September 4, 2008

"51% Say Reporters Are Trying To Hurt Palin; 39% Say She Has Better Experience Than Obama."

Rasmussen polls. And 52% had a favorable opinion of Palin before her speech last night.
Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans say reporters are trying to hurt the GOP vice presidential nominee, and 28% of Democrats agree. Only six percent (6%) of Republicans – and even fewer Democrats (4%)– think the reporting is intended to help her. Most Democrats (57%) think the reporters are being unbiased, but just nine percent (9%) of Republicans concur.

Among unaffiliated voters, 49% say reporters are trying to hurt Palin, while 32% say their coverage is unbiased. Only five percent (5%) say reporters are trying to help her.
I love that people are so skeptical about journalism.

Here, let me do some (unscientific) polling:

Do you think reporters are trying to hurt Palin?
Yes.
No.
pollcode.com free polls


Does press bias backfire?
Yes, people perceive it and react against it.
No, people either don't perceive it or perceive it and go along with it or ignore it.
pollcode.com free polls

117 comments:

Simon said...

Ann, there's something wrong with your polls. I can't find the "present" button?

former law student said...

Journalists should be equal opportunity skeptics, so the poll questions should reflect that. "Do you think reporters are trying/have tried to hurt Obama?" should be added to the poll.

Sy said...

LOL, I am loving this. The Democrats are now saying Jesus Christ was a community organizer! They are comparing Obama to Jesus Christ! I don't think they want to go there. LOL

Bryce said...

Hi, I voted yes for this but it's an ambigious area for me. I believe sometimes that even though we might detect the bias in stories and how the media portray events, we also may disbelieve how much bias there is!
Effectively, the old chestnut "where there's smoke there must be fire" is being raised by the partisans in the media.

ricpic said...

The thing that's so depressing about the huge MSM tilt to the left is that it so rarely backfires. It will in this case only because Palin is such an attractive person. But for the mostpart the MSM gets away with calling its propaganda reporting.

mcg said...

The Democrats are now saying Jesus Christ was a community organizer!

Very interesting. I don't think Obama is interested in, um, bearing that cross.

Original Mike said...

Most Democrats (57%) think the reporters are being unbiased, but just nine percent (9%) of Republicans concur.

I'd really like to ask that question with truth serum. I can't believe 57% of Democrats really believe that.

rhhardin said...

Reporters are in a business.

They're guessing what people will watch.

If they're wrong, people watch the other channels, and they lose money.

It's not a bias. It's a business.

Trooper York said...

The only thing worse than journalists are lawyers.

TMink said...

Hee hee, the latest attempted smear against Palin is that she attended 6 colleges in 5 years! What is the problem, are they saying that she was scholastically promiscuous?

Slow learners are so amusing!

Original Mike said...

Tell it to the NYT, rhhardin, or the Capital Times, or the ...

Randy said...

RH Hardin is largely right when he says:

If they're wrong, people watch the other channels, and they lose money.

It's not a bias. It's a business.


That said, readership of newspapers and magazines continues to decline as does viewership of television news programs. The business models do not appear to be working.

Simon said...

I can't believe that on a relatively high IQ site like this one, there are still at least 10 people in denial of the media's designated attack dog role.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

How many news outlets mentioned who authored Joe Biden's acceptance speech? Or Obama's? Compare that with how many mention, without even necessarily quoting the Democrats spewing the misogynistic party line, that Palin did not write the entirety of her speech.

The Democrats are now saying Jesus Christ was a community organizer!

Just one more similarity between Jesus and Al Sharpton.

Simon said...

I mean, that doesn't just take partisanship. It takes willful blindness or utter dishonesty.

Meade said...

"The Democrats are now saying Jesus Christ was a community organizer! They are comparing Obama to Jesus Christ!"

Actually, they're comparing Jesus to Obama.

Trouble for Jesus is Jesus was never a lawyer. He was a carpenter. But I'm sure Obama hired carpenters. To work on the house he bought from that slumlord dude. Of course, Jesus didn't need a Weatherman the way Obama did. He knew which way the wind would blow before it even blew.
Up.
The Pentagon.

Simon said...

Consider how many MSM articles in the last week have questioned her experience. They've questioned her experience! Are they aware of the resume of the current nominee of the Democratic Party for President?! If the media had given Barack Obama the kind of vetting Sarah Palin is getting, Hillary Clinton would have been the Democratic nominee and Obama would have been that guy who finished last in Iowa. If the media had given John Edwards the kind of vetting Sarah Palin is getting, he would have been that guy who dropped out before Iowa.

