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Wednesday, January 16, 20081200479254

That Biased Media

It strikes me that there was considerably more election-night coverage of Hillary's "win" of the uncontested Michigan primaries than of Romney's "win" of the uncontested Wyoming caucuses. This in spite of the fact that Wyoming is actually sending delegates to the Republican convention, while the DNC stripped Michigan of her delegates.

So Clinton's beauty contest gets equal weight as an actually meaningful primary (the Michigan Republicans), while Mitt's beauty contest is buried.

A combination of institutionalized liberal bias, combined with more fear of Clinton than of Romney, would seem to be at fault.

Sickening, and it doesn't bode well for balanced coverage of the general election, either.

Comments

You know there is a far simpler reason for this: Wyoming doesn't exist. Even if they claim to send delegates, Wyoming is a myth. ;)

I'm not sure that the issue at hand is a "liberal bias" so much as it's one of the news outlets in this country covering what will bring in ratings (and advertisers) instead of the whole story. Our country often seems to be so terrified of socialism that it insists on running *everything* like a business, when other first world countries don't do so.

Posted by: fl | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

fl, If you consider the fact that the Democratic primary in Michigan gave Sen. Clinton *ZERO* delegates, then your existential argument re: Wyoming also applies to my native state. (The Democratic party czars stripped Michigan of their delegates when they moved their primary ahead of Super Tuesday "without authorization"; the Republican party only took away half of their delegates, so Romney's win there is far more significant than Clinton's.)

Posted by: shane | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Clinton's performance in Michigan is an indicator on how well she will do among black voters in future states (she lost them in Michigan) as well as how well she did among non-independents (which matters in states with closed primaries). That's a reason why it's been covered.

The headline story on CNN is Romney wins Michigan. MSNBC's lead story is about the Republicans. Hell, even Huffington Post's lead story is about Romney. So what is this liberal media biased you're talking about?

Posted by: J. Kauffman | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

J,

"Hell, even Huffington Post's lead story is about Romney. So what is this liberal media biased you're talking about?"

As I mentioned in the post, the difference in election night coverage of the Republican Wyoming caucuses v. Democratic Michigan primary. Both were beauty contests: Hillary's got covered (many networks even had a status counter showing her vote totals through the night)... something that Mitt's showing in Wyoming didn't get

shane,

Agreed.

fl,

"I'm not sure that the issue at hand is a "liberal bias" so much as it's one of the news outlets in this country covering what will bring in ratings (and advertisers) instead of the whole story. Ou"

Good point. There definitely are more viewers in Michigan than Wyoming,.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

If you'd refer back to my comment Clinton's results in Michigan are important because they could indicate voting trends among different parts of the electorate. While Wyoming's results don't indicate how different parts of the Republican electorate might vote. It makes sense to cover results that shows trends, instead of spending efforts on a flash in the pan event with little significance beyond Wyoming.

Posted by: J. Kauffman | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"If you'd refer back to my comment Clinton's results in Michigan are important because they could indicate voting trends among different parts of the electorate. While Wyoming's results don't indicate how different parts of the Republican electorate might vote."

Michigan shows a contest with one viable candidate and several inviable candidates. As did Wyoming.

Arguing that these uncontested elections serve as highly skewed statistical samples surely has some merit, but doesn't address the warped coverage of one over the other.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It does address the "warped coverage of one over the other." Clinton's results were covered more extensively because it revealed new voter trends that can be applied to speculation of future results. While Wyoming's results didn't show a dramatic new trend in voting patterns.

Posted by: J.Kauffman | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Clinton's results were covered more extensively because it revealed new voter trends that can be applied to speculation of future results. While Wyoming's results didn't show a dramatic new trend in voting patterns."

Continuous, Minute-by-minute reporting of aggregate vote numbers reveals subtle voting trends?

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Maybe you should have turned off mute and listened to what they reported. The coverage focused on analysis of the voting trends. For instance, Clinton who once lead in black voter support, lost it in Michigan.

Posted by: J. Kauffman | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

J,

Are you arguing that analysis of voting trends in Michigan occurred more frequently on election night than the continuous scroll of Hillary's majority? Or that such continuous news updates (which on at least one cable news channel occurred even during commercials) does not count as reporting?

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The ticker/headline bar shouldn't be used as the marker of what is covered on a show. I think sometimes people pay too much attention to looking at the headline/percent banner at the bottom of the screen and not enough time listening to the analysis of what the results mean.

Posted by: J.Kauffman | Thursday, January 17, 2008

I found the coverage boring and lacking content. I started re-watching my Firefly/Serenity DVDs instead. Shiny!

Posted by: PurpleSlog | Thursday, January 17, 2008

J,

"The ticker/headline bar shouldn't be used as the marker of what is covered on a show."

You've reduced your own argument to absurdity. No longer defending it on factual grounds, you now redefine the term coverage to exclude coverage that shows what you said to be false.

"I think sometimes people pay too much attention to looking at the headline/percent banner at the bottom of the screen and not enough time listening to the analysis of what the results mean."

You are arguing against yourself. Apparently, the presentation of visual news information is not "coverage," in spite of the fact that such information gains a disproportionate share of attention.

PurpleSlog,

I watched the movie and never got into it, but maybe it's one of those things where you really need to watch the show first.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Thursday, January 17, 2008

I think the extended coverage of Michigan has more to do with the auto industry and it being a 'bellweather' of the US economy, and what that means to the presidential race. I definitely saw a lot more coverage of Romney, so I can't agree that it became a big Clinton affair. I think if Wyoming had some flagging industry that was so symbolic of American labor, etc. we'd have seen a lot more coverage, even with the delegate stripping.

Posted by: Aaron | Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Rocky Mountain West is not important in the electoral college?

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Thursday, January 17, 2008

I didn't argue against myself at all. If you want to argue your way, then the clock at the right hand corner has the most news coverage. That's right, Wyoming doesn't matter in the electoral college. That's why no one bothers to campaign there.
Clinton's results show important new voting trends, Michigan is a better representation of the rest of the country than Wyoming. Not liberal bias.

Posted by: J.Kauffman | Thursday, January 17, 2008

J,

"If you want to argue your way, then the clock at the right hand corner has the most news coverage."

I don't recall criticizing news networks for excessive coverage of the present time, or of the stock market index (which often is in the bottom-right-hand corner as well), for that matter.

"That's right, Wyoming doesn't matter in the electoral college. That's why no one bothers to campaign there."

If you want to flame Wyoming, do so on your blog. Comments are allowed here because they are useful for me, not because I suffer irrelevant statements.

(Likewise, if you have a substantive criticism that the Mountain West is irrelevant in the electoral college -- which would actually address my comment -- please feel free to present it here.)

"Clinton's results show important new voting trends, Michigan is a better representation of the rest of the country than Wyoming. Not liberal bias."

Repeating yourself wastes my time and doesn't provide me with any new information.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yes, there is a bias in the media and the situations in Wyoming, Michigan and the rest of the early primaries show it very effectively.

As far as election coverage goes, the media reports on what it invests its resources in. In the 24 hour news cycle filling time is the most important consideration. Reporters are asigned to generate stories in order to interest viewers enough so that they continue to watch a news channel in the gaps between the commercials. Iowa and New Hampshire get a vast amount of media time because that is where the candidates are campaigning (therefore that is where the reporters are reporting from). These contests generate a lot of reporting because they are where the network resources are commited and there needs to be a return on that investment.
With Michigan it is the flip side, even if the voting was irrelelvant and the candidates paid littel ateention to it, the networks invested their resources there because was ample opportunity to generate reporting on the economy and highlight the stance of any candidate who cared to offer an economic soundbite that could then be dissected at length.
Wyoming garnered little coverage because the candidates paid little attention to it (therefore no reporters in their collective wakes) and it had no 'issue' that it could draw on for sound-bite and extended expert analysis. It doesn't mean it is unimportant, just uninteresting enough that the networks didn't think they could effectively fill the time.

At some point this type of time-filling reporting becomes 'info-tainment'. This is where the true media bias comes in. If it doesn't earn a network money. It doesn't get aired.

Posted by: Arherring | Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm not flaming Wyoming to say that it doesn't recieve much attention because of its insignifigance.

"Apparently, the presentation of visual news information is not "coverage,"
I think that's you referring to the banners at the bottom of the screen that show election results. It's very similair to the stock ticker at the bottom. While it may be on the screen, it doesn't necessarily correlate with the analysis being presented.

I was repeating myself in the hopes that you would either acknowledge or refute my claim. But, if you don't have anything to refute it with, then that's alright too.

Posted by: J. Kauffman | Friday, January 18, 2008

Aherring,

Well said.

J,

"I'm not flaming Wyoming to say that it doesn't receive much attention because of its insignificance."

I've brought up the Rocky Mountain West twice -- twice you've interpreted this to mean only Wyoming.

"I think that's you referring to the banners at the bottom of the screen that show election results. It's very similair to the stock ticker at the bottom. While it may be on the screen, it doesn't necessarily correlate with the analysis being presented."

In other words, your argument is true only so long as we redefine coverage to mean verbal analysis, and exclude visual presentation of results.

I'm sure if you redefine words as you go along, you can "win" any debate you enter. Such debate-team tactics are worthless in an intellectually honest discussion.

"I was repeating myself in the hopes that you would either acknowledge or refute my claim. But, if you don't have anything to refute it with, then that's alright too."

I responded by saying that as trends in Wyoming relate to broader voting patterns in the Rocky Mountain West. Your response to this was to argue that Wyoming's electoral votes in themselves are irrelevent.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, January 18, 2008

I hate to repeat myself, but using your logic of visual displays meaning coverage, the clock gets the most coverage.
Can you tell me how there was a surprise or significant finding in Wyoming's results that can apply to the Rocky Mountain West? Clinton's case had some new numbers that could drastically effect the campaign - leading to more coverage. Did Wyoming have similair results? I haven't heard that it has. Did Giuliani take the evangelical vote in Wyoming? I doubt it.
You also made the point earlier that Wyoming actually sent delegates to the convention unlike Michigan's beauty pageant. According to today's Arkansas Democrat Gazette the caucus in Wyoming doesn't send the delegates, a later county convention does. So, one could call the caucus in Wyoming a beauty pageant as well.

Posted by: J. Kauffman | Friday, January 18, 2008

J,

Your reply is not substantive. You repeated yourself on time coverage (which I responded to yesterday) and you wrote:

"So, one could call the caucus in Wyoming a beauty pageant as well."

Which I had written in the original post, two days ago.

Cease repeating yourself (and others), or cease commenting on this blog.

(Either will help me avoid waisting more time.)

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, January 18, 2008

You called it a beauty pageant while at the same time defending that it mattered because it sent delegates.

I think it's substantive when you claim that Wyoming sends delegates based off their caucus when it in fact does not.

I find myself repeating becaues you fail to address questions and points that are inconvenient to your conclusions. So, did Wyoming show a surprising voter trend with potentially significant national outcomes like Clinton's results did in Michigan?

Posted by: J. Kauffman | Friday, January 18, 2008

"I think it's substantive when you claim that Wyoming sends delegates based off their caucus when it in fact does not.
"

Your claim is factually incorrect [1]. I thank you for bringing up a new claim in your latest comment. However, in the future, ensure that the claims you present are truthful.

Your third paragraph is addressed in the previous comments.

[1] http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/05/wyoming.republicans/

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, January 18, 2008

According the ArkDemGaz Wyoming's delegates aren't technically selected by the caucus. Unfortunately you have to register to view their paper online. I assume that's too time consuming, so here's a link with similair information: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h5OOlm1KiB8Xqt3JqGsF2uBwQL9gD8TUHQQO0

I fail to see where you have indicated that Wyoming's results are a dangerous indicator and/or a surprise for any of the candidates.

Posted by: J. Kauffman | Friday, January 18, 2008

Unfortunately the ArkDemGaz requires you to register to view their articles. So, here's a similair article: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h5OOlm1KiB8Xqt3JqGsF2uBwQL9gD8TUHQQO0

I fail to see where you have qualified that Wyoming's results were dangerous to a candidate and/or a surprising indicator that now effects how other races are viewed.

Posted by: J. Kauffman | Friday, January 18, 2008

J,

Regarding your first paragraph, please provide evidence.

Regarding your second, you're repeating yourself again. If you wish to opine without providing useful information to me, please do so on your own blog.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, January 18, 2008

I provided the evidence in the link.

I'm asking you a direct question in the second paragraph. I'd like to know where you have qualified the significance of the Wyoming caucus in the ways I've mentioned. In an earlier post you claimed you have, but where?

Posted by: J. Kauffman | Friday, January 18, 2008

J,

You only liked to an AP article, but mention one from "the ArkDemGaz." I assume the "ArkDemGaz" article is important, because in only the context of the AP article, the claim of your first paragraph is pedantic.

Your latest second paragraph is a statement, not a question. Further, it's a repetition of a previous statement.

Comments are enabled in this thread to allow me to improve my views, not for your enjoyment. Please add substantively ot the discussion or stop waisting my time.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, January 18, 2008

Editorial note: J's latest comment in this thread has been deleted as it does not introduce new claims, criticisms, or thoughts.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Saturday, January 19, 2008

*cringe* Are our debates as hard to read and head-ache inducing as your debates with J? If so, I apologize!

Posted by: Michael | Saturday, January 19, 2008

No, they're not.

(Thank goodness!)

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Saturday, January 19, 2008

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