Saturday, September 13, 2008

Be Very Afraid

If you saw a recent interview of Sarah Palin by ABC News anchor Charles Gibson, then you have been sold a bill of goods. Follow this link if you want to see how ABC News edited her responses to radically change the meaning of her words. And if you don't believe in media bias after this, then you are simply beyond reach. This isn't a rah-rah for Palin. It simply scares me to think that so many people have been intentionally misled by a news source. But this is nothing new, and yet still I am shocked.

This is the kind of thing that puts someone in office, opponents getting caught doctoring interviews, like the Dan Rather business of falsifying a letter purported to have been written decades ago on a typewriter when it clearly originated from a word processor.

I was hoping this election was going to be about the issues. McCain has some disingenous ads making false claims about Obama (go to The Curious Villager if you'd like more info). It pains me to see that. I've often thought that if I were ever to run for office, I would only stick to what it is I plan to do, not how the other candidate will utterly fail. And now the media is up to its old tricks so as to make Palin look like a bubble-headed prom queen.

It makes me sick. All of it.

Just pay attention people. Even so, you'll never know for sure if the dog isn't wagging you.

** Update: More ABC partisanship


Alan said...

Scott, I haven't trusted the whole election process, including the way they campaign, for a few decades now. Never liked the way they go after each other--and then I learned all about PR staff and how what I hear isn't even coming from the candidates' heads, even when they're speaking. It's like, who are we electing? (If indeed our electoral process isn't as corrupt as thousands of Americans believe.)

Beth said...

One good rule of thumb is to never trust the media. I definitely turn a blind eye to political ads.

What has shocked me more than anything about recent political events is the number of Hilary voters now voting for Palin just because she's a woman. Doesn't the fact that they stand for completely different things ever matter?

Scott said...

Alan - Yeah, I think they should lay off the negatives and frame their idea in contrast to the other instead of aiming it like a gun.

Beth - I'm a little shocked by that too. I guess the issue of women's rights is that big to some. Check out this article if you want an intelligent defense of that stance.

magnetbabe said...

You're right, Sarah Palin isn't a bubble-headed prom queen. She is way smarter than the MSM has given her credit for. The recent NY Times article sheds some light as to how she might govern if she becomes president. If Grandpa McCain pulls this election off, that is a very real and very frightening possibility.

And I read the link you just posted. I agree on the point that a Washington made up of men does not have the best interests of women at heart. I would have loved voting for Hillary had things gone that way. But because I agree with Hillary's ideals, I will not just blindly vote my gender at the expense of my country.

Scott said...

Natalie - I don't necessarily take what the NY Times reports as unbiased news either. It might very well be true that she'll populate cabinet positions with her high school friends, but I'll be doing some research before I take anything written there. When you say Grandpa McCain though, I find that just as wrong as perjorative jabs at race or gender. And I hope I wasn't sending the message by linking that story that people should vote for Palin because she's a woman. It was in response to Beth's comment. I still don't know who I'm voting for. I've been impressed with Obama, but I don't believe that McCain is another Bush or a puppet of his party.

Scott said...

Oh, and I found this dissection of the article you linked. It is of course, biased in the other direction, but it makes some really good points. Fact is, certain media outlets are in the bag for one camp or the other, and stretching the truth or outright lying seems to be the norm. I guess I'm naive, but once upon a time I thought there was such a thing as an unbiased news source.

magnetbabe said...

I don't think age is an unfair point to bring up in the least. Age most certainly will affect how McCain does the job in a way that is not analogous to race or gender at all. You can be as PC as you want, but the facts are that someone who will be in the White House between the ages of 72-76 will be more likely to die in office than someone who is in their 40s, 50s or even 60s. That is exactly why his VP choice is so important and so disturbing. I'm not going to knock Palin's experience, as an Obama supporter I don't want to open up that can of worms. But the more I hear about her neoconservative ideology (she is even less of a "maverick" than McCain was before he sold his soul), the more I am convinced that she would be a disaster in the White House ass VP or President.

I will concede that NYT is not always unbiased. But they do investigative reporting which is far more than you will get anywhere on TV, which seems to only be concerned with verbal jabs of no substance.

