July 7, 2006

"I've been popular before, as president."

"And I've been — people have accepted what I've been doing... Sometimes things go up and down. The best way to lead and the best way to solve problems is to focus on a set of principles. And do what you think is right."

Said President Bush on Larry King last night, as reported by Alessandra Stanley in the NYT, who prefaces that quote with this:
Mr. King's questions rarely rile his guests; instead, his cozy, incurious style encourages them to expose themselves.

And just as Liza Minnelli seemed to come unglued all on her own in her appearance on the show last March, Mr. Bush at times seemed tense and defensive even without needling from his host.
Mmmm.... so.... Bush makes a classic statement about the way he sticks to principle and does not get hung up on popularity, and the association is to please-please-love-me Liza Minnelli and coming unglued?

Well, I wasn't watching and am just reading the cold record. I didn't know this was on. I'm pretty much of a TiVo/HBO-on-Demand kind of TV watcher, and I never know what's on. If there's something I should be catching, somebody has to alert me.

50 comments:

Brent said...

The New York Times - No Bias There!

The article is front page, and a review by their television critic, Alessandra Stanley, not any of their national or White House reporters.

How clever. As a Bush supporter, I found the sarcastic tone offensive in the "paper of record". Oh well - the Times would have hated Lincoln in his time as well.

I only take refuge in the fact that the Times is losing national readership, and is, as Glenn Reynolds has been fond of pointing out, on a slow but inescapable road to eventual irrelevance in today's media world.

To the quick demise of the New York Times!

Goesh said...

Frankly speaking, George Bush is dumb. We all know it, but he does have a reasonably good talent pool surrounding him.

Tim said...

To paraphrase James Taranto:

Bottom Story of the Day - NY Times TV Critic Pans Bush King Interview.

In other news of the day, the sun rose in the East this morning and, approximately 15 hours later, is expected to set in the West this evening. Prepare yourselves.

Joe said...

Yeah, he is so dumb the brilliant democrats like Goesh can't figure out how to beat him. How dumb does that make them?

DaveG said...

Frankly speaking, George Bush is dumb. We all know it, but he does have a reasonably good talent pool surrounding him.

Yes, because we all know how talented people are drawn to idiots like flies to dog squeeze.

It all makes me kind of wonder about the entourage of brilliants hovering around Mr. Goesh. Or am I speaking too frankly?

dklittl said...

Ann,

Personally I haven't seen the Larry King interview like yourself, but is it so difficult to believe Stanley's account. Even Bush's own friends have described him as a person who gets quite peevish, quite fast. Heck, we've all seen it enough in the debates with Kerry to know that he doesn't hide his irratation very well. I mean, in this case, I don't really blame him, since the very sight of Larry King on my TV screen sometimes makes me irritated. But, as we all know reading a transcript and watching how those words were initially said are two completely different things.

CB said...

Who cares about the Bush interview when our hostess has a lovely new blogger portrait up--very nice.

Goesh said...

I voted for Dumb George because he is good at killing terrorists, and smarty-pants daveg, most days I laugh very loudly all the way to the bank, most assuredly I do. Nyah!

Alcibiades said...

Well I saw a sizable chunk, and Bush wasn't peevish in the least.

It was just a trademark "Larry King interviewing the President" kind of interview - it's a King tradition at this point. He interviews all of them. Nothing controversial was said, unsurprisingly. Though at one point, King tried to push the point about whether Bush was upset about his polling numbers - because it is only human when polling is low - and Bush stuck to his point that he doesn't govern that way. And eventually added as King continued to push the point - words to the effect that since King was in a business that lived and died by ratings it was no wonder he was very focused on that kind of data.

But of course if you hate Bush, and his very presence irks you, you are likely to conclude Bush only consented to the interview because of ratings, etc.

dklittl said...

