GOP Doing Our Work For Us--Thanks, Guys!

Today brings us news of the GOP desperately seeking to win the presidential election for Barack Obama.  No, I'm not talking about McCain's giving away Colorado on a silver platter--though it is awfully nice of him to help us out like that.

I'm talking about the attention game.  Every Republican strategist in the their right mind knows that the GOP's only chance to win this presidential election is to make it a referendum on Obama, rather than on John McCain and the Bush Presidency.  Republicans know that by the time Obama and the DNC have spent all their advertising money, John McCain will be synonymous with Bush's 3rd term and voters will reject that option implicitly unless the election becomes entirely about the alternative, giving the GOP the chance to paint that alternative as unthinkable.  

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Study on network evening news bias criticized

Writing for Time's Swampland blog, Ana Marie Cox observes that the scant available data from the new CMPA study on evening news bias in the networks' evening news shows, the most significant finding is the lack of bias existent in said networks.

COX (7/28/08): The authors [of the study] admit that "most on-air statements during that time could not be classified as positive or negative," and that, in fact, found "less than two opinion statements per night on the candidates on all three networks combinedf." (I actually think that this apparent LACK of bias should be the real headline of the study.) Let's be generous and say that the average was about 1.5 "opinionated" statements a night--that's a grand total of about 60 "biased" statements since the study began on June 8.

Similarly, progressive media critic Bob Somerby today notes:

Simply put, CMPA's studies are rarely worth the pixels they burn. (Neither are similar studies from other orgs.) The notion that CMPA can quantify "positive/negative" coverage usually turns out rather poorly. On what basis does CMPA decide that some statement is "positive" or "negative?"Often, organizations which offer such studies have arcane notions of what those terms mean. When they give examples, we sometimes learn that their idea of a "negative" comment doesn't track our own real closely. And sometimes, these orgs give no examples at all. We are left with no real idea of what they're talking about.

Somerby also points out that some people are equating "network evening news shows" with "the media", when in fact only evening news shows were examiined. Click on the links above for more on the issue.

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"Liberal Media" My A**!

(Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama)

Did you all catch this in today's LA Times? If not, check it out. We actually find some real analysis of that old myth of the "liberal media" and the new rumors of a "media love affair with Barack Obama".

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Did McCain really call the media "my base"? If so, when?

There is not one discussion on media bias in which someone on our side won't quip, "Oh yeah? If the media is anti-McCain, why does he call it "my base"?

Two things must be investigated:

  1. Did McCain really call the media "my base"?, and if so,

  2. When?

We are in campaign 2008. If McCain called the media his base in 2000, I don't think that argument has any bearing on discussion of current media bias.

A baseball player is not necessarily great now because he was great in 2000.
Jack doesn't necessarily like Jill now because he liked her in 2000.

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McCain is not complaining about the media

One commenter speculated that John McCain was using the strategy Clinton allegedly used, that is, working the refs in order to gain sympathy. Besides the fact that Clinton did not put a gun to SNL's staff's heads to mock pro-Obama/anti-Clinton coverage, I have this to say:

First of all, Barack Obama received immensely better coverage than Hillary Clinton, just as he is receiving immensely better coverage than John McCain this time around.

Second, John McCain declined to comment when asked whether he thought the media was going a bit too far in its coverage of Barack Obama's trip.

If you want to continue the primary fighting-mode, bring it on. I will gladly debunk your BS, my cultist friends. If you act as if the primaries are over and stop picking on Hillary, I will give you a pass on your fabrications against McCain. In the meantime, allow me to debunk your falsehood:

Howard Kurtz, AP's TV critic David Brauder, and the director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, among others, and not John McCain, have been complaining about the fawning coverage received by Obama in recent weeks:

See "Kurtz: Media "Covering Obama As If He Were Already President" (July 21, 2008): tics/kurtz_media_covering_obama_as_if_he _were_already_president_89744.asp?c=rss

See, "Is media playing fair in campaign coverage?" (July 20, 2008), where Bauer observes:

The news media have devoted significantly more attention to the Democrat since Hillary Rodham Clinton suspended her campaign and left a two-person contest for the presidency between Obama and Republican John McCain, according to research conducted by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. n_tv/ap_on_tv_obama_s_trip

See Tom Rosenstiel, director of the independent Project for Excellence in Journalism, saying,

"No matter how understandable it is given the newness of the candidate and the historical nature of Obama's candidacy, in the end it's probably not fair to McCain,"
. n_tv/ap_on_tv_obama_s_trip

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