Bias by Omission
It is also yet another example of something an inquisitive media has failed to discover in the 21 months since an Obama presidential run became likely.
It's too bad. It's clear, from an underlying 2005 post at Analyze This, and other information S&L gathered, that had anyone in the media undertaken an effort to speak to Obama's co-workers at Business International, the firm where he worked after earning his bachelor's degree from Columbia, they would have found that the reality of that job differed sharply from how Obama described it in his best-selling Dreams from My Father.
Here are just three of many examples from S&L, comparing how Obama characterized his job and the reality described at Analyze This:
Maryland's state Court of Appeals recently blocked a ballot initiative to overturn a Montgomery County law that would, among other things, give transgendered persons the right to choose which public restroom they will use, regardless of their biological gender.
That "Ruling Inspires New Hope For Transgender People," exulted the Metro section front page* headline for Washington Post staffer Ann Marimow's September 15 story.
Marimow noted the fact that the ballot initiative did clear Maryland's hurdle for making the November ballot, but buried it in paragraph nine, which made the print edition beyond the jump on page B6.:
It has already been established (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) that the Obama campaign's ad ridiculing John McCain's computer skills, including the claim that McCain "can't e-mail," has several reality-based problems:
- McCain has been an e-mail devotee since 2000, if not earlier, receiving help from a loving spouse to respond to messages, and was described by Forbes Magazine that year as "the U.S. Senate’s savviest technologist."
- The reason McCain gets help with e-mail is that his severe war injuries prevent him from doing many things many of us take for granted, including typing on a keyboard.
- Further, the current and previous Oval Office occupants have rarely used e-mail -- the former because he never learned how while in office, the latter because of legal considerations. Future occupants will likely be, and probably should be, similarly constrained.
So it's as clear as can be that Obama's ad is wrong and, intentionally or not, very mean to a man whose physical challenges are a result of beyond-the-call service to our country.
Beyond all that, Kevin Aylward at Wizbang has noted that McCain's 2000 presidential run was effusively praised as a groundbreaking high-tech campaign by a Democratic Internet pioneer in a 2005 book.
John Stephenson at NewsBusters early this morning asked, “Will (the) Media Report Obama’s Mocking of McCain’s Disability?”
The answer is "I doubt it," at least beyond their blogs. Print edition or televised examples will be rare to non-existent.
Two other pertinent items will also probably be ignored:
- Bill Clinton's acknowledged lack of tech skills and virtual non-use of e-mail.
- More important, the high likelihood that the next President of the United States, like his two predecessors, will rarely, if ever, use e-mail.
NB commenter "mikej" at Stephenson's post did some web searching a falsely giddy Team Obama apparently didn't have the time for (or do they not know how?). "mikej" found the following January 28, 2004 CNN Reuters item carried at CNN.com about Bill Clinton's nearly non-existent e-mailing during his presidency (bolds after title are mine):
How interesting that ABC's Charles Gibson, as noted in this Associated Press dispatch, focused on Sarah Palin's foreign-policy bona fides when he interviewed her (a transcript is here). Also note the biased AP evaluation (bolds are mine):
John McCain running mate Sarah Palin sought Thursday to defend her qualifications but struggled with foreign policy ..... acknowledging she's never met a foreign head of state.
..... She also said she had never met a head of state and added: "If you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you."
Indeed. Palin's contention gains more support if you look at the prior experience of at least a couple of presidents and vice-presidents during the past few decades:
"Former GOP senator calls Palin a 'cocky wacko'" teased the Chicago Tribune on its online front page. Curious as to who that might be, I clicked the link to find out who.
Let's just say I didn't exactly spit out my coffee when I read the Associated Press story only to find out the culprit is none other than former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (RINO-R.I.).
Of course, for those like NewsBusters readers who are well-informed and politically engaged, the only thing Republican about Linc's name is, well, his first name. But your average newspaper reader is likely unfamiliar with Chafee, particularly in a story carried over a national news wire.
Yet the reader doesn't get any hint of his leftist voting record in today's five-paragraph Associated Press article:
Mario Cattabiani of the Philadelphia Inquirer wants you to know that Governor Sarah Palin's selling of her state's plane is no big deal. Why? Well, because Democrat Governor Ed "Fast Eddie" Rendell sold his state's plane, too, and he got a better deal. So, Palin's plane purveying pales next to Rendell's according to Cattabiani. Only, there are quite a few facts that Cattabiani seems to have skipped in his story. So, apparently, the only way for the Philly Inquirer to pooh pooh Palin's efforts is to mislead us about Rendell's. Unfortunately for Cattabiani, his piece ends up being just another way to lie about Palin's record.
