Thursday, November 08, 2012

Five ways the media tipped the scales for Obama

Rich Noyes is research director for the Media Research Center. He writes an article for Fox News, explaining five ways the media elite tipped the public relations scales in favor of the liberal Obama and against the conservative challenger Mitt Romney:

1. The Media’s Biased Gaffe Patrol Hammered Romney: The media unfairly jumped on inconsequential mistakes — or even invented controversies — from Romney and hyped them in to multi-day media “earthquakes.” Case in point: the GOP candidate’s trip to Europe and Israel in late July. A Media Research Center analysis of all 21 ABC, CBS and NBC evening news stories about Romney’s trip found that virtually all of them (18, or 86%) emphasized “diplomatic blunders,” “gaffes” or “missteps.”

2. Pounding Romney With Partisan Fact Checking: There’s nothing wrong with holding politicians accountable for the honesty of their TV ads and stump speeches, but this year the self-appointed media fact-checkers attacked Republicans as liars for statements that were accurate.

3. Those Biased Debate Moderators: Upset liberals scorned PBS’s Jim Lehrer for taking a hands-off approach in the first debate on October 3, with MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman slamming him as “practically useless” for not jumping into the debate on behalf of President Obama. Such criticism may have encouraged the activist approach taken by ABC’s Martha Raddatz in the vice presidential debate October 11, and by CNN’s Candy Crowley in the October 16 town hall debate, as both of those journalists repeatedly interrupted the Republican candidate and larded the discussion with a predominantly liberal agenda.

4. The Benghazi Blackout: Right after the September 11 attack in Libya, the networks proclaimed that the events would bolster President Obama — “reminding voters of his power as commander-in-chief,” as NBC’s Peter Alexander stated on the September 14 edition of "Today." But as a cascade of leaked information erased the portrait of Obama as a heroic commander, the broadcast networks shunted the Benghazi story to the sidelines. News broke online in late September, for example, that Team Obama knew within 24 hours that the attack was likely the result of terrorism. That starkly contradicted claims from White House press secretary Jay Carney, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and President Obama himself that the attack was a “spontaneous” reaction to an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube. Yet, ABC took nearly two days to bring this story to viewers, while CBS and NBC held off for three days.

5. Burying the Bad Economy: Pundits agreed that Obama’s weakness was the failure of the US economy to revive after his expensive stimulus and four years of $1 trillion deficits. But the major networks failed to offer the sustained, aggressive coverage of the economy that incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush faced in 1992, or even that George W. Bush faced in 2004 — both years when the national economy was in better shape than it is now.

Read more: Thanks to Jeffro at The Poor Farm for telling me how to use HTML to make paragraphs!

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