If the public doesn’t know the facts, how can elections be fair?
Has the thrill run up the leg of MSNBC TV’s Chris Matthews again? That’s what he famously said in December 2008 to describe his feeling of ecstasy when he heard Barack Obama speak.
Now the liberal commentator is indoctrinating his viewers about the latest election news. "From Ohio to Mississippi, from Arizona to New Jersey to Maine and beyond, most voters went the Democrats' way," Matthews bubbled over in reporting his version of the Nov. 8 elections. Matthews avoided reporting the facts that In Virginia, Republicans won 68 state house seats, a super majority and will now effectively control the state senate. In Mississippi, Republican Phil Bryant made history, becoming the first Republican to ever succeed another Republican.
Here’s how Matthews put it: “Leading off tonight, reversal of fortune. One year ago, the Democrats lost 63 House seats and six Senate seats. But last night, the story was very different. From Ohio to Mississippi, from Arizona to New Jersey to Maine and beyond, most voters went the Democrats' way. The two most significant results in Ohio. Voters rejected governor John Kasich's anti-union legislation by a huge margin. And in Mississippi, the so-called personhood anti-abortion amendment went down to a crushing defeat.
“In Ohio, by two to one, voters soundly rejected an anti-union law that limited collective bargaining by public employees. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, quote, ‘Without question, the results will be viewed as a momentum builder for Democrats nationwide and should encourage President Barack Obama.’" “In Mississippi, a personhood amendment which would've defined personhood starting at conception was defeated,” he said with glee. “Had it passed, this amendment would've outlawed all abortions and many forms of contraception. In Arizona, the Republican president of the state senate, who was architect of the state's harsh anti-immigration law lost in a recall election. He's out. And in Maine, voters rejected a law that ended same-day voter registration. There was one defeat for the President. In Ohio, voters went two to one in rejecting the president's health care individual mandate. Voters supported a proposal that says no federal, state, or local law could force a person or employer to participate in the health care system, (he seemed to grudgingly tell viewers). So, there you have a pretty good night for the Democrats.”
Matthews' broadcast was only one of the recent examples of tilted news.
“Conservatives had some significant victories in Tuesday’s scattered elections across the country,” as the Media Center reported. The broadcast network evening newscasts on Wednesday night, however, (with the exception of one topic on NBC) spotlighted setbacks for conservatives. So did the next day’s morning TV shows.
“Ohio voters rejected a Republican-backed measure that limited the collective bargaining rights of public workers,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley said of the measure which won by 61 to 39 percent, but neither he nor ABC’s Diane Sawyer informed viewers a ballot measure which will bar ObamaCare’s mandate won by an even more overwhelming 66 to 34 percent.
As Ken Walsh wrote in the latest U.S. News & World Report, there’s a “depth of anger and angst around the country.
In this environment, it seems wise to step back a bit and recognize that public opinion about the presidency and the two major parties swings like a pendulum, moving between change and continuity.... Americans are in a dark mood....”
All the more reason to hope-against-hope for a mainstream media to tell the truth and the whole truth. How else can democracy work, when the voters are bombarded with liberal bias?
On the ABC evening news, Diane Sawyer declared: “And now politics. Votes have been counted, election results from last night are in on some important issues. There was a big surprise in Mississippi, where that hotly debated proposal that was a law that would have defined life as beginning at the moment of fertilization was soundly defeated. Passage would have outlawed all abortions in the state.
“And in Ohio, voters lifted a curb on bargaining rights, freeing up union activity among public employees. And over in Arizona, voters recalled the architect of that state’s tough immigration law, Senate President Russell Pierce. The message last night seemed to be that voters are not that interested in ideological showdowns at a time when their number one concern is coming together to create jobs."
Scott Pelley on CBS evening news: “There were state and local elections all over America yesterday. Voters in Mississippi rejected the so-called ‘Personhood Initiative,’ which said that life begins at fertilization and would have outlawed abortion from that moment. And in a victory for unions, Ohio voters rejected a Republican-backed measure that limited the collective bargaining rights of public workers.”
Historically 80 percent of news reporters vote for Democrats. Beyond this, TV networks and cable news channels have their own opinionated broadcasters—some conservative, many liberal.
Conservative critics of the media say some bias exists within a wide variety of media channels including shows of CBS, ABC, and NBC, cable channels CNN and MSNBC, as well as major newspapers, news-wires, and radio outlets, especially CBS News, Newsweek, and the New York Times. These arguments intensified when it was revealed that the Democratic Party received total donations of $1,020,816, given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks (NBC, CBS, ABC), while the Republican Party received only $142,863 via 193 donations. Both of these figures represent donations made in 2008.
A study frequently cited by critics of a "liberal media bias" in American journalism is The Media Elite, a 1986 book co-authored by political scientists Robert Lichter, Stanley Rothman, and Linda Lichter.They surveyed journalists at national media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the broadcast networks. The survey found that most of these journalists were Democratic voters whose attitudes were well to the left of the general public on a variety of topics, including such hot-button social issues as abortion, affirmative action, and gay rights. Then they compared journalists' attitudes to their coverage of controversial issues such as the safety of nuclear power, school busing to promote racial integration, and the energy crisis of the 1970s. The authors concluded that journalists' coverage of controversial issues reflected their own attitudes, and the predominance of political liberals in newsrooms therefore pushed news coverage in a liberal direction.
We can only be grateful to “talk radio” as a counterbalance.
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