Tag Archives: MSNBC

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.

Thoughts On Affirmative Action And Social Policy

I’m watching the Sunday morning shows just now, something I never do.  It’s either church, football or some other activity going on right about now.  But today the kids are out having lunch with mom and I’m home alone.

I watching MSNBC and the table is talking about the Massachusetts race for senator; specifically the element of race.  Elizabeth Warren received advantages due to the fact that she is one thirty-second Cherokee.  It would seem that by identifying herself in this way she was able to help her early career.

Anyway, the conversation shifted to affirmative action and social policy in general.

Why Affirmative Action

I went to a pretty good source for an answer to this question:

The Racial Justice Program actively supports affirmative action to secure racial diversity in educational settings, workplaces and government contracts, to remedy continuing systemic discrimination against people of color, and to help ensure equal opportunities for all people. As part of this commitment, we are working to defend affirmative action in states that are threatened for a civil rights rollback.

Pretty clear and straight forward.

  • Secure racial diversity in educational settings, workplaces and government contracts.
  • Secure racial diversity in educational settings, workplaces and government contracts.
  • Help ensure equal opportunities for all people.

Three simple goals, easy to understand and noble in its intention.

Is Affirmative Action The Right Approach

Even as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation we have to acknowledge that there is work to do; hard important work.  We have the opportunity to improve the relations between the races here in America.  However, we have to take time to consider that in just 150 years, really, borrowing an allusion from Louis C. k., that’s really the lives of two old people back to back.  We have to acknowledge that we’ve come a very long way.

The reason I mention this preamble is because we have to acknowledge that there are still unenlightened idiots out there who want to continue to discriminate based on race.  We’re not talking about that very small and insignificant minority.  Here I’m talking about the mainstream reasonable individual.  And of THAT population I find no one, not one single person, who feels that any individual should be denied opportunity based on race.

But is that the goal of Affirmative Action?

I don’t think so.  I think that Affirmative Action is a “results based” program and not a “build the base” program.  Think of it this way, I want my kids to excel in school, I want them to hit the honor roll and bring home report card after report card with A’s.  I probably can accomplish this in two ways:

  1. I can enforce strict expectations regarding achievement and insist on homework and study.
  2. I can use my influence with teachers, staff and administration to ensure that substandard grades are changed to more desirable ones.

Both paths result in my goal; Straight A’s.  However, the goal isn’t really straight A’s.  The goal is mastery of the subject such that positive life goals can be reasonably accomplished.  I want my kids to learn to earn those A’s.  Simply giving ’em to them doesn’t accomplish anything; in fact, it may prove to be counter-productive.

This is my beef with Affirmative Action.  The programs put in place often result in “inappropriate  promotion” not based on the merit but on the basis of race.  In the same way that I don’t want to see an unqualified white protestant middles-class male given preference over a more qualified candidate who may be a minority, neither do I want to see a member of a protected class given preference over that same WASP.

I want the gateway to be one of merit without bias of class, of race, of sex or of religion.

In short, we want the ELIMINATION of advancement based on those elements.  We do not want to extend discrimination simply by changing the group of people we discriminate against.

On other words, the goal of any “Affirmative Action” would be to reduce the number of qualified minorities being denied advancement.  It would NOT be to increase the number of unqualified minorities being advanced.

This seems so self apparent as to be bedrock philosophy and disagreement indicates an inherent racial bias.

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.

America: Center Right

Sad consolation I know, but I really think it’s true.  I think that most people would say that they want less government in their lives, not more.  They would like to have the ability to succeed, even if it means they could suffer failure.  I think that American’s feel hard work precedes success or comfort.  I really do.

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