Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thoughts on the YouTube debate

These observations are taken from nine pages of notes of the 2-4 a.m. replay of the debate and from CNN post-analysis. Just so you know who and what to blame for the following.

The debate format--An innovative idea, and probably as close to direct democracy as we're likely to get. Hopefully, the powers that be won't soon find a way to sterilize this format as they have with all other forms of presidential debates. Nice spectrum of questions and civil adherence of time constraints. A much-needed shot in the arm to political discourse.

That said, though, whoever was responsible for copy-editing the video information was clearly eating a sloppy joe. First off, Berkeley, CA is definitely not spelled, "Berkely." Second, the very last video was marked as originating from "COLDRODO SPRING, CO." Ted Haggard must be spinning in his political grave!

I thought they were wrong to immediately dismiss the question, "You've gotten us out of Iraq. Then what?" Anderson Cooper said it was because too many people asked it as part of a campaign. That was a flimsy excuse to avoid a very good question.

Also, too many people pronounced the word "either" as "I-ther." That drives me nuts.

And Anderson Cooper really needs to stop saying "Missippi."

As for the debate itself, its unique format allowed each of the eight candidates to shine (and falter) in their own ways. After tonight, I'd vote for pretty much any of them were they nominated in the general election. But given that each candidate has shown their hand, for better or for worse, some are clearly favorable to others. The following list illustrates what I like and don't like about each candidate. I'm leaving out prior reputations, fund-raising and superfluous scrutiny regarding appearance, etc. and sticking to what was said last night.

Barack Obama

Why I would vote for him: He has taken measures for greater transparency in government, especially with regards to funding. Gave direct answers regarding reparations, racism, Iraq and most other issues. Had probably the best quotes of the night, on Iraq: "We must be as careful getting out as we were careless going in" and "Not talking to our enemies is ridiculous...Reagan and Clinton did it." Takes what was probably the most realistic compromise on gay marriage: civil unions, with marriage up to individual denominations. Is against privatization of Social Security and for universal health care. Despite professed Christian beliefs, is an ardent supporter of separation of church and state. Responds to critics with plausible responses and without hesitation.

Why I wouldn't: Because I committed a felony and lost my right to vote.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Why I would vote for her: By her own account, is calling out the Pentagon and the Republicans for an exit plan in Iraq, which suggests that she is finally beginning to atone for her vote for the war. Favors no-fly zones in Darfur, saying that diplomacy could be key to ending African genocide. Supports public schools and noted that Chelsea attended them until security concerns made that impossible. Clearly hasn't let the flame of her aborted health-care plan die. When asked if having the Bushes and the Clintons take turns was a bad idea, quipped, "I think it was a problem that Bush was elected in 2000. A better man won." Isn't ashamed of Bill's legacy. Assured a snarky YouTuber that she will be taken seriously as a woman leader because she has already been by 82 heads of state. Seemed genuinely optimistic when asking, "Isn't it great that we're debating over who will be better for women? Isn't that a nice change for everyone to hear?"

Why I wouldn't: Quickly distanced herself from the word "liberal," preferring to be called a "modern progressive." Said she is "agnostic" on nuclear power. Seemed reticent to the idea of meeting leaders of estranged nations. Also went a little too Freudian by blurting out, "When I'm inaugurated..."

John Edwards

Why I would vote for him: Supports U.S. troops and makes the crucial distinction between their duty and the actions of their leadership. Is against nuclear-power expansion and prefers greater use of biofuels. Wants to mandate universal health care for all U.S. citizens. Thinks all Americans deserve representation, regardless of religion (or lack thereof).

Why I wouldn't: Struggles with direct responses, often redirecting unrelated questions to the same stump answers. Admits frostiness to the idea of gay marriage, saying his Christian faith won't allow him to advocate it.

Dennis Kucinich

Why I would vote for him: For one thing, voted against the Iraq War. Advocates "strength through peace and the science of diplomacy." Supports full gay marriage, the only candidate to openly express such a view. Asked if the Democratic Congress has put politics before conscience regarding the Iraq War, said, "Yes, the Democrats have failed. You didn't expect the Democratic version of the war." When does he want the troops home? "Now!" Supports smarter taxes through the ending of NAFTA, the World Trade Organization and wartime borrowing from China. Big believer in going green and fighting global warming.

Why I wouldn't: Because I won't have a chance to do so.

Bill Richardson

Why I would vote for him: Believes the safety of troops is "more important than George W. Bush's legacy." Actually used the word "quagmire" to refer to the Iraq war, and calls for a six-month withdrawal to begin immediately, with no residual forces: "Our troops have become targets." Wants to end predatory lending. Unhesitant in call to "scrap" No Child Left Behind, which he said hurt New Mexico schools. Says teachers should be granted a minimum salary of $40,000. Favors paper trails for all voting precincts. Would extend health care to undocumented workers. Likes instant background checks for gun buyers. Wants diplomatic intervention in Darfur.

Why I wouldn't: Supports "what is achievable" for gay marriage, which he thinks stops short of marriage. Said he would not be willing to work as a public servant for minimum wage.

Chris Dodd

Why I would vote for him: Had the best response on Hurricane Katrina, and how wrong that all turned out. Favors a return to diplomacy. Wants a timetable for Iraq withdrawal; says troops should be out of Iraq by "April next year." Calls for national-service requirement, though not necessarily a draft. Would employ hybrids as government vehicles, increase fuel-efficiency requirements on all cars and enforce a corporate carbon tax. Dead-set against privatization of Social Security, and would raise cap on withholdings. Advocates stem-cell research and medical coverage for undocumented workers.

Why I wouldn't: Only Democrat to explicitly say marriage "should be between a man and a woman." Says that Catholic faith and mother's death drove him away from public schools, suggesting that he would not hold them in necessary regard.

Joe Biden

Why I would vote for him: Favors a complete change in structure for the tax system. "It was a mistake," Biden bluntly says about No Child Left Behind. Has well-thought-out withdrawal plan for Iraq, which has (briefly) seen light of day in Congress. Was responsible for the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, and said of a questioner, "If that gun is his baby, he needs help."

Why I wouldn't: Said withdrawal plan cannot happen in short time, as Biden so angrily drove home. Frequently went off-topic on key questions. Very cranky, particularly when rejecting diplomacy as a choice in the Darfur situation. Said he would not be a public servant for minimum wage.

Mike Gravel

Why I would vote for him: "The only thing worse than soldiers dying in vain is more soldiers dying in vain." Filibustered to end the draft in the 1970s; wants the Selective Service to include women as well as men. Advocates a "living wage" as opposed to a minimum wage.

Why I wouldn't: One of his first statements was an attack against Obama, which Obama immediately rebutted. Responded to a question about conservation by touting a seemingly unrelated tax-savings plan. Spoke little at first, then tried to leverage that fact as an excuse to bend debate rules. Said the Clintons "sold out the U.S."

Don't miss the Republican version of the YouTube debate on September 17. Why so late? Because they're behind the curve! Anyway, manufacturing questions takes time.

34 comments:

Huck said...

Can't say that I'm not sympathetic to your take. So ... when's the Obama '08 endorsement officially coming online at Not Right About Anything!

The Great Alday said...

"An innovative idea, and probably as close to direct democracy as we're likely to get."

Wait..what? They've been having "townhall" meetings for decades where normal people can...get this...ask unfiltered questions to politicians, so why do you think having questions that have been pre-selected by CNN and pre-screened to all those on stage is somehow a new watermark for greatness? If anything, it's a step backwards.

Ian McGibboney said...

Huck, he will get my official endorsement if he keeps on this path.

Tom, it's innovative compared to the neutered "debates" we've seen for the past couple of election cycles. Compare footage of the 1992 town-hall debate with Clinton, Bush and Perot to its 2004 counterparts. Today's town-hall meetings, especially with Bush, have pre-screened audiences assured to ask only sycophantic questions.

I'd like to see follow-up questions allowed. But even that was evident last night for some of the questioners, who were in the audience and did get a voice. One admitted that he didn't like Edwards' answer. And, no, not all the questioners had good things to say in the first place.

I think anything that shakes up the structure of debates, while integrating a very democratic medium into stilted campaigns, is all right with me.

Nick said...

"Don't miss the Republican version of the YouTube debate on September 17. Why so late? Because they're behind the curve! Anyway, manufacturing questions takes time."

Yeah, because we all know Hillary Clinton would go into a completely unscripted forum.

Wake up, Icon. They're all politicians. The Democratic candidates will not be any more spontaneous than the Republicans. Hell, the Dems. won't even do a Fox News debate.

Huck said...

nick - Why should the Dems do a debate on Fox? Just to make you feel good? There's absolutely nothing to be gained by their going on Fox and subjecting themselves to what you hope will be an ambush of sorts. No dice. Being spontaneous is one thing. Being foolish is another. They're smarter than you give them credit for. They don't need FoxNews, so they're not bothering. And I don't blame them. I think it's smart politics.

