Archive for the ‘press’ Category

Media Credibility Brought To Critical Review By Overwhelming Obama Bias

November 3, 2008

After the presidential election is over and the dust, animosity, glee and shock settle into something manageable, the nation will need to tackle the subject of “media bias” in a sincere and honest manner.

By Douglas MacKinnon
The New York Times
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As an “independent conservative,” I’m expected to see liberal media bias lurking everywhere, but it’s not just me — and it’s not just conservatives. I know liberals, including newspaper editors, who think the “news” pendulum had swung dangerously far to the left.

Beyond recent studies by the Pew Research Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism, other research shows that the media has tilted to the left; indeed journalists themselves have openly admitted as much.

Under the recent headline “Why McCain Is Getting Hosed in the Press,” Politico editors John F. Harris and Jim Vandehei opined:

OK, let’s just get this over with: Yes, in the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico. And, yes, based on a combined 35 years in the news business we’d take an educated guess — nothing so scientific as a Pew study — that Obama will win the votes of probably 80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election. Most political journalists we know are centrists — instinctually skeptical of ideological zealotry — but with at least a mild liberal tilt to their thinking, particularly on social issues. So what?

“So what?” Those two cavalier words alone speak to the larger problem. Who cares if “80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election” will vote for Barack Obama? Journalists, their editors, management, the candidates and the American people should care.

Regarding the Obama phenomenon and the media fascination with him, a senior staffer for a rival Democrat primary opponent offered up this theory to me for part of the bias. This person reasoned that the pressure within the news business to diversify and be politically correct means more minorities, women and young people are being hired. And young and ethnically diverse reporters and editors go easier on candidates who look more like them, are closer to their age or represent their ideal of a presidential candidate.

Over at ABCnews.com, Michael S. Malone, a columnist, posted an article last week that created a firestorm of comment and interest. In part, he wrote: “The traditional media are playing a very, very dangerous game — with their readers, with the Constitution and with their own fates. The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling.”

Read the rest:
http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/
2008/11/02/media-credibility/

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Biden, Muzzle off, Says Of McCain: He Never Gives Up

November 1, 2008

The muzzle is off.

Joe Biden stopped by a local burger joint for late night take-out, but wound up taking 12 minutes of questions from national reporters who haven’t been able to talk to the Delaware Senator since a flight to Kalispell, MT on September 7th.

By Aaron Bruns, Fox News 

So did the gaffe-prone VP nominee feel pressure from the campaign not to talk to the press?

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., ... 
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., scratches his head while speaking during his Road to Change bus tour across Ohio at Lima High School in Lima, Ohio Friday, Oct. 31, 2008.(AP Photo/Madalyn Ruggiero)

“If I’m muzzled, I don’t know,” Biden said. “I’ve done 200 interviews. I’ve been doing, you know, half a dozen to a dozen satellite feeds everyday. I’m doing shows, I mean, so, no one said anything to me about it.”

Biden told the small media throng inside the classic Lima diner that while he feels good, he expects a tight race.

This election is going to be a lot closer than everybody thinks it is,” Biden said. “I think it’s going to be close in Florida, it’s going to be close here, it’s going to be close in Missouri, I think it’s going to close – I don’t think it will be that close in Pennsylvania, I feel very good about Pennsylvania.”

“I think it’s going to be close in North Carolina, um, you know, Virginia feels really good but, you know, it ain’t till it happens,” he laughed. “We’re going everywhere. Montana, Arizona, I mean we’re everywhere we can be.”

McCain, he said, isn’t going away quietly. “One of the things I’ve admired about John, and I’ve considered him — why I’ve considered him a friend. He does, he never gives up,” said Biden. “I just hope when it’s over, win or lose, you walk up and you shake hands and say John, we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

The VP nominee said he’s glad to hear that McCain is closing out his TV campaign with a positive ad. “I hope John ends this campaign with his strength,” he said. ” I think it’s just not a good thing to, win or lose it’s not a good thing to end in sort of this tough environment. No matter what.”

As for his relationship with the man he calls a good friend? “I hope it’s intact,” he said.” John and I haven’t had a chance to speak. We have not had a chance to speak.”

Read the rest:
http://embeds.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/10/31/
biden-tells-reporters-mccain-wont-give-up/

Fairness? Obama Favorable 65%; McCain Only 31, On All U.S. Media, Says Center for Media and Public Affairs.

November 1, 2008

In the presidential election, is the U.S. media impartial?  No says the Center for Media and Public Affairs.  Not even close.

By David Bauder, The Associated Press

John McCain supporters who believe they haven’t gotten a fair shake from the media during the Republican’s candidacy against Barack Obama have a new study to point to.

Comments made by sources, voters, reporters and anchors that aired on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts over the past two months reflected positively on Obama in 65 percent of cases, compared to 31 percent of cases with regards to McCain, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs.

ABC’s “World News” had more balance than NBC’s “Nightly News” or the “CBS Evening News,” the group said.

Meanwhile, the first half of Fox News Channel‘s “Special Report” with Brit Hume showed more balance than any of the network broadcasters, although it was dominated by negative evaluations of both campaigns. The center didn’t evaluate programs on CNN or MSNBC.

“For whatever reason, the media are portraying Barack Obama as a better choice for president than John McCain,” said Robert Lichter, a George Mason University professor and head of the center. “If you watch the evening news, you’d think you should vote for Obama.”

The center analyzed 979 separate news stories shown between Aug. 23 and Oct. 24, and excluded evaluations based on the campaign horse race, including mention of how the candidates were doing in polls. For instance, when a voter was interviewed on CBS Oct. 14 saying he thought Obama brought a freshness to Washington, that was chalked up as a pro-Obama comment.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081101/
ap_on_el_pr/campaign_media;_ylt=AlfLpiFXYLVmoHZrSM1hpuus0NUE

Joe The Plumber says: “when you can’t ask a question of your leaders anymore, that gets scary”

October 19, 2008

“Joe the Plumber” is lashing out at the media for analyzing his personal life since he suddenly became a focal point of the presidential race last week.

Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Holland, Ohio, told Mike Huckabee on his Fox News talk show Saturday that he is upset by the attention and has been unable to work with reporters crowded on his front lawn.

“The media’s worried about whether I’ve paid my taxes, they’re worried about any number of silly things that have nothing to do with America,” Wurzelbacher told the former Republican presidential hopeful on his show, “Huckabee.”

Wurzelbacher said he felt terrible after reading some of the criticism of himself posted online.

“I felt about that small,” he said. “I mean I really did.”

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has been portraying Wurzelbacher as emblematic of people with concerns about Obama’s tax plans.

Wurzelbacher became famous after he met Obama and said the Democrat’s tax proposal could keep him from buying the two-man plumbing company where he works. However, reports of Wurzelbacher’s annual earnings suggest he would receive a tax cut rather than an increase under Obama’s plan.

“You know, I am a plumber,” Wurzelbacher said. “Just a plumber.”

Wurzelbacher said he agreed to appear on the show after he received phone calls from friends serving in the military who voiced their support.

“You know, when you can’t ask a question of your leaders anymore, that gets scary,” he said.

On Sunday, McCain was to travel to Ohio, where he might appear with Wurzelbacher.

Rights groups push China on press freedom for local media

October 18, 2008

Rights groups and media experts on Saturday gave a cautious welcome to China’s decision to allow foreign reporters greater freedom and urged Beijing to extend the same rights to domestic journalists.

By Marianne Barriaux, AFP, Beijing

China announced late on Friday that greater freedoms introduced for the Olympic Games for foreign reporters would be extended, giving them the right to interview consenting Chinese without first seeking government permission.

The rules were first introduced on January 1 last year as part of China’s Olympic media freedom commitments, but had been due to run out on Friday.

Domestic journalists, however, were not affected by the rules and were still laden with strict reporting restrictions — a fact deplored by rights groups and media experts.

Human Rights in China, a New-York based activist group, urged the Chinese government to also extend these freedoms to domestic reporters.

“The Chinese government should answer the calls of its own people,” said group executive director Sharon Hom.

“It should respect its own constitution which guarantees press freedom, a right that many Chinese journalists and writers have paid — and are paying — a great price to exercise.”

David Bandurski, a researcher for the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong, said the issue of press freedom in China was determined by domestic media policy rather than rules governing foreign reporters’ work.

“This is not going to have any appreciable impact on domestic journalists,” he said.

“This is really about China’s international image. China has decided that the international benefits they are going to get in terms of their image of openness are sufficient to outweigh any negative coverage they might get.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081018/wl_afp/china
mediarightsoly2008_081018094742

China extends Olympic media freedoms for foreign press

October 17, 2008

China has extended the openness rule for international media put in place for the Olympics…but domestic news people will still be under tight restrictions…

Chinese journalists from Xinhua News Agency work at their office ... 
Above: Chinese journalists from Xinhua News Agency work at their office in the Main Press Centre (MPC) in Beijing in August 2008. China on Friday announced it had extended rules introduced for the Olympics allowing foreign reporters greater freedoms, but there was no easing of restrictions for domestic press.(AFP/File/Jewel Samad)

BEIJING (AFP) – China on Friday announced it had extended rules introduced for the Olympics allowing foreign reporters greater freedoms, but there was no easing of restrictions for domestic press.

The move means that foreign journalists will continue to be able to carry out interviews and travel around China with greater ease, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters at a late night press conference.

“This is not only a big step forward for China in opening up to the outside world, for the foreign journalists it’s also a big step,” Liu said.

The previous rules, introduced on January 1 last year as part of China’s Olympic commitments to give foreign reporters more freedoms, were set to expire on Friday, two months after the end of the Beijing Games.

As was the case during the Olympic period, foreign reporters will have the freedom to conduct interviews with consenting Chinese, rather than having first to seek government permission, Liu said.

Journalists will also be allowed to report outside the city in which they are officially based, rather than having to get authorisation.

However, reporters will continue to have to seek permission from local authorities to gain access to the sensitive Himalayan region of Tibet, where the military quelled protests against Chinese rule in March.

Liu also confirmed that, as was previously the case, the rules did not apply to domestic media and Chinese nationals would remain barred from working for foreign media organisations as journalists.

“We have to say that the conditions are not mature for Chinese citizens to become journalists alongside foreign journalists,” Liu said.

China’s ruling Communist Party seeks to maintain strict controls on the flow of information within the country, and the domestic press are kept on a tight leash.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081017/wl_afp/china
mediarightsoly2008_081017180029

How free are reporters, the media in China?

October 17, 2008

Rules that gave foreign reporters greater freedom during the Beijing Olympics are due to expire. The BBC asked a range of reporters in China what difference the rules have made to their working lives.

By James Miles
The Economist and the BBC
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“It was mainly a psychological difference, we had been widely flouting the rules before, leaving Beijing to report in the provinces without seeking advance approval as was officially required.

“So when the new regulations were introduced, we were still travelling just as much but without the fear of the knock on the door by the police, without the need to change from hotel to hotel to remain under the radar screen.

“But we were still frequently encountering local officials who either didn’t know or said they didn’t know about the new Olympic regulations or were determined to ignore them.

nervous policeman in Tiananmen Square
Chinese policemen used to be nervous of foreign journalists

“There was one remarkable incident, shortly after the new regulations were introduced early last year, when I went to Henan province.

“As I expected, I was stopped by local officials. But I called the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, and remarkably, the local officials apologised to me and disappeared, leaving me with startled villagers who said this was the first time they’d ever managed to openly speak with foreign journalists.

“But since then, I’ve encountered the same kind of difficulties as before the regulations. A few days ago, I was out in the western region of Xinjiang, and was detained for several hours by local police.

“There are key parts in the country that remain very difficult to get into, and the most obvious one is Tibet. Tibet wasn’t mentioned specifically in the Olympic regulations, in theory they apply to the whole of China, but orally Chinese officials said Tibet remained excluded and we still had to seek permission.”

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7676013.stm

Chinese paramilitary policeman

Russian spies accused of agitating Czech public against US missiles

September 26, 2008

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) – Czech counterintelligence is accusing Russian spies of trying to stir up opposition in the Czech Republic to a planned U.S. missile defense facility.

In its annual report, the Czech Security Information Service says the spies have contacted non-governmental organizations, politicians and the media in the past year about the U.S. missile facility. It suggests the effort is part of a long-term campaign to damage the integrity of the European Union and NATO and to isolate the U.S.

Washington plans to build the radar base near Prague as part of a missile shield that it says is intended to deal with the threat from Iran. The plan also calls for 10 interceptor missiles to be based in Poland.

Read the rest:
http://www.kron4.com/Global/story.asp?S=9073190