Tag Archives: Media Bias

Media Bias: 2012 Presidential Campaign

When it comes to the concept of media bias there are two things that are true:

  1. Conservatives think that the main stream media is bias against conservatives and republicans.
  2. Liberals think that Fox is the most bias media outlet out there.

I happen to think that there is good evidence to support contention #1 and strong evidence to contradict contention #2.

Anyway, that is general conversation stuff, I’m here to talk about the media coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign.  Namely the bias involved in it.

Bottom line, the bias was present, pronounced and tilted in favor of Obama.

Journalism.org, a PEW organization recently published a report detailing said bias:

Overall from August 27 through October 21, 19% of stories about Obama studied in a cross section of mainstream media were clearly favorable in tone while 30% were unfavorable and 51% mixed. This is a differential of 11 percentage points between unfavorable and favorable stories.

For Romney, 15% of the stories studied were favorable, 38% were unfavorable and 47% were mixed-a differential toward negative stories of 23 points.

During the study, Obama enjoyed a differential that was more than 100% more favorable than Romney.  Further, Obama took a “positive coverage” score that was 26% better than Romney received all while Romney suffered 26% more negative coverage.

Looking back, the numbers don’t really surprise me.  I’ve accepted a sense of the bias in the media and have come to accept and adjust for that bias as I flip through my channels.

And speaking of flipping through channels, how did the “liberal channel” compare against the “conservative channel?”

Not even close:

Fox gave Obama 100% better coverage than MSNBC gave Romney.  As far as the negatives, MSNBC was 54% more negative towards Romney than Fox was towards Obama.  In other words, Fox was less negative and more positive towards Obama than MSNBC was towards Romney.

Faux News indeed.

But how about the other outlets?

Two of the three main networks were pretty consistent in their coverage of the two candidates.  The one exception is ABC with a decided pro-Obama slant.  Notice that NBC actually nets out in favor of Romney by virtue of 2 points to the good in the positive coverage.

In the end, the media carries a bias for the liberal candidate.  This was as true in 2012 as it was in 2008.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, just a reminder that a grain of salt needs to be applied when watching news coverage of the events of the day.

Oh, and as a reminder of media bias from a report in 2004, a measure of various outlets:

Fox News was the 5th most centrist news outlet and was only 1 of 2 conservative news sources on the list.

The Candy Crawley Bias

Last night was the second of the three Presidential debates.  As I mentioned in last night’s post, Obama won, but only but a little.  And even that win will not likely change many minds.  Much work has yet to be done.

However, during the debate last night, I was struck by an intervention from the debate moderator; Candy Crowley.  More on that in a second.

I think we’d ALL love to see a debate where the candidates were in a place where they spoke through a microphone.  And that mic would go mute the second their time was up.  AND we’d like to see that debate take place where independent fact checkers could be identifying lies and false statements.

It would be grand.

But that debate didn’t take place last night.  It was more traditional, both in terms of live mics and in terms of truth stretching.  And while the moderator has a role in the former, she has NO role in the latter.  It is NOT the job of a moderator to fact check candidates.

Especially when the tide of the debate is at such a point as to determine a winner and a loser.

But that is exactly what Candy Crowley did last night.  She interrupted Romney when he had Obama so far in the ropes that the only thing the President could do was hold up his gloves and offer, “Continue…”

Why Crowley would perform in this manner is unbelievable.  And why she would do it during a time when the President was clearly being dominated is equally unbelievable.  And then, as if the critique of her couldn’t get worse – it does.

She was wrong, Romney was right.  And she admits it after the debate:

The President absolutely did NOT refer to Libya as terrorist attacks.  Not that day, not that night and certainly not for the next two weeks.  THAT is the whole point.  That is the issue at hand.

And Crowley rung the bell early and let the reigning champ get up and pushed the challenger back to his corner.

Obama won the debate to be sure, but Crowley lost it big time.

The Art Of Politics

One of the reason I’ve never been high on Obama is that I don’t think he’s capable.  He’s certainly never demonstrated excellence at running an organization.  And by organization, I mean an organization of directors.  That is, a team of managers who themselves manage managers who AGAIN, have a team of people.

Obama has never been held responsible for meeting organizational milestones.  Of urging teams of people with competing priorities and views of success.  Obama hasn’t managed money, a bottom line or deadlines.

I manage people.  And I can’t imagine Barack Obama being  hired as a 2nd or 3rd level manager.  He simply doesn’t bring any experience to the table.

Romney, of course, has this in spades.

But THIS is frustrating:

Mitt Romney on Tuesday accused the media of looking to protect President Obama by focusing on the GOP candidate’s high-profile gaffes during his week-long foreign tour rather than more substantive policy issues he discussed.

“I realize that there will be some in the fourth estate or in whichever estate who are far more interested in finding something to write about that is unrelated to the economy, to geo-politics, to the threat of war, to the reality of conflict in Afghanistan today, to a nuclearization of Iran,” Romney told Fox News. “They’ll instead try to find anything else to divert from the fact that these last four years have been tough years for our country.”

Even if true, and I’m sympathetic to the claim, complaining about it is nonsensical.  It’s a tactic that doesn’t get anything done, weakens the candidate and takes away from the real message.

Media Bias: MSNBC

Both sides cry foul when it comes to the media.  Both sides have data that show the other sides gets preferential treatment when it comes to coverage of “their guy” and they can come up with chapter and verse that shows the positive/negative for the other side is skewed.

It’s fun.

But this, THIS, right here, is crazy.

Here MSNBC doesn’t just take a video and start it at a point that clouds the context or ends it at a point that clouds the context.  No.  They actually parse the video, showing a clip from an early section, cutting in a piece from another section and finally end it all with yet another cutting later on.

I hear they even added a laughing track.

Check it out:

That isn’t selective reporting.  That isn’t commentary that favors one version of ideology over another.

THAT is a blatant distortion of the entire conversation.

THAT is media bias.


If there was any doubt about who the media wants to win the election:

I’m pretty sure that this ends the argument about a media bias.

Media Bias: Fox News

So I think I’ve learned a couple of things about the media as I’ve become interested in this stuff:

  1. I don’t think you have to work hard to be one.
  2. Facts are not required.
  3. Each source is biased to it’s own agenda.

This includes those sources that may favor the liberal agenda, The New York Times, for example.  And for those that favor the conservative agenda, Fox News, for example.

Continue reading

Two ‘Fer

Media bias.

I don’t like getting caught up in what is and what isn’t “bias”.  For one, I don’t like the partisan sniping.  And two, I think that journalists think they are being honest.  So whatch’a gonna do?

So, I don’t usually put much merit in the idea that Fox is biased right [no shit] or that MSNBC is biased Left [ again, no shit ].  But what I DO find interesting is where news is buried.

Check this out:

Continue reading

Media Bias

Each side accuses the other of media bias.  Fox gets hammered by the Left and everyone else gets hammered by the Right.

But what is it exactly, that the media does that creates this impression of bias?  What is it that strikes someone as “unfair” and “unbalanced”?

For me, it’s not the truth of the story, it’s the profile of the stories themselves.  Rachel Maddow, for example, doesn’t lie, she just doesn’t run disparaging stories against Democrats.  Hannity same but reversed.

So, here is my example of bias in the media.  A bias in an organization that I think TRIES not to be bias.

Continue reading