The ABCs of Media Bias

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  1. 007
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    007 Charter Member Supporting Member

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    The ABCs of Media Bias

    Fri Mar 25, 9:04 AM ET Op/Ed - The Weekly Standard


    From the April 4, 2005 issue: A mystery memo, biased reporting, and the usual suspects.

    Fred Barnes

    Washington (The Weekly Standard) Vol. 010, Issue 27 - 4/4/2005 - SENATE MAJORITY LEADER BILL FRIST never saw it. Neither did the Senate Republican whip, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The number three Republican in the Senate, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, didn't get a copy. Nor did the senator with the closest relationship with President Bush (news - web sites), Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. And the senator with the familiar Republican last name, Elizabeth Dole (news - web sites) of North Carolina, didn't see it or read it. The same is true of Senator Mel Martinez, the rookie Republican from Florida.



    Yet the infamous memo that argued Republicans stood to gain politically by saving the life of Terri Schiavo was characterized by ABC News as consisting of "GOP Talking Points." True, a few paragraphs were of Republican origin. They had been lifted, word for word, from a Martinez press release outlining the provisions of his legislative proposal, "The Incapacitated Person's Legal Protection Act." This was the inoffensive part of the memo. The offensive part--it didn't come from Martinez--left the strong impression that Republicans are callous and cynical in their attempt to save Schiavo's life, ill-motivated in the extreme.

    Two paragraphs were the problem. One contended Republicans should save the disabled Schiavo's life because "this is a great political issue" that could lead to the defeat of Democratic senator Bill Nelson of Florida in 2006. The other said dwelling on the Schiavo issue would excite pro-lifers, a key Republican constituency.

    Supposedly the memo was distributed only to Republicans on the Senate floor. Ergo, it was a Republican document. ABC correspondent Linda Douglass first reported its existence on March 18, saying the network "has obtained talking points circulated among Republican senators, explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case." She mentioned the two offensive passages, and the memo was shown on the screen. The ABC website was explicit about the source of the memo: These were "GOP talking points on Terri Schiavo." Two days later, the Washington Post referred to it as "an unsigned one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators."

    There wasn't a hint in these reports the memo could have any other source but Republicans. Yet there was no evidence it had come from Republicans. It was unsigned and had no letterhead or date. Nothing indicated it came from the Republican leadership or the House or Senate campaign committee or from the Republican National Committee (news - web sites) or even from a stray Republican staffer. The only evidence was of a dirty trick--and there wasn't much evidence of that. Powerline, the influential blog, found a version of the memo with typos cleaned up on left-wing websites.

    The only basis for blaming Republicans was the unsubstantiated allegation that the memo was spread among Republican senators. Yet no senator stepped forward and said, "Yes, I got that memo." Now consider what would have happened if a damning memo had been distributed to Democratic senators, saying the Schiavo issue could be used politically against Republicans. Would anyone in the mainstream media have jumped on it? I doubt it. Only right-wing bloggers would have.

    So rather than an example of aggressive reporting, the memo story turns out to be yet another instance of crude liberal bias, in this case against both Republicans and those who fought to have Schiavo's feeding tube restored. Naturally the memo had a second life when the story was picked up by other news outlets, pundits, and columnists. How did ABC and others get wind of the memo in the first place? It came from "Democratic aides," according to the New York Times, who "said it had been distributed to Senate Republicans." Not exactly a disinterested source.

    As the memo flap suggests, media bias against Schiavo's parents, who led the fight to have her feeding tube restored, and their allies was extensive. The mainstream media failed to report lapses in Terri Schiavo's medical examination, diagnosis, and treatment. One had to turn to bloggers. To find anything less than favorable about Michael Schiavo, the husband who insisted Terri's feeding tube be removed, the alternative press was the best bet. The mainstream press, meanwhile, twitted conservatives for hypocritically abandoning states' rights in the effort to save Terri. Liberals, suddenly champions of states' rights instead of federal power, got a pass.

    Bias seeped into polling. An ABC News poll question said Terri Schiavo was on "life support" and has "no consciousness and her condition is irreversible." "Do you support . . . the decision to remove Terri's feeding tube?" A large majority said they did. But Schiavo was not on life support as most people understand the term, may have some consciousness, and some neurologists believe she has a chance of partial recovery. Given those facts, would you want to stay alive? ABC didn't ask.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tm...20050325/cm_weeklystandard/theabcsofmediabias
     
  2. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Religion is the means through which we try to understand the transcendant - that which exists outside ourselves. Liberal socialists - having thrown God out of that equation - find transcendance in what Hillary Clinton calls, "the politics of meaning". One of the basic tenets of this demanding (and not terribly tolerant, as we have seen) religion is that there are no hard, immutable truths - only what is politically expedient at a given moment. Therefore, what was heinous yesterday might be saintly today; it's all a matter of CONTEXT.

    It is necessary, then, in order to truly interpret the ravings of the mainstream media, to proceed from the understanding that tailoring the facts to fit the liberal agenda is part of their RELIGION. The axiom holds true, then: You can truly tell when a mainstream journalist is lying - his lips are moving.
     
  3. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    no doubt---just CLAIM your agenda or belief system is not a religion to exempt your self from all of your own bullshit--good post MM
     
  4. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    :beer: Thanks, Dillo! I've always thought the agenda of the true liberal socialist is not about purging all religion from the public arena. Rather, they want to eliminate any competition with THEIRS!
     
  5. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    ya---bringing up the old separation clause has been a mighty nice smokescreen for em. Too bad they teach that crap to our kids.
     
  6. 007
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    007 Charter Member Supporting Member

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    And here's your Hillary Clinton MM...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    It's interesting, isn't it? Somehow, we've gone from "Congress shall make no law..." to "No government, at any level, from the U.S. Congress to the board of directors of a lemonade stand, shall make as much as a MENTION"! It's the boldest crime since the Brinks heist.
     
  8. musicman
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    AAAHHHHH! Scary dreams tonight!
     
  9. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Unforunately she's got a great head start on any GOP candidate (or independent for that matter)----consevatives REALLY need to calm down on this "goverment interference" shit and run some PR to explain what reall is happening---

    interviewer:------"hey Bush you hypocrite---what's all this states rights crap"

    Bush:--------"Still for it---lets overturn Rowe V Wade "

    end of interview and end of "crisis"
     
  10. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    I think a lot of Americans are in the same boat as I am - in need of a good civics lesson. I hate to tell you how little I knew about the electoral process before the 2000 election. I had no clue what the XIVth Amendment was until we started discussing it on this board - and it is the weapon of choice for those who would advance the scourge of judicial activism! Maybe, if we keep talking about this stuff, we can all - as you suggest - calm down a little.
     

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