Biases in the mainstream media, Media Democracy Day, US election
This past weekend was Media Democracy Day in at least three Canadian cities. Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver held day long workshops. Media democracy sounds like an oxymoron, especially in the last few frenetic days of the US election, but the goals of this group sound lofty enough:
A day of action based on three themes:
Education – understanding how the media shapes our world and our democracy
Protest – against a media system based on commercialization and exclusiveness
Change – calls for media reforms that respond to public interests, promote diversity, and ensure community representation and accountability. [Media Democracy Day: http://www.mediademocracyday.org/Media_Democracy]
On their home site, they pose the question: What is media democracy? Good question, and part of their answer?:
…Media Democracy broadly encompasses the following notions: that the health of the democratic political system depends on the efficient, accurate, and complete transmission of social, political, and cultural information in society; that the media are the conduits of this information and should act in the public interest; that the mass media have increasingly been unable and uninterested in fulfilling this role due to increased concentration of ownership and commercial pressures; and that this undermines democracy as voters and citizens are unable to participate knowledgeably in public policy debates. … [http://www.mediademocracyday.org/Media_Democracy]
At a time when the traditional endorsements of the current Presidential candidates come from newspapers whose profits and shares are spiraling at breakneck speed downwards, you would think the mainstream media would make the connection. Yes, Obama has spent a gazillion dollars on media advertising, but over all he could have saved that money since the msm has proven themselves willing conspirators in the Obamafication of America. How willing? Take a look at this chart:
Quite a few of us “new media” observers have been saying all along that the msm doesn’t even bother to hide their biases, and their stories prove it. Then comes the official candidate endorsements.
Editorandpublisher.com is keeping a tally of these endorsements:
According to them, Obama leads in endorsements by daily newspapers – country wide by 194-82. They also give a state by state breakdown. Interesting analysis and worth the read. Never mind that from day one (or even before then, if you factor in that Obama has been campaigning for the Presidency since before he was even nominated – you know, back when he declared that he was not qualified to BE President!) the media sycophants have slathered all over Obama’s every utterance.
At a time when the old news media is struggling to keep advertisers, some seem to think that their opinion/endorsement still means more than a hill of beans. According to research Pew did, voters can clearly see the msm agenda: the media are merely crony accomplices of the propaganda machine:
Most Voters Say News Media Wants Obama to Win
“Joe the Plumber” a Top Campaign Story
Summary of Findings
Voters overwhelmingly believe that the media wants Barack Obama to win the presidential election. By a margin of 70% – 9%, Americans say most journalists want to see Obama, not John McCain, win on Nov. 4. Another 8% say journalists don’t favor either candidate, and 13% say they don’t know which candidate most reporters support.
A separate study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism looks at the media’s recent campaign coverage and finds that McCain received significantly more negative than positive coverage between the GOP convention and the final debate. The study says that press treatment of Obama has been somewhat more positive than negative, but not markedly so. …[people-press.org/report/463/media-wants-obama]
I would like to believe that the “power of the press” is diminishing, given their obvious biases in shaping what should be important national debates. At a time when Canada’s msm ownership is in the hands of a few, and when the US media decides what IS the news, lately the overt antics of the media has to have damaged their credibility. Conrad Black, one time Canadian – or British depending on which year – media mogul, now languishes in a Florida jail, while at the same time US publications like People Magazine and US Weekly blatantly massage the message that is Obamanation.
The big losers in all of this? The public, of course; especially people like your “average “Joe the plumber” who was treated to the intense scrutiny of the fourth estate because he dared to ask a simple question. Lost in all of this message manipulation? Intelligent inclusive debate on the ISSUES that should matter to every citizen: national security, the economy, health care, illegal immigration, education, and of course, whether both current candidates are actually even eligible by their birth to BE President of America.
And let’s not forget a debate on the ethics of any or all of these urgent matters. It seems that in the selective “reporting,” not only do the msm prove how woefully ignorant they are in doing simple research; research that would prove, just for one example, that it is not all the current administration’s doing that the US is in such financial dire straits. Simple research would lead the msm to the incontrovertible truths that the demise of the economy started long ago within a Democratic administration. But then, for the msm to even want to bother with that, presume ethics that they appear to have deliberately chosen to throw out the window.
The losers in the simple minded, lemming-like race of the msm over the Obama cliff? You guessed it: the voters. Instead of serious discussion about issues that will continue to shape America for the future, the msm dishes out gasping, breathless diatribes on what Michelle Obama is wearing, or how much Sarah Palin spent on clothes. Yes, that really makes a difference to crucial policy intentions.
Years ago, John F Kennedy used the medium of television to great advantage in his debate with Richard Nixon. Today, the Obama campaign has taken that media manipulation to new heights (or lows, depending on your point of view.)
Today, the msm has apparently discarded all the tenets of what should be the cornerstone of the noble profession of journalism. As integrity, and the pursuit of unbiased truths seem to be ever more endangered, so too do the profits and credibility of the msm become a thing of the past. The new breed of media barons haven’t seemed to grasp that simple correlation – yet!
They might do themselves, and all of us, a service to heed these words by Andrew Carnegie:
The paper which obtains a reputation for publishing authentic news and only that which is fit to print… will steadily increase its influence.
I also think Richard Cobden might have been on to something that today’s main stream media midgets might do well to ponder:
A newspaper should be the maximum of information and the minimum of comment.