You know this hate Bush crap is so silly. Republicans and right wing types never have anything good to say about Hillary or Kerry or Gore, but you never hear us whining about how much you "hate Hillary" or "hate Kerry". And I'm sure the next time there's a Democrat president, you won't hear us complain about how much you "hate" that person.

No ones even mentioned ratings, and already that's evidence of "hatred" that someone might say something about Bush and the ratings. Growup man!

Buddy Larsen said...

dklittl, I'll try to grow up if you'll move to planet Earth and hang around awhile.

Gerry said...

You should be watching "House." :-)

Todd said...

That assertion flies in the face of history, dklittl. Once Hillary came out with her "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" comment, it was nearlyly impossible to criticize anything either Clinton did, no matter how reasonably or whatever the justification, without liberals saying you were part of the same uncompromising group that insisted Vince Foster and Ron Brown were murdered and wanted women barefoot & back in the kitchen. Why should we have any reason to believe the future will be any different?

There's a modern corollary; after a point, if you questioned Kerry's stance on any national security issue you were "swiftboating" him (i.e., supposedly calling his patriotism and service into question with no factual basis). Here in Virginia we just recently saw Sen. George Allen's campaign play up that his Democratic challenger, James Webb, who had receive the support of Chuck Schumer and John Kerry in the primary, agreed with them in opposing the flag-burning amendment. Webb's camp immediately responded by saying Allen had called Webb "unpatriotic" and saying they refused to be swiftboated. As if a critical mention of your opponents stance on an issue automatically means you're calling his patriotism and service into question.

charlotte said...

I haven't watched Larry King in years but always thought it'd be fitting for a rankled guest to pop his braces. Irritated or no, bet Bush was thinking about it!

Bush bashers need to realize that 1) he doesn't kiss the bellies of little kids in public (which as a mom I admit is tempting, but still), 2) he hasn't yet sent a letter to a foreign leader inviting him to convert to his religion, 3) he doesn't look like a female impersonator who shoots off impotent missiles, 4) his wife doesn't crusade for schoolgirls' right to shroud themselves while they're still alive, 5) he doesn't bite his lower lip and feel our (never-had-it-so-good-90s) pain, and most importantly 5) he doesn't wear spandex and matching accessories when riding his bike.

dklittl said...

There was NO corollary for criticizing Kerry policy positions and Iraq, and swiftboating him. Swiftboating was using some bs anecdotal evidence to question his actual war record. Hey, I don't like McCain's stance on the war, but I'm not out here trying to pick apart his veterens medals record to prove it.

And correct me if I'm wrong but asserting "weak-kneed attacks by cowards," about the flag ammendment, goes a little beyond mere criticism. And while Webb's response may have been a little over the the top, I can certainly see why a Navy war hero wouldn't like being called a weak-kneed coward, because of a constituitional amendment.

yetanotherjohn said...

Ann,

I didn't see the interview either, but here is a liveblog transcript of someone who did. I think the difference between

"Mr. Bush at times seemed tense and defensive even without needling from his host. "

and

"He came across as very natural, very relaxed, and confident. He answered clearly and avoided the strangled syntax that often dogs his appearances. Hillary Clinton recently described him as "charming", and I think viewers got an opportunity to see that side of him."

says as much or more about the viewer as it does about Bush. Of course there are gradations in the BDS (as exhibited here by some of the commenters) that can produce any sort of problem they want to see.

Walt said...

With North Korea shooting missles and Iran backing yellow cake, I wonder how appropriate it is for the president to waste his time on such an inconsequential psyudo-news show. Of course, the next 2 months are filled with Pres. Bush going around the country campaigning for fellow republicans. I am not saying that Presidents should do these things in normal times, but I don't believe we are living in an era like the 80's.

It seems to me, we have some serious issues like a war stuck in the mud and a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan. There are 20 warrants out for the arrest of 20 cia ops in Italy for illegal "rendering" of civilians. I could go on, but instead, I will just ask -

Why would anyone waste their time answering obvious puff questions from a man who is literally held together by his suspenders. God forbid if one of those snapped during an interview.

