every mistake made by Biden -- from an actual gaffe ("Hillary Clinton would've been a better choice") to a flabbergasting moronity ("We and France kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon") -- has been smoothed-over by the press, while Sarah Palin's inability to name another act by her boss (she did name one) was replayed on comedy and "news" channels umpteen times.

    First off, Palin's own actions and words were what got her that kind of coverage on the comedy shows.

    Secondly, the press did cover Biden's "gaffes".

    But it is a self-referential system. Palin gave the comedy shows better material. Which means that the newspapers covered the comedy shows covering Palin. Which means that the pundits talked about the newspaper coverage of the comedy shows' coverage of Palin.

    McCain chose Palin. That was part of his strategy to energize the Religious Right AND an attempt to get the female vote. It's his own fault if she ended up feeding material to the media that he would rather not have fed to them.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RenderSeven (938535) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:22AM (#25703291)
    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.
  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrseth (69273) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:28AM (#25703387) Homepage

    How about we cut out the 'middleman' in this scenario, and quit sending so much of our hard earned money to the Feds in the first places?!?!?

    But then the "red" states would suffer. You see, they take from the economically more productive "blue" states, on average. It is ironic that the GOP whines about income redistribution, when their states benefit from it.

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/11/29/8192719/index.htm [cnn.com]

  • Of course they did (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nedlohs (1335013) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:36AM (#25703513)

    * The democratic primary was a race for significantly longer, hence more coverage

    * Obama has a better face to put on a cover if your aim is to attract people to buy the thing - see all the magazines who don't care about the news and who they put on the cover (pretty faces).

    * McCain spent more time on the "Obama is the wrong because" theme, than Obama did on the "McCain is wrong because" theme. If Obama is talking about Obama, and McCain is talking about Obama it's not a surprise who the press talks about.

    * Obama is a more interesting story from a news perspective. Dog bites man isn't news, man bites dog is. Old white male running for President isn't news, (relatively) young black male running for President is.

    * I suspect Palin stole some of McCain's coverage too. Again (relatively) young woman is news, and pretty faces on the cover sell.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:40AM (#25703573) Journal

    To take extreme cases, consider either Alaska's Ted Stevens or Louisiana's William Jefferson.

    Sure, that's fair. Both deserve negative coverage. However, how many times has Ted Stevens been the headline vs William Jefferson? It's not just what is reported, but WHAT IS NOT reported.

    Do a Google News search for "William Jefferson" and "Ted Stevens" (both in quotes)
    "William Jefferson": Results 1 - 10 of about 1,128 for william-jefferson
    "Ted Stevens": Results 1 - 10 of about 19,889 for Ted-Stevens.

    I'm certain you will find similar results on any Democrat vs Republican scandals.

    Obama Rezko (no quotes): Results 1 - 10 of about 1,298 for Obama rezko
    Palin tropper-gate (no quotes): Results 1 - 10 of about 3,072 for Palin trooper-gate

    See what I mean? Numbers don't lie.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fozzyuw (950608) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:45AM (#25703657)

    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.

    If we're doing things in all fairness, then I should also point out that there's a difference between "McCain/Obama" ads and ads run by "McCain/Obama" supporters.

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

    Then, of course, we need to talk about money. When one side spends 3/4 to 1 on ads (Obama to McCain), it gives them a lot better ability to change their ratio of positive/negative advertising.

    If, for example, McCain ran 10 negative ads and 10 positive ads and Obama runs 15 negative ads but 40 positive ads, Obama has actually run more negative ads but at a smaller ratio.

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

  • I wanted to vote for McCain (I'm a small business owner)

    That would have been a mistake. Unless your business is insanely profitable, you would've gained nothing from McCain. His health insurance plan, for instance, would have been a disaster for everyone but insurance companies. In general, conservative policies are only good for big business and the investor class.
    We've had the same BS with Sarkozy here; he claims he's pro-business, but his fiscal measures only profited the wealthiest. And most small business owners aren't that rich. In particular, just like McCain's plan, he targeted income tax; if your small biz is incorporated, as it should be (mine is!), this makes no difference at all to the business itself. It only matters when you've made so much money that you are going to pay yourself.
    And if you don't want to pay that income tax, just invest that surplus money into expanding the business. Corollary: with decreasing income tax, it becomes more attractive for the small biz owner to just take more of the profits, instead of investing and hiring.

