Patterico's Pontifications

10/22/2008

Kirsten Powers: The Media’s “Incredible Bias”

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 10:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Democratic pundit Kirsten Powers’ article in the New York Post looks at the media double-standard when it comes to Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, beginning with Biden’s claim that Obama’s election could cause an international incident:

The outakes of [Biden’s] Sunday remarks don’t begin to capture the magnitude of what he said. After warning the crowd that there would be some sort of international incident – Biden could think of four or five scenarios – he told the donors: “We’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

What does that mean? Obama’s election would provoke an international incident because of his inexperience and even Obama’s biggest supporters won’t be reassured by his response?”

As if that weren’t enough, Biden also raised concerns about Obama’s ability to deal with economic issues:

“Then there were Biden’s predictions on the economy: “I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, ‘Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? . . . Why is this thing so tough? . . . I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point, because you’re going to have to reinforce us.

“There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision.’ ”

Biden is teling [sic] us that, at a time when Americans need to feel confidence in their government, they will be going “Oh my God.” Not a great message.

Needless to say, if Sarah Palin said this about a McCain administration, the media world would be exploding.”

Powers sees this as media bias where Republicans are always dumb and Democrats are always given the benefit of the doubt. It reminds me of modern TV sitcoms, with Republicans cast as the dumb dads and Democrats as the brilliant or perfect moms.

Too bad there aren’t more Democrats in the media who can be as thoughtful as Powers was in this article.

— DRJ

Defining Socialism (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 8:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The definition of socialism from page 41 of the Weather Underground’s 1974 manifesto Prairie Fire, courtesy of zombietime:

“Socialism is the total opposite of capitalism/imperialism. It is the rejection of empire and white supremacy. Socialism is the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the eradication of the social system based on profit. Socialism means control of the productive forces for the good of the whole community instead of the few who live on hilltops and in mansions. Socialism means priorities based on human need instead of corporate greed. Socialism creates the conditions for a decent and creative quality of life for all.”

The introduction to Prairie Fire was signed by Bill Ayers, who said the book was written for “communist-minded people, independent organizers and anti-imperialists … to all sister and brothers who are engaged in armed struggle against the enemy.”

Compare that with Obama’s economic and tax policies, courtesy of Joe the Plumber:

“Obama said, “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’re gonna be better off [sic] if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.

Socialist soulmates.

UPDATE: Confederate Yankee has more on what Ayers and Dorhn, the leaders of the Weather Underground and authors of Prairie Fire, had in mind for America — re-education camps and the murder of as many as 25 million Americans.

— DRJ

Bookmark This Address

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:47 pm

Bookmark this address:

Patterico (Temporary bookmark)

If you have any trouble reaching my site over the next 24-48 hours, use that address.

I’ll explain later. For now, bookmark it.

Questions for MSNBC

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From the Instapundit via Breitbart TV:

“ANDREA MITCHELL busted on a Biden coverup. “Mitchell says, ‘I think we played the whole thing.’ But as Breitbart.tv documented on Tuesday, the clip that Mitchell used was not from the Seattle event, but rather much milder comments made in San Francisco. MSNBC has even labeled the incorrect audio as being from the Seattle event.”

Deja vu? According to Media Matters, MSNBC and its reporters had similar problems at the end of September:

“On MSNBC Live, Andrea Mitchell followed Contessa Brewer in airing a heavily cropped version of former President Bill Clinton’s remarks on Meet the Press in which Clinton seemingly declined to respond in the affirmative when asked by Meet the Press host Tom Brokaw if he would say he “admire[s]” Sen. Barack Obama and “think[s] he’s a … great man.” Mitchell called Clinton’s comments “hardly an endorsement” of Obama and “not as effusive as you would expect.” But Mitchell did not air or otherwise note Clinton’s statements moments later that he “certainly admire[s]” Obama and that Obama’s “greatness will … become apparent” when he is elected president.”

At a minimum, MSNBC and its reporters have issues with vetting their source material.

H/T Mike K.

