Skip to comments.The media and the election
Posted on 07/01/2004 6:19:42 AM PDT by robowombat
The media and the election July 1st, 2004
Last week, the New York Times ombudsman was forced to acknowledge that the Times headline about the 9/11 Commissions findings on an Iraq Al Qaeda link was misleading. He noted, however, that the error was unintentional, whatever that might mean.
A few days back the Times reported the results of its latest Presidential election poll conducted with CBS News. The front page headline was that approval for President Bush was down to 42%, a new low. In the 11th paragraph, the reader, if he had stuck around that far, would also have learned that instead of being 8 points behind Kerry, as he had been in the previous months CBS poll, the two candidates were now running even -- Bush ahead by a point in a three way race, Kerry ahead by 1 point in a two man race. One might argue that closing an 8 point gap would be the bigger story, but in this case, one would be wrong, in the eyes of Times editors.
These are errors of commission: deliberate attempts to either slam the President, or present a picture that he is deep political trouble.
One area of the news that might provide a different reading would be the growth of the economy and new job creation. Yesterday, it was reported that consumer confidence had reached a much higher level than analysts had expected. Perhaps the million new jobs in the last three months is at least known to the families who now have an additional worker employed, even if the media has not made a big story of it. Friday, this months jobs report will be issued. Wall Street forecasters believe another 250,000 jobs were added in June, which would bring the total for 4 months to over 1.2 million new jobs.
This story, I will safely predict, will appear on the Times business page, not the front page (of course, if the jobs number is disappointing, the story might then move up to the first page). This is a journalistic error of omission. Another error of this kind was the news story that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Vice President Cheney in terms of maintaining the privacy of conversations of his Energy Task Force. This story did not merit a front page article in the Times, even though this was a very big issue for the Times, which editorialized about if frequently for months.
What defines blatant bias in the countrys most respected news paper? Bias, it seems to me, is a pattern of consistently presenting the news so as to advance a partisan cause. Such presentation bias can mean ignoring stories that do not advance the partisan interest, and highlighting those stories that do. In the case of the 9/11 Commission report, the partisanship was harder edged: promoting a story that the paper itself knew was false (as Bill Kristol pointed out in the Weekly Standard).
Many American newspapers and other media organs -- especially the network news broadcasts -- get their leads and inspiration from the Times. Another way of saying this is that these other organizations are lazy. They copy, rather than create. Since the major network new shows and their anchors share the editorial sympathies of the New York Times, including of course their Presidential preference, the same patterns of omission and commission in the Times, are repeated later in the day on television.
In the case of CBS, which conducts polls with the Times, the network has turned its once-respected 60 Minutes program into a Bush-bashing festival this year, with shows featuring Michael Moore, Richard Clarke, Bob Woodward, Paul ONeill and Bill Clinton. For other newspapers that copy from the Times, it does not necessarily even matter what sins of omission and commission have been committed by the Times. The Times news stories helps fill the column inches needed to surround the daily advertising that makes the newspapers profitable.
We are but four months from Election Day. Already, significantly more money has been spent on the Presidential campaigns than in any other year, to this point in the race. Everybody in both parties argues that this will be a watershed election, a critically important decision. In addition to the money made available to the two campaigns for the general election ($75 million each) by the federal government, huge amounts of supplemental money will be thrown in by 527 groups. Most of this will go to support the Democrats, who created and funded these groups early on, betting that the Federal Election Commission would not have the spine to stop them.
Then there is the movie. Michael Moores collection of half truths and smears has passed the $30 million box office level, and will probably easily exceed the $50 million level by Sunday. That means 6 million Americans will have seen it. That is a big number when compared to the size of the electorate that is expected to be slightly more than 100 million voters. By Election Day, the number who have seen Moores hit job on the President could be ten or fifteen million people. Moore is nothing if not a master manipulator. Undoubtedly some of the viewers will not be moveon.org types, and may be undecided voters, or even curious Republicans. The movie certainly wont create more passion for the President in any of them. Consider this a new kind of soft money contribution to the Kerry campaign.
The Presidents re-election will depend on two principal factors: the continued strength of the economy, and a situation that does not get any worse overseas in Iraq or elsewhere. The President was very wise to have set a June 30 date for handover to an Iraqi governing authority, whatever the situation on the ground (better than what you generally read). Americans are now much more likely to begin to view Iraq as they have viewed Afghanistan for the past two years -- as somebody elses problem too, and not exclusively ours.
