The "Neutral Story Line" and How The Media Uses It To Justify Its Perpetual Game of "Guess That Party!"
Several months ago I wrote one of my better-received pieces. If you've read that you can skim and get to the new stuff; if not, I think (IMHO) it's worth reading. Excerpts below:
First of all, one of the media's go-to Neutral Story Lines is that incumbents have too much of advantage in elections and there's not enough turn-over and fresh blood (read: drama which makes the news more fun to write) each election. Mickey Kaus often notes the media likes Neutral Story Lines, as they're easy to write, but are supposedly nonpartisan, as they usually criticize some procedural defect in both parties. What makes the "Neutral Story Line" not neutral at all is that the media seems most interested, each cycle, in the "Neutral Story Li9ne" that hurts the Republicans more. For instance, the amount of money flowing into elections became a more and more intense problem as more and more money flowed to Republicans, putting Democrats at a disadvantage. The supposedly Neutral Story Line doesn't really seem all that Neutral when you consider that there's-too-much-money-in-politics reached its crisis stage during Bush's 2004 election, when he spent more money than anyone in history, but suddenly wasn't a problem at all when Obama topped him in 2008. This despite the fact that Bush actually had a higher percentage of small-money donors than Obama (as a percentage of total money donated), and Obama had a bigger percentage of high-dollar donors. The media loves these story lines, because facially they appear neutral -- "money in politics is a danger" has no on-its-face, explicit partisan import -- but the timing of when to deploy a particular story line is highly partisan, and always made with the Democratic Party's best interests in mind. Thus, when Bush refused the campaign spending limits, and spent only private money, it was nearly a constitutional crisis; when Obama did the same, it was a triumph of people-powered politics. Are conspiracy theories bad? Well, right now, when the Republican base is vulnerable to buying into conspiracy theories about Obama's birthplace or sabotaged deep-drilling oil rigs, conspiracy theories are bad, and examples of the Paranoid Style of American Politics. On the other hand, when former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright confessed to Mort Kondracke she feared Bush had actually captured bin Ladin and was secretly holding him only to publicize his capture on the eve of the 2004 elections, a party's trafficking in conspiracy theories wasn't even worth noting. Certainly such conspiracy theories weren't worth noting when Bush and Cheney (and their deadly cabal) were accused of sabotaging a plane in order to murder a sitting and popular liberal US Senator. Now, of course, in the case of Bob Bennet, the media is instructing us that we on the right are too partisan and too ideological and too inflexible and so on and so on -- the "neutral story line" they're pushing; a call for moderation is neutral, by its own terms -- and ignoring the other possible neutral story line -- that it's wonderful that an incumbent got beat, which proves that our politics can change when an electorate gets involved. But consider the case of Sestack and Specter: The media will once again have its choice of two "neutral story lines" when that primary is resolved. It's heads the Democrats win, tails the Republicans lose, as far as the media is concerned. If Sestack wins, the media will in fact push the "neutral story line" they could have pushed, but chose not to, in Bennet's case: That we're retiring an old warhorse in favor of a fresh face and that proves that our system works. On the other hand, if Specter wins, they'll push the "neutral story line" that the Democrats, unlike Republicans, are welcoming of moderates. (And Specter, a moderate Republican turncoat now voting as a somewhat-less-moderate Democrat, is still pretty moderate.) So that story line does have something to it. But we'll have no stories about "overly-partisan and inflexibly ideological Democrats driving out a true moderate and fence-crosser" if Specter should lose -- trust that. Instead we'll have the other supposedly-neutral story line, the one that once again just happens to wind up praising Democrats. And this is how media bias works 75% of the time. Most of the time, the media is selecting between several possible "rules," many of which are arguably correct, but which are contradicted by nearly opposite rules, which are also arguably correct. The media never decides which rule is correct in the most cases; instead, they choose whichever "rule" benefits the Democrats this cycle. Are we too interested in personal scandals which don't really have much to do with a party's governing philosophy? The answer is "No" if you mean Mark Foley or Mark Sanford; the answer is "Yes" if you mean Eric Massa or John Edwards. Is it out of line for a former vice president to toughly criticize a new president of a different party? Well, if you're Al Gore criticizing Bush, you're just being patriotic and expressing the frustrations of millions of Americans. If you're Dick Cheney criticizing Obama, you're deliberately weakening a new president and endangering national security. Is it patriotic, or treasonous, for a high-level national security staffer to leak to the press? Well, if you're exposing Bush's SWIFT snooping, you're a patriot, keeping a vigilant eye on the shadowy, murky world of espionage. If you're embarrassing Obama by noting that he has no Iran plan at all, you're a dirty leaking traitor giving away critical state secrets for a cheap partisan advantage. And dissent? Is it the highest form of patriotism or the lowest form of partisanship? I think you know the answer there, and the answer is, of course, It depends on who's dissenting. In each of these situations, a halfway decent case can be made either way -- often, both of these "rules" is kinda-sorta true and kinda-sorta false. The way the media shapes opinion is by stating, categorically, without caveat, that one rule is true in all cases when it benefits Democrats, and then, the following election cycle (or even the following month) that its opposite rule is categorically, and without caveat, true, in all cases, when it hurts the Republicans. Neutral story lines are only really neutral when the criteria for choosing them is neutral. When partisan and ideological considerations drive the choice of which conflicting "neutral" story line to push, it's just a partisan press covering its tracks with the thinnest pretense of objectivity. As usual.Now, here is how these "neutral storylines" are used to justify Guess That Party! Scandals involving politicians tend to fall, as with any bad behavior, into two large categories: 1. Sex. 2. Money. Here's how it works: When a Republican is caught in a sex scandal, his party affiliation is extremely relevant because the Republican Party stands broadly for family values and sexual restraint, so party affiliation is very relevant, as it shows hypocrisy, that is, it tends to undermine the public image of the party. Is that true? Actually, standing alone, that is basically true! Standing alone, I could see that rule as defensible. Now, what happens when a Republican is caught in a money scandal? Well, that's not really hypocrisy, really, as Republicans have the reputation of being into dirty filthy money. But in that case -- in the case of a money scandal -- the media says noting the Republican's affiliation is relevant because it reinforces widely-held public opinion about the party. Do you see the brilliance of that? Of those two rules together? Republicans get hammered -- not just personally, but the sins are attributed to the party as a whole -- on sex scandals because sex scandals undermine the party's public image, so noting the party is relevant; and money scandals also get attributed to the party as a whole, and party affiliation is very relevant there, too, because such scandals reinforce the party's public image. Heads the MFM wins, tails, the GOP loses. So these two rules, taken together, mean that in 99.9% of all scandals, the party affiliation of the Republican is very relevant to the story, in the MFM's eyes. That this is a scandal not just of a fallen man, but of a fallen party, which is tainted along with that man. Now: Does the media use the same rules with Democrats? If the Republican Party is supposedly money-grubbing and only cares about big business and corporate interest, then the Democratic party is, supposedly, the party that cares about the little guy, that stands stubbornly against monied interests in favor of Joe Six Pack. Is it not the case, therefore, that if hypocrisy dictates that party affiliation is intensely relevant as regards a sex scandal involving a Republican, then hypocrisy should dictate that in a scandal involving a Democrat taking money from big business that the Democrat's party affiliation should be similarly intensely relevant? Yes, indeed it should-- and yet the MFM doesn't see it that way. Money scandals (as in Bell, CA) involving Democrats are reported without any mention of the party affiliation of the malefactors. But wait -- the media says this is a rule. Why isn't it then applying that rule to the Democrats? Because the rule is fake. It's a post-hoc justification for their decisions, not a rule that actually guides their decisions. But it sounds like a neutral rule when they mention it in a single sentence. They just never explain why it suddenly stops operating when it comes to a Democrat. Similarly, if Republicans are shellacked as a party when one member turns out to be corrupt, because such corruption reinforces public beliefs about the party -- well, then, if it's a sex scandal, shouldn't that mean that the Democratic Party should be broadly tainted if one if its members is caught diddling the secretary? After all, if the Republican Party has a wide reputation of being somewhat prudish and scolding on sexual matters, doesn't the Democratic Party have a reputation as being in favor of sexual licentiousness and a lack of fidelity to old-timey sexual morality? In other words: Doesn't a sex scandal involving a Democrat reinforce widely held public opinions about the party, and, therefore, according to the "rule" the media imposes against Republicans, shouldn't the party affiliation of the sexual malefactor be just as intensely relevant as a Republican's affiliation would be in the case of a money scandal? Yes, indeed, it should. But it isn't. Because which rule the media will claim is controlling depends upon which party we're talking about. And they never, ever examine the corollaries to these "rules." If the Republican Party should be tainted as a whole over a sexual scandal due to the hypocrisy "neutral story line," then the Democratic Party should be tainted as a whole over a money scandal, because that is their version of hypocrisy on key moral issues. If the Republican Party should be tainted as a whole over a money scandal due to the idea that that scandal "reinforces public concerns over the party," then a sexual scandal should likewise taint the Democratic Party as a whole, because an easy-breezy regard for sexual morality is in fact a widely-held public concern about that party. But the MFM, of course, does not see it that way. Heads the MFM wins, tails the GOP loses. They continue to advance dishonest "rules" that appear, superficially, neutral to justify their biased decisions, but never explain when these rules apply and when they suddenly do not. That's where bias comes in. It's bias, pure and simple, that dictates these decisions. The "rule" is selected as a post-hoc rationalization/justification for the bias. And that is why I contend that there should be a stylebook dictate demanding that party affiliation involving a politician or politico (that is, a political actor not holding office, like a fundraiser or pundit) mention the party affiliation of the subject in the first or second paragraph. Always. So that media liberals do not have the license to apply one rule, and then the other, and then none at all, depending on whether they wish to see the Republican Party punished or the Democratic Party protected. But because that rule takes away their ability to be biased, they refuse to include it, and in fact won't even explain why they won't add such a common-sense, bright-line, easily followed, no-arguments rule. Because they want to be biased. And they want to keep being biased. And they will resist any attempts to reduce their bias the same as a wild bronco resists a saddle. Oh, I Forgot Racism: Obviously a Democrat racist, such as former Kleagle Robert Byrd, who started his own KKK chapter (he didn't "merely" join), should be a highly relevant datum due to the hypocrisy rule. But of course it never is. A Democrat racist isn't a Democrat. He's just a man with bad thoughts. His bad thoughts are in no way relevant to the party as a whole.
Rule vs. Rationalization: A rule actually restrains and compels certain behavior. That's what a rule does -- it limits you from making one choice, dictates you take another. A rationalization is just something you say after you've made a decision with full freedom -- no restraint or dictate by a rule -- and want to offer a justification for that decision. The MFM calls these "rules." They are not. They are rationalizations only. The actual rule is that party affiliation of someone caught in corruption is always relevant in the case of a Republican and never relevant in the case of a Democrat. That is the actual rule. But they won't say that, of course. That is clearly biased. So instead it's this three-card-monte spot-the-queen hucksterism about this supposed "rule" or that alleged "rule," with the MFM not actually acting according to "rule" (which would dictate they note the partisanship of corrupt Democrats prominently), but according to partisan impulse, with a made-up after-the-fact rationalization to hide their bias. This has been a running joke on the the internet for years now -- the media has not even acknowledged it. They refuse to even write a single word about this. You see: It's so indefensible they refuse to even attempt defending it. They simply refuse to acknowledge it at all. If what you're doing is so indefensible that you truly have absolutely no defense and your only defense is arrogant silence -- you've got a problem on your hands. Don't you?
Comments(Jump to bottom of page)
1 Something else the media does that pisses me off, is that EVERY Republican is a Conservative Republican.
They did it with John McCain in 2008, and with every Republican in every scandal.
There are no moderate or liberal republicansin the media's eyes. Only Conservatives, and you and I know why this is. They want people to associate Conservatism with the Republican party and make them indistinguishable.
That way when the Republican party loses an election it is because of Conservatism, not because of liberal Republicans.
You always hear the phrase "Conservative Republican", but you never hear "Liberal Democrat" let alone "Democrat"
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 01:25 PM (wuv1c)
2 Republican caught in sex scandal = hypocrite
Democrat caught not paying taxes = a minor oversite
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 01:27 PM (wuv1c)
3 Out: Bias
In: Radical Activism
Posted by: wHodat at August 12, 2010 01:28 PM (+sBB4)
4 Ace, it would be very simple to implement by the media but they won't. I still can't believe that in over 300 stories on the Bell, CA scandal, only ONE mentioned the party affiliation. Naturally, being CA and in LA I assumed he was a Democrat though so I wasn't surprised.
Posted by: CDR M at August 12, 2010 01:29 PM (5I8G0)
5 Swear to God, I don't read any of their shit any more than I have to to get basic, if untrustworthy, information.
Posted by: huerfano at August 12, 2010 01:31 PM (6Z05k)
6 If you don't draw a jillion comments on this, ace, it's because you covered the whole damn thing brilliantly and there's nothing much else to say.
Posted by: MrScribbler at August 12, 2010 01:31 PM (Ulu3i)
Ace, you also wrote about another little trick the media plays. It was regarding a story about death threats during the Amnesty debate in '06, I think; there was a rash of it going on and it was almost overwhelmingly solely coming from the Left.
So what did the media do? Well they reported on the wave of death-threats...but cited only examples of Democrats receiving the death threats.
I think my recollection is off, but...
Posted by: instant grits at August 12, 2010 01:31 PM (uFokq)
8 They should add another rule. If you constantly use one party's ID in the lede, you should do it for other parties.
When you go to CNN or other webistes the hyper link will be one of two things.
"Republican caught blah blah blah"
"Tim Johnson caught blah blah blah"
When it is a republican, they don't use his name in the lead, they simply identify the party. When it is an democrat, they use the individuals name in the lede, banking on the fact that most people don't know who the guy is or what party he belongs too.
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 01:32 PM (wuv1c)
9 Ace, it doesn't even have to be true, as with the most obvious examples regarding
the Okhanitsa, creationism, embezzlement, et al, even the stories did happen, like with the wardrobe, some significant details were left out.
Posted by: dr. lizardo at August 12, 2010 01:32 PM (RjgZn)
10 They did it with John McCain in 2008, and with every Republican in every scandal.
Just one time I wanted to hear someone on a newscast say, "RINO presidential candidate, John McCain...."
Posted by: huerfano at August 12, 2010 01:33 PM (6Z05k)
11 Sadly, the "professional Left" (which I prefer as the term for the MSM now that Gibbsy coined it) long ago realized that to advance their political agendas they needed people stupid and angry. So they keep them that way.
Happily, their bottom lines are showing it, and a huge chunk of these people are about to be flushed out of the system. Tough to be an "elite" when you're stocking shelves at the Dollar Tree.
By all means we should keep exposing/mocking/fighting them, but for once time is on our side.
Posted by: Lincolntf at August 12, 2010 01:34 PM (BCzaE)
12 They did it with John McCain in 2008, and with every Republican in every scandal.Just one time I wanted to hear someone on a newscast say, "RINO presidential candidate, John McCain...."
me as well. I was pissed when people were saying conservatism lost in 2008, because McCain = Republican and Republican = Conservatism.
We ran a Frum/Brooks moderate and got slaughtered. But you wouldn't know that from the media.
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 01:35 PM (wuv1c)
13 >>>If you don't draw a jillion comments on this, ace, it's because you covered the whole damn thing brilliantly and there's nothing much else to say.
Thank you, MrScribbler. Obviously I appreciate the kind words.
Posted by: ace at August 12, 2010 01:36 PM (QbA6l)
14 OT, but I feel the need to point out that Matt Welch is a dbag.
Hat tip: Instapundit
Posted by: anka machines at August 12, 2010 01:36 PM (s7I0E)
Think about it.
Barney Frank has had gay prostitution rings run out of his apartments.
But is he a hypocrite?
No, because in the eyes of the gender neutral unbiased marvelous left, gay orgies and prostitution rings are where we should be, as a society. Every kid should be gay, every kid should be doing drugs and just being free, whee!
They are so perverted and corrupted by their childish rebellion they don't quite know who they are anymore...as a rule, they are not really human any longer, just reactionary piles of goo.
Posted by: Rev Dr James Caan at August 12, 2010 01:37 PM (tcSZb)
16 You always hear the phrase "Conservative Republican", but you never hear "Liberal Democrat" let alone "Democrat"
No. The only time I can recall hearing liberal wasinpainting Kennedy as a pillar of strength a la the 'liberal lion'.
Posted by: laceyunderalls at August 12, 2010 01:37 PM (pLTLS)
Swear to God, I don't read any of their shit any more than I have to to get basic, if untrustworthy, information.
Ditto, I only buy the paper if it has a funny misprint on the front page above the fold, and I listen to NPR on the way to work only because they almost always say something hilariously stoopid during my 4 minute drive.
Posted by: John Galt at August 12, 2010 01:37 PM (F/4zf)
18 OT, but I feel the need to point out that Matt Welch is a dbag. Hat tip: Instapundit
in reference to what story?
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 01:38 PM (wuv1c)
19 don't forget tghe Stupak doduble standard ... when he was a No on Obamacare he was flooded with hate calls and emails ... No reporting ...
When he flipped to Yes the MSM was all over any hate mail or calls he got ...
Posted by: Jeff at August 12, 2010 01:39 PM (A3tpD)
20 Very nice post.
Posted by: Dr. Spank at August 12, 2010 01:39 PM (xO+6C)
Posted by: w at August 12, 2010 01:39 PM (yxWkt)
22 7: kinda like the fake claims of death threats and racist taunts against Black Dems in March during Obamacare.
Also, the Bell, CA deal reminds me of when Today/NBC interviewed Kwame Kilpatrick in 2008, and the words under him read "Mayor of Detroit", with no party name. And, to boot, the "mayor" bit was centered, suggesting NBC did that on purpose.
Posted by: eddiebear at August 12, 2010 01:39 PM (AJhAm)
23 I am always amused when the collective media loudly trumpets the misdeeds of Republican politicians but when a Democrat is involved, party affiliation is seldom mentioned if at all.
Posted by: Jerry in Detroit at August 12, 2010 01:39 PM (9fZYP)
24 AbuBlahBlah is an illegal immigrant on a killing spree? Uhoh, how will that be covered?
Posted by: wHodat at August 12, 2010 01:39 PM (+sBB4)
25 Is it not the case, therefore, that if hypocrisy dictates that party affiliation is intensely relevant as regards a sex scandal involving a Republican, then hypocrisy should dictate that in a scandal involving a Democrat taking money from big business that the Democrat's party affiliation should be similarly intensely relevant?
I should mention tax cheating as well. There is nothing more hypocritical in policis than a Democrat avoiding or evading taxes. Nothing. Pat Robertson caught in a homosexual orgy would be less hypocritical than a liberal Democrat not paying his taxes.
What stands out about the party affiliation thing is that it is so objective and so easily fixable and yet the media refuses to do it.
Posted by: AmishDude at August 12, 2010 01:40 PM (RgyHa)
26 I am teh decider.Ace is a friggin genius.That is all
Posted by: w at August 12, 2010 01:41 PM (yxWkt)
27 Solidpiece Ace. If only Newsweek could have print shit like this, it probably would have sold for more than a buck.
Posted by: Cicero at August 12, 2010 01:41 PM (QKKT0)
28 Matt Welch is a dbag.
Yes, but what has he done now??
Posted by: John Galt at August 12, 2010 01:42 PM (F/4zf)
29 Just one time I wanted to hear someone on a newscast say, "RINO presidential candidate, John McCain...."
Posted by: huerfano at August 12, 2010 01:33 PM
Yeah. As soon as some lib media whore puts "left-wing racist Osama Obama...." in their lede....
McCain means nothing now. Harping on him now is like the Traitor-in-Chief pinning all the blame for his own disasters on Boosh.
(Okay, ace. I lied. We can always find some way to add lots o' comments. It's what we do.)
Posted by: MrScribbler at August 12, 2010 01:42 PM (Ulu3i)
30 Bravo. These pieces are why Ace of Spades is truly a must read.
(and by "these pieces", I mean the stuff Ace writes after the 72 hour period it takes a hobo & valu-rite speedball too get out of his bloodstream)
Posted by: FreakyBoy at August 12, 2010 01:42 PM (uKraB)
31 Reminds me of Gary Condit, a California DEMOCRAT, who was having an affair with an intern, Chandra Levy, at about the time she disappeared in 2001 (she was later discovered murdered, not by Condit, although he was a suspect that summer). This was a huge story during the summer of 2001 whichvanished after 9-11.
During that summer of turmoil for him, Condit was often referred to in the news as Gary Condit (R., California) because don't you see? His RESIDENCE was in California. Look it up.
Posted by: RM at August 12, 2010 01:42 PM (GkYyh)
32 The fact that they covered John Kerry's tax dodging Yacht can be seen as a step forward for the media.
or it can be seen as belated revenge at the asshole who couldn't beat Bush in 2004 despite all the media's help.
Anyone rememeber the 300 tons of explosives missing in Iraq the week before the election that was given non stop coverage as Bush's mismanagment of the war, only to never be spoken of again on November 3
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 01:42 PM (wuv1c)
33 Two thoughts: One, I wish that American media would stop the pretense of objectivity and just be all balls to the wall partisan like the British papers. It's more honest. Two, American political sex scandals, by and large, are so so lame. At least the ones in the UK have a better than even chance of involving autoerotic asphyxiation, cross dressing, midgets, etc., etc.
Posted by: alexthechick at August 12, 2010 01:43 PM (eRjGt)
Hypocrites. You Reich Ringers claim family values and the moral high ground and you always come up short of your beliefs.
We.... on the other hand.... have no beliefs, have no morals, have no standards so THOSE rules do not apply.
Posted by: Typical Liberal at August 12, 2010 01:44 PM (J5Hcw)
35 The Connecticut media is all over the money aspect the day after McMahon won the primary. Multiple stories about her "buying" the primary, the need to reform public election funding so only "public" money is used, she is as fake as the wrestling she used to promote, etc. And strangely,there has been barley a peepabout Dodd and his illegal out of country fund raising, just a couple of back page stories, hmmm.
Posted by: Johnnyreb at August 12, 2010 01:44 PM (cqZXM)
36 At least the ones in the UK have a better than even chance of involving autoerotic asphyxiation, cross dressing, midgets, etc., etc.
David Carradine could teach our politicians a thing or too.
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 01:44 PM (wuv1c)
37 The Connecticut media is all over the money aspect the day after McMahon won the primary. Multiple stories about her "buying" the primary, the need to reform public election funding so only "public" money is used, she is as fake as the wrestling she used to promote, etc. And strangely,there has been barley a peepabout Dodd and his illegal out of country fund raising, just a couple of back page stories, hmmm.
If i am not mistaken, 8 of the top 10 richest people in congress are Democrats
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 01:45 PM (wuv1c)
38 There is only one fair and it is spelled Democrat. Once you realize this truth, you'll sleep better.
Posted by: WalrusRex at August 12, 2010 01:46 PM (xxgag)
39 Posted by: alexthechick
Don't despair, I'm seriously mulling a run for the House in 2012....
Posted by: I'm Marv Albert and I approve this message at August 12, 2010 01:46 PM (BCzaE)
40 What Democrat has ever publicly opposed 'family values'? Clinton never claimed that what he did was*okay*.
Posted by: Lance McCormick at August 12, 2010 01:46 PM (bp264)
When he flipped to Yes the MSM was all over any hate mail or calls he got ...
Even if they had to send them themselves.
Posted by: Dang Straights at August 12, 2010 01:46 PM (fx8sm)
42 We.... on the other hand.... have no beliefs, have no morals, have no standards so THOSE rules do not apply.
I've actually heard that advanced as a legitimate argument.
Seriously, how the hell hard is it to have a stylebook rule that any mention of a politician should have his party affiliation in the headline/link and in the first or second paragraph of the article.
Posted by: alexthechick at August 12, 2010 01:46 PM (eRjGt)
43 >>>I should mention tax cheating as well. There is nothing more hypocritical in policis than a Democrat avoiding or evading taxes. Nothing. Pat Robertson caught in a homosexual orgy would be less hypocritical than a liberal Democrat not paying his taxes.
Actually the two "rules" taken together means that the partisan affiliation of EVERY bad actor should be prominently mentioned. IF you were actually interested in applying the supposed "rules."
But the media isn't. So they continue to headline articles "Republican Caught in Gay-Sex Rap" and of course "City Manager of No Apparent Party Affiliation Stealing Millions from Poor Citizens."
Posted by: ace at August 12, 2010 01:47 PM (QbA6l)
44 Posted by: alexthechick at August 12, 2010 01:43 PM
At least the complete range of Brit papers includes a few with conservative views to balance out the far-left commie rags.
And most of 'em have lots o' hawt babes and scandals regardless of political bias, which make it easier to find something worth reading about.
Posted by: MrScribbler at August 12, 2010 01:47 PM (Ulu3i)
45 I have wanted to write this post for like two years but it always seemed too long, so I never bothered... I am glad I finally got it out.
Posted by: ace at August 12, 2010 01:48 PM (QbA6l)
What Democrat has ever publicly opposed 'family values'? Clinton never claimed that what he did was*okay*.
Posted by: instant grits at August 12, 2010 01:49 PM (uFokq)
47 More brillianter. Good work.
Posted by: Emperor of Icecream at August 12, 2010 01:49 PM (epBek)
48 32: ahh..alQaqaa. I remember it well.
I always believed that after 2004, the MFM vowed never to get beaten again, which explained their absolutely shitty coverage of Iraq, 2005-8, Katrina, Abramoff, Foley, Palin, etc. They were not going to hold back ever again, and if they got "their" people elected, they could always mau mau themselves after the fact, safe in the knowledge that they helped get Democrats in the House, Senate White House.
Posted by: eddiebear at August 12, 2010 01:49 PM (AJhAm)
49 Abuelazam worked at the Piedmont Behavioral Health Center, now called
Northridge Behaviorial Healthcare, in Leesburg in the mid-2000s.
Posted by: wHodat at August 12, 2010 01:49 PM (+sBB4)
Barney cocksuckign Frank was the only one to vote against Melanie's Law, or whatever it's called.
Why? Because the punishment to pedophiles was too severe, in his judgement.
Posted by: instant grits at August 12, 2010 01:50 PM (uFokq)
51 And most of 'em have lots o' hawt babes and scandals regardless of
political bias, which make it easier to find something worth reading
Oh yes, I should have added three, Page Three girls. I rest my case for the UK tabs being better. For certain values of better.
Posted by: alexthechick at August 12, 2010 01:50 PM (eRjGt)
52 24 AbuBlahBlah is an illegal immigrant on a killing spree?
So we know he is muslim, illegally in the country, and a citizen of Israel. Wonder which of these facts will make the headline of the story? I'mgonna show offmy analysis capabilities, recentlyacquired at the Dan Schorr Memorial School of Journalistical Nuance and Narrative:
muslim - 0% chance
illegal - 0% chance
Israeli - 100% chance
Posted by: sherlock at August 12, 2010 01:51 PM (xqzGc)
53 Did anyone see that report on Instapundit about the local TV reporter who was suspended/fired for mentioning during a report that Obama received the most BP money in donations than any politician in history?
make sure you watch the report. When i saw it, i thought, that is what journalism should be. Facts, regardless of who they hurt or help.
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 01:51 PM (wuv1c)
54 I understand where you're coming from with the style rule book thing Ace, but it isn't going to happen. You're essentially trying to demand fairness from the propaganda arm of the Nazi party. Seems like we're headed to a bad place nationally but when the dust settles I'll nominate you to help write the new manual of style reporters use.
Posted by: ChicagoJedi at August 12, 2010 01:51 PM (WZFkG)
55 Hey - remember me? I was all over the news in the 80s, took a hiatus in the 90s, back with a vengeance in 2000, but no one's seen or heard of me since 2008.
Maybe I'll get some play circa November/December 2010?
Posted by: Homeless Guy at August 12, 2010 01:51 PM (r1OG3)
56 I've never seen an industry that constantly insults half of it's potential customers.
Posted by: Dr. Spank at August 12, 2010 01:53 PM (xO+6C)
57 I've never seen an industry that constantly insults half of it's potential customers.
Posted by: alexthechick at August 12, 2010 01:54 PM (eRjGt)
58 Democrats won't be hypocrites on sexual matters when they introduce their wives and candidly state to the public that they reserve the right to fuck other women as the opportunity arises.
Otherwise, there's sort of an implicit representation of fidelity between married people, and if you make your "wonderful supportive wife and kids" a crutch to your campaign, we ought to know that you're fucking the crazy hippie-dippy documentary director filming your "Two Americas" campaign.
Posted by: Alec Leamas at August 12, 2010 01:54 PM (r1OG3)
59 Abublahblah worked in psych facility with 30 beds
Posted by: wHodat at August 12, 2010 01:54 PM (+sBB4)
60 This is a dedicated post.
But I have to say I quit caring about this so long ago I can't even remember the last time I was outraged.
I don't read the rags anymore, more power to people that have the stomach for it. I haven't watched 'the nightly news' in over a decade.
The only time I plan to turn on anything other than Fox this year is on a very special evening in November when I hope to witness what can only be described as the [figurative] recreation of Jonestown on MSNBC.
Posted by: laceyunderalls at August 12, 2010 01:55 PM (pLTLS)
61 I've never seen an industry that constantly insults half of it's potential customers.
Posted by: Dr. Spank at August 12, 2010 01:53 PM
More than 1/2 IMHO.
Posted by: Truck Monkey at August 12, 2010 01:55 PM (yQWNf)
62 I've never seen an industry that constantly insults half of it's potential customers.
Advertisers and "newsmakers" are media's customers. You're its product.
Posted by: oblig. at August 12, 2010 01:55 PM (x7Ao8)
63 I really liked your post that explained that the MFM always tells the story from the point of view of Liberal Democrats. That they are the protagonists of the narrative, mainly because that's who they are.
Posted by: toby928 at August 12, 2010 01:55 PM (S5YRY)
Posted by: Nantucket Sound Windfarm at August 12, 2010 01:56 PM (r1OG3)
65 Don't forget Al Gore's super mansion and super yacht.
But he is saving the world.
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 01:58 PM (wuv1c)
66 It seems 2/3 of the press is just releases rom this or another Fenton/Soros client or just lies, smear, et al, the hubbub over a prank at Baylor twenty five years ago, that came out of GQ, a subtle but rotten piece of agitprop, they occasionally showcase
Democratic dissenters but only the irretreavably crazy like Massa
Posted by: dr. lizardo at August 12, 2010 01:58 PM (RjgZn)
67 Oh and ace, I think this actually fits into the preference cascade idea as well. People notice this crap but either don't want to say anything or are like lacey, and most of us as well probably, and are at the sigh and eyeroll stage of acceptance. It's when someone comes along and points out, hey, this is bullshit that the silent majority stands up and begins to push back as well.
Think of it as the Emperor's New Clothes of MFM hatred.