Paddy O. said...

I stumbled into the interview and ended up watching it. Any critique of Bush in this is purely reflective of the commentators prior views. It was a Larry King sort of interview, and George Bush was George Bush. If his mannerisms offend, he seemed offensive. If they don't, then it was a good interview.

His broader point about polls was actually very good. He wasn't peeved at all, but quite serious, noting that one governs either for by running after the polls or by letting the polls run after the governing (poor memory paraphrase there). He noted that to do anything great one can't govern by polls, and he would rather be seen as a great president by history than as a popular president in the present. Larry King mentioned he was sounding like Truman, and Bush said he very much respected Truman's legacy and work.

Basically, one couldn't help but note that Bush was contrasting his style with Clinton's.

All in all, Bush was the same Bush we all know. I think it is the reporter who is tense and defensive.

MadisonMan said...

But of course if you hate Bush, and his very presence irks you, you are likely to conclude Bush only consented to the interview because of ratings, etc.

Why else would anyone consent to be interviewed with Larry King -- whose very presence irks me. I should think that any President -- or more broadly any sentient being -- would have better things to do than talk to King!

But presumbaly someone in Camp Bush thought this was a good idea. I wonder exactly whom in the Larry King demographic they were trying to reach.

Buddy Larsen said...

Right, and "stupid" just doesn't jibe with a resume that begins with jet-fighter pilot and Ivy-League MBA, runs through popular two-time governor of large fractious multicultural state, and two-time president of the United States.

Maybe not a self-conscious intellectual poseur, maybe stuck with a west-Texas lateral twang that would make Einstein sound ignernt, but not "stupid".

In fact, to think so is probably crazy.

RogerA said...

dklittle--I know the Senator Kerry discussion was on an earlier thread; however, I know I can speak for many vets whose dislike of Sen Kerry has nothing to do with the swiftboat thing--it has to do with his Winter Soldier testimony wherein he tarred every vet who served in Viet Nam as a baby-killing, rapist war criminal. That offended me then, and still offends me.

John(classic) said...

"Swiftboating was using some bs anecdotal evidence to question his actual war record"

I find the denial about the Swift Boat Vets symptomatic. They made a number of charges. Most are not certain --believe what you want. But on some, and notably "Christmas in Cambodia" they are right. Kerry embellished and dissembled. There just cannot be any question about it (Nixon, for instance, was not President in December of 1968 when Kerry claimed to listen to Nixon's denial of troops in Cambodia ).

Thus "swiftboating" might as easily stand for "showing that a politician is opportunistically lying about his war time experiences" as your suggested defintion.

Pogo said...

I caught just a few moments of the interview, skating past it as I do whenever the CNN logo arises. Meh; just another King interview.

I would have preferred Bush do a WWF takedown on Larry, with the old figure 4 toe-hold until he said 'uncle'.

I turned it off when King asked (essentially) "Aren't you worried about your popularity?" King clearly would worry about that. Bush doesn't. Who knew?

I learned more from 'Design on a Dime'.

DaveG said...

Swiftboating was using some bs anecdotal evidence to question his actual war record.

Which could have been, and could still be, defused by the simple expedient of releasing his records. Read into his failure to do so what you will, just as others are apprently projecting their firmly held beliefs onto Bush's demeanor with LarryK.

sparky said...

As I didn't watch this program I can't comment on anything other than the NYT piece. The point of the piece (a review not a political assessment) was that this was a cozy rehab venture on the part of the WH, and Stanley observed that even in that context Bush was apparently sometimes defensive. I think it was a mistake on Stanley's part to use Liza but that doesn't invalidate the observation nor--more importantly--destroy the thrust of the review.

ronbo said...

Regular readers of the NYT know that Ms. Stanley is as lazy and sloppy as she is tendentious. She even has her own tag on Gawker. I'm sure she was as surprised as anyone to find her "review" on A1.

