Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fact: The Washington Post Led Us Astray

"The Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage, but readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.

...The count was lopsided, with 1,295 horse-race stories and 594 issues stories. The Post was deficient in stories that reported more than the two candidates trading jabs; readers needed articles, going back to the primaries, comparing their positions with outside experts' views. There were no broad stories on energy or science policy, and there were few on religion issues.

...Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got, especially of his undergraduate years, his start in Chicago and his relationship with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who was convicted this year of influence-peddling in Chicago. The Post did nothing on Obama's acknowledged drug use as a teenager.

...One gaping hole in coverage involved Joe Biden, Obama's running mate. When Gov. Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president, reporters were booking the next flight to Alaska. Some readers thought The Post went over Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected Biden. They are right; it was a serious omission.

In early coverage, I wasn't a big fan of the long-running series called "The Gurus" on consultants and important people in the campaigns. The Post has always prided itself on its political coverage, and profiles of the top dogs were probably well read by political junkies. But I thought the series was of no practical use to readers. While there were some interesting pieces in The Frontrunners series, none of them told me anything about where the candidates stood on any issue."

-- Deborah Howell, ombudsman, admitting her paper showed an extreme bias for Barack Obama during the election, in The Washington Post.

I expect we are going to see more of this - after the fact - by many of the nation's newspapers. Look for The New York Times - which was the absolute worst of the bunch - to also be the last. And, it should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog, that our nation's newspapers have a weird, very-NewAge, thought-stopping fascination for "gurus". I wrote Miss Howell an e-mail which speaks for TMR:

Dear Miss Howell,

I thank you for your admission of bias, which many of us noticed immediately, but, honestly, it's "too little too late" now: Barack Obama is our president - and we have no idea if that's the right thing because
The Washington Post, like many other papers, did not do their jobs in such a way that the public could make an honest decision. In fact, while I am only able to speak for myself, I'll use that much influence to say the paper's performance was disgraceful. Can you imagine the heat, that was directed at those of us who said the bias was there, when the paper was pretending it's giving us an accurate picture of the issues and events? When our major newspapers engage in media bias, they put more than their own reputation on the line, but the reputations of us all.

As I said, I thank you for you honesty - now - but
The Washington Post (and it's affiliates) have done our nation a grave disservice.


"The Crack Emcee"
The Macho Response

If you want an honest appraisal of issues and events, then lend your support to those of us who are determined to bring it to you - regardless of party, race, or other considerations - and, little by little, it's being proven that one of these is:

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