On news coverage

There’s been a lot of talk about how the media delivered the nation for Obama.  I believe that’s true, but not in the “OMG they endorsed one and lambasted the other” sense.  Rather, the newspapers, and television “news” and entertainment coverage, gave Americans what they think Americans want to see – sensationalized coverage of the person, and little mention of any issues.

The Washington Post has addressed this twice (emphasis mine).

Some readers complain that coverage is too poll-driven. They’re right, but it’s not going to change. The Post’s polling was on the mark, and in some cases ahead of the curve, in focusing on independent voters, racial attitudes, low-wage voters, the shift of African Americans’ support from Clinton to Obama and the rising importance of economic issues. The Post and its polling partner ABC News include 50 to 60 issues questions in every survey instead of just horse-race questions, so public attitudes were plumbed as well.

So being “too” of something is okay as long as you win in the end?

The Post’s Ombudsman also wrote here:

It pains me to see lost subscribers and revenue, especially when newspapers are shrinking. Conservative complaints can be wrong: The mainstream media were not to blame for John McCain‘s loss; Barack Obama‘s more effective campaign and the financial crisis were.

But some of the conservatives’ complaints about a liberal tilt are valid. Journalism naturally draws liberals; we like to change the world. I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.

I find this incredibly arrogant.  This “more effective campaign” was the surface, that which the Post covered.  Where the Post, and other “news” media failed us, was providing in-depth INFORMATION about the issues the campaign was covering.  Instead of covering, for example, each candidate’s voting record on issues, they re-broadcast what the candidate said during the campaign.  That’s not journalism, that’s parroting.

And only liberals want to change the world? How biased can one get?

Since 2000 elections, I believe the news media has been a prime player in dividing our country into Republican=conservative/Democrat=liberal factions, treating the groups as opposite ends of a feud, and ignoring the large crossovers.  The news ignored the non-Christian-fundamentalist conservatives, and the small-government liberals.  They ignored almost all who fight for less legislation, while focusing on the Hollywood Washington celebrities’ pet causes.

I don’t fall in to the “You’re too stupid.  We have to placate you with Brittney Spears coverage so you feel you belong” crowd.  And I don’t believe most others in America are.  But I do believe the news media wants us there.  Then the liberal journalists can change the world.

And as long as they have their token (see above:”there are centrists …” and “the conservatives …so outnumbered…”), they’re ok.  Where was that attitude over the last two decades?

Am I ready to quit reading the Post?  I wish I could say yes, but I find it easier to skim headlines for issues I may want to investigate further than to do internet searches for something I don’t know exists.  The Post’s on-line presence is amateur, Fox news’ on-line content reads more like what I used to see in my grandmother’s copy of “National Enquirer”, MSNBC, CNN, and others make me click through too many pages to get to world, opinion, and science pieces.  I use all these sources, and many more, to get in-depth information, but I use the post as a “what might I want to learn more about”.  For that purpose, it’s almost worth what I pay for it.  Almost.

I will admit I quit watching television news, with the exception of September 11-20, 2001, long ago.  I got tired of getting what they want me to get, with no option of moving on, going deeper, or getting another opinion.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I found your site on Google and read a few of your other entires. Nice Stuff. I’m looking forward to reading more from you.

  2. I believe that the statement “Liberals want to change the world” is largely accurate.

    Conservatives and Libertarians largely want to be left alone to succeed or fail on their own merits and to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

    Liberals want to reform the world to their own utopian standard. Their vision of fairness means equal outcomes rather than simply equal opportunities.

    And it’s not so much that they want to just “change” the world…the world is always changing.

    What they want is to CONTROL the world.

    “If people are free to do as they wish, they are almost certain not to do as we wish. That is why Utopian planners end up as despots, whether at the national level or at the level of the local ‘redevelopment’ agency.”

    –Thomas Sowell

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