We are still fighting in Afghanistan, and there are still casualties, and much of the country is not secure, though in Afghanistan of course, that last aspect is the story of its entire history. In Iraq, the turnover means that somebody else is now also responsible for security. Breakdowns are not just our fault. And Americans will now expect Iraqis to begin to police their own country and fight their own battles with the Baathist remnants and Al Qaeda forces in the country.
This is a very positive development for the President. It explains why the Times editorialized yesteray, demanding that hearings be held immediately on Abu Ghraib. Nothing could be worse for the anti-Bush forces than a strong economy and Iraq fading from the news. Dredging up Abu Ghraib is a way to try to link these ugly events with the President, and keep the story alive.
A few academics have developed models that predict the share of the popular vote for an incumbent President, based on a collection of economic data. These models today all project very big wins for the President -- on the order of 55% of the popular vote or more. I do not think we will see this result in November. For three years, the media and the Democrats have repeated the mantra about the terrible state of the economy, the worst jobs picture since Hoover, the millions of jobs being outsourced to Mexico and India, the anxiety of American workers and their families, the growing deficits.
This wave of negativism has succeeded in creating a generally gloomy mood in the electorate about the economy. Despite faster GDP growth in the last year than occurred at any time during the Clinton years and rapid jobs growth in recent months, the good news is not breaking through this cloud of gloom very easily. Some pollsters say that it is beginning to, but very slowly. Fewer than 50% of the respondents in every poll believe the economy is doing well, or give Bush credit for it. So whatever the raw data that is fed into the models, the same information has not yet been fed into the minds of most voters, a disconnect which is hurting Bush. And of course that smokescreen will continue the next few months if the New York Times, and the three networks have anything to say about it.
If the jobs picture looks good, and economic growth continues to be strong, then we will hear about health care inflation and the uninsured instead. When the American death toll in Iraq hits 1,000, probably before the election, it will be a big story in every paper, particularly in the Times, which will demand an accounting for the dead.
Michael Moore believes the last election was stolen, that the Iraq war was fought for big oil and Halliburton, and that the Afghanistan war occurred so as to allow Unocal to build a pipeline. The New York Times reviewer A. O. Scott loved Fahrenheit 911, and applauded Moores passion and patriotism (patriot seems an odd description for a man who calls the be-headers of Americans the real patriots). The Times and Moore are not very far apart on the issues. Moore says what the Times and other better-dressed leftists believe. The Times, like Moore, has an apocalyptic vision about the next 4 years if Bush is re-elected.
If the good news that is out there can seep through enough to get Bush re-elected, the level of traumatic distress in the Bush-hating community will be immense on November 3rd.
But there are powerful forces that will fight to see that the good news does not get through. Bush will be heavily outspent from now until Election Day. And the free, supposedly neutral media, will deliver many times the value of the paid media in effective support for the Kerry campaign. Here again, most Americans have been led to believe that Bush raised a record amount of money and has a huge spending advantage. The truth is different. The Kerry spots in the battleground states have far outnumbered the Bush spots so far, when you include the moveon ads, the ACT ads, and all the other Democratic support group ads. But that is also something you will not read about.
There are advantages to incumbency that Bush will need to use to match the media onslaught he will face. Fortunately for Bush, Kerry appears to lack basic human warmth. The Kerry campaign has caught on to this, and Kerry has receded to the background for months, as the Democratic attack machine has attempted to make the campaign all about Bush, as if anybody else (even Kerry) will do. At some point Kerry will be forced to surface; certainly he cannot hide during the debates. Americans then will be able to make a judgment, free of media spin. Watch closely for any move to gin-up a dispute which would derail the now-traditional Presidential debates.
But the Bush-haters do not mean to be denied. They smell blood, and they mean to produce it. And fairness is not part of their vocabulary. It will be an ugly Fall.
It's infuriating. But Bush can be heard above the din, if he tries hard enough, and often enough. So far, I don't think he has done so.
Just wake from a 12 year nap Richard?
Very good analysis. Thanks for the post.