Posted by: alexthechick at August 12, 2010 01:58 PM (eRjGt)
68 November headline examples: Unexpectedly, a series of narrow Republican victories has slowed Obama's progress on the mandate for change the American people bestowed upon him in the last "Presidential" election.
Posted by: Jean at August 12, 2010 01:59 PM (WkuV6)
69 Besides Hollywood, I've never seen an industry that constantly insults half of it's potential customers.
Posted by: Dr. Spank at August 12, 2010 01:59 PM (xO+6C)
70 Another rule is that any think-tank or other such "non-partisan" group is always identified as "right wing" or "conservative" when it is quoted in an article if it leans to the right.
If a similar left-leaning organization is quoted, it is usually reported as a "public policy group" or "watchdog group" orin some other neutral manner.
Posted by: Monkeytoe at August 12, 2010 02:00 PM (sOx93)
71 And then there is the way of saying the news different ways for different parties.
40% of the U.S. strongly approve of how Mr. Obama is running the country.
60% of the U.S. strongly disapprove of how Bush is running the country.
The numbers of approval are the same, but the message is different.
Posted by: chillin' the most at August 12, 2010 02:00 PM (6IV8T)
72 If a similar left-leaning organization is quoted, it is usually reported
as a "public policy group" or "watchdog group" orin some other neutral
Ohhh good point, like how the Center for Science in the Public Interest is presented as if it's some type of public agency.
Posted by: alexthechick at August 12, 2010 02:01 PM (eRjGt)
yeah, that kills me.
Media Matters is often sited as a "Media Watchdog" Group
And if you recall, i think Ace had a post, on how Politifacts, a so-called non partisan group, clearly was partisan in their analysis
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 02:01 PM (wuv1c)
74 What about CNN and MSNBC running fake Limbaugh quotes when he tried to buy the Rams? Wasn't their excuse oh we didn't fact check that, when you know damn well if someone on the inernet quoted Obama as saying "the guy who shot Reagan should be given a medal" they woulda fact checked the shit outa it until it lied spent in bed sweating with an ice pack on its cooch. But whatever, conservative=racist so let's run with that shit no fact checking required.
Posted by: Mr Pink at August 12, 2010 02:02 PM (gaSLG)
75 I remember when every person that a Presidential candidate had ever shaken hands with was "fair game," until it became an underhanded game of "guilt by association" circa 2008.
Posted by: Alec Leamas at August 12, 2010 02:03 PM (r1OG3)
76 You never write me anymore...
Posted by: "Pink Slips" at August 12, 2010 02:03 PM (xqzGc)
77 I wonder if they do it--for the most part--reflexively, out of a "working memory overload." In that case, they simply can't see the contradictory story line. IOW, when viewing the problem, the story, from one direction, they actually cannot conceive of thestoryline from the competing, contradictory other direction.
Reminds me of "splitting." When in one state, a person cannot envisage viewing a problem, usually a person, in another way. They're either all good or all bad, depending on the mood. It also reminds me of dissociation, where completely different mental states ("alters" or "personalities") sit in the driver's seat depending upon the state of mind of the person. All this is to say that sometimes when people adopt one state of mind(or way of viewing things--an opinion)as opposd to another they're working with "a different mind." The mindis rewired; it's adifferent mind. The architecture is different. Thus, they can't conceive ofan inconsistent, opposingstate of mind--and the contradictory, opposing view. They're not the same exact person from one viewpoint to another.
In a more healthy or intelligent mind, there is no working memory overload, and contradictory opinions can be integrated and reconciled.Note,working memory overload would involve intelligence, whereas the splitting and dissociation stuff pushes more toward pathology.
Posted by: rdbrewer at August 12, 2010 02:03 PM (Adi4S)
78 JetBlue workers insult 100% of its customers
Posted by: wHodat at August 12, 2010 02:03 PM (+sBB4)
79 What about CNN and MSNBC running fake Limbaugh quotes when he tried to buy the Rams? Wasn't their excuse oh we didn't fact check that
Even worse, i remember watching MSNBC and they showed the quote on David Shusters old show(what ever happened to him?).
The quote was attributed to James Farrior on the tv screen, Middle Line Backer for the Steelers, not Rush Limbaugh. So they took a middle line backer's paraphrase of a fake Rushquote as worthy to air.
Posted by: Ben at August 12, 2010 02:05 PM (wuv1c)
80 Ace, nice addendum to the original post, btw. My state of mind tells me I like it a lot.
Posted by: rdbrewer at August 12, 2010 02:05 PM (Adi4S)
81 Ace's post is about dishonest dbags in th media.
Read Matt's post on the death of neoliberalism and spot the sleazy little lies mixed in with what is for the most part a pretty good libertarian rant.
Because really, at some point fiscally responsible Democrats (hey Tip O'neil, how you doin') like Bill Clinton were pushed aside because they acted too much like Republicans. Poor Bill Clinton, persecuted because of sex related crimes.
The reference to the Gray Davis and the California parole board is also quite amusing.
And, our current fiscal nightmare shall be called the Bush-Obama fiasco because everything is at least in some way Bush's fault.
I may be over sensitive, Value Rite hangover and all, but I still wanna wrap the bastich in hobo skins and roll him into a ravine.
Posted by: anka machines at August 12, 2010 02:06 PM (s7I0E)
82 (what ever happened to him?).
Officially? Who knows.
He went to tape a show with that lunatic on CNN (Roland Somethingorother) and they went bananas over at the psych ward of MSNBC. Probably gave him the boot for breach of a restrictive covenant is by best guestimation.
Posted by: laceyunderalls at August 12, 2010 02:08 PM (pLTLS)
83 Fuck, Ace - "Global Climate Change" was sort of an afterthought when Al Gore was, you know - Vice President of the United States - but after losing in 2000 he became a secular prophet predicting the end of civilization, and "Global Climate Change" was inflated into one of the most pressing and important issues with which to beat W.
Posted by: Alec Leamas at August 12, 2010 02:08 PM (r1OG3)
84 The reporter's knee-jerk selection of "neutral story line" is reminiscent of theunionteacher who confronted Cristie. In one moment, she was all about the money money money. In another moment, she was a teacher becauseit was all about dedication and the love love love ofteaching. She couldn't integrate the two opposing, conradictory states of mind. The contradiction didn't existfor her. In one state of mind, she couldn't seethe other.
Posted by: rdbrewer at August 12, 2010 02:09 PM (Adi4S)
85 Another interesting thing is that the press is actually dutifully reporting that had not Barky Oblahblah been in place the current odious situation would have been much worse. Comparing something concrete to nothing at all. Like Barky 'saving' or 'creating' 3 million jobs.
Posted by: Truck Monkey at August 12, 2010 02:09 PM (yQWNf)
86 For hippies in Aspen, it was all about the love of nature and commonality of resources. Until they got rich. Love of nature as long as you don't cut into my cash or come onto my property. But I'm still all about nature, man.
Posted by: rdbrewer at August 12, 2010 02:11 PM (Adi4S)
87 Joe Biden = relatable regular guy who speaks plainly.
Sarah Palin = benighted, ignorant prole not worthy of the office.
Posted by: Alec Leamas at August 12, 2010 02:12 PM (r1OG3)
88 they woulda fact checked the shit outa it until it lied spent in bed sweating with an ice pack on its cooch.
That's poetry right there.
Posted by: toby928 at August 12, 2010 02:13 PM (S5YRY)
Posted by: IllTemperedCur at August 12, 2010 02:14 PM (P9+0W)
90 Hipocrisy should be listed in the next DSM as a disease having to do with failure to integrate opposing views and interests.
OTOH, there are many who do it all deliberately.
Posted by: rdbrewer at August 12, 2010 02:14 PM (Adi4S)
91 Any Conservative candidate's receipt of support from the Tea Party = flirting with a beer hall putsch.
Hanging out with Bill Ayres = underhanded guilt by association, and even so he's a 'respected professor of education' so nothing to see here.
Posted by: Alec Leamas at August 12, 2010 02:16 PM (r1OG3)
92 Uberdouche Mark Levine mentioned oxycontin and Rush Limabaugh in the same sentence again. So predictable.
Posted by: huerfano at August 12, 2010 02:16 PM (6Z05k)
93 So, I wonder if the majority of newspeople do it deliberately or reflexively. Maybe the motivating factor is what they believe to be right. And "what is right" ostensibly depends upon subjective considerations in the moment. Objectively, what is right always happens to help Democrats.
Posted by: rdbrewer at August 12, 2010 02:17 PM (Adi4S)
94 Any rule that attempts to interfere with the media's mission to "change the world" or "make a difference", as they see it, is to be discarded, or never considered in the 1st place. Newsweek killed the Lewinsky story, one of the biggest stories of Clinton's presidency, because it would hurt someone doing the right things, or close to the right things, in their eyes. It's ridiculous.
Posted by: Dr. Spank at August 12, 2010 02:20 PM (xO+6C)
95 Hey ace, any time you think a post might be too long, screw it. Sit down, write it, and give it to us. This was a great post, with a lot of insight, and great examples.
Then again, maybe it has to percolate for a while, to really get a good edge to it. Whatever way works. Impressive post!
I wonder what the reaction of @mattyglesias, @ggreenwald, @adamserwer, or whatever Ezra Klein goes by would be to this article.
Posted by: Jay in Ames at August 12, 2010 02:23 PM (UEEex)
96 I suspect most of these "neutral story line" contradictions are chosen for ostensibly "good reasons"in the moment.For the most part,they aren't doing it deliberately--to be evil and subjective and machiavellian. Theyjust think they'redoing the right thing from moment to moment, even though in one moment "what is right" is exactly opposite of what is right in another essentially identical moment.
Anyway, I don't wanna threadjack away from Ace's post too much.Maybe lesscoffee.
Posted by: rdbrewer at August 12, 2010 02:27 PM (Adi4S)
97 Hey, Instapundit linked ya Ace!
Posted by: ArandomPerson at August 12, 2010 02:28 PM (MSMPS)
98 I don't know.
I had three glasses of wine at lunch and this sounds right.
But, I am sort of neutral on the subject.
Get back with you after my nap.
Posted by: Kemp at August 12, 2010 02:29 PM (2+9Yx)
99 I believe it's intentional. The media have heard these complaints for years and continue to do the same thing. As Ace said, they have no defense for it so they remain silent.
Posted by: Dr. Spank at August 12, 2010 02:31 PM (xO+6C)
100 Instapundit says "rare long form essay" from Ace. They're not that rare.
I think what he meant was "rare post." Yeah, that's it.
Posted by: rdbrewer at August 12, 2010 02:35 PM (Adi4S)
101 55 I understand where you're coming from with the style rule book thing Ace, but it isn't going to happen. You're essentially trying to demand fairness from the propaganda arm of the Nazi party. Seems like we're headed to a bad place nationally but when the dust settles I'll nominate you to help write the new manual of style reporters use.
Posted by: ChicagoJedi at August 12, 2010 01:51 PM (WZFkG)
I don't think ace expects it to actually change and begin applying a template to reporting of scandals. Should there be one? Yes. Is there currently one? No. Will there ever be one? Not while the media is a part of the Democratic Party.
Does that mean that it should not be written about and pointed out? Oh Hell NO.
Posted by: buzzion at August 12, 2010 02:37 PM (oVQFe)
102 Every scandal story posted in an online news outlet which lacks party affiliation should have a comment left asking for the missing detail.
Think about what the reaction would have been if an online article about Bell city salaries had 100 comments left to the effect of "What party are these employees? You didn't say in the article, and I'm curious..."
Posted by: reason at August 12, 2010 02:37 PM (XiVKO)
103 Toby and rdbrewer have to be the same person posting under two different names.
The odds are astronomical that there could be two people posting here at the same time who exhibit that same, um, "pathology". Too funny.
Posted by: A. Troll at August 12, 2010 02:37 PM (sYrWB)
104 It is definately intentional. For fuck sake how many "reporters" have to leave their jobs and immediately get picked up by Dem campaigns or Dem think tanks at posh salaries for people to admit it?
Dem congressman's retirement gift for a good job=lobbysit gig paying 6 figures
Journalist retirement gig for good propaganda=job at a think tank making 6 figures
Posted by: Mr Pink at August 12, 2010 02:37 PM (gaSLG)
105 I remember that George Clooney movie from a few years ago about the McCarthy hearings and Edward R. Murrow (Good Night and Good Luck).
The news guys were all sitting around talking about how troubled they were by what was going on and how they were supposed to be reporting it. One of them said something along the lines of 'Why should we always have to report both sides of every issue? Sometimes there aren't two sides."
That to me kind of says it all. They truly do not believe there are two sides. If you are a liberal you are right, by definition. If you stand in opposition to their views, you are not mrely wrong, you are most likely evil; at best you are ignorant.
Posted by: RM at August 12, 2010 02:38 PM (GkYyh)
106 Troll, get over it already, you dumb asshole.
Posted by: rdbrewer at August 12, 2010 02:38 PM (Adi4S)
107 And that is why I contend that there should be a stylebook dictate
demanding that party affiliation involving a politician or politico
(that is, a political actor not holding office, like a fundraiser or
pundit) mention the party affiliation of the subject in the first or
second paragraph. Always.
Posted by: Horatius at August 12, 2010 02:41 PM (dNSVq)
108 100 I believe it's intentional. The media have heard these complaints for years and continue to do the same thing. As Ace said, they have no defense for it so they remain silent.
Posted by: Dr. Spank at August 12, 2010 02:31 PM (xO+6C)
And they basically know everyone realizes it, especially the critics, so they're likely to become, if they haven't already, more blatant in their usage of it. And I think that is one of the reasons you have those 300 to 1 articles for not mentioning the party affiliation.
Posted by: buzzion at August 12, 2010 02:41 PM (oVQFe)
109 Post's like this are the reason the AofSHQ is my homepage.
Posted by: Mark in Spokane at August 12, 2010 02:41 PM (Nmyyl)
110 Don't forget that every Republican running for office is the "most extreme candidate ever". Forgetting that a real conservative hasn't been the nominee since 84. Even McCain was dubbed this. While the Dems have put up their most liberal candidates in 84, 88, 04, 08. Yet they get called "moderates".
Posted by: MrCaniac at August 12, 2010 02:44 PM (Vol3D)
111 111 Don't forget that every Republican running for office is the "most extreme candidate ever". Forgetting that a real conservative hasn't been the nominee since 84. Even McCain was dubbed this. While the Dems have put up their most liberal candidates in 84, 88, 04, 08. Yet they get called "moderates".
Posted by: MrCaniac at August 12, 2010 02:44 PM (Vol3D)
Well when you consider what the journalists want in the world, those dems do qualify as moderate because they aren't enough to the left to them. You'd need Stalinto run before they'd start referring to a Dem as liberal.
Posted by: buzzion at August 12, 2010 02:47 PM (oVQFe)
112 Remember the postal worker/census guy that was hung by evil tea-partiers and also wrote 'GOV' on his shirt? Oh yeah, he committed suicide. MFM seriously fucked that one up.
Posted by: Schwalbe at August 12, 2010 02:47 PM (UU0OF)
113 What is needed is either a new major journalistic enterprise that only
covers journalism, or which the coverage of such is a major part of the
If I ever have money perhaps I'll start such a thing.
Posted by: Horatius at August 12, 2010 02:53 PM (dNSVq)
114 People with functional brains don't call us the MFM for nothing you know.
Posted by: The MFM with Special Emphasis on the MF at August 12, 2010 02:55 PM (swuwV)
115 114 What is needed is either a new major journalistic enterprise that only covers journalism, or which the coverage of such is a major part of the content. If I ever have money perhaps I'll start such a thing.
