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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Media: The Fourth Branch of Government (And It's Liberal Too!)

So, we’ve discussed the effects of indoctrination in schools and alluded to the fact that the main stream media brain wash the masses as well but failed to fully elaborate. It would take me months if not years to offer a truly comprehensive account of how news media mold public opinion. But I'm going to try to give you a general outline nonetheless.

.:Traditional News Media (Television and Print):.

In my post regarding the various reasons why NOT to elect Barack Obama, I offered some solid statistics and information regarding the liberal news media’s preferential treatment of Obama during the election and some charts showing how that treatment directly correlated to public opinion. Polls and studies done after the election or close to its end, even by the most liberal of sources, seem to coincide with my findings.

* Rasmussen Reports: Majority Say Reporters Tried To Help Obama

* Project for Excellence in Journalism: How the Press Reported the 2008 General Election

* Advertising Age: How Obama Killed 'Election Day' and Became President

* Washington Post: An Obama Tilt in Campaign Coverage

* Washington Times: Wash Post concedes bias for Obama

* New York Times: MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts (Olbermann and Matthews) From Anchor Seat

* Newsmax.com: Chris Matthews Admits Bias

* Rasmussen Reports: 55% Say Media More Biased This Year in Campaign Coverage

By the way, this ^ study also showed that FOX News was actually perceived as offering the least biased campaign coverage. 51% of people said MSNBC was biased, 46% said CNN was biased, just 39% said FOX News was biased.

Project for Excellence in Journalism: How Different Media Have Covered the General Election

Statistically speaking, FOX News actually did offer the fairest election coverage.

(Click to enlarge)


The Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism found that 40% of the Obama stories FOX News did during the election were negative. Similarly, FOX News (the “conservative network”) also gave 40% of its McCain stories a negative spin. That's right folks; FOX gave equal negative coverage to Obama AND McCain. On the flip side, 25% of FOX News’ stories about obama were positive, and just 22% of McCain were positive. That means that even the “conservative” network was favoring Obama. MSNBC stood out for having less negative coverage of Obama than any other network. 14% of their stories were negative for Obama. For McCain, 73% of its coverage was negative. That's about 5:1 in favor of Obama.CNN was more balanced than MSNBC, but still showed a very markable liberal lean. 39% of its stories about Obama were negative. 61% of its stories about McCain were negative. That's nearly 3:2 in favor of Obama.

While the FOX News Channel gets the most viewership of the cable networks (25%), all the liberal networks combined take up nearly all of the rest of the viewership.

Of course, none of this is new. The media was “in the tank for Obama” in the primaries as well (Source).

Though, liberal media bias isn’t exactly unique to Obama. A joint survey by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy — two very liberal leaning organizations — found that the media are sympathetic to Democrats and hostile to Republicans (IBD editorials: Even Harvard Finds The Media Biased). Within this same survey, they found that even within the liberal media bias, Obama was favored above everyone else.

Another study done by The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press agreed with the idea of a liberal media, noting that a majority of journalists identified themselves as being liberal. The study says:

“The fact that journalists--especially national journalists--are more likely than in the past to describe themselves as liberal reinforces the findings of the major academic study on this question, namely that of David H. Weaver and G. Cleveland Wilhoit, in their series of books ‘The American Journalist.’”

Even the media admits its own liberal bias.

Heck, as many as 133 newspapers publically endorsed Obama (Source)

So the media, who already favors democrats, favored Obama to an exceptional extreme in both the primaries and in the general election. This is an undisputable FACT. Liberals are squirming because they feel that this fact illegitimizes their “victory,” and, in part, they’re right.

The media’s “Obama fever” had a direct effect on public opinion. And if we can prove that, then we can also say that the people voted, in large part, because of media influence and not because of some innate compulsory adoration for Obama’s policies.

This is an idea which liberals simply cannot let get into mainstream discussion. If the people realize that they were manipulated into voting for Obama, the Democrats in Washington might find their stays cut short. Therefore, liberals deny a liberal media bias because it serves their purposes to do so.

