# Objective or even-handed reporting?

• News
Just something I found interesting, from Paul Krugman:

One is that the media are desperately afraid of being accused of bias. And that's partly because there's a whole machine out there, an organized attempt to accuse them of bias whenever they say anything that the right doesn't like.

So rather than really try to report things objectively, they settle for being even-handed, which is not the same thing. One of my lines in a column - in which a number of people thought I was insulting them personally - was that if Bush said the earth was flat, the mainstream media would have stories with the headline: "Shape of the Earth - Views Differ." Then they'd quote some Democrats saying that it was round.
I think this is an important point, when discussing the right-wing and the media...they will complain if the reporting isn't even-handed, even if it is objective. Many if not most Americans feel that the facts don't support Bush, so shouldn't the reporting be negative, if it is the truth? Or, look at the reaction to the miniseries on Reagan...if it was honest, and negative, who has the right to complain?

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Jonathan
Those are some pretty big 'ifs':
If the reporting is negative and true? How can it always be negative? You can't be telling me there hasn't been one good thing to come of this war?
If the Reagan miniseries were true? You mean on the off chance that at some point Reagan didn't claim to be the Antichrist?

Originally posted by Jonathan
Those are some pretty big 'ifs':
If the reporting is negative and true? How can it always be negative? You can't be telling me there hasn't been one good thing to come of this war?
If the Reagan miniseries were true? You mean on the off chance that at some point Reagan didn't claim to be the Antichrist?
Since neither of us have seen the miniseries, neither of us can speak to its accuracy. As far as the war...good results or bad, the war itself should not have been conducted in the way it was. Further, the cons outweigh the pros in the eyes of most people worldwide. Only a minority is feeling happy about the war, and the reporting should reflect that truth.

Here's an example that illustrates without being quite so political: creationism in science textbooks. Proponents want 'equal time'. That would, of course, give the impression that creationism is an equally valid scientific notion, which it is certainly not. While including creationism may be 'balanced', it is certainly not fair.

Mentor
Zero, does this mean you are taking back past statements about the amount of airtime given to Democratic presidential candidates? As you said, to be fair does not mean you need to be balanced.

FZ+
But that only works if we agree that Bush is so brilliant and smart he deserves more airtime and a bigger propaganda budget than everyone else. I may be going out on a limb here, but I kinda don't think Zero agrees with that...

Mentor
Originally posted by FZ+
But that only works if we agree that Bush is so brilliant and smart he deserves more airtime and a bigger propaganda budget than everyone else. I may be going out on a limb here, but I kinda don't think Zero agrees with that...
No, Bush gets the most air time because he's the most powerful man in the world. Thats kinda newsworthy. Zero was basically arguing before that the Democrats should be given more free air time to balance that fact out.

Nommos Prime (Dogon)
EEO

I’m not trying to be a smartarse here, but the whole “supposed” premise of democracy is an equal opportunity for all parties involved.
I put forward that this MUST extend to political donations, television time, radios etc. It must be equal (despite Bush being the most powerful man in the world). When special interest groups hijack political parties (usually the most powerful ones) with “donations to the party fund”, democracy might as well be flushed down the toilet.
I yearn for a return to the days of the great (live broadcast) televised political debates, where any political party running for Office could compete against the big guys, and ambush them with questions of healthcare, tax-reform and nuclear disarmament.
If there is not equality of opportunity, there is only plutocracy.

I must say, the irony of the "right wing bias" theory of the media is ridiculous, and funny.

Man, were you asleep during the Clinton era?

I see this accusation of right-wing bias in the media becoming prevalent. Let me fill you in on a little secret :

The media cannot change the way people think. Someone's deeply held beliefs are not gonna be swayed suddenly by a 30-minute open ended debate.

The media gains in ratings when it's bias reflects the thinking of the mainstream majority. People tend to listen to what they want to hear.

The media is not a cause, but rather an effect.

As things stand, people are tired of PC bullsh*t, they are tired of hearing how inferior we all are to the next guy. We had enough of that in the 90's. America is a great country, even in it's ebb. It is incumbent of the left-wing to remind of us of our faults, our shortsightedness, and our shortcomings.

Screw that. Wake up every day and tell yourself how worthless you are and see how far you get in life. Perception is the key.

For good or bad, right or wrong, self respect and ambition is what excels. It may well be insensitive and domineering, but that is what separates winners and losers, survivors and ghosts.

I still think any claims of a right wing bias to the media are totally ludicrous. However, I will not dispute the rise of alternative media outlets that have a positive right-wing bent (aka FoxNews). Why do you suppose they gain popularity?

Originally posted by Ganshauk
I still think any claims of a right wing bias to the media are totally ludicrous. However, I will not dispute the rise of alternative media outlets that have a positive right-wing bent (aka FoxNews). Why do you suppose they gain popularity?
Because they are simplistic, and allow people to pretend they are well-informed, when they are really extra-ignorant by going to right-wing sourses like Fox News. There is comfort is being 'right', even when the facts contradict you. That's what keeps plenty of people going, especially in the 'dittohead' world of the right wing.

Jonathan
Zero, you are right, I have not seen the whole miniseries, but I did see the antichrist clip and that alone proves the whole thing is stupid. What kinda of idiot president would announce that he is the Antichrist? Now I don't know much about Reagan, but I know that even if he was the idiot you think he was, his advisers would have advised against THAT statement.

Originally posted by Jonathan
Zero, you are right, I have not seen the whole miniseries, but I did see the antichrist clip and that alone proves the whole thing is stupid. What kinda of idiot president would announce that he is the Antichrist? Now I don't know much about Reagan, but I know that even if he was the idiot you think he was, his advisers would have advised against THAT statement.
Ever hear of the word 'fiction'? Ever watched a movie based on a book? They had what, 6 hours to cover 20 years, and make it dramatic? Of course they paraphrased, condensed tons of statements into a single indicative line in the movie...that's the way movies work, you know? It isn't a smear to take liberties with the specific lines, in order to express the overall mood. For instance, when they make the Clonton movie, they are absolutely sure to re-enact conversations between Bill and Hillary over the Monica thing...will any right-winger stand up and shout that it is unfair to put words in those actors' mouths?

Jonathan
That is the most rediculus arguement I've ever heard. YOu pretty much just said that Reagan's life was like some actor playing him saying 'I am the Antichrist' so very slowly that it took 20 years to say it! So you are saying is not that it is fiction, but that it was dramatizized? In which case he actually, literally did say it, but it was very subtle or under his breath? His is indeed so extremely stupid that I can hardly hold in my astonishment! I gotta get Russ over here to read this and say something witty, I'm without words!
I would like you to reread my first post on this thread, where I asked "IF the Reagan miniseries were true? You mean on the off chance that at some point Reagan didn't claim to be the Antichrist?" You'd think that having seen the recreation, with the actor saying 'I am the Antichrist', that I'd recognize a similar scene during the liberal news shows where they show the actual tape of Reagan saying that. I know that you know that if such a thing was said there'd be a tape of it and it would be the only thing your average idiot knew about Reagan.

Originally posted by Jonathan
Zero, you are right, I have not seen the whole miniseries, but I did see the antichrist clip and that alone proves the whole thing is stupid. ...

If stupidity were the basis for cancelling made for TV movies and miniseries, none would ever make it to the screen. I'm not sure that's a bad idea though.

Njorl

kat
Originally posted by Zero
Ever hear of the word 'fiction'? Ever watched a movie based on a book? They had what, 6 hours to cover 20 years, and make it dramatic? Of course they paraphrased, condensed tons of statements into a single indicative line in the movie...that's the way movies work, you know? It isn't a smear to take liberties with the specific lines, in order to express the overall mood.
I've also heard of character assassination..have you?
instance, when they make the Clonton movie, they are absolutely sure to re-enact conversations between Bill and Hillary over the Monica thing...will any right-winger stand up and shout that it is unfair to put words in those actors' mouths?
I am sure that Right wingers will all sound just like you do now..and the lefties will be echoing the righties today....see how similar you both are?

66 Things to Think About When Flying Into Reagan National Airport by David Corn

The firing of the air traffic controllers, winnable nuclear war, recallable nuclear missiles, trees that cause pollution, Elliott Abrams lying to Congress, ketchup as a vegetable, colluding with Guatemalan thugs, pardons for F.B.I. lawbreakers, voodoo economics, budget deficits, toasts to Ferdinand Marcos, public housing cutbacks, redbaiting the nuclear freeze movement, James Watt.

Getting cozy with Argentine fascist generals, tax credits for segregated schools, disinformation campaigns, "homeless by choice," Manuel Noriega, falling wages, the HUD scandal, air raids on Libya, "constructive engagement" with apartheid South Africa, United States Information Agency blacklists of liberal speakers, attacks on OSHA and workplace safety, the invasion of Grenada, assassination manuals, Nancy's astrologer.

Drug tests, lie detector tests, Fawn Hall, female appointees (8 percent), mining harbors, the S&L scandal, 239 dead U.S. troops in Beirut, Al Haig "in control," silence on AIDS, food-stamp reductions, Debategate, White House shredding, Jonas Savimbi, tax cuts for the rich, "mistakes were made."

Michael Deaver's conviction for influence peddling, Lyn Nofziger's conviction for influence peddling, Caspar Weinberger's five-count indictment, Ed Meese ("You don't have many suspects who are innocent of a crime"), Donald Regan (women don't "understand throw-weights"), education cuts, massacres in El Salvador.

"The bombing begins in five minutes," $640 Pentagon toilet seats, African- American judicial appointees (1.9 percent), Reader's Digest, C.I.A.-sponsored car-bombing in Lebanon (more than eighty civilians killed), 200 officials accused of wrongdoing, William Casey, Iran/contra. "Facts are stupid things," three-by-five cards, the MX missile, Bitburg, S.D.I., Robert Bork, naps, Teflon. Do you think even 1/10 of these things made the scrip? From the looks of "reality", CBS was going to go way to easy on Reagan. Oh yeah...a smear piece would have been showing him nodding off into an Alzheimer's haze for the last part of the miniseries, while those around him wiped the drool off his chin and tried to cover for him. Mentor Originally posted by Nommos Prime (Dogon) I’m not trying to be a smartarse here, but the whole “supposed” premise of democracy is an equal opportunity for all parties involved. I put forward that this MUST extend to political donations, television time, radios etc. It must be equal (despite Bush being the most powerful man in the world). When special interest groups hijack political parties (usually the most powerful ones) with “donations to the party fund”, democracy might as well be flushed down the toilet. I yearn for a return to the days of the great (live broadcast) televised political debates, where any political party running for Office could compete against the big guys, and ambush them with questions of healthcare, tax-reform and nuclear disarmament. If there is not equality of opportunity, there is only plutocracy. One problem - "equal opportunity" still needs to be balanced against PERSONAL FREEDOM. Thats not as simple as you seem to imply. What you suggest would mean FORCING people to give money away (tv time = money). Thats undemocratic to the extreme. I'm all for campaign finance (specifically corporate contributions), but it must be balanced aganst freedom. And we're not talking about ad space even - Bush probably gets 5 minuts of every 30 minute news show just because of how important his job is. It is unreasonable to force tv shows to "balance" that with a 5 minute report on (for example) the top 5 democratic candidates. I gotta get Russ over here to read this and say something witty, I'm without words! Sorry, Johnathan. Sometimes when Zero is that far off, there really isn't anything to say. I say something witty (thanks, btw) about the statements with milder issues, but when he gets that far off, it can be too bizarre to respond to. Its best to just hold up your hands, smile, and back away slowly. Do you think even 1/10 of these things made the scrip? From the looks of "reality", CBS was going to go way to easy on Reagan. Gee, Rage, I didn't see any positive things on that list. I guess Reagan really was evill. That whole end-of-the-cold-war thing probably isn't relevant anyway. (Where's that :roll: smiley when you need it?) Oh yeah...a smear piece would have been showing him nodding off into an Alzheimer's haze for the last part of the miniseries, while those around him wiped the drool off his chin and tried to cover for him. It was my understanding that they portrayed his entire Presidency that way. Mentor Originally posted by russ_watters Sorry, Johnathan. Sometimes when Zero is that far off, there really isn't anything to say. Ok, wait, maybe I can sum up the whole Clinton admin with a single ACTUAL QUOTE: "I didn't inhale." Or if you'd prefer a paraphrase - "I'm a pretty lousy president." (actually, thats a quote from the Simpson's). Or: "I was high for pretty much my entire term - got any pancakes?" Would that be reasonable, Zero? Artistic license, right? Originally posted by russ_watters Ok, wait, maybe I can sum up the whole Clinton admin with a single ACTUAL QUOTE: "I didn't inhale." Or if you'd prefer a paraphrase - "I'm a pretty lousy president." (actually, thats a quote from the Simpson's). Or: "I was high for pretty much my entire term - got any pancakes?" Would that be reasonable, Zero? Artistic license, right? You are being a bit...overblown, aren't you? If you were to sum up Reagan's administration with the single sentence "*Drool* me wants irresponsible economic policy, BS 'wars' for TV time, and...ummm....I don't recall...pudding? Mommy, can I have some pudding now?*snore*" that would be a smear. To say that Reagan was insensitive to the Aids crisis isn't much of a stretch, really...and neither is having him frame it in Biblical terms. Jeez, man, you lived in the 80s, right? That's the way most politicians dealt with AIDS, especially those with ties to the religious political movement of the time. Plus, it is only one line in a 6 hour movie. Science Advisor Originally posted by Ganshauk I must say, the irony of the "right wing bias" theory of the media is ridiculous, and funny. Man, were you asleep during the Clinton era? Well, I didn't sleep through the televised accusations of murder levelled at Bill Clinton, not just by the lunatic fringe like Limbaugh, but even on MSNBC. I see this accusation of right-wing bias in the media becoming prevalent. Let me fill you in on a little secret : The media cannot change the way people think. So the$102.7 billion dollars spent on advertising in the year 2001 was just a complete waste of money? The reason the word gullible exists is because some people are. It is not solely for use in Scrabble.
Someone's deeply held beliefs are not gonna be swayed suddenly by a 30-minute open ended debate.
No, but they will be swayed by 30 minute news broadcasts, day after day.
The media gains in ratings when it's bias reflects the thinking of the mainstream majority. People tend to listen to what they want to hear.
The first reasonable thing you've said, though it is only half right. People also want to know the truth sometimes. They can't take much of it, but they do want it once in a while. They didn't want to see the world trade center fall, but they watched it.
The media is not a cause, but rather an effect.
It is both.
As things stand, people are tired of PC bullsh*t, they are tired of hearing how inferior we all are to the next guy. We had enough of that in the 90's. America is a great country, even in it's ebb. It is incumbent of the left-wing to remind of us of our faults, our shortsightedness, and our shortcomings.

Screw that. Wake up every day and tell yourself how worthless you are and see how far you get in life. Perception is the key.

For good or bad, right or wrong, self respect and ambition is what excels. It may well be insensitive and domineering, but that is what separates winners and losers, survivors and ghosts.
Fat people like to be called thin. Weak people like to be called strong. Stupid people like to be called smart. It is not a healthy attitude. Self-delusion is not a good replacement for self respect. Arrogance is not a fitting replacement for ambition. Only by realistic appraisal of our nation will we do best by it. Improvement only comes through admission of deficiency. I consider myself a patriot. I criticise my country proudly. Those who cover flaws with flag-waving are doing an unpatriotic disservice to this country.

I still think any claims of a right wing bias to the media are totally ludicrous. However, I will not dispute the rise of alternative media outlets that have a positive right-wing bent (aka FoxNews). Why do you suppose they gain popularity?

Njorl

By the standard for the Reagan miniseries, you can't have amovie about Hitler without telling everyone that he was a good Christian boy, and that he was halfway decent with the waterpaints.

On the 'liberal' media:

"I admit it...the liberal media was never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures"--William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, and a well-regarded neo-con Republican

"I've gotten balanced coverage, and broad coverage-all we could have asked. For heaven's sake, we kid about the 'liberal media, but every Republican on earth does that."--Patrick Buchanan, conservative pundit and past Repubican presidential hopeful

"There were days and times and events we might have had some complaints {but} on balance I don't think we had anything to complain about"--James Baker, former Secretary of State, Bush spokesman

"There is some strategy to it[bashing the 'liberal' media]...If you watch any great coach, what they try to do is 'work the refs.' Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack on the next one"--Rich Bond, former Republican Party chairman

Where is the evidence for the idea of a 'liberal media'? Bernard Goldberg's book, Bias, is so shoddy that a Saturday Night Live writer can debunk it. What else have you got, Fox News commentators who work for a company that is openly right-wing?