Sure looks like a violation of CFR to me. My suggestion would be to print it out, save the email in the archives, and report it to the Attorney General (not the state AG), by reporting it to the local US Attorney's office. Also, the FBI is instrumental in investigating and reporting crime, so a call to them might not be a bad idea. And your elected Republicans might also want this information, don't you think? LOL! My last suggestion is to consider taking this to the media; even though it is probably a yawn for them, because there are still some reporters who relish the idea of "breaking" a scandal story.
Thanks so much for keeping me in the loop, even when I'm not able to respond the way I should!
Adding a third, and the only one that counts, IMO........ God's will, and HIS supremacy over evil.
Pray for this election.
bump....... keep them checks a rolling, rawhide......
To the Bush/Cheney campaign of course.......
"At some point Kerry will be forced to surface; certainly he cannot hide during the debates. Americans then will be able to make a judgment, free of media spin. Watch closely for any move to gin-up a dispute which would derail the now-traditional Presidential debates.
But the Bush-haters do not mean to be denied. They smell blood, and they mean to produce it. And fairness is not part of their vocabulary. It will be an ugly Fall."
Kerry is a fundementally flawed candidate, and I doubt he will come close to beating the President when we finally get the opportunity to vote.
What I think many are missing is whats happening to the New York Times. Its dying before our very eyes, and its by its own hand.
But a better way of putting it is that the Constitution rules out government censorship of journalism because journalism is just politics, and cannot be otherwise. That means that broadcast journalism, based as it is on the censorship of the many without broadcast licenses in favor of the government-favored few who do, has a core lack of legitimacy and perforce must herd together with the biggest print journalisms to create a pseudo-objective consensus.
It is possible to evaluate the perspective of any given journalism, be it The New York Times or the Fox News Channel, only from a historical perspective. From a historical perspective it is easy to see that the Democratic Party has been anti military since John Kerry threw the idea of honor in military medals over the White House fence. And it is easy to see that journalism supported the Democratic Party in that position. And it is easy to see that those whom the journalists and other Democrats labeled "Right Wing Cold Warriors" were vindicated by history.
The only conclusion is that "objective journalism" is a cabal of those who uses their propaganda power to define the term. And that that cabal has no historical record of actual objectivity. And that government-sponsored (broadcast) journalism which propagandizes to the effect that it is objective but which has no record of actual objectivity is illegitimate propaganda.
It probably is but the democrats are well known for violating every law known to man with total impunity.
With the minstream media and most judges on their side, who is going to stop them?
Our Nation is in stage two of a communist[socialist] revolution.It progressed rapidly toward socialism and total depravity during the clinton administration. It has been slightly slowed and in the process of being stopped.The socialists are trying to get it back on course. This is what john kerry means when he says he does not like the way the Country is heading.When hillary says that they must get the Country back to where is was.
The mainstream media, the democrats, socialists, communista, gerrns, and environmentalists all envision a United States where the government bureaucrats have total and complete control of the people. They, of course, being the bureaucrats. Where the mention of God is forbidden and punishable by either death or imprisonment. Where every type of sexual act is permitted, no matter how unnatural, perverted, obscene, or degenerate.
Sorry about the formatting -- I didn't realize there was HTML in the document!
All - A friend of mine is on MoveOn.org email list to follow what the enemy is doing and just received this. Check out the bottom of the email. This is an obvious coordinated message since the Kerry campaign approved the message (see end of email) which we believe is against the law! What do you think?
From: "Eli Pariser, MoveOn PAC"
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 14:53:58
Subject: Send Kerry a message before his deadline
Tomorrow night marks a critical fundraising deadline for the Kerry campaign. Send him the message that progressives support him and want him to fight for our values by contributing now at:
Dear MoveOn member,
Fahrenheit 9/11's record-breaking box office sweep this weekend is just the latest indication that times are changing. A new poll released this morning finds President Bush with lower job approval than at any time in his presidency. Thanks to your hard work and inspiring activism, we stand a better chance of firing George Bush than we ever have.
This is the moment for us to send Kerry a powerful message, one he'll want to hear. The more we show Kerry that real people with strong, progressive values are key to his success, the more strongly he'll fight for our values as President. Of course, those values include everything from opposing Bush's policy of endless war to making sure our kids have a real chance at success -- through good schools, affordable health care, and a strong economy.
Given a critical fundraising deadline tomorrow night, it's an especially good time to reinforce that we value this kind of leadership from John Kerry. Help send this message now by giving to his campaign through the link below, which will track donations from MoveOn PAC members and put a progressive stamp on our funds.