Keller. In the words of Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon!"

Pogo said...

Re: "...that doesn't invalidate the observation nor--more importantly--destroy the thrust of the review"

The observation and thrust of the review were the usual partisan sniping. Opinion on a subjective matter (is he defensive, or confident?) can't be validated. You must mean something else. The 'thrust' of the opinion can't be 'destroyed' either. One can disagree, mock it, find it worthless or ill-informed, describe it as wishful thinking or even ill-tempered.

But as the opinion is a purely subjective take on a puff piece interview, your defense is meaningless.

Todd said...

Swiftboating was using some bs anecdotal evidence to question his actual war record. Frankly, I don't know enough to dispute Kerry's story. But numbered among those who did were people who claimed to have been there, including those who were involved in missions he had different accounts of. Memory of such things certainly could be subjective, but it doesn't make their stories lies any more than it does Kerry's. And as pointed out, neither the Magic Hat story nor the secret CIA trip to Cambodia make any sense at all.

As for "swiftboating" Jim Webb, Allen never called him a "weak-kneed coward" or questioned either his patriotism or his service. He did say that Webb's stance was the same as his supporters in the party.

I'm still waiting to see if the new standard is, if you're asked to state your position on an issue, or have it pointed out that your stance on an issue is the same as elected officials in your party, that's prima facie evidence of "swiftboating", or is the same as having your patriotism questioned.

Buddy Larsen said...

Pogo is right--the only news here is that Keller is still trying to sell opinion as news.

And even that ain't exactly A1 material; just more of the NYT making itself the story.

If you want to study the worst traits of Boomers, the lab is in the blue bag.

PatCA said...

I saw the last half--I thought he and his wife were quite relaxed. I also noticed his joking with reporters lately--not exactly the portrait of a devastated man. But that's me, part of the VRWC.

It's all fodder for the mill--it fills pages with the PC opinion.

Buddy Larsen said...

And the "mill" produces public opinion, with world events only the raw material. Stanley Kubrick had his "Dr. Strangelove" Russian ambassador--when asked why in the hell USSR would develop the Doomsday Bomb which was about to kill the entire planet--answer that they had to have it because the USA had it, and he knew it because he "...read it in the NYTimes".

Ha ha (*sob*).

Coco said...

I'm very confused by something here. I read the NYT cover to cover on my long delayed (that's another story) train ride in to work this morning. This story wasn't in at all let alone on the front page, which I'm looking at right now. What have I missed? I also checked out the reproduced photo of the front page from the link Ann provided and its the same as mine - so what gives? Is this only a TImes-online story?

LoafingOaf said...

Frankly speaking, George Bush is dumb. We all know it

What we all know is that Democrats always call every Republican politician dumb, because it's just part of their stale bag of tricks. If they repeat it enough times it suddenly becomes true. Yet I recall articles about an intelligence test given to Bush in the military which placed him in the 95th percentile of the population. Put that with his learning how to fly fighter jets, never losing elections for either governor of Texas or the White House, and his two degrees from Ivy League universities, and it seems to me the dummy is the one who'd call him dumb.

I tried to watch Lamont's big debate last night because I just had to see the politician who has the Democratic base so excited. What I saw was a total slave to the most over-used talking points and cliches, as if he was a programmed robot. I don't know if that makes him "dumb" but it certainly makes him useless to the Senate. And I must say his absolute lack of concern for the Iraqi people was immoral. But you run with that loser and keep talking about how everyone else is so stupid.....

Coco said...

"What we all know is that Democrats always call every Republican politician dumb, because it's just part of their stale bag of tricks."

You can call garbage garbage without tossing in more garbage...can't you? Ann's a self-professed Democrat. Is she guilty of your accusation?

Moxie said...

I watched the Larry King interview, twice. But I'm too lazy to read all the comments. Go figure.

G-Dub always seems to get a bit tense while on camera, but I thought he did well.

