February 11th, 2012

  • kinvore

Bias in the media

How does one define and/or characterize media bias? When I hear about it from liberals, it's usually about a story not being covered. They complain about the media being corporate-owned and therefore more conservative than most realize. The most recent case was when OWS first started. It was getting virtually no press and my liberal friends were expressing much frustration about this. As we all know, that didn't last long.

Conservatives tend to complain about how stories are covered. I think that their real beef is a lack of conservative bias than any real liberal bias, but then again I'm biased in that assessment. :P

But I wanted to give a fairly likely scenario. Let's say the economy continues to improve before the elections. The media will report on this, both because it's their job and because good news sells just as well as bad news, and most Americans are desperate for any good economic news they can get.

However I can see conservatives saying the media is being liberal for reporting good economic news because it will benefit Obama. The problem there is they are looking at the result and ignoring the cause.

Are there liberals in the media? Of course there are. I think liberals are more strongly drawn to careers in journalism than conservatives. Does that reflect in their reporting? Sometimes it does, but I don't see the media as being some monolithic liberal entity hell bent on distorting what's going on in order to further their agenda.

In the case listed above it would be a case of accuracy but not fairness. Should the media attempt to curry favor among conservatives by also reporting something negative about Obama (or the economy), in an effort to bring about fairness?

Doing the math on Romney's Budget Promises


In his speech to CPAC, Mitt Romney repeated a promise that he’s delivered repeatedly on the campaign trail. “Without raising taxes or sacrificing America’s critical defense superiority, I will finally balance the budget.” That sounds pretty good. It sounds really good, in fact. And then you look at the numbers.

Romney has, essentially, made four significant fiscal promises: He has pledged to cap federal spending at 20 percent of GDP. He has pledged to cut taxes to about 17 percent of GDP. He has pledged to a floor on defense spending at 4 percent of GDP. And he has pledged to balance the budget.

So let’s add it all up: Romney has to cut federal spending down to 17 percent of GDP. Federal spending is currently at 24 percent of GDP, and the Congressional Budget Office predicts that it will be around 22 percent for the next decade. For comparison’s sake, Paul Ryan’s budget would keep spending above 20 percent of GDP for at least the next 20 years.

In that spirit, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities tried to run the numbers on Romney’s proposals. The results were so outlandish that they actually ran them two ways to make Romney look better.


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[chessdev]  This in part is why I believe Romney's campaign is essentially 'say anything that will get me elected, truth be damned!'

He's campaigning on promises that are outlandish with little hope of actually coming to pass -OR- would make people so brutally unhappy that they would be reversed anyway.  Yet somehow his voter base seem to be comprised of people hell-bent on voting against their own interests.

We Must Never Fail to Comprehend Its Grave Implications

Now, I have my issues with Ike, mainly that his administration marks the beginning of the (sadly still on-going) breakdown of the wall of separation of church and state, as illustrated in this very speech by his religious phrases and reference to the Soviet Union as "atheistic" in a context that clearly shows he didn't mean it as a compliment.

However, he talks of weighing proposals individually and maintaining a balance between various factors, instead of what most in his party are trying to do now: chuck it all out and sabotage everything they can to generate public ill-will towards the government in general and successful programs in particular.

More important of all, he warned (with eery prescience) the dangers of having the weapons industry, the military itself, and the government in an all too-cosy relationship. Something else his party is actively supporting and the public is too complacent about.


The genie is out of the bottle

Even the death of hundreds of children, women and men couldn't sober up Russia and China. In the very day when Assad's regime killed more than 200 innocent people in Homs, these two "super" powers vetoed the resolution about Syria. Disgraceful, sad, pathetic.

Russia's argument: Syria is a sovereign country, who are we to mess into the matters of another country? We don't want the Libyan scenario to repeat, and what about the atrocities committed by those rebels?

China's reason is more than obvious: they need those resources from the Middle East very badly, and the US is dominating the region through its allies, and after waging a series of wars. As was pointed here recently, with their veto these two are missing a good chance to raise their diplomatic stature because they are taking the wrong side (again). And Assad's downfall being a matter of time (let's face it), the Syrian people will surely remember of the Russian and Chinese treachery one day, and it will backfire on China and Russia in a way they have failed to foresee.

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