Thursday, December 11, 2008

Was the Press Fair?

Over the past 5 years, press coverage of Britney Spears has been more negative than coverage of Beyonce Knowles. I don't have statistics to back this up, but I feel confident in the statement. Does this reflect a bias toward one performer, or does it reflect decisions each performer has made?

Similarly, I am always cognizant of the liberal slant the press often has, but I don't agree with pseudo-conservatives who see the bias everywhere. Pseudo-cons complained about the amount of negative press for McCain, but have they thought about the ways that McCain brought it on himself?
  • McCain shut off access to the press corps, so all they could do was look for their own stories. When you cut off access, you give up your chance to help the media craft the story.
  • It was clear to many people that Palin was a spectacularly desperate pick. Once nominated, she was cutoff from most of the media. She was not well-known and was embroiled in her own series of dramas. She also lied and kept on lying (e.g., about her opposition to the bridge to nowhere). Basically, she was a never-ending drama factory and that is going to attract negative attention like Britney attracts paparazzi.
  • When the economic crisis hit, McCain tried to do something bold, but instead, he just looked like a flip-flopper who alienated many members of his own party.
On the other hand,
  • The race for the Republican nomination was finished long before the Democratic race. No race means no news. Obama stayed in a hotly-contested race for a longer time, so he kept on being in the news.
  • There seems to be a statute of limitations on old dirt. The press didn't play up Biden's old plagiarism issues any more than they played up McCain's old infidelity issues.
  • The Dems seemed to recognize this statute of limitations on old dirt, but the GOP didn't. All four candidates had old dirt, but only the Republican candidates decided to use it and that strategy smelled like desperation.
  • Biden is a known quantity who made mistakes in the past, and fessed up to them. He isn't without faults, but most of them were old news.
Anyway, I recognize that there is a liberal bias in the media, but I don't see that bias as the primary reason for the imbalance in this year's coverage of the Presidential race. It accounts for the imbalance in positive stories, but not the imbalance in negative stories. The Republicans brought much of that negativity upon themselves.

Donklephant has this post about this topic.

1 comment:

Mei Ji Fei said...

McCain sold his soul to the dark side after losing to GW in 2000. He saw then the power of perseption vs truth. He saw how GW and his faction could take an untruth and shape into a political reality to throw his own message off track. He was very much like Barak at the time in that he wanted to stick to the issues.
McCain was doomed in the media when he tried to run as GW did but at the wrong time. Americans had enough of negativity especially when he had to go through such great lenghts to prove it. He also failed by running a partisan campaign in a nonpartisan year. The media was quick to point out his inconsistencies. Barak offered no such bait.