Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Question of Media Bias

Media bias is something that could be written about forever and ever.  For one thing, being that reporters are human, nothing they say, no matter how hard they try could be totally objective.  Even so...  sometimes they could make more effort... like in letting people know that Obama is a Christian, and that it's not a bad thing to be Muslim...

See Why McCain is getting hosed in the press October 29, 2008

Reader Responses Overflow After Story

When Politico editors John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei tackled the subject of media bias Tuesday, they knew they were venturing into controversial territory.

Still, they hadn't predicted the most intense reader response Politico has ever received, with hundreds of e-mails pouring into their inboxes within hours of the story hitting the web.

Some of the messages were downright hostile.

"Keep up the crappy work and your rationalization for it," one reader wrote.

"John," another commenter wrote to Harris, "I bet you['re] glad that the Wellstone Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 passed as it assures you and your associates proper treatment for the delusional state [you] are in regarding media bias and the Obama campaign."

Some readers were more articulate in challenging the article's contention that much of the rough treatment Sen. John McCain's campaign has received has stemmed from his campaign's unsteady performance, rather than ideological bias.

For some readers, that explanation misses the point. It's not just that reporters are relaying McCain's missteps, they say. It's that they're scrutinizing his tactics and policies more carefully than Obama's.

"Politico devotes zero serious investigative reporting or analysis of Obama's relationships with Ayers, Rezko, Wright, et al.; produces half a dozen stories on the personal life of Joe the Plumber," one reader charged, "obsesses over the cost of Palin's wardrobe yet buries Biden's numerous controversial statements including his prediction that Obama's election will produce foreign crises."

Politico has in fact devoted substantial coverage to Obama's controversial associations, and managing editor Bill Nichols just produced an extended analysis of Biden's lack of discipline. Still, this reader wasn't alone in his complaint that the press in general, and Politico in particular, has been more inclined to turn a skeptical eye to the GOP than to the Dems.

"Sometimes not saying something is just as damning as what you do say," one reader wrote. "I am disturbed by the fact that one part[y]'s VP has had more backgrou[n]d reported on them than the opposite party's lead candidate."

"McCain's campaign, especially Palin, has gotten a lot more criticism from the media on these investigative pieces, where they dig into Palin's past," another said. "Despite there being glaring gaps in the biography of Obama regarding his upbringing, his state senate activity, his academic writings and lectures, his legal clients, his tactics, associations, and advocacies as a community organizer, none of this seems to have been investigated by the mainstream media."

This reader added: "I personally think that one of the reasons these fringe, right-wing conspiracies about Obama being a Muslim, socialist, foreigner, etc. are flourishing because the media has not documented Obama's history well enough to disprove the crazy theories."

No comments: