Archive for Thursday, September 18, 2008

Media myth

September 18, 2008


To the editor:

The Sept. 6 Saturday Column lamented the "liberal media." A reader questioned this premise in a subsequent letter in the Public Forum. The Sept. 13 column offers more of the same, again pointing to "the liberal media" and stating, "There are double standards."

This is a myth perpetrated by the right; whenever they are called out for their numerous failings, they whine that they are being picked on by "the liberal media."

Here are the facts: From the LA Times, July 27, 2008, "The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades, found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general election campaign.

"You read it right: tougher on the Democrat.

"During the evening news, the majority of statements from reporters and anchors on all three networks are neutral, the center found. And when network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28 percent of the statements were positive for Obama and 72 percent negative.

"Network reporting also tilted against McCain, but far less dramatically, with 43 percent of the statements positive and 57 percent negative, according to the Washington-based media center."

Similar studies of the print media have yielded comparable results. Check out "What Liberal Media?" by Eric Alterman.

So, let's dispense with the sermons on bias, not only are they misleading, but in all due respect, isn't the Saturday Column written by one of the, allegedly, "liberal media"?

Doug Burger,


Jennifer Forth 9 years, 7 months ago

How about addressing the issue instead of attacking the writer? Is it a valid comment to make?

christy kennedy 9 years, 7 months ago

Jason,I admire your volunteer activities and you foresight and ability to sock away enough to get you through some kinds of disasters. You're lucky in that your nature, skills, and circumstances have gotten you to where you are now. Where we differ is that I don't believe we can hold everyone to the same level of responsibility and achievement. You don't want to be "forced to pay for someone else's lack of preparedness." It would be great if everyone was as smart, capable, and lucky as you, but that just isn't always the case. Yes, there are a LOT of able-bodied people who are just plain irresponsible, lazy and have an undue sense of entitlement, but the truth of the matter is that there are many, many decent folks of all ages facing physical, mental, financial, and social hurdles that result in their needing help some or all of the time. My husband and I are struggling along on one full-time and one part-time salary while we have college-aged kids and chronic health problems, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to help others worse off.That you volunteer your time and donate to organizations that help people means you're compassionate and that fits right in with "it takes a village" doesn't it? I volunteer too, but what we can do on an individual basis, all added together, can not meet all the need out there. That's why (hopeful thinking here) well-organized, fiscally-responsible, progressive government programs must be in place for those in need. Our current administration thinks we can spend and waste billions and billions of dollars on an illegal war and corporate bailouts, when some people who just literally need shelter from a storm are left to fend for themselves, and that's just not right.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

"A pre-pubecsent child can see the bias in the media against Republicans."With all due respect, Tom:I had to laugh out loud.So:what are you saying? ;)******I believe he was identifying the emotional and intellectual development of those who make the claim.

staff04 9 years, 7 months ago

"A pre-pubecsent child can see the bias in the media against Republicans."With all due respect, Tom...I had to laugh out loud.So...what are you saying? ;)

Jason Bailey 9 years, 7 months ago

Just so I'm not accused of putting in a fake organization in my previous post (since the LJW's software automatically takes any internet link and turns it into an HREF), the official link to Uplink dot org is:

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 7 months ago

ExMc,Typical "tolerance" of the far left. Way to go.

kansas778 9 years, 7 months ago

Don't all you people see? A few weeks of slightly more positive coverage for McCain proves that the media isn't liberal. But wait, what about the few weeks of negative coverage over Palin? I guess that proves that the media IS liberal. Or, a few weeks of coverage doesn't prove jack squat.

BrianR 9 years, 7 months ago

Liberal media! That is probably my favorite right-wing joke.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure glad that rightwingers never resort to petty personal attacks, Tom.

