It should surprise no one who’s been reading this blog for any serious length of time that I find most of our mainstream media (MSM) – the newspapers and TV news – to be rather seriously biased toward the left. If a story can be slanted toward making a leftish political stance seem to be more “the norm” or a Democratic candidate or event to be more pertinent to the local electorate, you can pretty well count on the MSM to do it.
In stories about yesterday’s primary races, the lion’s share of attention is lavished on the Democratic races and most everyone quoted by the reporters was a Democrat supporter. The heavily weighted reporting could lead one to believe that most of the action was on the Dem side of the primaries. And if one believed that, one would be wrong. Neither the Loudoun Times-Mirror nor LoudounExtra saw fit to point out that voters in Loudoun voted on Republican ballots by a margin of 2-to-1. That’s right: almost 5500 of the approximately 8130 voters that made the effort to get to the polls yesterday voted in the Wolf-McKinley race. The remaining 2630 or so voted on the Democratic race. It’s clear where the electorate’s interest lies and it shows an active GOP base far larger than the Dems. And yet, you have prose like this in the LoudounExtra story:
At the Ida Lee Recreation Center in Leesburg, Deborah Cooper, 38, a stay-at-home mom, said she was going to vote for Feder because Feder “seemed like a solid Democrat” and “we’re pretty Democratic down the line.”
“We moved here two years ago from Silver Spring, and we were really nervous because we thought we were moving to Republican central.” But most of her neighbors, she said, are Democrats.
Feder defeated Turner, getting 5,365 votes (61.7 percent) compared to his 3,336 votes (38.4 percent). Turner had one more vote than Feder in Loudoun County, where the total was 1,316 to 1,315.
“As this area is growing, we’re finding a more – I don’t know if liberal is the right word – a more diverse population, and I think government is usually slow to reflect that,” Cooper said. “We’re just trying to turn the tide here.”
The LoudounExtra serves this perception up without a word of correction or balance. (The entire story contains not a single quote from a Republican supporter. Considering they appeared at the polls at a rate of 2 per Democratic voter, it should have been easy to find someone to talk with.) The numbers of people voting would seem to indicate that a larger number of Loudoun residents self-identify as Republican, which would have made for a pretty important piece of information in this story.
The Loudoun Times-Mirror piece makes the LoudounExtra’s story seem downright fair and balanced by comparison. Indeed, it seems more of a PR release for the Democratic Party than a news story. Have a look at this opening ‘graph:
Feder, who lost to Wolf by 16 points in 2006, is hoping voters will be more familiar with her this time around. She beat Michael Turner, a retired Air Force colonel from Loudoun County, in the Democratic primary Tuesday with about 61 percent of the vote.
The implication here being – what? – that Feder lost to Wolf in 2006 by 16 points because the voters didn’t know her? And that if they did, she’d win? This is a news story? Feder makes a statement that the disparity in the number of voters coming to the polls for the primary isn’t significant. The 10th District saw over 18,000 voters come out to cast Republican ballots in the primary and voted for Frank Wolf just over 9 times out of 10. In the same district about 8800 voters saw fit to vote on Democratic ballots and Feder could only garner 6 out of 10. What would they expect her to say but that the disparity is insignificant. Did the reporter think to ask Wolf or his campaign manager if they thought it was significant?
Same as the LoudounExtra, the Times-Mirror found all manner of time to interview Democratic supporters – and disaffected Republicans vowing to vote Democratic this year, to boot – but only managed to find 1 Republican supporter to give 1 line to. Again, seeing that the ratio of Republican voters in the 10th overall was higher than in Loudoun County, and that Wolf took 91% of them, it should have been a piece of cake to find more than just 1 solid Republican. You’d almost have to be trying to avoid them to convey the impression of equivalence in public participation these stories get across.
So, unexpected? Hardly. But disappointing all the same.
You asked for it, John. Let’s talk about the Senate Committee on Intelligence report and “Bush’s deliberate deception.”
Over 5 years into the Iraqi theater of the war on terror and still there are people who insist on clinging to a fantasy instead of facing the facts behind our entry into it. From the comments section on a post I did on the Obama campaign’s decision to trick the reporters covering the Dem nomination race onto a plane while Obama slipped away to meet with Hillary:
This post is kinda silly if you ask me. They wanted some privacy. If they knew the details about Hillary and Obama meeting, nothing would have gotten done. Neither Hillary nor Obama did anything wrong in this case. This isn’t newsworthy. You should write about the Iraq intelligence report and Bush’s deliberate deception, which is costing thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. THAT is newsworthy.