I cheered when Laura pointed out the same anti-war folks would be bitching and moaning if he had done nothing about Iraq.

Overall it was an A-

Coco said...

Really...can anyone explain why the article is on the front page of the NYT for many of the posters above and not in my version of the paper at all?

LoafingOaf said...

You can call garbage garbage without tossing in more garbage...can't you? Ann's a self-professed Democrat. Is she guilty of your accusation?

Whether Ann is a Democrat or not (I find her non-partisan and hard to label) has nothing to do with age-old tactics from the Democratic Party. Every high profile Republican politician is obsessively referred to as an idiot from the moment they hit the national stage. When you see it enough times you begin to roll your eyes.

I don't think any politician in sight is up to snuff if compared with, say, the days of Thomas Jefferson. But those calling Bush an idiot and a chimpanzee, and called Regan mentally retarded, then turn around and just as obsessively refer to the likes of John Kerry as brilliant. I'd say Bush and Kerry are in about the same IQ range and see no reason to think otherwise. I don't know that you have to be any smarter than that to be a good president, but if you consider that IQ range unfit for office than be consistant about it. It looks ridiculous for someone to declare Bush unfit due his supposed lack of brain power while he's got a Vote Kerry sticker on his car.

Seven Machos said...

I love the whole "Bush-is-dumb" argument. Who doubts that Hitler and Stalin were brilliant?

Furthermore, I am currently in Chicago, arguably the best big city in America, and its mayor is a DePaul grad. Mayor Guiliani? Was he generally heralded as a genius? Martin Luther King? -- Below average on the GRE Verbal).

What about Jimmy Carter? Herbert Hoover? Richard Nixon? Alger Hiss?

In your own experience, you know -- you absolutely know -- that the really smart people are not the ones you want running the government.

Coco said...

"has nothing to do with age-old tactics from the Democratic Party. Every high profile Republican politician is obsessively referred to as an idiot from the moment they hit the national stage. When you see it enough times you begin to roll your eyes. "

Gross and silly generalizations do indeed make one's eyes' roll - just like this one...

I'm not sure what you're reading but I don't think I've heard any of the following obssessively referred to as an idiot in a monolitic (or anything even resembling that) way by the Democrats who have entered the national stage in the recent past:

Dick Cheney
John McCain
Orrin Hatch
Bob Dole
Elizabeth Dole
Steve Forbes
Lamar ALexander
RIchard Lugar
Arlen Spector
Newt Gingrich
Pete Wilson
Rudy Guilianni

I agree 100% that its silly to a ssert that Bush is "dumb" and to think that's an argument that means something. Its equally silly to say Democrats always do the same thing all the time.

Seven Machos said...

Coco -- You are right. It's "dumb" or "evil." The Republicans who do this kind of thing only do "evil," because Democrats are pretty smart, often in the way Lisa Simpson's Mensa Club members were smart in the great Simpsons episode.

We should all drop the name-calling. It doesn't matter how Bush looks in this interview, or that debate. What matters is the substance of what he says, and the policies he chooses to enact and enforce.

Pogo said...

Bush must seem to the Democrats like Inspector Clouseau, while they are the long-suffering boss, Chief Inspector Dreyfus.

Dreyfus is -apparently- smarter and more , yet driven mad by Clouseau's repeated victories. It's fun to watch Dreyfus get mad and get hurt over and over again.

Coco said...

I've done some more digging and it seems pretty clear that this story was not on the front page at all. I'm interested in why people kept asserting that it was or just assuming that it was. I'm assuming it couldn't be because people were biased agianst the NY Times and thus let their subjective views of such things cloud their assessment of the issue.

sparky said...

I agree with some of your comment, but not all:

"The observation and thrust of the review were the usual partisan sniping."

Well, that's your assessment. As it's a subjective one, I guess there's no need to respond to it other than to say I disagree.

"Opinion on a subjective matter (is he defensive, or confident?) can't be validated."

