Obama vs Fox News; does the US media have a left wing bias?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by saturn5, Oct 25, 2009.

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  1. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Fox goes way beyond just shoddy reporting to being purposefully shoddy. To them professional journalism is liberal bias because it attempts to portray both sides as neutral and legitimate viewpoints, which is something that fanatics cannot and do not tolerate. Why else do they claim to be "fair and balanced" while throwing all ethical journalism to the curb? It's a perverted and inverted world where black is white and white is black. The people who watch Fox and believe what they say are proud to be watching the one and only "fair and balanced" network, and like misfolded prions, they go out into the world and online to ideologically "misfold" the minds of others.
  2. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    That´s not the way you phrased it though. You started out with accusing me rather strangely with the following line: "I'm going to complain about network X for being empty, but I'm not going to do any high level reporting myself, which of course, is what I just railed about..." If I misunderstood you there, apologies, but to me that felt like you were critising my post for not being up to high level reporting standards, which is a rather weak argument in an opinion driven discussion, isn´t it.

    Well, I went back and checked the names today, it was called ´America´s Newsroom´ or something along the line, it also advertised itself as ´news´. This is the same show that had the host butting in, by the way, in a way that clearly put their ´truth´ on a specific line. So, is that a personality driven talk show? In which case, they make even less of an effort to distinguish between news & opinion.

    Also, I wasn´t just complaining about the use of the term ´big labor´, I complained about the use of ´big labor´ in specific and repeated contrast to the words ´small business´. How is this not an anti-union tone during a news broadcast? That goes far beyond ´style´ and actively pushes a certain ´truth´ in a way that even moderate bias does not.

    Using the term ´big labor´ could be a bias along the lines of the BBC, putting it in repeated contrast with the words ´small business´ goes far beyond that. You don´t have to be a french structuralist to realize the value of narrative and discourse.

    And yes, the actual reporting is shoddy and at times hardly above tabloid level. Almost half the stories they were covering were human interest stories or blatant product placement (fox extra, what the hell is that). The focus on the conservative narrative is unseemly for a fair and balanced network.

    Sidenote, fox
  3. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    See, that's it then. America's Newsroom is an interactive talk show, where panels discuss some topic and viewers e-mail questions in. It's not a traditionally anchored reporting segment. The host is Bill Hemmer (I forget what the other host's name is) who made a name for himself over at CNN. Hemmer practically ran CNN's news coverage of both parties back during the 2004 Presidential election.

    Fox News is a 24hr news network, which means that it alternates between talk shows and news reporting segments because it has a lot of time to fill. It's something that applies to every one of the 24 hour networks, as opposed to the traditional network which has a separate news division and only 1-2 nightly anchored news segments per night. The point is that Hemmer's show is intentionally fast paced and cutting, which is chosen by the hosts.

    I think it just might be that you're not used to the 24 hr format, as opposed to the more traditional flandernews, etc...I still say the rest of your post is more concerned with style than substance. See, one of the US's strengths is that we have dozens and dozens of media outlets. There are the major networks, PBS, BBC America, local affiliates, etc.. On any given day, a single viewer can probably pick from 15 or so news outlets, and you can also throw in the different versions of CSPAN, which cover the actual proceedings of government.

    As far as your question about an "international variety," it again doesn't come with any qualifiers. International in relation to what exactly? You previously mentioned that you're most likely to watch the VRT. Well, on the VRT's news site, the headlines are:

    1)2 killed in a shooting in the West Flemmish town of Meulebeke.
    2)The Bishop of Bruges questions celibacy for the Bruges Diocese.
    3)Mother of murdered child in Braine L'Alleud confesses.
    4)There's a tribute to singer Wim De Craene.
    5)"Stone" is the theme of this years Brussels celebration weekend

    Ok, so wait, Why does every single story on VRT news have a local Belgian focus? There's not one "international focused" story, at least in the headlines. Where's the Flanders coverage of the upcoming mayoral election in Chicago, for instance? The recent gas explosion in CA? They're not there, because I'm sure the viewers in Brussels don't care about something that happened in cities that are 6700kms away. I'm sure at one point, the VRT may mention a story like the Chicago Mayor in passing because Daley is unique among mayors, but it's certainly not ever going to be featured or a regular story.

    But not only that, the "feature ratio" on the VRT is 2 murder stories vs 3 human interest/pop culture events stories. I don't know who the singer Wim de Craene is, but I'm not going to criticize the fact that he or she is important to the people of Belgium, even if it is fluff. In fact, I may actually look up who it is, and learn something new.

    You just have to remember that people in general identity most with what they know. You're used to the VRT's format, so it seems comfortable, despite the fact that it doesn't have an international focus either and it has more human interest stories than hard news stories. The difference is that I don't think anyone would come on a message board and just randomly take cheap shots at the VRT while pretending that such a post is being progressive.

  4. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Damn, now you're just sounding hurt. First of all, I'm pretty sure that BBC International, Al Jazeera International, France24, CNN International - hardly watch that though, annoy the crap out of me - are all 24 news channels. Your US strength sounds ridicilous, I can watch German, French, Russian, Turkish, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, English and American channels alongside my local affiliates too. We even have a CSPAN like channel, your point is lost there.

    Your 24 news channel, at least the one I get here, does re-runs the entire night of O'Reilly, Glenn Beck & Huckabee. It starts with Fox & Friends, then there the America's Newsroom, then there's Kelly ... Cavuto or some guy like that ... if none of these are news, which is?

  5. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    The oh-so-significant 12 gunmen you cite -- of which one is only really certain -- are of such importance they aren't even included in the overall assessment of the report:

    5.1 The early firing in William Street resulted in two wounded casualties, neither of whom was doing anything that justified either of them being shot. It is possible that the soldiers concerned mistakenly believed that they had identified someone posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. Equally, each of those soldiers may have fired, not believing that his target was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, but only suspecting that this might have been the case.

    5.2 The soldiers of Support Company who went into the Bogside did so as the result of an order by Colonel Wilford, which should not have been given and which was contrary to the orders that he had received from Brigadier MacLellan.

    5.3 With the exception of Private T and with the probable exception of shots Sergeant O said that he fired at someone on a balcony of Block 3 of the Rossville Flats and which, (despite his assertion to the contrary) did not hit anyone, none of the firing by the soldiers of Support Company was aimed at people posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

    5.4 We have concluded that the explanation for such firing by Support Company soldiers after they had gone into the Bogside was in most cases probably the mistaken belief among them that republican paramilitaries were responding in force to their arrival in the Bogside. This belief was initiated by the first shots fired by Lieutenant N and reinforced by the further shots that followed soon after. In this belief soldiers reacted by losing their self-control and firing themselves, forgetting or ignoring their instructions and training and failing to satisfy themselves that they had identified targets posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. In the case of those soldiers who fired in either the knowledge or belief that no-one in the areas into which they fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat, it is at least possible that they did so in the indefensible belief that all the civilians they fired at were probably either members of the Provisional or Official IRA or were supporters of one or other of these paramilitary organisations; and so deserved to be shot notwithstanding that they were not armed or posing any threat of causing death or serious injury. Our overall conclusion is that there was a serious and widespread loss of fire discipline among the soldiers of Support Company.

    5.5 The firing by soldiers of 1 PARA on Bloody Sunday caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. What happened on Bloody Sunday strengthened the Provisional IRA, increased nationalist resentment and hostility towards the Army and exacerbated the violent conflict of the years that followed. Bloody Sunday was a tragedy for the bereaved and the wounded, and a catastrophe for the people of Northern Ireland.



    Significant IRA presence isn't even really noted in the governments OWN OVERALL ASSESSMENT. Yet you would state that becuase a BBC documentary provides no footage of these gunmen that constitutes bias on the part of the BBC? What's more likely here: that the BBC Documentary was biased becuase it didn't happen to show mostly unsubstantiated depictions that would have distracted from the main point of the entire epsiode, or that you just don't like seeing what essentially happened that day and so you blame the messenger?




    A lot of the evidence we saw in Saville we already knew from Widgery (the terrorist sniper in the flats firing on the soldiers on the Walls, 'Father Daly's gunman' a terrorist seen by the future Catholic bishop firing on the army with a pistol as they entered the Bogside). I thought the most revealing evidence was from one of the marchers who'd witnessed a terrorist firing at th
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    GAP, I can accept your last post, except I understand your position even less now. I was simply responding to the points you brought up.