— DRJ

Newsweek Reporter Outs Himself as a Hack

Filed under: 2008 Election,Current Events,Media Bias — Karl @ 2:27 pm

[Posted by Karl]

After publishing “Hack: Confessions of a Presidential Campaign Reporter” in GQ, Newsweek journo Michael Hastings may never work in “this town” again.  Hastings joins the ranks of those confirming what most people think of the establishment media.  For example, after confessing that he fantasized about putting Rudy Giuliani out of commission “for a year or so,” he adds:

If that sounds like I had some trouble being “objective,” I did. Objectivity is a fallacy. In campaign reporting more than any other kind of press coverage, reporters aren’t just covering a story, they’re a part of it—influencing outcomes, setting expectations, framing candidates—and despite what they tell themselves, it’s impossible to both be a part of the action and report on it objectively. In some cases, you genuinely like the candidate you’re covering and you root for him, because over the long haul you come to see him as a human being. For a long time, this was John McCain’s ace in the hole with the press, whom he referred to as “my base.” Reporters rode along with him, and he joked with them, and that went a long way toward shaping the tone of their coverage. (Last January a group of reporters asked McCain’s staff to make McCain campaign press T-shirts for them.) And because your success is linked to the candidate’s, you want to be with a winner, because that’s the story that makes the paper or the magazine or gets you on TV.

Not that Hastings has any more respect for McCain than he does Giuliani:

I didn’t jump at the chance to cover him. I’d met him and thought he was affable, and I imagine he was at one time as honorable as everyone says. But his views on war and foreign policy, the way he fetishized the idea of sacrifice, unnerved me a little. He seemed to have gone just a little crazy, Captain Ahab–style.

One is tempted to note how similar this assessment is to the talking points issued by the Obama campaign, but the reality is that no such talking points are actually needed.  The establishment media groupthink supplies them naturally. But RTWT, to discover that “fidelity wasn’t exactly a prized virtue among reporters on the campaign trail,” Hastings’ use of XX pornography on the hotel cable, and so on.

It is a useful article to have handy when The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism claims that the overwhelmingly negative coverage of McCain since the conventions is not necessarily the product of a pro-Obama bias, but may be “a strong suggestion that winning in politics begat winning coverage.”  Not only was McCain winning at the conclusion of the conventions, but there is also that not-so-small matter of the establishment media “influencing outcomes,” “setting expectations,” and “framing candidates.”  Those who wanted a T-shirt in January when McCain was a long shot likely adopted a quite different attitude once he became an obstacle to the ascendancy of The Age of Obama.

(h/t Insty.)

–Karl

Obama’s Leadership

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:44 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

As evidenced by his flip-flops on issues and propensity to vote present, Barack Obama seems to have a hard time taking firm positions on important topics. His specialty is contemplation and while that is an important trait, America’s President isn’t elected to be philosopher-in-chief. A leader must be prepared to take clear positions on important topics.

This is not leadership:

“Obama sidestepped a question on whether he would attend a summit of world leaders the Bush administration has called for Nov. 15 to discuss the global economic crisis, saying he has ideas but doesn’t want to say much about them yet.

“We have one president at a time,” he said.”

With only two weeks to go before the election, now would be a good time to share those ideas, Senator Obama.

Of course, normally I’d applaud Obama’s reluctance to second-guess a sitting President dealing with foreign governments but Obama has already demonstrated his willingness to comment on Bush’s policies in Iraq. Just last month Obama’s national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi confirmed Obama “told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a ‘Strategic Framework Agreement’ governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office.” Now that agreement may be on hold due to reluctance by Iraqi Cabinet members.

If Obama is willing to comment with foreign leaders regarding how the President and commander-in-chief handles the Iraq War, he should certainly be willing to comment on a world financial summit. Then again, maybe Obama just needs more time and he’ll be ready sometime next week.

— DRJ

Obama Wants to “Spread the Wealth Opportunity”

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:06 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Last week Barack Obama told Joe the Plumber he wants to “spread the wealth” to more Americans, but this week Obama has reformulated his pitch. Now Obama wants to “spread the opportunity:”

“On taxes, McCain launched a new attack over the weekend, saying Obama’s plan to provide a $500 tax credit would include even those who pay no taxes and “convert the IRS into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth at the direction of politicians in Washington.” McCain has accused Obama of favoring socialistic tax redistribution policies.

Obama’s response at the news conference did not address the $500 tax break. Instead, he said that overall, he wants to reverse the cuts that went to the wealthiest Americans when Bush’s plan was enacted in 2001 and use the revenue to give tax cuts to workers who make less than $250,000 a year.

“That does involve us spreading around opportunity and it means that for people like myself, making a lot more than $250,000 a year, paying a little bit more so that the waitress who is surviving on minimum wage can put a roof over her head,” Obama said.”

Like the lawyer he is, it took Obama a week (*) to come up with a superficial one-word change while leaving the substance the same.

UPDATE: Commenter Kirk points out a YouTube link from October 19 that shows Obama changed his rhetoric in 5 days instead of a week.

— DRJ


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