I don't think I was suggesting that validation was somehow relevant here (if anything, I was careful to suggest the opposite) so I am puzzled by the introduction of an irrelevant yardstick.

"You must mean something else. The 'thrust' of the opinion can't be 'destroyed' either. One can disagree, mock it, find it worthless or ill-informed, describe it as wishful thinking or even ill-tempered."

I disagree with this notion but I will grant that I could have spent more time explaining what I meant. There are more options than the ones you suggested. One example would be using something out of context to manufacture outrage. (I am not suggesting that's what occurred here, just giving a straightforward example.) A common legal practice example is to create doubt on small issues in the hope that the large issues will somehow become obscured. There are many methods that can be employed to disparage any form of discussion. At the risk of redundancy let me repeat I am not suggesting that anything like that occurred here: as I said, I thought the Liza comparison was ill-advised.


"But as the opinion is a purely subjective take on a puff piece interview, your defense is meaningless."

Well, that's your subjective opinion and you are most assuredly entitled to it.

Brent said...

Hi Coco

Sorry for the confusion. When I posted (the first comment at the top), I had just finshed reading the New York Times on the Web (notice the comment "time"). The article was, at that time, the second below the primary left corner "Major" first article. That made the article in question still "above the fold" - so to speak - on the "Front Page" of the New York Times on the Web for many early, prime morning reading hours.

I think that if the Times wants to be taken seriously, really meaning what Managing Editor Bill Keller said in his two public letters last week after the SWIFT incident - that there is a "wall of separation" between the news and editorial sides of the paper - then they should not editorialize on the "Front Page"

- Just Report.
- Please just the facts.
- Please. I'm a big boy; just the facts.

I'm certain that it's a real possibility when probably NOT ONE person in their management - either side of the "Wall" - voted for Bush.
Because that's supposed to be okay. I'm supposed to trust the New York Times to be accurate and fair.

Why?

My dream commercial (James Earl Jones voice-type):
"You just can't trust (pause for effect)
. . .the New York Times"

amba said...

the sun rose in the East this morning and, approximately 15 hours later, is expected to set in the West this evening. Prepare yourselves.

You think you're kidding,

ChrisO said...

I think the problem here isn't Bush Derangement Syndrome (can we please put that term to bed?) but Times Derangement Syndrome. The column was written by their television reviewer, for crying out loud! Criticizing it as "opinion disguised as news" pretty much indicates total ignorance of the purpose of a review. And the reviewer was much more critical of Larry King, but I guess we don't have any knee-jerk King apologists here so no one seems to care about that.

The tone was pretty neutral. Saying Bush is appearing on television more because he's trying to improve his image is hardly scathing criticism. I guess it's OK to keep crowing about the elections he's won, but God forbid you should accuse him of acting like a politician. I didn't see the interview, so I have no idea how accurate it was, but I find it amusing that so many commenters here are so defensive about criticism of Bush that any hint that he acted like anything but a great guy during the entire interview is some kind of call to arms. Bush is clearly uncomfortable talking in public, and has to be the most inarticulate national politician I've ever seen. Is it really that hard to believe that he might have had a couple of awkward monents during the interview?

I've seen him talk to the press on those rare occasions when he deigns to entertain their questions, and I've never seen a more condescending and peevish President. I remember when he refused to answer a reporter's question because the reporter addressed him as "sir" rather than "Mr. President." Yeah, a real man of the people.

And can we please stop repeating the canard that Bush doesn't respond to polls? I'm curious as to how so many of the commenters here are so sure of that. Sophisticated polling is the lifeblood of modern Presidential politics. Is Bush the lone hayseed who just aw-shucked his way into the Presidency based on the purity of his heart and soundness of his ideas?

Brent said...

Dear Chriso,

The main point was exactly that it was the television reviewer, placed on the "front page" and the implication that it is "hard" news. Please spare me an argument on this -you "get it" also that the lead articles are supposed to be "hard" news).

The Times can do whatever it desires. The greatest political problem in this country today is the overall ignorance perpetuated by a "neutral" media. I find it preposterous in this Information Age that one cannot reliably trust ONE news source to give the straight scoop. The constant cry of the Times,et al and general "Main Stream Media" is that they are able to play it straight, fair and accurate. That is infuriating to those of us that have to deal with the obvious bias in the reporting against things that we value. The question of our age is not whether bias on all sides of an issue exists in reporting, but whther someone is "up-front" about their bias.

Why does this matter?

Because: children. I subbed a fourth grade class several years ago where the teacher made every child read an article-of-the-day from the donated Los Angeles Times. She left a note saying have them read the article on the oil spill and efforts to clean birds after the spill. To a student, the discussion centered around such words as "evil" and "stupid" when describing the oil companies and how how bad they were - why do we even need oil anyway? This impression came completely from reading the one-sided article on page 1 of the Times. The children were not "informed" by the "Main Stream" LA Times - they were inflamed by agenda journalism.

That happens everyday,in this day and age,in America. The next generation is handed something about which so many pretend and say "it's only fair reporting".

It's not. State your agenda up front, and move forward. Until that time, blogs and alternate sources will prosper more and more, and the MSM will eventually change or die.

Lastly, the same question can be asked of anyone:
. . . ."Why are hiding your agenda and world view behind a "neutral" stance?
Answer: because what you seek to sell won't sell as much under full disclosure.

Johnny Nucleo said...

I love Bush. I think he will go down in history as a great president. I know this gives liberals hives. That's why they have been freaking out so much. But it's true. He will. And I'm glad for it.

But he ain't no brainiac.

ChrisO said...

Brent

Where in the world is it written that only "hard news" should run on the front page of a paper? Try actually reading a paper some time. There are all sorts of features, news analysis, etc. that don't qualify as "hard news." This is of course leaving aside the fact that a commenter erroneously reported that the column was on the front page because of where it appeared on the web.

As for your Los Angeles schoolchildren: besides the fact that making a "bias is bad" argument says nothing about the culpability of the New York Times in the issue at hand, are you really complaining that an article about an oil spill made the oil company look bad? Should they have balanced the news with several paragraphs on the importance of oil in our daily lives? Generally an oil spill is a result of a screw-up. So yes, an article on a company screwing up may tend to make that company look bad. That's hardly "bias."

Brent said...

Okay Chriso (sigh . . )

Take any front page article of your choosing from the New York Times dealing with Bush Administration (say today's "Surprising Jump in Tax Revenues Curbs U.S. Deficit) and read it out loud to 5th to 7th graders (who at that age still have no dog in the political arena)and ask:

. . . "who's the smart people quoted?"
. . . "who seems to be less smart"
. . . etc.

This study was performed in my college Statistics class with 460+ local 5th, 6th, and 7th grade participating. We asked all of them in small groups of 12 or less what they thought about 3 articles that were read to them out loud. The children were then rearranged into other small groups of 12 or less, reread the same 3 articles. Then, they were all rearranged into one more group of 12 or less.
We then asked a series of questions to determine the views of the children about what was read to them.

Our statistics class, made-up of 14 self-identified "liberals", 7 self-identified "conservatives", 4 self-identified political "middle-of-the roaders", and 1 self-identified "left-leaning reactionary" (our professor) had identified responses beforehand that would determine a "neutral", "liberal or left-leaning", and "conservative or right-leaning" view of the issues discussed.

The results: even our professor was shocked to find that the children, from the 2 articles read from the Los Angeles Times, and the one read from the New York Times yielded what was best described in our final report as "Strongly left leaning" in their naive, honest impressions of what was read to them.

By the way, this was from one of the (then and now)"reddest counties and school districts in the nation, with a cross-section of all income groups and ethnicities represented.

C'mon - the only reason you can't or won't see bias is because you agree with their reprting stances over 75% of the time.