Washington Post Admits Slanted Coverage

red states rule

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This will not sit well with those who do not believe there is a liberal bias in the media



Balance and Bias on the Political Beat

By Deborah Howell
Sunday, November 5, 2006; Page B06

Readers, especially before elections, watch The Post closely for any hint of political bias. Recently, such complaints have come mostly from Republicans.

Virginia voters must choose between two less than sterling candidates -- Republican incumbent George Allen and Democrat James Webb, both of whom have been mired in controversy: Allen for his demeaning "macaca" remark about a Webb campaign worker of Indian descent, and Webb for dreadful remarks long ago about women in the military.

Allen supporters think he can't catch a break; I sympathize. The macaca coverage went on too long, and a profile of Allen was relentlessly negative without balancing coverage of what made him a popular governor and senator. But it must be remembered that Allen shot himself in both feet with the "macaca" remark and his clumsy handling of the revelation of his Jewish heritage. Then he declined to talk to The Post for the profile. The profiles of both Webb and Allen were critical, but Webb's was leavened by his quotes.

It was bothersome that so much weight was given to "Fifth Quarter," the 2000 family memoir by Allen's sister, Jennifer. The book described family problems and portrayed Allen as a teenage bully. She called it a "novelization of the past," and Post reporters were unsuccessful in corroborating her account. Except for one brief remark, neither Jennifer Allen nor her brothers would comment on it.

That said, Virginia voters have been well informed with many straightforward stories about where Allen and Webb stand on race, taxes, transportation, education, the Iraq war, women, immigration and same-sex marriage.

Style stories add a complex element to political coverage because they have different goals than news stories; they are more focused on the person than the policy. Many readers don't understand this, and the confusion needs to be addressed.

Style examined Webb's writing career in a story that some readers found favorable. Allen had no Style coverage until a Thursday campaign story. "We were looking to do a day-on-the-trail piece in one of the major state races to give readers a sense of what that feels like. We had been a little too weighted toward Democrats, so we decided to do a Republican," said Steve Reiss, Style's deputy assistant managing editor.

In Maryland, profiles of Senate candidates -- Republican Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele and Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, a Democrat -- were neutral to positive, as were those of the gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Martin O'Malley and incumbent Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R). I longed for a more critical eye, especially in the Cardin piece, which seemed relentlessly positive. Several readers thought Steele's profile should have mentioned that he flunked the bar exam, but a lot of folks do that. Pro-Steele readers were right to say The Post underplayed the story about several prominent black Prince George's County Democrats endorsing Steele. It was given one-column display on the Metro section front page.

Now to local races. Last Sunday there was a big Style layout of pictures and a favorable story on Isiah "Ike" Leggett, the Democratic candidate for Montgomery County executive; there will be no comparable Style story on Republican Chuck Floyd.

Jeanne Novotny, a Montgomery County resident, wrote: "I see the two-page article on Ike Leggett as a free campaign commercial. The Post editorial staff can endorse as it sees fit, but the Style section is not the place for an admiring piece on any candidate, particularly this close to the election." In a statement, Floyd called it a "puff piece" and said, "Leggett does not have to spend any money on advertisements because he has The Washington Post doing his bidding for him."

Their complaints are valid. While Montgomery County is heavily Democratic, and Leggett is favored to win, waiting until after the election to run the profile would have been far fairer.

Then Style ran a piece on Monday about the Montgomery County Council's only Republican, Howard A. Denis; no comparable piece was planned on his opponent, Democrat Roger Berliner. Faye Cohen, a Chevy Chase reader, called to complain: "This is a great ad for Howard, but it is unfair." Reiss said, "We wanted to take a look at a local candidate's struggle for attention, something that focused on the nitty-gritty of diets and shoes and intentionally didn't focus on issues. Denis has a reputation as a tireless campaigner and a somewhat humorous guy, so he fit the bill."

But Ben Beach of Bethesda wrote: "The race between Denis and Berliner may be one of the closest in the county. This story did nothing to help a voter make up her mind." And there was no piece in Metro to help.

Another issue is pictures. McLean reader Bill Crosby complained about Oct. 30 photos. "As is frequently the case with The Post, the Republican [Allen] is shown looking grim and the Democrat [Webb] is shown looking cheerful, confident, smiling. Go to B4, you will find a photo of O'Malley smiling, looking chipper, one of Cardin, smiling, and one of Ehrlich , looking grim. Whoever picks the photographs before elections always seems to find the worst possible photographs for the Republicans and the best possible photographs for the Democrats." (The Web version of my column has these photos.)

The Allen photo, to me, was better than the Webb shot. Cardin wasn't smiling very much, and Ehrlich didn't look so grim. But sometimes I have agreed with the complainers. Joe Elbert, assistant managing editor for photography, believes that campaign photos must be "evenhanded in size and demeanor" and "the best you can get."

Deborah Howell can be reached at 202-334-7582 or atombudsman@washpost.com.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/03/AR2006110301462.html
 

Annie

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Let me tell you! No state has the dilemma we in Illinois face. Blogo, our current D governor has had nearly his entire cadre indicted. Now the R-Topinka, has sold out nearly every reform minded R candidate for the past 6 years.

I'm voting for Blogo, he will be indicted and Pat Quinn, the Lt. Governor is way cleaner than either candidate. Birkett, welll I'll just say I have personal issues with him, he is running for R Lt. Gov. and those personal issues involve pedophilia.
 
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red states rule

red states rule

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Let me tell you! No state has the dilemma we in Illinois face. Blogo, our current D governor has had nearly his entire cadre indicted. Now the R-Topinka, has sold out nearly every reform minded R candidate for the past 6 years.

I'm voting for Blogo, he will be indicted and Pat Quinn, the Lt. Governor is way cleaner than either candidate. Birkett, welll I'll just say I have personal issues with him, he is running for R Lt. Gov. and those personal issues involve pedophilia.
Sen Allen has been savaged by the liberal media for months and he is STILL leading in some polls

The race if tight and Republicans are pissed off over the biased coverage. Republican turnout will be huge and the liberal media will be shocked whent he votes are counted

I do not know much about the problems in IL, but the liberal media has gone overboard ont he attacks of Allen and Santorum
 

Annie

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Sen Allen has been savaged by the liberal media for months and he is STILL leading in some polls

The race if tight and Republicans are pissed off over the biased coverage. Republican turnout will be huge and the liberal media will be shocked whent he votes are counted

I do not know much about the problems in IL, but the liberal media has gone overboard ont he attacks of Allen and Santorum
You do not know anything about the problems in IL.... to be comparing the races....
 
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red states rule

red states rule

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Here is another example of the liberal bias in the media

This is the reason MSNBC is in the basement when it comes to ratings


MSNBC's Idea of Balance: Matthews, Olbermann to Anchor Coverage
Posted by Matthew Sheffield on November 6, 2006 - 20:48.
With marketing decisions like this you have to wonder why MSNBC is even bothering to compete with Fox News: Left-wing commentators Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann will be anchoring the network's Election Night coverage.

What better way to get non-liberal viewers to tune in to your channel than to have an anchor duo headed up by a former Democratic staffer who couldn't stop smiling at the thought that his fellow party members will take Congress and a genuine leftist who routinely calls Republicans nazis, fascists, terrorists, liars, and everything in between?

http://newsbusters.org/
 

T-Bor

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Your from Illinois ?? I was close, that definately explains it.


Let me tell you! No state has the dilemma we in Illinois face. Blogo, our current D governor has had nearly his entire cadre indicted. Now the R-Topinka, has sold out nearly every reform minded R candidate for the past 6 years.

I'm voting for Blogo, he will be indicted and Pat Quinn, the Lt. Governor is way cleaner than either candidate. Birkett, welll I'll just say I have personal issues with him, he is running for R Lt. Gov. and those personal issues involve pedophilia.
 

Gunny

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As opposed to the GOPNewsnetwork at Fox? Or the Washtimes?? Or most of talk radio??

Yeah... there's a real "liberal bias" in the media. :scratch:
LMAO. You compare one TV station, one newspaper, and basically one syndicated radio station to ALL the rest. You take the cake.
 

T-Bor

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Like republicans dont take one article that states a warped point of view from a liberal and instantly turn it around and say LOOK LOOK LOOK..This is how Democrats think !!!!! Just look at all of Red States Posts.. He takes one articles where a supposed democrats called the troops murderous troops..then he instantly says all democrats want our troops to die. Its ridiculous and both sides do that crap..especially alot of the people here.
 

Gunny

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Like republicans dont take one article that states a warped point of view from a liberal and instantly turn it around and say LOOK LOOK LOOK..This is how Democrats think !!!!! Just look at all of Red States Posts.. He takes one articles where a supposed democrats called the troops murderous troops..then he instantly says all democrats want our troops to die. Its ridiculous and both sides do that crap..especially alot of the people here.
:confused: What does red state rules' posts have to do with Kathianne being from Illinois?

So by your last statement are you attempting to say that YOU would prefer moderate discourse?
 
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red states rule

red states rule

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Like republicans dont take one article that states a warped point of view from a liberal and instantly turn it around and say LOOK LOOK LOOK..This is how Democrats think !!!!! Just look at all of Red States Posts.. He takes one articles where a supposed democrats called the troops murderous troops..then he instantly says all democrats want our troops to die. Its ridiculous and both sides do that crap..especially alot of the people here.


Need more examples of libeal bias?

CNN’s Schneider Repeatedly Lauds Webb as 'Decorated Hero And Veteran'
Posted by Scott Whitlock on November 7, 2006 - 19:42.
CNN’s Bill Schneider reported tonight that the veteran vote went for Republican Senator George Allen. The anchor seemed baffled as to how such a thing could happen. During election night coverage, he mentioned that Webb was a "veteran" or "decorated hero" three times in four sentences:

11/7/06 7:09pm


Bill Schneider: "These are veterans. Now they could be voting for James Webb because James Webb was the Secretary of the Navy. James Webb is a decorated hero and a veteran of the Vietnam War. He might have done very well with veterans. But this is– If women were a breakthrough for Webb, the veteran vote was a breakthrough for George Allen. George Allen, the Republican, carried 57 percent of the veterans vote in Virginia, despite the fact that Webb is a decorated veteran and a former Naval Secretary."



Blitzer Frames Race from Dem Point of View
Posted by Matthew Sheffield on November 7, 2006 - 19:16.
Around 7:10EST, CNN's Wolf Blitzer continued to frame his coverage from a Democratic perspective, stating, "the Democrats need just 7 seats to become the majority party in the U.S. Senate" he did the same for the House as well.

That is the standard fare for the press, frame things from what the Democrats can do to get things going.

Update 19:20. CNN is highlighting its coverage of its blog party. Each time the network listed liberal bloggers first. Liberal bloggers interviewed: 1. Conservatives: 0.

Update 19:24. Paula Zahn and Bill Schneider surprised that Iraq was not the #1 issue. Schneider pronounces as well: "voters are not rewarding the Republicans for the economy."

19:31. CNN cuts to a live feed of Democratic National Committee. The TVs are tuned into CNN. Blitzer: "Which is encouraging that people are watching."

19:34. John King, asked if he was surprised by an apparent GOP loss of Ohio governorship "I'm not surprised because Ohio is a cesspool--this year. The current governor, the Republican incumbant Bob Taft, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, that's where Bob Ney the congressman pleaded guilty to corruption charges--"

Anderson Cooper: Bob Taft was term-limited though so he had to --

King: Yeah so he couldn't. Yeah but the whole environment is just horrible--anti-Republican.

20:23. CNN continues pushing things from Dem perspective in calling India House race for Dem Ellsworth. "One down fourteen more to go," Jeff Greenfield pronounces.



CNN Host Slams Iraq as a War For Oil; Wonders if President was Actually Elected
Posted by Scott Whitlock on November 7, 2006 - 17:25.

CNN’s Jack Cafferty, who recently called Donald Rumsfeld a war criminal, chose Election Day to accuse the President of going to war in Iraq for oil and of condoning torture. He also wondered if George Bush was "elected at all." A transcript of the November 7 "Cafferty File" segment is below:

4:15pm EDT

Wolf Blitzer: "Jack Cafferty is here with ‘The Cafferty File.’ Jack?"


Jack Cafferty: "Thank you, Wolf. However today’s election turns out, it’s a safe bet it’s going to be a good long while before anyone successfully pedals a neo-conservative agenda to the American electorate again. George Bush was elected twice by the thinnest of margins, if, in fact, he was elected at all. And, from the start, what we saw wasn’t what we got. President Bush: ‘I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s being called nation building.' That’s exactly what we’re doing in Iraq and it’s not working. Administration officials told us the war in Iraq’s not about the oil. Three and a half years and 3000 American combat deaths later, we’re told it’s about the oil. The President pledged to restore honor and integrity to the Oval Office and then along came Abu Ghraib, secret prisons, outsourcing interrogations, NSA spying, torture and a decline in the reputation of this country worldwide that is unprecedented in our history. These midterm elections could be a tsunami of rejection for the Bush White House and it’s policies, but even if it’s not, it’s likely that the neo-conservative vision is toast, at least for a good long while. Here’s the question: ‘How much damage has the Bush administration’s agenda done to the Republican Party in this country?’ E-mail your thoughts to Caffertyfile@cnn.com or go to CNN.com/Caffertyfile. Wolf?"

Blitzer: "And Jack, throughout the night your going to be reading our viewers’ e-mail and getting some input from them and sharing that with our viewers."

Cafferty: "That’s correct."

Blitzer: "Excellent. Thanks very much, Jack."

Is Jack Cafferty trying to out-Olbermann Olbermann?



NBC Morning Reporters Highlight GOP Racism, As Alleged 'By Many'
Posted by Tim Graham on November 7, 2006 - 16:32.
NBC's Today correspondents on Tuesday made sure to underline that Republicans were seen as racist in the Senate campaigns in Tennessee and Virginia. Reporter Tom Costello began his report:

"Matt, good morning. This has been a hard fought race. It's been injected with advertisements viewed by many as being racist by the Republican National Committee. The Corker campaign repudiated those ads, as did the Ford campaign, of course."

By many? Try "by many Democrats," at least. From there, David Shuster (usually assigned to Chris Matthews on MSNBC), also underlined the alleged-racist angle on the Virginia race:

"Meredith, good morning. A statistical dead heat is not at all where the incumbent Republican George Allen ever thought he would be. Allen had been talked about being a presidential contender in 2008 but his campaign has been set back by a series of missteps including his use of the term macaca and allegations about his use of the N-word to describe blacks, but the key issue in this race has been the Iraq war...

Shuster then finished out the report by underlining Jim Webb's military credentials and how Iraq is the number one issue:

"The Democrat in this race, Jim Webb, former Navy Secretary for Ronald Reagan, Webb served in Vietnam. He also has a son serving in Iraq. He has made Iraq the central issue. He has said that it is time for a change of course and for all the other issues including economic issues and jobs, Iraq is the number one issue in this campaign here in Virginia and now we'll finally find out, according to the pollsters just how angry voters here in the Commonwealth of Virginia are about the Iraq war and about President Bush and his supporters. Meredith."



CBS Decries GOP Negative Campaign, Remains Silent Over Democratic Tactics
Posted by Michael Rule on November 7, 2006 - 15:55.
Nasty and bitter is how the Virginia and New Jersey Senate races were described on Monday’s "Early Show" on CBS. No not necessarily the campaigns in general, but the Republican candidates and Republican ads. Additionally, Harry Smith highlighted that while Northern Virginia is "Webb country," the rest of Virginia "clings to its conservative roots." Notice how Smith omits the phrase "liberal" while commenting on Northern Virginia.

Smith noted how the Virginia race is "mean" and "nasty" before remarking on Allen’s gaffes and how they have kept this race close:

Harry Smith: It's been mean --

Virginia Republican Campaign Ad: "83 women assaulted. Jim Webb, he called this scandal a witch hunt."

Harry Smith: "It's been nasty. On one side, Senator George Allen. His presumed re-election to the Senate was to give him a jumpstart on a run for the White House. But Allen's mouth kept getting in the way. His campaign stumbles created an opening for Jim Webb. A former Secretary of the Navy and former Republican."

Surprisingly, there was no mention of any of Jim Webb’s gaffes, particularly denying that an act described in one of his books is not sexual in nature. But, Smith later asserted that the race will be determined by voter turnout, and who votes: the Webb friendly Northern Virginia or the conservative rest of the state:

"Who wins may well be determined by which part of the state gets out the vote. The boom towns of Northern Virginia, NOVA, is Webb country. But, in the rest of the Virginia, ROVA, Republicans cling to their conservative roots."

In the "Early Show’s" subsequent segment, co-host Rene Syler followed up on Harry Smith’s negativity theme. Syler decreed that Republican candidate Tom Kean Jr. had narrowed the lead of incumbent Senator Robert Menendez because of negative ads:

"But, in the last several weeks, Kean, the son of a popular former governor, has narrowed the lead, primarily with a deluge of nasty ads. And the Democrat creating their own anti-Kean/anti-Bush firestorm."

Julie Chen declared the New Jersey race as one of the "nastiest:"

"And in this race it's been one of the nastiest, Rene. What are you hearing from voters as they're going in to vote this morning?"

Syler reiterated the "nasty" theme in her reply:

"Well, I've actually talked to people on their way out and what I've heard has not necessarily been very good. Some of them are just absolutely disgusted by how nasty and bitter and mean this campaign has been."

While the race may have been nasty, the only candidate CBS explicitly accuses of negative tactics is the Republican candidate, Tom Kean Jr. And while CBS played a clip of Kean discussing how he would like to "root out corruption at every level of government," they played this odd clip of Senator Menendez:

"The only candidate in this race for the United States Senate who stood up to a corrupt political regime, testified against it, and been part of creating that change in his hometown and has ever since, is me."

However, CBS failed to elaborate as to why the corruption issue is a big deal in this campaign, particularly that Menendez is being investigated on corruption allegations.

The liberal democratic agenda of the "Early Show" shined through as its co-hosts painted Republican candidates and campaign tactics as the problem, while remaining silent on the sins of the Democrats.


http://newsbusters.org/node/8915
 

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