Tag Archives: msm bias

Election 2012 MSM Bias

There’s a new problem in the 2012 election cycle. Story headlines will/have become more powerful than ever, because more people are getting their “news” from headline feeds sent to computers, smart phones, and tablets. Even news junkies with busy lives won’t look at what’s behind most of the headlines they see on these devices. When they do, especially given the limited real estate on their screens, they will rarely read past the opening paragraph or two.

For example, headlines and opening teases work effectively to portray Obama favorably or to denigrate his potential electoral opponents. Thus this headline editing has given the editors extraordinary power to influence the political and cultural narrative, and they have learned how to abuse it.

Here is an example that illustrates how the MSM can influence what headline-only readers see about the same story.

From Yahoo News: Senate rejects Obama call to end Big Oil tax breaks

From CNN: Senate Republicans reject Obama call to end ‘big oil’ tax breaks

Here are some more examples of headline editing and how it can influence/distort article content:

  • From the Washington Post, Ryan introduces GOP budget plan, slashing social programs and tax rates. That headline alone is bad enough, but those who bother to click through will see the following opening sentence: “House Republicans renewed their commitment Tuesday to the politically risky strategy of targeting Medicare and other popular social programs to tame the national debt, unveiling a $3.5 trillion spending plan that would also slash the top tax rate paid by corporations and the wealthy.” But the actual Ryan Budget Plan shows Medicare increasing by no less than 4.7% in any year between 2013 and 2021, and by 70% during the nine-year time period.
  • From the New York Times, Killings Could Stall Election’s Nationalist Turn This headline mentions nothing about who was killed or where the killing took place. It turns out that the accompanying story was about an Islamist killing seven, including three children, at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France.
  • From the Associated Press, via Newser, Obama defends handling of Keystone as he puts another key oil pipeline on the fast track This is a perfect example of how a headline can be quite misleading. “Another?” When has Obama ever “fast-tracked” anything not involving “green energy?”

  • AP’s Will Weissert, via Newsbuters, Santorum: Might As Well Have Obama Over Romney Again, a very misleading headline. Clicking through to the first sentence of Weissert’s article, readers will see: “Presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday said Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if Santorum isn’t the GOP nominee and for a second day compared rival Mitt Romney to an Etch A Sketch toy.” Weissert and the AP’s headline writer disgracefully used the their headline and Santorum statements to stuff words into Rick Santorum’s mouth that he never said, before getting to what he actually said in the fourth paragraph. Santorum never said anything remotely resembling “Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if I’m not the nominee,” and Weissert and his employer know it.

So, where are we and what do we do? Being aware of what the MSM is doing and how they are doing it is half the battle. Spreading the word about the MSM tactics is the other half of the battle. All we can do is spread the word, continue to support Internet sites like Conservative Daily News, and keep our personal guards up.

But that’s just my opinion.

Can We Beat The Organized Left?

Why does it seem the Democratic Party is always better organized and does a better job getting out its message than the GOP?

There are many misconceptions about the Republican Party by mainstream Americans who most often do not closely follow politics. Many think the Republican leaders do not stand on principle and too often cave to big business and Wall Street. That the party is only for the rich. That they don’t care about women’s rights but do care about big pharmaceutical companies and their profits. That they don’t care about poor people even though they are all extremist Christians.

Even Republicans are susceptible to these fallacies. In a recent Zogby survey 30% of Republican women believe the recent Catholic Church outcry over religious liberty is actually about women’s health. No doubt, their opinion was swayed by the main street media promotions and its bias. But the effect of a very organized Democratic Party can’t be denied. Yes, the Fluke incident turned out to be a gift to the left, but further investigation revealed it was meant to be a distraction of the true issue of the House Committee.  The Democrats on the committee planned this event in an attempt to change public opinion of the issue. Their efforts, at least in the short term, were successful. Twitter users spread the word that Republicans are against birth control. It did not matter that they had no statistics to back it up. A web search produces hundreds of left bloggers spreading this misinformation.

Similarly we saw the same effect when Representative Paul Ryan introduced a comprehensive budget plan that would impact younger worker’s end retirement age. The plan was trashed by people on the left claiming he was throwing granny off the cliff. Though not true, social networks and the media allowed the hysteria to grow and many believed it.

The GOP platform fits the principles of many.  Conservative values are not just for the rich. Churches that believe in strong family values will find support in the Republican Party. As strong constitutionalists the party promotes the ideal of individual rights, including the belief that all life has value and all are equal. Individual freedom gives opportunities not found in many countries. Yet, due in part to a very structured Democratic Party with control of much of the media, many don’t realize how inclusive the Republican Party is. It’s a big tent.

It is hard for Conservatives to gain strength when the main stream media offers an open page to political bias. Additionally, there are many on the Conservative side who don’t want to spread anecdotal information; choosing to wait for facts.  Even more don’t want to raise the dander of the opposition especially since all too often those without a true argument resort to name calling. But this is a critical time. Our country is on the verge of tremendous change and not for the good. As we watch Europe struggle with its socialist entitlement programs we should be taking heed rather than trying to be like them.

If you are concerned about your children’s future now is the time to act. Pull out your courage and speak up. Remember that ‘sticks and stones’ adage. If the angry left feminists are tweeting that the GOP doesn’t want women to have birth control remind them that we are not against contraception; there is no party platform that includes such. We support human rights and want individuals to work directly with their health provider for the best care options.  If Democrats are sending messages that Republicans dislike Hispanics remind them that our conservative agenda values highly family, a strong work ethic and freedom of religion. We promote the American Dream through hard work and individual responsibility. When biased media tell poor people Republicans do not care tell them that we believe in contributing to society and it is well documented that charity based help runs more efficiently than the federal government. States and local governments are better equipped to handle the needs of their residents. We do not want people to sit back waiting for a hand out but we are ready to give people a hand up.

The enthusiasm for the Tea Party drew out fiscal conservatives and those who just plain were worried about their grandchildren being saddled with such debt.  Tea Party people did not necessarily agree on all issues. But, as the last election demonstrated, most candidates aligned themselves with more of the principles of the GOP. While it worked in 2010 we can expect an extremely well funded and prepared Democratic Party to pull out all the stops. Mischaracterizations and inaccuracies can’t go unchallenged. We can beat the organized left but…it will take all of us to get the truth out.

Newt Gingrich and Freddie Mac – MSM Hit Piece?

We hear quite a bit from the MSM about Newt Gingrich’s ties to Freddie Mac. Newt Gingrich acknowledged on Wednesday, November 16, 2011, that his company, The Gingrich Group, had received consulting fees of between $1.6 million and $1.8 million from mortgage giant Freddie Mac over eight years for providing “strategic advice.” A Freddie Mac spokesperson said Gingrich was a consultant, not a lobbyist for the firm. “The Gingrich Group offered strategic advice to a wide variety of clients about a wide variety of issues, including IBM, Microsoft, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and more,” Gingrich’s campaign said in a statement. “Gingrich Group fees were comparable to that of many consulting firms.” Gingrich’s first contract with Freddie Mac began five months after he resigned in 1999 from Congress and as speaker of the House of Representatives. His last contract ended in 2008.

The biggest damage to his credibility could come from how he has blasted Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in 2008, demanding that President Obama and other members of Congress return the money they received from them, and more recently said Democrats like Rep. Barney Frank should be jailed for having ties with lobbyists at those organizations. But the cited source did NOT distinguish between contributions and fees.

So, with the MSM focusing on Newt Gingrich, let’s see of what other opportunities the MSM may have availed themselves.

Freddie Mac CEO Charles E. Haldeman Jr. received a base salary of $900,000, and took home an additional $2.3 million in bonus pay. He stands to make as much as $6 million in 2011. Leland C. Brendsel (Freddie Mac CEO 1987-03) took home more than $28.4 million from 1993 to 2003. Richard Syron (Freddie Mac CEO, 2003-08) earned more than $38 million in compensation while he was CEO. Syron collected $19.8 million of this pay in 2007 alone, the year before the enterprise went into conservatorship.

This source elaborates on the Obama-Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae connection.

After Barack Obama was nominated by the Democrat party, he asked, among others, Jim Johnson, Fannie Mae CEO from 1991 to 1998, to help him search for a vice presidential candidate. Johnson made $21 million in one year from Fannie-Mae.

President Barack Obama had numerous connections with Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae CEO from 1999 to 2004. Raines received $90 million from Fannie Mae, and he gets a pension of over $1.2 million per year. Obama received thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Fannie Mae.

Jamie Gorelick, best known for her “wall” memo, was vice chairman of Fannie Mae when it began bundling subprime loans into securitized financial instruments. She received a bonus of $779,625 in 1998 alone, after it was discovered that Fannie Mae employees falsified signatures on accounting transactions that helped the company meet earnings targets for 1998, a “manipulation” that triggered multimillion-dollar bonuses for top executives. She was paid was paid $26,466,834 in salary, bonuses, performance pay and stock options from 1998 to 2003.

Fannie Mae Chief Financial Officer J. Timothy Howard received $493,750 in 1998. Howard was ousted by the Fannie Mae board in December, 2004, after the chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) agreed with the head of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s (OFHEO) criticism of the company’s accounting, including the 1998 bonus maneuver. Howard, whose resignation is officially viewed as a retirement, stands to get an annual pension of more than $400,000, plus lifetime access to Fannie Mae’s medical benefits. He is also owed more than $4 million in stock options.

So I guess the bottom line is that, before it starts doing stories on the Newt Gingrich/Freddie Mac connection and all the money Newt made, it has PLENTY of other opportunities to do stories on other Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae executives who “made” much more money than Newt did.

BTW, this article is in no way a defense of what Newt Gingrich did. It simply illustrates how the MSM can, through selective reporting, manipulate most of the U.S. population.

But that’s just my opinion.

And, yes, I have read Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon, by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner. I highly recommend it.