This study, done by the independent and objective organization - Media Tenor International, found that despite the fact that McCain was perceived as being better on nearly every policy issue (even by the media), the Media continued to focus on Obama’s positive “image” and the “horse race.”

(Click to enlarge)


Now why would the media want to focus on the only two areas of the election in which Obama was leading? Well…

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As this ^ chart shows, the more the media gave Obama favorable coverage, the more the public favored him. Therefore, in order to achieve the best result for Obama, the media covered the best aspects of his campaign – his positive image as perceived by the public and his lead in the polls (essentially the same thing as his image as perceived by the public).

More Americans identify themselves as conservative (34%) than do ones whom identify themselves as liberals (21%). These figures are identical to 2004 (2004 Statistics 2008 Statistics).

The media knew that America was center-right (I’ve previously posted the maps showing that most American counties voted for McCain as well), and so instead of talking about the issues (upon which most Americans lean right – I reference California’s prop. 8) the media focused on Obama’s “image,” his “vision” and his lead in the polls – a lead they, themselves, were creating.



How ironic that the public would favor Obama because the media tells them they are already favoring Obama… self-fulfilled prophecy, no?

Robert K. Merton defined the term in his book “Social Theory and Social Structure” as meaning:

“The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come 'true'. This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning”

How relevant to our recent media situation, is it not?

So we can easily say the news media favored Obama and public opinion followed their favoritism. It was not, as liberals try in vain to assert, that the media merely reported a pre-existing condition.

But there is so much more to media influence than just traditional news media. There’s the internet, the music industry, the movie industry, and radio to consider as well.

.:Radio:.

Conventional wisdom says that conservatives dominate the radio, and I’m inclined to agree. That's the way it's always seemed to me, at least.

According to The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press : News Audiences Increasingly Politicized, just 4 out of every 10 Americans listen to radio news and just 17% listen to talk radio. However, of the people who listen to talk radio, over 94% regularly listen to NPR.

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR): How Public Is Public Radio? argues that NPR is actually right-leaning (despite seemingly wide-spread acceptance that it is liberal), saying that roughly 61% of NPR sources are Republican.

Another study done at about the same time by UCLA: Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist, argued just the opposite, saying:

"By our estimate, NPR hardly differs from the average mainstream news outlet," Groseclose said. "Its score is approximately equal to those of Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report and its score is slightly more conservative than The Washington Post's. If anything, government‑funded outlets in our sample have a slightly lower average ADA score (61), than the private outlets in our sample (62.8)."

Roger Rick: NPR Sucks also makes a lot of good arguments to say that NPR is liberal, though I would hardly cite him as an objective news source. He makes the point:

“For Brook Gladstone, host of NPR's On The Media, the question of whether the network is biased is no question at all. According to her, the people of NPR remained steadfastly in the center, while the public at large drifted slowly to the right, beginning with the Nixon years.

It's the public that is biased, stupid!

Indeed, it may be the case that we all kept drifting while Gladstone and her colleagues at NPR stayed true to the old religion. But, regardless who has changed, this still places the network somewhere out in the left field, viewed from where the rest of us are standing.

The liberal bias of the media is not surprising, considering that in a survey, jointly conducted by the Freedom Forum and the Roper Center, 89% of Washington's bureau chiefs and congressional correspondents voted for Clinton in the '96 presidential election. I am not aware of a poll of the people at NPR, but I would be surprised if their score was anything but a perfect 100%.“

He even makes a direct argument against the study offered by FAIR which I previously referenced by saying:

“I received several letters from people who argued that NPR is a right wing news organization as shown by a recent FAIR study. Of course, people who take FAIR seriously probably believe that Michael Moore is a documentary film maker rather than the clever agit-prop artist that he truly is.”

