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Media Expert Decries Campaign Coverage

Old 03-02-08, 07:31 AM
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Media Expert Decries Campaign Coverage

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080302/...cism&printer=1

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer


The founder of a prestigious institute on media and politics added his voice Saturday to the chorus of complaint over perceived press bias in favor of Democrat Barack Obama.

Walter Shorenstein, a prominent San Francisco-based real estate developer, Democratic fundraiser and longtime supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, penned a memo to Democratic party "superdelegates" and other activists criticizing media coverage of the presidential campaign.

Shorenstein is the founder of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University. His memo came days before Tuesday's key primaries in Ohio and Texas, which Clinton must win to save her waning candidacy.

The former first lady and her advisers have lashed out at the press in recent days, suggesting unfair coverage of the campaign has in part led to Obama's victories in the last 11 voting contests. They've encouraged supporters and voters to watch a "Saturday Night Live" skit that aired last weekend, depicting a group of journalists fawning over Obama.

Clinton appeared on this week's "SNL" to praise a similar sketch that parodied the media's treatment of her and her rival.

In his memo, Shorenstein concurred with the Clinton campaign's assessment.

"I am absolutely outraged with the media coverage of the presidential campaign," Shorenstein wrote in the memo, which was obtained by The Associated Press. "This is the most important election in my long lifetime, and to quote one of my favorite movies, 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!'"

He was quoting the 1976 movie "Network," in which a mentally disturbed television news anchor played by Peter Finch went on the air and implored viewers to rebel against gimmicks staged by network news executives.

"There is too much on the line for the media to ignore important issues while they obsess about Hillary's hairdo or Barack's baritone," Shorenstein continued. "Is it in the country's best interest that voters received far more information about Hillary's laugh than Obama's legislative record? Is it good for our nation that more attention is paid to the differences in their speaking style than their health care plans?"

Shorenstein attached several studies to the memo indicating the press had given more favorable coverage to Obama than to Clinton, and urged activists to forward the material to friends and voters and to complain to reporters.

"Our democracy depends upon the fourth estate to fulfill the uniquely critical role of informing voters about the important issues facing our nation," Shorenstein wrote. "Yet far too often, the campaign coverage has been biased, blase, or baseless."
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The article speaks for itself. No bolding is required.
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Old 03-02-08, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
The article speaks for itself. No bolding is required.
Are you sure? Maybe just a little bolding?
Walter Shorenstein, la prominent San Francisco-based real estate developer, Democratic fundraiser and longtime supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, penned a memo to Democratic party "superdelegates" and other activists criticizing media coverage of the presidential campaign.
So you're calling this guy a "media expert" because he founded a center at Harvard? The guy just gave them a lot of money and so they named the center after his wife. He's a developer, not a "media expert".

And he's a self-described "longtime supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton" to boot. Can't you appreciate the irony of the Associated Press running a story criticizing the fawning coverage of Obama from someone who is deeply in bed with Hillary Clinton?

You keep talking about how Obama supporters have been hypnotized, but honestly... I mean, you posted this here? You thought this would pass muster? You think this article is raising a succinct point?
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Old 03-02-08, 07:55 AM
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You're not denying his basic premise - are you?

btw: There's probably a difference between being hypnotized and Obamanized.
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Old 03-02-08, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
You're not denying his basic premise - are you?

btw: There's probably a difference between being hypnotized and Obamanized.
Is there any foundation to his premise? Do you have any media studies done by actual media experts who are not shilling for a particular candidate?

And are you purporting that this article has any value or relevency whatsoever?
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Old 03-02-08, 08:57 AM
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If only there were an ongoing election thread we could post something like this into...
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Old 03-02-08, 09:02 AM
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What a crybaby.
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Old 03-02-08, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
If only there were an ongoing election thread we could post something like this into...
Or a "Media Bias" thread.

Basically Hillary is being treated by the media like a Republican candidate. It's been pretty shameful. I'm not saying Hillary has run a particularly good campaign or that she's a pleasure to listen to but the media is obviously fawning over Obama.
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Old 03-02-08, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
If only there were an ongoing election thread we could post something like this into...
There are two other separate threads on the forum concerning the candidates. Would you also like to see them put in the ongoing election thread?
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Old 03-02-08, 09:26 AM
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While I admit the media seems almost gleefull in reporting Hillary's tale spin I haven't noticed out and out bias so much.
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Old 03-02-08, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by DeputyDave
While I admit the media seems almost gleefull in reporting Hillary's tale spin I haven't noticed out and out bias so much.
Are you an Obama supporter?
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Old 03-02-08, 10:18 AM
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If you think the entire media is biased against Clinton, you obviously don't read the New York Times.
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Old 03-02-08, 11:10 AM
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Preying on fears about security, whining about media bias ... why, it seems that Senator Clinton has turned into a Republican! I suppose next she'll be saying that Senator Obama wants to raise your taxes.

Senator Clinton took time out of last week's debate to complain about the fact that she always has to go first. Now, I would have thought that being able to dominate the first portion of the debate and frame the discussion would be an advatange, but whatever. She obviously thinks it's not. So I saw a blog that did some fact checking, and it turns out that yes, she does go first a majority of the time -- six out of the last ten debates. So that's exactly one debate off from a fifty-fifty split, clearly something worth whining about.
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Old 03-02-08, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
If you think the entire media is biased against Clinton, you obviously don't read the New York Times.
I don't believe anyone has said the 'entire media.'
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Old 03-02-08, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I don't believe anyone has said the 'entire media.'
Reading the article again, it's never positioned as anything other than "the media" or "the press", which seems pretty all-inclusive to me.

I always ask this whenever these sorts of stories come up, but is it possible that Obama simply has fewer negatives to report on? I'm not saying it's true, I'm just pointing out that it's a possibility.
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Old 03-02-08, 12:24 PM
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Dammit, people... you're forcing me to once again play the "in the interest of fairness" card.

While I think the evidence that Barack Obama is getting overwhelmingly positive press coverage is anecdotal, I think it is much clearer that there may very well be media bias against Hillary Clinton. I remember the incident on the press bus back in Iowa, and I think there has been a lot more negative campaign coverage on what I would consider "fluff" isses -- what color pantsuit she's wearing, whether she's had plastic surgery, etc. And it is undeniably true that the right-wing press has been much more merciless in her regard than in Senator Obama's.

But again... some of this negative press has to be laid at the feet of her campaign, which has failed to consistently paint a picture of a caring candidate, who has gone on the attack too early and too often, who has come across as shrill or slimy on several occasions, and who has too often lacked focus and direction.
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Old 03-02-08, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Are you an Obama supporter?
Not at all.

I don't think we've met, are you new here?
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Old 03-02-08, 01:26 PM
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By the way, what makes Walter Shorenstein a "media expert?" His daughter was a reporter, and he donated a bunch of money to Harvard to establish the Center in her memory. So what. I've given money to the APDA -- that doesn't make me an expert on research into curing Parkinson's Disease.
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Old 03-02-08, 01:36 PM
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Walter Shorenstein a "media expert"?

He's from around here and I've never heard his name associated with any particular knowledge of media. I have been in plenty of his buildings though.

He's a commercial property expert and spends his money on various public policy ventures and Democrat campaigns. That's it.

The title of the story in a publication from around here is much more accurate...

MEDIA BIAS FAVORS OBAMA, WALTER SHORENSTEIN ASSERTS - Founder of prestigious Harvard Media Center
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Old 03-02-08, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
If you think the entire media is biased against Clinton, you obviously don't read the New York Times.
They just try and guess where popular opinion will be in a few weeks and try to get ahead of it. Also, I hope no one here reads the op-eds on the NYT. I love the paper but the op-ed stuff is a bit silly.
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Old 03-02-08, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
By the way, what makes Walter Shorenstein a "media expert?" His daughter was a reporter, and he donated a bunch of money to Harvard to establish the Center in her memory. So what. I've given money to the APDA -- that doesn't make me an expert on research into curing Parkinson's Disease.


Nothing. However, he did cite PEW, Media Tenor, Center for Media and Public Affairs, and FAIR studies to back up his claims. I have not looked at those studies, so I won't comment on them, but it is not like he simply stated how unfair things have been.

And if I simply apply the smell test, it appears to me to be the most unbalanced coverage I have personally ever witnessed.
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Old 03-02-08, 02:40 PM
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Let me add, the studies, at least portions of them, are in his actual memo, not the article posted here.
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Old 03-02-08, 03:38 PM
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I don't know whether this guy is a media expert or not, but you don't have to be a media expert to see that most of the media has treated Obama far better than Hillary. I really don't care because if anybody deserves such treatment, it's her.
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Old 03-02-08, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Pharoh
Let me add, the studies, at least portions of them, are in his actual memo, not the article posted here.
Actual memo
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Old 03-02-08, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
I don't know whether this guy is a media expert or not, but you don't have to be a media expert to see that most of the media has treated Obama far better than Hillary. I really don't care because if anybody deserves such treatment, it's her.
Not that I disagree with you, but to play devil's advocate ... should someone who has won 11 primaries in a row be getting coverage no more favorable than someone who has lost 11 primaries in a row?
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Old 03-02-08, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Pharoh
And if I simply apply the smell test, it appears to me to be the most unbalanced coverage I have personally ever witnessed.
It is by far the most unbalanced coverage I have ever seen also.

I thought the 2000 Republican primary campaign was imbalanced toward the media darling - John McCain. It doesn't compare with this 'coverage.'

I really don't care because if anybody deserves such treatment, it's her.
But is it the media's function to determine who deserves such treatment?
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