Liberal Media Says Media Is Conservatively Biased

You hear it all the time, such and such network it just an arm of the Democratic party or that network is run by that Republican so they have to be biased etc. News these days seems to be believed or disbelieved based on which network or web site reports it and who is reading/watching it. Long gone are the days when you would turn on the 6PM network news and honestly believe everything being reported.

So when someone writes an article claiming a certain bias in the media all I do these days is yawn. Such is the case with this piece from John Merline on AOL. Merline breaks out several examples of media reporting from the near past in an attempt to prove that the media is in fact conservatively biased. Comparing the reporting done of Palin vs Biden, Christine O’Donnell vs Alvin Greene, Beck vs Olbermann all point in his mind to an obvious bias to the right.

Of course when reading this, conservatives will shrug it off calling into question the facts used to reach this conclusion while pointing out examples they see of bias to the left and liberals will likely say I told you so. Such is the state of politics today.

Network news is still on every night at 6pm reporting the news but now we have cable news outlets trying to fill their channels with content 24 hours a day 7 days a week. To fill this time they have hired talking heads that don’t even try to hide their bias. Fact checking is becoming a lost art and the wording of news reporting is now often dictated by executives taking their leads from political party talking points. Such has become the state of news reporting with the only determining factor as to which channel or web site you view being which way you lean politically.

The problem today is not that the media is biased because it obviously is at least to some extent. The real problem is that most people know it is biased but still take everything  their network or web site of choice says as if it is gospel.

Liberal bias, conservative bias, whatever. The media is what it is, a business concerned only about ratings and money with the real bias issue mainly lying with those receiving the news. Let’s face it, if we really wanted unbiased fact based journalism would we watch a former morning zoo top 40 DJ to get it?

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Fair And Balanced

More fairness and balance from the only network that matters…

At the height of the health care reform debate last fall, Bill Sammon, Fox News’ controversial Washington managing editor, sent a memo directing his network’s journalists not to use the phrase “public option.”

Instead, Sammon wrote, Fox’s reporters should use “government option” and similar phrases — wording that a top Republican pollster had recommended in order to turn public opinion against the Democrats’ reform efforts.

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Detour On The Straight Talk Express

John McCain’s shielding of his not ready for prime time VP nominee came to a head today when the networks threatened to ignore Sarah Palin’s meetings with world leaders in NY unless they were given more than just the standard photo opportunities.

Today, the McCain campaign had said it would allow only one editorial person inside. Now, the campaign is saying it wants only the camera inside with no editorial presence. All of the networks are objecting.

The networks eventually called McCain’s bluff by voting to not cover the event at all which resulted in a miraculous change of heart.

12 Noon:  Word has come in that a CNN producer WILL be allowed to accompany the camera at these meetings.  This issue appears to be resolved.

So much for the “Straight Talk Express”…

McCain's No Talk Express

UPDATE: It looks like the McCain campaign has the last laugh. While CNN did get a reporter into the meeting, they had a whole 29 seconds in the room with Palin. He better be careful, folks might get the idea that he is sheltering his VP nominee from questions that might not make her look as qualified as the kool-aid drinkers had hoped.

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While the mainstream media has been getting better at calling out John McCain when he pulls a whopper out of his rear end, NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen thinks they should be doing better. In other words he thinks the political press needs to grow a spine so along those lines he wants to use the power of social media, namely Twitter, to get the message out.

Rosen and others are calling for journalists of all stripes (professionals, amateurs, citizens, bloggers, etc.) to use a #spinewatch tag on Twitter and elsewhere to call attention to whether or not the professional press covering the home stretch of the 2008 presidential election is standing up to stonewalling candidates or sitting back and repeating their talking points.

The Republican’s used Twitter for their “Drill Here, Drill Now” grandstanding on the House floor last month so I guess it’s only fair for the Democrats to turn the table. So if you are so inclined, be sure to tag your Twitter’s with #spinewatch whenever posting about the latest McCain/Palin “say what?“.

And yes I assume that you could use it for Obama untruths as well but since Obama never lies and we’re all a bunch of liberal hacks, the majority I read all dealt with McCain/Palin.

(h/t – Simon)

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Big Brother Wants An Example Made

Of Big Brother.

The Parents Television Council aka the “Big Brother” of television decency wants it’s pound of flesh from CBS because of an f-bomb dropped on their popular reality show, Big Brother.

Dan Isett with the PTC is calling for concerned viewers to take action. “It’s important for folks to contact their congressman, contact their senator,” he said. “There’s a piece of legislation that would end this behavior on behalf of the networks. Although Congress is in recess for the month of August, it’s a good time to reach out and let them know how you feel about this. This needs to be right at the top of the agenda when Congress returns in a few weeks,” Isett contends. (emphasis mine)

Gee, when is Congress going to have the time? Energy prices, mortgage crisis, nanny legislation…

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More AP Fun

Yesterday I wrote on how the AP wants you to pay to quote as little as 5 words from one of their articles. As bad as that is, it gets worse. Even if you pay them for a quote, you cannot use that quote in any manner that might be derogatory to the AP.

You shall not use the Content in any manner or context that will be in any way derogatory to the author, the publication from which the Content came, or any person connected with the creation of the Content or depicted in the Content. You agree not to use the Content in any manner or context that will be in any way derogatory to or damaging to the reputation of Publisher, its licensors, or any person connected with the creation of the Content or referenced in the Content.

So even after paying them, no matter how ridiculous a particular story is, you cannot use the AP’s own words against them. Quite a racket.
Do I owe them for quoting their Terms of Use?
UPDATE: It appears the AP has issues practicing what they preach. Bloggers are now calculating their bills to the AP for lifting their content, without linking by the way.

Hey, Associated Press: You owe me at least $132,125!

Irony Alert: AP Attacks Blogs for Quoting Their Stories, Then Quotes Even More Extensively from Blogs

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Be Careful Who You Quote


This really only applies to the few that have blogs but it appears that the AP is trying to re-write current fair use policies in regards to their content. Using tactics that are being compared to the RIAA’s going after grandma for downloading a Neil Diamond MP3, the AP sent DCMA take down notices to several blogs for what they termed copyright violations.

I’m currently engaged in a legal disagreement with the Associated Press, which claims that Drudge Retort users linking to its stories are violating its copyright and committing “‘hot news’ misappropriation under New York state law.” An AP attorney filed six Digital Millenium Copyright Act takedown requests this week demanding the removal of blog entries and another for a user comment.

The AP got their panties in a bunch over the very common and currently legal practice in the blogosphere of providing an excerpt to some other content along with providing a link to the site in which the whole article from where the quote was taken originally appeared. This practice is normally considered good for both parties, the blogger provides a quote from another source to which he can expand upon and the original author gets an increase in exposure as well as a bump in traffic from the link provided. The AP disagrees and is now embroiled in a blogger backlash that they probably didn’t expect.


A Proposal to the Associated Press: A Link Ethic

Here’s Our New Policy On A.P. stories: They’re Banned

Does the old adage that “all press is good press” hold true when you are a part of the old dying media and the “press” aimed at you is all bad and coming from the new and growing media?

UPDATE: And if this does in fact change they way blogs do things, will not being able to quote other sources without prior (re: paid) permission doom one of our local bloggers whose endless quotes from WorldNetDaily and Rush Limbaugh make up a majority of his posts? Just wondering…

UPDATE 2: We all know that greed is behind this new AP policy, I briefly touched on it in the update above, but now it is official. The AP showed it’s hand and is now requiring that bloggers quoting their articles must pay $2.50 a word. I have a feeling I know where this is headed and judges and lawyers will likely be involved and Kos already has his wallet ready.

UPDATE 3: Here is the AP form that they want those citing AP content to fill out.


5-25 $ 12.50
26-50 $ 17.50
51-100 $ 25.00
101-250 $ 50.00
251 and up $ 100.0

Ok so I just quoted 10 items from the AP, I suppose I will be getting a bill for $12.50

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Libel Decision Coming Soon?

The AP is reporting that the libel suit against the Argus Leader by Dan Scott could hit the next milestone in the coming few weeks when a circuit judge should decide on whether it will proceed to trial.

A circuit judge says she might issue her decision within a couple of weeks in a libel lawsuit filed against the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and its executive editor, Randell Beck.

Judge Kathleen Caldwell of Sioux Falls heard arguments this past week during a court hearing and said her written ruling will be handed down “hopefully, within a couple weeks.”

Dan Scott sued the newspaper over a July 15 column written by Beck. Scott, who was president of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation at the time, argues that his reputation was tarnished because many people were fooled by Beck into thinking that a letter of apology Beck wrote in Scott’s name was for real.

The wheels of justice sure turn slowly don’t they? And for those that want to again read the column in question, I have posted it here as it is no longer easily available on the Argus’ web site.

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