Friday September 19 | Media Influence on Elections

September 18, 2008 at 10:26 am | Posted in Coming Up | 34 Comments

The media is playing a large role in national politics this year. They are often vilified for both digging too deep into candidate’s lives and background and for not asking tough enough questions of the candidates. We’ll look at the role of the media in politics.
Guests
Dr. Dan Grano – Asst. Professor of Communication, UNC Charlotte
Jim Morrill – Political Writer, The Charlotte Observer
Tim Boyum – News Anchor, News14 Carolina
Bob Garfield - Co-host, On The Media

Political websites recommended by our guests:
RealClearPolitics.com
FactCheck.org
PolitiFact.com
NYTimes.com/politics

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  1. There are two problems here.

    1) As a college instructor, I can tell you that most of the people I come into contact with, and possibly most of the American public, is not educated enough to tell fact from opinion or truth from propaganda. Schools aren’t doing enough to address this problem out of “respect” for diverse belief systems. This only fosters the problem. For direct evidence of this, just ask any of those who proclaim the media is “liberally biased” to define just what “liberal” means. They probably won’t be able to give you a precise definition.

    2) Today’s journalists are far too “kind” to interviewees! When politicians avoid the question, journalists have a responsibility to push the issue and get an answer that doesn’t constitute a fallacy or diversion tactic. To hell with “being nice!”

    Joe Heafner

  2. I just heard the previous caller, a female about the lack of news that is correct. She is correct. I too listen and read, on line, to news from abroad. The insurgency that has been occurring in Pakistan has, until recently, not even been addressed in the western media. I also know that Georgia incited the aggression….

  3. Regarding the liberal media bias argument, if conservatives generally think the media are biased and liberals do not, then there’s your proof. I never hear liberals saying the media are conservative or preferential toward Republicans. Second, if in a basketball game, Team A and its fans continually complained that the referee was favoring Team B, and Team B and its fans thought the referee was fair, I’d say Team A was right.

  4. Nice analogy Brad.
    The Liberal bias is so pronounced and proven that it isn’t even a question.
    The people that deny it can’t possibly make their case. If you watch Foxnews, MSNBC, CNN, the Sunday shows on the major networks, C-span and listen to Rush, NPR and others then it’s plain to see. This is because you hear the same story from different angles. It’s easy to see the bias. It’s impossible not to.
    The people that deny the bias are the same ones that criticize Foxnews without watching. They criticize Rush without listening. They take other peoples opinions of Rush or Foxnews as gospel. The same thing happens when they hear the Liberal bias, they swallow it whole.

  5. Speaking of lack of education, it’s a fallacy to accept something as true just because someone says it’s true. I listen to Rush and Hannity when I need classroom material to teach critical thinking. Neither Rush nor Hannity ever say anything with any substance. Both ramble forever between commercial breaks. Both resort to innuendo and fallacy and their regular listeners are just too stupid to realize it. They, like their regular listeners, have a deep seeded psychological need to hear their own voices with our without reason. So-called “liberals” (and no one seems to be able to precisely define what the terms *conservative* and *liberal* really mean these days) do not have this psychological problem. Hannity even went so far as to proclaim the Weather Channel as “liberal.” WHAT????

    Sooner or later, Republicans are going to have to admit that facts, true facts, cannot be fair and balanced. The truth is what it is even if some people can’t accept it or disagree with it. There is no such thing as “fair and balanced” when it comes to reality. The problem now is that most Americans have been conditioned to the contrary thanks to Rush, Hannity, Rove, and others. Either the sky is blue or it isn’t. You can’t deny it’s blue just because your favorite color happens to be red.

    People who don’t see this make my job as a teacher (a college teacher mind you) increasingly difficult and unnecessary in our modern society. Ever tried teaching science to students who think that science is merely a consensus opinion without objective fact? It’s impossible.

  6. Joe,
    Of coarse it’s a “fallacy” to accept something as true just because someone says it, that’s the point.
    I listen to Rush and Hanity, but I also listen to NPR and even Air America on occasion. It’s plain from your description that you don’t know anything about Rush or Hannity. For one thing they’re very different from each other. You can’t listen which proves my assertion.
    But why do you feel the need to insult the listeners? Are 22 million listeners a week stupid? It’s illogical.
    To me , in a nutshell, Conservatives want to ensure equal opportunity and get out of the way. Liberals want to ensure equal outcome (a noble goal) and regulate to make it so. That’s the difference.

  7. If anyone feels insulted by my remarks, it’s because they’ve chosen to feel insulted. That’s a distraction tactic called “feigning offense.” It’s fallacious to even ask “Are 22 million listeners a week stupid?” It’s called “argumentum ad populum” and should be understood by anyone with at least a high school education (it frequently isn’t though). Yes, it certainly IS possible for 22 million listeners to be completely wrong and, yes, stupid, because they don’t understand that they’re being fooled. I know plenty about both Rush and Hannity, including their on-air tactics. They’re entertainers, and not very good ones at that. They’re not journalists. They’re not well educated. They’re opportunists. That they have any voice at all is a reflection of how dumbed down our society has become.

  8. I don’t feel insulted nor, I’m guessing, does anyone else that listens to Rush. That certainly doesn’t mean that you, Joe, are not hurling insults in all three of your post. It’s unseemly and doesn’t move discourse forward. Sure it’s possible for 22 million listeners to be stupid. Possible but illogical. Throw around all the Latin you want, I’m not impressed. You posit “possibly most of the American public, is not educated enough to tell fact from opinion or truth from propaganda”. I have much more regard for the American public than you do.

  9. Thank you for providing me with yet more classroom material. Wendy, Erin, Tim, and Mike: I propose a show on critical thinking in the classroom and how its absence affects our society.

  10. You psycho-analyze people you don’t know and consider your conclusions fact. You criticize talk radio when you clearly don’t listen to it. You give no evidence for your complaints. You assume most Americans are not educated enough to tell fact from opinion or truth from propaganda with evidence that is anecdotal at best. You say an “entertainer” that draws 22 million listeners a week and earns $400,000,000 in the free market of ideas is not good at his craft. You seem to think you’re the smartest kid on the block, grammatical errors and all. You then you decry a lack of critical thinking? Wow.

  11. Gregg, just keep on going. You’re providing all the evidence we need. Please keep going. Really.

  12. I am definitely comfortable with my statements. If you’re comfortable with yours then God bless you. I would just suggest that in the future you give some kind example that your positions are valid. I don’t imagine that you, as a professor, are used to that in matters of politics. I’m not a student in your class.
    I hope that you do show these post to your students. Let them decide. Cool!

  13. I have a simple question about the supposed “bias” in media prefaced by this comment as well as some commentary.

    When I was growing up in the 1960′s in the upper Ohio Valley my home county had two newspapers; the Wetzel Democrat and the Wetzel Republican (Wetzel was the name of the county). Here’s my question: Since when is the media supposed to be unbiased?? Most all outlets are commercial enterprises that are trying to turn a profit and they are run by human beings.

    All editors must use their brains to make decisions which requires them to think. Our decisions are based on what we have learned in the past and consider in the present, and are biased by our experience and opinions. This cannot be escaped. We are phenomenological beings.

    This straw man arguement about media bias was likely adopted by the informational entertainers (Rush initially, now followed by Bill, Sean, Drudge, G Gordon, Savage, etc.) as a marketing strategy, not an honest, righteously indignant opinion. The arguement has been in the political landscape for some time (see “nattering nabobs of negatavism – Spiro Agnew). The arguement has certainly been an effective strategy for the political “right” and right-wing political entertainment business. Now a large percentage of the entertainers’ listeners, perhaps a majority, seem to believe that they are getting news from these entertainers and that the information that they receive is in some way “un-biased,” an impossibility from human beings. If they don’t believe it is un-biased they certainly seem to believe that it is “fair and balanced” or at least “the other side” of the story.

