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. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
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    Farraday: Pwner of Men.
  2. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I admit, I may be wrong. Coverage of Bush may have been more fair than I thought--and Obama is perhaps not getting special treatment. But, I'm certainly, at the very least, not ruling out that coverage of Bush was in actuality--quite unfair compared to Obama.


    Well see now -- that's just the thing: it seems to me that in order to prove media bias, they are applying the stadnard to Obama today that applied to Bush AT THE END OF HIS TERM. And then they justify this standard by saying the media is supposed to be impartial.

    Well yes, the media IS supposed to be impartial. But then let's just say for the sake of argument that it isn't... how does taking one president at the end of his term wash with another one who hasn't even completed thier first year yet?

    Bush got PLENTY of great coverage. The issue with the 2000 election essentially ended in January. SNL -- the COMEDY show you seem content to list alongside reputable news sources -- slammed Al Gore just as much about the whole election situation as George Bush (in that he never shut up about it). By February the Press wasn't exactly dogging the issue again and again and again. A movie was made about it some years later with Kevin Spacey... oh do you remember that box office smash, because I don't. I also don't remember the incredible marketing machine behind it either that all the news stations were peddling.

    So. By February/March Bush had an inauspicious beginning, but to say anyone was hammering him over the head with ANYTHING is either a lie, or they're talking about things not associated with mainstream media. People were frankly sick of the whole thing by then.

    Chinese Spy Plane incident was probably the biggest story between the 2000 election and 9/11. I'm sorry, HOW much "hammering over the head" did GWB get for that? How much did the press get on his back and not get off? Oh I'm sorry, THEY LEFT HIM ALONE! Comparatively it was a routine situation and the Bush adminstration just handled it. I don't remember anyone lambasting Bush for having spy planes over there or negotiating with the Chinese or much of anything that landed headline news on how George Bush was the devil for what was going on with the Chinese.

    And then 9/11 happened. So what... all that goodwill and stuff that happened afterwards... that doesn't count? Bush at 90% approval ratings, all those pictures of him at Ground Zero... what, was MSNBC criticizing his clothing choice for that day? Nobody said a friggin' WORD edgewise about Bush for practically the entire next year as the Taliban got swept off the map.

    It wasn't until over halfway through 2002 before anyone even made a MOVE anywhere to bother opposing Bush. And even later than that before it became serious around October/November of 2002. This reached it's height with the invasion day in 2003, and then the whole thing became quiet AGAIN as Saddam got kicked out of Baghdad. It only started up again that October when the insurgency started racking up major losses and started to really hammer down when things started exploding around april and May of 2004. But by then the first term was nearly OVER.

    If someone were biased, and I'm not saying the mainstream is to any meaningful extent, in what WORLD would it be fair to take the attitude towards Bush from his spectacularly failed SECOND term and apply it to OBama's first?

    Of course, many want to. At some point the backlash to Obama is getting at least as bad as those who love him -- to hear some tell it Wolf "The Robot" Blitzer himself has sacrifical altars in his basement dedicated to Lord Obama the hopeful. And I suppose they need to say that and make things as difficult for Obama as possible so they can credit the next Republican who gets in with cleaning up the mess, all the while yanking the broom out of Obama's hand and saying "Everyone did the same thing to Bush... er, from 2004 onwards!"

    This isn't about Obama and Bush as it is about the right-wing needing to save face.


    The coverage of the Iraq War always was balanced--never did it constantly r
  3. DVCPRO-HDeditor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2006
    star 4
    Following the 9/11 attacks, the population of the United States, by and large, was caught up in a sense of nationalism and wanted to strike back at the attackers. The President, the Senate and the Congress, as well as the Armed Forces, were all party to that. The desire to bloody the other guy's nose made nearly everyone lose sight of reality for a time. Then, reality set in, and the media became critical of the administration and its choices. The people followed suit.

    The current "anti-Obama" climate is, in part, a result of that previous blind faith in the administration. The President said "let's go to war," nearly everyone wanted to go, and so off the country went - to war. Now, the President is saying "let's tweak the health care system" and people are, having learned from their previous mistake, taking a moment to reflect on the enormity of the situation before they follow blindly.

    The other thing to consider is who owns the news outlets, and what they have to gain or lose depending on the aspects of the news they cover. News isn't owned by the corporations anymore - anyone with a webcam and a YouTube account can convey current events without any bias. What the news organizations do is put those events into context, and that context is determined by the audience they're trying to reach. That audience is determined by demographic ratings, which are reviewed at a corporate level so they know who will buy advertising time on their networks.

    It doesn't matter who you listen to - at the end of the day, they aren't about the truth, they're about the almighty dollar. [face_money_eyes]
  4. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Following the 9/11 attacks, the population of the United States, by and large, was caught up in a sense of nationalism and wanted to strike back at the attackers. The President, the Senate and the Congress, as well as the Armed Forces, were all party to that. The desire to bloody the other guy's nose made nearly everyone lose sight of reality for a time. Then, reality set in, and the media became critical of the administration and its choices. The people followed suit.

    Yeah, I won't dispute that. Although I would say as a technical note to keep in mind this period came in on top of an initial period of 8 months where treatment of Bush was essentially indifferent -- and in the end much more indifferent than treatment of Obama ended up being, who started seeing major pushback in May or June.


    The current "anti-Obama" climate is, in part, a result of that previous blind faith in the administration. The President said "let's go to war," nearly everyone wanted to go, and so off the country went - to war. Now, the President is saying "let's tweak the health care system" and people are, having learned from their previous mistake, taking a moment to reflect on the enormity of the situation before they follow blindly.

    I would think that's a rather more localized response. Surely there are those people out there that equate one president with another. Not that Obama is a paragon of virtue compared with his predecessor, but that if Bush had been followed by anyone short of JFK going backward, they would still now be not as eager to follow on such blind faith.

    But one would think that the resistance would be a little more -- broad, if that were the case. And for those where it is the case, it seems strange that they would look on the situations as equivalent. It is the same situation as per vis a vis the government but, well, let's for instance take a look at how OTHER nations approached the same issue.

    IRAQ:

    -The US was the prime mover and instigator of the 2003 invasion. It was not the main instigator of the situation existing prior, mind you... that was Iraq's action in 1991 and the US's response to it with full allied endorsement. But in 2003 the change in behavior was arrived at by the US decision to invade and contries either followed that direction or not (as opposed to joining the US in leadership of it). Most of the US's primary allies came out publically against the war. Of those that did not, very little aid was given. The primary allies going into Iraq were the US, Britain, the Netherlands (or was it Denmark, one of the two) and Spain, with consent also pledged from Australia, Japan and Italy. Only Spain and Britain gave any substantial military support despite it being in the power of Australia and Italy to do so. Spain then later withdrew support and never gave it again.

    HEALTH CARE:

    -Almost all nations have some form of what is considered in the US to be "socialized" medicine. In fact it is the US's health care system that is unique and not the other way around. All the nations mentioned above and more besides have some form of public option: if the US were to persue one, they would be joining the norm. The reason there is so much comparison to say, Canada's health care system is largely becuase the two countries border one another and are full first world nations. But one could compare against the British, French, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, German or Italian systems as well.


    The other thing to consider is who owns the news outlets, and what they have to gain or lose depending on the aspects of the news they cover. News isn't owned by the corporations anymore - anyone with a webcam and a YouTube account can convey current events without any bias. What the news organizations do is put those events into context, and that context is determined by the audience they're trying to reach. That audience is determined by demographic ratings, which are reviewed at a corporate level so they know who will buy advertising time on their networks.

    And as far as the context being de
  5. DVCPRO-HDeditor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2006
    star 4
    I agree with you, Gonk, for the most part. It seems to me that the difference between Iraq and health reform is that Iraq is way over there and health reform is right here. The issues that tie into health reform - taxation, etc - are more of what get people worked up. I do agree that the system needs to be fixed, but is it the role of the government to do that? Because we live in a capitalist nation, wherein the almighty dollar is king, and health care is an industry that uses its profits to further research into improving technology and advancing science so as to better treat patients, do we want the government to take over that enormous aspect of our lives and the national economy?

    Also, don't forget that Bush II came into office after a man who received "oral delights" in the Oval Office, and then tried to lie to everyone about it. He had it easy for a while just because the only woman he was sticking it to was his own wife - something about a clear moral compass, yadda-yadda, before the whole 9/11-Iraq-War on Terror-"Mission Accomplished" pile hit.
  6. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I agree with you, Gonk, for the most part. It seems to me that the difference between Iraq and health reform is that Iraq is way over there and health reform is right here.

    The only thing I find distasteful about that observation -- not that I disagree with it, although I do find it distasteful with those who would phrase it in such a way as to justify it -- is that people are DYING way over there. Like, as a DIRECT consequence. Regardless of who killed who in the hundreds of thousands (likely at least a million) individual cases, the choice to go to war resulted in people dying who otherwise would not have. If Saddam was about to embark on another internal progrom on his own people the situation might be different becuase there would be an actual act of prevention at work no matter the intention (as was the case in Bosnia and the first Gulf War), but there was no sign that was going to happen anytime soon).

    I'm not exactly sure the notion that people are dying over health care reform is a valid one -- or rather, that more people will die if it goes through. There are those that stipulate more will die in the US if there is NO public option... but leaving that aside how the case could be made more people would die WITH it has not really been an issue unless you happen to believe the "death panels" claptrap. Some have said that doctors would leave to find better pay elsewhere, but where excatly are they going to go? ANOTHER country that just has its own public option? Of course not, the expertise would stay precisely where it is.

    The problem seems much more to do with money, control and -- if we're to take your explanation, just plain old fear. But it's a bit distasteful to watch people go off thier nut about Health Care because it's "over here" but a lot worse things can go on "over there" precisely because it is over there. What was that thing the Joker said in "The Dark Knight" about how nobody panics as long as everything's 'part of the plan, even if the plan is horrifying'?


    The issues that tie into health reform - taxation, etc - are more of what get people worked up. I do agree that the system needs to be fixed, but is it the role of the government to do that? Because we live in a capitalist nation, wherein the almighty dollar is king, and health care is an industry that uses its profits to further research into improving technology and advancing science so as to better treat patients, do we want the government to take over that enormous aspect of our lives and the national economy?

    Well not that it's a REASON per se, but everyone else does. And those nations are capitalist nations too -- unless America is somehow the only capitalist nation. And if it is, then I guess that would make the others like Canada, the UK, France, Sweden, etc. socialist countries... yes it seems strange that these socialist nations would be on the "capitalist" side during the Cold War. Anyway, through these nations you can probably be assured that in seeing working public options all over the place that were the US to adopt one, it would not tank out on account of it.

    And, of course, plenty of research takes place in these nations as well. Except maybe the UK since Thatcher totally gutted R&D back in the day, but that's another tangent...

    However, there's another reason why there shouldn't be an objection to the government taking over that aspect of a national economy. Because it involves the care of people LIVES.

    If this were the car industry, the television industry, the IT industry, the financial industry, or even to some extent the power insudtry (becuase you can perhaps make the case for energy as well, but less of one) I could see your point much better. But Heath Care does not equate in the same way to these industries. Becuase as a person you don't need it to survive. And not even the food industry is comparable -- true you need food to survive, but the plentiful redundancy and low price of food mandate that it not need to be regulated... if the average item of food cost 200 dollars and you ma
  7. DVCPRO-HDeditor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2006
    star 4
    Additionally, what precisely is the adverse effect OF a public option?

    I fully understand and appreciate the need for health care. But the President's plan to overhaul the existing system results in a very large bill that needs to be paid, and the country already has a sizable deficit. The eventual fallout from adding to that deficit, rather than reducing it, by adding this very large program to the government infrastructure seems a bit . . . . destructive, I guess is the word. Not necessarily in the sense of blowing up a building or invading a neighboring sovereignty, but more in the sense of making the hole bigger, deeper, and harder to climb out of.

    What sort of control would a government have that would adversely affect its citizens?

    None that illegal wiretapping hasn't given it already. And given that my social security number is tied to my employment, bank account, utility bills, etc - let's face it, the government could know everything about me if they wanted to. Its just a matter of living a life that is of no interest to the government. Just pay your taxes and obey the laws. Its not that hard.

    What are they going to do, deny you health care? Based on what, that you can't pay? That doesn't make sense -- and even if it did it would be no worse than what's happening now. Would they deny you based on the fact that someone else needs it more?

    Emergency room services can't be denied for inability to pay, but anything else can be. There are already programs in place to help those who can't pay and don't have coverage pay for cancer treatment or life-saving procedures - the patient simply has to fill out the right forms at the hospital, and its a done deal. My aunt had a mastectomy last year, and I've had CT scans & MRIs done that we didn't have to pay for just because we did the paperwork.

    There are already programs in place - people just have to find them and jump through a few hoops. But if its your life on the line, that's not too much to ask. I realize that I probably sound harsh, but I don't believe that anyone anywhere is entitled to anything "just because."

    But, anyway, getting back to the topic of Fox News' bias . . . . meh. If one network is biased, there are others to choose from. Its just petty for the President to pick on one that doesn't agree with his point of view.
  8. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I fully understand and appreciate the need for health care. But the President's plan to overhaul the existing system results in a very large bill that needs to be paid, and the country already has a sizable deficit.

    Am I in the wrong here for thinking that the amount this is adding to the deficit is much less than the expenditures of the previous administration? Not that I'm saying because one guy did it it's ok for another one to do it, but even WITH this public option, aren't you getting a lot more bang for your taxpayer dollar than whatever you're getting out of... what DOES the Dept. of Homeland Security DO, anyway?

    Essentially, the liberal tax/spend Dems are in charge, and even with this option isn't your rate of negative acceleration going down? Yes, the US has a large bill that needs to be paid: but health care is contributing to the very size of this cost and thus the need for reform. Even in it's current private-only + programs manner, health care expendatures are still causing incredible budget creep.


    The eventual fallout from adding to that deficit, rather than reducing it, by adding this very large program to the government infrastructure seems a bit . . . . destructive, I guess is the word. Not necessarily in the sense of blowing up a building or invading a neighboring sovereignty, but more in the sense of making the hole bigger, deeper, and harder to climb out of.

    The point of this, presumedly, is to land at positive growth. Naturally it can't be denied that this proposal adds to the deficit for this year. But do you seriously presume the Obama administration isn't looking to make sure whatever reform they inact, that it attempts to mitigate the cost of health care in subsequent years to this one? For Obama to come to the election campaign of 2011 and say gee willikers, that was some great health care plan but we're not even seeing upward trajectory on the deficit... man, that's political suicide! If the public option was seriously going to stop the US from reducing the deficit, they'd get rid of it. Given the resistance it would be silly and stupid of them not to. They'd be living up to all the things thier critics say about them: there has to be some plan 2-4 years out to have health care and pay down the deficit at the same time: other 'socialized' countries do it. Canada did it (and was doing just fine too until this global economic crisis... thanks for that guys, by the way. SO helpful).


    None that illegal wiretapping hasn't given it already. And given that my social security number is tied to my employment, bank account, utility bills, etc - let's face it, the government could know everything about me if they wanted to. Its just a matter of living a life that is of no interest to the government. Just pay your taxes and obey the laws. Its not that hard.

    Right, they already could -- so that's why I sort of don't get it. It's sort of like admitting that the entire notion of resisting this is a meaningless gesture that even if you're right, has no particular effect becuase the government's already got much more MEANINGFUL control over you.

    (That is, BTW, why I never really got the argument for gun control that cited government control and overreach as a reason to have it... like you and your 6 friends could seriously hold out against a mechanized division like you're in that Red Dawn movie or something)

    So if that's someone's argument... well Welcome to the Machine, baby. You're already here. And you've been here since you were born. You're already in the Matrix.

    And if you're wrong... and this could help people... well then to me the choice seems clear. IF my best case scenario is that I'm right but I won't accomplish anything in my objection, but if I'm wrong my objection is preventing a lot of significant things from happening -- well then maybe it would be best to lighten up a tad on my objections a bit.


    Emergency room services can't be denied for inability to pay, but anything else can be.

    Yes, but you can already be denied on the basi
  9. Connant Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 1
    I think there is definitely left-wing bias, but it comes in a variety of forms. A great deal of it I don't think is intentional. The way someone will phrase a sentence is often just what comes naturally to them. While to me it seems like the majority of the bias is to the left, I suspect that my perception of it is wrong because the United States seems to be greatly divided right now. Perhaps it is no coincidence that this division has become so inflamed as the internet has risen? If the media on the whole was that dominated by left-wing politics then I think most people would fall in line. Call me a pessimist, but people are sheep.

    I think the Obama Administrations' hostility to Fox News is a very foolish act. It is mystifying. I can't imagine that they really think this will make them more popular. I am surprised by their stance against Fox News as I was by Obama's comments about the arrest of his friend by a white police officer.

    I think that if Bush had done this that all the same people (and more) who are cheering Obama on and dismissing Fox News would be up in arms.

    I also think one could contest the reasons why people become more liberal as they attain higher education. Campuses are regularly accused of being left-wing biased on the part of their staff. I haven't been to college so I can't speak with first hand knowledge but I've read enough editorials and anecdotes written by college professors and students to draw my own conclusions. Not more than a month or so ago I read a story written by a journalism student who did a survey on his campus and in the process outed himself as a 'conservative'. The response he got from many of the faculty and student body was a hostile one.

    As I said, people are sheep, even educated sheep want to herd. Politics and bias can just as easily infiltrate places of scholarly learning as it can anywhere else.
  10. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    As someone who is centrist and an educator, do you think that higher education might produce more "liberal" individuals precisely because *it is our job* to expose people to broader understandings of the world around them? To provide them with information that they did not have before? To offer critiques to the ideas that they have held in relative ignorance for their lives? High school students generally are not critiqued by their teachers - secondary educators are still beholden to the school system and parents, and the entitlement mentality that has been fostered in children makes them react to *any* disagreeing position, frequently claiming persecution and/or bias. Maybe people become "liberal" precisely because they are shown the actual complexity of the issues being discussed, rather than the simplistic presentations they are given by authority figures earlier in their psychosocial development?

    I challenge my students opinions - all of them - precisely because my job is to teach them how to approach problems and complex ethical issues. Even when I think a student is on the right track I will still ask critical questions designed to show them flaws in their argument. This forces them to try different lines of argumentation in order to make stronger arguments, and what's more, it forces them to consider the viewpoints of an individual who disagrees with them. I have students who change their mind *precisely because* they are being taught how to evaluate evidence and think critically - they have never had to do it before.

    So, I'd greatly appreciate people backing off the "liberal bias" in education, as it is really more of a "critical thinking and reality orientation bias".

    And it's still asinine to insist on a liberally biased media, for the reasons explained above.
  11. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I think there is definitely left-wing bias, but it comes in a variety of forms. A great deal of it I don't think is intentional. The way someone will phrase a sentence is often just what comes naturally to them. While to me it seems like the majority of the bias is to the left, I suspect that my perception of it is wrong because the United States seems to be greatly divided right now.

    The think is, while your statement sounds modest, it is actually a very large claim to make: it's just that so many make it and the acts you attest to are so meagre that it SEEMS like you're not saying something very significant.

    But the ramifications of what would have to be in order for this 'definate left-wing bias' to be true are far-reaching. In order for this bias to be true, there's only a limited number of explanations that I think fall into a few basic categories: PREJUDCIAL, CONSPIRITORIAL, and FUNCTIONAL.

    PREJUDCIAL:

    A) Liberals are the only people interested in becoming journalsts
    B) Conservatives are uninterested in becoming journalists

    The flaws in this should be apparent. The US is a free country. Anyone can attempt to become a journalist or work for an established news organization if they want to. It insults both groups to varying degrees to make one of these sort of arguments -- and insults Conservatives in particular. Why WOULDN'T a Conservative want to become a jounralist. If for no other reason, a young conservative out of high-school might percieve a left-wing bias in the media... there's a motive right THERE for that person to go out and change that. And that motive has been at around at least as long as the perception of a left-wing bias itself. So why hasn't this happened? For a side of the political spectrum that supports "pulling yourself up by the bootstraps" there doesn't seem to have been much movement here when, given the conditions, there should have been PLENTY of Conservative youths entering Journalism school all the way back to the 50s, 60s and 70s.


    CONSPIRITORAL:

    A) Journalism Schools purposely flunk out Conservative students
    B) Mainstream news organizations don't hire conservatives
    C) Educational brainwashing, manipulation or significant influence is at work in some form either in educational systems, professional organizations, or both.

    These don't really work either. The first is in itself a prejudical statement on educators, inferring that the norm is unprofessional behavior towards passing and failing students, and even moreso that there is an organized agenda, however rigorous or casual, to this unprofessional behavior. Lowie's earlier anecdotes notwithstanding, that's rediculous. If such a thing were actually going on, some Conservative student SOMEWHERE must have noticed by now, investigated and named names, and probably a LONG TIME ago. That or someone would have let something slip at some point.

    The same is essentially true for B, and there's plenty of evidence to the contrary. IT's been noted Ann Coulter, the lowest of the conservative low, got her start on MSNBC itself. Tucker Carlson worked for both that network and alongside Bob Novak CNN. Glenn Beck got his start on the same network. Bill O'Reilly had a career in other mainstream organizations before Fox. Nixon speechwriters have gone on to work for the New York Times. This is patently, patently false. What's more there would definately be a lot of red flags thrown up during an interview process if someone asked your political beliefs and values since it's not relevant to your job (unless you don't happen to agree with freedom of speech, or something).

    C is taking the imlicit attack at professionalism on educators and applying it to both them and journalists in the field. Sure, we all influence each other to certain degrees. But you know how this works: you've been influenced in the past, and prevented influence. A Conservative working in the industry would know when he's either being pressured or, eventually being 'seduced' (not literally) by his peers or superiors to adopt viewpoints that aren't r
  12. KGhobgoblin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2009
    star 1
    Gonk, thanks for the Tribune history. I didn?t know a lot of that stuff. I still wouldn?t lump it in with the Wall Street Journal and Fox News as part of the clearly right wing media, though. And as you noted, I?m from the Midwest and I grew up about an hour north of Chicago with the Tribune as the only paper we ever had in my house. I?m pretty familiar with it and I still think it?s less to the right than CNN is to the left (only because of CNN?s primetime lineup + Rick Sanchez, though; the regular news on CNN is fine). But your point is well taken as far as who the paper has endorsed, etc. Solid post.

    Also, I think your history of the media coverage of Bush was accurate. You?re right that it really didn?t go negative until the Iraq War started. I do disagree that the war coverage was accurate though. While you?re correct in saying that if a car blows up, they?re going to report it, the choice to report only the car instead of the 12 schools that were built outside of the ?green zone? (where most of the journalists camped out because the green zone was fairly safe) is where the slant enters the picture. A current example of this is that I had a buddy who was an infantry officer over there for the past year and in January he told me that they had only one SIGACT in the southern half of Iraq for the last six months (significant action; basically, any type of violence whatsoever toward an American or Iraqi). He said that as much as he hates Bush for sending him there twice, the surge was actually working.

    The first positive Iraq story I?ve heard about how safe it is over there was recently where they reported that soldiers were bored and having to take salsa dance lessons and yoga. This story comes ten months after the real ?news? happened (my friend?s experience above). Rather than report the good news of a safer country, the media opted to report nothing. While the invasion wasn?t a good idea, if the operation ends up as a success it still reflects positively on Bush; the lack of reporting on a positive outcome makes at least a prima facie showing of bias. Reporting the current conditions, as they are, wouldn?t be spinning anything; it would be reporting facts. People watching would be able to make the connection that we went down a wrong path for five years before cleaning things up.

    On healthcare, you?re right that we?re different. I?d argue that?s what makes us better. My concern isn?t with this bill and what it does in five years. What scares me is that once government gets involved in something, it never lessens its grip. Not in 25 or 50 years, but almost certainly in 100 years my great grandchildren will grow up in socialism if this goes through. It works so long as those on top are benevolent, but once you get a single selfish regime, the government will regulate every aspect of your life. I hate the idea of giving up freedom (even the freedom to fail) for security.

    Also, why not try this first in a single state to see how it goes? The ?laboratory? concept is one of the great advantages to having separate states. If it goes horribly wrong in just one state, the nation is still fine. It makes no sense to experiment on the entire country at once.

    Gonk, I?ll actually make the case that conservatives generally don?t want to be journalists; we want to be the ones who make the news. Same thing with why conservatives aren?t in academia; we?re the ones who?d rather compete in the free market instead of teaching and doing research. As you noted, there are some conservatives who go into journalism, but not as many as liberals/leftists. I agree that there?s no vast conspiracy and that life experiences change perceptions, but see my response in the next paragraph.

    Keynote and Quixotic, to say essentially that ?the more facts you learn, the more left you lean? is ridiculous and inflammatory. There?re plenty of intelligent, educated people on both sides of the political spectrum. My point was that the facts are less relevant than how peopl
  13. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    I'm just going to straight up say you have no clue what you're talking about.

    Lion of the Left Lou Dobbs? Virulent Ideologue Larry King? You're going to have to actually cite people and examples because frankly you're not making any sense.

    Oh, and if you want to debate the death penalty, feel free to step into my thread on the issue so I don't side track this one tearing apart the idiocy of studies claiming a one to one (or 8) relationship of executions to murders prevented.
  14. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Keynote and Quixotic, to say essentially that ?the more facts you learn, the more left you lean? is ridiculous and inflammatory. There?re plenty of intelligent, educated people on both sides of the political spectrum. My point was that the facts are less relevant than how people interpret them. An alternative theory about why journalists' experiences make them liberal is that they only report bad news and might feel, "Wow! We should really do something about this. These poor people!" Conservatives are generally happy with things because they feel like life is pretty good. If you only saw bad news story after bad news story, you might not feel that America is nice place.


    You completely missed the point of what I said. And note, I was not saying that "the more facts you learn, the more left you lean". That's either a gross misunderstanding or willful ignorance of the point actually being made. The issue with education and exposure to different ideas is that it is our job to critique *everyone* who sets foot in our classroom. What this means is that I critique students who are both left- and right-leaning with equal tenacity, because my job is to explore their thought process, not simply the facts to which they choose to pay attention, and for *all of them* this is a new experience. What I have encountered most often is that these kids are parroting views they have been given, and they tend to see the world differently after going through this process precisely because I don't let them sit in the intellectual morass they have encountered in their primary and secondary education. I don't give a **** what opinions they hold so long as they have good reasons to hold them - any opinion that requires the facts to be something other than what they are demonstrates that the problem is with the opinions that they hold, not with the world around them. I'm going through this very issue with my medical ethics classes in the abortion debate - before we even get to the moral discussion I give them a thorough review of embryology and developmental biology (with more information, in fact, than most of them have received in their pre-clinical courses), precisely because a lot of the current public debate and discussion is superficial and without a sound scientific basis. Until they understand and appreciate the complexity of the issue (both physiologically as well as philosophically), they are ignorant and naive, which is my job to fix.

    So I'd suggest reading what I've actually written instead of what you want me to have written - I have never claimed that "the more facts you learn, the more left you lean", and it is painfully ignorant to suggest that I have. The claim I am defending is that greater exposure to complex issues tends to produce a more liberal attitude towards other complex issues. Your definitions of "liberal" and "conservative" are politically naive, and reflect the lack of understanding which college is designed to combat. Political liberalism =/= social liberalism =/= fiscal liberalism =/= educational liberalism, for one, and American liberalism =/= global liberalism. This is a complex intellectual concept, and your extremely simplistic and superficial presentation of the underlying differences between the two philosophies does it no service.
  15. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    That's the crux of course. Opinions tend to become more nuanced along with greater expertise and understanding of the issues. "Big government bad, free market good" isn't a very useful opinion when it comes to trying to figure out how best to regulate the banking industry, for example. The American left-right "debate" as presented in the media doesn't allow for a lot of nuance or care much for expertise.
  16. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Gonk, thanks for the Tribune history. I didn?t know a lot of that stuff. I still wouldn?t lump it in with the Wall Street Journal and Fox News as part of the clearly right wing media, though. And as you noted, I?m from the Midwest and I grew up about an hour north of Chicago with the Tribune as the only paper we ever had in my house. I?m pretty familiar with it and I still think it?s less to the right than CNN is to the left (only because of CNN?s primetime lineup + Rick Sanchez, though; the regular news on CNN is fine). But your point is well taken as far as who the paper has endorsed, etc. Solid post.

    I'm not sure the Tribune is any more or less right-wing than the Wall Street Journal. The Journal itself though, is within acceptable boundaries, I think, for a legitimate news source. Notice although it's been listed a lot as a right-wing source, it's not getting the criticism given to talk radio or Fox News either here, out there, or by Obama -- if you're of the opinion he's already 'unfairly' going after Fox at this point (the fact that it was mentioned once specifically doesn't mean Obama's after them just YET, although I agree that to go further than they already have is probably unwise. To call out who they think is unfair is enough).

    Meaning this is not where the objection is stemming from. The real objection is stemming from more RECENT sources. Sources that, either themselves or through thier audience, stipulate that they are the reaction to a left-wing media bias. But there were ALREADY sources like the Tribune or the Journal or, perhaps, the NY Post. some would say that the Washington Post itself also leaned right. I think what the problem was, was that Rush Limaugh, the audience, and those Rupert Murdoch hired onto Fox to make him money thought that they didn't lean right ENOUGH.

    But enough to counterbalance... what, exactly? I think farraday's asking of you of the objectionable peronalities that show the left-wing bias on CNN is a pointed one: I don't think you were saying... and I don't think farraday necessairly thinks you were saying (but I dunno, let's not assume anyhing about farrie here -- after all until a few years ago I thought the guy was a full-on Bush administration supporter)... that CNN has talking heasd that are SO out of line. But who DOES in that lineup specifically qualify as left-wing leaning? Lou Dobbs is certainly not left-wing. Wolf Blitzer acts -- probably on purpose -- as if he's been given a political lobotomy. Larry King doesn't really strike anyone as anything close to Kieth Olbermann.

    Names that you might throw out there, a lot of them like Rick Sanchez only came on in the last 5 years. Names that were around even in 2001... You'd replace Anderson Cooper with Aaron Brown, for instance. You may or may not think Anderson Cooper left-leaning although it might be best to give examples of why if so, but I'll bet if you DO find him leaning that way, you'd probably have found Aaron Brown less so. Or if you'd rather another name, Richard Roth was around then too -- nobody's complained about his conduct like Olbermann.

    See where this is leading? CNN always had left leaning people on it's pundit panels, but I'll bet the further back you go, and it's not that far, the personalities you object to with leftist views were probably not as many, more of the personalities around were a lot closer to Wolf Blitzer or LArry King. Dry, certainly, but not very biased. And this was the situation when people like Rush Limbaugh came out and later Fox news came out saying things weren't right leaning ENOUGH.

    It wasn't that the news wasn't leaning enough to the right... it was that their views weren't reflected enough. And while that's probably true the news is NOT supposed to reflect a view, and the equivalent views on the left were ALSO not being reflected. But that's not what they chose to see, becuase they had no interest in seeing things from a Ralph Nader perspective and that they actually got about fairly equal time as it was.


    Also, I think your history of the media co
  17. gonzoforce Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2002
    star 5
    all news organizations are bias, it's just Fox news is more blatently Republican and shouldn't be advertising itself as a fair a balanced news station, fair and balanced, yeah right. Just like MSNBC is more Democratic, but at least I ca n sometimes watch MSNBC, I just can't stand FOX news anymore, I used to watch it, but can't stand that station anymore. And it seems to me the people at Fox are just bitter that Obama won the election
  18. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I fail to see how anyone can say that Fox News is a joke but then decides to go to MSNBC(?!). I mean really, they're both jokes compared to CNN.
  19. Game3525 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2008
    star 4

    Clinton lied about his affair, which is far differant then what Nixon got caught for. Granted the press was hard on Tricky Dick in the 50's and 60's, while LBJ(early)and JFK for the most part got a free ride. Also, the backlash against GWB started to begin in 2003 due to the war, if anything he had a longer honeymoon with the public and press then Barack Obama every had.
  20. Game3525 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2008
    star 4
    I think it is because MSNBC doesn't obstruct facts like when Fox turned Foley, Sanford and McCain into Democrats.:p
  21. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    When did this happen?
  22. Game3525 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2008
    star 4
    You don't remember when I posted the pictures of Fox "accidently" labeling Foley, Sanford Democrats after a scandel.

    http://simmerdown3.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/sanford-democrat.jpg

    http://gauravmoghe.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/mccaind_az.jpg

    http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/foley.jpg
  23. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Hahaha! [face_laugh] But I never knew much of Sanford before this(wasn't he one of the governors that said he'd refuse the stimulus money?) but I knew he was a republican. Still, that's funny.
  24. KGhobgoblin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2009
    star 1
    Gentlemen, sorry to be out of the loop for so long. I had training at Fort Lee for ten days and now I?m up at Charlottesville, so hopefully the schedule will be milder.

    Here?s a link to a Pew Study that deals with what we?re talking about, here. I thought the most shocking part was that 43% of Democrats hold a favorable view of Fox News. That made me scratch my head. Interestingly, 44% of Republicans hold a favorable view of CNN, almost a mirror image. Overall, people generally do not care for the press.

    Farraday, it's a fair question to ask for some examples. Here are a few examples of a slight slant on CNN that come to mind off the top of my head and one I found online.

    1) When discussing right wing protests, Anderson Cooper made the comment, ?It?s hard to talk when you?re tea-bagging.? This slants it left because it?s comparing a right-wing protest against excessive government spending to a sexual act involving a mouth and a scrotum (that used the name ?tea party? as a spoof on the Boston Tea Party; ?tea-bagging? was created by MSNBC). The intention is to demean the protest as being less than legitimate. Cooper later apologized for the comment, but it tipped his hand.

    2) The other Anderson Cooper moment that comes to mind is after Bush gave his State of the Union speech in 2007, back when immigration was a hot topic. Cooper?s post-speech analysis blasted the President?s plan for a good half hour. At the very end, someone asked him what he would do about securing the border and he said something to the effect of, ?we should take advantage of our technology, you know, eyes in the sky and that sort of thing.? This comment failed to note that this was Bush?s fourth point in his five point plan and encompassed a big part of the border security aspect. If Cooper wanted to be balanced but still disagree with Bush, he could have said, ?Like the President mentioned, I think we need to utilize technology more but I think we need to take it even further than he stated.?

    3) We agree that Rick Sanchez leans left, right? Errr...correct? I?ve only watched him a few times, as I?m usually at work, but one of the times he had someone from Media Matters on as the lone analyst on the economy. To my knowledge, the gentleman didn?t have any sort of economics degree or special expertise, but proceeded to blame the entire global economic collapse on Republicans. Sanchez laughed and agreed. Perhaps I unfairly judged him, but I haven?t watched him since.

    4) If you go to the CNN opinion page and look at the six commentators, they cumulatively lean left. While Ed Rollins is a definite righty, having worked in Republican administrations, Joy Behar (View Host; famously debated Anne Coulter on two occasions) and Roland Martin (writing a pro-Obama book) are both definite lefties. Fareed Zakaria focuses on international politics so he?s kind of a wash for purposes of the American right/left classification and I?ll chalk him up as an n/a. Gloria Borger?s articles are pretty balanced, although given her history with the major news networks and an article titled, ?Obama?s All-Star Cabinet,? I?d have a tough time believing she?s ever voted Republican. Navarrette said in a September 4th editorial that he is ?someone who often takes a conservative stance on issues,? so I?ll put him on the conservative side. However, like Borger, I went through his archives and his articles are pretty balanced, often praising President Obama.

    All in all, it comes out to a 3-2-1 split (liberal-conservative-n/a). Again, it?s a slight tilt to the left, not a major one.

    5) The Primetime lineup: Larry King isn?t ridiculously biased, but he leans left. Newsbusters has nailed him on several occasions, including a gushing interview he gave to Michael Moore where he referred to Moore as ?our number one propagandist.? He also advocated for same-sex marriage after prop 8 passed in CA. Campbell Brown often hosts one-sided panels on key issues (ala Bill O?Reilly) that don?t i
  25. Game3525 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2008
    star 4
    KGhobgoblin , the GOP is usually identified more because the media likes to point out the hypocrisy of it. Democrats for the most part don't thump chest about family values(Sanford), or hiring hookers(Vitter).I think when they point out that the politician is a Republican it has more to do with pointing out the hypocrisy then to protect Democrats.
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