ASBESTOS 9 years, 7 months ago

Doug Berger needs to buy a clue.check out this website:www,newsbusters.comThere is NO WAY there is more negative stories on Obama, and to say so is unfounded crapola.The media is clearly "Liberally biased"And Fox News is the "fair and Balanced" network.We have the Obama Cheerleaders on MSNBC of Matthews and Olbermann, and the CNN version which is Roland Martin and Jeffy Toobin, and they are on Campbell Brown's show, and SHE is clearly a member of the "stupid airhead Journalists" for Obama.Get Real Douggie!Doug are you serious?

Jason Bailey 9 years, 7 months ago

@Verity:My intent isn't name calling at all. To me, it's not a bad thing to be a liberal or a conservative -- that's just what that person happens to be.I'm a proud conservative while others are proud liberals. I don't get how that is name calling and a "false polarization". The country is polarized, it always has but much more so since the Clinton era (no, I'm not blaming it on Clinton, it's just the Lewinsky deal started this us vs. them fight that continues to this day).Ideal scenario: Sure, we'd all come together and ignore what makes us different in our ideologies that tint our view of what's right. That's "I'd like to give the world a coke, and sing in perfect harmony" fantasy.Who's point of view are we going to adopt for what works for the future of our country? Both sides think they're right so who's going to bend over and grab the ankles? Neither side, thus the polarization continues.This is a complete dichotomy in worldviews that cannot be bridged. Liberalism (from my point of view) is something to be defeated, not to live with. They feel the same about conservatives. It's just the way it is.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 7 months ago

@Christy Kennedy:You got it. I'm on the record as not willing to take any government assistance. That's called responsibility for my own life and is the reason I have 6 months of salary stashed in a high-yield money market for emergencies, pay health insurance premiums, have homeowner's insurance, and am funding my retirement. There's nothing magical to how I'm operating my life and preparing for bad things should they happen but I don't believe I should be forced to pay for someone else's lack of preparedness.I am not my brother's keeper when it comes to forced income redistribution but I do regularly send money to various charities like Lighthouse Ministries that helps teen moms, I volunteer my time to which assists high schoolers in getting a jump start on a career by mentoring in their field of interest, etc. That's the key: private decisions to help others (which is absolutely necessary), not coercion.You and I have worldviews that are dichotomies of one another. Mine centers on the individual as the one who is solely responsible for his/her lot in life with free will assistance and support from family and friends; your WV is focused on "It Takes a Village".

christy kennedy 9 years, 7 months ago

Tom Shewmon (Tom Shewmon) says:A pre-pubecsent child can see the bias in the media against Republicans. It's just there.Tom, I suspect what's troubling you is when you see someone in the press trying to get a GOP spokesperson to answer a question honestly or to acknowledge something that's public record. There's been a lot of that lately, and a lot of BS/spin from Republicans. Many in your party have been taking a hard look at what's gone on during the last eight years, and if you're at all honest you have to admit it's not been . . . ok, at least give me this, it's not been entirely successful, right? Blaming the people asking the questions won't solve anything.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 7 months ago

"Conservative" Media Mythology... spread liberally.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 7 months ago

Azure: Absolutely corporations should fend for themselves or die. The bottom line is that we are becoming pale reflections of Red Russia with the nationalization of enormous sectors of our private industry.It may avert a collapse of our economy but I would submit that a collapse and rebuilding of our economy is preferable to the government owning private enterprise. It's not right.Regarding the NBC point: It could be but "if" scenarios are for children. There are facts and then there is obfuscation.BTW: You will notice that I refrain from name calling or insults or insinuations about your mental condition. I left that behind as a teenager.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 7 months ago

The other night I saw where NBC's Andrea Mitchell was being interviewed by O'Reilly and he asked if she knew of one reporter at NBC that was a conservative. She waffled and said, "I'm sure some are in private..." and refused to directly answer the question.Mitchell seemed genuinely flabbergasted and couldn't come up with one person that she knew personally at NBC news who leaned right. That's the point here. Bias is everywhere, on Fox wherever. Reporters cannot completely divorce their bias from their reporting especially when you throw into the mix that liberals in general are filled with rage and hatred for anything that even resembles conservatism. I know many (and see them daily here) and I honestly have no idea why they choose to live life so miserably. The party of tolerance and understanding and compassion is a farce.At least the Republicans are open when they say they are a party of individual rights and freedoms which means each one of us is responsible for our failures/success in life. We don't need mommy or daddy government to wipe the crocodile tears from our eyes and tell us, "There, there Johnny. We'll help you out."That is frequently mis-interpreted as uncaring but we are adults and government needs to get out of our way to allow us to try to make our way as best we know how.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 7 months ago