AJ Lynch said...

"Wher is the Present button". Good one Simon!

Anyone remember the Three Stooges episode where they stole the plumbing handles to sneak into a shindig?

......Press.. Press... Pull.... yuk yuk yuk

ricpic said...

Stay away from that bar of soap, rh!

Seven Machos said...

Yeah, it's not a very good poll, Althouse. Too simple.

I really don't think there is as much malice as my fellow righties often portray. Journalists are people, too, and most of them have a worldview and a narrative that they don't stop and consider when making decisions about what to report. The problems for journalists are simple: (1) most of them have the same basic worldview, and (2) they are shallow.

Nevertheless, the Republicans have been really tremendous at taking political advantage of the situation. The metaphor is judo, and it absolutely works every time. The entire Palin arc thus far is a textbook example.

ricpic said...

The only thing worse than fear is no action.

Edgehopper said...

Trooper--

I resent that! Only some classes of lawyers are worse than journalists...like lawprofs and civil rights lawyers :) Some of us defend software companies from patent trolls, and vote for McCain/Palin.

Ernst Blofeld said...

The idea that the media is only or even primarily profit-seeking or eyeball-seeking is problematic given the slew of lefty anti-war movies that have flopped. You'd think they'd have recognized that their financial interests lay elsewhere after the first dozen tanked.

Seven Machos said...

What to make of the response to Palin's speech? What I see here and out there, basically, is compliments followed by a lot of silence.

Part of this, of course, is because she moved last night from an unknown quantity to a known one. Her unknownness was part of what was driving all the talk.

However, it's a lot more fun to continue to talk in sexual metaphor. America met this woman and had a quick, torrid dalliance. Now, after the collective orgasm, we realize that we will be dealing with her for the next couple months at least. That's how these things inevitably go.

vbspurs said...

LOL, I am loving this. The Democrats are now saying Jesus Christ was a community organizer! They are comparing Obama to Jesus Christ! I don't think they want to go there. LOL

LOL!

When Obama is referred as having no experience, Democrats whip out Lincoln to compare him to.

When Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani mention that mayors have more responsibilities than community organisers, Democrats whip out Jesus Christ as a community organiser.

Why should anyone be surprised?

This is the Party where people are comfortable comparing George W. Bush to Hitler.

It's the infantile self-delusion I cannot stand. It prevents exchange of opinions crucial to the democratic process, and makes the other side overreach because they get touchy.

Cheers,
Victoria

Eli Blake said...

Palin has a record, and if reporters don't report on it then who will?

We have three nights in prime time plus last weekend of the McCain campaign presenting Sarah Palin exactly according to her script, and only a partisan hack would argue that that is the only view of Sarah Palin that should be reported.

The reporters are just doing their job.

Eli Blake said...

Oh, now I think I get it.

Nobody knew Palin last week. So a story that reflects positively on her is unabashedly true, but a story that reports facts that didn't show up in the McCain campaign memo is a liberal smear story (never mind that the facts are true, mind you.)

Seven Machos said...

Eli -- You are skirting the issue, if not willfully misrepresenting it. The issue isn't reporting. It's what is reported.

I could go in any of a hundred directions here for an example. But let's stick to one about a vice president. Why didn't reporters report that John Edwards had virtually no experience? Why didn't it make a big deal that he had a sick wife to take care of?

The answer, as I have said, is that reporters have a worldview that programs them to think in a certain way. We all do. Some of us try to challenge our own worldview. But, in order to do that, you need to have some depth.

Reality Check said...

I love that people are so skeptical about journalism.

I trust that they are also skeptical of blog claims of, oh, "cruel neutrality."

Or have you finally dropepd that charade once and for all?

Trooper York said...

Edghopper what's your point?

I mean some orcs are tavern wenches and horse farriers but they are still orcs. Just because they perform a useful purpose doesn't mean they aren't orcs.

Evil disgusting orcs.

Seven Machos said...

You leftist trolls are going to make Althouse vainglorious.

Don't believe the hype, Althouse. It's not all about you. The fact that you grate on people so much is a weird phenomenon, though.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I can't believe that on a relatively high IQ site like this one, there are still at least 10 people in denial of the media's designated attack dog role.

Doyle, garage and FLS each voted 3 times. The other on was probably a drunken blogger who pushed the wrong button.

Trooper York said...

Of course she grates on people.

She comes from the home office for cheese.

Trooper York said...

I want to know why Althouse is ignoring the most important story happening today in Washington.

HOW DARE SHE!

YOU A LAW PROFESSOR IGNORE THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE ON THE AGENDA TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dogwood said...

Someone buy Trooper a new joke book, quick!

Trooper York said...

Laugh dogwoodmonkey boy laugh!!!

But all Washington is a twitter today. Because today someone is getting their ass kicked big time.

Ron said...

I'll bet Jesus' dad was really Sippican...

I've no time to vote for polls, as my campaign has begun!

Dogwood said...

Do tell, Trooper. What are you teasing us with?

Trooper York said...

TODAY THE WORLD CHAMPION NEW YORK GIANTS START TO DEFEND THEIR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.

THE ROAD STARTS TODAY IN THE MEADOWLANDS WHEN WE BITCH SLAP THOSE HORRIBLE REDSKINS LIKE MICHELLE SLAPS BARRY WHEN HE LEAVES THE SEAT UP.

GO BIG BLUE.

Trooper York said...

Oh and some old fart is talking on the other channel.

Dogwood said...

LMAO!!

vbspurs said...

The other on was probably a drunken blogger who pushed the wrong button.

Ann?

Roger J. said...

Glad to see Palinmania is subsiding--that way we get trooper york back on board.

Brent said...

The most amazing statistic to me in all of this:

Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans say reporters are trying to hurt the GOP vice presidential nominee, and 28% of Democrats agree.

More than 1 in 4 Democrats(!) agree that the media is purposely trying to hurt Sarah Palin.

That alone puts a stake in the heart of the balanced, no agenda media. When even the Dems agree, that's all you need to know.

vbspurs said...

Palinmania it's insania!

Trooper is back, and I am getting ready to head back to the gym. Haven't hit it in DAYS, as the conventions, Palin being picked, and Gustav just took up my attention.

There are 63 days to the election, no? Time for a little holiday.

rhhardin said...

That said, readership of newspapers and magazines continues to decline as does viewership of television news programs. The business models do not appear to be working.

Right, but it's that audience or nothing. If the soap audience doesn't work, there's no alternative.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Diane Sawyer can tell you what people think about reporters!

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Yeah! Fuck those journalists, with all their cosmopolitan "questions" and their uppity "facts" and all that elitist "investigating."

I don't want the truth, I just want to know what I already know from knowing things about stuff. Suck it journalists!

WHEEEEEEE!

Bryan said...

Simon -- you win.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Suck it journalists!

*Except for Sarah Palin, who has a degree in journalism.

Daryl said...

The problem with your second question is that sometimes, a skillful politician can throw it back in the media's face (like McCain did with Iseman), especially if he has a sympathetic audience. But there's no guarantee. Most of the time, media bias prevails. You have to be very powerful to stand against it.

Seven Machos said...

Zach -- Your posts would have more weight if you didn't recently go insane.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Sev- your posts would have more weight if you had any original thought oozing from your brain, ever.

chickenlittle said...

There's nothing wrong with subjective news, so long as the press is truly free. Years and years ago (pre-WW II), newspapers were both more numerous and written more like blogs (image Ann as the editor and all of you as reporters).
Newspapers have been in decline for well over a half century, slowly eclipsed by radio and then TV. All the handwringing over newspaper objectivity arose because certain do-gooders thought "the press" was literally falling into ever fewer hands.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

The definition of insane (according to esteemed Althouse blog comment person Seven Machos):

Someone who does not support SARAH PALIN and john mccain.

So, any of you here (and I know there are plenty of other people like me lurking who don't comment) who don't support SARAH PALIN or whatever agenda put forth by the honorable SEVEN MACHOS of THE ALTHOUSE COMMENTS PAGE...sorry, you are hereby deemed insane.

Seven Machos said...

Zach -- Your behavior here over the past few days has been insane by any reasonable standard. The capitalization CERTAINLY DOESN'T HELP YOUR CAUSE.

mcg said...

No, I'm sure that seven machos would agree that only a handful of you lefties are insane.

mcg said...

WHEEEEEEE!

ZPS, that sounds like a direct quote from Andrea Mitchell after the Obama speech. Or was it "Wheee-o!" I can't remember.

Seven Machos said...

There's been a wealth of good leftist commentary here. Just not by Zach, and a few similarly unhinged kooks.

michael farris said...

my comment from the poll (slightly expanded):

Of course press bias works, the same way advertisements everybody hates work.
In the primary, among republicans the press favored McCain (lord knows why, maybe cause he was nice to them) and Obama (new kid on the block, chance to throw stones at the presumed nominee).
Without their help I don't think either one would have won their primaries and we'd be looking at a Clinton / Romney race. Of the field, the two that would probably do the best job as president though I'm unenthusiastic about Clinton (best of a weak field) and actively dislike Romney's whoring (but even those who disliked him admitted he was a capable executive).

Zachary Paul Sire said...

"Good leftist commentary..."

Yes, you are a fine judge of leftist commentary, so long as you can tweak it to fit into whatever your world view is. Sorry, not everyone can live up to your elite standards. Now go take that poll again and make sure it hits 99.9% YES. (All caps just for you.)

Simon said...

Trooper York said...
"But all Washington is a twitter today. Because today someone is getting their ass kicked big time."

Give this "Jesus was a community organizer too" schtick three days and Obama will throw Jesus under the bus, too.

George said...

----"Do you think reporters are trying/have tried to hurt Obama?"


Bwwwaaaahhhhaaaahhhhaaaahhh.

blake said...

Yeah, what is going on here with the left?

ZPS' CAPS LOCK KEY IS BROKEN, APPARENTLY!

FLS argued in another thread that we should be able to get troops to Georgia as quickly as the Russians did. Map, anyone?

And some actually believe there wasn't (isn't!) media bias against Palin, when all the weird lefty memes have been broadcast. ("She faked being pregnant!" "She's a secessionist!" "She's a Nazi!")

Stodder's been awesome, as usual, but I don't know if he identifies as a Democrat anymore, much less a lefty.

Beth's still cool, as always.

Somebody's smoking too much blog.

Susan said...

Whether the Press was trying to hurt her or not, the media frenzy of just 5 days ginned up the interest in Palin to a point where the ratings for her speech last night were phenominal. A different kind of backfire.

From CBS: "According to Nielsen, 37.2 million people watched the speech on six networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, and MSNBC). That is just 1.1 million less than watched Obama's speech last Thursday night. Compare that to the estimated 24 million who watched Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden's speech last Wednesday night. You can also compare that to the about 34 million who watched the opening of the Beijing Olympics last month, 32 million who watched this year's Oscars and 31.7 million who watched last spring's American Idol finale."

Trawlerman said...

Her real capability is still unknown, except to say that she can deliver a canned speech written by others and displayed on an irritable teleprompter. Not bad in itself, and not easy, but not indicative of her ability to use logic, or common sense. Of course, this blog is aimed right into the G3 audience in the K'ville area, so one would expect lots pro Palin spin.

Pogo said...

Reporters long for the return of One Party Rule. Then they can be like Pravda again, telling the Approved Messages, and little Sarah can return to Siberia, uh, that meaningless Alaskan trailer park whence she came.

vbspurs said...

Her real capability is still unknown, except to say that she can deliver a canned speech written by others and displayed on an irritable teleprompter.

This thread is about Palin, NOT Senator Obama.

vbspurs said...

little Sarah can return to Siberia

Ooh, nice, Pogo. Siberians are as tough as nails. You can't send them to the Gulag to suffer, when that's where they grew up.

peter hoh said...

I think reporters who create backlash are helping Palin.

vbspurs said...

Palin is coming to Miami next, I just heard!

I will SO be here, if it's within 100 miles of where I am (that's up to Palm Beach).

Ignorance is Bliss said...

fls said...
Journalists should be equal opportunity skeptics, so the poll questions should reflect that. "Do you think reporters are trying/have tried to hurt Obama?" should be added to the poll.

You are absolutely correct.

rhhardin said...
It's not a bias. It's a business.

Yes and no. I think that they are always looking for a scandal to report, and if they found one for either canidate, they would report it.

However, I think the bias affects what they consider to be a scandal. Anything that can be interpreted more than one way is more likely to be viewed as a non-issue for a Democrat and evidence of a scandal for a Republican

George said...

--cosmopolitan "questions" and their uppity "facts" and all that elitist "investigating."



Facts like who is Reverend Wright and does Baracky share his hatred for Amerikkkka? Does Baracky think that the CIA invented AIDS to kill black people?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah_Wright#Political_controversy

Facts like who is Bill Ayers and does Baracky share his unrepentant contempt for Amerikkka? Like how did Ayers and Baracky piss away 150 million dollars that should have gone to improve education in Chicago in the Annennburg project? Like what part of Ayers educational philosophy and activism Baracky agrees with?

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTgwZTVmN2QyNzk2MmUxMzA5OTg0ODZlM2Y2OGI0NDM=


Facts like who is Frank Davis?

---The mysterious "Frank" cited as a friend and adviser by Democratic president contender Barack Obama while he was growing up in Hawaii --

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=56859

Like when are we going to learn more about Biden's son's scandal? Like why is Hunter Biden worth so much?---
Hunter Biden was made president with an annual salary of $1.2 million,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/23/AR2008082302200.html

Like why Obama isn't taking care of his half brother George? He thinks Amerikka is a bad country because "I think America's greatest moral failure in my lifetime has been that we still don't abide by that basic precept in Matthew" Where is his leadership as a Senator? What are his charitable efforts?

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/22/bts.obama.brother/index.html

Like why is Baracky's fund raising effort so lax that he is taking money from Palestians? What other foreigners are contributing to Obama?

I'd like to be paid an elitist salary and do the lazy job of chasing down a pregnant 17 year old rather than who is this mysterious, possibly dangerous candidate from the Democrats?

JBlog said...

"The reporters are just doing their job."

If you believe that, I've got a bridge to nowhere I'd like to sell you.

Simon said...

Victoria, where'd you find the schedule?

jeff said...

Hey Zach, please don't smoke around that big straw man of yours. The whole place could go up.

Dave said...

Is there any chance whatsoever that the Left will eventually send their first stringers to comment here? Or even their third stringers? I mean some of these Lefty commenters should have their butts full of splinters they're so far down on the team roster.

Recycling tired talking points is just about as worthless as commenting gets, and there sure are a lot of tired Lefty talking points being recycled here.

Dave said...

OH, and fls, that question about whether the press has been trying to help or hurt Obama has been asked periodically. Probably you didn't notice because it's usually about 40% say help and about 5% say hurt.

I'll see if I can find a link.

Revenant said...

The reporters are just doing their job.

Like when the NYT fronted the story that Palin was a member of the AIP without either (a) asking Palin or (b) checking the voter registration records? Just doing their job.

Dave said...

Whoops. Can't get the link to work, but Rassmussen has been reporting on Obama and the helpful press since at least April, so you can check there.

Revenant said...

Her real capability is still unknown, except to say that she can deliver a canned speech written by others and displayed on an irritable teleprompter.

Her? She?

Barack is a guy's name, dude. The attractive lady standing next to him is *Michelle*.

Seven Machos said...

Again, I think reporters have a massive worldview problem. It runs like this:

Claim: Republican alleged to be a member of wacky secessionist political party.

Reporter's response: That fits my worldview. Run with it.

Claim: Republican is gay and seeks sexual escapades in airport bathroom.

Reporter's response: That sets off my Elmer Gantry meter and shows that I am right about Republicans. Run with it.

Claim: The 2004 Democratic vice-presidential candidate is cheating on his cancer-stricken wife and has a child with another woman.

Reporter's response: We want to make sure that is accurate because it unfair to run these kinds of accusations without proof. It might damage someone's career unfairly and that's tawdry.

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Southbound Blues said...

It's disgusting that the media can get away with this sort of thing.

Obama's confidence is called "commanding presence" while Palin's confidence--more impressive for being backed by actual executive experience--is called her "trying to be comfortable" when talking about foreign policy.

It's not the stories, the slander, the bullshit, and the double-standards that will kill the Republican ticket. It's the sneaky sapwork of word-choice that, consistently and subconsciously, tells the American people that these two great people are in fact a sham.

It's positively reptilian.

Seven Machos said...

People. Relax. If the press was so convincing, why Reagan? Why any Bushes? Why 1994? Why Nixon for that matter?

And things are getting better, not worse, as the mainstream press dies its agonizing death and the press in general fragments all over the place.

The Drill SGT said...

Susan,

to your list you might add that her 37 million was across 6 networks, while his was from 10 including both Spanish networks and the black one as well (BET). If she had had 10 network covergae she might have beaten him.. a VP


The press have screwed the pooch here. their collective professional reputation is on the line and appears to have taken a permanent hit. Unless the "affair" story pans out, they have taken a permanent hit from middle America

Windbag said...

The media's treatment of Palin makes the Westboro Baptist Church members look like Christians.

Barlycorn, John said...

I can't believe that the leftards are still going on about the chief executive of a state not spending her time writing speeches. We all know that Obama, as a Senator, has all the time in the world to pen his airy thoughts.

And for the Zero who picked Joe "The Plagerist" Biden as his veep to complain about not writing your own speeches,,, well, as Bart Simpson said, "The ironing is delicious!"

Synova said...

It's an opinion columnist I'm thinking of so I suppose she's supposed to have an opinion, but there sure does seem to be a lot of it out there just now as a whole bunch of people who like to think they know more than the rest of us are going, "Sarah, who?"

So... the regular article in the paper was quite positive and talked about how long people cheered and how they reacted to Palin's speech... made a point of pointing out that her daughter is pregnant and the boyfriend was on the stage with them, which might have been "negative" in the reporting but I thought was a good move on the part of the campaign.

So this opinion peice... It starts out, Sarah Palin makes me think that I could be Vice President... and I'm thinking, cool, she's so right. Isn't that the essence of Americana? Anyone can grow up to be President? Anyone at all? It seemed like the article would be about this fabulously egalitarian notion, and fabulously feminist notion... we can Think Big for our selves.

And it was a lie... because what the opinion column was was a sarcastic dig at *anyone*, not just Sarah Palin, that had dreams too big for her britches. Oh, *I* have a journalism degree, this woman crowed. Forget anything like studying Law or Economics or whatever, all those things that make people better than you or I am. And while I agree that anyone trying to argue that the demands of motherhood make a person capable of running a country is marginally brain-dead, it's hardly a *counter* indication of ability!

I don't know how effective this particular article will be, though, in the author's blatant attempt to scorn Sarah Palin. We *should* feel that we can aspire to high office no matter our origins (or lack of Ivy League creds) and if many people and particularly many *women* read the same article and felt that swell of belief in their own ability and efficacy that I did only to have it turn to scorn and derision... well... the intended purpose of the article may very well back-fire.

Roger J. said...

That old free market, invisible hand thing is tanking the MSM--they will be an anachronism in ten years. While very messy at times, the blogosphere smoked out most of the bullshit and found facts journalists could or did not want to find. Newspapers, I would submit, do NOT have any significant effect on choices voters make.

Roger J. said...

BTW--heres a question for the group. Sarah Palin was a sportscaster--What other famous President was also a sportscaster early in his career? Wow are these parallels spooky or what

blake said...

The Invisible Hand is throttling the old media. It's a 17th century sailor with a club to the old media's dodo bird.

This is a good thing for everybody.

blake said...

Synova--It's funny, but I have the opposite reaction to seeing Palin nominated. I can't imagine being Veep. It's not a matter of "anyone can be" but "how driven do you have to be to put that effort in to get that job"?

I'll just stay home with the kids, thanks.

Seven Machos said...

What other famous President was also a sportscaster early in his career?

William Henry Harrison, for the Richmond, Virginia CBS affiliate.

John Lynch said...

(NTO) John Lynch

This press is a business thing is worth examining. Certainly in terms of corporate entity, governance, and management structure TV (stations? producers? broadcasters? ABC, NBC and CBS) are businesses. As are the major cable producers -- CNN, CNBC, and FOX, and the major newspapers -- NYT, Chicago Tribune, etc. I'm not quite sure what the structures of AP and Reuters are.

However, as a business, you don't win customers by alienating between 30 and 60% of your market through promulgating one-sided viewpoints.

Yet, there is an undeniable bias towards a liberal point of view in most of the above news and reporting producers. Part of it might be the composition of the newsroom. Journalism may not be the natural environ for Republican leaning people, or maybe the journalism vetting process prefers liberal journalists getting the key jobs.

However, if it were truly a business, then such bias would be consciously managed out, to appeal to as many of the possible market as possible. Such is basic marketing. It is not like they want to focus just on liberals as their markets, because there is no value in winning liberals at the expanse of conservatives. It’s not like they are going to get more money from liberals by excluding conservatives, the price of the paper is the price of the paper, they don't charge more because of some liberal orgasm over the confirmation of worldview found.

The business model of these producers, TV, Cable, and newspapers -- is not about papers sold or viewers watching, it’s about securing advertising revenue. Advertising rates are on viewership or readership. Again, why would these purported businesses alienate 30 to 60% of their available market by putting out liberal biased news and opinion? Their readership or viewership will decline and so too their advertising revenues.

This is shown in NYT, CBS, ABC, and NBC revenues and revenue trends. Notably: not so much Wall Street Journal, Fox, or talk radio.

If these were really businesses -- they would know not to alienate their market; they would notice the decline in advertising revenues and seek correction; and they would observe their competitors not suffering the same fates and find out why.

The "press is a business" theory doesn't hold - logically or observably.

Synova said...

Blake, It wasn't "Oh, I want to be VP, too!" just more of a general feeling that what I *do* want to do is possible.

Of course, I understand, too, the feeling that Sarah Palin would be way over her head as President, which is upsetting only until I try to imagine someone else as President. I think that if she *had* to do it (and soon-ish) that she's stubborn enough, driven enough, and has native common sense enough not to panic and dither. Which puts her right up there on the top, frankly, of who could actually do that job.

A guy at work said today that picking a presidential candidate seems to him to be like going to a 6th grade health class to chose a brain surgeon. No matter who you pick, you've got a 6th grade health class student.

blake said...

Synova,

Exactly so. Anyone who would run willingly should probably be excluded by default....

kcom said...

"People. Relax. If the press was so convincing, why Reagan? Why any Bushes? Why 1994? Why Nixon for that matter?"

That's one way to look at it. The other way is to wonder why Clinton, why did it take until 1994, why do the Democrats even have a (bare) majority in the Senate? Once you add Evan Thomas' 15 point press bias (which I think is an overestimate but makes the point) that might explain a lot and without it the course of the country might have been much different. And as to Nixon, perhaps his reelection was a backlash in action, or at least a demonstration of the press leading the Democrats down the garden path in thinking that George McGovern represented even an approximation of the mainstream of the country. But I do agree that the press's ability to warp election results in their favor will become increasingly difficult for them in the coming years.

As an aside, in terms of the current balance in the Senate, it always amuses me that some people try to claim that 2006 was such a pivotal, realigning election when, in fact, the Democrats have the barest minimum of a Senate majority. And that's after all the claims of an "unpopular war", a president with low approval numbers and the historical fact that a second term midterm election almost always swings to the opposition party. If that's the best the Democrats can do with the press on their side, to boot, it does make you wonder about their claims to really represent the mainstream of the country.

I also laughed at the claims that some made (I remember one blog commenter especially) after the 2006 election that it was the most important election in 40 years. (Gore Vidal actually claimed before the election that it was the most important in his lifetime.) That was just patently absurd. All you had to do was go back two years to 2004 when Bush defeated Kerry to find an election with more importance. The arrival of Ms. Pelosi in 2006 as Speaker didn't exactly change a whole lot of things, as she assumed it would. If Kerry had come into office in 2004, everything would have been different.

former law student said...

and FLS each voted 3 times.

Nope. The AA poll was too flawed to participate in, because it only covered one side.

blake: I was surprised to learn in the other thread that the U.S. could never mobilize ground troops in time to stop an invasion unless we already had troops next door. You live and you learn.

Seven Machos said...

Republicans didn't lose the House and the Senate because of press bias. They lost it because they governed like Democrats.

Smaller government, cleaner and more transparent government, low taxes, serious border controls, and big-stick foreign policy wins every time. Every time.

chickenlittle said...

I think a more interesting question is why do so many paid journalists lean left? I suspect the answer has to do with Watergate, timing, and generational dynamics.

When I was going through the UW-Madison as an undergrad, Annie Laurie Gaylor was running one of two student newspapers. She personified a rather extreme left version of the J-school ethics. Those people grew up and became the MSM (well not her actually- shes still busy fighting "god" in her Freedom from religion foundation).

The blogosphere offers to remake news in a different image, at least until the Messiah returns- then all bets are off (Fairness Doctrine).

Christy said...

Probably too late, as I hope most of the sliming is over, but wouldn't it be interesting for the McCain site to set up a donation account geared to media spin. For example, everytime we see the local media, as mine did, talk about Palin under investigation for trying to get an ex-BIL fired without any context, we go donate $10 to McCain. Everytime the media talks about the mother of a special needs baby not able to be a fully engaged VP we go donate $20.... You get the picture. Those $10s and $20s could add up to real money.

former law student said...

Probably too late, as I hope most of the sliming is over, but wouldn't it be interesting for the McCain site to set up a donation account geared to media spin.

Too late to contribute to McCain, because the primary season is officially over, and McCain must subsist on public money. Contribute to the RNC, instead.

former law student said...

I think a more interesting question is why do so many paid journalists lean left?

Easy one. Because they are interested in other people.

Seven Machos said...
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Synova said...

I think it probably (left leaning journalists) has something to do with the job itself. Teachers probably are liberal too, or tend that way. University professors certainly are.

Other professions seem to lean the other way and it's definitely not a matter of what takes more smarts.

If a person thinks about it, both teaching and journalism tends toward the "holy calling" category. Other people can chose a job they like and do it for the paycheck but teachers are supposed to be lauded for the nobility of it all. Journalists are a little the same, I think. And I think that they do think rather highly of themselves as Speakers of Truth to Power and their near Priest-like responsibilities when it comes to sources or confessions. Look at what has been said about loyalties and nationalities and the need for a journalist to rise above all of those things... they don't keep journals... they arbitrate the content of the public knowledge base. They don't even *report*.

It's a calling.

And I do think it's quite likely that those who lean liberal are likely to be drawn toward this sort of career.

While others are drawn toward engineering or sciences or business or military service.

chickenlittle said...

fls said: Easy one. Because they are interested in other people.

Just because you were so flippant, I challenge you to reconsider that in historical perspective.

chickenlittle said...

synovia said: If a person thinks about it, both teaching and journalism tends toward the "holy calling" category.

When I think your thought I'm immediately reminded that the whole professorial/teaching profession evolved from church tradition.

I think many on the left side are conflicted with McCain's notion of "higher calling" and their own more familiar notions of the same (or at least I hope so).

Revenant said...

why do so many paid journalists lean left

The hours are long, the pay is bad, and the job security stinks. Naturally the profession has a hard time attracting anyone with common sense. :)

Duscany said...

"Why do so many paid journalists lean left?"

It's because most journalists don't want to report the news. They want to influence it.

Liberals tend to be people who are not physically competent. They don't have mechanical skills. They can't build things with their hands. If stranded on a desert island they would starve. This is why they are always stressing the notion that we are our brother's keeper. They know unless someone else (society) takes care of them they'll never make it on their own.

chickenlittle said...

Duscany said: It's because most journalists don't want to report the news. They want to influence it.

Yes, that's the Woodwardian creed. But Woodward achieved his legacy early, like a good mathematician. He's still the role model, the mold as it were. But the mold is cracked, and threatens to break.

chickenlittle said...

revenant said: The hours are long, the pay is bad, and the job security stinks. Naturally the profession has a hard time attracting anyone with common sense.

Rather like the priesthood. ;)

reader_iam said...

This thread is hilarious. Thanks!

Christy said...

Thanks for the correction FLS.

katherine said...

Never mind that her running mate has long sought—and secured—the good opinion of Washington reporters and commentators. If Palin had a prayer of winning the blessings of such conservatives as Krauthammer and Frum, let alone political reporters, she'd be slathering them with flattery.

El Presidente said...
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El Presidente said...

Folks were so much better trained in the 1970's and 80's. The breakdown of socialism in the US has taken its toll on the discipline required for good propaganda. Here are a few rules that my Ministry of Propaganda ginned up for combating Thatcher:

1) Act early, Palin must be defined before the country gets to know her (I hope it is not too late);
2) Whenever possible use women in the attacking role, remember that Hilary/Lazio debate;
3) Don't explicitly state that she should stay home with her family, instead express condolences that she has such a trial at home;
4) Emphasize the feminine character, our studies show that men and women still look to males as protectors;
5) While performing item 4 above work to show that she is the 'pretty face' of a dire ideology and that she must be controlled by the men of that group; and
6)Imply that she is not truly a woman if she does not share the feminine ideological perspective.

Get it together people you just don't understand the damage Palin will do if elected. The forces of international socialism have spent the last 40 years establishing a gender differential, all this will be lost if Palin succeeds.