Suffice it to say, the NPR's bias is debatable. Even if we were to discount the views of Roger Rick and UCLA, and take FAIR at their word, the most we could say is that, of the 16% of Americans who listen to NPR (which, according to the study done by PEW would come out to rought 94% of all talk radio listeners), 61% of their news is sourced by Republicans. This would mean that just 9.76% of Americans would be subject to Republican-sourced talk radio news.

Hardly an impressive stat, wouldn’t you say?

But most of these studies are dated by about four years.

A more recent study was done by The Center for American Progress (CAP): The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio, an openly leftist “research” group whose President and CEO is none other than John Podesta - the former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton. With leadership such as Podesta, it no surprise that this study suggests a far more conservative dynamic in talk radio than previously mentioned. The study found:

* “Our analysis in the spring of 2007 of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners reveals that 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive.

* Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk—10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.

* A separate analysis of all of the news/talk stations in the top 10 radio markets reveals that 76 percent of the programming in these markets is conservative and 24 percent is progressive, although programming is more balanced in markets such as New York and Chicago.”

And while the Center is openly “progressive,” they aren’t quite as forthright with their political agenda. In addition to their Clintonian CEO:

The Executive Vice President for Management is Sarah Rosen, who was also a member of the Clinton administration.

Senior Vice President for Development Debbie Goldberg worked for the Clinton campaign.

Senior Vice President and Director David Halperin was a speech writer for President Clinton.

Vice President of Communications Jennifer Palmieri was Clinton’s White House Deputy Press Secretary.

Senior Vice President for External Affairs Winnie Stachelberg worked at the Office of Management and Budget under Clinton.

Vice President of Finance and Operations Brad Kiley worked for the Clinton administration.

Other Members of CAP staff who worked for Clinton: Peter Rundlet, Anna Soellner, Debbie Fine, and Michelle Jolin.

Source ^

Clearly, this “research” group, has an agenda. Let it not go understated that this “report” conveniently came out in 2007, just in time for the 2008 elections.

But let us look at their figures, nonetheless. It's not neccessarilly true that a bias source is incorrect just by virtue of it being bias.

Unfortunately for the Liberal think tank, they refrained from mentioning the importance of market share in their study and they seem to have left a vast majority of the liberal/ progressive stations out of their study. Steve Newton: If you're talking about Talk Radio, better be sure you have your facts correct points out:

“Contrary to the Center for American Progress report, there are not four talk or news/talk format radio stations impacting the Philadelphia market, but seven. In other words, the CAP report ignored 43% of the talk radio stations in the market in asserting that conservative talk dominates the market. This seems a little problematic, and it gets worse when you actually look at the stations--both included and excluded

So, first let's note that political talk radio, while it is a big format, it's not exactly dominating the radio airwaves. Combined, talk and news/talk radio stations in Philadelphia at its best has only a 9.7% market share in the City of Brotherly Love. Which means that 90.3% of all radio listeners ARE NOT LISTENING to any talk radio of any kind.”

9.7%. Does that stat seem familiar? It should, because it’s roughly the same figure I came up with in my estimate of conservative talk radio market share. Newton goes on to conclude:

“In other words, the CAP study suggesting that the dominance of Conservative Talk Radio in the Philly market is 100%-0.0% is (to use a technical term) full of shit if not an outright conscious distortion of the facts.”

I highly doubt that the errors of the CAP report are limited to the Philadelphia Market. In either case, even if we take the CAP at their word, we’re looking at an estimated market share of less than 10% for all of talk radio. Even if conservatives had 100% of that, it isn’t an impressive figure, not when weighed against the fact that all other forms of news media lean left.

The most we can say is that the news medium, which most people identify as belonging to conservatives (talk radio), only accounts for a very small portion of all news media – and that’s with the most generous of estimates. So, when you hear people respond to claims of a liberal media by saying, “Yeah, but conservatives have talk radio…” feel free to tell them that their argument is a bad one.

.:Internet:.

The internet is perhaps the most free form of information. Anyone with an internet connection can upload a picture, sound bite or video, and share it with the world. Print media finds itself confronted with the cold hard fact that it no longer has a monopoly on the written word.

