Author Topic: The so-called Liberal Media  (Read 220 times)

Offline Aginor

  • a monkey from a long line of kings
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 901
The so-called Liberal Media
« on: October 02, 2004, 04:20:56 AM »
One of my fascinations lately has been the media and it's role here in the US. One of the things the right has masterfully done is convince the people in charge and the general public that there is a secret liberal bias to the news that we see. I'm in the middle of reading up on the subject and will put my thoughts down sometime in the near future but as I was fucking around on the net tonight I came across a link to a website called Media Matters that had some interesting observations on the way the media subtly subverted their stories to suit another agenda.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200410010011

Quote
CNN host Wolf Blitzer:


PRE-DEBATE:

A pivotal night in this presidential campaign, perhaps a decisive moment. A key opportunity for the Democratic challenger, John Kerry, to break through, to try to establish himself as a formidable candidate in this race.

[...]

That's a huge audience. A lot of people, of course, most of that audience has already made up their minds. But those undecided voters are still critical.

[...]

A defining night. I think everybody agrees potentially. This certainly could be a defining night. Historians will be writing about this for many years to come. [CNN, live debate coverage, 9/30/04]

POST-DEBATE:

So even if John Kerry decisively won the debate, we shouldn't jump to any conclusions, let alone on the final outcome on November 2, but even if there will be a significant movement in the poll numbers, the real polls, not these instant polls over the next three or four or five days. [CNN, News From CNN, 10/01/04]



Quote
CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield:

PRE-DEBATE:

So you're planning to spend 90 minutes watching the candidates debate tonight? Millions of you say this is going to help you decide who you are for. [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 9/30/04]

For all of the hype, and God knows there's been a ton of it, this is the most important night of John Kerry's presidential campaign. He knows he's behind. He knows that 60 to 80 million people will be watching, and whether or not he can make that connection that he apparently has not yet made may be the pivotal point of the whole campaign. It actually is one of those events that we're not overhyping. [CNN, live debate coverage, 9/30/04]


POST-DEBATE:

I think John Kerry did a better job in debate terms. That's what -- you know, that's what the snap polls showed. That's what most of the experts, even the New York Post, a very pro-Bush paper, had its bipartisan panel say that Kerry actually did better.

But that's a different question from asking did they sway voters, because it's entirely possible that if a voter -- if enough voters have made up their minds, if the undecideds are smaller than our poll and the Bush campaign thinks it is, then it's perfectly consistent for people to say, well, I think Kerry won the debate, but I'm still voting for Bush because I think he's better on terror or Iraq or whatever. That's what we're not going to know for another two or three days.

And remember, four years ago the first snap polls of the first debate showed that Al Gore had -- quote -- "won on points." But two days later when the stories appeared about his sighing and a couple of mistakes he made, then the opinion changed.

So, I really think, you know, much as I know, we're all fascinated by snap polls and voters with dials, we've got to wait a day or two to see whether or not this is going to have a political effect. [CNN, American Morning, 10/1/04]




Quote
CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider:

PRE-DEBATE:

BILL HEMMER (CNN American Morning anchor): Well, here's an interesting question, too, that we posed in our debate on the screen for our viewers. "Will debates make much difference in your vote?" Only 18 percent say yes, which in a tight race could make the difference in this election. But if you notice the decline going back to 1996, do the debates no longer matter? Or do they no longer matter as much as they once did -- Bill [Schneider].

SCHNEIDER: What we're looking at here is evidence of the small number of undecided voters and the intense division of the electorate. Even more divided than in the Clinton years. Eighteen percent can make a difference if there's a strong tide pulling them in one direction. You know, that 18 percent of people who still aren't clear exactly how they're going to vote and are going to be watching those debates, the campaigns are spending tens of millions of dollars chasing them through every cornfield in Iowa and every factory in Ohio. They're a very big prize. [CNN, American Morning, 9/28/04]

POST-DEBATE:

Well, the viewers of this debate still think President Bush is tougher, more decisive than John Kerry. They do think John Kerry is a smoother talker. He explained himself, he presented himself better. But I've always said winning a debate does not automatically mean you get to become president.
You know, in previous elections, the first debate was often won by the candidate who didn't end up winning the election. Al Gore beat George Bush in the first debate in 2000. Walter Mondale was considered by viewers to have won the first debate in 1984.

And you know who won the first debate in 1992? A gentleman named Ross Perot. None of them got to be president.

Americans see other qualities that they want in a president, like decisiveness and toughness, not just debating skills. I think Kerry did himself a lot of good. I think there's going to be a lot of buzz about this debate. I think we've got a real contest on our hands, but people are going to wait and see the next couple of debates before they firmly make up their minds. [CNN, American Morning, 10/1/04]



Quote
CNN news anchor Miles O'Brien:


PRE-DEBATE:

[T]he debates are now set. That obviously is going to be a pivotal moment in this campaign. [CNN, Live From..., 9/21/04]

POST-DEBATE:

Well, by now we've seen the numbers, the major post-debate polls indicating the winner was Senator John Kerry over President Bush, but not to sound flip -- or flop, for that matter -- so what? What does Kerry's apparent win in the first of three debates mean for the race for president? [CNN, Live From..., 10/1/04]


There is a lot more that can be covered on this subject from Faux News blatant Republican spin, to more subtle bias on CNN, MSNBC, et al.

The problem is distinguishing those that are in it for political purposes (Faux) to those that exploit it for business purposes. What was surprising is not the pre-debate spin, that was expected, and I too thought it was important, but the reaction after. It was a consensus that Kerry won the debate, but the relative importance of it was downplayed so blatantly.

It's obvious that the corporate run media today need a close race for various reasons. The drama it creates attracts more viewers, thus creating more ad revenue. Also a close race causes the campaigns to step up their advertising thus ensuring more revenue as well.

Where it gets even more dangerous than that is when the media uses bias to promote a certain political agenda. Outlets like Fox don't show a conservative agenda; rather, they are a conduit for a specific political party. They employ and are run by former Republican operatives whose only objective is to relay that party's talking points to a wide audience. Having gained a large share of the audience with various patriotic themes, and subliminal messages, other media outlets having lost a large share of their audience mimic their method of operation in the hopes of recovering some of their lost viewers. It's not long before their is a "pack" mentality in the way our news gets filtered down to the viewer, which ultimately results in the loss of a open and independent media.

All this is done without any overt political pressure, but by secretly supporting and aiding one network to succeed, this right wing machine, has created an atmosphere in which news and dissenting opinions are suppressed.

I know I've ranted on for too long, but once I started typing it sort of all came out. There is much more for me to learn and hopefully I will be able to piece something more linear together. For those that want to learn more a good place to start would be to get "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism"

Offline Thin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7638
The so-called Liberal Media
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2004, 06:18:15 AM »
The effect of the media on politics is a great area for study.

I wasn't aware that t was assumed to some points that the media is bias towards the left, and while I can understand how that might have been evident post-Vietnam, I'd agree that it certainly isn't an accurate representation of what we have today.

Firstly, the role of the media is overlooked or downplayed significantly, in a democratic government the medis is expected to hold accountability of the representative leaders. If the media aren't providing the populace with fair and intelligent reports of politicians then they are failing the state. The bolded points that Agi deftly highlighted are probably representive of a few hundred thousand votes going to the Republicans, or at least completely undid all the work that Kerry did in the debate. They all said that Kerry won, yet suddenly it doesn't matter who won and the population is encouraged not to make a decision from the debate.

The shame is that the media is only held accountable by business and popularity, Fox news will show shit on their station because they're giving people what they want to hear, not what would be best for them to hear. This makes good business sense, but is immoral in the political realm.

This is probably the fault, is the distinction between business and politics has been blurred. Without a doubt many US news stations are Republican biased, Fox news made me choke when I first watched it. I couldn't believe it, you wouldn't suspect that its owned by an Australian. ;)

I don't have a problem with biased news. In fact I'm sure it is inevitable, I do think that at least there should be some news biased the other way. If all of the news is owned by one side then the bias is something extremely dangerous - Its undemocratic. It is necessary that we have news biased to the left, or at least a more critical moderate perspective.

Thanks for putting that up Agi, it was a good read.