Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bias everywhere one looks in the media

1. Deborah Howell, the Washington Post's ombudman, has only just now decided to take her paper to task for being completely biased in its coverage of the Presidential race, 5 days after the election was held.

Well, better late than never, I guess. Still, it would have been nice to have had this information and her opinion before the election, so that the paper's readers could take Howell's justifiable criticism of the Post's coverage into consideration when choosing whom to vote for.

"Bill Hamilton, assistant managing editor for politics, said, 'There are a lot of things I wish we'd been able to do in covering this campaign,

Like have balanced coverage, for instance?

but we had to make choices about what we felt we were uniquely able to provide our audiences both in Washington and on the Web. I don't at all discount the importance of issues,

Here's where he "discounts the importance of issues" in favor of chronicling the overweening hyping of a candidate whose skin color seems to be his primary qualification for the Oval Office. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of highly qualified candidates who also happen to be minorities that I would (and have) voted for, but not Barack Obama, based completely on his political views and (lack of a) voting record in the Illinois and U.S. Senates.

but we had a larger purpose,

Spare me, will you?

to convey and explain a campaign that our own David Broder described as the most exciting he has ever covered,

exciting only because you and other media outlets in the tank for the Democrats made it that way by demagoguing a neophyte Senator with enough bad apple "acquaintances" to rot an entire produce section.

a narrative that unfolded until the very end. I think our staff rose to the occasion.'"

I disagree, but what do I know? I don't have a journalism degree, so I am probably unable to understand Mr. Hamilton's insistence on justifying the ditching of fair, impartial reporting in order to document the "larger purpose" of a campaign, because it happened to be "exciting" to him.

2. Here's good ol' Chris Matthews, ex-Tip O'Neill staffer, explaining on MSDNCNBC just what his new journalistic responsibilities are, now that a Democrat is back in the White House:

"The worst thing you can do in journalism is try to figure out motive"

So, Woodward and Bernstein were villains to attempt to "figure out the motives" of Liddy, Dean and Co.?

Good Lord, Matthews has just spent sixteen years trying to "figure out the motives" of the likes of Bill Clinton and George Bush (which he absolutely should have done, by the way), and only now does he think that such behavior is the "worst thing you can do" in his career? The poor fellow must be in dire need of medication in order to assuage his guilt over all of he motive-figuring he's done on his show.

"I want to do everything I can to make this Presidency work...that's my job"

BZZZZZZ. Sorry, Mr. Matthews. Your job as a news analyst is to (horrors) analyze what the President says and does, and predict the impact of those actions on American society, not give blind support to him just because he more closely follows your (thinly-disguised) political views.

The media bias has rocketed right past embarrassing, and is now in the orbit of ludicrous.

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