Starting out suitably flippant, Cattabiani takes a sarcastic jab at Palin telling her that she should "take a lesson from the Rendell administration on how to sell a state airplane," and then goes on to relate how Rendell sold his state plane at a profit. And Cattabiani then quotes a Rendell crony to the effect that Palin is "inexperienced" because of it all. Naturally, there is no investigation into what sorts of planes the two Governors sold, nor what they were worth because it turns out the Pennsylvanian plane was worth more than the Alaskan plane in the first place -- nor does Cattabiani give the Palin camp any space to reply to the political jab.
On September 3, an Asian Times writer known only as "Spengler" described a radically different scene at Invesco Field during the final night of the Democratic Convention from that conveyed by the networks and pundits. If Spengler's take is accurate, it reveals a media elite more in the tank than even its harshest critics have imagined.
Rush Limbaugh mentioned Spengler's column during his show today (see Item 9 at the link; page will go behind Limbaugh's paid subscription wall in a week). As usual, Rush is right; it's a read-the-whole-thing item. Here's one important point Rush noted:
This guy thinks (Barack) Obama is going to lose because he has no character, he has no friends, all he has are people that he has used and stepped on as rungs of a ladder to get where he goes. He has no room for a real friendship because his angry wife, Michelle, crowds them all out.
If you think that's something, wait until you read some of Spengler's description of the atmosphere at Invesco Field on the night of Obama's Greco-Roman Oration. Rush says that what Spengler has written confirms what an unnamed friend of his relayed to him from another final-night attendee:
ABC's "Good Morning America" isn't afraid to call 'em like they see 'em.
On health care, Chris Cuomo set up his resident health expert to deliver an outright insult to the American people. Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) advocates more patient choice and flexibility in buying health insurance, but ABC’s medical editor, Dr. Tim Johnson, scoffed at that notion in a September 5 story.
“The idea that individuals are going to have enough knowledge and enough savvy and enough insight and, frankly, enough guts to make choices all by themselves is pretty much a pipe dream,” Johnson said.
ABC’s Web site touts Johnson as “one of the nation's leading medical communicators of health care information.”
The indefatigable Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs has the news:
Alaska Democratic Party Deletes Page Crediting Sarah Palin with Killing 'Bridge to Nowhere'
A web site paid for by the Alaska Democratic Party says unequivocally that the state of Alaska officially abandoned the Bridge to Nowhere project, and credits Governor Sarah Palin.
Or ... it used to say that, before the page mysteriously vanished some time during the past few days
Indeed, the link goes to a now-empty page.
But Johnson notes that it has since been revived at another URL.
[Update, 3:05 pm: Transcript of Toobin's remarks added below.]
For two straight days, CNN repeated liberal rumors about Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s political record – rumors that had already been debunked by their own correspondents, as well as the respected FactCheck.org, a group led by former CNN reporter Brooks Jackson.
During Monday evening’s Election Center program, CNN’s senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed that Palin "wants to ban all abortions," despite a September 2 report by his own network which included a quote from the Alaska governor that she is "pro-life... [w]ith the exception of a doctor's determination that the mother's life would end if the pregnancy continued." Toobin also claimed that Palin "wants to treat -- to have creationism taught in public schools." This isn’t the entire story. A FactCheck.org report released on Monday, which aimed to refute "dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages making claims about McCain's running mate," clarified that Palin "supports teaching creationism alongside evolution, though she has not actively pursued such a policy as governor."
It doesn't seem to be unusual for the media to mention a positive story for the McCain campaign, only to be explained away by a surrogate or two. But ABC News outdid themselves today. In a four page online article about the 2008 presidential feud for female voters and a byline of McCain doubling their female volunteers, ABC News managed to squeeze in five different quotes/remarks to rebuke any positive news for the McCain/Palin ticket.
Quote ratio? Five to one, if you include the quote from Obama's campaign ad. Five views/endorsements favoring Obama and one perspective from McCain's campaign/surrogates. You have to love all that balance.
Here's ABC News' interpretation of the story: