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Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.


Not Exactly 'Man Bites Dog'  | e-mail post

It's hardly any surprise that Editor and Publisher ran this story on Tuesday: "New Study Suggests Some Media Favored Kerry in First Two Weeks of October".

Just a quick post on this, and I plan to write more later on it, but I personally cannot recall either in my own experience, or in historical reading, any election where the broader media seems so actively engaged in attempting to influence the outcome of the election. A Bush victory will be all the more impressive in light of recent events.

The NY Times recent story on the missing 380 tons of explosives from Iraq is the most recent smear. They then report on the impact their firebomb has on the campaign, and they won't let it go, suggesting still that they may have been there, without even mentioning the extent to which their claims are under fire from other journalists. Powerline even reports that the Times ignored some of their own previous writing on the subject of searches at Al-Qaqaa.

NBC of course should be credited for bringing to the light the reports of its embedded journalists who were on the scene the day after U.S. troops moved in to Iraq. [Drudge] [CNN] Even CNN runs with a headline that doesn't really tell the story on this one.

The fact that CBS' "60 Minutes" was planning to run the story two nights before the election, and without a moment to even allow the truth to be aired, is simply beyond the pale. However, after seeing Dan Rather stoop to journalistic standards that might have made even Michael Moore blush by basing their "Fortunate Son" story on such obviously faked documents, we shouldn't really be surprised. I do still find it slightly humorous that you can "See BS News on CBS News."

I'm not even going to get into ABC News and Mark Halperin's plan for more aggressive fact-checking of the Bush campaign claims and a more lax attitude toward Kerry.

At a very fundamental level, I think the media has had to stoop to this level because their editorial influence has been lost. No one really makes their decision based at all on what editors write in their endorsement. It's just another stat to be tallied in a political climate that has put the horserace far ahead of substantive policy discussion. Having been emasculated in this way, the media is forced to try to exert its waning influence in the only way it can, the actual creation and spinning of what at one time could have been called "the news."

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Wednesday, October 27, 2004
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