Posted by: Horatius at August 12, 2010 02:53 PM (dNSVq)
Um Horatius? Big Journalism.
Posted by: buzzion at August 12, 2010 02:55 PM (oVQFe)
116 The biased, approaching propagandistic, non-attribution of Democrat sin is just a continuation of their indoctrinated practice of sins of omission in news. The MFM is sooo beyond salvage that to partake in its product is to make oneself more ignorant than when one started. What's more, the MFM knows it as you, Ace, well described in their failure to even debate what should be a rage-inducing point.
The free market is also making them obsolete and bankrupt one story, one offense at a time. You can bet they'll do anything in their power to make that market less free as time goes on and they continue to bleed... because, um, they're looking out for the public.
Posted by: AnonymousDrivel at August 12, 2010 03:07 PM (swuwV)
117 In today's Providence Journal:
Story headline "Rostenkowski, congressman sent to prison, dies" -- a AP story eleven paragraphs long, no mention is ever made of Rostenkowski's political affiliation. However, it does say that "In 2000, President Bill Clinton pardoned Rostenkowski. Two prominent Republicans, former President Gerald R. Ford and former House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel, were among those urging the pardon." The only party affiliation mentioned is that of two Republicans who urged a pardon. So Rostenkowski must be a Republican, right? After all, he was corrupt so he couldn't possibly be a Democrat.
Story headline: "Blagojevich jurors may be deadlined" -- six paragraphs and not a single hint as to which political party Blagojevich belongs.
Posted by: Jim at August 12, 2010 03:08 PM (sE+B5)
118 Re: 116.
I was aware. Single targets can be picked off. Multiples are harder.
Plus blogs do not yet have the prestige needed.
Posted by: Horatius at August 12, 2010 03:08 PM (dNSVq)
119 I wonder what the reaction of @mattyglesias, @ggreenwald, @adamserwer, or whatever Ezra Klein goes by would be to this article.
To all write nearly-identical articles calling Karl Rove a racist.
Posted by: VJay at August 12, 2010 03:16 PM (gQ+XA)
120 Plus keep this in mind: To those so far out on the left wing, everything looks right wing, because of their perspective.
Posted by: Jay in Ames at August 12, 2010 03:16 PM (UEEex)
121 Yes, they have destroyed their own credibility, even among Democrats and rendered the first amendment irrelevant.
They are now hitting the occasional negative story on Bammy, noting big but still occasional. After all, there is an election coming up and if you have lost all credibility you can't influence it.
Posted by: Vic at August 12, 2010 03:43 PM (/jbAw)
122 re: Ben at comment number 1:
you said a mouthful. my running joke during the 2008 campaign was that i was old enough to remember when democrats LIKED mccain.
But he was opposed to The One so of course they had to bury him in the basement.
Posted by: Aaron Worthing at August 12, 2010 03:46 PM (343LO)
123 I never understood how the Republicans get tarred with hypocrisy for adultery by the media while Dem adultery is apparently non-hypocritical. Are the Dems really pro-adultery?
Posted by: East Bay Jay at August 12, 2010 04:09 PM (ocHBO)
124 I always like to point out the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect.
"Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well... You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backwardóreversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them."In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know."
Posted by: Dr. Varno at August 12, 2010 04:15 PM (QMtmy)
125 I think the "rule" that should be used by readers of political corruption stories is that corrupt politicians are most-likely Democrat and rarely Republican. No mention of party affiliation is necessary in the default case. We just know when party affiliation is omitted that the fellow is a Democrat. It goes without saying that crooked politicians are Democrats most of the time.
Every time a news outlet fail to identify party affiliation, we should recite the line of reasoning above and the implication that the news outlet is acting accordingly.
All we have to do is push THIS MEME and the jig will be up.
Posted by: Steve Poling at August 12, 2010 04:17 PM (hnq5i)
126 "The reason any conservative's failing is always major news is that it allows liberals to engage in their very favorite taunt: Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy is the only sin thatreally inflames them. Inasmuch as liberals have no morals, they can sit back andcriticize other people for failing to meet the standards that liberals simply renounce.It's an intriguing strategy. By openly admitting to being philanderers, draft dodgers, liars, weasels and cowards, liberals avoid ever being hypocrites."-Ann Coulter
Posted by: Lazarus Long at August 12, 2010 04:41 PM (8edQv)
127 24 AbuBlahBlah is an illegal immigrant on a killing spree? Uhoh, how will that be covered?
AbuBlahBlah is an Asian, didn't you know?I love how they throw all of Asia under the bus because they can't bring themself to say Middle Eastern Arab Muslim.
Posted by: madamex at August 12, 2010 04:44 PM (z906I)
128 I don't know if it has been mentioned yet, and I'm late to this clambake, but this bias also pertains to the House flaunting its considerable power to abuse the rules and regs allowing this debate or that vote to come to the floor.
That's not even mentioning the use of reconciliation between the houses on the health care bill.
Posted by: flashbazzbo, s.e. at August 12, 2010 04:58 PM (i0rVe)
129 Newsbusters.org has been noting the "Name that Party" game for all five years they've been in business. I think it's about 3,743,235 to 7 in favor of democrats so far.
Posted by: geokstr at August 12, 2010 05:14 PM (c5rz/)
130 Hypocracy is a sin, not a crime. So are the Lamestreams pushing for a theocracy?
Plus they misunderstand hypocracy. If I say you should not lay down with whores because it is bad, but I do, then I am a failure. Not a hypocrite.
If I say laying with whores is bad, but you say it is not, then when I do lay with whores and you say it is bad then you are the hypocrite, not I. I am still the same old failure.
Posted by: Lorenzo Poe at August 12, 2010 06:58 PM (KwOlQ)
There's a couple more"rules" you haven't noted.I have heard them stated in many instances of pointed discussion about media biaswith several life-long friends in the MSM.
The first: for a "beat" reporter, no party ID is called for, since everyone who follows the beat already knows the culprit's party. I call this rule the "AP Rule", since AP conveniently assigns nearly all its reporters to such beats. The rule, in effect, extends to nearly every newspaper in America, i.e., those that pick up AP feeds and run them intact, without party ID. For the papers, it'san enstoppel against any bias accusation.
The second rule: when scandal elevates a story to national importance, party ID is required.
Both are effective: logical and succinct,acomprehensive and rhetorically satisfying defense against an accusation of bias. Enough said.
But, again,the bias is in selective application.Where APleaves party ID out in a scandalous Democrat story,it's because the first ruleapplies and the second rule was based on a close judgment call.But when scandal hits a Republican, all the papers can ADD party ID,even where AP might not, because rule onedoes not really apply to them, since it's not their "beat", and the second rule becomes more of an absolute.
Posted by: JPlunket at August 12, 2010 07:20 PM (Wa2Um)
132 ref # 31
Reminds me of Gary Condit, a California DEMOCRAT
After reading this story by Ace I too was thinking about Gary Condit...
1) Whenstories about Condit first came out what I remember reading was that he was a conservative CA congressman; his party was seldommentioned.
2) This proved very effective because fairly recently when his name was in the news again at least one news organization(it may have beenCNN) referred to him as a former republican congressman from CA.
ref # 32
The fact that they covered John Kerry's tax dodging Yacht can be seen as a step forward for the media.
I wish this were true, but it's not.The story wascovered extensivelyon the Howie Carr radio show. The liberal Boston Globe ignored it for as long as they couldbut eventually had to mention the controversy. Naturally they spun it as best they could.
Posted by: ADK46er at August 12, 2010 07:55 PM (yxMhF)
133 It's said hypocrisy is vice bowing to virtue. The MSMbows to rules, in their own hypocritical way.
Posted by: JPlunket at August 12, 2010 08:23 PM (Wa2Um)
134 That's a great piece and all, but what exactly is your point? Do you think this supposed power to "frame the narrative" really does any practical good? Does the public not realize the media is extremely left-wing, and does not the public, who ARE more intelligent than most pople give them credit, don't they discount the press' bias when evaluating stories? Does it really show up that they think Dems are more honest or less likely to engage in corruption because of press bias?
The answer is no, Lord, not at all.
I'm a contrarian who does not think the press elected Obama, or that he was elected because they didn't report the worst about him. There were plenty of people talking about all the points we all know that pointed to him being a bad future president.
Why then, did this socialist neophyte get elected? First off, natural cycles. It would have been hard for any R to be elected. 2nd, Americans are a fair and open minded people, and we get tired of being called racists all the time. A great many people I think, voted for Obama to prove a point, and to pay a debt. That debt's been paid, in spades, now, (no pun) and it won't be soon repeated. I hope the yearners for a black president enjoy this one, he's probably ruined it for blacks, no matter how qualified, to be elected for a generation. Now we have to do a woman, which is why Dems better be sore afraid of Palin. She might sneak in the same way.
Posted by: ms. docweasel at August 12, 2010 08:23 PM (rLs4O)
135 I hang out on Slashdot a lot, which leans pretty far left in the comments. In political stories, there's one of two possible spins:
1. The Republican party is evil
2. All politicians are evil
So, #1 is trotted out if a Republican screws up, #2 is trotted out if a Democrat screws up.
Posted by: Michael Chaney at August 12, 2010 09:08 PM (DFFja)
Your article made it to Breitbart's BIG JOURNALISM list at #2.
Posted by: maverick muse at August 13, 2010 06:33 AM (H+LJc)
137 Tiffany & Co Shop specialises in superior sterling silver Tiffany Jewelry, Tiffany Shop provides hundreds of discount and fashion
Our Silver Tiffany Jewelry Online Store has a wide range of Tiffany & Co Jewelry for you to choose from,ready in Stock,
Worldwide Shipment,Quality Guaranteed .
Tiffany and co
Posted by: akven at August 13, 2010 07:45 AM (tbO+y)
138 There is another little ploy the MFM loves. When a very prominent Democrat is caught, say fornicating with a underage goat in the Washington Mall, the media cannot hide the party affiliation. So the story starts with, "Republicans claim that the morals of the country are being destroyed by this obscene act."
You see what they do? Its only a "claim". It also shows how the Republicans are jumping all over this unfortunate event and that the goat fornicator should not be severely criticized because of how it will impact party politics. Those dastardly Republicans are just waiting to take advantage of any little lapse. Any they do it too. Why just last year....
Posted by: snookered at August 13, 2010 08:02 AM (jchJh)
139 You always hear about "the religious right." But you never hear about "the non-religious (or the anti-religious) left." Wonder why...
Posted by: Fred at August 13, 2010 10:19 AM (R8BKP)
140 #141, Posted by: snookered at August 13, 2010 08:02 AM (jchJh)
You mean the old "Drag the unrelated Republican into a wholly Democratic scandal" ploy?
Posted by: Mike Giles at August 13, 2010 11:03 AM (CiW31)
141 ref #15 by Rev Dr James Caan Aug 12 2010 at 1:37 PM
"... in the eyes of the gender neutral unbiased marvelous left, gay
orgies and prostitution rings are where we should be, as a society
... They are so perverted and corrupted ... "
Elsewhere ( and not recently), I was reading somebody's ruminations about the Progressive Left and the New World Order they're seeking.
What better than to provide "bread and circuses" to distract citizens from the destruction of their society? Make religion irrelevant. Deny the importance of family. Get control of the kids and train them AWAY from the "old values", change their allegiance. Encourage debauchery under the guise of "self-fulfillment". Promote self-esteem, self-actualization, self-expression -- the idea that "What I want" is the most important consideration for a "fulfilled" life. Concentrate on people's freedoms and rights, minimize the necessity of social cohesiveness and civic responsibility. Encourage citizens to see themselves as part of ethnic or class groups which are oppressed, and use the power of The State to reward (or punish) as a wedge to cause competition and distrust between the groups. Push busyness to the fore; leave no time for introspection and reflection. If you've got people busy and self-involved, they're not paying attention to what the "man behind the curtain" is doing. They're not engaged or involved enough to stop The Plan's advancement and ultimate success.
Posted by: A_Nonny_Mouse at August 15, 2010 02:29 AM (EwCaC)
142 133 and 31:
I also remember the Condit affair for the media's use of describing him verbally as a conservative and visually identifying him on-screen as "Rep. Gary Condit". It demonstrated the other rule that for a democrat member of the House of Representatives involved in a scandal, they will use the "Rep." designation for their title - never mind any confusion that may show on the screen (or, all the better for doing so).
Posted by: rchis at August 15, 2010 11:33 AM (u7L4O)
143 There's a couple more "rules" you haven't noted. I have heard them stated in many instances of pointed discussion about media bias with several Renueelife-long friends in the MSM. The first: for a "beat" reporter, Gold Jelno party ID is called for, LW6090since everyone who follows the beat already knows the culprit's party. I call this rule the "AP Rule", since AP conveniently Maurersassigns nearly all its reporters to FX15such beats. The rule, in effect, extends to nearly every newspaper in America, i.e., those that pick Yudaup AP feeds and run them intact, Altin Cilekwithout party ID. For the papers, it's an Pepper Timeenstoppel Red Pepper Gelagainst any bias Radian Masaj Kremiaccusation. The second rule: when scandal elevates a story to national importance, party ID is required. Both are effective: logical and succinct, a comprehensive Longdaand Ozon Yagi Kremirhetorically satisfying defense against an accusation of bias. Enough said.
Posted by: minie at August 27, 2010 10:05 AM (BNd+J)
144 air maxair 90air 95uggbottes uggugg bootsrosetta stone 3.4.5rosetta stonerosetta stone spanishugg bootsugg classicclassic tallair maxair max 90air max 95ugg classicugg bootsclassic tallair maxtn requinair tn
Posted by: only13 at September 02, 2010 11:38 PM (sbX6O)
Processing 0.03, elapsed 0.0223 seconds.
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Real Clear Politics
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Primary Document: The Audio
Paul Anka Haiku Contest Announcement
Integrity SAT's: Entrance Exam for Paul Anka's Band
AllahPundit's Paul Anka 45's Collection
AnkaPundit: Paul Anka Takes Over the Site for a Weekend (Continues through to Monday's postings)
George Bush Slices Don Rumsfeld Like an F*ckin' Hammer
Top Top Tens
Democratic Forays into Erotica
New Shows On Gore's DNC/MTV Network
Nicknames for Potatoes, By People Who Really Hate Potatoes
Star Wars Euphemisms for Self-Abuse
Signs You're at an Iraqi "Wedding Party"
Signs Your Clown Has Gone Bad
Signs That You, Geroge Michael, Should Probably Just Give It Up
Signs of Hip-Hop Influence on John Kerry
NYT Headlines Spinning Bush's Jobs Boom
Things People Are More Likely to Say Than "Did You Hear What Al Franken Said Yesterday?"
Signs that Paul Krugman Has Lost His Frickin' Mind
All-Time Best NBA Players, According to Senator Robert Byrd
Other Bad Things About the Jews, According to the Koran
Signs That David Letterman Just Doesn't Care Anymore
Examples of Bob Kerrey's Insufferable Racial Jackassery
Signs Andy Rooney Is Going Senile
Other Judgments Dick Clarke Made About Condi Rice Based on Her Appearance
Collective Names for Groups of People
John Kerry's Other Vietnam Super-Pets
Cool Things About the XM8 Assault Rifle
Media-Approved Facts About the Democrat Spy
Changes to Make Christianity More "Inclusive"
Secret John Kerry Senatorial Accomplishments
John Edwards Campaign Excuses
John Kerry Pick-Up Lines
Changes Liberal Senator George Michell Will Make at Disney
Torments in Dog-Hell
The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)