@Duplenty:I am not a Republican, I am a Conservative -- I'll buck any elected official who strays from what I believe in so your point about who bailed out these big corporations doesn't matter to me. Both Dems and Repubs are equal in my eyes on this travesty.I do not agree with any bailouts. The government needs to setup a framework that ensures oversight (Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was supposed to fix this, right?) and accountability but then get out of the way.This is a market correction to years of overindulgence in the biggest corporations. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that consumer credit lending increased 11% from 2000-2006 but consumer income was less than half that. How does that work? The net result may be very painful but I'd rather see the market take a hit and fix itself (which it always does over time) then to have the government controlling private companies. If you look at the WSJ today, the experts are now saying that all these government take-overs aren't going to change a thing. The fix didn't work and the market will continue its correction -- but now, we get to also deal with Uncle Sam controlling the biggest companies in our country. All we need to finish this move towards the "State" control is a hammer and sickle on our flag.

towanda54 9 years, 7 months ago

Carcinogen,Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs on CNN certainly don't lean to the left. I guess you just forgot to mention them, right?

staff04 9 years, 7 months ago

"Take a deep breathisn't it almost lunchtime?"Yes Tom, it is, but be patient. We'll have your hot dog cut up into little pieces just like you like it in a moment...

TacoBob 9 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm, listen to NPR for more than 10 minutes and witness the slant. And our tax dollars contribute to this unbiased outlet.The right has its strongholds in certain segments/outlets, but the mainstream is definitely leaning one particular direction.So why is this? Do those of a certain ilk tend to seek employment in this field? Or those with funding tend to hire in a certain manner? Good examples on both sides, but before the AM radio swell (static and all) there wasn't much of an alternative.The extremes on both sides are entertaining, but the one that seems to be over the top on the tele is Olberman. He's good with the teleprompter but less effective winging it. But effective in many ways. Regardless, that dude foams at the mouth. I do admire his grooming though. Cool glasses too.The fascinating part of this will be how the losing side responds, and if they can get over it any time soon. This is where the real drama will be, and riveting to watch.

christy kennedy 9 years, 7 months ago

jason2007 (Anonymous) says: We don't need mommy or daddy government to wipe the crocodile tears from our eyes and tell us, "There, there Johnny. We'll help you out."Jason, Oh for god's sake. So while your party is bailing out one large, corrupt and failing financial institution after another, after your party deregulated and caused the whole mess (with CEOs who are walking away with multi-million dollar severance deals), I certainly hope you and your family aren't affected by a hurricane or any other natural disaster, or end up driving on an unstable bridge somewhere, because you've gone on the record for refusing assistance, right? Glad everything's ok in your world as you see it. Sorry you lack empathy and compassion for those less fortunate. If these were cave man days and we were all in a desperate day to day struggle for survival I would understand some having the looking-out-for-myself-only attitude. We're a little more advanced than that, however. And we really are our brother's keepers from time to time, if we're human, that is. You should try to adopt this attitude because you really never know when the day will come when it's you who needs help.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 7 months ago

jason2007 says...'"It Takes a Village", in my mind is a key-phrase for socialism 'Well, then you should probably delve into the concept a bit further. There are still small towns in America where neighbors look out for and have at least some level of trust and respect for each other and are not afraid to let a parent know the mischief Johnny/Jane may have been spotted doing...and the parents actually appreciate it.The sad part is that now, including in some parts of Lawrence, if you wave at someone in your neighborhood, they just glare at you like you kicked their dog.