  • Trendiness bias (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alomex (148003) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:48AM (#25703699) Homepage

    The press at times seems to show clear bias, but aside from openly partisan forums (fora) like
    MSNBC and Fox News, the press seems slanted towards stories that resonate with the public.

    For example, the New York Times, which is the favorite flogging horse of the right, pursued the dead-end Clinton Whitewater scandal long after it became clear there was nothing there. Conversely they gave eight columns of uncritical support to the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

    It is just that at that point in time, headlines about Whitewater and WMDs sold newspapers.

    In fact, Obama had cinched the election long before the election (at least two weeks earlier by McCain's own internal polling as reported after the election in CNN). Did the supposedly Obama-biased press report this? Of course not. They went on pretending it was a nail bitter right until the second the California polls closed, when they informed the nation that Obama had lapped the field and would become the next president.

  • He showed McCain's 2008 concession speech: boos from the republican crowd.
    He then showed Kerry's 2004 concession speech: no boos from the democratic crowd.
    Notice how it's the right always claiming that the other side is just as bad as they are. Authoritarians: it's not bad/illegal when WE do it!

  • Re:Of course! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PortHaven (242123) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:53AM (#25703807) Homepage

    Obama and Biden had far more gaffes than McCain's campaign. But you only saw them on YouTube.

    McCain's campaign was a lousy poorly managed campaign. Of course, he was facing a campaign that had raised more money than Bush & Kerry combined.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:59AM (#25703893) Homepage Journal

    "Obama had *lots* of attacks on McCain "
    You mean like how McCain was a Bush clone?

    You are right in that bias is in the eye of the beholder.
    Many people feel Fox is fair and balanced just as many people feel the Washington Post is.
    The key is if the news service shares you bias then you see it as unbiased.
    To be honest every liberal should only get their news from Fox and every conservative should only get their news from NPR.
    I do feel that McCain got a bad deal. I think he would make a good president and this to be honest was his last chance at it.
    That being said I really do hope Obama is a good president I wish him all the luck in the world.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by D'Sphitz (699604) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:03AM (#25703981) Journal
    Also you want a prime example of disingenuous, biased reporting? How about how Fox News scrambled to throw McCain under the bus the second the election ended, after months of extreme ass kissing. You want to complain about media bias, there's a nice starting point.
  • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by soccerisgod (585710) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:06AM (#25704029)

    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.

    Speaking about Germany here, don't know much about the other countries mentioned...

    Most people did not oppose those regimes because it wasn't in their own best interest. If bad things happened to other people, what did they care? Many of them even profited from the actions of the ruling class: a whole section of the populace was driven out or outright murdered, leaving behind a wast fortune in real estate, money and other property that was made available to basically everyone else. This washed loads and loads of money in to the pockets of ruthless enterprises as well as many a private citizen who all used the situation to their advantage. And if you look at the details, you will find it was impossible to not know, at least if you didn't live under a rock. I know it goes against what most people believe in, that humans are basically good, but the sad fact is that people will accept any kind of calamity as long as it doesn't effect them personally. That's one of the reasons why capitalism works so well. People look to their own advantage and don't give a shit about anyone else.

  • Dumb (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wytcld (179112) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:12AM (#25704139) Homepage

    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.

    Wouldn't the three months of additional primary battles account for the difference of 160 articles? Since there's primary coverage every day, it should at least account for 90 of them. Also, if you're talking about a level playing field, McCain went into this with a tremendous advantage in terms of past favorable coverage. He has been about the most covered, and best-liked by the press, senator for at least a decade. Obama was not starting with that positive press advantage, while McCain was mostly running on that "maverick" brand which a friendly press had established for him - and which was in many respects, which the press failed to illuminate since they rarely cast doubt on their own creations, more myth than fact.

    It also appeared to be McCain's own strategy during the later Democratic primaries to lie low and avoid getting headlines, while Obama and Clinton blasted each other. If he'd cut a higher profile, he'd have made himself more of a target for them, and they wouldn't have concentrated so fully on damaging each other. It would have been nice if the Post had focused on McCain more during that period, from a Democrat's POV.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Knackster (858532) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:13AM (#25704169)

    I absolutely agree:

    It seemd if there was good news, it was Obama. Bad news? McCain.

    I firmly believe that journalism as we know it is dead.

    WHen the media would prefer to dig in top Ms. Palin's kid's personal life than Obamas, what does that say?

  • Re:Insightful (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:14AM (#25704193)

    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.

    Just to support your claim: Throughout the campaign, I used FactCheck.org and Politifact.com to check the veracity of the candidates' statements. Politifact was especially helpful because they give a count of how truthful the candidates were.

    Obama ( http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/personalities/barack-obama/ [politifact.com] ) had 49 True statements, 31 Mostly True, 33 Half True, 19 Barely True, 25 False, and 2 "Pants On Fire."

    McCain ( http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/personalities/john-mccain/ [politifact.com] ) had 30 True statements, 28 Mostly True, 28 Half True, 27 Barely True, 34 False, and 7 "Pants On Fire."

    McCain thus had less truthful statements (True, Mostly True) and more non-truthful statements (Barely True, False, Pants On Fire). To make it easier to rate the politicians overall, I would assign numbers to their statements: True was +2, Mostly True was +1, Half True was +0.5, Barely True was -0.5, False was -1, and Pants on Fire was -2. Adding up the totals (and taking the average to prevent any bias from more statements being made) gives us a Truth rating of 0.69 for Obama (between Half True and Mostly True) and 0.26 for McCain (between Barely True and Half True). Obama obviously was more truthful.

    And just for the sake of completeness, the VPs:

    Biden ( http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/personalities/joe-biden/ [politifact.com] ) had 8 True statements, 5 Mostly True, 7 Half True, 6 Barely True, 4 False, and 2 "Pants On Fire."

    Palin ( http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/personalities/sarah-palin/ [politifact.com] ) had 6 True statements, 2 Mostly True, 5 Half True, 3 Barely True, 2 False, and 2 "Pants On Fire."

    Assigning my scores for them gives Biden a score of 0.42 and Palin a score of 0.45. Both are just under Half True rating. Palin's truth score is above Biden's but just barely.

    (NOTE: These scores include statements made from the beginning of the Primaries up until the election.)

  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RenderSeven (938535) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:21AM (#25704313)
    Agreed! I dont think Obama's ads were all that negative. The *Union* adds against McCain were some scary shit. SEIU made the AFL/CIO look like kittens. The thing that worries me about the election results were how many favors the Dems owe the Unions for their millions this election cycle.
  • Happy News (Score:3, Interesting)

    by superyooser (100462) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:31AM (#25704489) Homepage Journal

    If it bleeds, it leads as they say.

    Except at Happy News [happynews.com]. :o)

  • TIME Magazine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Markvs (17298) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:34AM (#25704569) Journal
    Is this really a surprise, Obama had 8 (!) covers of TIME in 2008, 2 of which he shared with McCain. McCain had 1 cover that he didn't share. Call me crazy, but that's way over the line.

    But this isn't anything new... Bill Clinton had 7 covers while campaigning for office, one of which he shared with Tsongas, another two with George H.W. Bush.
    In THAT election, George H.W. Bush (a sitting President!) had exactly 1 cover, plus the two he shared with Clinton.

    It's deja vu all over again!!
  • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dnoyeb (547705) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:35AM (#25704591) Homepage Journal

    I disagree with the NPR crack. I do agree that in the circle of my conservative friends, cracking on NPR as liberal is a common theme. But I listen to NPR and they work very hard to be non-biased. You rarely detect it in their stories or how they conduct their interviews. Sometimes you do though like Terry Gross blunder of an interview with Mrs. Cheney.