Perhaps this accounts for the recent swing in printed partisanship – newspapers have had to increase the level to which they pander to their demographics to keep them reading. Even still, papers like the New York (Obama) Times are losing money hand over fist (Associated Press: New York Times Company Profits Plummet, 82% Drop In One Year) because consumers are simply unwilling to pay for their propaganda.

Yet, even the internet favored Obama, according to polling done by MySpace - the largest online networking community in the world (Yahoo! Tech: MySpace poll shows Internet generation favors Barack Obama (AFP)) :

“Survey data collected during a year of unprecedented online political campaigning and discourse shows that 60 percent of the millions of eligible voters on MySpace prefer Democratic candidate Obama.

The survey, which has a three percent margin of error, shows that only 34 percent of MySpace users said they were likely to vote for Republican candidate John McCain.”

What accounts for this?

“The younger the MySpace user the more likely he or she was to be pro-Obama, with his support rising from 53 percent of those 35 years of age or older to 62 percent of those between 18 and 24, results showed.”

Ah… there we have it.

Perhaps it would be important, then, to look at the demographics of internet users.

Pew Internet & American Life Project Tracking surveys (March 2000 – May 2008) show that 70% of Americans use the internet, but just 39% of the American internet users get their daily news from an online source.

Of the Americans using the internet, here’s an age break down of those who use MySpace, courtesy of RL Digital: MySpace Age and Gender Demographics:

(Click to enlarge)


In that same report, Rober of RL Digital goes on to say:

“MySpace users are concentrated in the under 40 age group heavy skewed toward the 20ish crowd.”

Well, that explains a lot doesn’t it? The MySpace poll just so happened to tap the same age demographic which typically supports the democratic ticket. I think it goes without saying that the younger generations tend to be more tech savvy, and so internet forms of communication are going to reflect the type of people generating them. Therefore, it seems reasonable to suggest that internet media would also lean left. If a majority of online users are younger, and a majority of younger Americans vote democratic, then it stands to reason that a majority of online content would favor the democratic agenda. So, it also stands to reason that the internet favored Obama – a fact of which he is well aware.

A large portion of his funding was coordinated online, and he’s made it known that he wants to use his campaign networking to bypass the media and “speak directly to the American people.” He has even promised a weekly youtube video, while in the White House. It’s no shocker, then, that he also plans to nationalize broadband internet access.

And if you don’t think he had a concerted campaign effort to up-grade youtube videos that favored him, down-grade videos that didn’t, and post responses to public blogs, you’re clearly out of touch.

If you go to youtube a search “John McCain,” you’ll find that nearly all of the results are negative about John McCain (except for sponsored channels which appear at the top with a different color background). This isn’t because there is some "mysterious" lack of pro-McCain videos available; it’s because there was a concerted effort to down-rate videos that supported him. Want proof? Search “John McCain American Hero.” Suddenly, some positive McCain videos start to appear! There are thousands of videos on youtube supporting John McCain, but you have to be a real sleuth to find them – and that was by design folks!

Conversely, if you search for “Barack Obama,” you’ll find that all of the first results are relatively positive for Obama. Again, not a coincidence. Moreover, as with the horserace reporting of the media, this is a phenomenon which perpetuates itself or – in internet speak – goes viral. Once video’s start getting a lot of views, they get more views. Once they start getting attacked, they get hit with more attacks.

Though, to be fair, I’ve seen quite a few conservative radicals on youtube as well… though their ignorance often seems so stereotypical that I can’t help but wonder if their remarks have been orchestrated to paint conservatives in a "particular light." What better way to make conservatives look stupid than to post something stupid under the guise of a conservative? Seem far-fetched?

If you were running a presidential campaign and had an online network of over 10 million people, what would you do? Especially when people can make up names and post anonymously for FREE…

That said, the online age divide is decreasing and a conservative internet presence is growing in correlation. The percentage of older online users has practically doubled in the past few years. However, if the GOP wants to stand a chance in future elections, they'll have to seriously ramp up their internet efforts.

.:Movie and Television Industry; aka "Hollywood":.

In regards to the movie and television industry (independent of the news networks previously mentioned), it’s no secret that they have always been liberal. Hollywood has been perhaps the most powerful steward of the liberal cause since they put those nine letters on that hill. Here is a list of roughly 300 "Hollywood" celebrities who openly supported Obama. I don't know if each of these names are true, but a quick glance at them combined with what I already know, seems to suggest relative accuracy.

In addition, there have been a plethora of recent liberal “docu-ganda” films like:

Fahrenheit 9/11 (anti-bush/ Republican)
Death of a President (anti-Bush)
Lions for Lambs (anti-Republican)
There Will Be Blood (anti-oil)
Blue State (Anti Republican)
Bob Roberts(anti-conservative)
American Beauty (anti-establishment)
The Life of David Gale (anti-death penalty)
John Q (universal healthcare)
Crash (everyone’s a racist)
On Deadly Ground (anti-oil)
SICKO (universal Healthcare)

Let us not forget that Obama has written two memoirs which were best sellers (making him a celebrity in his own right), but only managed to cook up one national bill that got passed into law.

.:The Music Industry:.

The music industry (excluding perhaps a portion of some country music) has also historically touted the liberal agenda. Here’s a list of just a few of the pro-Obama songs:

Ludacris: "Politics as Usual
Malik Yusef [FT. Kanyer West and Adam Levine: "Promised Land"
The Mountain Goats: "Down to the Ark"
Big Boi [FT. Mary J. Blige]: "Something’s Gotta Give"
Young Jeezy [FT. Nas]: "My President"
Jay-Z: "A Billi"
Nas: "Black President"
V.I.C.: “Get Silly”
Common "The People"
Kidz in the Hall [FT. Talib Kweli and Bun B]: “Work to Do”
Nas's DJ Green Lantern: “Black President”

To tie in the internet bias with the music industry bias, the youtube profile "Obamasongs" has over 1,200 pro-Obama songs uploaded on their account from across the world. Twelve hundred…

What did the Music Industry for John McCain? I can think of two country songs:

John Rich: “Raising McCain”
Hank Williams Jr.: “Family Tradition [Remake]”

And… yep, I think that’s about it.

And as if it wasn’t hard enough for the GOP to appeal to younger voters, there were several musicians who wouldn't even allow McCain to play their music at his events:

Heart
Nancy Wilson
Bon Jovi
The Foo Fighters
Survivor
John Mellencamp
Half of Van Halen

- To name a few. And to think... he fought in a war defending their freedom so that they could deny him the "privilege" of playing their music at his rallies. Boy, half a decade as a prisoner of war really seems worth it now, doesn't it?

(I'm being facieses, of course.)

.:Conclusion:.

With so many celebs backing Obama and using their various forms of media and/or their reputations to propagate for him, it’s no wonder the youth were so successfully wooed. In fact, when you look closely at American Media, you would begin to wonder if we even had conservatives in this country. Yet, again, there are more self-professed conservatives in this country than liberals.

It makes you wonder… what would happen to the democrats if the media weren’t there to get them into office?

(Click to enlarge)


When you hear conservatives ranting about indoctrination and liberal media, maybe now you have a sense of what they mean. Maybe now you’ll see why conservatives aren’t happy with the consolation prizes of FOX News, talk radio, and a few second tier newspapers (all of whom are fine newspapers but have larger, liberal counterparts within the same market except for perhaps The Wall Street Journal).

But let me say this: the same internet fervor that helped bring Obama and the democrats into office can also be their undoing. When the rest of America gets online and begins getting their information for free, the traditional liberal media will find their puppet strings on public opinion severed - or at least contorted dramatically.

The real question is: who will win the battle to control the political tenor of the internet? Whoever does that, will find victory. If you need proof, look at the guy heading for the White House on January20th. That’s a man who understands the power of media and, more specifically, new media.
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