    “Fair and balanced” is impossible given the role that thinking plays in editorial decision making. “We report, you decide” also implies an un-biased presentation of the “facts” but also is impossible due to the filter of thought of the editors.

    Perhaps we should all take a breath and consider that if we receive information from any outside source, it is biased by the communicator. Also, if we draw conclusions about anything we have observed, our decisions area biased by our past experience. Our responsibility is to carefully consider and be aware of the role that our biases play in the conclusions that we draw about the world around us.

    Thank you for considering my thoughts, biases and all.

  14. Brian,

    For what it’s worth here’s my two cents. You make a good point about the editors filter. I like the “we report you decide” motto. It’s beyond the scope of this post to give tons of examples but I’ll give a few. One of the most glaring offenses is the labeling of party affiliation. It took three days before the major networks labeled Eliot Spitzer as a Democrat. It was shouted from the mountain tops, as it should have been, that Larry Craig was a Republican. Same with Mark Foley. If there is a scandal and you don’t know the offenders party affiliation then you can bet your bottom dollar that they are a Democrat. I don’t think it’s too much to asked that party affiliation be reported. Tell us and let us decide.

    I don’t think that the talk radio host you mention claim to be unbiased. NPR for example does make that claim. It’s a matter of truth. You can be biased and tell the truth. The spanish-language ads by Obama lied about Rush and he responded in the Wall Street Journal with the truth. BTW this is not a biased view, the facts are plain and the condemnation has been from both sides of the aisle. It’s easy to say someone is a bloviating liar. It’s harder to say someone lied about this and here’s why.

    I’m a big fan of fair. Balanced, not so much. If Mother Teresa is talked about Charles Manson needn’t be in the name of balance.

    On the “informational entertainer” thing I don’t think it matters where the truth or lies come from. It’s amazing to me how many people consider Jon Stewart or “The View” a news source. The MSM has no moral authority in my eyes. Dan Rather used forged documents just before an election to discredit Bush. That’s a despicable lie that would have succeeded if not for the bloggers. In this instance the bloggers, biased or not, were more creditable than CBS.

    You wrote: “Most all outlets are commercial enterprises that are trying to turn a profit and they are run by human beings”. I agree completely. It’s my humble opinion that you can’t survive in the marketplace long-term with lies. It behooves the news outlets to be truthful and tell the whole story. I think that’s why MSNBC has such a small audience and Foxnews has such a big one. You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

    The reason I advocate getting news from multi

  15. Sorry, hit the button by mistake.
    The reason I advocate getting news from multiple sources is because it’s necessary. It’s the only way to get the whole story and see the bias.

  16. Gregg:

    Thanks for your comments. It should be noted that Fox News has also committed a number of factual “errors” as well, e.g. Mark Foley identified as a Democrat in the initial and re-broadcast of a number of segments, and multiple times that I have witnessed when speakers with opinions that differ from the host lose audio or their comments are unexpectedly interrupted for a commercial break. It’s either sloppy work or attempts to shade the story. Either way, it’s unacceptable practice.

    Regarding the issue of “truth” vs. “lies,” opinion cannot be considered either. Much of Fox and MSNBC programming is opinion, not news. Perhaps others are doing this as well but notice that Sean’s lead-ins identify his programming as news, but then he denies that he provides news when callers or guests call him a “journalist.”

    Regarding the idea that outlets that do not provide truthful reporting will ultimately fail, I believe that we are seeing the exact opposite in action. It appears that if inaccurate information is provided convincingly and frequently enough, the public will believe it. The inaccurate information then becomes part of enough people’s “reality” that it is accepted as truth. Evidence to the contrary is then easily ignored and the culture of ignorance continues merrily along. For a fun, but troubling example, many people believe that for some mysterios reason related to the equinox, you can balance eggs today and on the vernal equinox but can’t do it on other days (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap080921.html). An more serious example of a specific attempt to change public opinion regarding by repeating opinion regardless of evidence can be found in the Wedge Strategy )http://www.public.asu.edu/~jmlynch/idt/wedge.html).

    So, back to the original story of the film. Yes, the media plays a signigicant role in our elections, but only because we allow it. We shouldn’t blame the “evil, biased” media for our irresponsibility as voters and citizens.

  17. Brian,
    I agree with most of what you said. I don’t believe there’s enough of a case to be made for Foxnews attempting to shade the truth. I’ve seen mistakes go both ways. It is sloppy. I am accusing the major networks of attempting to shade the truth so your point is well taken.
    One thing that can be confusing is what is supposed to be news and what is opinion. You mention Hannity. He does discuss the issues of the day so that’s news. He has many prominent Liberals on. His argumentative style is not my cup of tea but you do hear both sides of an issue debated furiously. It can be quite informative. He is clearly opinion based. The news comes at the top of the hour and in my area it’s ABC radio news. My expectations are different for each. In the information age that we live in the lines become blurred. Kudos to NBC for removing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from the election and debate coverage and labeling them clearly as opinion.
    I agree that if inaccurate information is provided convincingly and frequently enough, the public will believe it. The thing is that the information providers have to be able to get away with it. That’s the part that has changed. It’s much harder now than it used to be. CBS’s forged documents would not have been discovered a decade ago. The offensive thing to me about that incident is that we still don’t know who forged the documents! Why doesn’t CBS want to prosecute whoever it was that tarnished their image? I think much of the blame for the decline of newspaper subscriptions as well as the network nightly newscast is because they can’t get away unchallenged with as much.
    Yes we do allow the media to play a significant role in our elections. The responsibility does ultimately lie with the voters. Too many voters get news from too few sources and those sources have become discredited. The average voter doesn’t have time to be a news junkie and has no idea that some of the major news outlets can’t be trusted. There is a responsibility there as well.

  18. Ideologically, I’m far to the right of NPR and far to the left of Rush and Hannity. I have a journalism degree and have been both a registered Democrat and Republican. Now I’m an Independent. Saying that the media are liberal is about like saying Hollywood is liberal; it’s a given. And if you want to label Rush and Sean Hannity as entertainers, then you must also list the Diane Rehm show, Fresh Air, and Here and Now as entertainment, in particular the latter two. They try to come across as in-depth reporting, when Fresh Air is nothing more than a platform for every author who’s written an anti-Bush book. Selection of topics is a giveaway for bias. And selection of guests is even more indicative. I once heard a story on NPR about the judicial selection process when Roberts was nominated. Whom did they interview? Someone who wrote “Why a Conservative Supreme Court is Bad for America.” They couldn’t find anyone else? My second major point is this: What would a conservative story sound like? I am inundated by stories from the left all day on NPR (Bush is bad, free market is bad, [insert your topic] is going to kill you, middle America is dumb, Jon Stewart is king, etc.), but what would qualify as conservative? It would be like a story I saw on TV recently. A black woman who was laid off twice in recent years from her job in marketing and is now the president of her own company. Certainly, there are things wrong with our country but the media love the following: 1. Bad news. 2. Scandal. 3. All things liberal. 4. Celebrities. Combine any two of those and you have ratings gold. Thanks for letting me vent. Oh, and Gregg, you forgot to mention how Congressman Charles Rangel had some ethical issues recently. No party affiliation was given. Nice.

  19. “I don’t believe there’s enough of a case to be made for Foxnews attempting to shade the truth.”

    You must be kidding?! Fox IS the republican news network. Putting “D” under Republican names when they get in trouble and a whole list of biases. Must be nice to have your own propaganda network.