    First off, see how it immediately felt like you had to "defend the VRT?" That was the point I brought up in my initial post. I only mentioned the VRT because it's the news service you said you are most likely to watch. Could I ask you why the VRT is so lacking in its international coverage? Because the VRT itself isn't any more international, or hard news based than Fox, or the BBC, or any other news channel. It provides a specific service to its viewing audience. If I were to tune in the VRT and only watch the single culture segment regarding the "stone statue celebration" feature, I would assume that the VRT is nothing but an entertainment channel. But the VRT runs different features, shows, and news segments. You're used to the VRT, so you know what to expect, and how it applies to you.

    My point has never been that Fox News isn't right leaning. It's a conservative news network. Every news network has editorial staff, writers, reporters, etc.. who all use discretion when selecting stories to run. I just don't think your original post was as accurate comparison.
  7. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    So, Bob Woodward is coming out with another book, and as one more sign of the apocalypse, this one is going to focus on how there is such great division among Obama and the administration over the Afghan war strategy. I have yet to see even a tiny shred of an excerpt, but you can be guaranteed that it will contain A LOT of quotes attributed to "un-named government officials," as well as tons of exciting inner monologues being attributed to the President, despite the fact that no one would have any way of knowing private thoughts.

    Although the specific words may be different, everyone can sit back and enjoy the opening paragraph of the book:

    Obama settled back in his chair. Although the leather was soft, he just couldn't get comfortable as the weight of his self doubt crushed the outward enthusiasm he felt when he originally took this job. He wondered if it was too late to go get a teaching position over at Harvard Law. Just then, an unnamed government official entered the office and told how Hillary and Bob Gates were fighting over Afghan war policy again. Again? This was the third time this week, and it was only Tuesday.

    Yep, you know your poll numbers are in the crapper and the air is filled with political opportunism when Woodward writes an expose about you....
  8. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Yep, you know your poll numbers are in the crapper and the air is filled with political opportunism when Woodward writes an expose about you....

    Judging by the first paragraph I wonder if part of the book is going to concentrate on Obama being unable to adequately overrule Hillary Clinton due to potential political domestic fallout. I highly doubt her Presidential ambitions have gone away and she may have the door open for a Ted Kennedy / Jimmy Carter break come 2012 if Obama's poll numbers keep sinking.
  9. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    That was just a representation of course, using a bit of Woodward's style against him. Woodward only announced that his latest book is going to focus on the schism between Obama and his staff regarding the Afghan war.

    The thing I hate about Woodward is that all of his books seem to be obsessed with finding that lost Watergate glory, when in fact, they're simply his own characterizations of the political figure he is writing about.

    Although Seymour Hersh is 100X worse in this regard. Hersh is another journalist who seems to be completely obsessed with re-capturing his 70's glory. Every little thing he writes about suddenly becomes a "secret expose" packaged in a sensational manner...."I found the TOP SECRET plans to invade Iran!!!" Hersh would write about, except they weren't classified at all, and were standard contingency plans. That sort of thing.


  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Woodward remains a great writer and a careful journalists. His books on the Iraq war and the Bush administration were not bad, and I'd hope the book on the Obama administration is just as interesting.

    I think Harper's put it best: Obama is the 21st century Woodrow Wilson. He was caught in the middle of a hundred year storm and simply had not bargained on being a full on, administration-spanning crisis president in a situation far more serious and significant for America's future than 9/11 ever was. 9/11 was an unfortunate sideshow that was elevated to the rank of the dominant factor for our domestic and international policy for a decade. This recession on the other hand, was the worst in nearly a century and has created an unemployment, debt and housing catastrophe that will linger for another decade. Obama hired the wrong crisis managers. Geithner and Summers were mistakes. He failed to act decisively on economic stimulus and likely killed his shot at a second term.

    Not that McCain would have done any better. A nation has to be very lucky to have a real leader already in place when times get bad. We need to find an FDR. Obama doesn't seem to be The One.
  11. New_York_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 6
    The mistake with Summers, in retrospect, was not giving him Bernanke's job when he had the opportunity.

  12. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I guess I'm unsure of the criticisms about the stimulus. Certainly, there was a strong case for making it larger--one that people like Krugman made repeatedly. But it's also the case, per contemporary reporting, that they were well aware of this option. While Romer had originally suggested a trillion dollar stimulus, it was rejected in significant part because the administration judged that there was no real apparatus for deploying that much money as quickly as they were aiming to. Additionally, consider how resistant Snowe and Collins were to participating. There were, in fact, some final reductions to the total made before they would vote for it. I'm not sure how "being bold" and aiming for a larger number would've done anything but alienate them.
  13. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    That's interesting Jabba, because I think in opposite terms of your post.

    Woodward used to be an excellent journalist, but that's back when he actually did the "leg work" as a reporter. After the fame, and after he became an editor, he just became a "face," if that makes any sense. There's a famous saying around Washington that goes "it takes a brave man to act anonymously," and that's what Woodward's journalistic style has become. He was granted an interview with Obama, the extent of which is not known. But the bulk of his reporting is conducted by the telephone and by having documents faxed to him. A telephone conservation where someone mentioned that it looked like 2 generals was arguing with Obama suddenly becomes an "un-named government official reports that there is wide disagreement among the administration over Afghanistan." It's not an outright lie, but it's not reporting either, it's sensationalism.

    I'd still say McCain would have handled the economy, among other things, much more effectively, simply because of the team he put together. McCain was opposite Obama in this regard-he couldn't self his personal brand, but he probably had the most capable staff lined up since the post WWII Roosevelt years.
  14. New_York_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 6
    What team? Am I forgetting some really important people of McCain's economic staff, because while Holtz-Eakin isn't bad, Fiorina and Gramm both sucked (And I think both had to quit before the election anyways?). I'm almost positive the overwhelming consensus was Obama had a much, much better economic staff.
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Are you kidding? You don't remember McCain's "progressive business team?"

    Fred Smith-CEO of FedEx
    Jonathon Chambers-Chairman of the Board for Cisco Systems
    Steve Ballmer-CEO of Microsoft
    Warren Buffet-probably needs no introduction-Billionaire investor?

    As you mentioned, Gramm was probably going to be the SecTreasury, and while he was a co-signer of the original Gramm-Leach-Bliley deregulation act, (which was signed into law by then President Clinton, I might add) Gramm also had a wide cross-appeal among the GOP and democrats, and was a protege of Alan Greenspan, who was the the greatest Fed Chairman the US has ever had.

    Add in Fred Thompson as Attorney General. And remember McCain was going to bring Henry Kissinger out of retirement, which would have been worth it right there.
  16. New_York_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 6
    The bit about Greenspan makes me think you're being sarcastic. Or drunk?
  17. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Alan Greenspan- Absolutely the best. Are you sure you're not confusing Greenspan with someone else?

    The only other Fed Chairman who might come close is William McChesney-Martin, but that's because he was part of "Eisenhower's 10," and would have controlled the world's monetary supply in the event of a nuclear war, which is cool from a scifi nerd standpoint.
  18. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The long view I think is that Greenspan will go down in history as the monetarist most responsible for the vast credit hole the U.S. got into that caused first the internet bubble and then the real estate bubble, the massive levels of consumer debt, etc. He'll be remembered as the chief economist who presided over America's slide into relative economic decline.

    Re Woodward, there's no doubt he trades now on his reputation more than his journalistic prowess per se - but it buys him access, and the top level access his reputation buys him makes him unique. Doubting his journalistic integrity is a political game arising over the Iraq war furor. Now that the political intensity has died down, we can see that his account was pretty much accurate. Hopefully he'll do the same thing for the Obama administration, which badly needs a dose of transparency at this point.
  19. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    Now I don't, I would have voted for McCain but I don't think Obama could have done anything more for the economy, it just happens when it happens. Basically Obama has continued George Bush's economic policies in most respects, he's a good guy doing his best in a tough situation. That said I think the press is giving him a freer ride than it would McCain but i think people just expected too much from him, as though 'We've got this person like us in power now everything is going to change'. But the real world isn't like that, the presidency is the art of the possible
  20. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
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    star 8
    Assuming you're not joking, and bearing in mind the points others have already made, I'll just add that you seem to be conflating economics with business experience. That proposition is a bit like saying that all great players would also be great coaches, or that every great instrumental musician would also be a great conductor. While it's healthy to have a fair dose of real world experience in the form of CEOs, McCain's team is skewed much too far in that direction. This, like any other social science, would probably benefit from having some grounded academic expertise, which Obama's team has/had in the form of Romer, Goolsbee and Summers.
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
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    Well, to be fair, we don't know. Conflating economics with business experience is just a start. The flip side to that is to say the current administration confused economics with non-profits, which is even farther away. My point was that all things being equal, the team McCain had lined up was prepared to hit the ground running with an eye toward stabilizing that side of the economy. We don't know everything they would have done, well because they weren't put in place. Ceratinly TARP wouldn't have been shotgunned, and things like the cash for clunkers wouldn't have been the sole extent for the first 1/3 of the year. No one has the magic bullet, but ultimately, I think they would have been more successful.
  22. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
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    I have no idea what this passage even means. I'm also confused about how they wouldn't have "shotgunned TARP" when that happened before the new President was sworn in. But, besides, since the federal government has actually turned a profit on the program per the Treasury Department, I'm even more confused about why changing it would be a good thing.
  23. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    I'm also utterly confused as to how an economic team full of CEOs is not a massive political millstone and credibility sapper, when CEOs are hated across the country for receiving bonuses after their companies were bailed out.
  24. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    J-W-You indicated that I might be improperly combining business experience with economics. Ok, I realize that the team was heavy on business experience. As opposed to what? The alternative (current administration) was heavy on non-profit and social engineering experience with very little business experience. Two sides of the same coin. This is one of those times you can't keep repeating that you need concrete examples, because McCain wasn't elected. He never even put his final team together, so it's all hypothetical. Concrete examples don't exist. Really, this line of discussion was exhausted after NYJ asked "which team?" and I answered him.

    To continue your "players vs coaches" analogy, we could debate how the Patriots could have won the 1985 Superbowl over the Chicago Bears, but it would just be an interesting exercise, since the Patriots didn't actually win. There's no PPOR that can be provided for such an exchange.
  25. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    The alternative (current administration) was heavy on non-profit and social engineering experience with very little business experience.

    That?s not accurate, not even a little bit.

    Obama?s Economic Recovery Avisory Board (chaired by Paul Volcker, the most underrated Fed Chairman):

    Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric chief executive
    James W. Owens, head of Caterpillar
    Robert Wolf, chairman and CEO of UBS Group Americas
    Mark Gallogly, founder and managing partner at Centerbridge Partners L.P.
    Penny Pritzker, chair and founder of Pritzker Realty Group and Classic Residence by Hyatt
    John Doerr, partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers
    Monica C. Lozano, Director of Bank of America
    Charles E. Phillips, Jr., president of Oracle Corporation.
    Richard L. Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO
    Austan Goolsbee, chairperson of Council of Economic Advisers
    Christina Romer, former chairperson of Council of Economic Advisers
    William H. Donaldson, former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman
    Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Member
    Martin Feldstein, former chief economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan,
    Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., Member
    David F. Swensen, CIO at Yale University

    I?d add that Obama does meet with Buffett, who also was an Obama supporter. I?m sure he would?ve met with McCain, Buffett isn?t hyperpartisan, by I?m not sure he would?ve served in a McCain administration in any official capacity.

    I do think McCain, on paper, would've had a very competent team. But it's very difficult to predict what he would've done differently. After all, it's easy to say McCain would've been pressured by the GOP to pass more tax cuts with no stimulus, but as was mentioned, it was Bush who passed TARP so it's hard to guess if, in an emergency, McCain would've turned to gov't intervention or not.

    Speaking generally, as someone who has worked in the financial sector most of my life, the notion of lionizing all private business people (especially at the expense of say, economists, non-profit workers, academics, etc.) is a bad one. Even the successful businesses aren't always that well run, the people at the top have just stood on the shoulders of the people before them and managed not to completely screw things up.
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