Scott said...

I think if you would have said that you have concerns about his age instead of calling him Grandpa McCain it would have sounded better, or persuasive if you'd rather. What you are calling PC is what I'm calling respect, something that I wish were present in the way the candidates debate with one another.

And just so you know, I'm not getting all worked up or anything!

Tee said...

Frankly I'm surprised that so much pertinent information was cut from the interview. I understand it needs to be edited for brevity but there does seem to be a bias in what they selected, which is unfortunate. (And you know I'm not a McCain/Palin fan by any stretch of the imagination.)

That being said, this is what Democrats have had to deal with (media lies, bias and distortion) for the past 8 years.

I won't go as far as to say "turnabout is fair play", or "karmas a bitch" (OK, I just basically said both those things), but I have a lot of trouble feeling much sympathy for any Republican getting the short end of the stick from the media when they've basically had their own propaganda machine in FOX Broadcasting Company.

The Neighbor said...

In my opinion and observation, both regrettably cynical, the American media is no less suspect in its reporting than the Russian media, which is state controlled, and therefore invariably supportive of the ruling powers. In America, we have what amounts to opposing teams, and it doesn't take much to know who's on what side. The bias, once you see it, is glaring. I find the Economist and the London Times to be the most dispassionate and even-handed analysts of American politics. It's a shame - no, an embarrassment - when we have to look overseas for a clear picture on what happens here at home. That said, the only way to get a good picture is to read every article and trust none of them. There are usually facts between the slants, and if you read enough of them, the real picture becomes clear. Well, less murky anyhow.

I miss Walter Cronkite. I miss trusting my news.

Scott said...

Tee - See Neds comment below, and I will add that I view the rest of the networks not named Fox as being liberal outlets, and many of the newspapers in the major metropolitan areas. At least Fox let's the liberal viewpoint be expressed by intelligent people, while clearly favoring the conservative viewpoint.

Ned - I've never read the economist or the London Times, and I don't think you are being cynical in the slightest, unless realistic has become a synonymous term. Thanks for the reading tips.

Tera said...

I am TRULY sick and tired of all of this election crap, so I will keep any further comments to myself! Ugh!

Tera said...

BTW the media makes my ass hurt!

Bhaswati said...

Good post, Scott. This happens the world over. Doctored/filtered/tampered with news in order to influence viewers in a particular way. One needs to be very cautious before making up one's mind.

Beth said...

I read the article you linked, but I have to say, voting for a woman who shares none of your ideals just because she has a vag and tits is bordering on retarded. It makes women, especially those who were backing Hillary, seem utterly ridiculous.

I would love to see a female president, but I wouldn't want one at the expense of the country. Natalie said that beautifully.

I support Obama as well, but it has nothing to do with race, age, or gender. It has to do with his views on the war, the economy, etc. Do I love the idea of having a black president? Sure, but I would vote democrat now even if the guy were the ugliest shade of green on the planet. =)

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Isn't this always the way towards the end of the american election process?

Relentless mudslinging.

They paint Obama's face on the walls in Venice Beach.

How many other presidential candidates can say that?

If he doesn't win, the Democrats will have wasted their best chance in years.

Alan said...

I'd like to speak for my little corner of America (which is a place called "Inside My Head") to say yes Ultra Toast, mudslinging is the usual order of the day in presidential elections. I SO wanted Obama to add another distinction to the election by remaining above it, but all the controllers, writers, agents, correspondants, public relations people and similar barnacles who pay their mortgages off this spectacle all went back to default and nothing changed in the execution of the election.

That's what I call An American Tragedy.

Alan said...

Hey Scott!

Fringes and Q are having a baby!!

Toni Anderson said...

I've never been a Palin fan because of her wolf shooting policies. That's my personal feelings.

What I think is great is so many people taking an active interest--it IS important. And wouldn't it be nice if you could actually vote on the policies they laid out, rather than media hype.

Bridget Jones said...

Great post, Scott. That happens as a rule in Canada. What isn't in the press, and the way it's distorted when things are, is totally unbelievable.

eda said...