    “Kudos to NBC for removing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews…” And kudos for replacing KO with Rachel Maddow!!

    “Why doesn’t CBS want to prosecute whoever it was that tarnished their image? ”

    While I agree any forgery should be exposed, I think the republican smear machine did an excellent job of burying the issue at hand, which was that Bush avoided military service and was absent when he was supposed to be on duty… kinda of like the little frat boy is now.

  20. One problem with the cry of “bias” is that there is nothing that CANNOT be considered bias. Well, there is: personal agreement. “Unless I agree with it, it’s a bias.”

    Keep it coming guys. My students are loving it!

  21. Regarding the Dan Rather story with the bogus Bush documents: Has it been considered that the Bush campaign itself may have been responsible for the document to play “gotcha” with the media?

  22. BJ you wrote:
    “…Bush avoided military service and was absent when he was supposed to be on duty… kinda of like the little frat boy is now.” Do you have any evidence to make that claim? If so, is it forged?

    Brian,
    Sounds a little conspiratorial to me. If Bush’s campaign was responsible I feel sure that CBS would have found that out. That’s my take.

    Joe,…never mind.

    It sounds to me like ya’ll are defending CBS on this. Would you be as quick to defend the maligned “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” who merely told their side of the story? Are all of those decorated veterans lying?

    Actually we have some common ground here. The story of Bush and his military service is an example of something being repeated often enough that it’s believed by those blinded by partisanship. Other examples are: unilateral war, illegal war, domestic surveillance and that Bush tried to link Iraq with 9/11.

    We also agree that some opinion seeps in no matter what. I just believe that that vast majority of so-called journalist are Liberal. Hence, the vast majority of opinion that seeps is is Liberal too.

    Hey Brad, lets not forget Kwame Kilpatrick Detroit’s jailed mayor. The AP made no mention of his party. During that same time frame the Ted Stevens scandal broke and the AP’s headline was: “Ted Stevens indicted, longest-serving GOP senator”.

    Why do we keep a running count of how many military deaths resulted in Iraq but we don’t know that 4,417 military deaths occurred during Clinton’s first term?

    Where’s the reporting on Anbar Province being
    handed over to the Iraqi’s?

    How about the fact that 15 of the 18 political benchmarks have now been met, anyone heard much about that?

  23. Regarding the Swift Boat thing, Gregg, you once again equate the united voice of a group of people with absolute truth. That’s simply not valid reasoning. Popular opinion is not grounds for truth. Disagreement is not grounds for bias. You can confirm this by looking in any introductory book on logic or debate (regardless of the author’s political affiliation, by the way). I’m not saying the veterans WERE lying. I’m saying that their being veterans is NOT sufficient grounds for accepting their words as absolute truth.

    What’s your point regarding unilateral war, illegal war, domestic surveillance and linking Iraq to 9/11? I just want to hear you say it; I have $10 riding on it.

    I agree that *opinions* can be biased, but *facts* cannot. They are what they are. Two plus two is four, and if that offends anyone then tough noogies. The “offense” is just a tactic to change the course of the “discussion.” Journalists, real journalists, report facts. Several times every day, I check AP, Reuters, NPR, ProPublica, BBC, CNN, CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation), New York Times, Washington Post, PBS, and a few other outlets for news. I also listen to quite a bit of international news via shortwave radio. I’m comforted when all these outlets agree on the facts, but I’m not naive enough to automatically assume that just because I see or hear something on one or all of these outlets it MUST be true. It’s *possible* they all got it wrong. When the facts are correct but contradict my world view, I don’t automatically cry “BIAS!” and shut out that source. That’s childish, symptomatic of open-mindedness turned to gullibility, and rampant in our society.

    Regarding the Kwame Kilpatrick thing, NPR and other outlets always reminded listeners he’s a Democrat, at least in the stories I heard. That’s not bias against blacks or Democrats despite my opinion of him; it’s a fact I must accept. Being the longest serving GOP senator trumps being Detroit’s mayor, especially in a national headline. I don’t see how naming Stevens’ party constitutes bias. Had he not been so named, would you have accused NPR (or even FOX) for disrespecting him by not referencing this fact? While I wasn’t a regular NPR listener in the Clinton days, I can’t comment on the reporting of military actions during that time, but I’ve certain seen the casualty numbers published elsewhere. I can however, contradict the implication that news about Anbar and the (largely symbolic) political benchmarks was not reported, at least on NPR; I heard the broadcasts. The person making a claim has the burden of providing evidence supporting that claim. The wilder the claim, the more evidence is required (paraphrasing Carl Sagan).

  24. Joe,
    I think you’re exaggerating what I’ve said. I am not equating “the united voice of a group of people with absolute truth”. I wasn’t there I can’t possibly know the “absolute truth”. The question is, how skeptical should we be. I simply asked a question. You claim that you’re not saying that the veterans are lying. First, that was the claim made against the swift boaters, so that’s the context in which I raised the issue. Second, at the very least you’re saying that they could be lying. True. I infer that your think they’re probably lying, certainly the press did at the time. My logic goes like this: If a large group of honorable veterans makes a claim, and if that claim is supported by Kerry’s speeches (…in a manner reminiscent of Genghis khan…”)and actions (throwing his medals away) then it’s makes some sense to believe them. Tell me the logic that says it’s appropriate to universally dismiss them as liers. Please.

  25. Well, I’ll give you the English name rather than the Latin name. It’s called an appeal to authority. X is true because someone in a prestigious position says it’s true. That condition alone is never sufficient to accept X as true. There must be other verifiable means of ascertaining whether X is true.

    Be careful because this does NOT, in any way whatsoever, universally dismiss the authority as a liar. I didn’t say that.

  26. I should also point out that using veterans to to give political messages also constitutes an appeal to emotion. Seeing and hearing vets conjures up patriotic emotions and possibly warm and fuzzy feelings. Emotions are never a good basis for making rational decisions.

  27. This is getting weird. The last two times I posted nothing happened. I believe both times it must have been simultaneous with your post because both times when I refreshed you were there and I wasn’t. I ll try again but I’ve lost some of it. Forgive me if my post appears twice.
    I was careful not to accuse you of dismissing them all as liars. This is about people believing what the media repeats so often. The media dismissed them as liars.
    Take a position Joe. Do you believe them or not? Use whatever means you want to come to that conclusion. You have told me criteria for belief but I’m asking for your criteria for disbelief. There is no default. We all have to make our own decision in the end.

  28. Here’s the rest of my response to you post 3 back:
    My point about the phrases is that they are repeated often, believed by the masses and untrue. I will assume that you agree that they have been repeated often and are believed by the masses. If you are a critical thinker then you also agree that they’re untrue. You’ve made it clear that you are but just in case I’ll go through them. There were over 30 nations involved, that cannot be described as unilateral unless you change the definition. Some are reduced to denigrating other countries contributions because of the numbers of troops. That’s unfair because Estonian deaths do count. Some say that other nations were coerced into helping, whatever. If there’s a case to be made, make it but don’t call it unilateral. The other mantra “illegal war” may come a little bit closer if you define “legal” as a declaration of war which hasn’t happened in quite a few wars. However, there were 17 violated UN resolutions including the unanimous Res.1441 which authorized “serious consequences”. After 16 resolutions that doesn’t mean another one. There was congressional approval as well. Read Bush’s speech to the UN on 9/12/2002 and say it was illegal. If you fly from New York to London is that a domestic flight? No. Tapping phones to or from another country when one of the parties has known terrorist ties is not “domestic surveillance”. If you say “Well, the innocent American’s civil rights are being violated” then I have a question. If the FBI has a mobster’s phone legally tapped and the Mobster orders a pizza, are the pizza man’s rights being violated? Either way the word domestic is inaccurate. I challenge you to give me a quote where Bush (or Cheney) says that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. They have both said just the opposite. The best case to be made, and hilariously is made by some, is that Bush is such a great orator that he can say one thing and imply the opposite. Obviously there is a broader context and Iraq is indeed central in the war on terror.
    Here’s another for extra credit: Recession. Bush inherited one from Clinton but people believe he inherited a strong economy. Not only that but, to this point, we haven’t been in recession since.
    Regarding Ted Stevens you wrote: “Had he not been so named, would you have accused NPR (or even FOX) for disrespecting him by not referencing this fact? Where do you get this stuff Joe? I think party affiliation should always be named. Do you disagree? I provided an apples to apples comparison between Stevens and Kilpatrick, same time same source (AP). This is a long established pattern. For that reason I’ve come to believe it is bias. It’s a very considered opinion based on much more that one example.
    Finally I must say, I don’t want to be wrong in the name of partisanship. I don’t care what ideology that I hold is shown to be untrue. Let the chips fall. I want the truth and search it out. You will find me to be open enough to change my mind if I’m shown to be wrong but you have to bring something to the table.

