The Media and The Republican Ticket

November 9, 2008

In conclusion of two gruesome years of brutal campaigning and rhetoric, global attention and nationwide anxiety, a president has been elected in the form of an eloquently-speaking 46 year old — Senator Barack Obama.

The opposing party has since acknowledged their defeat and seemingly ambled in the direction of moving on, but anonymous political finger pointing from John McCain’s aides at to past running mate Sarah Palin and back have sparked various amounts of media airtime, and again the media bias topic has been thrown onto the table. 

So in final closing of the election, this question is more or less ready to answer: is the media in fact biased to one side and if so, by how much?

McCain With The MediaI think that in looking at this topic, many can see it in very different ways, based on their political views from the election. It is not a rare sight to see both liberal and conservative blogs and strongly left or right press outlets sending out daily attacks at the media, and that is not where or what would be constructive to do in actually answering this question. Instead, what we have to work with are simply facts and what has happened. 

Blame in this corner generally comes from clips of news anchors strongly defending or attacking a political figure, which can be taken in different ways based both on the context and the topic.

Fox News, attacked daily for bias, has in fact been “exposed” numerous times of taking anti-Obama clips from interviews and failing to air the rest, which most of the time is in fact against McCain. And respectively, frequently attacked MSNBC has not only been accused of bias toward Obama, but has also devoted air time to attack the supposed “right” media. 

But with this aside, to accuse the media of bias is more or less a completely impossible argument to complete in a non-partisan manner. The talking heads most politically attacked are merely hosted by media outlets and not necessarily backed by them — with the exception in my opinion being Bill O’Riley. But in fact, I enjoy viewing O’Riley even though I know him as conservative, in the same way I enjoy watching Keith Olbermann because I know him as a liberal. 

But above this, I honor both O’Riley and Olbermann for simply attacking each other, brutally pointing out mistakes in simply the form of media that we Americans have come to know. I personally perceive Fox News as conservative and MSNBC as liberal, but have come to not simply face these facts, but absorb both in light of what each media outlet has to say, and take it into context when choosing what to believe how to believe. 

So I’ll open this up to the commenters: What do you think — is there bias in the media, by what magnitude, and how is it perceived by you?

About these ads

36 Responses to “The Media and The Republican Ticket”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Well Pacer,

    It depends on who you call media. Because I don’t consider Bill’O or KOlbermann to be media; they are more commentary. So their actions should not reflect as much to Fox or MSNBC as their 10-4 blocks, which are purely driven by themselves. Thats when the real partisan from Fox begins. But in MSNBCs case, they aren’t very biased during that time.

  2. pacer521 Says:

    Deanjbaker,

    thank you for the comment.

  3. pacer521 Says:

    Kevin,

    Thanks for the comment. Like I said in the post, I don’t consider O’Riley or Olbermann part of MSNBC of FOX, but not exactly commentary either.

  4. Ann Baekken Says:

    hi pacer!

    (Thanks for stopping by!)

    I’d agree that both O’Reilly and Olberman are biased, but aren’t they so pretty openly also? I mean, it’s not like there’s any secret about it? And of course they are media, just like op-eds are. Anyway – wasn’t there a lot of fuss and ranting over Hillary’s campaign playing the blame game when she lost the primaries? Seems sometimes to be more about getting a sellable quote or story, and that can swing any which way, right?

  5. Jacob Rockerduck Says:

    I think there is always bias. I think that is alright, as long as I know what they stand for so I can filter the information. I like that Fox News has an open bias coupled with the “Fair and Balanced” tagline – aimed at annoying liberals.

    But in Europe they have the most twisted view of these things. They think that “commercial” broadcasters cannot be objective, so you need a “public service” (read: nationalised) broadcaster to provide independent views.

    If the Soviet Union taught us anything it must be that state-TV is not objective. And thus the BBC is known for its ant-Israel bias. And the US correspondent for Swedish public radio had to resign in 2004 because she said, on the air, that she had to be objective but objectively Kerry was better so she had a “journalistic duty” to convey that.

    American commercial broadcasters might be biased too. But at least Americans are not forced to pay for it through taxes.

    JDR

  6. neverenoughwords Says:

    Hey, Pacer. Don’t know how you found my blog, particularly since I just started it yesterday, but thanks for dropping by. http://neverenoughwords.wordpress.com/

    Hmm. I kind of like Jacob’s take on this. I know Fox for what it is, and I should stop trying to fool myself into thinking CNN is unbiased. CNN is just more civil. Fox News has its place. I just can’t bring myself to watch it because every time I do (1) someone is involved in a shouting match, (2) a guest or host is utterly smug, (3) guests or hosts attempt to win the game of who can be the most vitriolic. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no fan of CNN’s Lou Dobbs, “Mr. Independent” as he likes to call himself. He’s cornered the smug market. I can only take a little bit of him even when I do agree with him. But it all comes down to civility.

    So, I heard about a rabid fox attacking a woman. It bit her in several places and literally clamped on to her arm as she ran to the car and finally stuffed it in her trunk. It also bit an animal control worker. Both are receiving rabies shots. I couldn’t help but to think of that as some kind of metaphor for Fox News. Is that over the line? Anm I being less than civil?

  7. thebobofiles Says:

    Nice blog you got here. Found you through Killer Buffalo – Dave and I contribute at another blog together.

    Anyway – in case you were not aware – A joint study between UCLA, Stanford, and U of Chicago asks and answers this question. If you know those institutions, they will never be considered centrist or conservative. Their study did in fact conclude that the media in general does lean left and is biased against conservatives.

    You can find it here:
    http://mason.gmu.edu/~atabarro/MediaBias.doc

    That became very apparent this election cycle – and the fact that the major news outlines and major newspapers are losing revenue due to less consumers is testimony.

    Keep up the great work here!

  8. pacer521 Says:

    Ann Baekken,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes, there was some talk about Hillary not being especially overjoyed at losing the primary, but that was suspected. She did her job in supporting and campaigning for Obama.

  9. pacer521 Says:

    Jacob Rockerduck,

    I think you got it head on. I guess my point was that there always will be bias, but the challenge is that you must know where and when it will be coming from so you can filter it out and take the knowledge from it. And yhis has always been non-existant with some Fox News and MSNBC watchers who don’t understand that there may be opinions put out, and then take certain soundbites as facts.

    Thanks for the great comment.

  10. pacer521 Says:

    neverenoughwords,

    No problem. I heard about your blog because some other blogger was referring some new blogs to me and I got your link. Keep up the good work over there, I’ll always be checking out your content as I subscribed to your RSS.

    Yeah, I share your personal views about Fox News. I really can’t stand watching them unless I want to be more or less entertained.

    What I don’t like about them in general is that the guests they invite are complete political opposites, many because they want a shouting match. And I think that CNN tries to invite people on to their shows for content.

    Thanks for the comment.

  11. pacer521 Says:

    thebobofiles,

    Thanks for coming over, yeah the guys over at killerbuffalo are pretty awesome. I actually heard of that poll, and thanks for pointing that out, but I guess you could say that my post was more or less about the fact that there was a media bias and how people could use it to their advantage.

    Great comment, and thanks for coming to my blog.

  12. Terra Says:

    I agree with the sentiments given here, the shows that admit they are biased and one sided I don’t see as news, I see them as entertainment. (Although sometimes they bring up things that are worthy of looking into.) The “real” news isn’t as much fun but I didn’t see as much biased stuff in there. (Although, other than to watch funny make fun of fox, I didn’t really watch fox for news.)

    Sometimes I felt vindicated in something (suggesting positive coverage of my choice), and sometimes I felt ruffled (indicating coverage I didn’t like for my choice), and sometimes I felt like I had to look into an issue a bit more (the issue wasn’t addressed to my satisfaction.) I will say that sometimes I didn’t feel that both sides were shown in their entirety. However, it seemed pretty much even for both candidates.

    I would also say that most of the people upset with news other than fox, is for silly games. (Like the association game, and they want it to be against Obama. However, to do the association game a seventy year old man is always going to have more negative associations then a forty year old man. Of course I realize that my associations wouldn’t look good if I was in the public eye either. So perhaps I am not a good representation of people, and their thoughts on associations.)

  13. chamay0 Says:

    As you stated we can pretty much exclude all commentaries. I will admit that I do not consider the Fox News as a real news station when it came to this past election coverage.

    First off it must be noted that more liberals participant in the News industry than conservatives. Therefore, it can be noted that probably on a scale of left versus right views points there will probably be more left than right in the mainstream media. Although the right wing have their outlets they just are not as mainstream.

    That being said I can tell you that most media outlets operate with a certain amount of bias when they want to portray a story in a certain light. A great site to check out is http://www.mediamatter.com, who consistently point out the deception that any and all news shows, news papers and news radio shows have used to twist a story.

  14. sfcmac Says:

    Hey chamayO,

    How about this one:

    http://mrc.org/

  15. Claudia Says:

    Hey Pacer,

    As some of your previous commenters have stated, I have also come to see the primetime Fox and MSNBC shows as televised op-ed pieces. On XM Radio, they even divide their talk shows into “America Left” and “America Right” – which is fine with me, so long as they are up front about it. Having said this, I would appreciate more “objective” or, at least, well rounded news sources (CNN is sometimes all over the place). NPR and PBS fill the gap for me, but I wish there were more choices for news and not just “infotainment” – LOL.

    Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog, by the way! Frieda and I really appreciate it and we plan to be frequent visitors to your site in the future.

  16. 1superdave Says:

    O’Riley is a self professed independant, and in a commentator. Oibermann is a news anchor.

  17. pacer521 Says:

    sfcmac,

    I can see your opinion, but your sources aren’t exactly credible. The quotes are solely from right-thinking point of views, and it is everyone as big as Chris Matthews job to make the transition from president-elect to president as easy as possible. Matthews just wants what is best for the country — if McCain won he would be saying the same thing.

    My post was about non-partisan facts and opinions of the media bias during the election, not after. Thanks for the comment.

  18. pacer521 Says:

    Terra,

    A very well thought out comment, and thanks for coming over and putting out your opinion. I agree with you in most parts — there are times where I do want to hear what pleases me, that at times being a more conservative or liberal standpoint.

    However, I just stay away from Fox altogether for content, only if I want some entertainment or a good laugh.

  19. pacer521 Says:

    chamay0,

    hmm…you make another good point. I think that it is undeniable that there is in fact more liberals in the media than conservatives, but the question is which side has a louder voice, which is in itself another subject.

    Thanks for the link to that site.

  20. pacer521 Says:

    Claudia,

    Yeah, as long as they are up front about it, it is fine with me as well. Thanks for coming over and commenting.

  21. pacer521 Says:

    1superdave,

    hehe… I don’t really know how to answer this without sounding completely partisan and liberal, but Bill O’Riley is not an independent, no matter what he claims. He thinks right, acts right, and talks right. Olbermann is not an anchor, and is liberal in the same way O’Riley is conservative. Thanks for commenting.

  22. 1superdave Says:

    olbermann and Matthes are both anchors and there biais was such that nbc said they couldn’t be debate moderators. I think bill o’riley is more moderate than you think. I definitely think he’s a fence stradler. He as very fair to Obama in his interveiw. I don’t like him for his so-called independant status. Anyone with a brain knows that the media is behind the liberal agenda. That is a mute subject. You are just to long at the koolaid.

  23. 1superdave Says:

    Ed rendell a promenant democrat and hillery suporter said that fox was the fairest coverage that hillery got.

  24. 1superdave Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkejwWGYNqw This is te link . see it for your self.

  25. rdxdave Says:

    I think that in order to achieve an accurate judgment as to whether or not the media is bias. You would have to first define what neutral would be. For instance, the term “liberal media” was applied by Conservatives to those criticizing the Bush administration. Is criticism a guage of bias, or is that what the press is supposed to do? I suppose that if the liberal media gives Obama a free pass on mistakes that would be evidence of bias but our standard for this estimation must first be established.

  26. Terra Says:

    Good point rd… I think I will say something my mother has been telling me since birth. People inherently not neutral, therefore it is most certainly true that no news story is completely unbiased.

    Her recommendation? Find outside the US news sources that you feel don’t have a stake (in the terms of not sure which would be in their best interest) in the process and see what they have to say.

  27. Kevin Says:

    Good Point Terra

  28. huxbux Says:

    The media bias is an old, tired argument. Rdx raises a good point which can be extrapolated into another question:

    From where does our expectation that the media remain unbiased spring from? And is that expectation reasonable?

    My own answer to that question is we wrongly categorize the media as a public service, coupled with the individuals apathy towards self-education, making this expectation for unbiased media unreasonable. Personally, I think it’s the duty of the viewer to filter the news. Identify and remove opinion then proceed to sort through fact, quasi-fact, and non-fact.

    I have my own theory on “media bias” that revolves around how entertainment and viewership interact, but I won’t bore anyone with that.

  29. Terra Says:

    That is a good point to huxbux, I have to admit that unless there is something I really want to see in the news, I don’t watch it. It isn’t fun to me, I look to TV for entertainment…

    So it stands to reason that I cannot be the only one with those leanings, therefore the news even has to try to be somewhat entertaining…

  30. 1superdave Says:

    When a network keeps it’s bias when revenue is down because the viewership is dwindling, because the viewership is sick of the obvious bias, that is clear proof in and of itself.

  31. sarahpalinmoose Says:

    1superdave
    O’Rilesy is about as middle as a right turn. He’s on our side, ya know. He was kinda nicer to Obama though but that don’t mean his politics is liberal.

    O’Riley should be called O’Rightly.

    Sarahpalin’s Moose

  32. athensboy Says:

    Just a fact quibble: Mr. Obama was actually 47 when elected: born August 4, 1961.
    Keep up the good work. -Athensboy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: