Posts Tagged ‘media’

Ask a Simple Question, Get a Defensive Palin

October 1, 2008

Sometimes, I think the easiest to do is to play the martyr. Certainly, John McCain and Sarah Palin seem good at it. How paranoid do you have to be to respond as Palin does to a very simple, mundane question? Notice in the clip how Palin assumes Couric is implying that Alaskans aren’t informed. Instead, in a climate in which people seem to attend increasingly to more ideologically driven news sources, Couric simply asks what kinds of news sources Palin reads. Instead, Palin launches in a very defensive mode, almost attacking Couric for asking such a question. Who knew that asking a candidate to defend a claim with specifics, to address an important topic like the judiciary to the conservative movement, or to respond to a major shift in foreign policy were such dastardly attempts to catch the candidate with their mental pants down.

What you see in campaigns will be magnified once the person is in office. And what we’re seeing from McCain and Palin is that they consider being held accountable for their words is inappropriate and contemptuous.


Suspending News on Suspended Campaigns

September 25, 2008

I think the media should take McCain’s campaign suspension seriously and relegate them to the news bin:

  • Do not interview or report anything from the McCain campaign staff and advisors.
  • Do not try to interview Sarah Palin or report on her bogus photo ops.
  • Do not quote, interview, or talk about McCain outside of his legislation on the bailout measures, which would put him behind Senate leaders are already working on resolutions.

You want your media freeze out, John? Well, welcome to it.

Biased Fox News poll

July 26, 2008

How biased is Fox News? Look carefully at their poll questions, and you’ll see how much of an arm of the GOP they are. When you get past the generic poll questions, you’ll see a pattern when the questions address the specific candidate. I’ve indicated the number of the poll question in parens.

  • (19) Have you heard any of your friends and neighbors say there is something about Barack Obama that scares them?
  • (20) Have you heard any of your friends and neighbors say there is something about John McCain that scares them?
  • (23) Based on the campaign so far, has Barack Obama offered any truly new ideas?
  • (24) Can you please tell me one of Obama’s new ideas?
  • (25) Which presidential candidate–Barack Obama or John McCain–do you think most members of the media want to win the election?
  • (26) Do you think the national press is covering both campaigns objectively or is one campaign receiving more positive press than the other?
  • (27) Some people believe Barack Obama, depsite his professed Christianity, is secretly a Muslim. Others say that is just a rumor and Obama really is a Christian as he says, and point out he’s attended a Christian church for years. What do you believe — is Obama a Muslim or a Christian?
  • (28 ) John McCain was held capture for five years in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. Do you think that experience would make McCain a better president or a worse president?
  • (31) Does Barack Obama’s popularity overseas make you more likely or less like to vote for him for president?
  • (32) Do you think Barack Obama’s trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East is better described as a fact-finding trip or as a campaign event?
  • (33) Do you think Barack Obama had already made up his mind on Iraq before the trip or could this week’s visit to Iraq change his mind?

First, note that these questions are primarily aimed at Barack, which might seem like a positive thing, but the questions address several of the popular conservative attacks on Barack. Is he really a Muslim? Is he experienced enough? Is he a media darling? Does Obama have any substance?

Second, note that while several criticisms of Obama are reflected in these questions, not one criticism of McCain is presented as a question. The one question addressing McCain specifically is about his war experience. I don’t included #20 because, while it addresses McCain, it is actually a question about Obama, making the point that McCain doesn’t have such suspicions. (Also, it makes sense you’d hear fears about Obama since fear is the operating strategy for the Republican Party. Conservatives pundits and bloggers have called Obama a communist, a Marxist, a terrorist, a militant black, and, more recently, a figure reminiscent of Hitler. Why don’t they just call him the bogey man and be done with it?)

Question 27 is perhaps the most blatant piece of propaganda because it is such an obvious lie. There is no question these Muslim Obama rumors are lies, yet Fox News sees problem giving them validity, using such vague terms like “some people” and “others” and leaving the respondents to imagine some credible group making these claims rather than hate radio and their ilk.

The poll is effectively pushing a negative image of Obama with all of these GOP talking points and criticisms of Obama. Getting question after question about Obama makes a clear impression: McCain apparently doesn’t have so much controversy surrounding him.

I find ironic that Fox News uses a poll to question the media bias in favor of Obama when they themselves demonstrate extreme bias for McCain. Obama might have raised more campaign funds than McCain, but that’s not taking into account the Fox News budget.