  29. Response to the first part.

    I do indeed have an opinion on whether or not the vets were truthful, but my opinion is irrelevant. A political season is definitely not the time to start trusting what I see or here in the media…ANY media.

  30. Response to the second part.

    My trying to be a critical thinker (it’s a set of learned skills) doesn’t imply that I think the vets were wrong. Critical thinking is about the *process* of arriving at a conclusion.

    You’ve gone from a very general concept (media influence on elections) to some very specific political talking points and you seem to be trying to pin me down on them. My revealing anything personal like that would only serve to take the discussion further off course, a commonly used distraction tactic.

    I will, however, happily provide this link to Cheney himself establishing a connection between Iraq and 9/11 as you requested.

    It’s presence on YouTube is in no way sufficient for me to accept it as truth. It could have been staged. It also doesn’t constitute an endorsement of Edwards. Edwards is a liar too.

    I think you should consult an attorney for the other questions.

    To sum up, too many people take what they hear and read at face value without doing their homework. Too many people don’t know how to do the homework necessary to make informed decisions. Too many people equate disagreement with bias and critical thinking with displaying a bias. All of these are the result of inadequate education. All can be fixed by quality education.

  31. Joe,
    If you don’t think that the swift boaters were an example of “media influence on elections” then we’ve hit a dead end. I’m trying to pin you down to illustrate that you have fallen prey to the very thing that you are accusing me of, that is, believing something just because it’s repeated over and over. You are withholding any evidence to lead me or anyone else reading this to believe that you haven’t. That’s fine.
    I don’t understand the attorney comment. I elaborated at your request. Wasn’t $10 at stake?
    The clip you provide is very short and edited. I would have liked to hear the context but I remember the debate well. That’s why I included Cheney in my challenge. I also remember that people were deliberately confusing two issues. You gave your disclaimer, I will respect it. Here’s another clip for you with more context. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWdq7hg4dLU
    You have said that “there is nothing that CANNOT be considered bias”. I get the point you’re trying to make but that renders the word meaningless in my view. That puts us at an impasse if the discussion is bias in the media. Please tell me that you are not a Journalism or Poly-Sci instructor.

  32. I’ve divulged nothing about my stance on any of the nits you’ve tried to pick, so you really don’t know that I’ve fallen victim to fallacious reasoning. You’ve made some assumptions based on my comments that may or may not be correct. I’ve made the point I intended to make and I’ve nothing more to add. It’s time for me to move on. Oh, my background is in astronomy and physics.

  33. OMG! Get a room! Maybe Mike can do a Joe and Gregg show.

  34. Gwen Ifill writes a pro-Obama book entitled “Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama” to be released on inauguration day and is allowed to moderate tonights Vice-Presidential debate. Does this bother anyone?


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