Grundoon Luna 9 years, 7 months ago

ASB, KS, STRS, and Mac:Go listen to Charlie Brown and be sure have a Whineken with your pity party.The myth of media bias is busted!!! And has been for a long time but you all just keep on perpetuating it as if anyone but yourselves will listen.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 7 months ago

To those that complain that the media is biased: what would you suggest? If you bring up a problem, what could be done to "fix" it.And, please, base your suggestions in reality, not some of the wild spin and conjecture that some of the more right-leaning posters bandy about.@jason2007: while we may not agree on issues, I, for one, appreciate your approach to the discussions and debate here.It's a sure sign of the delusion of some of the posters when they invest their argument in sweeping generalizations. Either they have forgot the fault of that premise or never learned it to begin with. Oddly enough, they quite often skew conservative.

verity 9 years, 7 months ago

I was not going to get involved in this snarling catfight, but after thinking about the matter, it occurred to me that the whole point is being missed.The number of negative or positive stories about a certain candidate is not the point.The media should be reporting the truth. The truth is not a member of any political party. The truth is the truth. Whether a story is negative or positive is not the point---the point is whether it is true. We should be able to interpret that truth for ourselves.Unfortunately there are way too many opinionators masquerading as journalists and way too many of them basing their opinion on things that are not true or twisting what is true. A problem we all have is tending to interpret facts in the light of our own ideology. We also tend to listen to the people who agree with us.Can we just get past all the liberal vs. conservative thing and name calling---and try to figure out what is true and then proceed to what works for the future of our country? We are wasting way too much time in a false polarization that only can have a negative effect on all of us.

Ragingbear 9 years, 7 months ago

The land of sunshine and lollipops called. They want their reality back.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 7 months ago

@AFlockOfJayhawks:I appreciate that. Bottom line, we're all people who are trying to do our best to do what we think is right. The least we can do is approach a discussion with honesty, integrity, and leave the debate unsullied.

verity 9 years, 7 months ago

With all due respect, Jason, I disagree with you on many levels and it seems to me that you are contradicting yourself."To me, it's not a bad thing to be a liberal or a conservative - that's just what that person happens to be." Yet you say, "This is a complete dichotomy in worldviews that cannot be bridged. Liberalism (from my point of view) is something to be defeated, not to live with."You seem to be putting all people in one camp or the other, as if both "liberals" and "conservatives" are monolithic, agreeing on all things. I don't know anyone or know of anyone who does that. I have many views that are considered liberal and many views that are considered conservative.You are presenting two opposite scenarios as the only ones possible---outright and continuing war between what you see as two polar opposite sides trying to destroy each other or the "coke fantasy."I agree with you that the world is not going to be singing in perfect harmony anytime soon, but for a democracy to work, we need to come together and in some cases to compromise. Otherwise we just spend out time accomplishing nothing and we get what we have now. Nobody should bend over and grab the ankles as you so eloquently put it.Ideology is one of the key words here. We should try to base our ideology on facts, not our facts on our ideology, which is something I believe we are seeing way too much of and which is very dangerous.I would consider myself a pragmatist---we should do what works, not whether it is considered to be socialist or capitalist or whatever. Yes, we will continue to disagree, but I don't think we need to destroy others. And, gasp, we might even come to a consensus on occasion.To often polarization has been used by leaders to "divide and conquer", and we, the people, are not the winners.Enough for tonight.