    I, however, am a Liberal. I fully recognize the MSNBC bias and admit it as much as I recognize the Fox bias. Both networks have some good shows, and some clowns. Just because I am liberal does not mean I don't see a biased show for what it is. I wonder though if conservatives can tell the same.

    I used to think McCain would make a good president but not anymore. He ran a bad campaign. If you cant run a campaign and drive your people, your not looking good to be running the executive. McCain of 2000/2004 would have made a good president. McCain before he sold his soul to the Bush team.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:37AM (#25704627)

    ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, Hollywood, (did I leave any out?) all through McCain in front of the bus months before the election.

    Was FOX news (public not the cable channel) as much a supporter of McCain as ABC, CBS, and NBC were? Hell I saw a ratio of 4-1 Obama ads to McCain ads on TV. Even on FOX.

    If "we the people" all see ads for Obama, Obama being painted in a positive light, in print, on TV, even in the TV shows them selves (ever see Boston Legal the last 4-5 weeks?), any uninformed person sees Obama == good and McCain == bad. The media won this election for Obama. They didn't report on it. They choose a side and promoted it. So much for reporting the news. They were making the news.

    As for the comment above about in Italy people buying the media, this was exactly done for this election.

  • Re:That's nothing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:50AM (#25704907) Journal

    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 story that basically says, "We had to give Obama better coverage. It's not our fault that McCain sucks".

    Lets assume for a minute that that's true. For the sake of argument, complete this sentence: "If the media was doing its job, it would have focused more on _______". Provide specific examples.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Darby (84953) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:54AM (#25704971)

    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?

    Because it's not a matter of perspective. Left and right are well defined terms, they are not relative. So given that the US is far to the right, calling moderate right wing media outlets left or liberal is a blatantly false statement.

    Given that in WW2 we were fighting against right wing ideology, it's important to keep in mind how far we've fallen away from our founding principles and stated ideals.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:21PM (#25705509)

    I also live in Indiana, and didn't encounter the barrage of negative ads that you talk about. The "negative" ads that I did see were about how the middle class would do better with Obama's tax plan than they would with McCain's, and how impotent McCain's health care plan was. Note how Obama is "attacking" McCain on the issues.

    McCain's attack ads were basically saying that Obama might be a terrorist and that we can't trust him. Note how McCain is making ad hominem attacks.

    In my book, it is perfectly fine to attack someone's position on the issues, but you shouldn't attack the man himself. That is why McCain's campaign was far more negative than Obama's.

  • by Aquitaine (102097) <`sam' `at' `iamsam.org'> on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:23PM (#25705561) Homepage

    That would have been a mistake. Unless your business is insanely profitable, you would've gained nothing from McCain

    My business is not insanely profitable (though it is profitable) and you are incorrect. I stand to benefit considerably in the short term from Obama's policies - I'll get a tax cut and my health care will be cheaper, but I'm not convinced that it will be better, as I'm leery of government stepping in to the health care arena even more than it already does. I believe that healthcare is a responsibility and not a right and my lowest point with respect to Obama came when he gave the all-to-easy 'health care is a right' answer during one of the debates. I pay $320/mo for moderate (not great) health insurance right now and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to that going down, but at what long-term cost? I don't want Canada's health care system, or the UK's, and I don't buy Obama's assertion that we can provide a single-payer national system while still keeping private insurance -- sooner or later the Dems are going to make it even more difficult to be a doctor in this country than they already have. My SO is altering course from medical school to Physician's Assistant school just so she can get a regular salary and regular hours (even if it's under $100k) rather than establish a Byzantine bureaucracy in her own eventual practice to double- and triple-book patients just so she can run a profitable practice.

    If Obama's tax plan passes then it will create a dis-incentive for me to perform beyond a certain point. Right now I deal exclusively with contractors. As a NYC-based business I already have very little incentive to grow a business with full-time employees -- and I'm originally from Delaware, where the opposite is true.

    McCain's tax and health care plan made quite a lot of sense to me. I am always delighted to hear people who do not run businesses tell me what I would or would not have gained, though, but the reality is that you don't know until you run the numbers. Because I support just myself right now, I'm in the clear - but the last thing I want to do is to be running a small business that does gross over a million or so a year (gross, not net, and that's still 'small') because then I'm squarely in the crosshairs of the 'big business' that liberals love to hate and love to tax, regardless of how big a business I think I am.

    'Just invest that surplus money into expanding the business' sounds a bit pithy and easy, like there's some magical button I press to keep my capital expenses up and my profits down. It's not always up to me.

    Finally, I have read Obama's web site (and McCain's). I want to do the best that I can and I have no problem paying taxes - but I could've planned much more for what McCain planned to do than I can from what I know about Obama's initiatives. Both guys have a big problem telling us how they're going to pay for any of their plans, but I had confidence that McCain is going to be a, well, conservative spender, based on a clear record. Obama's simply unproven.

    If I'd voted just in the interest of my small business then I would've voted McCain. But there's more to being an American than my bottom line, even if that's my only source of income. I'd consider myself a 'Republican Reptile' ala PJ O'Rourke - fiscally conservative (in the 'small government' sense) but socially liberal - and neither party has represented my views for so long as I've been eligible to vote. The McCain of 2000 was probably the closest I've seen.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not an ideologue - I really do respect both Obama and McCain and I think either one is fundamentally better for the US than Bush. I try to deal in day-to-day stuff that affects me while not losing sight of the shape the country and its finances are in. I saw just as much (if not more) anti-White racism during the campaign as I did anti-Black, and right now I'm looking through the congressional record to find the exact votes between 2002 and 2004 wher

  • Re:Duh. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jmyers (208878) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:26PM (#25705609)

    One positive thing we can say about the press is they finally dropped the "have you ever done drugs?" question this year. every other election they have played this to death. Did Clinton inhale, did Bush do drugs, etc, on and on. This year not a peep. I wonder why?

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jadavis (473492) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:51PM (#25706079)

    No nation is well served when that sort of tit for tat news reporting is considered acceptable... [Fox News] has historically lacked an appropriate wall between the editorials and the actual news.

    This doesn't make sense. "Tit for tat" only happens on news commentary shows (clearly editorials, not news), as far as I can tell.

    Can you give one example of a news show on fox news that has a "tit for tat" exchange?

  • Re:Duh. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MythoBeast (54294) on Monday November 10, 2008 @12:53PM (#25706125) Homepage Journal

    That doesn't work. Letting the free market provide balance presumes that there isn't a built-in bias. Fox news is a perfect example. It was purchased and continues to be operated as a conservative news network. They accumulate viewers who agree with them, and perpetuate that agreement by feeding them appropriately biased information. They do this specifically for the purpose of creating a population that's better educated on their point of view.

    Similar to your typical monopolistic practices, it's possible to spend money in order to expand your customer base. It happens again and again.

    For news agencies, however, it only matters if they claim to be an unbiased news source. At that point, they are obligated to maintain a certain level of neutrality. The Washington Post is identifying that they breached their own moral code to an extent.

    Not that I blame them. Not only was McCain negative, he was boring. He just didn't do much that was newsworthy.

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/top_story_on_john_mccain_run_out [theonion.com]

  • Re:Duh. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bodhammer (559311) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:05PM (#25706385)

    You mean like the collective intellgence of Britney Spears Fans?
    The collective intellgence of American Idol fans?
    The collective intellgence of Outcome Based Education policies?
    The collective intellgence of "Where I be gettin' my free mortgage?"
    The collective intellgence of Kyoto Treaties?
    The collective intellgence of the Tax Code?
    The collective intellgence of having 49,000 lobbyists and only 535 congresscreeps?

    I may be going out on a limb but I'm thinking that most are missing the "socio-political subtleties"

    Suggestions:
    An IQ test to vote (and get a drivers license.)
    You must actually earn something to get a tax return.
    You must pay taxes to vote.
    You must serve in the military to vote.
    An IQ test to be in the Congress? (Say 130?)

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

    by Gizzmonic (412910) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:07PM (#25706441) Homepage Journal

    The size of the American Nazi party has nothing to do with the support of Hitler by Americans. Many wealthy industrialists including IBM, Disney, Prescott Bush (grandfather of our current president) and Henry Ford opportunistically supported the Nazi regime. It was about the money, not the ideology. There was also a significant isolationist movement that opposed any intervention in Europe.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xtravar (725372) on Monday November 10, 2008 @01:20PM (#25706705) Homepage Journal

    I cant look at the BBC RSS feed without thinking either US news is incompetent or purposely burying world news. Either excuse is disturbing.

    Option C: US news corporations do what they have to do to compete for ratings. With the American public the way it is, and with such a high barrier of entry into the national news market, the news companies have very little pressure to change.

    Also, isn't the BBC somewhat publicly funded? So NPR would probably be a better comparison.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Monsuco (998964) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:49PM (#25708469) Homepage

    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).

    Somehow I see your country becoming the model for the next "Fairness Doctrine" I forsee us being told that talk radio, the only conservative media, must be muzzled with "equal time" requirements.

  • Re:yah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:06PM (#25708789) Homepage

    The ethics laws said you can't do something to benefit yourself or people you know. Now if that was the case behind the firings, that would mean that the laws were violated and therefor the firing would be illegal.

    And the committee found that to be the case, that she had violated the ethics law. Yet, as you note, that was not the purview of the investigation. When they say the firing was not illegal, that means with regard to the laws of interest to the investigation. Illegal in one context, not illegal in another, it isn't a contradiction.

    That could very well be. I know a lot of people who didn't like her for a number of reasons ranging from her being a woman to the way she talked and everything in between.

    It could be that my opinion of her was not significantly affected by some local Alaskan politics, and rather it's between her XY chromosome or her colloquialisms? Thanks. Frankly, it's what she said that turned me off. Between her stated stances on the issues, and her flagrant ignorance, I couldn't care less whether she abused power in Alaska, I don't want her to have any power in this country. And while I'd love to have a woman president (or VP), I'd rather not have it one who is bound and determined to set women's rights back two steps for the one step forward that her election would be.

  • .huD:eR (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spud.dups (1371655) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:27PM (#25710297)

    Despite the article count, I believe most people who didn't vote for Obama still feel we don't know enough about him. Mainstream media coverage isn't sufficient information to choose a candidate, only necessary information to make us fall in love long enough to vote.

    Why are we grouped into Obama or McCain? I didn't vote because, well first my vote doesn't really matter.

    • Difference in popular vote: 6.37%
    • Difference in Electoral vote: 36.33%
    • Only vote that matters: Electoral

    Also because I think none of the candidates had my best interests in mind. With all the technology that is out now, why don't we elect our president by popular vote? We now have the precision and speed able to do so. Shouldn't that be a topic for debate over the next four years?

  • Re:.huD:eR (Score:2, Interesting)

    by void* (20133) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:46PM (#25710609)

    We shouldn't be electing by popular vote.

    We should stop giving all of (most) states electoral vote to the winner of the popular vote in that state, and give one electoral vote for the winner in each congressional district, with the remaining two being allocated to the popular vote winner in each state.

    This would lessen the gap between the electoral vote and the popular vote, while protecting the reason we have an electoral vote in the first place (preventing populous areas from ignoring the interests of less populous areas).

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ztransform (929641) on Monday November 10, 2008 @06:07PM (#25712125)

    If you want unbiased though you need to go to BBC I think.

    Having lived in London recently for a few years I can categorically state that the BBC is heavily left-biased. When any racial attacks occur in London (and they happen more frequently than any Brit would admit) the colour of the perpetrator is rarely, if ever, mentioned if it wasn't white.

    I frequently found The Times [timesonline.co.uk] had more accurate detail about any situation and was far less censored.

    Considering the recent American election was largely about race (very few articles fail to point out how historic and significant the skin colour of the president-elect is) the last thing you want is to put much stock in an anti-Caucasian organisation like the BBC.

  • Re:Duh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @06:23PM (#25712399)

    Let me get this straight, no ones curious about the drug reference?

    Bam! [iht.com]

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy

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