And, Ian, I'm leaning Obama, too.

The Great Alday said...

So instead they'll have nice, safe "debates" moderated by the likes of Keith Olbermann? Because everyone knows there's nothing the America voter wants more than to see softball questions lobbed to the people that want to run their country. If they don't have the stones to go on Fox and debate how can they be expected to go to say...Iran or North Korea, much more hostile environments?

Fox News is the most watched news channel in America, to say they don't "need" it is a joke and shows your glaring lack of gray matter.

Ian McGibboney said...

They should air debates on every channel, or at least on multiple channels. I don't like the idea of one network holding a monopoly on debates for the exact reason that we're bickering. That way, everyone can watch their channel of choice and let their pundits tell them what they want to hear.

A Democratic debate on Fox News would be a circus. It's one thing for leaders to be able to weather criticism; it's another to appear on a network devoted to equating their party with terrorism. If confronting candidates is what you want, then diversify the moderators. It shouldn't matter whose logo is on the screen.

Nick said...

Huck:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only debate/appearance Republican candidates have not turned down any network debates.

However, the Democrats turned down Fox News.

What makes you think the Dems. debating on Fox News would make me "feel good"? I wouldn't watch it anyway. But Ian took a shot at Repubs. for wanting to participate only in debates that are scripted, but the Dems. won't go on Fox News.

Hell, have Alan Colmes moderate it, or contract Michael Moore. I don't care. Again, I won't watch it. But don't make the argument that the Democrat candidates are "spontaneous" and not calculating when they are very much typical politicians just like the Republican candidates.

Ian McGibboney said...

Who's arguing that the Democrats aren't calculated? I'm not. But I don't think not appearing on Fox News is any sign of Democratic daftness.

The reason the Republicans haven't turned down any heavily liberal networks is that there aren't any heavily liberal networks. And if there was one, I wouldn't expect the GOP to be on it.

If it's true that you wouldn't expect an ambush on Fox News, then why worry about what channel they're on? Why would it matter if there wasn't going to be an ambush?

Nathan said...

Well... Tom Tancredo was the only GOP candidate to show up to the NAACP GOP Presidential Forum.

Whether that amounts to the same is a different matter.

Ian McGibboney said...

I saw that, Nathan! And Tancredo isn't exactly known for his enlightened stance toward race.

Nick said...

It matters Ian b/c many on the Left keep saying, "blah blah, the Democratic candiates are better and relate more to the American people, blah blah."

If that's true, then why not go on a cable news network that has excellent ratings??

The Republicans have been on CNN, which is deemed by some as the Communist News Network or Clinton News Network by the Right, much like Fox News is deemed Faux News by the Left.

Nick said...

While I would agree that the Republican candidates should have shown up at the NAACP debate, would the Democrats show up at a debate sponsored by the White College Republicans?

No, they wouldn't. And that's what the NAACP is. An ubber-partisan group tied together by race.

Then again, neither the NAACP, NAAWP, or college Republicans/Democrats are a news network typically known for holding presidential debates that people actually watch.

Again, who's hiding from a particular news network??

Huck said...

Amen, Ian - You are saying exactly the things I'm thinking about this whole Dems on Fox nonsense.

I'll just ask a simple question of nick and the great alday: why do you want to see the Dems on Fox as opposed to anywhere else? As Ian indicated, if it doesn't matter whether the moderator of a Dem FoxNews debate is Michael Moore, what't the point of even having it on Fox to begin with?

I'll venture a guess as to an answer: the allure of a FoxNews debate to those already opposed to the Dems is not substantive, it is the spectacle of a "scripted" ambush and assault. Any observer of how the FoxNews screeching heads treat their "liberal" guests will arrive at the conclusion that the risk to Democrats from being ambushed is much greater than any benefits (or even the possibility) they might obtain from persuading a Hannity sychophant to vote for them.

The charade is that folks who utterly dislike the Dems are pretending that they are interested in seeing the Dems grilled on Fox because they might find a true Dem Hero to vote for. Yeah, right! They don't want a hero or a candidate, they want a bloodbath!

And the "if the Dems can't handle Fox, how can they handle Iran" meme is asinine and tiresome and I must squash it right now. That argument is nothing but macho bravura stupidity. Playing chicken with a Mac Truck on a speeding highway has absolutely nothing to do with one's courage or strength in the real fields of battle. Sometimes, the strongest, wisest, and most prudent course of action is avoiding the macho game of chicken altogether, so one can be alive and whole in order to deal strongly and decisively with real enemies when it counts.

Nick said...

Fine Huck. The Dems don't have to debate on Fox News. But don't try to make the argument that they're any less calculating then the Republicans when the Repub. candidates have turned down no debates yet from any of the news networks, while the Dems. refuse to go on Fox News.

Huck said...

nick - Have I claimed that the Dems weren't as calculating (if not moreso) than the Republicans? I don't think so.

But, of course, it's calculating. And it's properly calculating ... so as to avoid the possibility of a completely unnecessary ambush. If FoxNews were a different kind of station when it comes to how they engage in political "dialogue," perhaps the Democrats would calculate differently. But if we're honest with ourselves, we all know what FoxNews is when it comes to politics and Democrats. And it's neither fair, nor balanced.

Let me just add that if you think the Republicans are debating on any and all networks absent their own calculations, that would just be silly, too. I'll give it to you that it's all about political calculations -- for both Democrats and Republicans. That's fine by me.

But, then, let's just keep it at that level and not try to raise it to one where it becomes a referendum on Democratic weakness or cowardice in refusing to take up the bully's taunts. Strong, competent, and courageous people don't necessarily have to take up any and all challenges by those who taunt them as wimps if they don't in order to prove the mettle of their character.

But, rest assured, you won't hear me griping about Republican wimpiness about similar behavior when they're, in fact, only making shrewd political decisions.

Ian McGibboney said...

The fallacy here is to assume, of course, that CNN is going to give the Democrats a free ride. They won't and didn't, but they did give them a FAIR ride. That's an important distinction. Fox News would not do that.

Everything else I have to say, Huck said better.

Cajun Tiger said...

"The reason the Republicans haven't turned down any heavily liberal networks is that there aren't any heavily liberal networks. And if there was one..."

Are you kidding me??? Yeah...Keith Olberman in not a heavy handed liberal...what a joke...when I worked at MSNBC of the around 300 employees, less than 10 were conservative and I had to fight tooth and nail every day to do my job of trying to create some balance in the coverage.

The Dems refusing to debate on Fox is a complete lack of leadership by bowing to the pressure of moveon and the kos kiddos. Let's see...debate on FoxNews whose ratings are higher than all the other cable stations combined or stay on the least watched stations...good luck with that plan.

Ian McGibboney said...

Keith Olbermann is a pundit, not a network.

And even if what you say about MSNBC is true - and I doubt it, because I've never worked or gone to school anywhere where everyone told me their political beliefs - MSNBC itself is a corporate holding. Personal beliefs of employees will always take a Hummer-sized backseat to the bottom line.

Fox News gets ratings because it tells its audience what it wants to hear. And its audience wants Democrat blood. How can the party's decision not to appear on the channel be in any way considered cowardice? And if they did go on, wouldn't the Democrats be attacked for doing anything for ratings?

I don't blame the Democrats for ignoring the cries of their taunters.

Cajun Tiger said...

The difference between pundits at Fox and MSNBC is that the pundits aren't moved in and out as news reporters at Fox like at MS. At MS, Mathews, Olberman and the others cover news stories like debates whereas Fox uses its reporters like Shepard Smith and not Hannity and O'Reilly.

My job at MSNBC was to help everyone see the other side, so in that role everyone's take on the issues was discussed making it easy to know those beliefs thus my numbers are accurate. I met weekly with everyone from the Pres of the network to the line producers. Also it is exactly in line with the donations to liberals vs conservatives by media folks which is 9-1 to libs as recently reported.

The reason Fox gets the ratings it gets is b/c it is the one station that actually shows both sides and both sides watch otherwise it would never be able to get the ratings it does. I'll put the number of liberals on Fox against the number of conservatives on MSNBC or CNN anytime.

By not debating on Fox, they aren't ignoring the cries of their taunters, they are bowing to the threats of their benefactors. They were all agreeing to the debate until the threats came from MoveOn and the Kos kiddos.

Ian McGibboney said...

Even if Fox had completely unbiased news coverage by pure reporters, the news is still skewed conservative through what the network chooses to cover and how they present it (graphics, choice of words on screen, etc.). That sort of directive comes from above.

As for reporters' contributions, that does not matter. If I donate money to the Obama campaign, that isn't going to affect who the newspaper I work for endorses.

If you, as a conservative, were not able to balance what you see as unfairly liberal coverage on MSNBC, then you understand what I mean. Your opinion might matter, but ultimately your bosses had the most sway as to what went on screen.