christy kennedy 9 years, 7 months ago

Good letter/reality check. Problem is all the people who have trouble with reality.The "liberal media" blindly tip-toed along for years, too afraid to ask actual questions, while the Bush administration committed one crime after another and did almost everything else ineptly in between. Now some in the MSM are actually doing their jobs by asking questions, and after getting a BS answer, pushing for clarification. Imagine! Wanting to be clear on something and get the facts straight! It's only the folks with something to hide and facts to spin who cry, "No fair, no fair!" Then they toss absurd labels at media like "East Coast elites" and "San Francisco-style" but who are they fooling? Only the same bunch of impressionable yayhoos who voted for Bush twice, think John McCain is a "maverick," and Sarah Palin is "the real deal."If the facts about a candidate are problematic, you have to be delusional to maintain that the media should not do the job they are supposed to do FOR US, which is to shine a little light on the subject (and no, I do NOT mean personal or family issues, but what the public clearly deserves to know: credentials, experience, views and understanding of any topic, past record, etc.). And if a candidate isn't up to answering questions they have no business running in the first place.The obvious questions the media and the public need answers for when a relative unknown is suddenly running for high office involve that person's readiness and ability to do the job. Palin says she "didn't blink" and is ready to be VP/possibly president, but then the McCain people keep her under wraps and demand "deference" from the media and say she'll answer questions "at a time when the campaign sees fit." Since when? And McCain, who wants us to believe he can lead the country, cancels a long-scheduled interview with Larry King after seeing Campbell Brown pin one of his spokesmen on a lie? These people claim they're up to the task of going face to face with Putin and Ahmadinejad, of dealing with the economic crisis and the goings on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, North Korea, etc. etc. etc. Seems they should be able to interact, unscripted, with any member of press first.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 7 months ago

@Christy Kennedy:"It Takes a Village", in my mind is a key-phrase for socialism because of the person to which it is forever linked. If in your mind it equals ad hoc volunteerism, then I'm with you. That is true.I'm not a cold-hearted conservative who is only concerned about his own financial bottom line and selfish desires. In fact, I think that is anti-thetical to conservatism's human component which is rarely discussed.The problem with relying on government is that is has proven over the years that it is inept, inefficient, a trodding behemoth that is slow to respond to needs as they happen. Private enterprise, charities, and other organizations (basically, anything that's not government) is much more able to meet people's needs.Listen, I'm not against helping out those that are simply down on their luck. A woman who just got married, has a child, and her husband was killed in Iraq is not someone I point at say, "Your fault! You should have prepared. Look at me, I have 6 months of salary...blah blah blah" That is the typical vision that most Libs have of conservatives.In that situation, there is a responsibility by the military to take care of that woman who lost her husband while serving for our country. That's a valid govt responsibility but beyond that, I can think of very few where government is the best solution here.In a perfect world (you said "hopeful thinking"), a central organization like the government would be best suited to review genuine need, distribute monies effectively, and ensure that the problem in a person's life was corrected. The problem with this is human nature. Power in government corrupts the flow of the proper distribution of monies, the entity just gets too big to track the monies properly, those who review genuine need constantly change the bar of what constitutes genuine need -- eventually, you get to where we are today: money is taken from those that succeed and do plan and distributed to others via an ineffective vetting and review process. That is coercion and that's where we have a problem as conservatives.I don't want to get into a debate on the war and whether it was right or not....neither of us will change the others' mind on that.I'm going to leave the discussion with what I've written above and take a mental snapshot of the day that I finally (sort of) bridged a deep chasm of understanding between a conservative guy and a left-leaning gal. At least, I ended the day NOT feeling like I was beating my head against the wall.No names will be mentioned cough LogicSound cough :)

Grundoon Luna 9 years, 7 months ago

Jason, could it be that people at NBC think their personal policts are no one else's business?I think you and Tom took the brown acid. Y'all are hallucinating.Completely delunsional.Jason, How about ending corporate welfare while we are at it? Since all should stand on their own, shouldn't corporations also fend for themselves or die.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 7 months ago

@LogicSound:Nothing like cross-thread trolling, there.I'd love to defend Constructionism, but I have dinner with Scalia in an hour and I doubt anything I say is going to sway your point of view. We'll pick this up on another thead, another time.I look forward to it.Regardless of our different ways of looking at life, you're a worthy opponent.

1029 9 years, 7 months ago

The liberal bias is in reality, not the media. What are the media supposed to do--make stuff up to create a false balance?

ihatelv 9 years, 7 months ago

I didn't read the other comments, so this point might have already been made...There is no "liberal media". The liberal media said so......Makes sense doesn't it?

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