Posts Tagged ‘unbalanced coverage’

Biased Liberal Media Prepares For Obama Overseas Trip

July 18, 2008

Fox News had this yesterday:

On his upcoming overseas trip, Barack Obama will be met along the way by the anchors of the three network evening newscasts. About 200 other journalists have also asked to join Obama during his trip.

But Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post reports that John McCain has taken three foreign trips in the past four months — all unaccompanied by a single network anchor and with little fanfare.

The Tyndall Report, which monitors news coverage, says that since June the nightly newscasts on the three networks spent a combined 114 minutes covering Obama while devoting just 48 minutes to McCain.

And first of all, with all three anchors from all three networks accompanying Obama, you can figure that that “114 minutes to 48 minutes” figure will get a LOT more lopsided.

Question: why is Obama’s trip getting all this attention?

Explain it to me. If you think I’m dumb for not understanding, feel free to use as many one-syllable words as you want. Why is the media that virtually ignored McCain’s trips giving Obama’s trip so much attention?

It’s not that Obama is surging ahead in the polls and McCain is going nowhere; the reality is that the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat, and that it has been McCain – and NOT Obama – who is moving upward. It’s not as though the American people want to know what Obama is doing, and could care less about what McCain is doing.

And it certainly isn’t over some drama that Obama’s position might actually change regarding Iraq. He earlier announced that his 16 month timetable for withdrawal from Iraq could change depending on conditions on the ground and advice from military commanders. But his reversal was so unpopular with liberals that he was forced to waffle and pander his way back to his earlier position. He is now firmly committed to pulling out of Iraq in 16 months, commanders be damned.

As John McCain has pointed out, it’s fundamentally irrational for a candidate for president to set forth his foreign policy and then afterward go on a fact finding trip.  But the only people who think liberals make any sense are other liberals.

The Obamamessiah apparently does not need to hear the opinions of American commanders in Iraq; he doesn’t need to see how dramatically the conditions on the ground have changed. He is divinely omniscient, knowing their thoughts and their hearts across the Atlantic, and knowing far better than they as to what to do.

So what is it? Why are the media so excited that all three of the mainline network anchors are going with him? Along with a massive flock of journalists? Why?

There is one reason and one reason only: they are biased journalists in the tank for Obama, and they want to create a sense of excitement about his trip. They want to make Barack Obama appear “presidential.”

Here’s an article that raises some of the issues the media COULD use to create its narrative of Obama’s visit, as well as the effort to “provide him a real commander-in-chief moment” picture they almost certainly WILL end up attempting to create.

At MSNBC’s First Read, Domenico Montanaro wonders if McCain has boxed Obama in on the issue, or whether it could bounce back against the Republican presidential candidate.

“Has McCain boxed Obama in on this issue — because if he does actually go to Iraq, will it look like McCain’s idea?” Montanaro wonders. “There are certainly a few other pros to McCain’s line of attack here: It moves the issue terrain to ground on which the Arizona senator is comfortable (Iraq), and it makes McCain look like the knowledgeable and experienced one.”

The article continues, “‘The important thing is for him to go and see the facts on the ground and the success we are achieving,’ McCain said yesterday. But there are a couple of cons, too. For starters, this debate will spur news organizations to whip up the video of McCain’s widely panned stroll through that Baghdad market, evidence that politicians don’t always see everything when they visit Iraq. But more important, if Obama DOES go, it could provide him a real commander-in-chief moment. As conservative commentator Jennifer Rubin puts it, ‘He might be able to … show he is not ‘afraid’ to get out and meet with the troops and commanders. He might even impress some voters that he is fluent enough in national security matters to be a credible commander-in-chief.'”

Will we hear about the negative side surrounding Obama’s trip? John Gibson put it this way:

But now he’s been cornered by McCain and his choices are not good. If after “consideration” he decides not to go, he will be dogged continuously about why he criticizes and condemns the situation in Iraq when he won’t go see it for himself.

If on the other hand he does go, he is very likely to see firsthand what a wide array of commentators have called success in Iraq: A much improved security situation, normal life returning to Iraqi streets, the impending and total defeat of Al Qaeda (an AQ Web site recently posted an essay titled “How We Lost in Iraq”), and the determination of the prime minister to stamp out sectarian violence with massive numbers of Iraqi troops.

