How Media Bias Works

Media bias is reflected in the slant of stories. It is also reflected by the stories the media promotes and the stories the media ignores.

On Friday The Washington Examiner posted an article that illustrates what media bias looks like.

The article states:

The House voted to pass two immigration measures on Thursday, but both ABC and CBS completely omitted that information from their nightly news programs.

On “NBC Nightly News,” anchor Lester Holt dedicated just 26 seconds to the story after leading his program with a three minute segment on President Trump‘s tweets about Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, according to a survey of the coverage conducted by the conservative Media Research Center.

One of the immigration reform bills voted on by the House, Kate’s Law, passed with bipartisan support, a newsworthy development amid heightened partisanship in Washington. The bill also touches a topic about which people have very strong feelings. Although it’s unlikely the legislation will survive a vote in the Senate, the decision by two of the three major networks simply to blow it off is somewhat remarkable. The law passed more than an hour before either broadcast aired, a development that had been widely anticipated all week.

Kate’s Law increases the penalties for deported aliens who try to return to the United States. It passed by a vote of 257 to 157, with one Republican voting no and 24 Democrats voting yes. A bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives should be news–it hasn’t happened a lot lately.

Why was the media concentrating on President Trump’s tweets instead of the passage of Kate’s Law? There are many people on both sides of the political spectrum who didn’t like what President Trump tweeted. When you ignore the constant attacks on President Trump and his family by Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough (as the media coverage generally did), President Trump was being rude. However, when you look at the tweet in the context of the constant attacks on President Trump and his family, why would you expect him not to fight back? The media used to respect the privacy of children of presidents. Under the Trump Administration, that no longer holds true. I think the attention and the slant the mainstream media is giving President Trump’s tweets while ignoring a major news story explains why no one believes them or depends on them for honest news.

This Is Important

As previously stated, I am not a Trump supporter. However, I understand the anger of the people supporting him and the hope they have that he will change the culture of Washington. He has an appeal that easily crosses party lines. Aol News reported one example of that yesterday.

The article states:

Former Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb, whose centrist campaign folded not long after the first primary debate, said Friday he won’t vote for party front-runner Hillary Clinton – and is open to giving Republican favorite Donald Trump his vote instead.

“No, I would not vote for Hillary Clinton,” said Webb, a former Democratic senator from Virginia, when asked on MSNBC‘s “Morning Joe” if he could support her. When it comes to Trump, he added, “I’m not sure yet. I don’t know who I’m gonna vote for.”

Though he served with her in the Senate, “it’s nothing personal about Hillary Clinton,” Webb told hosts Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist. A vote for Clinton, he said, is a vote for the status quo, while a vote for Trump is a vote to blow up a gridlocked, dysfunctional system of government.

The above statement is a reflection of the feelings of many people. The reason I don’t support Trump is that I am skeptical of his ability to change the climate in Washington. I fear that people are projecting on him whatever they want him to be, much like what happened with President Obama. I am skeptical, but I will vote for Trump if he is the nominee. Hillary Clinton and her husband belong in jail–not in the White House.

Bias?

Sometimes bias in the media is not illustrated by how a story is reported but rather if a story is reported. Real Clear Politics posted an article yesterday illustrating this fact.

The article tells the story of the spiking of an important story:

That is exactly what the national media have done to an important story about the White House’s intimate working relationship with MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, who helped craft the Affordable Care Act. You may remember Gruber from his infamous videotapes, the ones in which he called the American public too stupid to understand the law. He added their stupidity was helpful to Obama, Pelosi, and Reid in passing the law.

…They vaguely remembered somebody named Gruber or Goober or something but, fortunately, he played only a marginal role in health care. Thanks for asking. Next question?

Now, this may surprise you, but it turns out the White House knew Gruber very well and knew he played a crucial role in the health care bill. The White House simply decided to lie about it. Perhaps they agree with Gruber’s judgment about your intelligence.

How do we know about Gruber’s role? Not because the White House released any documents, not because the media dug into it, but because the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz, got MIT to turn over the relevant emails. There were 20,000 pages of emails back-and-forth between Gruber and the White House in the crucial months when the bill was being crafted and passed.

Amazing. The Wall Street Journal reported the story. I believe Fox News also reported it. Otherwise the major media has been totally silent on the issue. As far as the average American voter is concerned, President Obama and his cronies were perfectly honest in their descriptions of the role MIT professor Jonathan Gruber played in the development and selling of ObamaCare.

The article also points out what happened with the role of Jonathan Gruber was mentioned on a morning news show:

What happened on Morning Joe was fascinating. One of the hosts, Mika Brzezinski, called attention to the Journal story. Her co-host, former GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough, followed up. Turning to Mark Halperin, who is the co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics and a former senior reporter at Time, Scarborough asked if the story was inconsistent with White House statements. “I owe my Republican sources an apology,” Halperin said, “because they kept telling me he [Gruber] was hugely involved, and the White House played it down.”

Then Scarborough asked the money question: “Did the White House lie about that?”

“I think they were not fully forthcoming.”

That answer did not come from a White House official or a Democratic operative. It came from a big-time reporter. And not just any reporter. It came from a reporter to whom the White House had deliberately lied in background briefings. Does he call them out? Nope. He spins for them.

If a voter is depending on the major media for his news, he will, because of this sort of bias, be a low-information voter. We have reached a point where a voter who reads The New York Times, at one time one of the most respected newspapers in the nation, will be a low-information voter. That is truly sad.

Rewriting History As You Go Along

It has been thirteen years since the disputed 2000 election. Younger voters who voted in the 2008 and 2012 elections probably do not have a clear picture of exactly what happened in that election. Chris Matthews isn’t helping.

The Daily Caller posted a transcript of a Chris Matthews discussion with Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe on MSNBC.

Christ Matthews stated:

Obama “has had a very difficult opposition out there … who from the very beginning wanted to destroy this presidency,” he said. “And some of it is ethnic, and some is good old ideology. But they way they treated this guy is unusual in our history.”

“Al Gore accepted the fact, even though he won by 600,000 votes, that W. was president. And the Democrats accepted the legitimacy of George W. Bush 100 percent,” he added, when host Joe Scarborough tried to push back a bit.

On November 12, 2001, The New York Times stated:

A comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year’s presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward.

Contrary to what many partisans of former Vice President Al Gore have charged, the United States Supreme Court did not award an election to Mr. Bush that otherwise would have been won by Mr. Gore. A close examination of the ballots found that Mr. Bush would have retained a slender margin over Mr. Gore if the Florida court’s order to recount more than 43,000 ballots had not been reversed by the United States Supreme Court.

Even under the strategy that Mr. Gore pursued at the beginning of the Florida standoff — filing suit to force hand recounts in four predominantly Democratic counties — Mr. Bush would have kept his lead, according to the ballot review conducted for a consortium of news organizations.

The New York Times is certainly not a conservative newspaper. They were generally not kind to George W. Bush, but they got the facts about the recount right. Either Chris Matthews is badly misinformed or he is lying. Either way, I suspect many young voters or voters who have forgotten or were not paying attention believed him. Rewriting history is a true danger to our representative republic. It is the media’s job to tell the truth. It is a shame that they have forsaken their responsibility.

Just for the record, President Obama has not been treated badly by the opposition. There have been people questioning the amount of secrecy surrounding his past–his education, some of his activities in Chicago, some of his campaign tactics, etc. Those are legitimate questions that should be asked of any candidate. Unfortunately, an element of practicing personal destruction instead of debating political issues has crept into our politics in recent times. We saw that element in the 2012 presidential election. Policies took a back seat to scare tactics and claims that Mitt Romney was a rich man who had no compassion for the poor. As someone who lived in Massachusetts during the time Mitt Romney was governor, I can tell you that there is no truth in that statement. However, the press worked hard to present that image. Until the media ignores those people practicing the politics of personal destruction, all Presidents will be treated badly by some element of the opposition. The mainstream media however, will continue to be cheerleaders for the Democrats and complain when anyone says anything negative about their candidates or the policies of their candidates. Unfortunately, that is where we are.

Meanwhile, we need to guard against the rewriting of history and challenge it whenever possible.

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Fireworks on Morning Joe

The Daily Caller reported today on Jay Carney‘s appearance on the Morning Joe Show with Joe Scarborough. Evidently Joe Scarborough was actually looking for information from Jay Carney, and Jay Carney was not willing to be forthcoming.

The article at the Daily Caller posted some of the exchange between the two men:

“At the beginning, you said it was just the Cincinnati office,” Scarborough said. “And then we find out more people in Washington are involved. And then this past week we found out, despite what any of us think of the investigations on Capitol Hill — and I see you smiling, I don’t know that there’s anything to smile about, that it wasn’t a couple of crazy people in Cincinnati, that this information actually went up to the Chief Counsel of the IRS, which was one of two political appointees by the president of the United States and the entire IRS. So it doesn’t sound phony to me, Jay.”

CARNEY: I greatly appreciate that that is the line pushed by Republicans who want Washington to be focused on scandals instead of the economy —
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no, no, no, no, Jay — is that the truth or not? Don’t give me talking points! That doesn’t work on this show. So answer my question, and then let’s talk about the economy.
CARNEY: When you get to the question I’ll answer it—

Looks like some of the Jay Carney charm took a slight vacation. The only involvement by the Republicans in the IRS scandal is that they were the targets of the illegal activity.

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A New Low In Media Reporting

The Blaze posted two videos on Thursday of a Romney-Ryan rally in Ohio. The first video was played by MSNBC host Martin Bashir to illustrate his point that Paul Ryan was overshadowing Mitt Romney in the presidential campaign. A similar video had been played on “Morning Joe” the day before. I am not posting that video, if you would like to see it, follow the link to “The Blaze” above.

The unedited (untampered with) clip is at the bottom of the article at “The Blaze.” Here it is:

The article also provides an eyewitness account of the events. The eyewitness account and the unedited video clearly show that the crowd was not shouting “Ryan”–they were shouting “Romney,” and Mitt Romney encouraged them to change the shout to “Romney-Ryan.”  It is very discouraging to see videotape edited to fit the picture the mainstream media is trying to paint of this presidential campaign. This altered video clearly shows the reason we need the Internet as an alternative news source.

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