Mass Media and this Election

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Can you tell I’m starting to get worried about prepping for my Trinity course?

(Spots are still open.  Call 860 297 2151.)

Speaking of Greenwald he has an interesting meditation on the press-pol dynamic which conjured up memories of the quote-polishing revelation from earlier in the cycle.

Also on my radar today: the explosion of net-driven fact-checking.

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9 thoughts on “Mass Media and this Election

  1. Todd Zaino

    Here’s a topic for your class:

    Allen West attack ad depicts him punching a white woman
    Rick Moran

    You can’t call this kind of thing gutter politics. You do a disservice to the gutter.

    The Shark Tank:

    The American Sunrise PAC has launched its first attack ad against Congressman Allen West. The political action committee was founded by the father of Congressman West’s general election opponent Democrat Patrick Murphy.

    Thomas Murphy Jr. is the CEO of a Miami-based Coastal Construction Group, and he has already kicked in $250,000(Source) into the PAC. But now those funds have been employed in the creation of a questionable ad that depicts West as a boxer who smacks around women and takes money away from middle class families.

    The ad slyly uses a caricature of West and portrays him as a bully who hits women- more specifically, a white women- while he grabs money away from a “middle class” family that just happens to be a black family.

    I’m trying to recall when the ad wars became so sublimely cruel and outrageously dishonest. There are no standards anymore; you can accuse your opponent of anything, including murder. Abusing free speech in this manner may win you an election, but at what cost?

    Whatever dignity and probity were left in politics are certainly gone now. There’s no reason for restraint now that it can be shown that lashing out wildly works.

  2. Richard

    The influence of polls behind the scenes. I guess we find out tomorrow.

    Nate Silver has Romney picking Rubio (FL), McDonnel (VA) or Portman(OH) with the prevailing logic that McDonnel will give Romney Virginia and set up McDonnel and Rubio to campaign and carry Florida and lock up the South and 248 electoral votes before the convention. Mitt is then living in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and vacation home New Hampshire.

    If Romney ignores the pollsters he goes with Paul Ryan who will alienate moderates and invigorate the base on their way to a death march. If Romney goes with Susannah MArtinez he’s taking a statistical gamble that a Latina can deliver the Hispanic and moderate women voters in the Swing States.

    I prefer Martinez. I simply like watching the Progressives choke all over their rhetorical BS when she eats up Joe Biden in a debate.

    I’ve got McDonnel as the safe, sane Romney play and the VA locale seals it

  3. Paul

    Well now we know it’s Ryan. I agree with your analysis Richard. Condolences, although being on the other side of the fence I’m happy with the choice. We still have a long way to go but it seems that Romney has taken to painting himself into corners unnecessarily this time, starting with “I’m severely conservative” when he pretty much had things wrapped up. For someone who has made a career out of taking whatever stance worked at the moment, it’s a strange time to focus on the far right. Where are they going to go? Even if they stayed home, the fringe is outnumbered by middle. Same is true on the left. In the end, I don’t think VP choices mean a great deal unless they go really wrong on the trail. It will only be a matter of time until Romney has to betray some of Ryan’s positions in a move to the center. Ryan’s high policy profile makes that more risky. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

  4. Jim

    Glenn Greenwald – hands down the best journalist around, speaking truth to power. So seldom seen in our MSM. I once suggested to the Courant that they begin publishing his work. The request went nowhere. No surprise there. The Courant’s idea of a progressive is Jules Witcover????

    1. Cynical Susan

      I also like Matt Taibbi, Ryan Lizza, Jane Mayer, and a few others (although the latter two here write with more objectivity, which is necessary too).

  5. Todd Zaino

    This could be an interesting topic for your class it’s by Ed Lasky:

    Now we know why-when President Obama deigns to talk to the media-he chooses local outlets and venues such as Entertainment Tonight and People magazine. He can overawe them by the chance to talk to a President and he can script the questions they will ask him. So not only do we have photo-ops but also phony interviews.

    From veteran WH reporter Keith Koffler in a column titled “White House Sets Ground Rules for Local Interviews”:

    The White House is doing something with its local TV interviews that it could not easily get away with in encounters with the White House press corps, which President Obama has been studiously ignoring: choosing the topic about which President Obama and the reporter will talk.

    In interviews with three local TV stations Monday, two from states critical to Obama’s reelection effort, Obama held forth on the possibility of “sequestration” if he and Congress fail to reach a budget deal, allowing him to make his favorite political point that Republicans are willing to cause grievous harm to the economy and jobs in order to protect the rich from tax increases…

    The reporters mostly made no effort to hide the arrangement. “The president invited me to talk about sequestration,” NBC 7 San Diego’s reporter told her audience. In the interview, she set Obama up with a perfectly pitched softball the president couldn’t have been more eager to take a swing at:

    “What do you want individual San Diegans to know about sequestration?” she asked.

    Donna Deegan of FCN Jacksonville initially seemed to apologize for not broaching the appointed subject right away.

    “Mr. President, I know we were asked to talk about sequestration today,” she said, but then added she wanted to talk about something else first. Finally, she got to it:

    “Let’s talk a little bit about sequestration, because I know that’s why you invited us here,” she said.

    Obama used an interview with WVEC Norfolk to specifically bash Republicans.

    Isn’t this like getting the questions to exams before the test date?

    Now we know why he avoids press conferences with more serious reporters — and , why he avoids like the plague anyone from conservative media outlets or anyone from, say, Fox News.

    No wonder journalist Mark Halperin spilled the beans when he said “the media is very susceptible to doing what the campaign wants.”

    Lest we forget that one pro-Obama media pseudo-conspiracy was busted a couple of years ago when the “Journolist” effort was disclosed. This was a small clubby group of journalists — some writing for major media — who passed around ideas on-line on how to spin the public to be more pro-Obama.

    Should it surprise anyone that the media is so widely considered to be in Obama’s pocket and is so widely disrespected? (See this column in Investor’s Business Daily. Among the insights is a Rasmussen poll that show 51% of likely voters fully expect the media to favor Obama in its campaign coverage.)

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