Already, we may have had a dramatic impact, encouraging Kerry to stake out a leadership position. Not long after we called on Kerry to go big, he released a bold new health care plan that would provide coverage for millions of Americans without health care.
Just a few short months ago, as the primary season drew to a close, few people thought that John Kerry could match George W. Bush's massive campaign war chest, filled to the brim by Bush Pioneers who each raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from their wealthy friends.
We have proven that conventional wisdom wrong. Small donors, hundreds of thousands of us, have helped ensure that John Kerry's campaign to beat George Bush is competitive. And our small donations have helped the Kerry campaign get a strong message out to undecided voters across the country about Bush's failed policies and Kerry's own plans for America's future.
Contributions from grassroots activists like us have helped shape the course of the 2004 campaign and have changed political history. We have shown that the average college student, senior citizen, or working person contributing $25 or $50 can have a real impact in a presidential election campaign.
And through our dollars, as donors and supporters, we are sending a message about the new direction we want for our country and the kind of progressive message and issues we want John Kerry to emphasize in his campaign, and in his presidency.
The next few weeks will be the Kerry campaign's last opportunity to accept and spend individual donations. After he accepts the nomination at the Democratic Convention on July 29th, he is legally obligated to begin the Presidential Public Funding period, and will have approximately $75 million to spend to run his campaign between August and November. After July 29th, his campaign will no longer be allowed to accept or spend individual contributions from the public.
Because the Republican Convention begins nearly a full month after the Democratic Convention, George Bush and the Republicans will have an extra month to raise and spend money attacking Kerry. While Kerry will be at a distinct disadvantage in August, contributing today -- and inviting others to join us -- will help minimize the effect.
That's why the Kerry campaign needs your help today. If you can, please consider giving $25, $50, $100 or more today at:
June 29th, 2004
PAID FOR BY MOVEON PAC
Authorized by John Kerry for President, Inc.
Can I buy a paragraph Alex?
Media bias bump.
There are advantages to incumbency that Bush will need to use to match the media onslaught he will face. Fortunately for Bush, Kerry appears to lack basic human warmth. The Kerry campaign has caught on to this, and Kerry has receded to the background for months, as the Democratic attack machine has attempted to make the campaign all about Bush, as if anybody else (even Kerry) will do. At some point Kerry will be forced to surface; certainly he cannot hide during the debates. Americans then will be able to make a judgment, free of media spin. Watch closely for any move to gin-up a dispute which would derail the now-traditional Presidential debates.The presidential debates are not a noble tradition because they are moderated by "objective" journalist(s) who are positioned above the present and (the) future POTUS. Since the institution of the debates they have failed to embarass an incumbent standing for reelection only when the shameless x42 was standing for reelection.
Being on live TV they tend to place great emphasis on appearance rather than substance. It is for instance no accident that no bald man has been nominated to the presidency since the institution of the televised debates.
The broadcast time allotted to the debates is too short. Combined with the moderation of the journalist(s), that puts excessive pressure on the Republican to avoid the "gaffe."
In sum, the TV "debates" amount to an audition for the TV role of "president" rather than a realistic test of actual presidential temperament and prudence. All very well, when the Republic is blessed with a Ronald Reagan who is well suited to the position of POTUS and also well suited to audition for the TV role of "president" - but otherwise an x42 administration is all too easily the result.
The solution to that is to conduct the debates on the radio rather than on TV, to conduct them as true unmoderated debates with microphone time equalized by a chess timer, and to conduct them in a long form - perhaps 3 hours. Rush Limbaugh should produce them.
The only out for a solid felony charge for the Kerry Campaign is to say they knew nothing and authorized nothing in advance. There is no out for MoveOn.org They are criminals, if the FEC has the integrity to pursue the matter.
John / Billybob
Here is what keeps getting my attention ..
What are they going to do with all that money they are collecting after Kerry accepts the nomination??
Also .. I keep hearing how he is spending BIG buck on ads
We keep hearing about how much he has collected .. but I wonder what his finances really look like
The next few weeks will be the Kerry campaign's last opportunity to accept and spend individual donations. After he accepts the nomination at the Democratic Convention on July 29th, he is legally obligated to begin the Presidential Public Funding period, and will have approximately $75 million to spend to run his campaign between August and November. After July 29th, his campaign will no longer be allowed to accept or spend individual contributions from the public
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