Comment by John | 11 June, 2008
Well, silly is a matter of your opinion, John, and you know what they say about that. No, not that saying, the other one. The one about you being entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. I’m also going to take a moment to point out something from the “About” section of this blog, helpfully located at the top right of each and every page displayed here at HoodaThunk?:
Lastly, there are some issues that will be big in the news that won’t interest me at all. Rather than ask why I’m not writing about this or that, start your own blog and you write about it. Send me the link to your blog and we can reciprocate links on our blogrolls.
In this particular case, it’s not a matter of being disinterested in the situation, it’s that it’s being covered quite nicely in some of the major-league blogs that I’m assuming people read before they read small, regional ones like this one. But, since John asked sooooooo nicely, how about we go ahead and take a look at this topic?
You’ll note that I emphasized a phrase in John’s comment. “Bush’s deliberate deception” is a $10 method of writing “Bush LIED!” but it has all the same issues as the shorter, more economic method. The implication John’s making is that the report out of the Senate Committee on Intelligence shows that Bush deliberately asserted something the intelligence reports available at the time clearly denied. Fred Hiatt over at the Washington Post dealt with this very issue head-on and he made some interesting discoveries when he actually read the report. (Helps to do that rather than just take the word of folks at MoveOn and Daily Kos.) Here’s what Fred found.
Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, set out to provide the official foundation for what has become not only a thriving business but, more important, an article of faith among millions of Americans. And in releasing a committee report Thursday, he claimed to have accomplished his mission, though he did not use the L-word.
“In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent,” he said.
But dive into Rockefeller’s report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.
On Iraq’s nuclear weapons program? The president’s statements “were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.”
On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president’s statements “were substantiated by intelligence information.”
On chemical weapons, then? “Substantiated by intelligence information.”
On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.” Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? “Generally substantiated by available intelligence.” Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.”
As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you’ve mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s alleged ties to terrorism.
But statements regarding Iraq’s support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda “were substantiated by the intelligence assessments,” and statements regarding Iraq’s contacts with al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” The report is left to complain about “implications” and statements that “left the impression” that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.
The Committee’s report – the committee chaired by WV Democrat Senator John Rockefeller – states explicitly that the statements made by the President and his administration were informed by and in agreement with the conclusions of the various intel analysis reports available at the time. “Implications” and “impressions” are subjective and are largely guided by the thoughts of the receiver. When an objective analysis was made of those statements, even Senator Rockefeller’s committee had to admit that they were in keeping with the information available.
As I have said time and again on this blog, the President’s statements – regardless of whether they turned out later to be true or not – relied upon information that the President had every reason to believe was accurate. The ultimate truth of that information is irrelevant in judging whether the President had lied.
He. Did. Not. Lie.
It cannot get clearer than this. Over the past 5+ years we’ve been treated to one angry call after another for “hearings” and “investigations” that would – we were assured – show the President “lied us into a war.” Well, people like John have now had their investigation and it showed precisely what those of us who supported the President’s actions have said all along. President Bush did not lie. No lie, no crime. No crime, no impeachment (which is where they’re really trying to get us all to, really). It would be nice for people like John to actually have the integrity and honor to admit their mistake and to say that they’ll let it drop now. I have no faith that they’ll do either. I completely believe that they will continue to lie, themselves, and spread myth and fairy tale as fact.
So far as I am concerned this issue is a closed matter, decisively proven that “Bush Lied!” is, in fact, the lie. Anyone suggesting that it remains an issue is either purposely avoiding the truth or a liar themselves. It’s 2008 and I have more important matters to address than people who want to go on living in a fantasy land.
Ocean evaporating! Estimated only 1 billion years until all gone! (And that’s from a clever Ocean City, MD advertisement.)
In what has to be one of the more clever tourism ads I’ve ever seen, the mayor of Ocean City, MD, presents a good, old-fashioned “Citizens Alert” message complete with bad sound, poor camera positioning, and actual scratches on the screen. The whole effect reminds you of the old public service announcements from the Cold War. (Assuming you’re that old, of course.)
The mayor urges citizens to book their travel to Ocean City now while there’s still time. And an ocean. But the absolute best part, in my eyes, was the warnings about what would be gone once that billion-year mark gets passed. The city’s 21 golf courses might still be there in a billion years, the mayor says, but “chances are, you’ll still be no better than you are today.”
OUCH! I resemble that remark!!
Nice going, Mr. Mayor! That’s a video worth linking to and – who knows? – you might just have tempted this Virginian to take the trip over there.
As shown at the SBE site, Frank Wolf has won the GOP primary against challenger Vern McKinley by a margin of 91.24% to 8.75%, a landslide, decisive victory. Voter turnout was extremely light but there’s no doubt about which candidate the GOP party’s more active membership wanted to carry our banner forward in November.
The decisions having now all been made – McCain for President, Gilmore for Senate, Wolf for Congress – Virginia Republicans should now address themselves toward winning against the true opponents in November: Democrats.
Congrats, Congressman Wolf, on your victory yesterday and here’s to another in the coming months.