Cajun Tiger said...

So then if that is your belief then I'm waiting for you to fight just as hard against the liberal views from above at all the other media outlets.

If you were the only liberal reporter or if there was a true balance then maybe, but when 90% are liberal the groupthink takes over and what seems like everyone's opinion leaves out a whole portion of America. That is what Fox has tapped in to.

I'm not disagreeing one bit in that the bosses dictate. It was the MSNBC boss who recognized the need for more balance and hired our unit only to be ultimately overruled by the NBC boss. However, I doubt you will admit that the bosses of every outlet except Fox are liberal. And being none of the other stations do any justice to the conservative viewpoint, it makes Fox look like the conservative mouthpiece while in reality it is the only one being balanced by giving both sides. Like I said before...let's add up liberals on Fox compared to conservatives on CNN and MSNBC combined...I'll take that wager any day.

Ian McGibboney said...

Reporting accurately on Republican misdeeds is not liberal bias. Neither is having a liberal/conservative host an opinion show. Bias is when a network spreads a political inclination throughout its supposedly neutral programming, then claims to be "fair and balanced." And unlike Fox with conservatives, I don't get a particular buzz watching or reading MSNBC or BBC news. You're not supposed to feel validated with straight news, just informed.

The Wall Street Journal has a very conservative editorial page, but they don't taint every article in the paper with their beliefs.

As for the bosses, I don't see how they're all liberal, or why that matters anymore anyway. These days, most media mandates come down from corporate CEOs, who are concerned about the bottom line, and don't exactly vote for Kucinich, if you catch my drift.

Cajun Tiger said...

Oh...so being the MSM doesn't claim to be fair and balanced then it is ok for them to be slant liberal?

And if the rest of the MSM followed the WSJs pattern, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

First you say it is the bosses that dicatate...oops..they are all liberals...that hurts my argument...so it must be the evil corporations.

Ok...you win...CNN, MSNBC, NYTimes, WashPost, LATimes, all three networks news shows, Time, Newsweek...they are all completely neutral. They present both sides of every topic and allow the viewers to decide for themselves. They never paint any story in favor of any liberal and equally give the good results of Iraq as the bad. Despite supporting liberals 9-1, they place just as many stories on the front page that show conservatives in a postive light as liberals and just as many that put liberals in a negative light as conservatives. They always highlight the progress in Iraq just as much as the challenges. They always point out the ideolgical angle of all their sources equally and make sure they have sources from both sides. Yep...they are the bastion of fair and balanced.

Ian McGibboney said...

The media you cite seem liberal to you because you are hard-right. As many conservatives as I've heard who pledge allegiance to Fox News, I've never heard any liberals adhere to a network with the same fervor.

Fox uses "fair and balanced" as its catchphrase in the same way psychologists say a liar will repeatedly employ the word "honestly" when telling a big lie: because if you have to qualify it, it isn't true. Having a weak-kneed liberal be torn to pieces by a shrill conservative is not "balance." Assuring your viewers that you are the true source for information and everyone else distorts it is, itself, distortion.

Chances are, a lot of liberals feel the same skepticism you do about the networks you cite. And that's a good thing; people should always be a little wary of what they hear. Fox viewers are not encouraged to do that, and for that reason alone Fox News deserves to not be taken seriously.

But if you have some good news regarding conservative politicians or Iraq, by all means link it here! I'd like to hear it...it would be a nice break from all the Vitters, Bushes and Gonzaleses...not to mention all the GOP politicians who are now saying Bush's Iraq strategy is a disaster.

Cajun Tiger said...

Oh...so Colmes, Greta, Kirsten Powers, Bob Beckel, etc. aren't liberal enough...so sad. Guess the fact that you are hard left makes them seem conservative to you doesn't work in reverse as you try to tag me with that argument...wait let me guess...you aren't hard left...you are a moderate right so if as a moderate Fox is to your right it must be WAY right and being all the other outlets are on par with your views that means they are moderate just like you. Enjoy the koolaid.

Ian McGibboney said...

I'm no moderate. But neither do I expect the news to cater to me. It shouldn't cater to anyone, but unfortunately most people (and corporations) seem to think it should.

I am able to divorce my views from what I think the news should be, CT. Can you?

Cajun Tiger said...

I think the news should present all facts of stories to allow the viewer/reader make their own decisions, and not just present the ones that agree with their viewpoint. That is not what the MSM media does, so no I can't divorce that view b/c they we should expect nothing less.

One thing I'd like to make clear is that I don't think the majority of MSM people intentionally try to slant the news (though some most definitely do), but instead b/c nearly everyone in the business is liberal and they mostly only associate in liberal circles they get caught in the bubble of thinking that being everyone they know thinks the same way then everyone does and by that viewpoint the news becomes slanted liberal. That was the main poing behind the book Bias and having worked at MSNBC and VOA, I definitely agree with that conclusion.

Ian McGibboney said...

I agree with you on that first point, but I find it laughable that you think Fox News does that and no one else does.

You also worked at much different outlets than I did, because I find that personal opinions mean bupkes in the big picture.

What I get from your comments (and your choice of reading material) is that you are far enough to the right to where most viewpoints seem liberal to you. Again, that isn't anyone's problem but yours.

My perspective probably isn't much different, albeit on the other side. But all I ask is that the media reports the truth, not my version of it.

Cajun Tiger said...

Reading material?

I don't just say that of Fox out of anecdotal evidence. One of my duties at MSNBC was to monitor CNN and Fox from 8-11p each night and then have report on the balance of viewpoints and guests. And it wasn't just me agreeing on the assignment of what was liberal and what was consevative. There were liberals in the unit as well. (One who argued just as hard as you are right now before we started doing it that was blown away by the results) Never once in over 9 months of reports did MSNBC or CNN have more balance than Fox. We also monitored the Nightly News on NBC (which is why we (liberals included) believed the unit was ultimately shut down), ABC, and CBS...same results. CNN was the worst offender by far. After Fox, CBS was next best. Most nights the order was Fox, CBS, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CNN with Fox always being first and CNN nearly always being last. And while it wasn't done officially or on as regular a basis, I frequently applied the same test to the front page of the NYTimes and WashPost with the same results.

So, call me a hard right as much as you like, that doesn't change the facts that despite both of our apparent desire for the truth, it isn't happening in the mainstream media.

Ian McGibboney said...

So, if I'm reading you correctly, you're saying Fox is the most balanced network because it has the most even ratio of liberal to conservative guests.

But I'd have to ask: in what context were the liberal guests presented? My experience watching Fox News (I admit that I am not a regular viewer, but in Louisiana it was on in every workplace, library, mechanic's shop, etc. and here it blares at every restaurant with a TV) is that commentators frame issues in ways that make one sound un-American if they disagree with exactly as they are put. And when liberals do come on, they are marginalized or are otherwise not taken seriously.

I did a similar scientific study of newspaper editorial pages as a college project. Our group surveyed numerous newspapers (of multiple dates) from around the world, gauging to see if there was a trend in each paper's letters to the editor over time. In almost every case, despite the presumed audience of the newspaper, letters sections were admirably balanced.

However, that is not the same thing as lending equal credence to all valid points of view. For the same reason, I don't trust Fox News.

Cajun Tiger said...

Yeah it was based on guests ratio. So even if liberals are treated as you say on Fox, at least they have a chance to defend their viewpoint. When segment after segment is only liberal guests and the host is liberal how is that right when the conservative side doesn't even get a chance to present their side? That is the biggest issue I have.

I have no problem with the editorial section and letter section being as partisian as they want. It is the front page and news sections that I'm concerned about.

Ian McGibboney said...

Let me ask you this: how often do you see a business leader or lobbyist on TV, as opposed to a union leader or peace activist?

I don't think I'm that far left - that designation came to me only as the far-right wrestled their way into power - but I still feel that conservatives get the most airplay. Suits run the media, fill up the majority of the airwaves and otherwise are considered the "movers and shakers" of society. The common thread in all of this is a disregard for civil obligation. No one trying to make the world better is considered hearing about, because they aren't making the money. That attitude is so pervasive these days that most people don't even realize it anymore. And the media hasn't helped that perception.

Cajun Tiger said...

I have never done a specific study to that effect so this is just anecdotal. Cavuto frequently has union leaders on his show and O'Reilly and H&C frequently have peace activist from Code Pink, CAIR, Greenpeace, etc on their shows. Cindy Sheehan has been on all the shows a couple of times. I can speak to CNN being I don't watch it anymore or MS as I don't watch it much anymore, but based on 4 years ago (wow...I just realized it has been 4 years!) Fox had more of that balance than any other station.

I obviously disagree with that assessment and instead say conservatives are finally getting a fair chance to have their viewpoints expressed like they never had before Fox, talk radio and now the internet. And more ideas is what it should be about, not less.