Will journalist ask Obama about why Al Qaeda is now openly acknowledging that it lost in Iraq? Will they ask how Obama can criticize McCain’s Iraq position when it was that policy that has resulted in the victory? Will they ask Obama why he scrubbed his own website of his earlier predictions that the “surge” would fail and result in disaster? Will they point out that, had we pursued Obama’s policy, we would have abandoned Iraq at a time when our withdrawal would have certainly resulted in defeat instead of victory? Will they point out that withdrawing when Obama said we should have would have almost certainly resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis, and necessitated a third invasion in Iraq?

One thing is for sure: the three network anchors, and the hundreds of journalists, will very likely NOT ask these questions. And they probably won’t treat Barack Obama the way they treated John McCain when he was mercilessly panned for taking his stroll in that Baghdad market. And they further most likely won’t tell us that he’s only going because it’s politically necessary that he go, or that the trip is essentially pointless because he’s already announced his policy.

Barack Obama has not bothered to visit Iraq for 921 days now. He hasn’t felt the need to consult with American military commanders to benefit from their insights before announcing his policies. He didn’t bother to seek extra time with General Petraeus when he was in Washington, and didn’t even ask the general a single question (but instead spent his entire allotted time at the hearing lecturing him). He clearly tried to waffle in announcing he was “refining” his previous Iraq position, which is exactly what the Clinton campaign predicted he would do. And now he’s waffled back. (Read my article for links to all of the above and more).

Will any of that fertile journalistic territory be the narrative the media paints during Obama’s first foreign visit in 2 1/2 years? And when Obama goes to Israel, will the media remind viewers that Obama told a group of American Jews that Jerusalem would remain the eternal undivided capital of Israel, and then told a group of American Palestinians the opposite? Will they use this perfect “gotcha” moment to force Obama to announce exactly what his stance on Jerusalem is? What do you think?

Maybe they’ll feel self-conscious for being so obviously in the tank that they’ll ask at least one or two “token” tough questions?

This is the same media that gave significant coverage to the failure of Iraq to meet American benchmarks, and then failed to cover the story that Iraq was now making huge progress meeting those same benchmarks. Fox News’ Britt Hume put it this way:

Hume Correctly Predicts Only FNC Would Report Progress in Iraq

After leading Tuesday’s Special Report with how “last year the administration reported satisfactory progress on only about eight of 18 benchmarks” while this year, in a report disclosed Tuesday, the administration determined “there has been satisfactory progress on 15 of the 18,” FNC’s Brit Hume doubted “word of this progress is going to get through” to the public as he predicted: “I suspect that this broadcast tonight — and maybe some others on this channel — are the only ones who are going to make a headline out of this. This is not going to be a big story elsewhere.” Indeed, the CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 were silent Tuesday night about the benchmarks. Hume also observed that “when it first hit the wires, the wire story lead about it was all about how much trouble the next President is going to have with the slow pace of the Iraqi government. Only down in the story did one find out that this new report on the benchmarks has come out reporting a dramatic change from a year ago.”

A more detailed story provides more illumination on why Iraq’s success in meeting 15 of the 18 benchmarks somehow didn’t deserve coverage. They don’t want progress in Iraq. They don’t want you to know about the progress in Iraq. They want the American people to be mushrooms: they want you K.I.T.D.A.F.O.H.S. (Kept In The Dark And Fed On Horse you-know-what).

The media claims that it is objectively attempting to prove the public with the facts when they are doing anything but. They are attempting to paint one distorted narrative after another that conforms to their own agenda. If it were any other industry (e.g. banking or investment), we would call this kind of behavior “fraud” and punish it criminally.

The thing that bothers me is that the most important election in America is no longer even close to fair. Rather, it is every bit as lopsided as the clearly liberal and clearly biased media can make it.

If the American people were allowed to receive the real story about Barack Obama, if they were presented with the real Obama policies, and if they were presented with the ramifications of those policies, he would lose in a landslide. As the media cheerfully accompanies Barack Obama on his heroic and romantic trip to foreign lands, you can bet that they will be doing everything they can to continue to distort the news to prevent that from happening.

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